Archive | March 26th, 2013

Becker Vineyards Lavender Festival Is in April

Becker Vineyards Lavender Festival Is in April

The Blanco Lavender Festival is June 10-12.

Lavender season is coming soon in the Texas Hill Country .

Becker Vineyards hosts its 15th Annual Lavender Festival, April 27 and 28.

This favorite spring-season Hill Country event will feature speakers and vendors promoting lavender cooking education as well as herb-related products.  There will also be gardening tips, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting, and lavender luncheons.  Business hours are Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, noon – 5 p.m.  The event is complimentary; parking is $5.

The event will offer plenty to eat, with  Stout Pizza and Clear River Pecan Company.  Choose gift items from more than 36 vendors selling lavender products, gardening related items and more.

The popular Lavender Luncheons will be cater on Saturday by Rails, A Café at The Depot in Kerrville.  The Sunday luncheon caterer is Alfred’s Catering, in Austin.

For menus to the Lavender Luncheons on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28, go Becker Vineyard’s news and events page, and click under the events on the calender.

Both luncheons begin at 12:30 p.m. and are $65 plus tax, per person.  Reservations required; purchase those on-line at Becker Vineyards or call or 830-644-2681 x 230.

LavenderCulinary students from the Art Institute of San Antonio will conduct some of the lavender cooking demonstrations as will local chefs. (Note: Speaker presentations and cooking demonstrations are subject to change.)

Chris Perrenoud, lavender manager, creates and produces various lavender products which will be for sale to the public during the festival.  She makes beautiful lavender sachets, scented wands, lavender bundles, soaps, potpourris, lotions and more.

More information will be available over the next few weeks leading up to the festival.  Visit Becker Vineyards for more information on the upcoming Lavender Festival or call 830-644-2681 x 302.

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Forget the Mimosa. Add Some Spirited Sparklers to Your Brunch.

Forget the Mimosa. Add Some Spirited Sparklers to Your Brunch.

Set out Champagne flutes ahead of time, so you can greet guests with some punch.

Set out Champagne flutes ahead of time, so you can greet guests with some punch.

Sure, mimosas are easy. But unless you’re using freshly squeezed orange juice, too many are watery and, well, the opposite of invigorating. So, why not jazz up your next brunch with a cocktail or two that opens eyes and excites the palate?

Here are a few cocktails, both classic and contemporary, that are sure to please your whole guest list.

Champagne Punch

This classic comes from “The Savory Cocktail Cookbook,” which dates back to 1930. The recipe calls for “1 glass” each of brandy, maraschino and curaçao. Some say that a glass referred to 2 ounces. Others say it’s 4 ounces. My advice would be to start with 2 ounces and increase to taste. You may like more of the orange-flavored curaçao (don’t use blue curaçao in this punch) or less of the brandy. It’s all about what tastes good to you. Chill as many of the ingredients as you can beforehand.

1/2 pound powdered sugar
2 quarts Champagne
1 quart mineral water or seltzer water (not club soda)
1 glass brandy
1 glass maraschino
1 glass curaçao

Mix well in punch bowl. Surround bowl with cracked ice (don’t add ice to the punch) and add slices of fruit in season.

Editor’s note: If you use a sweet sparkling wine, you may want to cut back on the sugar. Again, do it to taste.

You can line up your flutes and add a sliced strawberry or raspberry beforehand, so you can fill the glasses when people arrive.

Adapted from “The Savoy Cocktail Book”

Aperol Fizz

Aperol Fizz

Aperol Fizz

I’m not big on sweet cocktails, so I love Italian apéritifs, including Aperol, in mixed drinks. They bring a pleasantly bitter touch to cocktail, such as this classic bittersweet Italian creation.

2 1/2 ounces Aperol, chilled
Prosecco, chilled

In a Champagne flute, pour in chilled Aperol. Top with Prosecco to taste. Garnish with a piece of citrus peel, a blackberry, a mint leaf or even a sprig of rosemary.

From John Griffin

Pimm’s Royale

In New Orleans, Pimm’s Cups can be had on most any street corner bar. This is a Champagne variation that will sparkle during your brunch.

3/4 ounce Pimm’s No. 1, chilled
Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
1 lemon twist, for garnish

Pour the chilled Pimm’s into a Champagne glass and fill with Champagne. Garnish with the lemon twist.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From “Big Easy Cocktails” by Jimmy Banos and John DeMers


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