Tag Archives: Historic Kennett Square

Events Calendars for Kennett Square and the Brandywine River Valley

Kennett Square area
The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County
Brandywine Valley YMCA
Bayard Taylor Library
Anson B. Nixon Park
Historic Kennett Square
Longwood Gardens

Northern Delaware
Delaware Museum of Natural History
Brandywine River Valley
Mt. Cuba
Hagley MuseumRead the rest

Infusion pt III

I made 4 more infusions, cilantro, fenugreek, nutmeg, and dill. None would have been my first choice, but I’m getting to the back of the spice cabinet, and thought there might be some surprises.

– Attractive yellowish grass green color
– Unidentifiable smell – definitely not the smell of cilantro, but if anything it smelled like chicken soup – very odd
– Almost flavorless
– Ethanol flavor very present
* Not a contender

– Had to use ground
– Pale yellow color
– Strong maple smell. Adding water brought out a smokiness. It really smelled like breakfast at a diner
– Mild smoky taste. Not bad but not interesting
– Mild ethanol harshness
* Also not a contender, but both of these give me … 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.

HerbRosemaryTarragonThymeBay Laurel
ColorLovely chartreuse colorBeautiful deep green color, nearly teal when concentratedDeep green colorPale straw color almost unappealingly brown when concentrated
AromaFlowery aroma with only a hint of RosemaryPleasant vaguely sweet aroma, Not recognizably tarragonStrong thyme smellVery 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

Infused ethanol

I’ve made beer about ten times. Only one of the batches was what I would call good. And unlike years ago, there is so much good craft beer available now, it’s no longer practical for me to homebrew. Besides, I don’t need the calories.

I made wine once (once on purpose, a few times by accident) and it wasn’t good. Not bad, but not good.

The next step is to home distill, which I’ve done successfully once. The contraption was quite a sight, as well as a quite a fire hazard. After weeks of prep and hours of work, I got about an ounce of rather harsh, but genuine moonshine.

Thinking of the cheapest and easiest way of doing some kind of DIY booze, I decided … Read the rest


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
Highland Heather
Cherry Vanilla
Spiced Cranberry
Black and White (as in the cookie)
Lemon Verbena… 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

  • 1pt lemon juice
    • 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