107. Brandy Cocktail

Top Down Brandy Cocktail

Well, I’ve found my new favorite cocktail. Just a variation on a theme, but this is a delicious drink, and one I will start ordering in bars to see if anyone will make one for me. As with the Gin Cocktail, there is both a regular and a “Fancy” version, made the same but presented differently, and that will be posted in short order as well.

I talked about Brandy Clark last time I had a drink that involved the word “Brandy,” and while she did release a new music video recently, this time I’ll talk about the very slightly more appropriate Brandy. I don’t really know who any of these people are in this article, or really what they’re talking about, but the general theme is that social media is awkward, and deleting things is useless because it’ll always get out there either way.

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111. Gin Cocktail

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It’s time for another twofer! The first is this Gin Cocktail, and the second (tomorrow’s) will be the Fancy Gin Cocktail, which is the same but served slightly differently. I’m not entirely sure why these count as two separate drinks, but I guess he can do what he wants.

While this will not be keyword-y and punny, the big news story of this week is of course the Brexit, with continuing ramifications as the days go on. In short, Britain voted to leave the European Union soon, causing stocks and currencies to tumble, and generally uncertainty and despair. Also a sad commentary on what “real” people think about politics. However, I learned today that the vote isn’t actually the final word on this — they could hold another vote, or just… not do it. Apparently. Not that that wouldn’t also cause many issues, but it’s an interesting thought. So, uh, drink gin and contemplate.

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Abita Abbey Ale – News Flash

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Having recently been to New Orleans, when I came across an Abita I hadn’t yet had in BevMo, I had to check it out.

The Abbey Ale is an 8.0% Belgian dubbel, and, like most of Abita’s brews, was very tasty. Sweet and a little funky like the dubbels I’m used to, it also had nice spice notes (they say cloves on the bottle, which I couldn’t name but seemed to fit), and it was easy to drink despite the high alcohol content. Whether that last point is a point for or a point against is up to you. It was a nice dark color as well, looking very regal in our chalices. It didn’t have as big of a head as I was expecting, but it was still bubbly so I didn’t mind.

It was also pretty cheap, so definitely check it out. Only downside is that it only comes in 22oz bottles, which are a little less manageable than more normal sizes. And, what’s more, every bottle gives 25 cents to St. Joseph’s Abbey, which is presumably some nice monks in New Orleans? I have chosen not to research, in case I find out it isn’t…

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Liebster Award!

liebsterawardBack in January (I’m slow, sorry!) I was nominated for the Liebster Award by the presumably Canadian Winnipeg Arts, Hearts and Smarts. It took me this long to get to this post, but I’m still excited.

Encouragement and recognition from peers carries a special meaning. Someone out there with similar blogging goals and aspirations took the time to read your blog and prepare the nomination (which is no easy piece of work as I am learning.)

Liebster Award Acceptance Rules:

  • Thank your nominator.
  • Share the award on your blog.
  • Answer the 10 questions asked to you.
  • Ask 10 questions to 10 new nominees.
  • Notify them.

Here are the questions I was asked:

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2. Brandy Punch

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In theory, I would start with the first recipe. But this book has the confusing method of starting the section with a vague description of how best to make whatever particular type of drink it’s discussing (in this case punches) and then with the first real recipe ignoring everything that came before. But since this is the first concrete recipe, I’m going to do it, and then maybe go back to #1 once all of the punches are complete. Then maybe I’ll understand what he’s trying to get me to do. Maybe.

In the real world, Brandy Clark released a new single on Friday. Brandy Clark is pretty much the greatest — she’s written songs for essentially all of the biggest country stars (and the ones who are less huge but probably better, like Kacey Musgraves), and also has a really good album, 12 Stories, which you should check out. It’s on Spotify! Her new album is coming out in April. This has been a PSA from your friendly Boozy Newsie.

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2. Brandy Punch

(Use large bar glass.)

  • 1 table-spoonful raspberry syrup. [Made this from this Imbibe recipe.]
  • 2 do. white sugar. [so as not to have to put a note every time from now on, I’m going to replace the do. (ditto) with the actual amount.]
  • 1 wine-glass water. [2 oz.]
  • 1½ wine-glass brandy. [I’m also going to adjust to modern measurements. This one’s 3 oz.]
  • ½ small-sized lemon.
  • 2 slices of orange.
  • 1 piece of pine-apple.
  • Fill the tumbler with shaved ice, shake well, and dress the top with berries in season; sip through a straw. [Again, no straw, and I used some raspberries to match the syrup.]

Only thing I’d add here is that I decided rather than using the lemon as a garnish, he meant to squeeze the juice in. The pineapple I put in the glass early so some of the juice should have gotten in as well, but everything else was garnish.

Brandy Punch Prep

Tasting Notes:

BN: You can taste all the elements and they meld well. It’s not super sweet, which is odd because there’s both syrup and sugar in there, but I really like it! The best of the ones I made today.

PiC: It’s almost whiskey sourish, but fresher. That’s GOOD. It’s like a Sour Patch Kid in a drink! The raspberry and the sourness match to be just like the candy. We should remember this one.

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Bonus shot of raspberry syrup:

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125. Port Wine Sangaree

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My first thought upon seeing this particular recipe was that it was going to be like a sangria, due to the name. But it turns out that a) it’s not, and b) Sangaree is an older term for a rather vague set of cocktails from either the Antilles or Spain. Apparently, and this makes sense and I can’t imagine why I didn’t notice it before, it’s because they are usually reddish, and therefore look like blood (sangre in Spanish). Yay for etymology!

Anyways, I don’t really like port, but I thought that this might be a good start for good old Jerry, to see if he knows what he’s talking about. And he does! Though simple, this recipe brings out some good flavors and makes it easy to drink the spirit.

And, today, during a demonstration held in support of migrants, a number of protestors illegally boarded a ferry in the PORT of Calais, suspending operations. Just another event in a series caused by more and more migrants streaming into Europe from the Middle East. Luckily, this one does not appear to have been a bloody interchange. So, as the Spanish would say, no SANGRIENTA.

I’m both hilarious and informative.

This, and all recipes will be copied verbatim from the 1862 edition, with comments in italics.

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Port Wine Sangaree

(Use small bar glass.)

  • 1½ wine-glass of port wine [A wine-glass is equal to 2 oz., ish, so this is 3 oz.]
  • 1 teaspoonful of sugar.
  • Fill tumbler two-thirds with ice.
  • Shake well and grate nutmeg on top.

I’ve encountered this problem where he doesn’t really specify between a mixing glass (I think that’s what he means by tumbler) and the final delivery vessel. Perhaps I’ll figure it out soon, but for now I combined ingredients and shook in a Boston shaker, then poured into ice in the glasses, adding the nutmeg after.

Port Prep

Tasting Notes:

BN: I liked this — it didn’t taste medicine-y like a lot of port I’ve had (which, generally, I hate), and the sugar somehow made me like it better, even though port is usually too sweet for me. I couldn’t really taste the nutmeg, but maybe I didn’t put enough in.

PiC: I liked this. I don’t know much about port, but I could taste the nutmeg at the end of the sip. It’s good!

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The No Power Hour – Earth Hour

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If you know what Earth Hour is, hopefully you’re not on your computer reading this right now! That is, if I manage to post it in time. For those of you that don’t, it’s basically a world-wide (supposedly 7,000 cities) show of support for conservation, climate change awareness, etc., sponsored by the WWF. For an hour (8:30–9:30 local time) everyone shuts off the lights, both in their own homes and on big monuments like the National Cathedral, the Santa Monica Pier Ferris wheel, and so on. And so it’s cool! The first one I took part in was in 2009, I think, in London, and it was surprisingly cool to wander around and see things like Nelson’s column and the National Gallery all pitch black. So, to commemorate the occasion, here’s a drink, with ingredients that seem somewhat natural and earthy (including limes from a bush that grows in my yard!).

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The No Power Hour

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 4 oz coconut water
  • 2 oz pomegranate juice
  • 0.5 oz lime juice (fresh is best)
  • lime wedge for garnish

I initially mixed everything but the pomegranate juice together, in hopes of layering the pomegranate on the bottom and making a cool sunrise-y type look, but that didn’t work at all. So, you can ignore that, mix everything together and garnish with the lime wedge. I really need to work on drinks that have more fun techniques.

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Tasting Notes:

BN: I like this! The weirdest thing is that it doesn’t taste like alcohol at all, when I specifically made it a little stronger so that it would get you through that dark hour of potentially nothing to do… But it tastes good! A lot of coconut flavor with a little acid from the pomegranate and lime. I wish it looked a little more interesting, but then again if you’re drinking it in the dark it shouldn’t matter too much.

PiC: I think coconut water tastes like human sweat, so I didn’t love that part of it… But it was better than coconut water usually is, and if I liked coconut water I’d probably be super into it. As it stands, it’s very pretty.

The Red Carpet – The Academy Awards

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It’s the Oscars! Time for me to lose $10 with my extremely researched ballot that never manages to win. In the meantime, let’s drink to all of the nominees, and the winners-to-be.

When I think of the Oscars, I think of gold, red, and actors and actresses drinking weird health drinks. I also wanted to try alcoholic kombucha, and this was an excuse. Not that bad!

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The Red Carpet

Dip a champagne flute in the ginger syrup, and rim it with the sugar sprinkles. Mix the kombucha, champagne, and syrup in a separate glass (lightly stir, since they’re bubbly), and then pour it into the glass over the back of a spoon (this makes it easier not to mess up the rim).

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Tasting Notes

BN: I really liked this! It was sweet and strawberry-y, and brought together the three tastes in a surprising way (I thought the kombucha was very strawberry itself, but it wasn’t really, not without the other flavors. They actually built on each other very nicely. It’s a tad sweet for something I would drink every day, but for a special, movie-related occasion, it was perfect!

PiC: This was awesome – so pretty and sweet but not too sweet with just a tiny hint of the ginger. I would drink a thousand of these and then be dead. In fact, make me another one right now.