Saturday, October 29, 2011
All right, I'll bite.
First up is Real Brew Root Beer.
Common in local groceries but as yet untried. We picked it up with some Ginger Ale in the same brand. Below its appealing label is a little block of text declaring it to be:
"A complex flavour of sweet birch, licorice root, sarsaparilla, anise and other natural flavours."
Other descriptions on the bottle include Traditional Quality, Supreme, Subtle, Creamy, et cetera. Unfortunately, I don't think this soda has quite earned its own hype. It's good, don't take me wrong, but its sheer sweetness overwhelms any notion of subtlety or nuance. It's like drinking candy (my mother described it as "bubblegum" repeatedly), and I wouldn't imbibe it in great quantities.
Next is Henry Weinhard's Root Beer, which, interestingly, seems to be trying very hard to look like regular beer.
It's a good look, though. I approve of Mr. Weinhard's bemoustached visage glaring out at you as your drink. It adds ambience. And on the obligitory boasting front we have: "Draught style head", "Gourmet" "Hand finished with only the highest quality ingredients, including sassafras, honey and vanilla" aaaand I can't say I'm entirely derisive. This soda may not be as strong as the Real Brew, but there's more to taste. A slight tingle on the tongue, a strong undertone and aftertaste of honey, a thick, herbal construction... I heartily recommend it. Unfortunately, it seems a little harder to find. (My mother and sister picked up a couple of bottles from a place called The Carrot, which, in the slurry of artsy and fartsy "grassroot" cafés may in fact be the artsiest and most fartsy). If your come across it, pick up a bottle!
Friday, October 21, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
I'd been meaning to exhibit this recipe of mine for while. It's simple but versatile and I like to think it hearkens back to chocolate's ubiquity as a savoury ingredient taken with meats and spices. Fiddle with it and come up with your own variations!
Unsweetened baking chocolate (1 ounce pieces).
Coarsely ground black pepper.
Homogenised milk. (Get your giggling out of the way.)
Whipped cream. (For topping.)
I chopped up the chocolate (about three chunks) and melted it, then slowly and carefully stirred in some milk. How you do this part is really up to you. I handle the melting of chocolate so poorly that it would make the sturdiest of chocolatiers weep.
Once the milk mixture is smooth, I add in the spices (about a teaspoon of Cayenne and just a dash of black pepper) and then add brown sugar to taste, whisking frequently.
Warm it up, pour it, cap it with whipped cream (and a dash of brown sugar for photographic purposes) and you're done!
Now for the interesting part.
I handed the beverage first to my sister, who sniffed it, declared it delicious, and tasted it.
She choked. Then coughed. Then said, with a look of baleful unhappiness: "It's spicy."
It's not! I declared. I used hardly any pepper at all!
As if to prove my point, I passed it on to my mother who... well, let me allow her notes to speak for themselves.
oh, dear. Hit hard by the cayenne. burns. barely taste the chocolate. Cannot drink it.
Ah, well. More for me.
In conclusion, let me say that this drink will be no challenge at all for a lover of spice. If you're not, though.... Consider replacing the cayenne with something more to your taste.