Jalapeño Lemonade

Jalapeno Lemonade - Hero

Oy, I am so behind. So much travel! Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up in the coming weeks. We’ll see. Anyways, here’s a super tasty drink I made for a recent party, not from Jerry Thomas but from some other Jerry named Jerry James Stone. God bless the internet.

Well, the big news here I think is Comey’s spicy testimony before Congress about his dealings with President Trump. Yes, Comey got fired, but he came off very well in this proceeding – well spoken and clear. Now, everybody knows his name, whereas at least I certainly didn’t before this year. And he got 19.5 million viewers, at least! When life gives you lemons (pink slips), make lemonade (tell the truth)! [Those are both real stretches, I apologize.]

Jalapeno Lemonade Ingredients

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229. Drink for the Dog Days

#229 Drink for the Dog Days

This would probably be better suited for another time in the year, given the title, but I wanted to try out another of his “Temperance Drinks” because they’re usually relatively interesting. And it was!

Well, for the news that keeps dogging Trump, the Comey business will not end! Now the Senate Oversight Committee (both Republicans and Democrats) is requesting all records of any conversations President Trump and former FBI Director Comey had, whether or not they involved threats, loyalty pledges, coercion, state secrets, etc… Hopefully something good will come of this.

#229 Drink for the Dog Days Ingredients

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News Flash – Greenbar Distillery

Greenbar Distillery

This past weekend, the PiC and I took a tour of Downtown LA’s Greenbar Distillery. Prior to the visit, I had known that they existed, but didn’t know how old they were (I thought it was just a couple of years, but actually they started in 2004), and also that they were responsible for a number of different brands of spirits which I had seen, but not tasted.

The tour was about an hour long, and our guides took us through the history of the company, the equipment they used (including the pictured super fancy still which had an even fancier name that I don’t remember now), and their general outlook on life. We also got to try tiny samples of what amounted to nine different spirits, plus five types of bitters. As I wasn’t taking notes, this will be mostly a visual post.

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114. Jersey Cocktail

#114 Jersey Cocktail - Hero

Another cider concoction this week. This is actually the original cocktail that the 115. Soda Cocktail was based on, just with cider instead of soda water. I guess they must have drank this in New Jersey?

There was a big thunderstorm that rolled into New Jersey Friday night, which I found a number of stories on. However, that’s a pretty lame piece of nes. But, what happened during the dark stormy night? That’s a little more interesting. Someone dumped a body on a residential street, wrapped up Laura-Palmer-style in a bag. Did anyone hear or see anything? “Residents said they could only hear thunder and lighting last night, and heard nothing else out of the ordinary.” MYSTERIOUS!

#114 Jersey Cocktail Ingredients

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209. Stone Fence

#209 Stone Fence - Hero

Back to Jerry Thomas! Finally! That’s all I’ve got in the way of an introduction this week. But it’s good to be back. I will say, however, that I really like this name for a cocktail, even though it is not super descriptive, and even though I kind of hated the cocktail itself.

In fence news, some Virginian convicts discovered this weekend that breaking out of prison is harder in real life than it is in the movies. They used a propped up bench to start their climb over two razor wire fences, but quickly got so tired and frustrated that they just sat down and waited to be apprehended. Wah wah.

#209 Stone Fence Ingredients

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News Flash – Mammoth Brewing Company (Update!)

One more travel post and then I think I should be back to actual cocktails next week (next Monday to be exact). This week’s post, though, is a bit of a new feature. Almost exactly a year ago, I visited Mammoth Brewing Company in Mammoth, CA, and sampled all of their beers. And, last week, I visited again! Many of the old classics were still there, but there were a few new concoctions that I’ll discuss below. So, consider this a companion piece to the old entry.

The Originals

Golden Trout Pilsner

Golden Trout Pilsner – 5.5%

This was there last year. Still just sort of a typical pilsner. Very drinkable but I didn’t love it this time. Unlike last time, apparently.

Golden Trout Pilsner

Yosemite Pale Ale – 5.5%

This may have been there last year? There was a pale ale, but it was called “Paranoids Pale Ale.” It seems from my comments that it might be the same thing but renamed. Piney nose, strong hops but not overpowering.

Wild Sierra Session Saison

Wild Sierra Session Saison Ale – 4.5%

Either I’ve learned a lot about beer in the past year or my tastes have changed. I liked this a lot, as a basic belgian style ale. There was a hint of pine in the aftertaste (that was supposed to be the main flavor) but not a huge amount of uniqueness otherwise. Again, this is different from how I described it last time.

Double Nut Brown Porter

Double Nut Brown Porter – 5.5%

This was there last year, but in the meantime I’ve discovered an interesting distinction — we had this bottled, earlier in the week, and I liked it a lot as a smooth deep coffee and chocolate porter. However, on tap, the coffee comes out even stronger and so does the bitterness. You lose the caramel and toffee notes, and as such I really didn’t like it much. I wonder what the difference is… maybe just the batch?

Epic India Pale Ale

Epic India Pale Ale – 6.5%

This was there last year. And, I made the same comment I made this time — I don’t love the taste but it was the perfect color for beer. It’s what you picture when you think of a pint.

IPA 395

IPA 395 India Pale Ale – 8.0%

There last year, still great. Such a weird mix of flavors, but the sage tempers the bitterness and makes it very tasty.

Imperial Root Beer

Imperial Root Beer – Non-Alcoholic

Technically we had this last year, separately, but it wasn’t part of the tasting. This was incredibly sweet, and much more like a cola or even cream soda (vanilla) than root beer. As such I kind of liked it. It still smelled like root beer, but was a very different taste.

The Seasonals

XCitra Session IPA

XCitra Session IPA – 4.0%

This was new, and was also horrible. Smelled and tasted incredibly hoppy, and was weird and thin and I hated it.

Dos Osos

Dos Osos – 7.5%

We had this before. Still good, with a strong coffee nose but a nice cinnamon-y taste. A good weight and thickness while still remaining crisp.

Orange You A Peelin' Porter

Orange You A’Peeling Porter – 5.5%

This was new as well — though they had a blood orange flavored IPA last year. This had a super interesting, almost savory smell. Tastewise, there was a lot going on but it actually worked really well together. So much so that I couldn’t pull out individual flavors.

Gooseberry Sour

Gooseberry Sour – 7.0%

We had this last year, but it was still really good. Smelled like cranberry or concord grape juice, and was easy to drink despite being a sour. Like kombucha, almost, or that French fizzy lemonade. Yum.

The PiC and I agreed that those last two seasonals were our favorites, and the first seasonal was by far the worst. And, I’ll definitely come back in another year’s time to see what else is new! Stay tuned for part 3.

News Flash – Sweet Basil

I’ve been traveling a lot recently, which leads to many more reviews and many fewer actually created cocktails. For that I apologize, and the good news is I’ll be back home for at least one weekend this month and so should have time to stock up on some new recipes. Until then, let’s talk about Vail.

We had the opportunity to visit Vail, CO, at the end of March. You may have already seen my post on Vail Brewing Company but what, you might say, about the cocktails? Well, we had a spectacular meal at Sweet Basil (which you can read more about at the PiC’s blog) which was accompanied by some equally fantastic cocktails.

Re-Fig-Ured Manhattan

Re-Fig-Ured Manhattan – George Dickel Whisky, Amaro Spiced Fig Jam, Orange Zest

This was a very tasty drink. I’ve had a fig Old Fashioned before, and to be honest it wasn’t great. However, this blended the elements together in a much better way (no clot of jam at the bottom of the glass) and was refreshingly sweet and flavorful. It was just bitter enough, just sweet enough, had just enough alcohol bite.

Beso del Diablo

Beso Del Diablo – Habañero Silver Tequila, Cointreau, Lime, Blood Orange Puree, Licor 43

This was the star of the meal (so much so that, after the PiC ordered one as her first drink, I ordered one as my second). It was a great margarita-esque drink, but with a few important differences. For one, Licor 43 is mostly vanilla flavored, and so that plus the blood orange gave good body to the drink, but not enough to be a creamsicle. And, more importantly perhaps, the tequila was insanely spicy. This forced you to sip and savor this drink, more so than you might have otherwise. And, like any good spicy salsa, the habañeros actually lent a fair bit of their flavor to the mix, too, resulting in a perfect accompaniment to an amazing meal.

In sum, if you’re ever in Vail, please check this place out. If I’m ever back, I will definitely go again, if only to sit at the bar and drink a few more cocktails.