American Light Beers – Special Report

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Over the Memorial Day weekend, we decided to add an additional element to our Monday celebration. We took five American light beers, and did a blind shootout with 5 friends and family members to see if we could tell the difference, and to see if we liked any of them. [Spoiler alert: no and no.] The blind shootout is an idea we stole from the guys over at the Totally Beverages and Sometimes Hot Sauce podcast (GFY). Go check it out if you haven’t heard of them. If you’re a fan of this blog, you’ll probably enjoy that as well.

The shootout was much harder to implement than I had expected. We had to match up each beer with a label on the bottom (a different number of dots for each one) and label 7 cups with the same label on their bottoms. Then we poured each beer in to the appropriate cups, and swapped each row around with others until we had no idea which column of cups went with which beer. Since we couldn’t see the labels, this wasn’t too hard, especially since all the beers looked the same in the glass, but it still took a few rounds of “one person leaves the room and the other mixes them around.”

So what did we test? Well, this was partially decided by what was available in the store. I am a weirdly proud fan of classic Budweiser (not Bud Light) but unfortunately there weren’t enough small quantities of normal beer [What is the opposite of light beer? Full beer?] so we went with the light ones:

  • Bud Light
  • Miller Lite
  • Coors Light
  • Michelob Ultra
  • Natural Light

Continue reading “American Light Beers – Special Report”

109. Whiskey Cocktail

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I finally got my gum syrup! Which allowed me to start testing out a whole number of new cocktails from Jerry Thomas, including the following classic. Generally, this is regarded as one of the earlier recipes for what ended up becoming the Old Fashioned. So, yum. Of course, it’s not called the Old Fashioned because it wasn’t old-fashioned yet. And, the gum syrup is really not necessary, if you don’t have it, but it does add some nice smoothness.

There is really very little in the news that’s not cocktail related. I tried “old fashioned,” too, and that was way too broad. So, instead, let’s see what I can spin. Mainly, I just want to wish everyone a great Memorial Day — remember those who have fallen, and also have a good old-fashioned barbecue! This is a classic American drink, so it seems only right to post it today.

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109. Whiskey Cocktail

(Use small bar glass.) [He kind of contradicts this later. I say, use a rocks glass.]

  • 3 or 4 dashes of gum syrup. [Again, you can use simple syrup if you don’t have gum syrup.
  • 2 dashes bitters (Bogart’s). [“Bogart’s” is a corruption of “Boker’s,” which did not exist for a while, and only fairly recently came back. I don’t have this, so I used the classic Angostura. Supposedly should be a little more cardamom-y, maybe.]
  • 2 oz. of whiskey, and a piece of lemon peel.
  • Fill one-third full of fine ice; shake and strain in a fancy red wine-glass.

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Tasting Notes:

BN: This was nice. I mean, it was pretty much an Old Fashioned so honestly there’s not much to say. I missed the big ice cube typical of the OF nowadays, but the gum syrup made it a little smoother, and melded the flavors better together than I’ve seen previously with OFs. Stay tuned, as I’m going to make a post all about comparing gum syrup to simple syrup.

PiC: This was good, if you like that sort of thing. Which I don’t.

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The Summer Daze – Memorial Day

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Happy summer everyone! Right now I’m in Palm Springs and it is appropriately hot and sunny. So, a drink to celebrate the new season, whether it’s already arrived where you are, or if it’s coming soon.

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The Summer Daze

  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz key lime juice
  • 10 drops “Lindsay” pecan, habanero, magnolia bitters (I understand if you don’t have this; the spice and nut flavors are the most important so many substitutions can apply)
  • 4-5 oz apple soda (this I found at a craft cocktail festival, but there are definitely many options I’ve seen)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a glass with ice.
  2. Stir gently to mix.
  3. Enjoy, while poolside with a giant inflatable donut.

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Tasting Notes:

BN: I liked this more than the individual ingredients. The apple soda which was too strong and candy-esque (tasted just like a Jolly Rancher) was nicely tempered by the lime, and altogether it was a really nice summer drink. Sort of like a slightly appley margarita. The bitters are AWESOME, and if you can get your hands on them, do! 

PiC: I love tequila, and I love key lime, so the chances were good that I would like this – and I did. It was almost like drinking sour apple candy (big fan of the sour candy over here) but still crisp and refreshing. I would drink many of these.