1 :: It’s like the wife, it’s No. 1!
2 :: It’s like the mistress, it’s lovelier.
3 :: It’s like a bitch, every bar has one.
4 :: It’s like a teenage daughter, just gives you a headache!
5 :: It’s like the mother-in-law, not worth crap.
Yes, they have beer in Tunisia!
It is an unusual liqueur in that it has a myriad of citrus flavours, aromas and undertones.
Usually served straight, but can be mixed with champagne and dry or sparkling white wine but mixes well with most spirits and club soda.
It can be successfully used with fruit desserts.
For a range of cocktails see About.com
For cooking ideas, check The Nibble also many cocktail ideas, including the Mojito Pariisen.
Every home should have one
Sorry, couldn’t find a bigger one.
Topinambu, also known as Jerusalem artichoke brandy smells fruity and has a slight nutty-sweet flavour. It is characterised by an intense pleasing earthy note. – Wikipedia
Made in Germany from the tubers of the Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple.
Topinambur is also known as Rossler, also available is Red Rossler, a somewhat bitter and astringent decoction used as digestif made by the addition of currants or tannin containing tormentil.
Don’t remember from where, can’t give credit…
Just enjoy it!
Lion Brewery Ceylon Ltd
Now one of the most pleasant surprises about any trip to Sri Lanka is that the local Lion beer is amazing. It has such a smooth full bodied flavour that you want to keep ordering another but you cant as they are all strong. It comes in three types. There are two blonde larger beers. One just called Lion Beer at 4.8% alcohol and then Strong Lion Beer at 8.8%. If you like Guinness or British style brown ales then you will love Lion Stout at 8.8%. The Sri Lankan Government place a high excise tax on beer so it is not as cheap as you would expect.
Source: MooreTravelTips Read a little about the history of beer there
So, yes they have beer in Sri Lanka
Everybody has heard of cider, most everybody knows that cider is made from apples.
Not entirely true. Cider can be made from any such fruit, but principally and famously apples.
But there is another fruit used in making ‘cider’, pears; but it’s not called cider, rather it is perry. Perry has been made for centuries from fermented pears, much in the same traditional manner as cider in England; or more specifically in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and in Monmouthshire, Wales. Also in the north of France.
Perry is certainly not a new drink, Pliny made reference to it. Making Poiré in France became common after the collapse of the Roman Empire, and was taken to England with the Norman conquest.
More recently products like ‘Pear Cider’ have appeared, it is generally considered that these are pear flavoured ciders rather than perry which is made from pears.
“CAMRA defines perry and pear cider as quite different drinks, stating that “pear cider” as made by the large industrial cidermakers is merely a pear-flavoured drink, or more specifically a cider-style drink flavoured with pear concentrate, whereas “perry” should be made by traditional methods from perry pears only.” – Wikipedia
Made by blending sweet and bitter orange peels and pure alcohol from sugar beets it has become one of the most famous liqueurs in the world.
But what can you do with it?
Obviously, drink it. Straight or over ice, or in many famous and not so famous recipes. Check out more than a dozen cocktails on The Fervent Shaker.
Can you cook with it?
Cointreau is most frequently used in desserts and matches well with chocolate, vanilla, orange (obviously) and cranberries. It is a good addition to chocolate mousse, pot de crème, or crème anglaise. – Fine Cooking
For a dazzling 141 recipes with Cointreau ranging from carrots to shrimps check: Cooks.com
Or you can experiment with Cointreau Noir in the kitchen and the bar.
A blend of traditional Cointreau and Remy Cognac…
Fruit Paintings by Dennis Wojtkiewicz
I’m a day late… I took yesterday off.
Where is it?
Yes, they have beer in Botswana!
You can check out more beers from Botswana on The tall and the short of it
This fried, spicy dish is a staple favourite at most Chinese restaurants. But how should you do the batter? And is it better to deep or shallow fry?
I still remember the thrill of my very first Chinese meal, in a restaurant in exotic St Albans back in the late eighties. There were banana fritters and hilarious chopstick lessons, pancakes you could eat with your hands and carrots carved to look like flowers; in short, it was an eight-year-old’s dream meal ticket.
My tastes have changed slightly since then – I’m likely to be the one pushing for the pock-marked Mother Chen’s bean curd, or the chilli tripe (while secretly hoping someone else will insist on the crispy duck), but one thing I’m unable to resist, if it’s on the menu, is salt and pepper squid. And it usually is, because whatever part of China they’re from, restaurateurs are canny operators, and Cantonese spicy, salty fried food is always a winner.
The problem is, Chinese meals are all about sharing, and even people who claim to be scared of tentacles usually end up polishing off more of the portion than I’m strictly comfortable with. Time to make squid the main attraction at home, away from prying chopsticks.
The cephalopod itself
British squid is easy to come by in fishmongers – recipes vary as to the preparation method, with chef Ching-He Huang and Mitch Tonks recommending they are cut into rings, and most others suggesting triangles. I find these larger pieces hold the batter better, as does scoring one side in a diamond pattern, as suggested by Bill Granger and Rick Stein. (This is also supposed to stop them curling up quite so much during cooking, although it doesn’t make a huge amount of difference when deep frying.) Baby squid are preferable if you like to crunch the tentacles as well (many people are squeamish; I think they’re the best bit).
Not everyone is keen on a bit of batter: Rick Stein stir-fries his squid naked, but, pleasant as it is, it’s missing the crunchy element that makes salt and pepper squid such pure joy to eat. The other recipes I try are more traditional. Sydney chef Ying Tam makes a batter from self-raising flour, vegetable oil and water, which wins the crunch competition, while Huang’s egg and potato flour coating in her book China Modern is the lightest, and gives the best coverage. Of the also-rans, Bill Granger uses cornflour and soda water, which makes it crunchy, but relatively heavy, and Tonks’s milk and cornflour coating, from his book Fish Easy, disappears into the fryer, never to be seen again. Potato flour and egg seems to be the wise choice here – almost tempura light, it comes closest to the real thing.
Batter’s only a convenient vehicle for spice, however – and, for a dish with such a self-explanatory name, there’s a remarkable diversity of opinion here. Huang and Granger are the only ones who really adhere to the description, although she uses white pepper and he goes for black. Stein and Tonks are faithful in a slightly fancier way, using a mixture of black and tingly, numbing Sichuan peppercorns, dry roasted until fragrant, which I love – the combination gives the batter a more assertive, complex peppery flavour. Tonks also chucks in some dried Sichuan chillies, but I decide to reserve this heat for the topping (of which more below). I like his idea of reserving some of the seasoning mixture to sprinkle over the cooked squid just before serving, however, so the dish packs a little extra punch. Tam, meanwhile, goes completely off piste with a homemade “five-spice mix” of ground ginger, celery powder, salt, five-spice and chicken stock powder, which, according to my culinarily sophisticated boyfriend “makes it taste like Pot Noodle”. Whether or not that’s true (of course, I wouldn’t know), it certainly overwhelms the flavour of the poor squid.
Actually, for salt and pepper squid, this is more than a mere garnish: the little crunchy morsels of fried chilli and onion that can be chased around the plate with chopsticks long after the last tentacle has been devoured are crucial, and nice as it is to have a spritz of lime juice and a sprig of coriander for freshness, I think Tonks is missing a trick by leaving them out. Sprinkling them on fresh, as Huang does, is also unsatisfactory – they should be cooked briefly, just to slightly caramelise them. That said, I find it well-nigh impossible, not to mention hazardous, to fish tiny pieces of chilli out of a pan of sizzling oil, as Tam suggests, so I’m going to cook them in a separate pan, and combine the two just before serving. He adds garlic, which I really like, but it has a tendency to burn, so keep it in slices, rather than chopping it finely. His final spritz of rice wine adds a pleasant zing to the dish, cutting through the fat, but I prefer the fresher flavour of the lime used by Tonks and Grainger, especially at this time of year, when you might even fancy yourself sitting outside on the waterfront in Stanley, Shanghai or Sydney as you dine in the garden.
Sadly, this is a dish whose deliciousness largely relies on deep frying. OK, Stein shallow fries his, but then, as we’ve discussed, that isn’t quite the real deal. You can be all authentic, and do it in a wok, as most recipes suggest, but a deep pan will do just as well – or, of course, be like a real Chinese restaurant and use a deep-fat fryer. Serve with a salad, to slightly mitigate the guilt.
Perfect salt and pepper squid
350g small squid, cleaned
1/2tsp black peppercorns
1/2tsp Sichuan peppercorns
1tsp sea salt flakes
5tbsp potato flour
1 egg, beaten
Groundnut or vegetable oil, to fry
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
Fresh coriander and lime wedges, to serve
Separate the bodies of the squid from the tentacles, and cut them into triangles. Score the inside with a diamond pattern, making sure not to cut right the way through the flesh. Add to the tentacles, pat dry and set aside.
Heat a dry frying pan and add both varieties of peppercorn. Toast for a minute or so until fragrant, then tip into a pestle and mortar, along with the salt, and crush to a powder. Mix two-thirds of this with the potato flour in a shallow bowl and set the rest aside. Put the beaten egg into a second bowl.
Half fill a large pan or wok with oil, or use a deep fat fryer, and heat it to 180C, or until a small piece of bread browns in 15 seconds.
Meanwhile, dip the squid pieces in the egg, then in seasoned flour until well coated. Fry – in batches if necessary – until pale golden, stirring once to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom.
As they’re cooking, heat a further tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Use a slotted spoon to lift the cooked squid on to kitchen towel and tip the chilli, spring onion and garlic into the frying pan. Fry very briefly until it all starts to caramelise, then add the squid to the pan and toss together.
Tip on to a serving plate, sprinkle with a little more seasoning and serve with a little coriander and some wedges of lime.
Is salt and pepper squid your favourite Chinese takeaway treat, or would you make a case for prawn toast, wontons, or some more exotic fare? And, while we’re talking squid, what else do you like to do with them and their tentacled relatives, the cuttlefish and the octopus?
All things ancient and old are fading out and disappearing as we speak. The same goes for cheese, traditional ways of herding animals are gone and the historical ways of making and aging cheese are lost and forgotten. Farmers and cheesemakers are not able to survive the economic pressures of operating in the traditional way.
Read more: Great New Places
Found on Google, no image credits…
This is a reblog, I couldn’t resist it; and being a great fan of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I will suffer no remorse, guilt nor suffering for having done so.
A drink for Douglas Adams
“Two important cocktails permeate Adams’ masterpiece. The first is my own go-to cocktail: The gin and tonic.
According to The Guide, approximately 80% of galactic cultures have some phonetic variation of a ‘Gin and Tonic.’ For instance the rubber ducky-wielding captain of the spaceship doomed to colonize ancient earth with telephone cleaners, sommeliers and marketing moguls, offer the main characters a ‘jynnan tonnix.’
Upon their reunion Ford Prefect tells Arthur Dent how he spent the last four years wandering prehistoric Earth:
`… I decided that I was a lemon for a couple of weeks. I kept myself amused all that time jumping in and out of a gin and tonic.’ Arthur cleared his throat, and then did it again.
`Where,’ he said, `did you…?’”
Should you have the desire to read more, or simply wish accumulate more useless information, I can heartily recommend the post on Behind the Booze.
Apparently, there is a beer called The Dogs Bollocks
Honoured, I am.
I thought, I had had all the awards doing the circuits on various blogs, it seems I
I have really stopped participating in these awards since I moved from BlogSpot to WordPress, not because I am being churlish, rather that I was extremely disappointed by the response I had to one I participated in; none of my nominees even so much as acknowledged receiving the award.
However, I find myself drawn, however humbly to this one, because it’s different… well a little different.
culprit blogger that lumbered me bestowed this damned thing lovely award upon me was none other than Lord of the Rings drings Drinks. I will do his bidding.
Apparently when you get nominated for the Liebster Award you need to do three things: answer the 11 questions of the one who nominated you, come up with 11 new questions for 11 other bloggers and share 11 random facts about yourself.
I have got to answer the following 11 LOTD questions:
1. What country are you from?
New Zealand, but I forgot where it is… I am a practicing Brazilian now.
2. What’s your age?
I’m a chenior shitizen! That’s close enough.
3. How old were you when you first got drunk?
Hmmm, don’t remember that too well, about 16.
4. What’s your favorite drink?
Oooooh, tricky. Should be gin, my first spirit in the form of a Tom Collins when I was 14.
5. How many units of alcohol (check the graphic) do you approximately drink per week?
Between 3 – 10, normally closer to the lower end of the scale.
6. What kind of drunk are you (angry, sleepy, extra-social, horny, dramatic, dancing, etc.)?
I’m a happy drunk, except like last week when the local bludger biffed my cat in the bar, I biffed him. I can’t stand animals being mistreated, especially my Lixo.
7. Is their any interesting local drinking custom, ritual or game that you can share with us?
Game… hmmm, well not local, but we used to play Colonel Huff as a teenager.
8. Describe your most epic drunk night.
I don’t and never did consider being drunk as ‘epic’, more of an unfortunate consequence.
9. Which drink (or mix) is certain to screw you up?
Tequila! Did last week, got drunk for the first time in 10 years.
10. Got any tips on how to have a good (drunk) night for little money?
We always figured that cider gave you best value % alcohol/cent money. But that was teenagers.
11. Is their a relatively unknown drink you can recommend us?
Benedictine, is grossly underrated. But here in Brazil, it’s like looking for rockinghorse poo!
One that is spreading slowly around the world is a caipirinha from Brazil with cachaça (sugar cane brandy). For pity’s sake don’t be an American and make it with limes, use lemons; lemons in Brazil are green and as soon as Americans see green, they go ‘Limes!’ Wrong, use lemons, even yellow ones are better than limes, although you don’t get the traditional green drink.
You can make a batida (not a caipirinha) with various fruit, in fact, any fruit.
Also, you can make a caipirinha using vodka, but it is not a caipirinha, rather a caipiroska/caipivodka.
Now it’s my time to help you get to know 11 other interesting bloggers.
OMG! I’ve run out. Well, I haven’t, but the others were already nominated by LOTD. So you get Five great blogs.
I have got the following 11 questions for them:
1. Are you a beer/wine/spirits person?
2. Have you reached the age where room spins are a thing of the past?
3. How old were you when you first drank/tasted an alcoholic drink?
4. What and where was it?
5. Have you ever made a homebrew?
6. What’s the weirdest drink you have ever had?
7. When you travel, do you try to sample as many of the local drinks as possible?
8. Are you a follower of ‘Red wine, red meat, white wine, white meat?
9. What do you drink with a meal?
10. Have you ever done something you regretted while drinking?
11. Do you consider drinks to be a ‘social lubricant’?
Well even if you’re not mentioned in the blogs above, I still would love to hear your answers to my 11 questions. Interesting drinking customs or stories are always highly appreciated.
If you leave a comment with your answers, consider yourself worthy of a posthumous nomination and take the award for your blog.
Another one of Chas Spain’s paintings.
The artist’s impression
Check the out ChasSpainDesign for the full size