Thursday, October 30, 2008

The List Post

In honor of all the great fall beers available this time of year, I've decided to make some lists of the best ones I've tried (and a few other lists):

Top 3 Autumn Beers (2008)

3. Dogfish Head Punkin
A nice touch of pumpkin and spice, but it doesn't overwhelm an otherwise very nice brown ale.

2. Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale
Perhaps not strictly an autumnal beer, but it's available this time of year. Fantastic IPA.

1. Avery "The Kaiser" Oktoberfest
Rich oktoberfest lager at 10% abv. Delicious and inebriating.

Top 4 Overrated Beers

4. Blue Moon
If you're going to drink a Belgian ale, it should be Belgian. (Or at least French Canadian, i.e. Unibroue)

3. Heineken
A pale lager is, after all, just a pale lager, even if it is from the Netherlands.

2. Fat Tire
Fat Tire. Fat Tire is SO hot right now. Fat Tire. Seriously, it's not that good, get over it.

1. Stella Artois
Just because it has a French name doesn't change the fact that it's boring.

Best Beer Bars in C-U

3. Radio Maria
20+ taps and a decent bottle selection, but they don't change the list as often as other places.

2. Crane Alley
Several taps which rotate a lot and a bottle list spanning several pages of a menu. Great burgers, to boot.

1. Blind Pig Co.
Over 20 taps which change many times per season, great wooden pub atmosphere, proper glassware, and fair prices. Occasionally cask-conditioned ales, too.

Best Cocktail Bars in C-U

3. Seven Saints
A very large selection of all types of spirits, which they tabulate nicely in a bar menu. My only gripe is the occasional inexperienced bartender.

2. Radio Maria
Again, great list of spirits, cool blue-lit bar top, and one of the best bartenders in town (Chris), although I can't say the same for some of their other bartenders.

1. Boltini
Awesome house music on the weekends, never any cover, great interior decor, and HUGE cocktails expertly made almost every night.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Broker's Gin

Hiatus over. I MUST share this wonderful gin with you all.

Three points of interest about Broker's gin:

- Delicious
- Spicy yet smooth
- $16.99

No, that's not a mistype. This gin, from a 200-year-old small batch distillery in London, is only 17 bucks (for 750 mL). And for what you get, it's an unbelievable price. Many gins in this price range tend to be either watery or so overly saturated with juniper that they burn all the way down. This one has a nice blend of botanicals that is predominantly junipery, but still delicate and smooth. And it's no slouch on the ABV either, checking in at 94 proof, the standard for high-quality gin.

I encourage you to pick up a bottle and sample it yourself, or visit their website at It's fantastic in dry martinis or other simple cocktails. You will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Quebec Cocktail

My most dedicated (only?) reader pointed out that I had not posted in awhile, so here goes. This is something I tried today, actually, at Seven Saints. Today being a Wednesday, they had their usual whiskey Wednesdays going on, and this week was Canadian Whiskey. I'd never actually heard of this cocktail before, but it was on the Canadian whiskey menu and looked good so I decided to give it a try. My first impression was BITTERS - the orange bitters stand out in this drink. Although I've never tried maraschino before, I tasted a hint of cherry-almond flavor, and I'm guessing that's what it was. The whiskey is there too, of course. A pretty solid cocktail, certainly not for the sweet-toothed among us, but not bold enough to deter the average drinker, in my opinion.
  • 2 measures Canadian Whiskey (Crown Royal was in mine)
  • 1/2 measure dry vermouth
  • dash Orange Bitters
  • dash Maraschino Liqueur

Stir all ingredients with ice and serve on the rocks in a short tumbler.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Grapefruit Diet

Contrary to my last attempt at making my own cocktail using Campari, this one actually tastes pretty good. This drink came about because I wanted an Americano and I was out of soda water, so I substituted the Cointreau and made it a short drink instead. The bitter orange flavor of the Cointreau blends well with the Campari, to make something that tastes like... you guessed it - grapefruit. Voila:
  • 1.5 measures gin
  • 0.5 measures Campari
  • 0.5 measures Cointreau
Mix ingredients over ice in a lowball or rocks glass, stir a few times, and enjoy.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

2-word Reviews of Recent Beers

I know I said I'd cut back on the beer reviews, but some of these beers definitely merit a mention. Therefore, I present to you a series of two-word reviews of some of the beers I've tried in the past month:

Flying Dog Snake dog IPA
Uncertainly Flavorful

Flying Dog Doggy Style Pale Ale
Unfortunately Thin

Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter
Unexpectedly Astounding

Victory Hop Devil
Aromatically Spicy

Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock
Bottled Sex

North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout
Black, Sublime

Unibroue Trois Pistoles
Darkly Fruity

Miller High Life (My first time!)
Urine Water

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bitter Enemy

I threw this together on a whim, trying to incorporate some of my favorite ingredients. It's very bitter, pretty strong, and really not very friendly, hence the name. But here it is, all the same:

  • 1.5 measures gin
  • 1/2 measure Campari
  • 1/2 measure dry vermouth
  • Dash absinthe

Shake it with ice, strain, and beware. Garnish with a maraschino cherry, for irony.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Beer Overload

Greetings reader(s),

I'm sure you've noticed (as I have) that I have been reviewing many beers in this blog with other things occasionally thrown in between. Since this blog is supposed to cover ALL categories of tipple, I feel I need to slow down on the beer reviews. Since I do often try all sorts of beers, I will post reviews of them when I stumble across a particularly unique or exquisite one, but trying to review several beers of the same general variety without getting repetitive is difficult, which is another reason I'm lightening up on the beer reviews. In return, I promise to bring you reviews of other spirits and cocktails as I sample them. Cheers,

-Dynamite D