It’s that time when we release our top cigars of the year. This year we’re adding a twist to our list by selecting an entire brand rather than a single cigar. As in previous years, the selection for the top spot could have gone to any number of manufacturers, but in the end only one can be chosen as the cigar of the year.
Room 101’s The Big Payback was introduced by brand owner Matt Booth as a way to give back and say thank you to his loyal customers that have supported his line of cigars since day one. The idea was simple, produce a line that smoked great, had tons of flavor, and came beautifully packaged all while maintaining a retail price that’s set low enough where consumers wondered how these cigars can be so inexpensive. Not only did Matt accomplish what he set out to do but he also gained new smokers that now call The Big Payback their “go to” smoke.
Cheers to the new year! Let’s skip the part where we talk about staying fit and get straight to the deliciously fresh, low-calorie cocktails that will keep you on track with your resolutions. Check out our Fit and Fun Pinterest page for more cocktails, food recipes and fun exercises!
If you love cocktails and want to learn more about an underappreciated spirit, join us for a Portón Pisco seminar led by US Brand Master Natalia Cardenas. Natalia’s discussion will focus on using Pisco, a Peruvian grape-based white spirit. Learn how to mix Pisco with other simple ingredients to craft well-balanced, outstanding cocktails. Come ready to mix your own drinks at this interactive event.
Join us at the thrid annual Cider Summit Chicago , the largest ever tasting of artisanal ciders from around the world. It’s at the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier. You’ll get to meet cidermakers, sample from a selection of 90+ ciders and taste awesome food. We’ll be there to chat… so be sure to stop by the table with the big Binny’s banner. Who knows, maybe we’ll have surprises. More info after the jump.
What would the holidays be without some homemade Egg Nog? Made with strawberry rye whiskey, this is one recipe from Pennington’s recipe vault that you’ll want to enjoy all year round.
(Photo and recipe courtesy of Pennington’s Whiskey)
Pennington’s Egg Nog recipe after the jump! Read more
Hand picked by Binny’s employees from Chicago to Champaign,
from Highland Park to Evergreen Park, presenting…
I have a new favorite with Henriot. It’s bright with flavors of lemon and apricot followed by creaminess and a tickle of fine bubbles. This is perfect on Christmas Eve with dinner, but I’ll pop the cork now and then to just enjoy a good bubbly with friends. As Champagne goes, this is a great value for exceptional quality. – Nancy K, Wine Consultant at Binny’s Champaign
#2 Eagle Rare
10 Year Old Single Barrel
In terms of value, where else can you find a ten year old at this price? Very few can compare with Eagle Rare’s heartier, more robust, spicier character. Not as sweet as, say, Elmer T Lee, Eagle Rare is fat and rich and not too bitter, and wears its rye on its sleeve. Right now we have plenty of Binny’s Handpicked bottles, too. – Mike H, Assistant Store Manager at Binny’s Skokie
Kerrygold Irish Cream
The iconic Irish butter and cheese producer finally has enough confidence in an Irish whiskey to tie their name and golden reputation to their very own Irish cream liqueur. With Kerrygold cream from grass-fed cows, Irish whiskey plus rich chocolate.
Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Maybe you’ve noticed that Buffalo Trace Bourbon has become scarce over the last year. The distillery refuses to cut corners, instead patiently waiting for more stock to age to the Buffalo Trace we love. We do have plenty this month, so fill those stockings while you can.
Just in time for the holidays! Here’s your chance to get a special bottle of Jack Daniel’s engraved, and enter to win Chicago Blackhawks tickets. Stop by any of the three Binny’s locations listed below on the corresponding dates and times. Taste Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select and enter our drawing to win free tickets to an upcoming Blackhawks game, all while you have your Woodford Reserve, Gentleman Jack and Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select bottles engraved. It’s a great gift for the whiskey drinker in your life.
This guest post is by Roger Adamson, Beer and Spirits Specialist at Binny’s Willowbrook. Roger is both a homebrewer and mixologist and is using his background in history to research and write a book on classic cocktails.
I recently had the good fortune to escape the bitter Chicago cold and make a visit to the Spoetzl Brewery down in Shiner, Texas. Shiner is about an hour and a half drive from Austin but the scenery from the bus does not disappoint. The landscape was dotted with cattle ranches, oil pumpjacks, and prickly pear cacti. Before I knew it we arrived in Shiner, where the Spoetzl Brewery stands tall a short distance from the charming downtown.
It’s time for a new brunch cocktail. Haven’t we all had enough Bellinis and Mimosas for a lifetime? We submit to you: The Modern Sage. This is an intricately mixed cocktail with flavors of spiced vanilla, savory fruit and fresh sage. It blends beautifully for a savory treat and isn’t as complicated as it seems, and it’s good enough that it works as a substitute for dessert.
The Modern Sage recipe after the jump. Read more