by Logan Miller

Can you believe it? The holiday season is here already and that means we get to hear all our favorite holiday songs over and over and over and over, and over. And over. Yeah, it’s time for a drink. How about we make a drink that can be easily done as a single cocktail or in a huge punch bowl for your next gathering of alcoholic, er, I mean lovely friends. ‘Tis the season as they say.

Lime Juice
Cranberry Juice


1. Take a tall glass and fill it with ice before anything else.

2. In your glass add 45ml vodka, 15ml lime juice, 15ml cranberry juice, finish off with sprite and then add a bit of grenadine to add the pretty red Christmas color we all know and love.

3. Just give the cocktail a quick stir and start drinking.

Punch Bowl:

1. Find whatever big-ass bowl or pitcher you have, maybe place a few towels under it to help a mess from happening. You know the more you drink the sloppier you get.

2. Now add a bottle of vodka (700ml), 350ml lime juice, 350ml cranberry juice, 1L Sprite and enough grenadine to make it red.

3. Stir all the ingredients together till they are all mixed then taste to see if you need to add anymore of the ingredients.

4. Tell your friends to get the drink themselves and to not make a mess of things.


A few tips:

1. Don’t ever feel bad if things aren’t tasting the way you like, just find a bigger glass and add more of what you think needs to be added.

2. Wish your loved ones a happy holiday season! Be sure to smile a bit more and enjoy the time we all have together.


Wolf Blass Red Label Tawny Port

The holiday season is the perfect time to enjoy a glass of tawny port. Whether it is with traditional holiday desserts, with some cheese, or on its own, port is the perfect companion.

Tawny port is a sweet or medium-dry dessert wine made from red grapes, fortified with grape neutral spirit (brandy) and aged in wood casks. Prolonged wood aging is the key ingredient that differentiates tawny port from bottle-aged ports such as LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) and Vintage Port. It is vital to start out with excellent grapes in order to withstand the extended wood-aging, maintaining fruit flavors and supple structure. As a tawny port oxidizes in cask, the color of the wine slowly evolves from a purplish-ruby color to a lighter topaz-amber-brown. Tawny Port is originally from Portugal but today tawny port is made in the USA, Australia, and other countries.

Wolf Blass Winery, one of Australia’s foremost wineries, was recently named International Winemaker of the Year at the 2013 International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London. This is the third time Wolf Blass has won this highly acclaimed award, the first being 1992, repeating in 2002. This reflects their commitment to wine quality which is highly regarded.

Wolf Blass Red Label is their entry level brand for every day drinking. Their tawny port is a blend of Shiraz, Grenache, and Mourvedre with the objective to maintain and ensure a “house” consistency with each release.

The Wolf Blass Tawny Port is partially-aged in large oak barrels giving it an oak character, mellowed flavors, and a burnished amber color. The port has a maple-hinted raisin nose. The mouth feel is full and rich with nicely balanced sweetness. The alcohol level is 17.5% which contributes to the smooth balance.

Enjoy this port with your favorite holiday dessert and remember to leave a glass for Santa Claus. Until next time, more wine please.

Wolf Blass - Tawny Port

Warnings in November 2013

It was one of those mornings when I simply didn’t want to get up. It was just getting cool enough to be very comfy under the blankets, but I did. I got up, and it was just around 7am. I followed my little routine, and before I knew it, I was at the door checking my pockets for everything. Keys? Check. Money? Check. Cigarettes? Check. Lighter? Check. Phone? Check. Vitamins? Check. Two coins? Check. And with that, I was ready to go. Leaves were rustling below my feet, as was the petrified cat poop that I have to step over every day when I leave. Some of my neighbors were shouting in some unintelligible dialect at one another. I round the corner to see the dude scaling the fish that still wiggles. And there’s some sort of sale going on? I don’t investigate, but wonder why all of the old people are lining up. Then it hits me—the smell of the youtiao man. I get the coin ready, grab one of those little plastic bags, pick up a scalding hot oil stick, and hand him that cool metal piece without exchanging a word. Some of the locals look at me in disbelief. My insides are smiling. Chuckling actually. I squeeze in between the oncoming car and e-bike. My youtiao is eaten by the time the garbage can arrives. Passing Subway, I think of how much money I’ve saved by going with the oil stick instead of a sandwich.

Then it’s off to Starbucks which is charging me more for my coffee than I would be charged in the U.S., but that’s beside the point. “Zhe li he de ah?” “Dui de.” Can’t get that in the U.S. now can you? The streets here are cleaner than the one outside of my apartment. No cat shit to step over. I can smell winter coming as I shake just a little bit from the wind. A bus flies around the corner coming too close for comfort, and I wonder how I used to do this when I was hungover. My stomach is feeling good as the espresso wraps itself around the youtiao and vitamin mixture. Why I can’t feel this good all the time, I just don’t know. The intersection comes with a green light, and I scurry across just in time before it turns red. I feel bad for slow walkers around these parts. The sound of the erhu isn’t that great, but I drop that second coin in his plastic cup regardless. He can’t see me, but nods his head at the clank of metal. The green leaves shake with the breeze. Bark is peeling off the French Maples. I trip a bit over my own feet, but nobody notices. A cigarette is lit, and I wonder why my new electronic one has to be charged so much. I can’t be blamed for trying now can I? Take it one trip-free step at a time.

By Tim Hoerle