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07 September 2011 @ 07:16 pm
The Banana Sinclair

1 oz clear rum
1 oz banana rum
1/4 oz coco lopez or coconut milk
1/4 oz pulp-free orange juice
1/4 very ripe banana or 2 Tbsp banana nectar
1 cup ice

combine all ingredients in blender, process until smooth. For additional consistency, pour into mixing glass, and strain into cocktail glass.

In honor of re-watching Babylon 5, with a nod to Sinclair's successor John Sheridan (by replacing pineapple juice with orange juice).

A regular Sinclair would be omit the banana rum and banana, a Peach Sinclair would replace banana rum with peach schnapps and add 1 Tbsp peach syrup or 2 Tbsp peach nectar.
23 July 2011 @ 11:11 pm
1 1/2 oz Cherry flavored Vodka
1 Tbsp Cherry syrup (recipe to follow)
1 Tbsp lime juice

1 lime twist
1 slice cucumber
sprig lemon balm or mint

Fill DOF glass with ice cubes, place lime twist and cucumber on top, while pouring over syrup, alcohol, and juice. Top off with club soda, stir. Garnish with lemon balm.

Cherry syrup:
2 cups water
heaping 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1 tsp lemon juice (fresh)

roughly chop cherries and simmer, for around 20-30 minutes, until they have significantly lost their color and the water is aromatic. Drain water through sieve into new container, squeeze cherries to liberate any trapped water; discard pulp. There should be around 1 1/4-1 1/3 of liquid left. add equal amount of sugar, reheat to dissolve sugar, add lemon juice, and store.
28 April 2011 @ 12:36 am
Name/Label: High Country Blowing Rock Ale
Type/Varietal: Ale
Source/Appellation: Boone, NC
Year: hahahahaha
Price Paid: USD$7.99/6
Purchase Location: Charlotte NC
Rating: 4/5

Hey guys, remember me? I realized that I hadn't updated this at all in over a year. Even though I've been drinking new things. So I'll try to get going on this again.

Colorado, despite having a high opinion of itself as far as beer was concerned, had really, really terrible beer. It was typically either grotesquely overhopped and tasted like a sewer, or was really watery and flavorless (I'm looking at you, Fat Tire). There were exceptions, of course. New Belgium typically made some really delightful things if you excluded Fat Tire; 1554 was one of my personal favorites. Overall though, I can't say that the number of honestly good Colorado beers could be easily counted on one hand. Avery was good, but so overpriced that I never felt motivated to buy it.

North Carolina, on the other hand, makes practically all good beers. There are a ton of microbreweries here, and I can't say I've yet had a bad one. The Duck Rabbit, particularly, makes a Milk Stout that is absolutely unbelievable; one of the most delicious beers I have ever had in my life. High Country is apparently another example of this. Hailing from the well known and cosmopolitan mountain town of Boone, it takes the classic microbrew "ale" style and... well... actually makes it good. It's got a very good flavor, and balanced hops, and has a really nice flowery and caramely flavor, and is hardly bitter at all.

There seems to be a thing where a lot of North Carolina beers are brewed in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. This stuff says on the bottle that it's brewed there, and there's another brewery called "Carolina Brewery" that also apparently has their beer made in Wilkes-Barre. So I have no idea whether it's more properly a Pennsylvania beer? Or North Carolina? It's weird. I don't get it. But it's good. It's an unfiltered beer, so it's weird and opaque like a wheat beer, and actually tastes more like a wheat beer (like Blue Moon), than a regular microbrew; I have no idea if they use wheat as an adjunct in this or if it's just well-made. But if you're interested in North Carolina beers (Pennsylvania?), you could do much worse than this one.
24 April 2010 @ 12:29 am
I haven't been posting recently even though I have had some good drinks, so let me post a recipe. It is called

The Janky Old FashionedCollapse )
20 January 2010 @ 11:13 pm
Name/Label: Bud Light & Clamato
Type/Varietal: Chelada
Source/Appellation: n/a
Year: hahahahaha
Price Paid: USD$2.50
Purchase Location: Louisville, CO
Rating: 3/5

Bud Light is probably one of the most repugnant beers on the market. I mean, it's not as bad as like, Green Light, Rolling Rock, Steel Reserve, or crap like that. But my god, it's bad. I usually can't even finish a can of it if it's freezing cold and I have the flu and can't taste anything.

This can says "Bud Light & Clamato with salt and lime THE PERFECT COMBINATION. While a claim like that is easily contestable, I will say this. It tastes more like a bloody caesar than anything else. A lot of people from Michigan have probably had a bloody caesar, due to our proximity to Wayne Gretzky. And I like bloody caesars. In other words, this is about as good as pouring tomato juice and clam juice into Bud Light can be. But it's also a little spicy, like it's got hot sauce. And of course, salt and lime. It's actually really tasty, despite the bad taste of the beer. I'd buy it again. But when Cherie tried it she was not impressed. So, if you like salty beer and clams, I'd give it a shot!

I'd say what's most disturbing about it is not the flavor, which is actually exactly what you might imagine it to be (Cherie remarked that you can taste every ingredient), but the fact that it's artificially colored to be this weird pale pink color. It sort of reminds me of that pink gel that Ed Harris breathes in The Abyss. Or perhaps the 80's remake of The Blob. You're drinking The Blob. Think about that. And have it with something that is NOT salty. But yeah, MUCH better than I imagined it was going to be.
29 December 2009 @ 06:49 pm
Name/Label: Black Box
Type/Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Source/Appellation: "California"
Year: 2007
Price Paid: USD$20
Purchase Location: Louisville, CO
Rating: 4/5

I usually consider a bottle of wine a "single serving," because wine is so easily spoiled, and it never lasts more than a couple days even if you have a vacuum sealer, argon, and any of the other wine keepers you can get. But that usually results in getting Real Drunk™, which is not usually something you want to do often. Many companies are taking a hint from the French and starting to package good wines in boxes (actually in plastic bladders inside boxes) not only to save on packaging but also because it keeps wine better. Black Box is one of those. Usually, boxed wine is in the domain of the cheapest-of-the-cheap, but this is different. It is actually good wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon is sort of the acid test, literally, of cheap wine. Bad Cabernet is sour, acidic, tannic, and just plain vinegary tasting. Fortunately, this isn't gross and acidic at all, and in fact has a lot of GOOD qualities of Cabernet; a slight mineral edge, strong preserved fruit, mild acid, and mild tannins.

On the nose, you pick up more alcohol than you taste, but more of a sort of port wine, earthy, leathery alcohol than a "rubbing alcohol" or overly powerful alcohol smell, like you get with cheaper ones. It doesn't burn or tingle, but is just pleasant. Drinking out of a large, wide rimmed glass with my nose entirely inside, it's not bothersome at all. Very strong cranberry and blackberry.

The taste is blackberry jam, balsamic, and a little stewed strawberry, tempered by nice tawny port "aged" flavor, but the largest single note is ripe black plum. The tannic acid is surprisingly minimal, leading to a less drying or burning afternote and more lasting fruits. It's less of a good food wine unless you've got very strong food to go with it, and no sour or acidic flavors because that would clash. I'd say the way I've enjoyed it the most is an after-dinner socializing drink, or with strong aged cow cheeses, or young goat or sheep cheeses. Instead of having port or brandy or sherry after dinner, just switch from whatever dinner wine you've been having to the Black Box and I don't think you'll regret it. And, in 3 liter boxes, you're probably not going to run out. And if you do you should probably lay out some blankets on the floor and let all your guests stay the night. I don't see any reason to not just have this around all the time, especially because I don't ever feel the pressure of drinking more to try to enjoy it the most; I can have half a glass and leave it alone for days.
28 December 2009 @ 11:41 pm
Name/Label: Jacqueline Blanc de Blancs Brut
Type/Varietal: Blanc de Blancs
Source/Appellation: Cognac, France
Year: N/A
Price Paid: USD$7
Purchase Location: Superior, CO
Rating: 3/5

This company is based in the commune of Cognac, which is also the region where the famous brandy is produced. Surprise. Therefore it is not Champagne, since it is not from the Champagne region, but only sparkling wine. There is plenty of sparkling wine made in France that is not Champagne, and therefore if you hear anybody talking about drinking "champagne," even if it is French, that is not from the Champagne region, you should slap them. For instance, on the Loire the commune of Vouvray makes a wonderful sparkling wine. Anyway, this is from Cognac.

On the nose, it is very, very sugar sweet, like honey syrup, or really, like Pineau des Charentes. There are strong apple and pear notes just like in other Cognac products, especially young ones. However, on the palate the sweetness disappears completely and is actually a quite dry wine. The apple remains, but a tart, green apple, which is very pleasant. However, the aftertaste is excessively tannic and is more reminiscent of old, slightly rotten apples, or a more mealy variety like Red Delicious.

A good blanc de blancs has nice toasty, yeasty notes at the end; this has slightly cloying and bitter notes that completely destroy the subtle and toasty notes it may have had and turns sour. Paired with a sweet and strong food like quiche (which is what I'm having, loaded with caramelized shallots), this effect is minimized, but by itself the sourness can become overwhelming. However, even despite this terrible aftertaste, it continues to have a lingering apple note on the tongue, unlike proper Champagne which tends to have a more clean finish.

If this was over the $15 marker, I would have rated it a 2, but the very low price (comparable with bottom-shelf American sparkling wines that are absolute filth), it is an exceptional bargain from a region not usually associated with sparkling wine production and a much better quality than its partners in price.
15 November 2009 @ 02:13 pm
NEVER buy sweet and sour mix from the store. It's always nasty corn syrup sweet artificial crap. Do you have a leftover wine or liquor bottle? Clean it out real well, keep it on hand for things like this. My favorite bottles are Pimm's bottles, the neck has a little bulb that makes it easy to grip and you can run the bottle through the washer and use a razor to scrape off the label.

Anyway, mix together a cup of water and a cup of sugar in a pan and bring to a boil slowly, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved, and measure it, just to be sure. It should come out to be JUST about 1 3/4 cups of syrup.

You'll also need the same in lemon and lime juice, from concentrate is fine but fresh squeezed is better, albeit more expensive. In order to make it easier, I'll put in a half cup of each, then a quarter cup of each, then an eighth cup of each. If you're using fresh squeezed, you'll want to strain the juice through cheesecloth or fine mesh. This will fill up the 750 ml bottle to just about the top. Then you can use it for such delicious things as amaretto sours, whiskey sours, margaritas, and easy things like lemonade (I'll even pour a bit into a glass of coke).
09 October 2009 @ 10:03 pm
Name/Label: Tilia
Type/Varietal: Malbec
Source/Appellation: Mendoza
Year: 2008
Price Paid: USD$9
Purchase Location: Louisville, CO
Rating: 4/5

Malbec is one of the Bordeaux grapes, and is very tannic and sharp in flavor and thrives in high heat and bright sun, so it is particularly suited for places like South America, South Africa, Australia, and California, and Malbecs from those places tend to be pretty tasty.

This particular Malbec stays to form being tannic and sharp, with bright and sour flavors reminiscent of red currants, plum, and blackberries, but also maduro cigar and dry leather. The tannin is very strong, and only gets stronger as it airs, so drink soon after opening and in a small glass, like a sangiovese glass, not a cabernet or merlot glass.

It's a very big wine, so drink with something strong flavored and musky, or garlicky and spicy.
25 September 2009 @ 01:10 am
Name/Label: 30-30
Type/Varietal: Tequila Blanco
Source/Appellation: Guadalajara, duh.
Year: n/a
Price Paid: USD$20
Purchase Location: Boulder, CO
Rating: 4/5

I don't know shit about tequila. We decided we wanted some because margaritas are amazing but when we made it to the tequila aisle in Liquormart were just like "uhhhhh uhhhhh" so I had basically two criteria: under $25 and not really shady looking. We decided on the 30-30 because it had a little tag under it that said "89 points!" I didn't even look at who rated it or what that meant. Generally if it has a rating it's at least, you know, legit, and not like turbo creepy. And more importantly it was $20.

What I look for in a tequila, since I don't know anything about them, are basically a good smell and a good taste. Duh. Tequila always has this rich, sweet, floral smell and usually you can tell when it's gross just by seeing how much gasoline you smell along WITH the floral smell. This stuff smells really good, like I want to wear it as perfume good, and there is no alcohol smell at all, even when i stick my nose all the way in to the glass.

It has a pleasant burn, but it's not overpowering, even when I roll it around my mouth, and the taste is toasty and fruity and floral and again, hardly any "fusel" alcohol taste at all, just a pretty clean alcoholic burn without much of a hideous lingering bitter aftertaste, just the agave. Most importantly, it blends REALLY well (with margaritas), and complements the lime and salt flavors like tequila should.

As little as I know about tequila, this stuff is very affordable and one of the better ones I've tasted, and certainly quite a few steps above Jose Cuervo for only a few dollars more. I'd buy again.