Christmas shopping: Check. Workout: Check. Workout other people: Check. Ship wine to wonderful customers: Check. Drink wine in my pajamas while wrapping presents: Check. Share new cocktail recipe: Check!
This is the stuff that matters, friends: Cocktails and wine. And personal hygiene.
My winemaker and I wanted to come up with a new Jalapeno Wine cocktail recipe to share in time for cheers’ing the New Year. Last weekend a star was born! For now I’m calling it a Jalapeno Wine & Ginger Cocktail but I’m still searching for clever names. It’s very similar to a margarita made with ginger ale…if that margarita also were to incorporate Jalapeno Wine (which ours usually do around here, see this recipe on the website). A Potter Wines Ginger Margarita may make more sense but then it would lack the Jalapeno Wine kick-in-the-attention-span I want people to receive when reading/saying it. Folks, tip your mixologist well the next time you’re at a bar. For they know some of life’s biggest secrets like how to adequately name a cocktail.
I love the brightness of this drink. It’s got the right amount of spice and tequila, not too much sweetness and the ginger ale makes it fizzy and fun. You could probably also use ginger beer and get a similar result. We tried a local ginger cider the second time around and while it was also good, I preferred mine made with ginger ale to capture the Jalapeno Wine just right and deliver it to my taste buds in a way that made them say “Let’s keep doing this, team.”
In other news, the good people over at Chomps Snack Sticks sent me some samples of their 100% grass fed beef sticks (because protein gets kind of boring and I also asked nicely for them). I have that review for you at the end of this post so stay tuned if you’re a cocktail/wine lover who likes beef to go with your buzz. Or maybe just a high-protein snack to go with your New Year’s resolution.
First, let’s cheers it up!
Jalapeno Wine & Ginger Cocktail Recipe
3 ounces Reposado tequila
2 ounces lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup
8 ounces ginger ale
Lime wedge and/or slice of jalapeno for garnish (optional)
(Optional: Chill two glasses in freezer 5-10 minutes ahead of time. We used martini glasses because we live recklessly and sometimes drink our margaritas in a martini glass.)
Place a fair amount of ice in a shaker. Add all ingredients and roll in your hand to mix. My winemaker shook it very briefly for me because he knows I’m odd and I loathe carbonation. I recommend you DON’T shake it up unless you too get puffy like a seagull on Alka-Seltzer when you drink carbonated beverages.
Strain into glasses.
If you’d like you can add ice. We found adding ice only dilutes the brightness of the drink, hence why we instead chill our glasses ahead of time and drank sans-rocks.
Happy New Year!
Chomp Snack Sticks Review
Here’s the thing with me: I believe in eating a high-protein diet (for most people, this is beneficial as well as a tried-and-true method for keeping pounds off). But if I’m being honest? Borrrringggg. I’m constantly changing up my protein sources because let’s face it – I’m a carb and cheese girl. So I have to get creative on how I get my protein in. Yes, protein powder helps. Which leads me back to above-mentioned snooze drill and the fact that I’m not going to recommend to all my clients that they shell out more money by buying protein powder around the clock. You can always find ways to eat more protein – so I hit up the people at Chomp.
It’s not like I’m a big beef stick fanatic but when I’m on the road, especially with my kids, I get super annoyed at all the gross food options I’m faced with. Same goes when we’re working a wine event and it’s 4-5 hours before we can eat. So usually my go-to is a pepperoni stick or jerky. Which means it’s great protein-wise but pathetic processed-wise. And the last time I “treated” all of us to a round of all-natural, store-bought jerky in the car (which I found at Target), I vowed to never do it again unless I was depressed that I hadn’t seen my gag reflex kick in for a while.
Chomp sent me their snack sticks in three different flavors: Original, Hoppin’ Jalapeno (uh, clearly they know their demographic), and Crankin’ Cran. Here’s the skinny:
- Tasty. I pretty much inhaled the Original between clients at the studio and all thumbs pointed up. I think that’s the first time I’ve had a beef stick that didn’t break my teeth. Wayyyy better than that junk they sell at Jackson’s.
- Nutritionally sound. These are the nutrition facts and list of ingredients. It’s pretty much like finding out there’s pirate treasure buried in your back yard.
- Niche market. While I’m not a Paleo or Whole30 follower, I can appreciate where these guys are coming from. Kudos to them for diving into a market that needed some realistic options.
- Grab and go, my friends. Grab and go.
- Crisis aversion. Your 2 ½ year old is beginning to use his powers for evil because it’s been two minutes since he ate something. Lucky for you you’ve got a Chomps Snack Stick in your bag. Well done, parent. Proceed to curse at whomever coordinates traffic light patterns.
- Whaaat?! There aren’t any sugars in here. There AREN’T ANY SUGARS! Perhaps other food manufacturers will catch on and we can all move on with our lives without added sugars in every product we consume. That’d be a Christmas miracle!
- Price. Have you purchased a stick of (questionable) beef or jerky lately? A financial planner passes out every time a sale is made. And forget about turkey jerky. I purchased a bag for $6.99 once and there were three lousy pieces inside. No I mean it, they were really, really lousy. Chomps Snack Sticks are actually more reasonably priced considering you get more for your buck. A financial planner somewhere just got their wings.
- Flavors. Um, Crankin’ Cran? Who does that to a beef stick?! And who pulls it off?! These guys. And the Hoppin’ Jalapeno flavor is a winner with the jalapeno-obsessed over here. What’s even better is these flavors don’t taste like fake beef with fake flavoring mixed in. They taste like…real food. Insanity.
- Post workout snack. I’m usually ravenous after a workout and if I’m exercising at the studio it means I don’t have time for an entire meal before my next client. Which leads us back to that whole grab-and-go thing I mentioned above.
- Spousal agreement. Even the hubby liked these. I asked him to sample the Hoppin’ Jalapeno since…well, it’s obvious seeing as he’s the Jalapeno Winemaker, isn’t it? “That’s good. It’s a lot better than any others I’ve tried. I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5.” (That means it’s pretty dang good.) “But there’s no jalapeno in this.” Which means there is definitely jalapeno in it but his taste buds are completely immune at this point.
- That sodium thing. There is a little bit of added salt, likely for preservation purposes. Still, this beats the entire salt flat you’ll find in something like a Slim Jim. And if you’re on the road, sitting for hours in the car, we all know how much fun extra sodium adds to that experience.
- Price. Notice I mentioned price as a Pro above. While these are definitely more reasonably priced than other natural options out there (and you do get more for your buck nutritionally), they’re still an extra cost for protein. With that said, if you find yourself grabbing protein bars or shakes anyway, I think this makes sense cost-wise as another option. Or if you find yourself over-eating (or under-eating) because you never eat enough protein to begin with, these are definitely worth the money.