Aloha Dispatch Week 4

There is some kind of music revue show in town and the performers have so much makeup on that I can’t tell whether it’s a drag show or not.

I guess that probably means that it is.

There don’t seem to be any uniquely Hawaiian Thanksgiving traditions. People here have turkey and stuffing and squash and cranberry sauce, etc. There is also usually rice because there is always rice at every big family meal. But that’s true in parts of the south as well.

Hawaii does not fluoridate its water, mostly due to the general fear of governmental intervention that is prevalent here.

But I discovered that the water in Hilo has quite a lot of naturally occurring fluoride. According to the local water … Read the rest

Infused Ethanol pt II

In the continuing effort to create my own amaro/bitters/digestive (in the style of Fernet or Campari or Gin or Angostura Bitters) I’ve been infusing various herbs in alcohol to help me decide which to add to my master mixture.

I bottled a few 2 weeks ago and tried them yesterday and today.

Herb Rosemary Tarragon Thyme Bay Laurel
Color Lovely chartreuse color Beautiful deep green color, nearly teal when concentrated Deep green color Pale straw color almost unappealingly brown when concentrated
Aroma Flowery aroma with only a hint of Rosemary Pleasant vaguely sweet aroma, Not recognizably tarragon Strong thyme smell Very clean aroma almost like a pleasant household cleaner or shoe polish. It could make a good cologne or scent for shampoo
Flavor Adding water clouded
Read the rest

Fernet

The WSJ has an article about Fernet, an amaro, or herbal liqueur.

“As a cocktail ingredient, Fernet-Branca is piratical, commandeering most any drink that allows it aboard. In the 1930 “Savoy Cocktail Book,” there is a drink called a Hanky-Panky made with equal parts gin and sweet vermouth with a scant dash or two of Fernet-Branca. But the book also includes a cocktail made of two parts gin to one part each sweet vermouth and Fernet-Branca. An indication of just how quick the bitter liquor is to bully other flavors, that drink is called a Fernet-Branca Cocktail.”

To me it tastes like a shot of Listerine with a splash of cola in it.

It seems to be more popular in San Francisco than anywhere else … Read the rest

Burton Baton

One of the good things (the one good thing?) about spending time in Delaware is that Dogfish Head is the local beer.

The greater Philadelphia area in general is great for craft beer, with lots of small brewers starting all the time, and established high-quality breweries such as Victory and Tröegs close by.

My new favorite beer is Dogfish’s Burton Baton a 10% abv oak-aged imperial IPA

From the site: “For Burton Baton we first brew two ‘threads’ or batches of beer: an English-style Old Ale and an Imperial IPA. After fementating the separate beers in our stainless tanks, the two are transferred and blended together in one of our large oak tanks. Burton Baton sits on the wood for about a month.”

As Mike says, … Read the rest

A. B. Smeby Bittering Co.

I remember when New York City experienced a shortage of bitters when there was a sudden spike in popularity of drinks such as the Old Fashioned or the Manhattan (possibly dues to the prevalence of those drinks on the show, Mad Men)

(The classic Angostura bitters are easy to get in Delaware. It’s sold in most grocery stores I’ve seen)

The A. B. Smeby Bittering Company came up with the brilliant (and in hindsight, obvious) idea to make local bitters.

Their flavors vary rather far from the Angostura bitters that I’m used to, which smell and taste of something like cloves and nutmeg:

Apple Cinnamon with Molasses
Licorice-Nectarine
Highland Heather
Cherry Vanilla
Forbidden
Diesel
Spiced Cranberry
Black and White (as in the cookie)
Lemon Verbena… Read the rest

Magic Hat Howl

Magic Hat is one of my preferred breweries (others are Victory, Stone and of course, Dogfish Head) partly because they’re in one of my favorite small cities (Burlington, Vermont) but also because they experiment so much with different recipes.

Their new winter seasonal is called Howl and is a “black lager”. If you drink craft beer, you’ll know how rare lagers are, since it’s a lot easier for beginners to make ales. One exception is Victory’s Prima Pils, which is my favorite pilsner-style.

Howl is not very high in alcohol, but has a heavier taste than, for example, Guiness, but without the shapness that stouts can have.

It’s good.… Read the rest

Tasty Beverage Recipe

I don’t have a name for this (I think you need to do something twice before it’s worthy of a name).

What I like about this drink is that the spiced rum and orange juice work together in such a way that the resultant flavors are not identifiable. You would not say it’s a fruity drink or a creamy drink. You just can’t put your finger on it.

1pt Orange Juice
2pt Spiced Rum
3pt SOUR MIX:

  • 1pt lemon juice
  • 1pt SIMPLE SYRUP:
    • 1pt sugar
    • 1pt water

Mix the above in a cocktail shaker with ice. This froths the juices slightly giving a fuller texture in the mouth.
Pour into 2 glasses (or one big one) and add seltzer/club soda to taste. Using about twice as … Read the rest