Spring Gift Note Event
Give the Gift of Taste this spring season! Purchase $100 in Plum Market Gift Cards between March 30th and April 5th and earn a $15 Gift Note for yourself!* Whether you’re buying Gift Cards to use as presents for Easter or Passover, saving them for a Graduation Gift, or using them to spoil a loved one (or yourself – we won’t tell!), for every $100 you purchase in Gift Cards you’ll receive a $15 Gift Note that can be redeemed starting April 13th.
*$15 Gift Notes redeemable April 13th through June 28th, 2015. Gift Notes may not be used towards the purchase of Beer, Wine, Liquor, other Gift Cards, Sales Tax, Catering, Bottle Deposits, or Online Purchases. No cash back. Limit one Gift Note per transaction. May not be duplicated or copied. Gift Cards cannot be used to purchase other Gift Cards.
Cheers to Beer at Plum Market Old Town
Plum Market Old Town is proud to carry a wide selection of beer, from the latest microbrews made right in Chicago, to rare European and International imports, to limited seasonal brews, and the lawnmower favorites of your pops and grandpa. Our dedicated team picks the best beers on the market for you to enjoy with friends and family. Interested in starting a collection to cellar? Our team can suggest beers that will improve with aging and give you helpful tips on storing them. Looking for craft brews from local favorites 3 Floyds, Half Acre, and Pipeworks? Or maybe you want something even newer–or perhaps even more old school? Our stock rotates constantly, guaranteeing we’ll have something for everyone–just tell us what you like and we’ll find you something you’ll love.
Plum Market also has up to six beers on tap at the WineBar located right inside our Old Town store. Hang out, try new things, and taste the subtle differences between bottled and draft beers. The WineBar is the perfect meeting spot for after-work drinks or for taking a break after buying the week’s groceries.
We also host monthly beer events at the WineBar: Join us November 6th for an evening with Founders Brewing Company. Established in 1997, Founders has been providing the Midwest beer scene with complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics, bigger body, and tons of flavor. We’ll taste some of Founders’ finest ales, including barrel aged favorites and many from the coveted Backstage series. Our tentative sampling list includes: Porter, All Day IPA, Dirty Bastard, Dark Penance, Mosaic Promise, Dissenter, Sweet Repute, Mango Magnifico, Doom, Bolt Cutter, Frangelic Mountain, and more–about twenty beers total! At only $10, this event is not to be missed. Purchase your tickets online or at the door.
Can’t make it to the store? Not to worry. We also have a large selection of beer, wine, and spirits for sale through Instacart. Guests can receive free delivery on their first order of $35 or more, or join Instacart Express–an annual membership that eliminates delivery fees for all orders of $35 or more–for just $99. Customers can sign up for a free two-week trial at www.instacart.com/express.
Call our Beer and Wine Team today at 312-229-1400, or visit Plum Market Old Town at 1233 N. Wells, Chicago, IL 60610.
Fourth of July Cocktails
Whether you’re a budding mixologist or a two-ingredient-tops cocktail drinker, you can create festive, Fourth of July-themed cocktails your guests will love. You can choose patriotic names or go with the red, white, and blue color scheme, but either way you’ll be sure to impress your guests–and honor the Good Old USA–without spending hours behind the bar.
These cocktail recipes are classic, festive, and most importantly simple summer sippers that are easily made using common ingredients:
The Americano: A red-hued cocktail saluting Americans Abroad
A true classic cocktail, The Americano is a gentle introduction to the unusual, bitter taste of Campari. Originally named the Milano-Torino because of the origins of its ingredients, but was later renamed because of its popularity among American tourists during Prohibition.
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- Club soda or Prosecco
- Lemon twist or orange slice for garnish
- Pour the Campari and vermouth into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice cubes.
- Top with club soda or Prosecco.
- Garnish with the lemon twist or orange slice.
*Switch to a highball glass and add more club soda for a tall thirst quencher.
The Blue Hawaii: An exotic colored cocktail celebrating our 50th State!
This is a blue version of a Piña Colada. Splitting the coconut allows room for the blue curacao, an orange-flavored liqueur that is responsible for the cocktail’s color.
- 3/4 ounce rum
- 3/4 ounce blue curaçao
- 3/4 ounce Kalani Coconut liqueur
- 2 ounces pineapple juice
- Maraschino cherry for garnish
- Pineapple wedge for garnish
- Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes.
- Stir well.
- Strain into a collins glass filled with ice cubes.
- Garnish with the cherry and pineapple.
There are two versions of this this cocktail: the shaken version described above, or the frozen option. For the frozen version, add the ingredients to a blender with 1 cup of cracked ice.
The Fourth of July Shooters: A colorful way to get to where you want to go!
The layered effect of this shot will only work if the ingredients are poured in the given order.
- 1/2 ounce grenadine
- 1/2 ounce blue curaçao
- 1/2 ounce vodka
- Pour the grenadine into a shot glass.
- Float blue curacao on top of the grenadine.
- Float the vodka on top of the curacao.
Cheers to the USA!
Memorial Day Mint Lemonade
Friday May 23rd 2014, 9:14 pm
Filed under: Produce
Memorial Day is the unofficial launch of summer, bringing sunshine, parades, and outdoor entertaining. Whether you’re firing up the grill for some simple, All Natural Applegate Hot Dogs, or you’re going low-and-slow with a Niman Ranch Pork barbecue, you’ll want to keep your friends and family hydrated with a tasty, summery drink. And nothing says summer grilling and entertaining like lemonade.
But you don’t want to serve them an over-sweet drink made from a mix or, worse, some bland lemon water. This quick and easy recipe will keep the party moving and everything interesting:
First, make Simple Syrup. Bring one cup of water and one cup of granulated sugar to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from the heat and add 1 Cup of rinsed and roughly chopped organic mint. Stir to combine, making sure all of the mint is wet. Let sit for about 30 minutes, until the simple syrup has cooled to room temperature. Use a fine mesh strainer to strainer out the mint, reserving the syrup in a glass jar or bottle.
Squeeze enough lemons until you have 1 Cup of fresh lemon juice, about 6-8 lemons. Add to a pitcher and combine with 1 Cup of the simple syrup. Add 6-8 cups of cold water and stir to combine. Add slices of lemon and sprigs of mint for garnish. Depending on personal preference, you may need more sugar to create that lip-smacking, thirst-quenching, summery-goodness of your favorite lemonade.
The final step, of course, is to share a glass with a member of our Armed Services and thank him or her for protecting us.
The Sweet Complexity of French Wine
The French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) certification system for wine is perhaps the oldest and most respected in the world. It sets standards for boundaries, growing parameters and production techniques for sites fortunate enough to have obtained this coveted certification. Actually, it is not just for wine but also covers cheeses, honey, meats, lentils, butters and a few other agricultural products. Handled by the Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité (INAO), it is a living process which can change its requirements as improved techniques develop or newly discovered regions or wine varieties emerge.
Such is the case for Coteaux Bourguignons, one of France’s newest appellations. Officially decreed in November 2011, its wines are just now reaching our shores. Coteaux Bourguignons replaces another appellation, Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire (yes, it’s rather puzzling that a wine could be both “great” and “ordinary”). Its boundary, however, has been expanded to include not only Burgundy but also Beaujolais. The grapes allowed are Aligoté, Chardonnay, Melon, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris for the whites and Gamay, Pinot Noir and César for the reds and rosés. Oddly a Nouveau is allowed but only as a white wine.
At Plum Market we’ve seen the first of Coteaux Bourguignons to hit our shelves.
2011 Signé Vignerons Coteaux Bourguignons Vieilles Vignes.
It is from a cooperative of growers based in France’s Beaujolais region. From 100% Gamay grapes, it eschews the classic, vivid, red-fruit edge typical of Beaujolais to take on a sleeker, more tender expression of the grape. Indeed, it offers delicious elements of red cherries and cranberries with a little lemon zest and vanilla.
If you want a wine with a more stylish tone and with a degree of subtlety and complexity not often seen in traditional Beaujolais, this might be the one for you!
Guest Post from Rod Johnson, Wine Specialist at Plum Market Ann Arbor.
Happy Paczki Day!
It’s everyone’s favorite time of year! Fat Tuesday falls on March 4th this year, so grab your favorite pants with an elastic waistband and stop by Plum Market for fresh baked Paczki from Manchester Bakery!
Paczki (pronoucnced “poonch-kee”) is a traditional Polish pastry that literally means “parcel” or “package.” Paczki is actually the plural form of the word “paczek,” but we rarely use this form in America owing to the fact that it’s nearly impossible to eat only one!
This tasty parcel of deliciousness starts with sphere-shaped deep fried dough and is filled with all manner of delectable ingredients. We’re talking Bavarian cream, banana cream, cream cheese, chocolate custard, apple, cherry, prune, strawberry, lemon, raspberry, and blueberry. We will also have a limited number of ultra-decadent chocolate praline paczki this year. All of these treats will be finished off with either a glaze or dusted with powdered sugar. Each store will have rotating flavors available in six packs or individually, so stop by our Bakehouse frequently or order your paczki online to ensure you get exactly the right flavors (and amount) you want!
Happy Paczki Tuesday!
Sweets After V-Day!
If you need a little something to help you come down from your Valentine’s Day sugar-rush, we have two great ideas for you: Compartes Chocolatier and Heirloom Navel Oranges.
Well, this one won’t really help you come down as much as it will keep you flying, but if you’re still in the mood for chocolate, you’ll fall in love with Compartes Chocolatier. Compartes’ chocolates have been handmade in Los Angeles, California since 1950. These artisanal confections are made with only the freshest ingredients and never include any artificial flavors or preservatives. From single-origin South America cacao to fresh fruits from the Los Angeles Farmers Markets, Compartes sources the best ingredients to create amazingly rich flavors. From their gooey and decadent caramels, to the best praline nuts and uber-sophisticated chocolate bars, Compartes will not disappoint. Their chic packaging further elevates the whole chocolate experience, giving you eye candy to go along with their sophisticated, sensual flavors. Stop in our Ann Arbor or Old Town Chicago stores and have a taste for yourself!
If you’re looking for something sweet, but want to switch to something healthier, you can’t go wrong with this old fashioned flavor-bomb: the heirloom navel. “The heirloom,” as we call it, is the same fruit that got California’s citrus industry booming. It’s the original or “old line” Washington Navel. Over the years, the citrus industry bred the navel orange to produce more fruit, easier, and faster, but without considering flavor. What’s left is a watered down, uninteresting piece of fruit. It’s no surprise, on the other hand, that heirloom oranges maintain their original punch: the word heirloom means something passed down from generation to generation. In this case, it’s the bright flavors. Heirloom navels are grown using certain farming practices in which growers give special attention to the soil, just like they did when navels were first brought from Brazil to America in the 1800s. The secret is to use only the best sour root stock, but this practice isn’t commonly used anymore because the trees don’t produce fruit as heavily or as quickly as the newer root stocks. Doing things the right way is what gives these heirlooms their amazing taste.
Find the Perfect Gift for Your Valentine
The go-to gifts for Valentine’s Day are chocolate, wine, and flowers. But what kind of chocolate? Which wine should you pick up? Flowers? What?! Don’t get caught waiting until the last minute and having to get chocolates from the corner pharmacy! Tell us a bit about your Valentine and we’ll tell you exactly what to pick up on February 14th. Find a Plum Market location near you.
Once you know your Valentine’s style, use our guide below to find the perfect Valentine’s Day package:
Sweet & Sophisticated
Go with the Vosges Volupte Pink Heart Bon Bons, a bottle of Moet & Chandon Rosé Brut Impérial, and a dozen pink roses.
Classy & Refined
Go with the classic See’s Candies Red Heart, a bottle of 2010 Allegrini & Renacer Enamore, and you won’t go wrong with a bouquet of traditional red roses.
Glamorous & Irresistible
Your Valentine will devour the Godiva Chocolatier Gold Ballotin with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Design your own bouquet by selecting an assortment of exotic blooms, picked just for her.
Find a Plum Market location near you.
Behold the Mozart Kugeln
Behold the Mozart Kugeln.
This little confection was first made in Salzburg, Austria in 1890 to commemorate the birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on Janurary 27th. It has since won a ton of awards, inspired a slew of imitators, gone to court for the use of its name, and then went back to settle an international dispute between Austria and Germany over both the use of the name and the shape of the chocolate shell. Needless to say, the Mozart Kugeln is no mere candy.
Made with dark chocolate, hazelnut nougat, and both almond and pistachio marzipan, these kugelns are as delectable as they are sophisticated. Reber Confectionary, a family owned Bavarian company that began making chocolates in 1865, has been producing some of the best Mozart-Kugelns of the past century. Their recipes are based on family traditions, meaning they only use the best, freshest ingredients and never use artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Genuine Reber Mozart-Kugelns are a symphony of flavors in your mouth. Is that too baroque? Genuine Reber Mozart-Kugelns are a concerto of flavors in your mouth! The pistachio marzipan is earthy and slightly bitter, the almond marzipan is sweet with notes of cherry, and the hazelnut nougat is deep, like a strong cup of coffee. The dark chocolate exterior gives the confection a crunch and delicious brightness, holding together all the ingredients and making this treat utterly unique. Like nearly everything Mozart composed, these kugelns are true masterpieces.
As Reber’s motto states, “Alle Zeit Der Welt,” taking a bite of their Mozart-Kugelns is like taking “All the Time in the World” to enjoy their chocolates, to enjoy the escape from the everyday, to enjoy the indulgence and sophistication, and to enjoy yourself. So enjoy, with taste.
Please Pass the Yacon!
Wednesday January 15th 2014, 10:07 pm
Filed under: Grocery
Peruvian yacon syrup. That’s yacon with a “Y.”
Two months ago, this dark brown syrup similar to molasses was relatively unknown outside of South America. Thanks to a famous television doctor, who we will refer to as “Dr. O” for anonymity’s sake, yacon syrup is now receiving the respect and reverence it justly deserves. This all natural sweetener contains about half the calories of honey and it barely impacts blood glucose levels, making it a great sugar-substitute for diabetics and people looking to cut calories and lose weight.
It all starts in the Andes Mountains in Peru where the yacon plant is grown. Unlike many tubers and rooty plants which store carbohydrates as a starch or glucose, the yacon plant stores carbohydrates as a “Fructo-Oligo-Saccharrides” (FOS) or fructose. The small difference in this plant makes a big difference in the human body: because our digestive systems have no way to break down FOS, it goes through our bodies with minimal caloric and blood sugar level impact. Luckily, the high amount of potassium and moderate levels of calcium and antioxidants yacon also contains do get absorbed. It is also thought that yacon syrup encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon while eliminating bad bacteria, which can lead to dramatic weight loss in some people.
The best news is that you can use yacon syrup in nearly the same way that you’ve been using honey, agave syrup, maple syrup, and plain or raw sugar. Depending on how it’s made, yacon syrup ranges in color and flavor from darker and molasses-like to lighter and caramel-like. The varieties from Essential Living Foods and SunFood, for example, are 100% organic and minimally processed and pasteurized, so they are lighter in color and have a sweeter than other brands. We highly recommend drizzling yacon syrup on your morning oatmeal and using a few drops of it in a homemade yacon salad dressing for dinner.
Be sure to check out the Get Fit Guide in your state to see other great products and recipe ideas that will nourish you, motivate you, and help you perform at your peak level!