Wining Wife®

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Category: Spirits

Be Mixed Zero Calorie Drink Mixer Review

I’m a fan of a good cocktail. But cocktails can get super-caloric and super unhealthy super fast. So, when I received a sample mixer from Be Mixed to try, I was excited.  After all, it’s not every day that you find a zero-calorie mixer that is on-trend with current cocktail flavors.  Overall, I enjoyed the mixer. 

About Be Mixed

Be Mixed was founded to provide people with tasty sugar-free cocktails. 

Be Mixed has 0 calories, no sugar, and is all-natural. There are three different flavors: 

  • Ginger Lime
  • Cucumber Mint
  • Margarita

The different mixes are crafted so that you can use your favorite spirit with the mix to create a cocktail that you love. The Be Mixed website has a variety of different recipes – the most simple being adding a bottle of mixer to a shot of alcohol and pouring it over ice. 

However, you can also find recipes for a spicy margarita (looks super-delicious), pomegranate Moscow mule, white sangria, pumpkin martini, ginger negroni, and much more.  I look forward to getting more of the mixer so that I can try some of the other fun recipes they have available. 

The Taste Test

I received the cucumber mint flavor of Be Mixed. Wining Husband mixed a shot of it with a shot of Fords Gin and served it over ice in old fashioned glasses (even though I photographed it with martini glasses). It was delicious, and it didn’t have that aftertaste you often get when you’re using sugar-free ingredients. You know the one I’m talking about. It’s not very pleasant. It was light, and super-refreshing. It was like a grown-up soft drink, so be careful. It goes down easy, making it very easy to overdo it.

Since I’ve been working hard on my health, I have to say, a good-tasting mixer is a welcome addition to our bar for weekend evenings.  

Where to Purchase Be Mixed

You can purchase Be Mixed from their website, here. You can also find Be Mixed in grocery and liquor stores (many Whole Foods stores carry it), and you can find it at restaurants and bars. *Affiliate links*

Save $5 On Your First Order! Use code “Welcome” at checkout.



Zorba The German Cocktail Recipe

Zorba the German cocktail recipe

Sometimes it’s Friday evening, and you’re sitting around. Someone, like Wining Husband, says “I want a martini.” I agree, but I realize, “Hey, we don’t have any gin, and we have no vodka either – not that a martini should be made with vodka.”

But we have dry vermouth. We’re going to be moving, so we’ve been committed to making alcoholic beverages with what we have, so that we don’t have open bottles when it’s time to move.

Wining husband then pointed out that we had Ouzo, but that it might be odd to combine Ouzo with dry vermouth. I thought to myself, “Hmmm…we also have Jaegermeister.”

I then jokingly said, “We should combine Ouzo, Jaegermeister, and dry vermouth. It would probably be like a Manhattan in taste.”

Wining husband laughed. Then said he’d probably just sip on some Ouzo. I told him to get to work creating my drink, that I was serious.

He mixed together 1 shot of Ouzo, 1/3 shot of Jaegermeister, 1/3 shot of dry vermouth, and added some bitters. I tried the result and said, “Hmm, that’s not bad. It has a great color, and it tastes good.”

He decided he would then make himself one.

He came into our home office and said “Wow, that is good. I’m surprised. Who in their right mind would ever dream of combining Ouzo and Jaegermeister?”

Wining Wife: “Not me; I’m not in my right mind.”

You have it from the horse’s mouth. This is the cocktail to try, folks. It is like a Manhattan in body, but is much more awake in flavor.

Sometimes, you create something awesome out of unrelated ingredients.


Steak in a Martini Glass

Steak in a glass cocktail

Steak in a glass cocktail

Yes, you read that right. Yes it sounds like an odd concoction, and it actually came about as a mistake. You see, the cocktail we originally intended to make was Bon Appetit’s Sriracha-Lada recipe that was just printed in the recent issue.

Well, to start with, we didn’t have Mexican beer. We had Blue Moon’s variety pack – the Summer Honey Wheat on hand. We also didn’t have Sriracha sauce, since I’m actually allergic to it (it’s a shame, because until I figured that out, it was a favorite of mine), but we had Tabasco sauce. We didn’t have Worchester sauce either – but we did have Pickapeppa sauce, which is what I use in place of the classic steak sauce. Here’s how the recipe unfolded.

First, Wining Husband, resident bartender, used salt to rim two martini glasses. Now, the original recipe has the drink in a pilsner glass. About 1 oz or so of lime juice was used – the equivalent of the juice contained in a small lime, squeezed into a shot glass. As I was chopping red onion for use in our dinner, I turned and noticed that Wining Husband had the 1/2 tablespoon out, rather than the 1/2 teaspoon. I mentioned it, but it was too late. He’d already added 1/2 a tablespoon of Pickapeppa sauce to the martini glass. He then added 1/2 a tablespoon of Tabasco sauce. He combined these three ingredients in the martini glass, and then added the chilled beer.

Now, there had been no ice used in the recipe, as there wasn’t room for it in the cocktail glass. He sat the cocktail down in front of me, sans lime wheel, and I looked at it, and finished chopping my onions. Then, finally, I tasted it. It was spicy, and a bit salty from the rim of the glass. I took a second sip.

“This tastes like steak in a cup. It tastes like a big, beefy, juicy, spicy and well-marinated steak,” I finally said. Wining Husband had a taste, and decided he would make himself the same, mistake beer cocktail.

Sometimes, when you make a mistake in the kitchen, it turns out to taste pretty good.



GUEST POST: An Introduction To Premium Whiskey

Whisky tasting

Whisky tasting (Photo credit: Simon Varwell)

Today’s guest post comes from David Summers.

The development of the industry in fine whiskey has increased significantly over recent years, and with growing demand coming from the developing nations such as China, more high quality whiskey is being made than ever before. Because of the time and care that is required to produce the high quality single malts and bourbons that have been matured for between ten and twenty years, some of the biggest brands are experiencing shortages. The prices of the best bottles of whiskey also mean that it has become a symbol of affluence and sophistication, and the true appreciation of premium whiskey is something that is a great sign of personal success.

Choosing The Right Bottle Of Whiskey

There are so many different options for those who are choosing the right bottle of whiskey for them, from the young and delicate whiskeys through to the older peaty and smoky whiskeys that in some cases are aged for twenty years or more. This can be a bit of a minefield for those who are new to the experience of enjoying a good whiskey, so one of the best ideas is to try one of the many whiskey selections that are available. These provide the drinker with a good idea of the different flavors and types of whiskey that are available, and by using tasting guides will give people an idea of the kind of whiskey they should be looking for.

Storing And Preparing Your Whiskey

While Whiskey is a drink that can be served chilled or even at a very low temperature, many people will actually prefer to keep their whiskey at room temperature, as this allows the drinker to get the full flavor of the whiskey. In most cases, storing your whiskey in a cool dark cupboard is the ideal place to store your whiskey. Being able to savor the full experience of a good whiskey is vital when such bottles can be quite expensive, so it is worth buying a specific whiskey tasting glass which will allow you to swirl the whiskey around the glass to release the full aroma of the drink.

How To Drink Your Whiskey

The majority of people who choose to drink a fine scotch or bourbon will normally do so to savor the complex and varied flavors of the drink, so keeping it simple is certainly the best way to approach the drink. While some people can find that a few drops of water can open up a little more of the taste of the whiskey, it is certainly not wise to drown the whiskey or to mix it with anything else that will mask the taste.

Combining a whiskey with ice has long been a controversial topic among whiskey connoisseurs, as the ice will not only dilute the whiskey, but also cools it too much so that it masks the flavor of the whiskey itself. One interesting alternative is using whiskey stones, which are small ice-cube sized pieces of soapstone that do not affect the flavor in any way, but do help to cool the drink to a pleasant temperature.

David Summers is a part-time blogger and scotch whiskey enthusiast

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Classic Bartending Books


bartender (Photo credit: macwagen)


When you want to be fabulous, having the right books on hand to help you learn how to make classic beverages and martinis can be a godsend. While there are several popular books out there right now, there are a few classics that should be on each person’s shelf. Here are a few that Wining Husband and I have on our shelf.


The New York Bartender’s Guide– This classic book is simple and doesn’t have a whole lot of bells and whistles. However, it is a great book to look through when you want to find cocktails classic and not so classic – and when you want to know what that weird thingy-majig your Great Aunt Sandy passed down to you does. It should find its way onto everyone’s shelf as a classic reference guide.


Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide (Mr. Boston: Official Bartender’s & Party Guide)– Mr. Boston is the classic of the classics. You’ll learn a bunch of the classic drinks, but you will also learn how to make a good number of the new classics, techniques, and frills.


The Savoy Cocktail Book– For those during the 1920s who were looking for a place to record their prohibition-era creations, Savoy was the place. Some of the most popular cocktails in the world were born in this collection. If you enjoy martinis and drinks from the golden age of the cocktail, this is your book.


Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum to the Zombie 100 Rediscovered Recipes and the Stories Behind Them– If you’re looking for a unique cocktail that will impress your friends when you throw that swanky game night party, this is your book. The images are great, and the stories are charming. This is one to make that New Years Eve party memorable.


Jerry Thomas Bartenders Guide 1887 Reprint: 2011 Update– Wow 1887! Learn how to properly mix the newly re-legalized absinthe, how to make egg lemonade, and what a pousse l’amore consists of.


What’s your favorite classic cocktail book? What books do you have on your shelf? We’ve also begun to amass a collection of the Food and Wine annual cocktail books – they have some neat neoclassics and contemporary cocktails in them like The Last Word and The Incan. Post your favorites in the comments.


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What’s in Your Home Bar?

A well stocked bar IMG_4352

A well stocked bar IMG_4352 (Photo credit: tomylees)

What sorts of spirits do you have stocked in your home bar? We have a collection of wine, but we also like maintaining a full bar in case we would like a decadent cocktail at home. Generally, one has vodka, gin, rum, tequila and whiskey on hand – but what other alcoholic spirits do you like to keep? We’ve found of course that both sweet and dry vermouth, Pernod, green Chartreuse, and canton are used a lot, to name a few.

Please list the staples of your home bar below. What is your go-to beverage? What alcohols do you make sure you always have on hand? Leave your thoughts in the comments, please.


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Everybody Loves a Good Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary (Photo credit: TheCulinaryGeek)


Bloody Mary drinks are a good staple in your cocktail-making repertoire. Around here, the best bloody Mary is available from Duffy’s Tavern. Of course, sometimes you want to make a bloody Mary at home.

A good bloody Mary begins with a good base. Naturally, the base of a bloody Mary is based on a good vegetable juice. With a good juicer, you can make a good tomato-based vegetable juice. Here’s a great recipe for a bloody Mary to get your spirits rushing:

Bloody Mary

Tomato Vegetable Juice

  • 6 pounds tomatoes
  • 2 cups onion
  • 2 1/2 cups celery
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • splash of Worcester sauce (or beef marinade free from preservatives)
  • splash of hot sauce (or 1 jalepeño chopped)
  • Ground pepper 1/4 tsp

Either run these ingredients through your home juicer or simmer until the flavors mingle, about 40 minutes and strain through a sieve. Let cool and refrigerate.

Bloody Mary

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 3 oz your homemade vegetable juice (or V-8)
  • 4 dashes hot sauce
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice

Shake items together in shaker with ice, and strain over ice. Add pickled green beans, asparagus, and olives for a garnish. Enjoy!



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Five Classic Cocktails for the Young and Fabulous

The cocktail is making a comeback, in a big way – this recipe, the Anisette, uses fennel for a garnish.


Wine is great, but sometimes you want to mix it up a bit. The return of the cocktails from days before – the Negroni, SazaracManhattan  and even the Martini should be recognized. These are all timeless cocktails, but sometimes you want to mix it up. Here are a couple of drink recipes for those who want to feel like they are in the Great Gatsby.


The Manhattan


  • 2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • dash of angustora bitters
  • cherry to garnish


Shake ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with ice, strain into martini glass, garnish with a cherry and enjoy!


The Sazarac


  • 3 oz. rye whiskey
  • 3/4 oz symple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
  • Peychard bitters
  • Absinthe
  • lemon twist


Coat old fashioned glass in a thin layer of absinthe, run lemon twist around rim of glass. Shake together whiskey, simple syrup, and bitters, strain into glass.


The Negroni


  • 2 oz Gin
  • 2 oz Campari
  • 2 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • orange twist for garnish


Shake ingredients together with ice, strain into cocktail glass and garnish.


A gin martini, with olive, in a cocktail glass.

A gin martini, with olive, in a cocktail glass. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The Martini


  • 3 oz gin
  • 1 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • green olive for garish


Shake ingredients together with ice, strain into cocktail glass, and stick toothpick through olive for garnish.


The Anisette


  • 1 1/2 oz gin (we used Death’s Door gin)
  • 1/2 oz Pernod or anisette
  • Splash of green chartreuse
  • Splash of lime
  • 1/4 tsp. powdered sugar
  • Fennel for garnish


Shake first five ingredients together with ice, strain into cocktail glass, garnish with fennel.


What is your favorite classic cocktail? Share your tips in the comments section.





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