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Jolly! 

December is right around the corner, folks! Let’s talk holiday booze for those upcoming parties: Rich, wintery food calls for bubbly beer cocktails! Yes, you heard right. This holiday season, why not try a local craft beer mixed with muddled cucumber, a dash of gin, and elderflower liqueur? Or, go with something a bit more Christmas-y: local hard cider mixed with apple vodka, cranberry juice, and a sprig of mint. Whatever you do, don’t serve that tired old punch … Woodstock’s Pizza is at it again! I am simply loving all their new, creative pies and their Butternutty Bliss Pie is no exception. Feel the chill of winter and cuddle up to pumpkin jalapeno pesto with mozzarella cheese, roasted butternut squash, shaved parmesan, feta cheese, red bell peppers, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Veggie worshipers can dig into the ’za hangout’s Winter Harvest Greens topped with butternut squash, mixed lettuce, pear slices, feta, dried cranberries, and caramelized pecans (1000 Higuera St., SLO). Mmm … toasty!

News nibbles

Hot slurps ahead: Sweetie Cup Tea House doesn’t just serve tea and boba drinks (see this week’s drink picks). Also on the menu, you’ll find Beijing style noodles with fried beans and pork sauce, dumplings, and green tea chlorella noodles to name a few … TASTE in SLO has a plentiful range of mac ’n’ cheeses to choose from, but I highly suggest you partake in the smoked gouda sausage and bacon mac, if you have the chance and a few extra calories to spare … Bowl’d in downtown SLO is now serving up super fresh cold brew coffee to pair alongside a rainbow of healthy acai bowls … Bring your jug and fill up on delicious, dynamic, locally made Whalebird  Kombucha now available at SLO Natural Foods Cooperative (and pick up some bulk blueberry granola while you’re there).

From the vine

Blend me good: The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, in conjunction with Visit Cambria, Visit San Simeon, and the California Highway 1 Discovery Route, has announced the triumphant return of BlendFest on the Coast. On Feb. 20, the second annual BlendFest on the Coast will showcase the wines of 30 Paso Robles wineries held behind the closed gates of the Hearst property, at a San Simeon warehouse that housed Hearst’s extensive art collections (tickets are on sale now and there is a limited supply! Go to pasowine.com for info) … Remember Beaverstock, the awesome music/beer/wine/art/yoga fest held at Castoro Cellars in Templeton a few months back? Well, the winery is happy to announce that this year’s event raised $16,700 for the Templeton Education Foundation. Looks like record attendance of more than 4,000 people really made a difference! Well done to the Castoro team, and we hope local kids will find their creative voice through music, art, and drama classes as a result (castorocellars.com). 

Send your guilty pleasures to hthomas@newtimesslo.com.

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