Category Archives: Wine and Spirits

Cheers! It’s National Cocktail Day!

Have a drink on me!

Enjoy this refreshing Lavender Lemonade-perfect for Saturday sip!

 Lavender Lemonade

A refreshing drink on a hot summer’s day that quenches the thirst with or without the vodka!

Lavender Lemonade
Lavender Lemonade

Makes 2 Lavender Lemonades


4 ounces Vodka

2 ounces Lavender simple syrup

1 teaspoon fresh Lavender flowers

2 ounces fresh lemon juice

1 cup Crushed Ice

4 ounces Seltzer water or Club Soda



2 Slices lemon



Pour the Vodka and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker; add the lavender flowers and lemon juice.

Muddle until the lavender flowers are broken into small pieces.

Add crushed ice and shake about 10 seconds.

Strain into a chilled martini or glass or tumbler and top with club soda and garnish with a slice of lemon.


From Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent by Jennifer Hill Booker, © 2014 Jennifer Hill Booker, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.


Lavender Syrup


Yields 1 ½ cups



1 1/2 cups fresh lavender flowers

1 cup sugar

1 cup water



In a saucepan bring sugar, water and lavender to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer syrup, undisturbed, 20 minutes.

Pour syrup through a fine sieve, pressing hard on solids, and cool. Syrup will thicken as it cools.

Syrup keeps, covered and chilled, 2 weeks.


From Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent by Jennifer Hill Booker, © 2014 Jennifer Hill Booker, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.




Sip Green for St. Patrick’s Day with a Basil Martini

Basil Martini St. Patrick's Day - Your Resident Gourmet
Photo credit: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The Emerald Isle is a magical place. If you’ve been there, you definitely know why people love it. The rolling hills, kind folks, hearty food and lively music are just a few reasons the country has such a strong hold on the hearts and souls of many. St. Patrick’s Day is the yearly marker to celebrate the history of the country’s patron saint. This year, put down the green beer, and give this naturally green martini a go.

Thanks to fresh basil and tart key lime juice, this twist on a martini is a strikingly colorful version of a traditional cocktail with an herbal note. Never made your own simple syrup? Just equal parts sugar and water, the syrup is often a main ingredient in a number of drinks, serving as a liquid sweetener that meshes well with everything in the mix. Simple syrup is easy to prepare and adapt in terms of flavors, and yes, colors, if you so choose. Use the leftovers to sweeten other cocktails, tea, or as the base of a summer lemonade. This green, slightly herbal basil martini is my ode to St. Patrick’s Day.

Basil Martini - Serves 2


4 ounces American dry gin

1 ounce simple syrup (see below for recipe)*

5 small or 3 large fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish

1 ounce fresh key lime juice

1 cup crushed ice

4 ounces seltzer water or club soda


Pour the gin and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker.

Add basil leaves and lime juice. Muddle until the basil leaves are broken into small pieces.

Add crushed ice, seal, and shake about 10 seconds.

Pour into two chilled martini glasses. Top with seltzer or club soda, and garnish with a sprig of basil.




Spice Up Your Holidays!

Spice up your Holidays!

Try this Simple & Delicious Spiced Wine Recipe.

Chef Jennifer Booker Cookbook

Rich full-bodied wine, fragrant spices and fresh citrus makes this Spiced Wine a real holiday treat!

Spiced Wine

Yields 6 healthy servings


1 bottle full-bodied red wine

½ cup dark brown sugar

1 orange, zest only

1 lemon, zest only

3 black peppercorns, crushed

2 cardamom pods, crushed

1 cinnamon stick

2 cloves

1/2 cup kirsch



12 cinnamon sticks


In a large saucepan, combine the red wine with the sugar, the orange and lemon zests, peppercorns, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and cloves.

Over moderate heat, slowly bring the wine to a very low simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Remove from the heat, strain out the zest and spices; and stir in the kirsch.

Ladle the spiced wine into heatproof glasses, garnish with cinnamon sticks, and serve hot.


Join Chef Jennifer @ Strippaggio Book Signing!

Layout 1Chef Jennifer Booker heashot

~Book Signing~

Join Chef Jennifer Booker as she signs her debut cookbook:
Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent

Thursday, January 29th, 2015 6pm

Strippaggio – Artisan Oils, Vinegars, Specialty Food & Gifts

855 Emory Point Dr, Suite C-135, Atlanta, Georgia 30329

Fresh from the Kitchen! Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent

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FIELD PEAS TO FOIE GRAS: Southern Recipes with a French Accent

By Jennifer Hill Booker


Building a culinary foundation on her Mississippi roots and a farm-to-table concept, Chef Jennifer Hill Booker creates a unique take on contemporary Southern cooking. Combining agrarian approaches and down-home style with classical-French techniques, Booker reinvents Southern cuisine. These 135 recipes are the culmination of summers and holidays spent in Charleston, Mississippi, at the family farm.

For both the novice and experienced cook, Booker has the perfect recipe to satisfy your nostalgic taste buds. With chapters devoted to everything from breakfast foods to vegetables to pork dishes, Booker presents a fresh and versatile perspective on contemporary Southern food. From comforting Cracklin’ Bread and flaky Buttermilk Biscuits to elegant Winter Pumpkin Soup and innovative Fig Stuffed Chicken Livers, Chef Jennifer Hill Booker will introduce you to an array of recipes that use French techniques to elevate familiar flavors.

In addition to recipes, Booker shares personal stories and photos of her family—raising chickens, butchering hogs, and tending the garden. The easy-to-follow recipes, food-pairing suggestions, and delectable photographs make this a must-have cookbook for any kitchen.


About the Author

Jennifer Hill Booker is the executive chef and

owner of Your Resident Gourmet, LLC, a

personal chef and catering company. Booker

earned a bachelor of arts degree from the

University of Tulsa, an associate degree from

Oklahoma State University, and a certificate

from Le Cordon Bleu-Paris. A former culinary

instructor and a culinary arts program director

, she is well qualified to write about proper

cooking techniques, flavor combinations, and

food pairings. Booker lives in Lilburn, Georgia.


About the Photographer

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn is a commercial photographer who has been shooting interiors and food for more than twenty years. She enjoys the challenging aspects of her craft—the technical functions of a camera, the importance of lighting, and attention to detail. Her profession allows her to travel, meet various types of people, and try delicious food. Llewellyn lives with her husband in Atlanta, Georgia.



                Southern Recipes with a French Accent

By Jennifer Booker

Photography by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

COOKING / Regional & Ethnic / American / Southern States

COOKING / Regional & Ethnic / French

COOKING / Regional & Ethnic / Soul Food

192 pp.  8x 9 1/4

50 color photos  Index

ISBN: 9781455619726  $26.95

E-book ISBN: 9781455619733  $26.95

Pre-orders available at


Limes: Green Gold??

The Price of Limes are at an All Time High!

Here, in the U.S., we get 90% of our limes from Mexico and recent developments mean that we’ll be getting a lot less for a lot more! Why? We can blame it on the perfect storm of torrential rains, bacteria infected lime trees, and organized crime in Mexico, all of which have caused the price of limes to quadruple from $25 a box to over $100!

What does this mean for you and I? My guess is a summer filled with fewer Mojitos, less lime in our lime-infused Carne Asada tacos, and Cherry Limeades minus the lime! How sad is that?

For the complete story, check out

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day w/ this authentic Gaelic Punch recipe!!

Gaelic Punch

This Irish Whiskey Punch is a perfect way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day on this cold and wet Monday!!

~~Gaelic Punch~~

For hot punches, young Irish whiskeys work best. Heat intensifies the tannic edge of older whiskeys; young ones stay smooth.

contributed by David Wondrich

yields about 14 6-oz drinks

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
3/4 cup Demerara or other raw sugar
40 ounces boiling water
One 750-ml bottle Irish whiskey
Strips of zest from 6 lemons, plus 6 thin lemon slices, each studded with 4 cloves, for garnish

In a heatproof bowl, muddle the lemon zest with the sugar. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours. Muddle again, add 8 ounces boiling water and stir until the sugar dissolves. Strain into a warm heatproof bowl and stir in the whiskey. Add the remaining 32 ounces of boiling water and garnish with the studded lemon slices and nutmeg.

photo by Tina Rupp

Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All-Compare

Mexico’s Luxury All-inclusive Resort Offers Its First Ever Culinary/Spirits Focused Package

Grand Gourmet Package at Grand

Velas Riviera Nayarit Features

Cooking and Mixology Classes,

Tequila Tasting


Complementing the gourmet experience offered by its four specialty restaurants, the “Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All-Compare” Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is offering its first ever Grand Gourmet Package. The unique package features a private two-hour cooking class with chefs from a selection of its Italian, Mexican and French restaurants, Lucca, Frida and Piaf, as well as a tequila tasting and private 45-minute mixology class. Gourmet welcome amenity and private VIP airport transfers are also included.

Guests enjoy all-inclusive features of the AAA Five Diamond resort including luxury suite accommodations, a la carte dining at a choice of gourmet restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, taxes and gratuities The package is available now through December 19th, 2013, with rates starting at $379 per person, per night based on double occupancy. Minimum stays apply and rates are subject to availability.

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit has not only revolutionized the luxury all-inclusive concept and set the bar for other resorts, but its four signature restaurants offer gourmet á la carte dining on par with restaurants in the world’s top culinary destinations. Served at the swim-up Aqua Bar and in the resort’s signature restaurants, guests enjoy the Signature Margarita Menu, a special selection of 12 delightfully unique cocktails. The lauded menu includes the Cocoa Signature Margarita, which uses chocolate directly from Chiapas fused with an orange essence, as well as Clamato Chilli Pepper, Tamarind Mint and Avocado Pistachio flavored drinks.

For reservations or more information, please call 1-877-398-2784 or visit


compliments of

Have a Berry Happy Mother’s Day!

This issue of Your Resident Gourmet Newsletter is dedicated to all the Moms across the globe! And what better way to honor Mom than with some delicious recipes for a seasonal Blackberry Sorbet and a savory Lemon Chevre Cheesecake? There isn’t one, so here they are! Enjoy!

Here’s to you, Mom! 

Chef Jennifer  


Happy Mother’s Day!  


photo by Griot Photography


Fresh Blackberry Sorbet

For a taste of summer, no matter what the season, make this blackberry sorbet recipe. It uses a bit less sugar than most other versions, so the flavor is one of pure, fresh-picked blackberries.

Yield: 8 servings


8 cups fresh blackberries

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vodka


Blend the blackberries, water, and lemon juice on high until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the berries and juice to a large saucepan and stir in the sugar. Bring the berry mixture just to a boil and immediately remove it from the heat. Allow the berries to cool at room temperature for 5 minutes, and then press them through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the berry solids, and mix the puree with the vodka. Allow the mixture to cool and then freeze it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Cook’s note: A tablespoon of vodka is added to the sorbet to produce an airy quality in the finished product. It can be omitted, but the sorbet will have a harder, more chunky texture as a result.



photo by Griot Photography

Lemon Chevre Cheesecake

 This savory cheesecake is made with fresh goat cheese and spicy ginger snap cookies. It pairs beautifully with the Fresh Blackberry Sorbet for an elegant addition to any menu!

Yields 12 servings


7 ounces gingersnap cookies

2 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. finely grated fresh lemon zest (from about 3 lemons)

1/4 cup sugar

12 ounces fresh, mild goat cheese

10 ounce cream cheese

1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs


Preheat oven to 325°.

Crumble cookies into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. In a medium bowl, toss 2 tbsp. lemon zest.

Add cookie crumbs and mix well. Butter sides of an 8-in. pan with removable rim and press cookie mixture into bottom; bake 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool in pan.

Lower temperature to 275°.

In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat goat cheese and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add remaining lemon zest, lemon juice, and the sugar, sour cream, and the vanilla; beat well.

Scrape bowl and add eggs; beat well.

Pour batter onto crust and bake about 1 hour, or until set on the sides but still quite jiggly in the center and only slightly sticky.

Turn oven off, crack oven door, and let cake cool in oven 2 hours.

Remove and let cool completely; then chill, covered, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Run a thin knife between cake and rim of pan and remove rim.

Serve with Fresh Blackberry Sorbet. 



 photo by Griot Photography 

GA Grown: Horse Creek Winery

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Horse Creek Winery

Georgia Grown Grapes Key to Horse Creek Winery’s Success

Situated in the lush green landscape of South Georgia are 45 acres of some of the highest quality, sweetest muscadine grapes in America.  This woody vine, native to the Southeast United states and known for the musky fruit it bears, is the heart and soul of Horse Creek Winery & Perry Vineyards in Nashville, Georgia.

The winery began in 1992 as a fresh-fruit vineyard.  Owner Ed Perry specializes in muscadines and soon was shipping the sweet, savory grapes all over the Southeast, from New York to Miami and even out west to Texas.  From there, Perry discovered that a few wineries in the South were buying muscadine grapes from growers in South Georgia and the Carolinas to make wine.

With the realization that his grapes were the main ingredient in desired wines at other well-known wineries in the South, Ed Perry began thinking about making wines from his own vineyard, and it didn’t take him long to get started.

All Horse Creek Winery products are grown in Georgia and sold throughout the United States.  Each winery bottle, capsule, cork and label is produced in the U.S.  Horse Creek Winery prides itself on creating American jobs by only purchasing American made products.

When asked what Georgia Grown meant to his business, Perry responded, “If every household spent an additional ten dollars a week in their local home town stores on Georgia Grown products, it would put well over $2 billion dollars back into our Georgia economy each year. That would help jump start our local economy. Our goal is to contribute to Georgia Grown by encouraging others to buy and sell Georgia Grown products. Georgia Grown products are good for me, good for you, and good for Georgia.”

Horse Creek Winery has a genuine concern for Georgia, and works every day to promote our state and the agriculture industry. Perry says that “support of Georgia’s agriculture industry is support for each and every person in Georgia.”

For more information on Horse Creek Winery, visit .