Toast Tuesday: The Force of Fernet

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This is week 21 of our tour-de-booze.  I really thought 21 should have been the kamikaze, the Irish Car Bomb, or buttershots.  Something you drank when you were 21 and this was a reminder why you never did it again!  This week, though, was the grown up version of something I never need to repeat, but now I have this bottle in my cabinet.  I’ll save it for the date I really want to make never call again.  This shit was terrible.

Our guide

Our guide

I can appreciate it has some value, some interesting herbal notes; but overall, this was a waste of $30.  Fernet-Branca is following up on last week’s exploration of bitters.  This is a bitter liqueur that is most commonly consumed on it’s own or with coke or gingerbeer.  It has a very herbal smell at first.  Second whiff, it’s more medicinal; reminiscent of cough syrup.  It looks like coke-a-cola and once you taste it, you understand the pairing.  It has very similar herbal elements as coke.

Not having ever been a huge fan of the coke cocktails, I skipped that route.  I tried the fernet on it’s own, just to see how bitter this bitter really was.  The taste is awful. It really is quite bitter.  The weird thing was, it made my mouth tingle when I tried it alone.  Never had that effect when I drank it mixed.

Per the norm, I consulted google to see what the world had to offer in the way of cocktails.  I started with The Late Night Reviver Cocktail.  This cocktail had all of my favorite elements lime, ginger, and gin, so I was off to a good start.  Even mixed, the strong herbal notes come through, but just didn’t work for me.  As I got toward the bottom of the drink, the herbal notes mellowed and reminded me of Pimm’s.   This made me wonder if I could use this as I would Pimm’s.

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The answer is a resounding NO.  I muddled cucumber and orange, added 1/2 ounce of fernet, and topped with gingerbeer.  It had all the flavors of a weak coke-a-cola.  I couldn’t even drink it.  Sad.  What a waste of a good gingerbeer.  Pimm’s being one of my favorite summer libations, I’ll revisit this soon, and properly.  Looking back, I was a little surprised I’ve not covered this one before.

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Alright, enough being bitter about bitter liqueur.  Be sure to see how Meg did this week.  I’m sure the only thing she may be bitter about is her vacation being over.

Happy Tuesday-  Drink up!

Toast Tuesday: Why So Bitter?

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This week, its all about bitters.  Not being bitter because your boyfriend refused to dig a hole for your heart shaped fountain, but taking your cocktails to a whole new level kinda bitter.

Week 20 has us exploring aromatic bitters.  Our author guides us through the classics and a few new staples that we should all have on our bar.  While I don’t have quite the bitters collection I want, I have the staples and a few extras.

the moderately well stocked bar

my moderately well stocked bar

Bitters are used a few different ways in cocktails, but the end result is the same; to give your cocktail that… hmmmlittle something.  Or as it was once described to me, bitters offers that sidestep from being good to being really interesting.  You want something that both complements and enhances.

If you were to only have one bitter for your bar, then the old school standard is Angostura Aromatic Bitters, available at every liquor store across the globe.  There was no rhyme or reason for how I threw the bitters on my counter tonight to snap this picture, but Angostura is 2nd from the left, distinctive in it’s white paper wrapper and yellow top.

Mostly, I have an assortment of new and interesting bitters.  The first bitters that I learned could make a cocktail stand up and sing was Regans’ Orange Bitters.   I don’t even recall the cocktail now, but it made me run out and buy a bottle.

I just realized my new favorite bitters didn’t make the photo shoot because it’s still packed up from last week’s impromptu event on the go.  I’ve been having so much fun with Elemakule Tiki Bitters.  While it has flavor elements specifically for tiki cocktails, I’m finding it adds an interesting element to everything I’ve tried it in.

The little blue bottle on the far right is my own special concoction.  The Meadow in Portland is a little shop that specializes in salt, bitters, and chocolate.  A few years ago I took a bitters making class.  The had about 30-40 different flavor elements for you to taste and smell to combine into your own bitters.  Well, about half way through assembling my creation, I blew out my taste buds and had to ask someone how my final product was.  I didn’t get my sense of taste back until the next day, and found I had created a lovely little bitters that pairs beautifully with the herbal notes of gin.

Our guide

Our guide

I’m not leaving you this week with some fancy cocktail.  I’m leaving you with a simple drink that will make everyone at the party think you are drinking even when you are the designated driver.

Club Soda with a dash of bitters.  Ridiculously simple.  What’s the worst thing about club soda?  The taste.  A couple drops of bitters makes it interesting.

Don’t want to be the designated driver?  Then add an ounce or two of vodka to your soda, a squeeze of lemon, your bitters, and you’ve just made a spritzer.  The world’s easiest, and most refreshing cocktail.

Drink well this week and here’s another Toast to Tuesday.  Let’s see if Meg is enjoying her vacation too much to drink with us this week😉.

Toast Tuesday: Pulque

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Before there was beer, there was Pulque.  Week 19 in our Year of Drinking Adventurously finds up discussing a cousin of mezcal.  I glossed over mezcal last week in favor of tequila, but to play catch-up for a moment, mezcal is a spirit distilled from agave, like tequila, but tends to be earthier and smokier than tequila, somewhat akin to the peatiness of  scotch.

Our guide

Our guide

Fast forward to this week, pulque is a fermented, but not distilled beverage.  According to our author, it is a mildly sweet, viscous beverage that dates back sometime to the Aztec Empire.  It’s exact origins are not entirely clear, but there’s a legend that a woman came upon 400 rabbits and as she approached them, all but one scattered.  The one that remained was running in circles “like a lopsided drunkard”.  Now if that doesn’t paint a pretty picture.  She followed the drunk bunny, who led her to an agave plant that was leaking nectar.  It spontaneously fermented and intoxicated the bunny.  She took this back to her village and they took this as a sign from the gods.  She was dubbed Mayahuel, goddess of the maguey plant.

Pulque was pervasive throughout Mexico until about a century ago, when it faded from popularity.  According to the mom and pop pulque shops, the beer distributors started a  smear campaign about how unsanitary pulque was.  Our author gives the impression he doesn’t put much stock in this reason for the decline in pulque; but I’ll say a smear campaign worked on absinthe. Also, a couple years ago Costco showed what big money backing a ballot initiative could do in the state of Oregon.  Like many smart artisan products though, pulque is experiencing a resurgence.  It just hasn’t made it to Memphis.

Neither has mezcal, or based on the feedback when I inquired in at least six different liquor stores, the mezcal resurgence hasn’t made it here.  We used to carry that or we discontinued it was what I heard from each store where I inquired.  Just when I was about to throw up my hands in a fit of failure, I looked over and saw an intriguing little bottle… an agave liqueur.  $17, what’s to loose?

agavero

Upon arriving home, I tasted it straight and it had a nice flavor, with just a hint of tequila, and not overly sweet like some liqueurs.  I took to the google for some inspiration and a jumping off point of what to do with little lovely.  I found a recipe for a riff on a pomegranate cosmo, but I can never follow a recipe as it’s written.  Here’s what I did:

1 oz Agavero
1 1/2 oz tequila
3/4 oz pomegranate juice
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz ginger liqueur

Combine all in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled and poured into a coupe glass.

Agavero Pom cocktail

This was delightful while sitting on the patio enjoying the evening.  It certainly made any remaining frustrations from the work day vanish.

Here’s to Toasting another Tuesday! Cheers y’all and be sure to check out what Meg drank this week.

Toast Tuesday: Tequila

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We all have that story.  You know, the one where we do shots of tequila and then end up ridiculously sick.  Mine was on my 21st birthday.  So was yours?!  It took me years to drink tequila again.  I was more scared of tequila than I was of whiskey… hmmm… maybe not…

I am so thankful tequila and I made up.  It really is one of life great pleasures.

Our Guide

According to our author, much of the popularity and “premiumization” of tequila is thanks to Patron.  It certainly was the first tequila I thought was something better than swill.  I can’t recall the name of it now, but there was (is?) a tequila bar in Portland.  That was the first time I had ever heard of a shot, one single shot, of tequila costing $30+.  I didn’t spend that, but I did try some that certainly made me rethink tequila.

The key with tequila is buying one that is 100% agave.  Many will say agave tequila, because like whiskey they have to have a certain percentage of agave to be called tequila.  There are different types of tequila.  Silver or blanco, is an unaged tequila.  Clear in color, right off the still.  Then there is reposado, where it has “rested” anywhere from two months to nine months in wooden vessels.  Finally, there are anejo, meaning aged.  These are aged at least a year, but can spend any where from two to four years in a barrel.

This week also would have covered mezcal, but I have a good stock of tequila and decided to stick with what I had on hand.  I’ll double back and hit mezcal on a week I foresee another fail.

My friend P and I used to drive home from work on a back road, winding through Oregon City and we stumbled upon one of the greatest margaritas of all times.  We still refer to this as the Steven Margarita.  We made a rule, we could talk about work for one drink, then when the second one was placed in front of us, all talk of work had to stop.  These margaritas cured everything!  When Steven got a new job and left us to fend for ourselves, we attempted to recreate his magic.

There is really nothing better than a fresh, from scratch margarita.  But most of us don’t have that kind of time or patience during the week.  So, I came up with the Steven Shortcut.

In a rocks glass, muddle 1 or 2 wedges of lime
1/2 oz triple sec
2 oz tequila of your choice
top with about 4 ounces of Freshies Margarita Mix*
Sprinkle with pink Himalayan salt (or whatever you have on hand)

Stir and drink. ahhhhhhhh
*Freshies has no high fructose corn syrup and if I can’t make fresh, its my favorite mixer.

Margarita Tuesday

I have three tequilas on my bar, one purchased purely for the pretty bottle, one for mixing, and one for sipping or mixing.  This is the first time I have ever sipped all three side by side and I’ll admit I was surprised.  The pretty bottle may be my new favorite mixer, especially for people who think they don’t like tequila.

Coa Silver was about $15.  It has a little boozey nose, but it tastes like water.  Quite smooth, but it got lost completely in the drink.

El Charro, a reposado, has been my mixer, and by itself I was not impressed, but it stands up quite nicely to a mixer.  Giving my margarita a hint of something, with that little bit of age coming through.

Finally, my sipper/mixer has been Zircon Azul, but I think it’s been bumped in favor of the other two.  Good, but a little more expensive and not any better.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to try some very nice tequilas and you can check that out here.  Be sure to see what Meg drank this week.

This Toast Tuesday I leave you with a poem…

Tequila with salt and lime
I can drink you any time
You always lift my mood
And pair with all kinds of food
Oh the simple joys in life
A cup filled w happiness & ice
I don’t know how else to tell ya
I love a good margarita

Toast Tuesday: It’s not a fail, it’s a pass-over

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This week I’m supposed to be telling you all about grappa, but a couple of things have stopped me. Number one of which is all the grappa I found locally was $60 a bottle. That just wasn’t in the budget this time, especially when our author states that the flavor profile can be somewhere between furniture polish and lighter fluid.  I may revisit this some day and if you have suggestions to offer, please post them below.

Our guide

Our guide

This week instead of following our guide, I have taken a hard left and then down a tree lined driveway.

Every family has its traditions and in my Portland family the tradition is I make the charoset. This week is the Jewish holiday of Passover and it usually kicks off with a big dinner with lots of wine, and instead of a song about a reindeer, we sing about a goat. The centerpiece of the dinner is a plate with an assortment of symbolic foods and charoset represents the mortar. The way I make charoset, it is a simple salad of apples, pecans, cinnamon, honey, and wine.  I even made a charoset inspired scone one year, you’ll find that here.

I threw out an idea to my ladies group, half joking, that this month’s happy hour at home would be during Passover and a challenge for them to make dishes that were kosher for Passover. They quickly picked up the gauntlet, and then almost as quickly went into a panic. I held their hand and posted some links for recipes, traditional and non. I’ll keep you posted on how they do.

Not only was this a challenge for them, it was a challenge for me. To come up with a cocktail menu that is kosher for Passover I had to put my thinking cap on.  This is what I’m serving: a white wine and peach sangria, a strawberry margarita, and an apple cinnamon martini.  I should stipulate at this point that I keep kosher during Passover in fairly loose terms. I follow the rules, but I do not feel the need to buy special ingredients that have been blessed by a rabbi just so I can pay twice as much for it. Agave is not a grain or flour, it does not rise; therefor let it be written, the margarita, if made with good simple ingredients, is kosher for Passover. More on the margarita next week.

I’ve told you before my ladies like their drinks sweet. So I always have to have at least one on the menu for them. That’s where the apple cinnamon martini comes in. I started with an idea, Google helped solidify it, and experimentation made it so.

Pass-Over the Martini

Pass-Over the Martini
2 ounces Chopin potato vodka
1/2 ounce apple cinnamon simple syrup*
Pour in a shaker, add ice, and shake hard for 10 seconds.

Pour into a martini glass and add a few drops of angostura bitters.

**Apple cinnamon simple syrup
1 cup Martinelli’s unfiltered apple juice or fresh cider if you can find it
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat in the microwave or stove stop and stir until combined. Allow to cool to room temperature before using.

This is certainly too sweet for my normal pallet and the bitters help cut the sweetness and bring out the spice of the cinnamon. I’m certain though my ladies are going to enjoy this.

Be sure to see what Meg drank this week.  I can only hope she drank grappa for the two of us.

Here’s to Tasting another Tuesday!

my green girl angst in a disposable city

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I hate to say there are a few un-green things I have embraced being back in the south. One of which is a styrofoam cup. The goal here is to have ice last as long as possible. In the winter, building are over heated.  In the summer, outdoors is over heated. I need ice year round. Which is funny because in Oregon I always ordered my water with no ice.

I’ve always been the person whose house you needed to bring a sweater to because they keep it cool in the winter.  Now I’m trying very hard not to become completely addicted to air conditioning.  I keep my windows and doors open as long as I can.  Right now I’m listening to the sound of rain floating in the open window.

I shake my head and fist at the people who throw their cigarettes out their car window or drop it on the ground as they walk back in the building.  Just about everyone in my office eats out and so few people here take their lunch.  Every day, someone at work has to comment on something I am eating like I am a polar bear at the zoo snacking on a fish head.  I make my iced tea at home and bring it in a mason jar.  Clearly I am that polar bear.

I’m certainly the only person I know here who has five different ways to make coffee at home.  I rotate.  Depends on the day, the weather, the time I have in the morning, and how many people am I making for.  I have become quite fond of Community Coffee.  Regular ol’ coffee from the grocery store.  $6.99 a pound is nicer on my budget than the $12+ I was paying when I lived in Portland.  I’d support locally roasted if it were conveniently located to me.  See, now I’ve become lazier too.

This wasn’t entirely what I was going to write about, but this is what came flying out of my fingertips.  So, back to my styrofoam cup.  I get one or two a week from the cafeteria and reuse them.  I bring them home and wash them.  See, there’s the green girl.  I wash them and reuse them in the morning for my smoothies, for ice water in the car, and for iced coffee on my dog walk.  If they get lost or broken, no loss.  For 32 cents, I’ll get a new one filled with ice tomorrow.

just enough

For those who doubted my Berry Coffee Smoothie, I’ve been searching for a coffee smoothie recipe, and so far this is my favorite.  The coffee flavor isn’t too strong and if you add a little honey or agave, I think you could almost hide it.

     Berry Coffee Smoothie
     1 banana
     1/3 cup milk of your choice
     1 cup double strength coffee
     2 cups frozen berries

Add everything to blender and blend away.  This makes about a 24-26 ounce smoothie.  I find the thing that impacts the size of this most is the banana.  Some days all they have at the grocery are these ginormous bananas.

This smoothie fills my cafeteria cup perfectly.  This is where I was headed when I sat down to write, I just took that left turn at Albuquerque and took the scenic route.

berry coffee smoothie

Toast Tuesday: Pruno

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Well, since I haven’t done anything too outlandish since that time I danced on the tabletop, got kicked out of the library for talking too loud, and squeezed every package of charmin on the toilet paper aisle, I do not have a prison pruno story to tell. Today, anyway…  No mother, I do not have any plans to get arrested or go to prison. Really. Ever.

Our guide

Our guide

Are you asking what pruno is and why I am, or am not, going to prison?  Pruno is the fermented alcohol concoction that prisoners make with what they can find to smuggle out of the cafeteria.

Sugar + yeast + water = alcohol, and in most cases is quite yummy, at least the ones we’ve tried thus far. How do you think you’d feel if you made a fermentation of grape jelly, ketchup, prunes, potatoes, and toilet water? Sick? You are probably right.

Not only does that above concoction sound awful, potatoes are a great safe have for botulism. Per our author, on two separate occasions at a correctional facility in Arizona, a bunch of prisoners ended up in the infirmary after getting food poisoning from their potato pruno. Potatoes have been banned in that prison. That’ll teach ’em.

Since I’m not going to prison, my chances of trying real pruno are slim. So today I’m going to tell you about another homemade concoction. I’ve been experimenting with a ginger bug to make homemade ginger beer. I tend to keep my house kinda cool in the winter, so I’m just entering the season when I’ll get good fermentation. I’ll keep you posted on how it progresses. Last summer I made a really nice grapefruit and thyme soda and a crazy kick-ass spicy ginger beer.

I’m far from perfecting these, and I’m not sure I can even say I’m getting closer. What I have perfected is experimenting. In the past I’ve had success with a lavender lemonade and a cucumber lime soda.

Want some other fun fermentables? Don’t forget our friend kombucha. I haven’t had a scoby for awhile, but when I did I posted some fun cocktails. It’s been awhile, maybe time to dust those off again.

Be sure to see what Meg drank this week.  I’m wishing you all a very terrific Tuesday!

it’s a new day

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It’s almost like a birthday.  I started this blog as a creative outlet, a place to store recipes, collaborate, and conspire with other creative folks.  Oh the people I’ve met and the places I’ve seen since coming here have been wonderful.  I’ve made some incredible friends.  The friends here inspire me to take better photos, write more words, and drink better booze. They laugh with me, they laugh at me, and they share my journey.

I’ve expressed my disdain and great mistrust for all things facebook.  I hate to admit it, but it seems to have some usefulness.  After the post about my wonderful PBS Bluegrass Underground weekend went up on facebook, I had my best day of traffic.

This is still my creative space, but Lula Harp is expanding; more of an addition, like adding an apartment above the garage.  I’m getting on facebook.  I still feel tremendous angst over this, but I hope you’ll be my friend there, as you have here.  I haven’t really posted anything yet, but maybe you’ll inspire me.

Another thing I am celebrating today is after almost five years on wordpress, this is my 300th post.  oh happy day!  I almost feel the need to bake a cake.

 

 

Bluegrass Underground PBS Weekend 2016

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Holy Moly!  What a weekend!  I don’t think I have caught up on sleep.  I know I have not come down from the high of the awesome music and energy of the weekend.  I’m just going to warn you, this post is pic heavy!

I’m not sure I can put into words what an incredible experience this was.  The energy of this weekend was vibrant and just buzzed in the air.

Bluegrass Underground is in Cumberland Caverns about 1.5 hours south of Nashville, TN.  You walk down a gentle sloping trail through the woods to enter the cave.

Cumberland Cavern entrance

There’s a short walk before you enter the Volcano Room.  The first time you enter the Volcano Room the sight is breath taking.  This is truly one of the most magical experiences ever.   This picture does not do justice to this experience at all!

The Volcano Room

 

My first visit was in January of this year to see The Secret Sisters with Mr & Mrs Normal.  They had asked for tickets for Christmas, and when I saw what this was, I informed them they had a third wheel.  We were all in awe of this amazing venue, the music, and the acoustics.  I invited a friend along who didn’t think she liked bluegrass, but left with a new cd, and her photo with the band.

Once they posted the lineup, we were sold on the PBS weekend event.  Sadly Brother Normal threw his back out three days before our weekend.  We brought him lots of treats from the weekend including a t-shirt, a bottle of personally engraved Gentleman Jack, and a candy apples.  I came home with new friends and a great desire to get a better camera.  Without further ado, here are some of the music highlights I captured.  Each one has the band name and you can click to see them bigger.

 

 

The sounds, vibrancy, and acoustics were truly inspiring.  Almost all of the musicians said something about their experience of coming into the cave or their view.  It was incredible to watch the steadycam guys and the professional photographer running about.  The only downside is we now have to wait for the show to air to see how it was edited.  I would have loved a PBS Q&A session about how it all works.

One of my favorite parts of the show was while The Suffers were playing.  They stopped her to fix her makeup.  She had the self assurance to make a joke about it, and kept singing while the makeup woman fixed her runny mascara.  St Paul & The Broken Bones gave the camera man, and the photographer, an incredible workout.  He was crazy!

I’m certain you will not be surprised when I tell you, I’ve already gotten my tickets for July to see Keller Williams at BGU.  I’m probably going to see SP&BB in a couple weeks.

Here are some more amazing (and professional) pictures from the Bluegrass Underground photographer Michael Weintrob PBS weekend. Check out my new buddy Reid of Here and There Photography,  Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.  I’ll treat anyone who spots me in either Michael or Reid’s photos to a cocktail.  Michael’s photo will get you two cocktails because that one’s tougher.

 

As if that weren’t enough, we also went to Jack Daniels Distillery and Lynchburg Winery.  You know we didn’t come home empty handed.  Cheers Y’all!

 

The Cox Family, drivin’ n’ cryin’Sierra HullJason & the Scorchers, Frank Solivan and Dirty KitchenMac McAnally, Hurray for the Riff Raff, David Rawlings Machine (feat. Gillian Welch, Willie Watson,Brittany Haas & Paul Kowert), The Lone Bellow, The Suffers, JJ Grey & Mofro, St. Paul and The Broken Bones

Toast Tuesday: Soju

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I’ve been in the blogosphere for almost 5 years and today I present you a first.  My first guest post.  Brother C has been drinking along with Meg and I.  We’ve been comparing drinks and swapping cocktails for ages.  Now with my lack of supply, and truthfully, lack of energy or time, I’ve strong armed him into officially drinking in my place this week.

Our guide

Our guide

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Hey Lula, so’d you find you Soju?

A long, long time ago, as Lula and I had dinner with friends at a tapas joint in San Francisco, the conversation turned to “things people consume in other countries.” My guest that evening was J, an Air Force A1C recently back from Osan AB, Korea. They call that a hardship tour. Lula’s guests were horrified by what they heard J describe of the Korean cuisine. I think dinner might have ended prematurely. And we never even talked about soju.

Flashback to two days earlier…

I picked up J at the airport and brought him back to my apartment. Within minutes J’s duffel was open and he was in the kitchen making drinks. He called them “white dogs.” Apparently they are so popular amongst the troops that we keep sitting just south of the 38th Parallel, waiting for Kim-Il Somebody-or-Other to do something stupid. Wow, that was actually two whole Kims ago! How time flies.

Let’s be completely honest here. The basis for this chemistry experiment is the cheap local swill consumed to excess by off-duty twenty-something kids who miss their families and spend their time on duty facing down a cult of personality with nuclear weapons. You know, something just to take the edge off. For cheap. We are not drinking Gangnam-style here.

The ingredients in a white dog basically consist of soju, lemon-lime soda, and Korean yogurt beverage. The last item is probably unfamiliar to most Americans, but like soju, it is a wildly popular beverage in Korea. It is a dairy product, actually more milk than yogurt, commonly sold in packages of small plastic bottles each just 2 or 3 ounces. It is helpful to live near a Korean grocery.

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You’ll have to take my word for it, the yogurt tastes better than it looks. It is available in a number of different flavors, so whether lychee-mango is your style, or you’re a strict traditionalist, there is a breed of white dog just for you.

Any American lemon-lime soda is a perfectly reasonable choice, but while you’re at the Korean grocery picking up yogurt that you’ve never heard of before, you might as well try Chilsung Cider, a Korean lemon-lime soda that you’ve also never heard of before. With apologies to Psy, this is in fact K-Pop.

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The ratio of lemon-lime soda to yogurt is about 3:1, with soju basically added to taste (or effect, if you prefer). You can add a splash of orange juice if you like. Preparation does not necessarily require ice, particularly if the ingredients are pre-chilled. The mixing glass may double as drinkware if you assemble the ingredients in an empty plastic Coke bottle. White dogs are made to travel. Which brings me to first impressions. Many will say that the white dog doesn’t really taste like anything, but to my palate, it is reminiscent of a Creamsicle. Sweet and creamy with notes of citrus.

If you find a recipe for white dogs on the Internet, it is almost certainly (A) lacking in specifics, and (B) in a quantity serving 8. If you want to class it up and drink like an adult, here is how you can make a single serving at a reasonable strength:

White Dog (litter of one)
Stir together chilled ingredients in a double old-fashioned glass:

3 oz Jinro 24 soju
4 oz Chilsung Cider (or Sprite)
1.5 oz Korean yogurt
splash of orange juice (optional)

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Taste-Off: Jinro 24 vs Ty-Ku

Jinro 24 ($8.99/750 ml) is the best-selling spirit brand worldwide, outselling Smirnoff vodka by better than 2:1. Well chilled, as dictated by tradition, it is neutral and nearly flavorless. The nose is your alcohol evaporating. Drink up before it’s gone. 48 proof.

Ty-Ku ($27.99/750 ml) is a Japanese-made super-premium soju that I picked up because it comes in a pretty package that looks like a perfume bottle. (Alas, this is not blue glass, rather a blue plastic shrink-wrapped label on a clear glass bottle.) Unique and suitable for sipping, especially chilled. Just a tease of sweetness, and sake on the palate; the nose has hints of merlot. 40 proof.

 

Thanks for stepping up and carrying the torch for me this week! All I remember from that dinner, all those years ago, was that was my very first sangria.  It was clearly memorable!

Brother C threw in another bonus bit of reading for us.  An interesting article from Slate about Soju.  Worth a gander.    Let’s show him some props y’all.  Thanks for stepping up to the bar for your little sister.

A creamsicle cocktail to kick our week off!  Cheers and here’s another Toast to Tuesday!

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