Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday Boozeday: BEER-witzer!

Tuesday Boozeday continues......

Had to take last week off, my apologies, due to the last minute arrival of friends from out of town, unexpected and totally welcome.  But we are back with the latest edition, this time featuring a twist on one of my families favorite cocktails, The French 75.  Now a traditional French 75 is made with gin, simple syrup, lemon juice and then topped off with champagne.  My family loves a good cocktail, in fact, I could pour a perfect martini by the time I was six (no comments, please, my parents are great!).  One Christmas, we were all home from college with friends over.  We decided to mix up a batch of these from a recipe that we found in Gourmet (my mom was an avid subscriber).  The next day,  we promptly renamed them HOWITZERS, because they kicked our ass.  So imbibe with caution, this is a sipper for celebrations.

I've renamed it the beerwitzer, since we are going to sub beer in for the champagne.  I always have at least three bottles of champagne in the fridge (because there is always a reason to celebrate SOMETHING), but for some beer is usually more available.  I suggest a nice Belgian style ale for this one, that subtle sweetness and nice yeastiness is going to be a great match....as well as a nice contrast to the herbiness of the gin and tartness of the lemon.  I picked Farmhand from Brewery Vivant for it's pleasant lemon quality, nice carbonation, and general drinkability.  That's me outside Vivant when we taped the GABT there, oh so long ago.


1 ounce gin (I used +New Holland Brewing Company Knickerbocker)
1/2 ounce simple syrup or agave syrup
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Belgian style beer (I used Brewery Vivant Farmhand)

Mix up the gin, syrup and lemon juice in a shaker filled with ice.  Pour into a glass, and top with the beer. Sip gently.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tuesday Boozeday! Momma Says Knock You Out!

Momma Says Knock You Out

When making a cocktail with beer in it, it is imperative that you choose the right beer.  This is where people tend to get a bit flummoxed.  There are so many craft beers to choose from, how do you know if it's right?  My advice is to practice, practice, practice.  Try lots of different beers in different drinks to see how they react, and what flavors they complement.  Mix a cocktail, split it in half, and try two versions with two different beers.  However, if you just don't have the time for all this experimenting (or the tolerance), you should pick a couple "go to" beers.  These are beers that will pretty much go with anything, because of their light flavor profile.  This is not to say these are LITE beers, far from it!  They are styles that are traditionally lighter in the hops realm, mellow in the malt, crisp and easy drinking.

One of my go to beers for making a cocktail is +New Holland Brewing Company's Full Circle Kolsch.  Now, I know that a true kolsch must be brewed in Cologne.....but despite this, this beer is true to style.  And a style like this is actually pretty hard to nail....there is nothing to hide behind, no wacky flavors to cover up bad brewing,  not a lot of hops to overwhelm the palate.  It's straw colored, crisp, full flavored, and nice and bubbly.  Perfect for your cocktail.

So New Holland has this new "brew", part of their spirits line.  Clockwork Orange, an orange flavored liqueur with spices.  It's pretty strong...this is NO triple sec.  Lots of booze up front, with subtle hints of orange and just a breath of spice.  Hence the name of this rum punch.  Enjoy a  pitcher of this over the Fourth, and Go 'Merica!

Momma Says Knock You Out

To make a pitcher:

1 cup rum (whatever kind you like)
1/2 cup Clockwork Orange (or triple sec)
3 cups coconut water
2 cups orange mango juice
1/2 cup grenadine
1/4 cup lime juice
a couple bottles of beer (light, like a pilsner or kolsch)

In a pitcher, mix everything together except for the beer.  Pour into individual glasses filled with ice, then top with about 1/2 cup beer each.  Serve with a straw.