Archive for March, 2015
Easter Champagne Cocktails
Monday, March 30th, 2015
With Easter Brunch this weekend, we have the perfect champagne cocktails to pair with any menu!  We take a fresh look at three standard champagne cocktails and dress them up for brunch.
In our Lavender Peach Bellini, our culinary lavender tincture sends this Bellini to the next level.  The subtle flavor of the herb balances out the sweet, making this your new favorite brunch cocktail.
Lavender Peach Bellini
makes four drinks
1/2 cup peach puree
1 Tbs culinary lavender (available at specialty spice stores)
2 Tbs boiling water
Steep lavender in 2Tbs boiling water for 30-45 min. Strain lavender essence into peach puree and stir to combine.  Divide puree among 4 champagne flutes.  Top with Prosecco.
Our French 75 adds Limoncello to the traditional standard cocktail, giving it a new level of lemon.  Once you have had JBE’s French 75, you won’t want to go back.
French 75
makes one cocktail
1.5 ounces Gin
1 ounce Limoncello
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Splash of simple syrup
Prosecco or Sparkling Wine
In a cocktail shaker with ice add the first four ingredients.  Shake well and strain into a champagne flute.  Top with Prosecco or sparkling wine.  Garnish with a lemon twist.
There is little here at JBE that we love more than bourbon.  This cocktail combines all of our favorite things in one glass.  We use honey syrup in place of simple syrup to give this drink a mellower sweet.
Bourbon Orange Fizz
makes one drink
1.5 ounces bourbon
5-6 dashes orange bitters (we recommend Fee Brothers or Reagans’)
1/2 ounce honey syrup *
Prosecco or Sparkling Wine
In a cocktail shaker with ice add first three ingredients and stir- don’t shake.  Strain into champagne flutes and top with Prosecco or sparkling wine.  Garnish with orange twist.
* To make honey syrup, mix local raw honey with boiling water in a ration of 1:4, honey to water.  Stir until honey is melted and completely combined.  Store in an airtight container and use in place of simple syrup.
Go, Baby, Go! JBE’s Guide to the Perfect Derby Party
Monday, March 30th, 2015
If the tulips and daffodils are blooming here in Louisville, that means Derby is only a few weeks away!  There is nothing better than ushering in the long awaited warmer weather with mint juleps and fabulous hats.
Here in Louisville, there is no wrong way to do Derby.  We love the track, but tickets to the Derby are harder to acquire than tickets to the Superbowl (and just as expensive).  Our favorite way at JBE is the true local way- throwing a fabulous house party.  Here are the things you need to make your guests swoon that first Saturday in May as you host a Derby party like a pro.
~A Great Bar~
If there is anything we are known for here in the Bluegrass in addition to horses, it is the finest bourbon in the world.  Our signature drink for Derby is the Mint Julep.  Not a fan?  How about a Bourbon Slush instead?  No matter the cocktail, the bar should be set to shine.  It will, undoubtedly, be the center of the festivities.  A variety of good bourbons- both for mixing and for sipping, should be set.  Fun julep cups and interesting containers for ice or mint syrup draw guests in, encouraging them to help themselves.  Pre-printed recipes in picture frames can help guide the way for signature event cocktails.  Fresh mint dusted in sugar peeking out of julep cups and homemade mint syrup make our juleps the envy of mixologists everywhere.  Festive buckets icing beer and wine will keep the party going.  The key to cocktails for the masses is preparing your ingredients ahead of time, having the ingredients in fun-to-use containers, and making them readily available on the bar.
~Fabulous Food~
With eleven or more races throughout the day, guests will be between the TV, the food, and the bar.  Appetizers tend to work well for the day or some fancy grill work is also a sure thing.  Pretty serving pieces make the day feel special.  Don’t want to do all of that cooking?  Caterers love to do special parties like Derby or simply carry out your favorite BBQ.
~A Way to Bet~
The races are fun, but having a wager on them makes it even more raucous as the races are run.  Racing programs (available online here and at local liquor stores) and $1 bets for a winner-take-all jackpot for each race are a fun way to keep everyone cheering.  Don’t know anything about handicapping?  No problem!  Cut up a program and draw horses instead or start a “Let it Ride” jackpot where you bet the favorite every race and if it wins you “let it ride, baby”.  OTB websites are also a great way for the more serious gamblers in the crowd to still be plugged in at the track while partying with friends.  Setting up online betting accounts doesn’t take long and wagering can happen until a couple of minutes before post time.
~Entertainment for the Kids~
If the little ones are invited, some activities for them like stick horse races and a “decorate your own jockey silk” craft would be a great way to keep them entertained in between the races.  They love to cheer as much as the adults and the pageantry of the day isn’t lost on them.  Delegate a craft idea to one of the parents coming for the day to minimize your own prep.
~Above all RELAX~
One of the keys to having any great party is about preparation.  As much do-ahead as possible keeps you out of the kitchen and with your guests.  Setting up the bar for “self serve” keeps the bourbon flowing while not shackling you as bartender.  The day can be as dressed up or down as you like.  Enjoy your guests!  That’s why you hosted the party, after all!  Build a bourbon, don a hat, sing a verse of “My Old Kentucky Home” and bet a race.
Interested in having us throw your party?  Contact JBE and let us help you win, place, and show for the day!