Ardbeg Peat Hopper Event and Tasting

What exactly is an Ardbeg Peat Hopper? It’s a cross between a tractor and a chopper created by none other than the guys at Orange County Choppers for Scotch Whisky distillery, Ardbeg. Cool, huh? What’s even cooler is that you can come see it for yourself at a few of our Binny’s locations and sample from Ardbeg’s exciting lineup of some of the peatiest whiskies in Scotland. Wait till you hear this baby roaaaaaaaar.

 

Ardbeg Peat Hopper

 

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Hop Harvesting with Two Brothers Brewing Company: Heavier Handed

Ever hear of Pontiac, Illinois? It’s home to Route 66 Hall of Fame, surrounded by spacious corn fields and full of the kindest people. It’s as American as any town can get. It also happens to be home to hop farmers, Steve and Karen Scott of Vermillion Valley Farm. It’s a centennial farm, meaning it’s been in their family for over 100 years. They live and work on a 9 acre farm where they also grow organic produce that you can find at the local farmers’ market every weekend. The Scott family are responsible for the cascade hops that are used to brew Two Brothers annual fall release, Heavier Handed. This is the second year that Two Brothers will use Vermillion Valley hops.
 

Hop vines

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Confessions of a Mixologist: Pliny’s Elixir

Bartender Angie from the Binny’s Lincoln Park Tasting Room got the inspiration for this potion after hearing about how much Pliny the Elder enjoyed his pears. It’s a well-balanced cocktail, with bitterness from amaro pairing perfectly with the spiced pear flavors of the St. George Liqueur. Be sure to stop by the next time you’re in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, say hello to Angie, and try a Pliny’s Elixir for yourself! You will not be disappointed.
 

Pliny’s Elixir

Pliny's Elixir

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Confessions of a Mixologist: 4 Epic Bramble Cocktails

The dog days of summer are upon us. The solution for this sticky summer slog? The bramble cocktail. It’s a concoction that usually includes blackberry and gin, but variations feature raspberry, blueberry and more. And if gin isn’t your style, vodka makes a great substitution, too. With the many twists on this fruity sipper, it was hard to narrow down the list to just our top four. And if you’re up for something different, check out these Bramble Jelly Shots.

 

The Classic Bramble

Bramble

Photo and cocktail recipe courtesy of Liquor Wire. Continue reading

Confessions of a Mixologist: 3 Rocking Mojito Cocktails

Originating from Cuba, the Mojito is traditionally a five ingredient cocktail that consists of white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint. The mint, sugar and citrus combined amplifies the rum flavor. Take a break from your summer garden work, sit back and enjoy a few of these refreshing highball classics.

 

Orange Basil Mojito

Orange Basil Mojito
 
Photo and cocktail recipe courtesy of Dine and Dish. Continue reading

7th Annual Binny’s Homebrew Contest Winners Recognized

Another 2014 Binny’s Homebrew Contest has come to an end. We’re blown away with the incredible homebrew talent and beers that we had the chance to judge this year. We expanded the contest to four locations with a total of 200 entries. The first five to place at each location went on to the final judging at Binny’s in Lincoln Park. Congratulations to Sean for winning two tickets to the Great American Beer Festival and to all of the homebrewers who placed or took the time to handcraft and homebrew their entries for the 7th Annual Binny’s Homebrew Contest sponsored by Samuel Adams.

 

Binny's Homebrew Contest

Winners announced after the jump! Continue reading

Confessions of a Mixologist: 5 Sangria Recipes You Need To Try

Wine + Fruit = Perfection.

 

There really is nothing better than a warm summer night, a chilled cocktail and good company. Next time you’re hosting or want to whip yourself up a refreshing drink, try one of these exciting sangria recipes. Share ‘em with your friends and let us know what you think online. Click here to see more of our favorite cocktails.

 

Tropical Frozen Sangria

Sangria
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Confessions of a Mixologist: Cocktail Ice Cubes

Have you ever thought about dressing up your ice cubes? They are the boringist (it’s a word) part of the cocktail and it’s time to step up your game. Try these ice cube substitutes in mixes ranging from sangria to wine spritzers to mojitos.

 

Minty Ice Cubes

Fruit Ice Cube

via designlovefest.com
 

Simply just slice and dice your fruit, mint or herbs and add them to water in your ice tray. Freeze over night and voila – fun and colorful ice cubes that will add an extra spark of flavor to any cocktail.
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Whiskey Hotline Hits the Road: Cedar Ridge

Ever heard of Swisher, Iowa? It’s home to Cedar Ridge Vineyards Winery & Distillery and most importantly, where we picked our latest batch of Handpicked bourbon barrels. Yup, plural. We just couldn’t pick one. But more about Cedar Ridge first.

 

Owners Jeff and Laurie Quint have built quite the distillery/winery. Located in eastern Iowa, it’s just a short drive from Cedar Rapids or Iowa City. Jeff serves as Master Distiller and Master Winemaker. In addition to crafting award winning small batch spirits (like our Handpicked barrels), Cedar Ridge produces wines from their own estate-grown grapes. Fun fact: Cedar Ridge is the first licensed distillery in the state of Iowa since the age of prohibition.
 

Cedar Ridge

 
Pictures and more after the jump! Continue reading