Beer for Hanukkah: He'Brew ReJewvenator is a Mashup of Belgian Ale and Concord Grape

Laine Doss
Mixing grape and grain for Hanukkah!
Growing up in Brooklyn, my parents had a bar. Purchased through the Macy's catalog, it was a small octagon end table that opened up into a place to store bottles and glasses. Though they were quite proud of their swanky addition to the avocado green sofa they had purchased the year before (covered in the requisite plastic), their spirit collection left much to be desired.

I still remember the contents: a bottle of Wild Turkey (used mostly for toothaches); Cherry Heering; Creme de Menthe; Gordon's gin; some Dutch chocolate liquor in a fancy ceramic bottle; and a few bottles of Manischewitz Wine.

The Manischewitz was consumed mostly during holidays and family get-togethers, like Passover and Hanukkah. My family would drink the sweet elixir from small cordial glasses and I would get a glass of grape juice. Once, after much begging, I was given a sip of the kosher wine. It tasted exactly like what I was having -- cloyingly sweet and grapey, with a hint of tartness.

See also: Blue Collar's Latkes Named Among the Country's Ten Best for Chanukah

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Circa 39 Opens: Cricket Nelson's Holiday Libation (Recipe)

Carla Torres
So you're throwing a holiday party but want to serve something other than store bought tonic and gin or vodka. How about a fruity and refreshing handcrafted pitcher of booze that will have everyone wondering if you picked up a side job as a mixologist?

The drink we're referring to is Pavan's Memory Lane, and it was created by cocktail muse Cricket Nelson. You might know Nelson from the Broken Shaker and now Circa 39, which recently soft-opened. The lady barkeep competed in a Pavan competition last November and won the regional portion for her creative take on an Indian-inspired libation.

Now she can't get enough of the French liqueur made from muscat grapes and a touch of orange blossom. We got a schooled by Nelson herself on how to make this nostalgic creation.

See also: A Lesson in the Art of Martini Making by London Bartender Jack Hubbard

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J. Wakefield Brewing Company Brews First Official Batch

Categories: Booze Hound

Photo by David Minsky
J. Wakefield Brewing Company is Miami's third brewery to open in 2014.
This year has been good for the beer industry in Miami. Three breweries opened and the latest, J. Wakefield Brewing Company, even received official recognition from the city of Miami.

In a Facebook post dated December 12, the brewery displays what appears to be its official building certificate from the City of Miami. Brewery owner Johnathan Wakefield and crew are not wasting any time. On Monday they started brewing their first beer, a "huge" batch of Nothing Imperial Stout, a heavy Russian imperial stout sitting at 13 percent alcohol-by-volume.

See Also: Kush Taps Rare Keg of J. Wakefield, Stone Brewing Collaboration 'Hot Lil Miami Tart' July 10

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A Lesson in the Art of Martini Making by London Bartender Jack Hubbard

Photo by Carla Torres
Martinis by moi
It wouldn't have been a successful Basel without a cocktail lesson in a bungalow penthouse at Miami's newest and hippest lodge, the Miami Beach Edition. While Ian Schrager is most known for his role as co-owner and co-founder of the iconic Studio 54, he's also responsible for pioneering the boutique and luxury hotel category. And the Edition marks his first return to the Magic City since his work at the Delano.

A smooth opening during the city's busiest week is no easy feat, but the Edition's went off smooth and without a glitch. One of the many events lined up was a martini making class hosted by leading London bartender and Absolut Elyx global brand ambassador Jack Hubbard, who was joined by local spirit aficionado Giovanny Gutierrez from Chat Chow TV. Gutierrez was coined with the task of bringing in a group of friends to spread the martini knowledge, and we were able to join in on the educational fun.

See also: Proper Sausages Offering Nationwide Delivery

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The Mighty Offers 81-Cent Punch Cocktails for Repeal Day

Categories: Booze Hound

Photo by Alpha du centaure
Get a cocktail, minus the umbrella, for less than a dollar at the Mighty for Repeal Day.
December 5 is as good as any other day to use for an excuse to drink. But today imbibing becomes your duty as an American because it is Repeal Day, or the day in 1933 when drinking alcohol became a constitutional right.

No doubt many parties will be thrown in every corner of the country on this day, but in this pocket they call Miami the Mighty on Coral Way is celebrating by offering 81-cent punch cocktails to honor 81 years of alcoholic freedom.

See also: The Mighty Stands Out With a Funky Lineup of House-Made Sausages

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Wynwood Brewing Opens Vine Club For Membership, Adds 90 More Spots

Categories: Booze Hound

Photo by Laine Doss
Vine Club members get access to rare beers and more from Wynwood Brewing.
Once again Wynwood Brewing is opening up its Vine Club, giving a chance for new members to get special access to all things from Miami's first craft brewery.

The Vine Club doesn't open its doors to new members very often, and spots are extremely limited. Vine Club membership opened up on Monday, but you may want to get a move on if you want a piece of the action.

See also: Wynwood Brewing Wins Gold Medal at Great American Beer Festival

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Miami's Craft Commander: Attorney by Day, Beer Connoisseur by Night

Categories: Booze Hound

Courtesy of Marco Leyte-Vidal
The Craft Commander
With so many breweries opening in South Florida, beer connoisseurs will inevitably follow. Marco Leyte-Vidal, Miami's Craft Commander, definitely lives up to this expectation.

But Vidal is more than a lover of beer. He writes beer reviews and interviews brewers of some of the most sought-after beer in the world. His portfolio includes interviews with Jean Van Roy from Cantillon and Miami's own Johnathan Wakefield. He is also a licensed family attorney in Florida.

See also: Mendez Fuel: A Gas Station With Growler Fills

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Swig n' Swine: Unlimited Pork and Punch at Freehand Miami

Categories: Booze Hound

Courtesy of Swig n' Swine
This little piggy went drinking.
Miami's best-loved activities -- pork, libations, and music -- come together at the inaugural Swig n' Swine this Sunday, December 7, at Freehand Miami.

From 3 to 8 p.m., the sister event of the Tales of the Cocktail soirée Pig & Punch New Orleans will feature exactly what the name implies -- lots of pork and overflowing cups of boozy punch set to a soundtrack by Mia Moretti and Myles Hendrik. If you haven't been to a Pig & Punch, know that it's kind of like a really good family picnic -- if your family members happened to bring barrels of booze and were top chefs.

See also: 27 Restaurant & Bar at Freehand Miami Beach Opens

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FIU's South Florida Brewfest Celebrates Local Beer

Categories: Booze Hound

All photos by Laine Doss
FIU students served their own creations at the South Florida Brewfest.
FIU's South Florida Brewfest, held at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, was truly a local affair. Every brewery, from major players like Tampa's Cigar City to home brewers like Home Sick Brewing in Sanford, were born and brewed in Florida.

When you consider that there were over two dozen brewers pouring about 100 different beers, you can finally get the magnitude of just how far Florida has come in the craft beer industry.

See also: Dean Mike Hampton on Tomorrow's FIU's Brewfest: "This Will be a Lightbulb Experience"

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Dean Mike Hampton on Tomorrow's FIU's Brewfest: "This Will be a Lightbulb Experience"

Categories: Booze Hound

FIU Brewfest via Facebook
Brewfest: Where learning means drinking beer.
FIU's South Florida Brewfest comes to the university's Chaplin School of Hospitality this Saturday, November 22 and, although South Florida has a host of beer-related events (including Miami New Times' own Brew at the Zoo), FIU's is markedly different.

The festival, now in its third year, started as a way for students involved in the university's brewing science program to share their knowledge. Dean of FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Mike Hampton, explains. "There was a core of students who decided to invite a group of craft beer makers to the campus to share ideas and sample the beers. The first year, it was a very small group."

See also: Discover Your Craft at South Florida BrewFest This Saturday

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