New Year’s party ideas!

Happy New Years from Healthy Living and Cafe! We hope that you have  a Happy and Healthy 2014! We asked our staff the following question; What do you suggest for a New Years snack, dish, or party drink?
From Gerda in our Vermont Store…


Spicy Grapefruit Salsa with Mint 

This refreshing salsa brightens up any Holiday Table!

1 pink grapefruit

3 scallions, thinly sliced

2 TB fresh mint, chopped

1 small jalapeno, seeded, minced

1 TB white balsamic vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp honey

1 TB extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the grapefruit by slicing a thin slice from the stem and bottom ends of the fruit. Place on counter with one flat side down. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut from top to bottom, one strip at a time, exposing the pink flesh and cutting away the peel and membrane. Holding the fruit over a bowl, cut with a sharp paring knife between the sections to release the fruit and any juices into the bowl.  Discard peel and membranes.  Drain the collected juice into a small serving  bowl and combine with the remaining ingredients. Add the reserved grapefruit segments. Toss to combine. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

From NY Learning Center Coordinator Shannon

Curry Spiced Mixed Nuts

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp salt

1 tsp turmeric

Dash of cayenne

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp brown mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 – 1 tsp garlic powder

3 TB butter or ghee

1 lb unsalted mixed nuts

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all of the spices together in a small bowl, being cautious with the amount of cayenne used (so the mix is not overly spicy hot). Melt the butter or ghee in a large skillet. When medium-hot, but not smoking, add all of the spices and stir constantly until the mustard seeds start to pop. Take skillet off of heat and add all of the nuts and stir to thoroughly coat. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown and fragrant. Be careful not to overbake. Allow to cool and test for crispness; if not crisp, return to oven for a couple of minutes, watching carefully.  Cool to room temperature.  Nice with cheese and wine.  A flavorful and delicious snack that is sugar free. Nuts are full of protein so it’s a great snack for all the healthy New Year’s Resolutions.


Also from Gerda…

 Radicchio, Arugula, Roasted Pear Wedges, Walnut & Blue Cheese Salad



This is a beautiful and delicious salad perfect for entertaining!

1 head radicchio

2 large handfuls baby arugula

3 pears, peeled, cored

2 TB olive oil

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

2-3 TB sherry vinegar

Sprinkle of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 TB extra virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 450°F. Remove core and outer leaves from radicchio. Coarsely chop into thick wedges. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large skillet. Add radicchio and toss to coat with oil. Cook over medium- high heat, stirring and tossing for 1-2 minutes until slightly wilted and starting to color. Remove from heat, place in salad bowl to cool. Cut the prepared pears into 5-6 wedges, toss with 1-2 TB olive oil and place on a baking sheet.  Roast in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until soft and starting to caramelize. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Toast walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring and watching carefully, until fragrant and starting to color. Remove from skillet right away and allow to cool. When time to serve, add the baby arugula to salad bowl with radicchio. Sprinkle with the sherry vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss. Drizzle olive oil over salad, toss to coat. Top with walnuts, crumbled blue cheese. Serve with 2-3 pear wedges on top of salad.

From Christina in our Demo Department…

White Bean Dip with Dill, Garlic and Lemon

3 cups cooked white beans

3 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 TB plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

2 TB fresh chopped dill

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Finely grated zest of one lemon

Coarse sea salt

Fresh ground pepper


Puree the beans, either in a food processor or by hand, in a medium sized bowl. Add the lemon juice, 3 TB olive oil, dill, garlic cloves and lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and chill until ready to serve. Drizzle with remaining 1 tsp of olive oil and dust with paprika.

From Charlotte our Beer and Wine Manager in NY…

Happy New Years, Saratoga! Thank you for a fantastic first year! We know you love your events as much as we do, so we’re pleased as punch to provide you with some exciting New Years cocktails drafted by our very own Divine Wines staff, for all of your extravagant party-hosting needs! All of the below cocktails can be adjusted to your liking but adding/subtracting ingredient totals.

‘Divine Wines’ Faux-Royale – served in a Champagne flute/glass

**a version of the traditional Kir-Royale, made with Manischewitz sweetened red wine as a substitute for the Kir cassis liqueur**

1 1/2 ounces Manischewitz Sweetened Blackberry Wine

5 ounces Pol Roger Brut Reserve Champagne ($45.99 on sale at Divine Wines for the month of December)

Garnish with single raspberry in glass and serve

‘Divine Wines’ Traditional Bellini – served in a Champagne flute/glass

**a version of the traditional Bellini, originating in Veneto, Italy, made with sparkling Prosecco and white peach puree**

1 1/2 ounces ‘Smart Juice’ Organic Apricot/Peach Puree

1 1/2 teaspoon fresh squeeze lemon juice

5 ounces Zonin Prosecco ($9.99 on sale at Divine Wines for the month of December)

Garnish with a twist of lemon on the rim and serve

‘Divine Wines’ Bellini Royale – served in a Champagne flute/glass

**a cross between the traditional Kir Royale and Bellini cocktails**

Squeeze half of a lime onto a flat saucer, turn the glass upside down and lightly dip the rim in the lime juice; keep glass upside down and lightly dip rim into sugar to create a beautifully-festive, sugared rim for your glass!

Add the following ingredients, in order, directly into the sugared rim glass:

1 ounce Manischewitz Sweetened Blackberry Wine

1 ounce ‘Smart Juice’ Organic Apricot/Peach Juice

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

3-4 ounces of chilled Zonin Prosecco

1 tablespoon Grenadine (or cherry syrup) – if added last, this will sink to the bottom and create a layered effect in the glass

Garnish with two raspberries speared with a pick, resting across the rim, and serve

(if you prefer your beverages a little on the sweeter side, add 1/2 ounce of Peach Schnapps for a little extra oomph!)


Looking for something with more of a ‘WOW’ factor for your guests? Surprise them with some blackberry flavored, Prosecco gelatin shots that you can make in only 10 easy steps!

‘Divine Wines’ Royale Gelatin Shots

3 cups chilled Zonin Prosecco

3/4 cup Manischewitz Sweettend Blackberry Wine

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

4 envelopes of Knox Unflavored Gelatin

1/8 cup Grenadine (or cherry syrup)

Course white sugar (for decoration)

**if increasing the recipe size, we recommend using 1 envelope of gelatin per cup of liquid**


1. Pour 1 cup of chilled Zonin Prosecco in a sauce pan with the Manischewitz wine and lime juice; stir to combine

2. Empty all four contents of gelatin envelopes onto the liquid that is in the sauce pan; let sit 1 minute without stirring to allow the gelatin to soften

3. After mixture has sat for 1 minute, slowly apply low-medium heat to the burner under the sauce pan and simmer mixture while stirring until the gelatin visibly disappears and the liquid is once again clear

4. Remove pan from the heat and add remaining 2 cups of chilled Zonin Prosecco to the mixture; lightly stir to incorporate

5. Immediately pour mixture into molds (ice cube trays work great!); portioning it out evenly among the molds

6. Dash a little of the Grenadine/cherry syrup into each mold and allow it 1 minute to settle to the bottom of the mold before placing in the refrigerator

7. Refrigerate for 1 hour (or until fully set)

8. Remove molds from refrigerator; using a knife to loosen up the sides of the molds until they drop free, remove each set gelatin from its mold

9. Dip Grenadine/cherry syrup side of the gelatin ‘cube’ into the course sugar and place on a serving platter sugar-side up

10. Serve with a festive New Years toothpick to make it easier for your guests to pick up and wait for the ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahhhs’ to ensue!

**if you enjoy your shots a little sweeter, increase the Grenadine/cherry syrup or add Peach Schnapps!**

Happy New Years, and thank you, from Divine Wines! We’re looking forward to spending another amazing year with you!