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Decadent Saint – the Ultimate Mixers

Most times I write about a Boulder County food or drink business, I have to think up a good theme for the article. In this case, Decadent Saint has such a compelling story it sort of writes itself.

Decadent Saint founder Michael Hasler is a New Zealander with 35 years of winemaking experience. While running a luxury ski lodge in New Zealand and before he moved to Boulder, Michael would serve his guests homemade glühwein, a German/Austrian traditional winter drink made from wine and spices and served warm.

Michael’s glühwein contained chocolate, a rather unusual addition, and was so well received he thought for years about how to package it properly as a mixer for retail sale. However, almost all mixers on the market are pasteurized and filtered to create a long shelf life, which removed much of the goodness of the product. It wasn’t until he moved to Boulder and started his own winery that he came up with the perfect solution.

By fortifying the drink to 20% alcohol, he was able to mix red wine, decaf coffee, chocolate, and berries to form a glühwein mixer that would stay shelf-stable for six months without requiring either filtering or pasteurization. He then expanded to create a similar mixer for sangria and voilà – Michael created one of the best, most delicious mixers available on the market.

At a recent gathering of press to present his mixers, Michael served us tastes of half a dozen different drinks made from his four varieties of mixers: passion fruit, raspberry, black current, and spiced dark chocolate. While the second part of the name Decadent Saint plays off Michael and his wife and business partner Carolyn Coree’s Saint Bernard Chloe, the first part of the name is apt. The mixers and resulting drinks were delicious, one after the other, without fail.

Michael is now selling directly to consumers via his tasting room and website; at retail in liquor stores; and to mixologists and other professionals in bars and restaurants. The business is booming, Michael is traveling the country explaining the mixers to consumers, and to procure unpasteurized product, Michael is having to go directly to berry farmers to ask them to set aside berries just for Decadent Saint.

The product is, however, a bit complex. In my mind, it is too complex for selling to consumers. Consider this:

  1. Each bottle has two labels, one on the front and one on the back. For example, the blackcurrant mixer is sold as both a Spiced Sangria and an Ultimate Mixer. From the consumer’s perspective, it is not clear how to use the product.
  2. Michael bills his product as the Swiss Army Knife of mixers and provides a handout showing 11 different mixed drinks, ranging from mimosas to margaritas to martinis, that can be made from just one mixer.
  3. Multiply that long list of options by the four mixers he produces and you have an amazing variety of drinks you can make, which also makes it amazingly complicated.
  4. The mixers are not cheap ($22 for a 750 ml bottle on the company website) and consumers might compare these high-quality, alcoholic mixers to the more standard and much cheaper versions on the market. The website itself has no real background on the company or the mixers.
  5. The company, Decadent Saint, is still a winery and the company website and tasting room promote both wines and mixers.

My favorite use of the mixers is in a simplified fashion. I love the idea of pouring a small amount over ice cream or mixing just one mixer with a simple tonic water or inexpensive sparkling wine. I recently used the blackcurrant mixer to very effectively save an opened bottle of red wine that was going bad.

For those of you living in or visiting Boulder County, I highly suggest you make a trip to the Decadent Saint tasting room at 1501 Lee Hill Road. Not only do they have an excellent happy hour but you can taste some of the high-quality wines (with grapes purchased from California), sample the mixed drinks, and learn the story directly from Michael or Carolee if you are lucky.

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Redstone Meadery delivers ‘Mead for the Masses’ for past 15 years

There is no denying that Boulder’s craft industry is thriving. People are willing to support local, specifically in regard to “craft” wines, beers and spirits, but what some aren’t discussing are the thriving cideries and meaderies who are gaining popularity in the arena, as more folks explore alternatives to beer in the modern craft movement. […]

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Quintessential Wine Tasting Event – This Friday at the Boulderado

If you have ever traveled domestically or Internationally on a wine tasting vacation – or wanted to –  then, don’t miss this event being put on by our good friends at Hazels Beverage World and Quintessential Wines. As a family-owned business, Quintessential’s mission is solely focused on importing wines made by multi-generational, family owned & […]

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CineCHEF: An Upscale Take on Dinner and a Movie

The combo of “dinner and a movie” will never go out of style. However, the “same old” can get boring. In its second year, as part of the Boulder International Film Festival, CineCHEF is a creative iteration of “dinner and a movie.” A gourmet culinary experience, CineCHEF showcases chefs from some of Boulder’s most recognized restaurants. […]

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Pros and Cons of Drinking Local

At Eat, Drink, Boulder, we promote and support local. Boulder is a town of beauty, creativity, start-ups, and our favorite: delicious food and drink. Whenever we can, we eat and drink local. In doing this, the economy and hard work of our community members is supported. The local agriculture benefits, leaving room for open space […]

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Next Stop: Roadhouse Boulder Depot

Roadhouse Boulder Depot recently opened, and last weekend I stopped in to have some lunch and check it out. I was very excited to visit the restaurant for multiple reasons. First, the historical aspect of it–the building itself used to serve as the Boulder Train Depot, from 1890-1957. Secondly, there were several items on the […]

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Denver International Wine Festival: A Must-Do!

Everyone should attend the Denver International Wine Festival at least once in their life. Started in 2005 by Christopher and Darcy Davies, the festival has continued to educate newcomers and wine lovers, promoting the discovery of hidden gems in the wine industry. After realizing that most of Colorado’s wine festivals are held in the mountains, […]

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Exploring Californian Wines Al Fresco with HANNA Winery & Vineyards

  Hanna Wines Al Fresco Event at Lone Hawk Farm with G B Culinary. After meandering through the beautiful country roads north of Boulder, we arrived at the rustic and simply elegant Lone Hawk Farm. The idea of dining Al Fresco prompts visions of rolling hills, lush greenery and rows upon rows of fields yielding […]

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Fresh Thymes: Eating With Power!

It is powerful to be able to have whatever you want when ordering at a restaurant. Unfortunately, people with dietary allergies and intolerances do not always have that luxury. After being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2006, Christine Ruch found that the best solution to conquering the fear of eating out was opening a restaurant […]

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The Kitchen Next Door for Wine?

It was a gorgeous day, so while visiting the Kitchen Next Door some Al Fresco dining was a must. To eat, I ordered their daily special- a meatball hoagie and decided to pair it with one of their six wine selections, a Povero Barbera d’Asti. The initial presentation of the wine was a bit disappointing, […]

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Sugarbeet Restaurant – Eclectic New American Cuisine

Neatly tucked in just shy of southwest Old Town Longmont, The Sugarbeet Restaurant is an eclectic blend of chef-prepared New American Cuisine, cocktails and fine wines in a destination which will entice and attract even the most selective foodie away from Boulder. Downtown parking issues and congestion are replaced with a high quality, small town […]

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Tickets on sale now for 4th Annual Jack’s Benevolent Bash

It is a gathering of friends and family over food and drinks to benefit the Autism Society of Boulder County. Not only are some of the best chefs from around the country all going to get together in one place, and for a good cause, but anyone in the country has an opportunity to win […]

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Fog Theory Wines: Whole Foods’ Little Secret

Whole Foods Market is known for quality products, healthy choices and delicious food. However, the Whole Foods Market wine department deserves some attention. In my first experience with a virtual wine tasting, I had the opportunity to taste two unreleased wines that are coming to the Rocky Mountain Whole Foods region this summer. Fog Theory […]

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PMG: Broadening Boulder’s Horizons

There is a stigma that wine can only be enjoyed if the drinker has a broad knowledge and understanding of wine. Emily Gold would like to break that stereotype, which is why PMG is about comfort, fun and approachability to wine and food. On a quiet Monday evening, I walk into PMG and am instantly […]

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Bike to Farm to Table: Sports Garage’s farm dinner ride series

Spring has taken her sweet time to arrive in Boulder County this year, but no one is complaining about the emerald blanket and late-season lilacs left in her wake. Cyclists are happy (the trails and roads are finally dry!), and foodies are happy (a rain-free Saturday farmer’s market, and the tomatoes can finally go in the […]

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Eat Drink Boulder Enjoys French Wine

Shopping for wine is hard. Wine can be chosen based on grape varietal, location, region, producer, style, etc. It is possible to spend hours browsing aisles of wine and still walk away empty handed. That is why having one person choose three of their favorite wines and letting others taste, is a great way to […]

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Eat Drink Boulder to Start Wine & Beer Tasting Panel

Ever heard of a “shelf talker”? A shelf talker is one of those many little reviews stuck to shelves in the wine section of almost any local liquor store. Eat Drink Boulder is proud to announce we are starting a Tasting Panel to review wines and beers found at local Boulder retail establishments. We will generally […]

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Settembre Cellars: Sip, Savor and Learn

New Year’s resolutions tend to be hard to keep. However, if the resolution involves drinking wine, it might be slightly more manageable. One way to learn about wine is to select one type of grape and try different bottles of it. My current grape: Cabernet Sauvignon. Between January and March, I have been buying and […]

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Best Wine Bars Near Pearl Street in Boulder

Wood floors, exposed brick, salumi, cheese and the echoes of clinking crystal stemware, the Boulder wine scene is the cure for the Colorado wine enthusiast who may be seeking an alternative to the wonderful and plentiful craft brew scene. The smashed grape elixir, in its many manifestations, can be found in, around and off the […]

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Intimate Wine Pairing Dinner

This Thursday’s Perfect Pair- Salt Bistro and Bookcliff Vineyard

If you haven’t had a chance to experience Bradford Heap’s much buzzed about fare at Colterra or SALT Bistro, you should move that experience to the top of your Boulder must-do list. For those of you that have, this Thursday’s event at Bookcliff Vineyards offers a unique opportunity to explore a custom designed five-course menu of Bradford’s creations at a uniquely intimate venue […]

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Vertical Syrah Tasting … of Colorado Wines

How cool is it we have wineries in Boulder that send out messages like the one below? This looks to be a screaming deal for $20 and is a chance to find that wine from a local winery you can buy by the case and pull out whenever you have visitors in town! Go Settembre […]

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Pairings from a Pro

2020 – not just an address (2020 Ionosphere Street, Longmont), not just the name of a great new establishment … but the gold standard for vinous acuity in wine pairing.  So lets dive in with some imagery: Owner, chef, buyer, GM, and generally gregarious and sweet individual Matthew Koury is electric. 2020 volts of culinary energy […]

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Sparking Wines for the Holidays Available in Boulder

The holiday season is the perfect time to pop open some sparkling wine. Sparkling wine is such a festive drink that a glass might even put the Grinch in a good mood, not to mention your guests. Sparkling wines have high acidity making them perfect paring with many of the rich foods we love to […]

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Boulder Wine Merchant Expertise for Free

Did you know that Boulder Wine Merchant offers free wine education classes, led by owner and Master Sommelier, Brett Zimmerman? Maybe I miss the classroom setting or learning something new every day, but when I hear about a free lecture or class, I jump at the opportunity to participate. The classes are held Saturday afternoons […]

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BCW Tasting Menu Fall 2014

Boulder Creek Winery: Tasting Room and Wine Club Worth Checking Out

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Wines for Floods: Boulder’s Flood Wine Brand

Drinking to raise money for a good cause; who could ever be opposed to that? Drinking good wine for a cause is even better. Boulder Wine Merchant, owned by Brett Zimmerman, hosts free wine tastings every Wednesday from 5:30-7pm, making for a nice way to get out of the midweek slump. Lately, Wednesdays have been […]

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Cured: Wine Tasting and Education in One

Wine tastings can go one of two ways: impersonal and rushed or intimate and educational. Though wine tastings are a great way to sample unknown wines, I also like to learn about the wines I’m drinking: the grapes, the producer, the region. I may not be at a tasting to buy a bottle of wine, […]

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Tasting the Town (for free)

On the subject of wine, I am on the receiving end of the same questions over and over again.  The first, not surprisingly, is: “what is your favorite wine?”  The answer is fluid, pun intended.  My favorite wine varies depending on the weather, time of day, accompanying meal, and other factors. Minutes later, after rambling […]

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Ella, a New and Decidedly American Style Eatery Looks to Transform North Boulder

This June, Ella, a refined and devotedly American diner, will open in the heart of North Boulder. The spot currently occupied by Radda Trattoria will soon be home to the new eatery. Edwin Zoe, the restauranteur and mastermind behind the beloved Zoe Ma Ma on Pearl Street channels his “love of rooted, regional dishes” into […]

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Downtown Boulder Rocks the Annual Taste of Pearl

On a snowy, 27-degree April day last week, my fellow EDB blogger Allan Parr and I took part in the annual Taste of Pearl event produced by Downtown Boulder (this year’s presenting sponsor was Audi of Boulder). The Taste of Pearl sells out nearly every year, and offers attendees the chance to meander to 15+ […]

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Taste of Pearl; pssst, follow me

Guy Who Knows: C’mere for a second, I got a hot tip. Guy Who Does Not Know: “Me?” GWK: Yeah, you…come here.  OK, listen up: so not everyone knows but this coming Sunday, April 13 is the 5th annual Taste of Pearl where chefs from around town and Colorado wineries combine forces to hook up […]

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Volta Knows Best?

SSSPLATT!!!  Paint flung hits canvas and bystanders alike.  The mad artist dashes over and swirls the colors, using her hair and elbows as a brush.  Finally, she staples a banana peel to the canvas, signs her name with a flourish and says, “Perfect!” There is something cool about an artist out to please themselves without […]

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A Crash Course to the Burgundy Wine Fest

Each November in Burgundy, France, is a charity event known as the Hospices de Beaune, which is likely the greatest wine celebration in the world.  Over the course of the weekend is the Clos Vougeot dinner, Paulée de Meursault BYOB lunch, and the world-famous wine auction where 100% of the bottles are donated, and 100% […]

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Somm Documentary Out Now

Without too much fanfare, Somm, a documentary following the quest of four Master Sommelier candidates, opened at the Denver Film Center yesterday.  The only scheduled showings at this point are this Saturday and Sunday only!  They say you never know how much you don’t know until you really start delving into something.  So if you […]

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Rosé Season is Here!

The last few days of scorching heat make it hard to believe it has barely been a month since we got a foot of snow.  The Farmers Market is in full swing, getting a patio table requires hours of patience, and North Boulder Park is rife with picnickers.  Most importantly, rosé season is finally here! […]

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The Wine of Oak: Sound as a Barrel

Editor’s Note: this is the first in a series of reviews of local wine lists by EDB’s new wine writer, Beau Hoffman. The use of oak in wine is no doubt a polarizing subject in the world in wine.  On one hand, the subtle tannins can augment the wine and create interesting flavors (smokiness, subtle […]

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Boulder Chef Series: The People Behind the Food. Jessica Emich, Shine Restaurant

The latest in the Boulder Chef Series features an energetic, passionate woman you’ll enjoy getting to know through this recent interview. Enjoy! Then go try her cooking.   Chef & Co-Owner: Jessica Emich, Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place EDB: What was your favorite food as a kid? I am a Jersey Italian girl at heart.  […]

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High on the Hog: A Cochon 555 Retrospective

I didn’t really know what to expect at Cochon 555, but I didn’ t expect THIS.  Excited as I was for the event in Vail, I couldn’t picture it.  Then, once I arrived, everything was moving and shaking and begging for attention, and I had to saddle up for the ride–which began before we even […]

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You’re Invited to a Big Ole ‘Bacon Party

This  Sunday, March 10, Boulder will represent at one of the most unique food events in America.  Blackbelly Catering’s Hosea Rosenberg and Cured’s Will Frischkorn will join a host of chefs, farmers, butchers, mixologists and more at the pork-centric traveling culinary competition and tasting event known as Cochon 555, which is making its Colorado appearance at the […]

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WholeVine: Wine is Great, But There is So Much More!

  When you think of sustainability and using “every last drop” of something, generally you think of something like energy or water.  Fortunately, there are people like Peggy Furth, co-founder of WholeVine Products, who marry the principles of sustainability and zero waste with food and drink. Located in Napa Valley Wine Country, WholeVine takes the […]

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Hazel’s Beverage World is a whole new booze planet

  If you aren’t old enough to remember Hazel, the TV show about the kooky but earnestly wise house keeper for the Baxter’s, maybe you recall when Liquor Mart was the only game in town.  Okay, stop.  Those days are over, baby. Say hello to the new kid in town, Hazel’s Beverage World. Located just […]

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Tastes on the Terrace at The Flagstaff House; You Won’t Soon Forget

Leafing through a forgotten cookbook, a recipe from your childhood falls out on yellowed parchment; you make it and it tastes like home, flooding your senses with nostalgia and comfort.  An old friend calls, and your breath hitches as you recall fond memories.  You pull a pair of missing jeans out from behind the dresser […]

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Riffs Boulder

Riffing on Wine Bar Pricing: The Wine List at Riffs

I want to be clear upfront I am no wine expert. I simply know enough to determine what I like and what I don’t like. I also want to be clear that Riffs, the new establishment at 1115 Pearl Street in Boulder, does not claim to be a wine bar. Quite the opposite, it calls […]

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