News and Tribune

December 21, 2009

FLOYD COUNTY FOOD: Holiday Helpings




Colder air and grayer skies give savvy hosts the perfect reasons for getting people together every holiday season. Choosing the right beverage isn’t always easy though, so local restaurateurs, brewers and others weighed in on how to warm up holiday socials in each of the following situations.


Owner, New Albanian Brewing Company

PARTY WITH FRIENDS “If you don’t know what you’re eating, a good European-style pilsner, like Pilsner Urquell, goes with everything, and won’t offend anybody. If you have a specific dinner party theme in mind, you might get something a little more adventurous, like an American-style pale ale with Tex-Mex.”

WRAPPING GIFTS “I think the cold winter night is the key here, which I’d suggest a higher gravity beer, like a Belgian trappist ale. There’s something plummy or raisiny to them that goes well in keeping with a cold winter night.”

GIFT BASKET “I would put in gift cards or certificates from the five breweries we have in metro Louisville. That’s something you can use to get a couple of appetizers and beers.”

FAMILY HOLIDAY DINNER “Gale’s Hard Cider from the Thomas Family Winery in Madison, Ind. I think that’s one of the best alcoholic beverages made hereabouts that no one knows exists. It’s fantastic.”


Bartender, Korner Pub, Georgetown

PARTY WITH FRIENDS “My friends would like beer and mixed drinks. Obviously, if you’re having a barbecue, you’re going to have cold beer.”

WRAPPING GIFTS “Cherry bombs, which are vodka and Monster [energy drinks]. I like it, and you can mix cherry vodka with just about anything. It’s especially good if you’re wrapping presents on Christmas Eve and you need to keep going. That’s what the Monster is for.”

GIFT BASKET “I’d probably make a Jagerbomb basket with Jagermeister, Monster or Red Bull, and shot glasses.”

FAMILY HOLIDAY DINNER “There would probably be lots of beer, homemade wine, or any kind of drinks

that involve Kahlua because it’s warm.”


Co-owner, Toast On Market, New Albany

PARTY WITH FRIENDS “Our spiced apple mimosa. It’s perfect for this time of year; it tastes like fall in a glass. A lot of winter drinks are warm, this one’s actually cold.”

WRAPPING GIFTS “A hot caramel cider. Normally, when you’re wrapping presents and it’s cold outside, it warms you up.”

GIFT BASKET “A bottle of wine, maybe Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc. I’ve got a lot of girlfriends I make gift baskets for, and they like sauvignon blancs.”

FAMILY HOLIDAY DINNER “A red wine of some sort — a cabernet or merlot. Red wine goes well with a lot of red meat served at a holiday dinner.”


Owner, Sam’s Food and Spirits, New AlbanyPARTY WITH FRIENDS “Martinis, usually flavor infused, like a cosmopolitan served shaken, but not over ice. For the guys, an Oktoberfest beer, whether it’s local or like a national beer.”

WRAPPING GIFTS “I would say a good bottle of merlot. It’s usually more fun to have more of a red wine. Also, maybe a coffee drink, like Kahlua and coffee, if you’re not a wine drinker.”

GIFT BASKET “That’s where I would go for a local bottled beer or wine, and some of the local cheese is real good, too.”

FAMILY HOLIDAY DINNER “There are some holiday beers made locally, like a bourbon barrel stout. To me, a good Christmas drink is bourbon. You can mix eggnog with bourbon. I also like peppermint and cinnamon schnapps.”


River City Winery, New Albany

PARTY WITH FRIENDS Marsha — “Something light and easy to drink, maybe the Lazy River White. For those, you might like something sweeter. But that has a lot to do with your crowd and what they like.”

WRAPPING GIFTS Melissa — “I’d take an inexpensive red wine and put some mulling spices in it, which is like cinnamon and nutmeg. It almost makes it like an apple cider.”

GIFT BASKET Tony — “I would probably go more toward a table wine. If I were the client, I would hope it was something dark, robust and tannic. I’d like our Three Brothers.”

FAMILY HOLIDAY DINNER Rosie — “Oh, the Colonel’s Legacy, no question. It’s a pecan cord aged in a charred, used whiskey barrel. It’s the way the old-timers made it, it’s the way my grandfather made it, and we’re just carrying that on.”