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I thought we needed a light-hearted thread to go with the home-cooking threads that are so active right now.  I want this to be inclusive, so it can cover the over-abundance of kombucha that isn't being shared, or the lovely loose teas you don't normally get to indulge in at home.  If you've got a killer sodastream combination, share it. :)

The lunch thread discussion reminded me of a rum punch recipe that I hadn't made in a while.  So, that's what we made to have with dinner last night.   

Voila! Tea in Frederick, MD makes a fantastic tea called The Frederick Blues which is a loose black tea infused with blueberry juice.  It's really delicious and I've got a pot made up to enjoy as I telework.

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Legent bourbon, neat, is my current poison. Two whiskey legends, Fred Noe from Jim Beam and Shinji Fukuyo from Suntory, collaborated in its creation. Very nice bourbon, better than (in my opinion) Pappy.

I'm also playing around with Japanese martinis, using Roku gin and just a drop or two of sake, garnished with a slice of cucumber.

 

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I've been trying not drink the last of things I will feel a need to replace when they're gone, so I'm alternating between those and "Hmm, didn't know I even had this." The bonus is that finishing up old things clears out space. Last week, a couple consecutive nights was a finger or so of Jack Daniels in a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Since this isn't something I drink, I don't know when I acquired it. The labels had come off. If it was my father's, it dates to the last century 🤷‍♀️. It's history now.

I've moved on to a 2 litre bottle of Diet A&W root beer on the floor of the kitchen pantry. It's no longer fizzy, but it tastes like root beer. I periodically go through diet root beer or diet ginger ale phases, but I don't recall when this one was.

I'm also making my way through old Via instant coffee. I cannot stand Starbucks coffee, but I like their Via instant coffee. Go figure. This has a lot of caffeine, so I go easy on it. Some days it substitutes for one of my two morning Diet Cokes (conserving). After a long hiatus, I've also gone back to drinking more tea. I have a weird assortment of old tea bags, plus some loose, and earlier in the year I bought some new (because of course I did). I won't run out of tea for a long, long time.

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1 hour ago, DonRocks said:

Getting ready to open a bottle of Linden Vineyards Wabi Sabi.  First time they ever made it - basically it sounds like they threw together some leftover lots of wines and it ended up tasting good (that's a technical term there), so they released it.  Viognier, Vidal Blanc and Semillon blend.

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Last week I got a case of random wines selected (and delivered) by Ace Beverage.  Have enjoyed them all so far. Tonight's is a red Burgundy that I've already consumed way more than intended...delicious.  Giraudon Bourgogne Chitry imported by Wine Traditions.

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Frozen daiquiri: Cotton & Reed dry spiced rum 5oz or so. 3-1/2 oz fresh lime juice, simple, about 1 oz. Put all in blender w/ about cup and a quarter of ice. Blended in our Blend-Tec. A Vita mix or other very high speed blender would do. Serves 2. 

* For Hemingway, this would have been half a serving out of 4 or 5 drinks. 

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We have been drinking through our beer and wine reserves slowly.

We were lucky and had some beers from: Vassen, Aslin, Commonwelath, Old Ox, as well as a few other locals. I polished off our Corona Lights with our tacos.

I have been drinking our Mountfair red blends, a few Paradise Springs Whites, and some other bottles we had mixed in.

The other night I had some Mount Vernon apple brandy on the rocks.  

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6 minutes ago, ktmoomau said:

We have been drinking through our beer and wine reserves slowly.

I've been going back through some beer odds and ends: forgot how good Monocacy's Riot Rye is, and the last Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout I bought for the virtual beer tasting project in 2013 was still pretty decent. None of the old beers I've tried (also a Kona Pipeline Porter) have been skunky or have suffered any significant ill effects from being in the basement a long time.

We have been drinking a 2017 Simonetti Montepulciano d'Abruzzo the past few nights that I picked up at a local corner store on my very last pre-quarantine stop for a few provisions. Our Rose's order last night came with three more reds (one local Virginia, one Loire, and one Portuguese). I'm not sure which is in the on-deck circle, but I believe Portugal.

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Yesterday I drank an entire bottle of Kirkland Sauvignon Blanc. I had a couple of glasses with lunch, then, when I ended up at an impromptu outdoor socially distanced happy hour with some neighbors, I drank the rest of the bottle. I actually quite enjoy this $7.99 (if I remember correctly) wine!

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Tonight, I opened the honeydew jalapeno shrub that has been hiding behind the Soda stream machine. Carbonated some water, did about 2 parts soda water to shrub and added some white rum.  My husband had a sip and asked me to make him one so I'll call it a success. :)

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We tried the Austin Hope Cabernet from Paso Robles last night after hearing so many rave about it.  Drank to me like a cabernet for people who don't like cabernet.  Light, fruit forward, very little tannin.  Followed this with the Josh Cellars cabernet, also from Paso Robles which was much beefier and more my style.  It's also less than half the price of the Austin Hope.

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My hubby does not like the smell of coffee and it's my preferred source of caffeine.  This is not a problem normally, as I have coffee at work.  However, working from home, this does pose a bit of a dilemma.  My solution has been 1 packet of Maxim's instant coffee with up to 1 teaspoon of Medaglia d'Oro® Espresso Instant Coffee and topped off with Trader Joe's Turmeric Ginger Coconut Beverage.  I've been doing this for the past week and I've got to say while not perfect, it is working for giving me my morning fix.

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2 hours ago, Katya4me said:

My hubby does not like the smell of coffee and it's my preferred source of caffeine.  This is not a problem normally, as I have coffee at work.  However, working from home, this does pose a bit of a dilemma.  My solution has been 1 packet of Maxim's instant coffee with up to 1 teaspoon of Medaglia d'Oro® Espresso Instant Coffee and topped off with Trader Joe's Turmeric Ginger Coconut Beverage.  I've been doing this for the past week and I've got to say while not perfect, it is working for giving me my morning fix.

Perhaps you should switch to Allen's Coffee Flavored Brandy.  A Bittersweet 'Champagne of Maine' Potent Coffee Brandy Is Top-Selling Liquor but Is Linked to Alcohol Abuse, by David A. Fahrenthold, January 9, 2006, on washingtonpost.com.

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47 minutes ago, dcs said:

Perhaps you should switch to Allen's Coffee Flavored Brandy.  A Bittersweet 'Champagne of Maine' Potent Coffee Brandy Is Top-Selling Liquor but Is Linked to Alcohol Abuse, by David A. Fahrenthold, January 9, 2006, on washingtonpost.com.

I like the way you think, and sure enough, I can get it at my local ABC store.  However, after reading that article, not sure if that's such a good idea.

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We continue to work on whittling away at the liquor cabinet. Tonight is a quarter can of coconut milk that I found in the fridge, 12 oz of pineapple juice, a glug of pina colada moonshine and ice before blending.  My husband then added banana liqueur to his but I passed on that.

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Lyons white rum perfect Manhattan w/Cocchi americano & rosa. Bitterans's hopped grapefruit bitters & Peychaud's whiskey barrel bitters.

So technically, that is a perfect Manhattan with none of the incredients the traditional recipe calls for. 

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I found two bottles of a large format beer from Stone: Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA. I think I may have bought both at the same time. The bottles are pretty dirty from sitting in the basement. I opened one bottle over the weekend. Since it's got an 8.2% ABV, I drank half one day and recapped it to finish the next. I could actually taste the grapefruit peel.

We did open the Portuguese wine with dinner last night, to have with brisket and carrots from Rose's.

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12 hours ago, Katya4me said:

Big Pippin Prickly Pear & Orange Blossom hard cider.  We picked up a six pack over the winter and it's pretty tasty.

I'm going to look for that one! I'm a hard cider fan from way back. Couple months ago I discovered Austin Eastciders at Wegmans.  The retro cans caught my eye. For me it hits the sweet spot so to speak. A lot of ciders are either too dry or too sweet for me; this stuff threads the needle. Reasonably priced and good flavored varieties too.

When I was a kid I had to drive to Federal Hill in Providence to pick up hard cider. Probably a good thing it wasn't so easy to come by back then.😁

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1 hour ago, Bob Wells said:

Federal Hill in Providence

@Bob Wells, I hope this doesn't freak you out, but I've noticed you commenting in the Grew Up in Rhode Island group on Facebook. Since you use the same name here and on Facebook and I knew about your RI connection I knew it was you. 😁

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2 hours ago, Bob Wells said:

I'm going to look for that one! I'm a hard cider fan from way back. Couple months ago I discovered Austin Eastciders at Wegmans.  The retro cans caught my eye. For me it hits the sweet spot so to speak. A lot of ciders are either too dry or too sweet for me; this stuff threads the needle. Reasonably priced and good flavored varieties too.

When I was a kid I had to drive to Federal Hill in Providence to pick up hard cider. Probably a good thing it wasn't so easy to come by back then.😁

I hope you like it.  I found it at Total Wine, not sure which one offhand.  I've been using the app Cider Expert to track what ciders I've tried and how I rated them.  I've got about 30 listed there so far, so it's been very helpful.

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1 hour ago, dracisk said:

@Bob Wells, I hope this doesn't freak you out, but I've noticed you commenting in the Grew Up in Rhode Island group on Facebook. Since you use the same name here and on Facebook and I knew about your RI connection I knew it was you. 😁

yep that is me too. Thanks to Donrocks for gently noodging me to use my real name here. 🤣

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I made a mason jar shaker of grapefruit margaritas* (about 1 1/2 cups worth). I poured myself one over crushed ice in a rocks glass this evening. I modeled it somewhat off an old Martha Stewart recipe that I first made many years ago and haven't had in a very long time. I haven't had a margarita in a very long time!

*Freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juices, cheap triple sec, silver tequila, and a splash of pink grapefruit juice drink (to add a little sugar). The proportions were 1:1 grapefruit juice and tequila and 1/2 that measure at 1:1 for lime juice and triple sec. Maybe 1/8 cup at most of commercial drink.

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Last night we opened a bottle of Caymus, decanted for 90 minutes.  It was a real lightweight, and nothing like I remember from previous vintages.  Moved on to Frank Family which is definitely not a light weight, although Frank Family has never been my favorite.  
 

Between the corked 8 Years in the Desert on Friday night and the Caymus yesterday, it was a bad few days for wine that isn’t cheap.

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Latest beer I've found in the basement: 3 Stars Biscuits & Marmalade Kolsch. Canned  18 Jul 2018. I recall being not that thrilled with this when I first tried it, but I it seems more palatable now. (I bought it because I liked the design of the can :ph34r:.)

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Last night we ran a cocktail trial. We had two Daiquiris where the only difference was the rum. Both drinks were 2 ox rum, 1-1/2 oz lime juice, 1 oz simple. The simple was made with a combo of sugar and sugar in the raw 1 to 1 by volume.

#1 Smith & Cross Daiquiri ~ the first spin on a S&C daiquiri was too  jazzed up {luxardo cherry syrup for part of the simple} so we wanted to keep it very straightforward. The huge funk of the S&C was mellowed and the hole was round. This is a spectacular drink. Fabian, who introduced me to Jamaican pot stilled rum back at Dino {and probably made me my first S&C daiquiri} said he recommends Nephew & Wray. Smith & Cross is 114 proof {Navy Strength}

#2 Rhum Barbancourt 5* aged Haitian rum. Very pale straw color so this is probably barrels and bottles without adding caramel.It is 8 years aged in Limousin barrels and 86 proof. The daiquiri appered sweeter, a little too sweet with the lime less bold. On the other hand, it made for an equally fabulous drink. Next time, we will adjust the sugar and lime, and drink it forst if I am going to have a Smith & Cross as well. 

The well made Daiquiri may be the finest cocktail around. At the very least, it stands in league with the Negroni & variations, Corpse Reviver #2 and Martinis. Manhattans, Old Fashioned, Sazeracs are close behind but are definitely in my second grouping. But this constitutes most of my serious drinking and Margaritas are in the fun drinking class. 

Sipping booze is a different story. 

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Last night I watched the 4+ hours Nats Zoom chat, which was awesome. Best stretch of the quarantine by far. I haven't laughed that hard in a very long time. I found appropriate beverage accompaniments for the event in the downstairs refrigerator: an Atlas District Common and a DC Brau Pils. The team out-drank me, I'm pretty sure, except for Doolittle with his Diet Coke and Rendon with his daughter's apple juice.

If anyone didn't see it, this link should work. (I don't have a Facebook account and was pleasantly surprised that I could watch it when it was on live.)

In other news:   The WHO recommends that countries limit access to alcohol because it can make coronavirus worse :unsure:.

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I'm still making my way through the odds and ends of beer downstairs. I recently found a six pack of DC Brau Penn Quarter Porter in the back of the refrigerator. It's stamped "limited release." Porter is something I usually keep for cooking more so than for straight drinking. The depth of the flavor in this is good -- and the chocolate and coffee tones come through -- but it feels heavy, which is not surprising. It's not really a spring into summer beer.

Back there with the remaining five cans of this are 5 bottles of Sweet Baby Jesus, also a porter. I tried it at some point on tap when a bartender extolled its virtues. I enjoyed the sample and eventually bought a six pack. A little of this goes a real long way. I think it would be excellent in a beer and ice cream float and have been contemplating that since I have a pint of vanilla ice cream...🤔.

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We've got quite a bit of moonshine that we've picked up in previous years visits to the Gatlinburg area. As of tonight, we had 2 jars of sipping cream, so I decided to work on one of them.  I made a myself a mocha and added the butter pecan cream shine to it.  Bit warm for tonight but very tasty.

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Tonight was more of a wild fruit punch. I had some plum wine in the fridge, along with some cherry juice and OJ.  I had an 11 oz. can of lychee that I put in the blender along with the juices and wine. We also added some Grog from Old House Vineyards for some more citrus flavor.  Added a couple of ice cubes just to chill it and blended it all up. Poured it into our glasses and topped it off with some seltzer as it was a little sweet.  Once I did that, it was perfect.

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We are not drinking these yet, but we have an abundance of strawberries and so...

Strawberry Tequila. 3 blends. Aleppo Pepper w/cloves is rich. Guajilllo Chili is stronger, it was fiery yesterday and by today it mellowed. The last is chili arbol and it is HOT. I even added a vanilla bean to mellow it. It will make great Bloody Marias when we have homemade tomato juice. The strawberries macerated in the spirits for about 4 days. The berries are almost completely white and the strawberry flavor has almost completely been infused to the spirit. But if you bite into ne of the berries, there is a stron bitter component to it which is not infused into the spirit. 

Pimm's. 4 quarts strawberries, limes, blood orange, lemon, grapefruit & lemon grass, indian cukes, fresh ginger, hard spices. We will have about 2 liters of each of two blends, one is with Bombay sapphire and the other will be with Seagrams. High end and lowbrow both. I will do a heat and cool infusion measure which will force the essential oils into the pimms. When these are done, we will pour 2 oz over ice, add maybe 1/2 oz gin, 1 oz lemon and top with fginger brew. Andrew's K & B or Blenheim's ginger beer. 

I have a good source for Key limes, so I am thinking of a Key lime rum or tequila or both. 

Coming up will be raspberry, blackberry and black raspberry spirits. For these, I use a half pint or pint per liter of spirit. I think I will make one gin, one rum and a brandy. 

Next winter, I will be making a buddha's hand gin for Buddha's backhand's, which sis a corpse reviver with a buddha's hand infused gin. 

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We wound up with 4 half gallon mason jars of Pimms. 2 are Bombay Sapphire and 2 are Gordon's. Right now they are being poached at 140 degrees for three hours. The extraction as far as the berries are concerned seems amazing. The citrus in on the bottom. Next up is cooling and then straining. I will infuse mint into the spirit and then add port, red vermouth & triplum triple sec. 

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Last night was grapefruit juice w/ orange liqueur.  My husband added mango habanero moonshine to his, but that is spicier than the ginger-infused ghost pepper vodka we have, so I went with the vodka.  Both were topped with seltzer water.    

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17 hours ago, deangold said:

We wound up with 4 half gallon mason jars of Pimms. 2 are Bombay Sapphire and 2 are Gordon's. Right now they are being poached at 140 degrees for three hours. The extraction as far as the berries are concerned seems amazing. The citrus in on the bottom. Next up is cooling and then straining. I will infuse mint into the spirit and then add port, red vermouth & triplum triple sec. 

They are now chilling to wine cellar temperature. The sit overnight cooling off from 140 degrees really mellowed and rounded the infusion. The Gordon's was a little wimpy yesterday mostly due to lower proof. Today, that is far less noticible. I will probably still dose it with some everclear. The Bombay, which has one overnight of soaking/maceration before the sous vide is stunning: round, complex, very strong citrus and spice notes. Both are unstrained as yet, I will check them this afternoon/evening before starting dinner. 

It is hard to call a cutoff as you cannot predict exactly what will happen in the next 12 hours. I am going with the fact that the rate of change was huge, leading me to believe there is more good stuff to macerate out of the solids.  

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Still have a lot of jun kombucha in the fridge and my husband isn't a fan so I've not made any more batches since I've been teleworking.  But he asked last night how it would taste in a mixed drink so I gave it a try.  Salted passionfruit w/ honey jun kombucha, cherry juice, Kraken rum and seltzer water.  He said it tasted better that way, so I think I've found a way to whittle down the kombucha stash. :)

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The Pimm's project continues apace: Now strained and with sweet vermouth, taylor port, and luxardo triplum added. I am not macerating 1.4 vanilla bean and a teaspoon of dried bitter Curaçao orange peel in each of four 1.75 liter jars I obtained, I am going to stop off at Total wine for some Taylor or Gallo cream sherry and try a tiny bit. I still want to boost the proof on the Gordon's a bit but will run an experiment with 151 rum before grabbing a bottle of everclear if I have to. My 151 rums are both pot still, one is Ed Hamilton's 151 made from Central American rums with Jamaican style and the other a very funky Jamaican Smith & Cross} so even if the rum works, I may get a bottle of Cruzan for a more neutral, less assertive flavor. But we are in the final steps. 

Now, the Bombay and Gordons differ mote than ever but the initial wimpiness of the Gordons has lessened and the addition of port, red vermouth and Triplum made a major difference. 

I also may have let the macerations of the fruit go an extra 12 hours too long as they had a slight more balanced, brighter flavor when I tasted them yesterday. I now know what to look for in ending the maceration time.

Last interesting note: the Bombay batch has and extra 14 hours maceration time under the gin before sous vide. The Gordons had an overnight in the fridge without alcohol until I could grab the Gordon's from the VABC. The color extractor on the Bombay was far darker even if the mason jars all had the same exact mix of fruit. I literally sliced the blood oranges etc and then divided them evenly amongst the four jars, 

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Picked up a bottle of elderflower liqueur over the weekend because I've been curious about it.  Last night made a concoction with it, some grog, fresh mint, some frozen mixed berries and topped off w/ seltzer.  I enjoyed it, my husband not so much, but he's not a mint fan so not surprised. 

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3 minutes ago, Katya4me said:

Picked up a bottle of elderflower liqueur over the weekend because I've been curious about it.  Last night made a concoction with it, some grog, fresh mint, some frozen mixed berries and topped off w/ seltzer.  I enjoyed it, my husband not so much, but he's not a mint fan so not surprised. 

Try it in a corpse reviver instead of the absinthe rinse. Use about 1/2 oz if it is St Germain or something gentle and aromatic. 

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