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Features for Distinguished Handcrafters

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Finely Handcrafted
since 1996

Volume 1, Issue 2
June 2006

In this Month's Issue:
(Quick click each link)

Wine Storage is the Key to Preserving and Aging Your Wine Recipe for Blackberry Liqueur Monthly Food Recipe


Wine Storage is the Key to 
Preserving and Aging Your Wine

By David Chandler

Wine storage is key to the success of any collection. If you enjoy collecting find wines then you will want to look into the best of all wine storage options. There are many different ways to store your wine but no matter which wine storage solution you choose you will need to keep the conditions constant.
The temperature of any wine storage space needs to be at a constant 50-60 degrees. There should also be plenty of ventilation of the area and this wine storage should be far away from the main area of the house. You do not want to have your wine collection suffering due to too much vibration and you need to keep any source of light to a minimum. No sunlight should be permitted into the wine storage area.

You can use a wine cellar for your wine storage or you can have a special cooler. Wine racks are a necessary part of your wine storage. The wine racks can be made of metal or wood and the wine storage that you choose will be a matter of personal taste. Both of these sorts of racks are wonderful to look at but the metal racks tend to be more flamboyant and stylish while the wood racks are classic and traditional in style.

You may want to choose your racks in order to have them match the rest of your wine storage solution. The final choices that you make will be affected somewhat by whether or not you are planning to show off your wine cellar to your friends. If you are then your wine storage solutions will need to be a little more coordinated.

So look into the wine racks and other wine storage options that will all look well together. Your wine storage area can look like those of a professional wine collector. It is not hard to do but it can cost you a little money.

Your temporary wine storage options are a little simpler. Just before you serve your wine you will probably want to chill it, this of course depends on the wine. In order to store your wine for chilling you can look into cool wine storage solutions. Wine coolers are easy to find, you can find them in many department stores or wine stores. Even the Internet is a great source for finding these types of wine storage options.


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Recipe for Blackberry Liqueur
by Frank Holes, Sr.

This easy to make liqueur can be crafted with simple ingredients in your kitchen.  It is similar to the other fruit liqueurs, except you’ll need more berries and a bit of honey for the proper taste.  You can also use this recipe with raspberries.  This can be used 'as is' or in combination with other concoctions such as homebrew (see later in the article).    
Recipe for Blackberry Liqueur:

3 cups of blackberries (or raspberries)

2 cups of sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup honey (clover honey is recommended)

1 cup water

white rum

Blackberry Liqueur Recipe Directions:

In a large saucepot, combine the blackberries, sugar, lemon juice, honey, and water until boiling.  Use a wooden spoon to stir and smash up the blackberries.  This will be thick, so stir constantly.  Reduce heat to medium, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, and allow to cool.  Pour into a large mason jar or glass container.  Fill up to the top with rum.  If you want to make it extra special, substitute Blackberry Brandy for the rum.

Seal with a lid and store in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks.  Be sure to strain the liqueur before serving or using in a recipe. 

You can use either fresh blackberries (be sure to wash them), or you can also use frozen berries (thaw first and save all juices).

Slight alternatives to the recipe including adding raspberries, 1/2 cup golden raisins, or a tsp. of vanilla to the boil.  These will give you slight differences in the final taste.  It might even be good with some mint.

Blackberry liqueur is very easy to create, and it’s great in a number of dessert recipes and drinks.  Thicken it up with a little cornstarch and corn syrup and serve over vanilla ice cream!  Also good in mixed drinks (especially with champagne drinks!).

You can add the sugary berry mixture (before adding the rum and bottling) to a wheat beer recipe or other light beer recipe prior to the fermentation stage.  We’ve even made a raspberry porter which was excellent!

One recipe I want to try out is adding this mixture to our basic crème soda recipe.  I’ll let everyone know how it turns out!

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Frank Holes, Sr. is the Vice President of Griswold Mountain Brewing Company and a distinguished crafter of homemade champagne and cordials. 


Recipe of the Month:

Chili-Beer Brisket Of Beef 
Over Wild Rice


Chili-Beer Brisket Of Beef 
Over Wild Rice Almandine

Yield: 8 servings

This is one of those great slow-roasted recipes.  Try substituting your own favorite homebrewed beer in the recipe.

2 1/2 lb Fresh Beef Brisket
1/2 c Diced Onion
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1 Bottle (12 Oz) Chili Sauce
1 Bottle (12 oz) Beer
Wild Rice Almandine

2 ea medium Ripe Tomatoes, Sliced
Parsley Sprigs
Cooking Directions:
1. Place beef brisket, fat side down, in deep roasting pan. Sprinkle brisket with onion, salt, pepper and garlic powder. 

2. Pour chili sauce over brisket. Cover tightly and cook in slow oven (325 degrees F. ) for 3 hours. 

3. Pour beer over brisket. Increase oven temperature to moderate (350 degrees F. ) and continue cooking, covered, 30 minutes. 

4. Place brisket on large serving platter and surround with Wild Rice Almandine. 

5. Garnish with sliced tomatoes and parsley. Slice brisket very thin and serve with hot cooking liquid. 

I personally enjoy an Irish red ale with most cuts of meat, so I'd use that in the recipe and also to drink alongside dinner.  However, a nice IPA might blend well with the chili sauce.  Bon appetite!


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