Beer and the blues go together like face masks and hand sanitizer. So, when my band, Bees Deluxe, was invited to play outdoors, on a socially-distanced stage at the Newburyport Brewing Company, we jumped at the chance. Especially since, along with being paid, the brewery promised us free beer and a six-pack to take home.

Chris Webb, owner of NPBC gave us a choice of dates. We picked the earliest one, betting on sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures. Good thing we are musicians and not professional gamblers because when we pulled into the parking lot at the brewery, the sky was steely gray and Weather.com said it was 45 degrees in Newburyport. 

“No one is going to come to sit in the cold, drink beer and listen to us, “ I grumbled as I positioned the tip bucket at  front of the stage.

I was wrong. People started filling in seats at the well-spaced picnic tables. The brewery staff pulled out propane heaters and fired them up. People wrapped up in blankets. And people drank beer. Anchor Pizza’s truck pulled up and slices of gooey, hot pizza were passed around. 

The crowd was great. They left their blanket cocoons and got up to dance. They bought CDs. They wore their masks!  They tipped! We made new friends, saw a few familiar faces, and, after the first set, decided to sample some beer.

I’ve been a big fan of the NPBC’s Greenhead IPA— it’s my go-to where ever it’s on tap. Hoppy and bright, without being too grapefruity, Greenhead delivers a delightful bite.  Plus I like the name.  So, I was delighted to discover that they carry it, and several other NPBC brews, at Mystic Wine Shoppe. And, fresh from the tap, just feet from where it’s brewed,  the Greenhead didn’t disappoint. Sitting under the heater, with the fragments blowing in the breeze behind me, I felt almost transported to a summer day on Plum Island. Almost. Paul, the drummer, and bass-player, Aldo, both chose the hazy Plum Island Belgian White. 

The Belgian White has hints of coriander and citrus. It won a Bronze medal at the 2016 World Beer Cup. The guys concurred that it was award-worthy. Our lead man, Conrad, went with the Joppa Grande Stout. A hardy coffee stout that pours dark with a tan head,  it impressed even our resident Brit.

It was hard for us to put down the beers, go back on stage and pick up our guitars and harmonicas, but the crowd was ready for more music and we aim to please.

We played for two more hours and were surprised that most everyone there stayed for the entire show. Maybe they were grateful for the rare chance to hear live music or maybe… it was the beer.  

You don’t have to travel all the way to Newburyport or brave the cold to sample their beer or hear great acid blues, you can pick up Newburyport Brewing Company beers at Mystic Wine Shoppe — including my favorite, NPBC’s Greenhead IPA and for music to go with the beer, check out www.beesdeluxe.com.

Thanks for reading!

Carol, your MWS beer & wine enthusiast

With the holidays coming up and everyone spending more time at home with less travel, we thought a bloody mary recipe was just what everyone needed! No?!

There are so many variations you can make of a bloody mary, but making sure you have the right flavor and toppings are crucial to getting it just right!

We made a variation of this recipe and loved it –

Bloody Mary Mix: For 6 ppl

  • 1 48 ounce can of tomato juice or about 6 cups
  • 3 tablespoons prepared creamy hot horseradish
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons celery salt
  • 3 teaspoons garlic salt
  • Tabasco sauce (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Titos Vodka

Make it: Mix all ingredients together and add 2-ounces of vodka per drink

Garnish: We used olives, bacon, celery, and pickles to make this more than a drink but a tasty snack!

 

Let us know what your go-to Bloody Mary Recipe is?

Thanks for reading, Mystic Wine Shoppe

 

These days, I try to find any opportunity to feel normal. So when a day of working at home, washing my hand, and sitting in Zoom meetings gave way to an unseasonably warm evening and an invitation to eat hotdogs with friends, I jumped at the chance.


Good friends don’t have to impress each other. Good friends don’t need a formal invitation or fancy food. They can get together at the last-minute and make hotdogs for dinner. Because with good friends, it’s not about what’s on the table, it’s about who’s around the table. It’s the company and the conversation that matters. Of course, the wine matters, too.

That’s why, when I hung up the phone, I grabbed a pack of Hebrew National all-beef hot dogs and a couple of bottles of my new favorite red wine: Angels & Cowboys Proprietary Red, 2018, walked over, and settled into my friend’s backyard.


As the hot dogs came off the grill, I opened both bottles, poured (into disposable plastic) glasses for my friends, slipped off my mask, and took a sip.

From Sonoma Valley, Angels & Cowboys Proprietary Red is a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Verdot, Sangiovese, Petite Sirah, and Malbec. Founded in 2014, Angels & Cowboys is a collaboration between Yoav Gilat, founder of Cannonball Wines, and Michael Schwab, a graphic designer from Northern California. Maybe that’s why the label is so simple and appealing. Out of the bottle, the wine is a beautiful deep garnet color and tastes like autumn in a glass. I sniffed, I sipped, and immediately detected a tangle of berry and plum flavor with spicy notes of cardamom and mineral creating earthy robustness that I welcomed after a summer of drinking chilled whites, rosés, and fruity pinot noirs.


This was my first taste of the 2018 Angels & Cowboys Proprietary Red. Since that evening, I’ve shared bottles with friends from the neighborhood and beyond and enjoyed I’ve it at home with my family and with the presidential candidates during the debate. It’s my new house wine and because it’s less than $20 a bottle, I can afford to drink it with a roast of lamb, as the winemaker suggests, or pair it with hotdogs. It goes perfectly with both.

By Carol Band, our Wine Connoisseur

With November right around the corner, you may be starting to think of your menu for Thanksgiving Day. The thing about turkey is, it pairs well with most wines, so do not stress! We’re here to help you find the perfect wine(s) that will go with your Thanksgiving menu.

Not sure what to get? Read through some of the wine characteristics that all pair well with a typical Thanksgiving dinner!

  • Pinot Noir:  Most pinots are dry, light- to medium-bodied with flavors that include cherry, forest floor, and notes of vanilla. It’s light yet has personality, making it perfect for any thanksgiving day meal!
  • Chardonnay: You can’t go wrong with pairing Chardonnay with your Thanksgiving dinner. Although the grape’s expressions vary worldwide, the wine’s crisp acidity, mineral undertones, and fruit-forward nature bring out the best that turkey has to offer.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: Known for its refreshing crispness, due to its high levels of acidity and low amounts of sugar, Sauvignon Blanc is a pairing for turkey.
  • Rosé: It’s light, refreshing, and fun, making it a great wine to serve as guests are arriving.
  • Zinfandel: It’s delicious fruity undertones go very well with the rich flavors of a Thanksgiving meal.
  • Chenin Blanc: A later harvest Chenin blanc is an excellent choice for a dessert wine (especially for pies!) Or try it with milder meats and flavors during your Thanksgiving meal.

Here are a few wines we are loving for Thanksgiving 2020!

Thanks for reading!

Your friends at Mystic Wine Shoppe

It’s officially Fall, and we couldn’t be more excited for the foliage, trips to the farm, pumpkin beer, and hardier cocktails. This month we wanted to take a cocktail we love, the margarita, and make it fall-themed. Cause, why not!

We used one of our very favorite tequilas for this cocktail – Milagro. Not only is it smooth, but it’s reasonably priced. Great value, indeed. The Apple Cranberry Margarita would be perfect for small gatherings this Halloween. Just add a few fake spiders into the glasses to make it festive and spooky.

Ingredients:

  • 2  ounces of Milagro tequila, or something equally as delicious
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider (or juice)
  • 1/4 cup of cranberry juice
  • Splash of soda water
  • One apple slice for garnish

Make: Pour tequila, apple cider, and cranberry juice together. Mix and strain into glass. Add soda water and garnish.

Love ice? Keep it in a fancy mug!

 

Thanks for following along! Cheers!

See ya, summer, and hello, Fall!  Today we’re sharing five tasty and trendy fall cocktails, cause it’s still 2020 and we all could use a stiff cocktail.  Grab your quarantine buddies, put the game on, and start mixing up one of these fun cocktails. Cheers!

Ginger Pear Cocktail: recipe yields one drink

whiskey cocktail with rosemary

Pumpkin Old-Fashioned: recipe yields one drink

  • 11/2 oz bourbon whiskey
  • ½ oz orange liqueur
  • 1 oz maple syrup
  • Dash of aromatic bitters
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • Garnish with orange peel and or rosemary sprig
  • Shake ice, bourbon, orange liqueur, puree, syrup, and bitters-double strain-pour over ice-garnish-enjoy!
  • Source:  https://www.thespruceeats.com/pumpkin-old-fashioned-recipe-761379  

Apple Pie Moscow Mule on a table

Apple Moscow Mule: recipe yields two drinks

  • 4 oz local apple cider
  • 4 oz caramel vodka (or plain)
  • One bottle of ginger beer
  • Garnish with cinnamon sticks and or apples cut into slices
  • Shake vodka and cider- pour-over ice-top with ginger beer-garnish-enjoy!
  • Source: https://www.thecookierookie.com/apple-pie-moscow-mule/

apple cider sangria

Fall Sangria: recipe yields eight drinks

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 apples,1 pear, 1 orange (thinly sliced)
  • 2/3 cups pomegranate seeds
  • 1 bottle Pinot Grigio
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • ½ cup brandy
  • ¼ cup of orange juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Club soda
  • Put cinnamon sticks and fruit in a pitcher- add wine, apple cider, brandy, orange, and lemon juice- refrigerate for 6-8 hours-pour into glasses add a splash of club soda garnish with extra fruit-enjoy!
  • Source: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/apple-cider-autumn-sangria/

Cranberry Ginger Gin: recipe yields one drink

It’s going to be a great fall! Pick up the key ingredients for these cocktails at our Mystic Wine SHoppe and get ready to dive into the fall season. Thanks!

We’re not ready for summer to be over yet, so we’re savoring the last of summer with this mouth-watering sangria! Plus, with all that left-over fruit and half bottles of rosé from your Labor Day gatherings, this should be an easy cocktail to whip up! What we love about sangria is that it can be made in so many different ways. So check out our recipe, but please share your sangria concoction with us!

What makes this sangria so different is the use of rosé wine and a splash of vodka (cause, hey, it’s 2020).

 Floozie Rosé

  • Ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup of fresh fruit (we had leftover fruit salad, so we used blueberries, strawberries, and peaches)
    • 3 ounces of rosé – we love Hugh Hamilton’s Floozie Rosé
    • Splash of vodka – we love Monkey Paradise Vodka
    • 2 ounces of sparkling water
    • Splash of orange juice
  • Make it: Mix all ingredients together in a fancy glass and enjoy

Tip: If you have more time, soak the fruit in rosé before adding to drink!

 

Let us know your favorite sangria recipe!

Thanks for following along!

Mystic Wine Shoppe

 

 

Summer isn’t over yet! In fact, we have a month left of HOT and sunny weather. So pull out your blender and mix up this month’s tasty and sweet Frozen Pina Colada. You, and your quarantine crew, won’t regret it!

This delicious cocktail recipe comes from Vera, our cocktail guru at MWS.  What makes this recipe so great? The ice cream… of course!

Ingredients:

  • Coconut Gelato | we used Häagen-Daz’s Pineapple Coconut | 1 scoop
  • 1 Oz of pineapple juice
  • .25 oz of Coco Lopez
  • 1.5 oz of Bacardi Silver
  • .25 Doc Brown Really Bad Dark Rum (more if you want to add a floater)
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • Maraschino Cherries and whipped cream for a garnish

Make: Add all ingredients into a blender and mix well. Garnish with a cherry and whipped cream

Want to make it a little more fun? Add a dark rum floater to the top of your drink!

We hope you LOVE this recipe! Thanks for reading!

Your friends, Mystic Wine Shoppe