I love avocado milkshakes. Half an avocado, lots of ice and milk. into the blender.
Drink it until the pain hits, right at the base of the skull. Brain Freeze! Oh why do I do it.
Last week I made them for my kids when they visited.
Emmylee’s immediate response, “I’m not drinking that, it’s Shrek poo!” Sigh, that’s an eight year old for you.
I showed her the avocado skins and finally convinced her to try it. She liked it. Now they’re called Shrek poo!
Followed a new Tweeter today. This was the first tweet that I saw at the top:
What’s your favorite liquor to put in #eggnog? We are looking for suggestions!
— Moms Love Wine (@MomsLoveWine) December 18, 2013
My immediate response is brandy!
Now perhaps I am a boring old fart with no imagination, so I was perplexed by the question; maybe I am just a stick-in-the-mud traditionalist that has never considered anything outside the brandy box.
But I see that rum and whisky also get a mention on google. One link even suggested Southern Comfort.
To me there are some traditions, that to break them leads directly to purgatory, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Things like sherry in a trifle or other than a brandy sauce with a Christmas pud are just not tampered with. Just think, a Brandy Alexander without brandy, the mere thought takes me beyond redemption.
So you can imagine my surprise when I read this tweet.
Egg Nog, needs brandy to be an Egg Nog.
Sherry sales are booming. Well, everyone loves an underdog
Amid the nostalgia-fest that is Christmas, news has broken that sherry – which many people will forever associate with that disgusting sweet liquor they sipped as a child from auntie’s glass when no one was looking – is suddenly terribly fashionable and selling like hot cakes. But to the sophisticates among you, this will be no revelation. In fact British appreciation of pale, dry sherries, which are nothing like the stuff granny served in dainty, cut-glass schooners, has been bubbling up for a decade, largely thanks to the rise in very good tapas restaurants.
Wednesday’s report points out that, along with sales going through the roof (M&S’s figures are already up a third on last year’s), specialist sherry bars are now popular: 35 opened in London alone over the past three years. This isn’t a bunch of students ironically knocking back a “blue-rinse” tipple – it’s young professionals sampling fine sherries in elegant wine glasses, which allow drinkers to appreciate the camomile and coastal aromas of their manzanilla.
What a turn-around – it isn’t that long ago that no one would have touched sherry with a barge pole…
Single Origin Coffee Aged in a Pinot Noir Barrel? Only in PortlandI know, I know. We’re all thinking the same thing. Portland found one more thing they could infuse with booze? This time, a beautiful single origin coffee from El Salvador, aged in an oak Pinot Noir barrel? Sure. But think again: beyond gimmick and Portlandianism, to a subtle, thoughtfully conceived coffee roasted by Southeast Portland roaster Water Avenue Coffee, balanced and still very much a coffee beverage.
Water Avenue partner and roaster Brandon Smyth came to the unusual idea—coffee beers are sometimes aged in oak barrels, but not coffee coffees—through winemaking.
“A long while back, when I was still roasting at Stumptown, I was making my own wine. And you can either go out and buy a barrel, which is pretty expensive, or you can add oak powder to wine. And I was making a red wine and I was tasting it before and after I put the oak in there, and what I expected was the oak to tasty oaky, to taste woody. But it actually brought out a bunch of berry, fruit flavor! So I thought, oh man, that’d be cool to try that with some coffee.”
Smyth originally dropped the oak experiment on some Sumatran coffee beans, post-roasting, and found the final brew fruity and “more burly” but overall a bit extreme. His next move was to try aging green, unroasted coffee beans for a short time in a barrel used for making red wine. But it’s not as easy to find a good used wine barrel as you might think—Smyth says one vintner was “so confused by what I was asking and what I was planning to do with it that he thought I was a crackpot.” But when he finally came into possession of a decommissioned Pinot Noir barrel from Oregon vintners Crowley Wines, he knew he just had to use the right coffee. “I opened it up and it just smelled amazing,” Smyth said. “Like cherries.”
Luckily, Water Avenue already had a coffee called El Manzano from El Salvador in their repertoire—a coffee with whose farm they’ve had an ongoing relationship, and which offers flavors of apple, dark berries, caramel and chocolate, while still maintaining a sunny acidity. It’s also a pulp natural processed coffee, meaning the freshly harvested coffee undergoes its drying period with the fruit’s mucilage still on the bean, which can result in sweeter and fruitier flavor in the cup.
“I thought, it’s a pulp natural, and the fruit flavor it had had a lot of red apple to it,” said Smyth. “There’s a certain crispness to it that I felt if you were going to add anything to it, that clarity of that coffee would only bring it out more. The barrel’s not going to cover anything up that would actually be detrimental to the flavor,” said the roaster.
“To me, those fruits that come out, the cherry from the barrel work really well with the red apple from the Manzano. I also feel like having a little bit of pulp helps the coffee absorb the flavor. Pulp naturals age really well, they have a lot of that pectin on the bean that helps protect them from the environment.”
And the results are vivid: a balanced coffee whose intrinsic apple and cocoa flavors and the delicate oak and cherry additions exist in harmonious parallel. You can separate them out in your brain—but in a way that is more likely to surprise and make you rethink tasting than anything else.
Water Avenue has already gone through 300 pounds of the 13-day-aged coffee beans, and they expect to be able to age another 500 pounds before they think the barrel flavor will begin to fade—then again, Smyth doesn’t really know when that will happen, because he’s never tried this before. What’s next?
“I know a guy down here who’s a cooper making cedar barrels, so we’re going to do a cedar one which might be interesting. I don’t want to get too far into it because, while it’s interesting and it’s fun, I’d like to have one thing going on, or all of the sudden, are we flavoring coffee? Is it just manufacturing it, or a certain kind of gimmick,” mused Smyth. “I don’t want to get too weird.”
About the author: Liz Clayton
Source: Serious Eats
Here’s some ideas for Halloween drinks, follow the links for recipes and instructions.
Nearly all the above inks have multiple drinks and cocktails.
Rummaging through my google box this morning I discovered cold brewed coffee, which piqued my interest.
Reblogged from Brewed Daily
What is cold brewed coffee?
Cold brewed is a coffee term that has been popping up more and more frequently, even though there are plenty of cafes – including the chain Seattle’s Best – that have been offering up cold brewed coffee for quite some time now.
Cold brewed coffee is just what it sounds like: coffee that is brewed cold, not hot. To make it, ground coffee beans are placed in cool water and left to sit in a cool place for around 12 hours to brew.
Cold brewing produces a milder and sweeter cup of coffee than simply refrigerating coffee that is brewed hot. You don’t get the harsher, more bitter notes of coffee that are often brought out after chilling hot-brewed coffee. Cold brewed coffee will keep very well for several days in the refrigerator after it has been made, and it is easy to make a big batch and keep it on hand.
As with regular coffee, you will want to experiment with the ratio of coffee grounds to water to get a concentration that you like, but err on the side of using too much coffee. Not only are you not rising adding bitterness to your drink by doing this, but you can always water down a cold-brewed coffee concentrate with a bit of extra water before serving if it is too strong.
Hmmm, have to try that.
Dry bars: will they be the next big thing?
Alcohol-free cocktail bars are springing up across the country, but can they lure punters away from pubs and clubs?
The drinks look good: vibrant reds and greens; fresh mint and crushed ice bursting from the glass; petals; a rim of salt. The drinks taste good, too. But there is something missing. The soporific burn of alcohol. As anyone coming to the Redemption bar in east London is warned on arrival, these drinks are dry. Although if you didn’t get the warning, you could work it out from the names of the cocktails (“mocktails”). Here’s a “mock-jito” – muddled fresh mint and lime – or a “coco-rita”, based on coconut water.
Redemption is the brainchild of Catherine Salway, the former group brand director of Virgin Media, who left two years ago “to pursue my own idea – something that was disruptive and socially conscious”. She hit upon a dry bar when she was meeting a friend with “a bit of a drink problem” and couldn’t think where to go. “There are coffee shops and juice bars but there wasn’t anywhere that felt like you could have a proper night out.”
Salway is not the first to start an alcohol-free bar. In Liverpool, the Brink opened in 2011, as a social enterprise to help those recovering from alcohol addiction. The past year has seen turnover rise by 50%, says its manager, Jacquie Johnston-Lynch, who describes her customer base as “50% recovery community, 50% a combination of Joe and Josephine Bloggs who come in because they love the food – students, grannies out for lunch, business people, musos.”
Johnston-Lynch says she is now “helping a number of organisations around the country to set up their own places” through an offshoot called Brinky Business. She mentions a four-storey venue in Newcastle, soon to open, and plans for a place in Cardiff. Salway herself believes “there is a market for five to 10 Redemption bars across the UK over the next five to 10 years.” Her research tells her that 75% of Londoners under 30 would visit an alcohol-free bar, and she is trying out the concept in the hipster heartland.