Debbie’s Valentine’s Day Picks
Double Nomad Cider
This Valentine’s Day show some Island love to the Caledonia based Double Hill Cidery. The Double Nomad is a terroir driven cider which truly reflects the unique soils and growing conditions of Prince Edward Island. The cider is crafted with wild apples that were “collected from the hedgerows and forest edges of the fields of eastern PEI.” The Nomad is a warm, golden colored cider with bold apricot and apple flavors with a balanced spicy finish.
Spice up your Valentine’s Brunch by serving the Double Nomad Cider. Hard cider is well suited to pair with a variety of sweet and spicy dishes that are typically served at brunch.
Masion Jaffelin Puligny-Montrachet
The everlasting love between France and Chardonnay has existed for centuries. Masion Jaffelin Puligny-Montrachet is produced in the heart of Burgundy, the Cote de Beaune. 2014 was an excellent vintage with wines that are rich and ripe with density and concentration and Jaffelin Puligny-Montrachet is a great representation.
The grapes were hand harvested and fermented entirely in French oak with occasional battonage. The Jaffelin Puligny-Montrachet is aromatic with white flowers, almonds and citrus on the nose. The palate is full bodied with fresh apples, pear and toasted almonds. It shows great minerality appearing on the long, focused finish.
St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Enchant your Sweetheart this Valentines with an evening of drinks and desserts featuring St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur. This whimsical spirt is produced from flowers that are handpicked and pressed in the French Alps. To preserve the freshness of the blooms, petals are immediately macerated with local eau-de-vis and sealed in unique art deco bottles. Each bottle is individually numbered and labelled with the vintage the flowers were picked. It makes a great pairing with berry inspired desserts like Elderflower Panna Cotta with strawberries and brown butter.
St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur is richly textured, slightly sweet with candied grapefruit, lychee and pineapple notes. Its pairs well with many base spirits including gin and vodka and adds sweet aromatics and floral components to cocktails.
Cherub’s Cup Cocktail
- 1 Strawberry
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 oz simple syrup
- 1 oz St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- 2 oz Hendricks Gin
- Garnish with rose petal ice cube and fresh berries
- Muddle strawberry, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
- Add ice, St Germain and gin. Shake well.
- Add rose petal ice cubes to Collins glass
- Strain into glass and garnish with fresh strawberries.
- Rose Petal Ice Cubes: Place several untreated rose petals in ice cube tray. Top with distilled water and freeze.
Rossignol Raspberry Festival
Rossignol Raspberry Festival is produced using 100% local red and black raspberries that are harvested at Wheatley’s Raspberry Farm in Suffolk, PEI. Raspberries are one of nature’s intriguing sweet and tart fruits. The mouth watering tartness contrasts beautifully with the natural sugars and provides an excellent beginning for Rossignol Raspberry Festival. This award winning wine is richly textured with layers of raspberry jam and tangy acidity.
Rossignol Raspberry Festival is a wonderful alternative to dessert but pairs beautifully with many chocolate and fruit based desserts. Create a romantic ending to your Valentines celebration with a chocolate fondue featuring an assortment of fresh and dried fruit, cookies, and sweet breads.
Try mixing up a Cupid’s Kiss cocktail for your Valentine:
- ½ oz Raspberry Festival
- 4 oz Alberti Cremant de Bourgogne (or a sparkling wine or your choice)
- Raspberries to Garnish
- Pour Raspberry Festival into Champagne glass
- Top with Sparkling Wine and garnish with raspberries.
Makes 1 drink.
Anisette is a clear fennel or licorice flavored spirit well known in many European countries. The Matos Anisette is a unique and visually stunning product produced in St Catherine’s, PEI. The fennel is hand harvested in the fall and once dried is cut and inserted into bottles. A neutral spirit is added and the bottles are sealed for 2-4 weeks. The sugar crystals are formed naturally and like snowflakes no two bottles are alike. Interestingly, the sugar crystals remain after the anisette is consumed. A great idea to re-use the bottle and sugar crystals is to purchase Matos Bagaco (similar to Grappa) and add to the bottle. Seal and set aside for 2-4 weeks. The Bagaco will smooth out and pick up some of the anisette flavorings.
The Matos Anisette is best served at cellar temp or just slightly chilled. For a tasty Valentine’s dessert serve pound cake with ice cream, raspberries and mint. Drizzle with Anisette. Serve with a Love Potion Cocktail:
- 10 Strawberries
- 4 Basil Leaves
- Juice of 2 Limes
- Juice of 1 orange
- 2oz Gin
- 1oz Matos Anisette
- ½ oz Simple Syrup
- In cocktail shaker muddle Raspberries and Basil
- Add ice and remaining ingredients
- Shake until blended and strain into Martini glass
- Garnish with Strawberries.
Makes 1 drink.
Gahan Sydney Street Stout
The Sydney Street Stout has a smooth creamy mouth feel and almost smoky, bittersweet flavor from the variety of roasted malts used in the production. Cocoa, dark chocolate and roasted coffee show on the palate. There is subtle sweetness from crystal malts and a hint of aroma hops with a smooth full finish. It’s a smooth easy drinking stout that is medium bodied with light to medium carbonization.
The secret love affair between beer and chocolate has been gaining in popularity over the last few years. Stouts that feature aromas and flavors of chocolate, coffee and caramel tones mirror many of the same components that are found in chocolate. With food and beverage pairing it’s important to create complimentary flavor bridges between two elements.
The Sydney Street Stout with its notes of chocolate and coffee will pair well with chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate torte or Hazelnut Espresso cheesecake. The carbonization from the stout cleanses the palate so each bite can be better enjoyed. The smoky richness of the beer will also pair with full flavored dishes including BBQ Ribs and Grilled meat.