Wine Wednesday: Beer grows up and celebrates your wedding too

Recently in NYC, beer gardens have been popping up all over the place.  There are some that are true “German Beer Gardens”, some that just have German beers, others that are strictly for microbrewers.   I’ll admit, I do love a frosty one and I know that as you’re planning your wedding, most of you (ok the grooms) want to make sure there are some of their favorite beverages are there too.  But what about you ladies??  How can you make these brews a bit more ‘friendly’?  Well, I’ve found these recipes and they are great.  I can promise you that there is something for everyone and these will be toast of your reception.

 Los Feliz Michelada

2 oz tomato juice (sangrita)
1/2 oz lime juice
Spice to desired heat (Tabasco, Valentina, etc)

Pour over favorite Mexican beer in salted rim Collins glass (pint or water glass will work), half ice, garnish with a lime.

Black Velvet

1 part Guinness stout
1 part Brut Champagne

Fill an empty Collins glass part-way with a Guinness (or other stout beer), top with Champagne. Stir.

Groundskeeper

1 oz ultrasmoky single-malt Scotch, such as Ardbeg or Laphroaig, into a pint glass. Add 12 oz chilled Bud or other American pilsner.

Bee Sting

Combine equal parts beer and orange juice. A tangy brunch alternative to the Mimosa!

St. Germain Shandy

5 parts Pilsner beer
1.5 parts St-Germain
2 lemon wedges

Stir ingredients together in a pint glass filled halfway to the top with ice. Squeeze two wedges (or half a lemon) and submerge into glass. Impress revelers with savoir faire of refreshing cocktails de bière.

You know I can’t let a beer segment go without offering some yummy food for Oktoberfest.  So here is something that is quick and easy (really!) and I’m sure a new family favorite.

Bratwurst with Apples, Onion, and Sauerkraut

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon Wondra flour

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 cups sauerkraut (preferably fresh), rinsed, drained, squeezed dry (from one 32-ounce jar)

1 large onion (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise

3 large Golden Delicious apples (about 1 1/2 pounds total), peeled, cored, thinly sliced

6 whole smoked bratwurst (about 1 pound), pierced all over with skewer

4 bay leaves

1 cup beef broth

2 tablespoons dry vermouth

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted

Pumpernickel bread or whole grain
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°F. Place caraway seeds and fennel seeds in small resealable plastic bag. Crush seeds with mallet. Add flour and pepper to bag; shake to blend. Spread sauerkraut over bottom of 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle 1/3 of flour mixture over. Arrange onion slices over; sprinkle with half of remaining flour mixture, then lightly with salt. Spread half of apple slices over, then sprinkle with remaining flour mixture. Place bratwurst over apples, then arrange remaining apple slices around bratwurst. Tuck in bay leaves. Mix broth, vermouth, and ketchup in measuring cup. Pour broth mixture evenly over. Cover tightly with foil.

Roast bratwurst 45 minutes. Uncover; brush with melted butter. Roast uncovered until edges of apples and sausages begin to brown, about 25 minutes longer. Serve with bread.

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