Friends Don't Let Friends Go Thirsty

Bottoms Up!

Winter weather has finally come to the Lou, and we’re thrilled to be chilled! Snuggling up with our MacBooks, our pups, and the softest of blankets we got excited for our favorite cold weather bevs! The act of drinking, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, is a practice of camaraderie. We are all about bringing people together to share stories, laugh, and have fun. Whether you’re at a venue, a coffee shop, a local brewery, or your best friend’s house sip on these beverages and enjoy your evening!

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Bissinger’s Dulce de Leche Hot Chocolate

2 Servings |

1 Bissinger’s dulche de leche chocolate bar

1 c whole milk

Marshmallows, cocoa or chili powder (optional) {We vote marshmallow’s and of course cocoa}

Heat milk on the stove or in the microwave, and bring to a simmer; remove from heat. Break chocolate bars into squares and place in the warm milk; whisk until incorporated.

Serve in Mugs with your selected toppings by the fire! Yum!

Four Roses Bourbon

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Photo | J. Pollack Photography 

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Photo | Kieth Lee Studios

A few of our 23 CB crew took a trip toCoxs Creek this Spring to hand select one of Four Roses finest barrels that have been marked by the Master Distiller. They were forced into a difficult position; choosing the best! The team was treated to a private tasting and chose the barrel that paired best with the chocolate brought from St. Louis, courtesy of Bissinger’s of course! The 23 CB team returned home with a bit more knowledge and a lot more love for bourbon.  The hand selected Kentucky bourbon arrived at our doorstep shortly after our bags were unpacked.   We’re proud of our private labeled, non-chill filtered Single Barrel selection. Our special bourbon was aged for 7 years and 5 months and only 200 bottles were produced. We have a limited amount still for sale. Holiday gifts?! Yes please! Shoot me a note | [email protected]

 

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Photo | Kieth Lee Studios

Mississippi Mud Coffee

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Photo | Missisippi Mud Website

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Here at The Caramel Room we love our coffee! Actually If I’m being completely honest I don’t drink coffee at all, but my lovely co-workers might be slightly obsessed. Our sales team couldn’t have been more excited when our VP of Ops, Nick, told us we were going to start serving Mississippi Mud coffee!! Not only is it delicious, but we love supporting our local St. Louis businesses.

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Photo | Missisippi Mud Website

Christopher Ruess opened his small batch artisan coffee roasting company in historic Soulard in 2004. The Caramel Room has just begun serving their delicious house blend, Mississippi Mud, this month; right in time for it to warm us up from the cold weather that has just moved in. Chef Nick Miller is working with Chris and his team to create a special blend specifically for 23 CB Catering, we can’t wait to taste it!

Bissinger’s Infused Chocolate Signature Drink

Handcrafted by Our Bissinger’s Chief Chocolatier our Secret Recipe can be Tray Passed During Cocktail Hour or Later with Dessert at your event! Multiple guests have asked for our secret recipe… but we’ve decided to keep it to ourselves, sorry!

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Traditional Moscow Mule

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Made with Vodka, Spicy Ginger Beer, Lime Juice, and Garnished with a Lime and Fresh Mint from Chef Nick’s Personal Garden. We drink this year round, who said it was a summer drink?

The drink was originally presented in a copper mug so that it stood out to customers; but has it been tradition for over 60 years simply because it looks good? Nope! The copper mug keeps the drink at it’s coldest and creates that chilling sensation when the mug touches your lips. The handle of the mug will keep your warm hands away from the chilly beverage in the winter. The copper even brings out the flavors in order for it to taste better! The copper begins to oxidize as soon as the vodka touches it. When the ginger beer hits the copper it creates increased carbonation in the ginger beer… more bubbles, yes please! The citrus in the lime juice is even heightened and the acidity reduced by the copper to mix perfectly with the spicy ginger beer. But of course, we love the look too!

Local Craft Beer

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Photo | Switzerfilm

St. Louis has always been destined to be a beer town. John Adam Lemp built St. Louis’ first modest brewery on South Second Street in 1840. Today this building is known as the Lemp Mansion, however it paved the way for the future of St. Louis brewers.

We have recently installed a draft beer system here at The Caramel Room and will continuously carry 3 Local Craft Beers. Currently on draft: Schlafly Grapefruit IPA, Urban Chestnut Zwickle, and Civil Life Brown Ale. If you haven’t been lucky enough to taste these brews at The Caramel Room try visiting one of their local brewpubs for a sample.

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Good people drink good beer… cheers!

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Photo | Switzerfilm

Cheers!

Here’s to you! Bottom’s Up! Salut! Sante! Sauce! Na Zdravi! Saude! Proost!

A Love Story

Danielle and Dean's

Letters form words that create sentences turning into paragraphs, chapters, books…. The words aren’t always written on a keyboard. Sometimes the pages are adorned with life’s vocabulary and the entire story is true. Danielle and Dean’s non-fiction novel is one of those page turners that every Hollywood director wants to turn into a multi-million dollar rom com.

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The Davis’ met in the library at college. Their brains eager to memorize the chapters in their text books, amongst that distinct aroma of an old library book, Danielle and Dean unknowingly wrote the first chapter to their love story. To commemorate this special memory the bride and her mother turned old library books into gold, literally! This personal touch to accent these bright and beautiful centerpieces, by Steven Mueller Florist, brought the bride and groom’s special story to the table.

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Their guests were not only gifted Bissinger’s chocolate, but they also got to select a book from Danielle and Deano’s personal library they recreated at The Caramel Room. This was such a unique addition to their big day that had everyone swooning!

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The plot of their love story was present in all aspects of the big day including two custom Snapchat geofilters.

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Gold, shimmer, sequins, journalistic fonts, the friends that stood by their side, and the outdoor sparkler ceremony added even more charm to this special celebration of the first chapter in their new book as a married couple!

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We can’t wait to read it!

Photography | Big thanks to George Street Photo for capturing these phenomenal shots! 

Monochromatics and Metallics

We're Into Them...

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Many of the 2016 wedding trends are making our moods rise. From mixed tables to just picked and local flowers adorning the tops of them. From boho and open back dresses to marvelous websites, the list could go on and on. However, what makes us really melt are this years trending monochromatics and metallics! Mix them together to create moments and memories to last many more years.

 

We’ve got a few tips for you to become a Master of Mixing the Monos and Mets…

 

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Make sure your color theme can be carried out through your ceremony and reception sites. In other words, don’t choose to showcase your green monochromatic theme in a venue with red carpet… that is, of course, unless your dream wedding is a Christmas themed celebration!

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Don’t forget to match your food and beverage. Of course food of all one color can be boring and bland if not prepared carefully. Don’t focus on ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING matching. Feature some of your favorite items that fit your palate. Tray passing these items is a great way to ensure your master mixing skills are marveled by all.

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Multiple shades of your chosen color is the best way to nail this. Light pink, magenta, rose, mauve… you get the point. All you need is one color in a variety of shades to create that beautiful wedding you’ve been dreaming of. Mixing other trends in is ok, trust us! Blush and cream are showing up a lot right now. As seen above mixing these trending colors with the monos and mets turned out gorg! Even complimenting this already super trendy decor with yet another trend doesn’t scare us… this fabulous ombre cake by Sarah’s Cake Shop is a sweet example!

 

Moral of the story…monos, mets, mixing, matching, magenta, mauve, modern, moments, and memories all make a magical marriage! 

 

Thanks to Switzer Film for these fabulous photos!

Five Problems and Solutions You May Run Into Planning Your Big Day

The one thing that never changes in event planning is, things always change. Why not take some stress off your back and be prepared for these five hiccups that may happen.

Your longtime dream has come true. The love of your life has popped the big question and now you are a short 13 months away from your Best Day Ever! Are you freaking out about all the decisions you are now realizing you will have to make? We are here to remind you to pause and take a breath. Here are the a few examples of problems and solutions [With over 500 events completed, we’ve run into a snag or two!] that might pop up during your planning process

  1. Your preferred date is booked. Let’s face it, there are only so many Saturdays in a year, and as much as we would love to add six more Saturdays to the months of June and October, it just isn’t possible. I’m here to encourage you to keep an open mind when choosing your date. Pictures in the snow are just as enchanting as pictures in the fresh bloom of spring or with the crisp autumn colors framing your silhouettes. No matter the date, weather, or month, your day will be special because of the people you are surrounded by.
  1. The entertainment you were hoping to work with is already booked on your set date. Music is one of the most important aspects of the evening. We TOTALLY get that! However, if you are faced with this problem don’t fret, talk to your event manager or planner and ask their opinion. We have worked with a number of different entertainment vendors to know who to recommend based on your styles. Also, don’t forget to ask about cocktail hour music! If your venue has a system that can do some Pandora in house, why not save yourself that extra hour of DJ cost?
  1. Your best friend’s cousin takes pictures on the side and has offered to do yours, at a discounted rate. Let me be the first to tell you, though this is a generous offer, think long and hard before you accept it. Sure saving money here and there sounds appealing, but having a professional photographer makes an immense difference [See Blog Post Below!]. You’ll feel more comfortable critiquing and they will be able to direct you for posing the day of. There is a polite way to decline your friends’ cousin’s generous offer without sounding unappreciative.
  1. Not everyone has the same budget. You have imagined your perfect wedding for years, and Pinterest has created this ideal picture in your head of what exactly it is going to look like. When push comes to shove, weddings are expensive and you may have a limited budget. Sit down with your spouse and go over what is most important to you. What can’t you live without for your day. Talk to your planner and have them help you make your visions come to life without having to empty out your savings. Again, your day is special simply by those you are celebrating with.
  1. UH OH! Someone in your bridal party gets drunk as a skunk before the reception begins. Come’on man… hold your liquor for one more hour! It is easy to get carried away with the excitement of being in a wedding, and let me be the first to tell you, no, your bridal party is not the first to be this drunk, but it is one thing that everyone in attendance will remember. All you can do is remind them that they are standing up beside you for a reason. Reassure them that this night is going to be a blast, but at the same time, you want to make sure that everyone is present in this monumental day in your lives [which you can’t be if you’re passed out on a couch]. Being in the bridal party comes with its responsibilities, but as soon as that cake is cut and the toasts are clinked to, they can party the night away!

Thanks A Gaadt Productions for this great screen grab

Top Ten Reasons You Should Get a Videographer

Your wedding will be over before you know it, so why not give yourself the opportunity to relive that day through video?

As a vendor, we are often asked what are we forgetting? What’s the one thing that every Bride + Groom wished the had when the day was over? Well, simply put, the answer would be for the day not to be over, to be able to relive it again and again, smiling at the memory of how crazy happy you were surrounded by friends, family, and overwhelming love. So when asked, I tell my clients your wedding day is the fastest 24-hours of your life. It’ll be over before you know it so why not give yourself the opportunity to relive that day by hiring a videographer, who is going to catch all those special moments of toasts and sweet steals of kisses as well as those laughable moments like falling on the Dfloor and getting iced by your groomsmen [see video 5 please!]. There are numerous details + decisions as well as your time, efforts, and hard work that go into making your day yours, so be smart and give yourself the chance to fall in love with your wedding time and time again.

We’ve put together ten of our favorite videos just to prove to you that a videographer is the answer to that question of what you just might be forgetting because they’ll capture everything you would not want to miss:

  1. Like the excitement of the first kiss as a married couple

    Video | Mike Dalton Films

  2. Or watching your own firework fairytale every day.

    Video | Millennium Productions

  3. Oh yeah, we definitely had the best dance party ever.

    Video | Gaadt Productions

  4. Remembering that love conquers all.

    Video | Millennium Productions

  5. Yup, I’m still a badass for saying screw the heels.

    Video | Millennium Productions

  6. They actually didn’t completely embarrass us during toasts.

    Video | Tower Studios

  7. Killed the vow game.

    Video | Millennium Productions

  8. Fist bump was 100% necessary. I mean do you see her? I get to spend the rest of my life with this girl.

    Video | Switzerfilm

  9. We couldn’t leave our fur babies out!

    Video | Megyme Productions

  10. And finally the smile that never left your face as you married the one you love the most

    Video | 24 Frames

Hop on Over to the First Annual Bissinger's Bunny Brunch

Ample bunny-related activities, delicious brunch fare, and beautiful views of the riverfront and skyline are just the beginning

Join us as we celebrate Easter in grand fashion at the first annual Bissinger’s Bunny Brunch. Adults and kids of all ages will dine and celebrate in St. Louis’s newest luxury event space, The Caramel Room, located on the top floor of Bissinger’s historic new Chocolate Factory.

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Ample bunny-related activities (including painting your own Bissinger’s Chocolate Bunny with magical colored chocolate), delicious brunch fare by Executive Chef Nick Miller, and beautiful views of the riverfront and skyline are just the beginning.

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March 29th, 11-1:00 pm

  • Children (3+) Paint Their Own 8.5-oz. Chocolate Bunny with Magical Chocolate Colored Paint
  • Pictures with the Easter Bunny, Fun Coloring Activities & Face Painting
  • Complimentary Secured Parking
  • For More Information, call 1.800.325.8881; $40/person
  • Located at 1600 N Broadway, St Louis, MO 63102

To Purchase Tickets – Hop on Over Here

Sneaky Beer Geeks are Using Crafty Techniques to Sway Me

Bissinger's has with collaborated with O'Fallon Brewery to create King Louie Toffee Stout

Is craft beer edging out wine lovers like myself? Am I feeling pressured by high-end beverages that I normally find sulking on a shelf as I pass them by for something a little less filling? Two brothers and an amazing passion for their craft try to sway me.

Having little little knowledge of their craft, they patiently went over the details I needed to know, and given my busy schedule, left out the ones I didn’t. With the magical words, “Amanda, trust us, we’ll take good care of you,” they certainly did. It went so well that we doubled our order and now have them offically on our menus where clients can personalize their own love of craft beers. Even the CEO of Bissinger’s has requested the opporunity to select his three for an upcoming event he’s hosting.

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One he’ll select and hopefully become a standard on our menus is the St. Charles-based brewery O’Fallon Brewery St. Louis’ Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier has with  collaborated with O’Fallon Brewery to create King Louie Toffee Stout, which will be available in six-packs and on draft available now through March.

The full-bodied velvety stout was brewed with Magnum hops, a variety of malts, a special toffee blend recipe and hints of caramelized sugar and vanilla. The result is a balance between soft chocolate, caramel and roasted notes that highlight the toffee flavor, at 6.3 percent alcohol by volume.

This isn’t the first collaboration between the two businesses – they originally partnered in 2008 to brew a Cocoa Cream Stout and a have since created a variety of chocolate and beer pairings.

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And luckily we at The Caramel Room have just the perfect glass for these craft creations. We feel serving such special product deserves a special beer glass, and it’s not like any other beer glass. It’s a glass shaped like a beer can! We know… we know… we didn’t have to, but we did. That’s how we serve beer. The glass alone might make me a beer lover. Stay tuned for an update after a tasting at Craft Beer Cellar in Clayton. And considering they have 648 Craft Beers and 184 Craft Breweries, I would think they would have at least ONE that I’ll get hooked on! But I can already say for sure that I’m hooked on Brandon and Ryan from Craft Beer Cellar!

If you’re interested in meeting these fine two “beer geeks” and giving them the opportunity to sway you, they’re located at 8113 Maryland Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105 or you can click here to sadly leave us and check out their site.

Our Sweet Ride

As we near completion of this amazing space and we reflect on the process, we’re in awe of all of those who impacted this project

What started as the vision of one man, one family, and one company developed into a very sweet ride. With ups and well… more ups (no downs) The Caramel Room at Bissinger’s was born. We had a raw and unloved historic building in an area pleading for growth and a company that already had growth, it seemed the perfect pairing. Not unlike the perfect bite of Bissinger’s with the perfect sip of a fine wine, the two just made sense.

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As we near completion of this amazing space and we reflect on the process, we’re in awe of all of those who impacted this project. It’s not one person, one company, one designer it’s everyone who internally challenged themselves to push beyond the expected. It was the wedding planner with courage to trust, the bride and groom who believes in sweet dreams and the corporations who sought out something different and unique and were walking with us through this amazing undertaking. Like a kite, the kite is nothing without wind. The before mentioned are the breeze who sent us into a direction of success.

It’s so exciting to walk into the space each day and see what new item gets a check mark of competition. Showing off the space to potential clients now verses the spring or summer gets easier and easier. The vision is coming together for sure. Thank you seems trite, so for you, we say well done. You’ve created something so spectacular and scrumptious and we are thrilled to finally share it with the world.

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The Caramel Room team always ensures a wonderful culinary experience for each and every guest.

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Katie Turner – Owner, Kate & Company, LLC