Tuesday, November 27, 2012

McChouffe Ardens Brown Beer

Oh fer- another beer? Really? We've gotta get some soda on here. I'm starting to look like an alcoholic.

But this one's a doozy, I promise.

The second of those bargain-bin purchases I mentioned, McChouffe here has a bedraggled label (it looked like that when I bought it, I swear.), very little information (contains malt!), a relatively high alcohol content (8%), and, to top it off, a creepy gnome as a mascot.

After all that, important questions remain unanswered.
What does unsettled-gnome-beer taste like? Does it contain beard? Inquiring minds must know.

Pretty darn delicious, actually. The malt flavour is understated, and it's overall smooth and enjoyable.

I don't know about the second part.

And I have a cute new bottle for my collection!

It all works out in the end.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Roscoe's Hop House Amber Ale.

With Honey Added!

What's the best kind of beer?
If you said "the kind that's on sale"...

You'd be wrong. Go home and re-think your life.

I did, however, decide to try out two of the more interesting looking brews on the "please buy this" shelf by the checkout counter.
Yes, I am guilty of judging by label design.
Mea culpa.

Roscoe's Amber Ale looks very nice in and out of the bottle. Spiffy logo, pleasant golden brown colour. The flavour is clear and mild with a light, lingering malt aftertaste. The honey isn't particularly pronounced, but I'd be able to pick it out without being told. I'd recommend it as a happy medium between aggressive, tongue-killing beerflavour and tasteless pale ales.

Boy, my bias against light beer has just saturated this blog. Sorry, guys.

Anyhow. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy this again, but if I saw it on a menu next to Kokanee and Coors, I'd choose it.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Uptown Girl Strawberry Blonde Ale.

So by that title you may be able to tell a little bit about today's beverage. Namely, that it's limiting its audience. Not that I'm particularly concerned about ~*girly*~ marketing, but I was pretty leery when it came to the prospect of actually bringing this thing to the checkout. Luckily it was my Mother's duty to buy the tiny, adorable six-pack and I was able to make my purchases in peace. (A tiny, adorable bottle of Jagermeister.)

Basically, Uptown Girl is adorable. It's twee. It's precious. It's impossible not to roll your eyes at it.
I wonder if maybe that's the real target of the image. Not delicate womenfolk who require small and appropriately pinkish version of that strange, intimidating beverage known as "be-er" so as not to offend their sensibilities, but cynical jerks who catch sight of it on the liquour-store shelf and say "Oh man, look. Lookathis. Dude. It's girl beer."


Appearance-wise, the Strawberry Blonde Ale is clear and bubbly with slight foam and it is indeed distinctly blond. The scent is unremarkable. In flavour it is only distinctive in its extreme mildness. In its favour, that means it lacks the back-of-the-throat acidity that usually turns me off from light beers in general. Unfortunately it also has next to no flavour.
Yeah, "brewed with strawberry juice"? Sure. Whatever. It's a light, clear beer and that's all it has going for it.

Except for adorableness.

(Pictured here with a dainty, girlish hand.  Cat hair garnish optional.)

In all seriousness, if you're after a strawberry beer, I would highly suggest the Fruli.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Spiced Golden Milk

Not too long ago, someone on my facebook shared a youtube video showing how to make something called Golden Milk.  I'd never heard of it before, but I was quite familiar with the medicinal qualities of turmeric, so it piqued my interest.  It's not something I normally have in my spice cupboard - at least not in quantities for something like this, so I decided to pick some up to give it a try.

Last night, since Spindle was feeling quite ill and I was up late anyhow, I went looking for more information and decided to make some.  This is the recipe I used, except that I made a lot more paste for later use.  Also, I forgot to buy almond oil, so that got skipped completely. 

Spindle was willing to try it and see if it would help settle her stomach.  Or, if not that, prevent dry heaves.  Neither of us knew what to expect when it came to the taste.  We both ended up liking it quite a lot, though I put in more honey then either of us preferred.  To me, it really just tasted like warm milk and honey, except good.  I hate milk as a beverage, so even though I couldn't quite make out the taste of turmeric over the milk and honey, it did make a difference.  Spin felt there was a very mild taste of turmeric, and she really liked it as well.  Sadly, it did not settle her stomach whatsoever, but she enjoyed it enough that she made herself a second cup several hours later, having given up on the idea of sleep entirely.

This morning, I decided to make some more but, as is often the case with me, I immediately had to get funky with the ingredients.  Some of the recipes I'd read included cardamon while others suggested cinnamon.  So I started thinking that a bit of cinnamon would be nice, and I'm sure we have some ground cardamon left, and oh look!  Cloves!

And a new drink was born.

Doesn't that look lovely?

Here's how it was made.

2 cups milk (we use only homogenized milk, but use whatever milk you prefer)
Ground cinnamon, ground cardamon, ground cloves, to taste (I added perhaps 1/4-1/2 tsp of each)
2 tsp honey (or adjust to taste)
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 tsp turmeric paste (or adjust to taste)

Heat the milk to simmer, then stir in the spices and honey.  Just as the milk begins to simmer again, add the vanilla, stir and remove from heat.  Add the turmeric paste and mix well.  Divide into 2 cups and enjoy!

This version has an almost creamy taste to it, and the spices add a nice touch.  Even Spindle, who is still feeling quite sick as I write this, couldn't resist having some and is now (finally!!) getting some sleep.  So maybe it does help settle the stomach a bit after all?  Especially considering that she is mildly lactose intolerant. 

I'm going to have to keep a supply of turmeric paste handy often, as I can see this drink being a regular night cap!

The only down side is that the spices tend to sink to the bottom of the cup, which can be a bit of a shock when you get to the final dregs.  

Health wise, turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, so it's often recommended for people with arthritis, joint pain and any other inflammatory pain.  It's also supposed to be good for healthy liver function, lowering cholesterol and regulating blood sugars, as well as being good for the skin and for women's reproductive health.  Cinnamon has its own list of health benefits including helping with the digestion, lowing blood sugars, cholesterol, arthritis and women's reproductive health.  Cardamon is supposed to be good for digestive issues, including treating nausea and cramps, sore throats and some respiratory issues.  It is even supposed to help lower blood pressure.  Cloves, like most "desert" spices, are also good for the digestion.  They have anti-inflammatory properties as well, and as an aromatic, the oil is good for respiratory ailments.  The oil is good for pain as well - I've used it successfully on tooth aches when I couldn't get to a dentist right away. 

So all in all, not only is this a really tasty drink, it's a healthy one as well!