Posted in Beverages, Brunch, Holidays, Party Food, Quick & Easy | 2 Comments »
I’m not much of a drinker but my love for champagne runs deep. So when I saw this recipe while looking for holiday punch ideas for last week’s party, I was sold immediately!
While it was a little potent for my taste (which is easily fixable by adding less rum), it was still super delicious and SO pretty – perfect for a holiday party.
Pomegranate Champagne Punch
Recipe courtesy of Epicurious
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 750 ml bottles chilled brut Champagne
1 1/2 cups white rum
1 1/4 cups pomegranate juice
1 large lemon, thinly sliced
Fresh mint leaves
1 ice block*
*I actually did something kind of interesting here. An ice block isn’t very pretty and since I was using a jar instead of a punch bowl, it wouldn’t fit anyway. Instead of just adding ice cubes (also not pretty), I froze water in jumbo muffin cups. It worked perfectly! If you’re using a punch bowl, you could use one of those pretty ice molds but this method would work there too.
- Bring 1/2 cup water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves
- Simmer 5 minutes. Cool syrup completely
- Combine Champagne, rum and pomegranate juice in bowl or jar
- Add enough syrup to sweeten to taste
- Mix in lemon slices, pomegranate seeds and mint leaves
- Add ice block to bowl and serve
Yield: Serves 12
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It’s Oktoberfest! If you’re in St. Louis, it’s also game three of the playoffs with the Phillies – first game to be played here in town. For both reasons, I figured it was a good time to talk about vegan beer!
You might be wondering what on earth could possibly be meant by a phrase like “vegan beer.” What’s not vegan about beer, right? Turns out, breweries (as well as wineries and distilleries, btw) sometimes include animal ingredients in their products directly – dairy and honey are the most common offenders. What happens far more often though is that animal products are used for the filtration and processing of alcohol.
Ingredients like isinglass (from fish bladder), gelatin and egg whites, among other things, are often used to grab onto impurities and make it easier to catch them in filters. How funky is that? Those first two aren’t even vegetarian!
Fortunately, there are a lot of animal-free alternatives available, many of which are widely used by some common brands. The use is widespread enough, in fact, that it’s highly likely that the beer you drink is already “accidentally” vegan. Score!
The best part about the widespread availability of vegan beers is that if your favorite brew happens not to be vegan, it’s pretty darn easy to make a satisfactory switch. Truly a great example of a small change that can make a big difference for animals!
There are several sites and lists dedicated to pinpointing vegan beers out there, but they often feature limited or outdated info. The best way to make sure your brew is vegan is just to ask the brewery directly. This isn’t top secret info and they’re usually pretty cool about giving it up easily. That said, here are a few very common beers that I’m pretty confident about recommending:
- Bud Light/Budweiser
- Busch Light/Busch
- Michelob/Michelob Light/Michelob Ultra
- Natural Light
- Goose Island American Wheat/Pilsner/India Pale Ale (more)
- Rolling Rock
- Blue Moon
- MGD/Miller Light
- Fat Tire
- Amstel/Amstel Light
See? Easy as pie!
P.S. If you’re lucky enough to be heading to the game today, two things:
- I am jealous of you
- Check out this post to see the vegan options at Busch Stadium
And also, GO CARDS!