Category:  cold weather booze

Seasonal Brews

Fashion is the true king of beers. “This Autumn, It’s AAALLLLL about maple syrup!” says beer fashionista, Pepe Velázquez. He points out a new brew with a truly chic label. “This beer is a pale ale infused with dead leaves. It’s not particularly appetizing, but nowadays who really cares?” Velázquez is a leader in the craft beer movement known as hopheads. According to hopheads beer isn’t about having flavor; it’s about being fabulous. He makes sense of it like this, “Drinking a beer just because you like how it tastes is like waking up in the morning and putting on clothes because they fit you. Beer like an outfit needs to have sass and it needs to have class.” This season dark ales are big as are beers containing exciting flavors like aged pumpkin, acorn squash and maple syrup. Whether or not the flavors are good or not is irrelevant…. Read More »

Cold Weather Booze – Red Wine

By , January 31, 2010 in cold weather booze, Wine

When the cold winds are blowing outside, there’s nothing like a glass of big, dry, red wine. Cabernet Sauvignon fits the bill perfectly. A well made Cab is deep and rich in flavor. It’s usually got just enough complexity without being annoying. And a good Cab goes with most of those rich comfort foods like soups, pasta dishes and breads that seem to taste even better when it’s cold outside. A lot of people are intimidated to try to pick out a wine if they are unfamiliar with them. Don’t be. There are lots and lots of wineries in the world which means that everyone is faced with dozens and dozens of choices when they are searching for wine. That there are so many also means that even the most educated wine geek doesn’t know them all. In other words, no one knows for sure that this or the other… Read More »

Cold Weather Booze – Whisky and Whiskey

I’m not going to get into the whiskey v. whisky thing again, I think I already stepped deeply enough into that one. But when thinking of cold weather booze I have to mention this beloved brown liquor. When it comes to whiskey, it’s all good – Irish, Scotch or Bourbon. Each one has it’s own tradition and the difference in flavors is remarkable, as much among the three distinct styles as among the various distilleries that make them. I like to keep it simple with whisky. I typically drink it over ice but when I’ve just had enough with the cold, I just add water at about 50/50 proportions. Simple, tasty and warming.bourbon cold weather booze irish scotch whiskey whisky

Cold Weather Booze – Stout and Porter

Hardly a cold day passes that there isn’t some form of black beer in my refrigerator. These rich, dark beers with notes of chocolate, coffee, and dark roasted grain are perfect for cold weather sipping. The difference between stout and porter is almost indistinguishable these days. There are so many variations on each – chocolate, coffee, sweet, imperial, etc. – that both styles manage to cover the spectrum of dark beer tastes. One general truth remains – porters, like most other beer styles, rely on hops to balance the natural sweetness of beer while stouts include a type of dark roasted barley that contributes a particular sort of bitterness along with hops. It’s a subtle difference that’s difficult to distinguish in the glass. Dry stouts, of which Guinness Extra Stout is an example, are my favorite. Many breweries brew a dry stout all year long but even if they don’t,… Read More »

Cold Weather Booze – Port

By , January 22, 2010 in cold weather booze, Wine

I’m not typically a fan of fortified wines like port. Fortified doesn’t mean that vitamins have been added. Instead, the wine is fermented as usual until a particular alcohol content is reached. Then a distilled spirit – brandy in the case of port – is added. This increase in alcohol is toxic to the yeast and kills them. This leaves a drink that is sweeter than typical wine but with a much bigger alcoholic kick, usually twenty-something percent. Fortified wines also usually have a very boozy quality in the flavor. Like I said, I’m usually not a fan of port. When the weather is warm or even mild I find it too sweet, even syrupy, for my taste. I like dry drinks and savory foods. You can keep your hot chocolate and cookies; I’m just not interested. But when the weather turns frigid one of the first things I do… Read More »

Cold Weather Booze – Brandy

By , January 19, 2010 in brandy, cold weather booze

I don’t know about you but Old Man Winter has definitely found me in my corner of the world. It’s been crazy cold most of this month and all I want to do is flop in front of a fire with a stiff drink. So, for the rest of this month – and maybe some of next – let’s talk about cold weather drinks. First on my list is brandy. Nothing makes me feel more protected from the ice and snow than warming a few ounces of silky brandy in my hand. As the stuff warms, it releases great aromas that remind me of late summer gardens and autumn leaves. Now, I’m agnostic on the issue of cognac v. brandy. I’ve never found cognac to be remarkably better than brandy; it just seems like one is paying more for a booze because it comes from a particular region and therefore… Read More »