National Chip and Dip Day on March 23rd and National Cocktail Day on March 24th are two National Days that when combined, have all the right ingredients to create a fun and festive springtime at home celebration. In honor of these two national days, I’m bringing you some fun and creative ways to combine them and celebrate in style.
Before sharing some delicious seasonal pairing ideas combining tasty chip & dip recipes and enticing cocktails made with Spirits from Heritage Distilling Company, let’s take a closer look at each of these fun and festive days.
National Chip and Dip Day, which is held on March 23rd, started in the late 2000s as a way to celebrate one of the most beloved snack combinations of all time: chips and dip. This day is a great excuse to gather with friends and family or even just treat yourself, and enjoy some delicious chip and dip combinations. From guacamole to salsa to a herby ranch dip, there are so many different recipes, making this day the perfect excuse to get creative in the kitchen.
Consider kicking off Spring by hosting a Chips and Dip Soiree that fuses together a variety of options so everyone can find something they love. Choose classic potato chips or try something a little more adventurous like sweet potato fries or kale chips, the options are endless. For the dips, consider some new recipes both cold and hot, like a creamy and indulgent cheese dip.
There’s no denying that chips and dip are a match made in snacking heaven but when you combine them with an flavorful cocktail, there is no limit to the creative pairings that you can create.
Celebrated annually on March 24th, National Cocktail Day is a day to celebrate the art of mixology, craft cocktail creativity as well as the history and diversity of cocktail culture. Invented in 2013 by author Jace Shoemaker-Galloway, National Cocktail Day is the ultimate excuse to gather with friends and family to raise a glass and toast the delicious creations of mixologists all over the world.
National Cocktail Day, is also a great opportunity to try something new and exciting. Celebrate by learning how to make a new cocktail recipe yourself. There are many online resources, books, and tutorials available that can teach you the basics of mixology, or you can attend a cocktail-making class or workshop to learn from professional mixologists.
From classic cocktails like the martini and the old-fashioned, to fruity concoctions like the margarita and the daiquiri, there’s a cocktail out there for everyone, and what better way to enjoy a cocktail than with some chips and dip?
When it comes to pairing chips and dips, there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, if you’re serving a spicy dip, you’ll want to pair it with a chip that can handle the heat. Tortilla chips are a great option for this, as they have a nice crunch and can handle a lot of flavor. If you’re serving a sweeter dip, you may want to pair it with a chip that has a milder flavor. Classic potato chips or even vegetable chips are a great option, as they have a nice crunch and a mild flavor that won’t overpower the dip.
Another important pairing factor to consider is the alcohol content of your cocktails. If your chips and dip are already quite flavorful, you’ll want to avoid pairing them with cocktails having high alcohol content.
When it comes to pairing chips and dip with cocktails, experimenting is key. Try different combinations and see which ones work best for you. You may even find a new favorite pairing that you never would have thought of before.
To start off, let’s talk about something exciting and unexpected, a Bourbon Mango Julep. March is the perfect time to enjoy this delicious combination, as it’s peak of Mango Season. Mangoes are widely popular around the world, and it’s not hard to see why, they are sweet, juicy, and full of flavor, making them a great addition to both sweet and savory dishes. They’re also packed with nutrients like vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, making them a healthy choice for snacking and cocktails.
This cocktail is a twist on the classic Mint Julep with the addition of a mango mint simple syrup and mango puree, along with fresh mint and a splash of soda water. The addition of fresh Mango puree in this version gives the cocktail a fruity, tropical twist that might just have you thinking about your last beach adventure.
The bourbon adds a warm and smoky flavor complimenting the sweetness of the mango, while the mint adds a great balance with fresh herbal notes. It is perfect sipping companion on a March day, especially when it is paired with an equally delicious fresh Mango Salsa and Blue Corn Chips.
Begin by preparing the Mango Mint Simple Syrup:
1 mango (peeled and cut-up)
1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar
1 mint sprig
In a small saucepan, bring the water, sugar and mango pieces to a boil with and stir until sugar dissolves. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add a 1 large sprig of mint. Let steep for 15 minutes. Strain using a fine-mesh sieve or a colander. Ready for use when cool. Refrigerate for up to a week in an airtight container.
To make the fresh mango puree, drain the mango and mint from the simple syrup mix and blend it in a food processor or blender until silky smooth.
To make the Bourbon Mango Julep, you’ll need:
To make the cocktail, muddle the mint leaves in a mixing glass or shaker, then add the bourbon, mango puree, and simple syrup. Add ice and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with crushed ice, and garnish with a slice of fresh mango and a sprig of mint.
Continuing the Mango Season theme by making some Mango Salsa and serving it with your favorite brand of blue tortilla chips. This Mango Salsa recipe is simple and delicious and I love the combination of the sweetness of ripe mangoes with the heat of jalapeños and the tanginess of lime juice. For this recipe I added just a bit of spice with some Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning Blend, I loved the edge of smokiness that it added to the salsa.
To make the Mango Salsa, you’ll need:
Simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and mix well. Adjust the seasoning to your taste, and let the salsa sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
This cocktail is a twist on the classic Moscow Mule, that replaces the traditional vodka with bourbon while adding in simple syrup and aromatic bitters for a sweet and spicy flavor. Since it was early March and Spring was right around the corner, while I prepared the cocktail I thought of it as an End of Winter time for Spring Bourbon Mule. I used rosemary as a garnish to add a fragrant, herbal note that is perfect for the transition from winter to spring along with the wedge of fresh lime to celebrate the coming Spring, and Citrus Season.
End of Winter time for Spring Bourbon Mule
Spicy, sweet, and delivering a fizzy punch, this End of Winter time for Spring Bourbon Mule is also incredibly refreshing and I felt it would stand up to a chip and dip pairing that brought a little extra kick to the mix, Chipotle Lime Dip with Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips.
Of all of the chip and dip combinations that I created, this was hands down a family favorite in our house. The sweetness of the sweet potato chips is so perfectly complemented by the smoky and spicy flavors of the chipotle lime dip, while the Bourbon Mule adds an uplifting and invigorating zip to the pairing.
Chipotle Lime Dip: (recipe adapted from Kim’s Cravings Website)
Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. After refrigerating it does gets thicker, so thin with a little water as needed.
A French 75 cocktail can be made in a number of ways and is a my go to cocktail when enjoying Happy Hour at some favorite Pacific Northwest bars and restaurants as well as a drink I often make at home. When I came across the recipe for the Florenscence 75 on Heritage’s Website, I knew that I needed to incorporate it into this Chip & Dip and Cocktail pairing montage.
FLORESCENCE 75 (From )
1 ounce Heritage Distillery Florescence Grapefruit & Pomelo Vodka
2 ounces fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
Squeeze of lemon
Splash of simple syrup (*optional but a nice touch with the tart grapefruit juice)
3-5 ounces of Prosecco or your favorite sparkling wine
Garnish – 1 thin slice of grapefruit or 1 sprig of fresh mint
Method: Pour Florescence vodka, fresh grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and squeeze of lemon juice into a cocktail shaker filled with one cup of ice. Shake vigorously to chill the contents. Strain into a flute wine glass, then float the Prosecco or sparkling wine on top to fill the glass.
When it comes to chip and dip pairings, you want to choose options that won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the cocktail, but rather complement them and the Florescence vodka does this perfectly. It’s lively citrus and floral aromas and flavors, along with it’s elegant and refreshing balance is a great sparing partner with an array of chip and dip combinations.
To accompany the Florescence 75 I chose a time-tested crowd pleasing Caramelized Onion Dip. Paired with classic salty potato chips this creamy and tangy homemade caramelized onion dip may take a few more minutes to make, but the end result is worth the effort.
Caramelized Onion Dip (Recipe Adapted from Food and Wine by Melissa Rubel Jacobson)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 tbsp water
1 ½ cups sour cream, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Although just about any potato chip would go well with this Caramelized Onion Dip the classic ridged potato chip has just the right amount of thickness to handle this heavy dip while also supplying a perfect level of saltiness.
In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 25 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cook, stirring, until the water has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Let the onions cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the onions to a cutting board and coarsely chop. In a large bowl, mix the sour cream with the cream cheese, parsley, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth. Stir in the onions and season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature with potato chips.
The onion dip can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Heritage Distilling Company, located in Washington State, is a leading producer of high-quality spirits, including whiskey, gin, vodka, and rum. The company was founded in 2011 by Justin and Jennifer Stiefel and is a majority women-owned enterprise. Today, Heritage Distilling Company is one of the most respected distilleries in the state, known for its award-winning spirits and commitment to quality.
The distillery is located in the historic port town of Gig Harbor, in the heart of Washington’s Puget Sound region, an area known for its rich history and beautiful landscapes. Heritage currently operates 5 Tasting Rooms in Washington and Oregon that features spirit tastings, cocktails and retail sales. In 2016, Heritage opened their second full-scale production distillery in Eugene, and it immediately became one of the largest craft distilleries in Oregon upon its opening. In Roslyn, Washington, Heritage opened a 10,000 sq. ft production and tasting facility in November 2017 and the Tumwater location opened in June 2021 in partnership with South Puget Sound Community College and the Tumwater Craft District. Heritage Distilling at Talking Cedar, which opened in 2020 is a partnership with Chehalis Tribal Enterprises and is the first project as part of the Tribal Beverage Network. Heritage Distilling Company is also an active member of the community, where they help to raise money for various charities and non-profit groups all across the Pacific Northwest.
The line of spirits from Heritage Distilling Company includes Cocoa Bomb Chocolate Whiskey, the Elk Rider® series, the HDC (Heritage Distilling Company) series featuring more than 20 naturally flavored vodkas, the BATCH NO. 12® line of spirits, Florescence (a partnership with Danielle Kartes & Rustic Joyful Food), along with Stiefel’s Select premium whiskeys, a yearly Spirits Advent Calendar and more. Heritage Distilling Company products can be found in bars, restaurants and retailers in select states.
One of Heritage’s most popular offerings is the Roslyn Reserve Bourbon Whiskey. This local award winning favorite has received many accolades, including the Bronze Medal from American Distilling Institute 2018 & 2019 and the Silver Medal from American Distilling Institute 2022.
The Roslyn Reserve Bourbon Whiskey smooth and complex flavors of honey, spice and a warm oak finish is well-balanced and extremely easy to drink.
The whiskey is bottled at a higher proof than most other bourbons, at 42% alcohol by volume (ABV). This higher proof allows the whiskey to retain more flavor and aroma, and it gives the whiskey a slightly more robust and full-bodied taste.
The Elk Rider® collection of spirits has a fascinating origin story rooted in the 19th century pioneer family of the Heritage Distilling Company founders. These settlers made a name for themselves in Washington’s Olympic National Park even before statehood, by taming and riding the majestic elk. Heritage Distilling now celebrates the legacy of the Elk Riders by sharing their tales with the world, as a testament to the American spirit that seeks to achieve the extraordinary and leave a lasting impact on future generations. At Heritage Distilling Company, they firmly believe that every spirit has a story to tell, and the Elk Rider® series is a shining example of this philosophy.
One of the unique aspects of the Elk Rider® Bourbon Whiskey from Heritage, is that it is aged in new American oak barrels, which gives it a distinct array of flavor and aroma of honey, toasted walnuts and dried berries. It’s appeasing and melodious blend of flavors makes it a great addition to a wide range of cocktails, from sweet and fruity to strong and spicy.
Florescence: Grapefruit & Pomelo Flavored Vodka from Heritage Distilling in Washington is a premium quality spirit that offers a refreshing and bright flavor profile. Crafted using premium quality ingredients and distilled to perfection this flavored vodka delivers a smooth and well-balanced sip.
From the Heritage Distilling Company’s Website: “A partnership years in the making brought to you by Danielle Kartes of Rustic Joyful Foods and Heritage Distilling Co. “The word “florescence” is defined as the process of blooming and flourishing. We wanted to create a spirit that spoke to me, to the vibrancy and beauty of this life, a spirit designed for women by a team of women.”
I love how the grapefruit and pomelo flavors deliver a crispness to this lively spirit. The hints of orange blossom and grapefruit peel, add a distinct fragrant quality to the aroma of this vodka. On the palate, the grapefruit provides a tart edge and the floral pomelo adds a touch of sweetness.
The combination of grapefruit and pomelo creates a unique and zesty flavor that is perfect for springtime cocktails and has become a new go to vodka to replace gin when I feel like sipping on a French 75 cocktails.
I was first introduced to Heritage Distilling Company through their delicious BATCH NO. 12® Brown Sugar Bourbon, and I have been a fan ever since. I love how Heritage Distilling Company takes classic spirits and infuses them with unique and exciting flavors, creating a truly distinct flavor experience. I was excited to taste the new Cocoa Bomb Chocolate Whiskey and I have to say it has instantly become a new favorite of mine.
I think that this description of Cocoa Bomb from the Heritage Distilling Website says it all;
“Driven by the love of the Cocoa Bomb hot chocolate experience, our team set out to make the best-tasting chocolate-flavored whiskey on the market. Bottled at 75 proof and naturally flavored with cane sugar, this whiskey is extremely smooth and carries notes of cocoa, dark chocolate and a hint of marshmallow. Born in the Pacific Northwest, Cocoa Bomb is best enjoyed in the mountains, or on a cool summer evening with friends. One thing is certain, you will melt into this new and exciting experience, becoming your newest chocolate craving. Don’t you worry, Cocoa Bomb is here to stay.”
The Heritage Distilling Company’s innovative Cocoa Bomb Whiskey is a versatile spirit that can be enjoyed in many different ways, sipped neat, on the rocks, or the cocoa and whiskey flavors would pair well mixed in a number of different cocktails.
After tasting the Cocoa Bomb Chocolate Whiskey™ I was dreaming of mixing up a Chocolate Whiskey Milkshake and pairing it with a Salted Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Dip and Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips.
I think that the Chocolate Whiskey Milkshake would satisfy any sweet tooth and pair perfectly with the crunchy and sweet flavors of the Salted Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Dip and Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips.
Cocoa Bomb – Chocolate Whiskey Milkshake
So there you have it – some fun and creative ways to combine National Cocktail Day and Chip & Dip Day. Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or a chip and dip lover, I hope that these recipes and pairings inspire you to shake up your favorite cocktail, whip up a delicious dip, and celebrate in style! Cheers!
Your can find other cocktails and pairing ideas on a few of my previous blog posts including;
This post includes samples which were provided by Heritage Distilling Company, while it has not influenced this review, as a writer I believes in full disclosure.
Remember to always drink in moderation.
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