Celebrating St.Patrick’s day @ Brooklyn Brewery :)

On a sunny Saturday, which happened to be St.Patrick’s day, we visited the finest brewery in Brooklyn – BROOKLYN BREWERY! Just in the center of a hipster town, Williamsburg, BB welcomed us with an Egyptian spell saying…

The tour was already in progress, and the guide was giving us a short summary of the brewery’s history, which I’m going to quote as fun facts right here:

1) Just like many other beer enthusiasts, the owner of Brooklyn Brewery started off his business by home brewing.

2) BB was the first brewery to open in Brooklyn after the prohibition (why this location? because Brooklyn real estate in the old days was cheap!)

3)  BB owner refused to pay the mobs for security (common practice back in the day), so he went to get advice from his prosecutor friend, who advised him to just pay the mob. In the end, he didn’t get into trouble because the mafia thought addition of a brewery will help the village economy :)

4)  Milton Glaser, the graphic designer who made “I ♥ NY” logo, also made BB logo. Guess how did he wanted to get paid for the logo?!! He got BB beer for FREE for REST OF HIS LIFE and, of course, some shares of the company.

5) Most of their brewing tanks are from Germany, again, customized just like in any other fine brewery. (I bet these tank companies make millions!)

6) BB uses New York City tab water to make their beers. If you didn’t know, NYC has the best water supply system in the country (according to the guide).

After the tour, as you can imagine, we tried some of their special drinks with bunch of beer enthusiasts. To get drinks, you need to get beer TOKENS! (from a hotelie’s perspective, this looked like a very efficient and smart service operation technique). And, they even had a small collection of their old bottles that showed how their bottle design changed over time!

If you are  interested in learning more about Brooklyn Brewery or want to visit them, here is the link to their website: http://brooklynbrewery.com

Cheers!

-Sunnie & Yaris

Finger Lakes Wine Center

To celebrate my birthday, my friends and I stopped by the Finger Lakes Wine Center. From my experience, people who work at alcohol-related places are incredibly friendly. How can you not be when you’re surrounded by fermented juice? This wine center, located near the Ithaca Commons, is only a few blocks from the TCAT bus stop (perfect for Cornellians who don’t want to choose a DD).

The wine center was recently renovated and would be a great venue for professional gatherings or intimate parties. It’s a spacious place with a high ceiling, a separate shop area displaying local foodstuffs, and a lounge with soft seating. Wine facts are creatively shown on the walls; one part shows samples of various soil compositions that make up the Finger Lakes areas.

Since we did not have any varietal preferences, the lady helping us chose a hodgepodge of three white wines, one red, and one rosé. All wines are local. Our favorite was the Lamoreaux Landing 2010 Dry Reisling for its refreshing peach and apricot notes. Now for the pictures!

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Beverages Abroad Pt. I – Singapore

Here’s the first post of 2012! A very happy new year to all you bevvies!

Many apologies for not having posted in the past few weeks. As any good explorers know, one must go far and wide to obtain the treasures of the world — and boy, have I. Singapore was my destination! The wondrous city/country/island and my many friends there showed me the greatest hospitality – which included much alcohol.

So, I have returned from my epic exploration with much bounty to share (I even have pictures). Let’s get to it!

To not completely come off as an alcoholic, I’ll include a variety of beverages that Singapore had to offer. First, I present to you a Hawker center (Singapore’s solution for regulating food carts and stands) classic.

A creamy, malted chocolate beverage -- good at any time of dayThis is the Milo Dinosaur. This cup of malted chocolate milk isn’t your average cup of “Yoo-hoo.” It’s creamy (from the condensed milk *drool*); it’s cold (which is friggin’ FAN-tastic in the Singapore heat); and it’s topped with extra malt powder which turns into that slimy, chocolatey goodness that lingers at the bottom of your cup. Luckily it comes with a spoon: yum.

And here is the warm alternative which is popular in many Hawker centers: Pulled Tea.

Frothy Milk Tea

This take on the popular Asian milk tea drink is a warm delight. Just like the Milo Dinosaur, it’s real creamy, ahem condensed milk. This simple drink’s taste is only half the fun. The frothy bits at the top all come from the pouring motion. Ain’t no thang.

Ok, enough sober crap. Onwards, to the alcohol (the reason why we’re all here…)!

First off: a beer. Tiger Beer is Singapore’s national beer. It was average. Cheers.

Singapore's Budweiser

I can’t say it was anything phenomenal, but I figured I might as well try it. One does not simply fly across the Pacific Ocean to not try the local beer. Like the adage goes: when in Rome…

(drink beer).

Ok and here’s the last of the picture series. Here we have Singapore’s speciality: The Singapore Sling.

Fruity and colorfulFirstly, excuse the out-of-focus-ness.  Secondly, holy sh!t this was not what I expected. My friends and I went to the place where this drink originated: The Raffles Hotel. Having done zero background research on the drink, I was decently bamboozled at our order (my friends and I were also surprised to learn that you could toss your peanut shells on the ground – it creates a nauseatingly crunchy texture to the ground).

For a drink that was birthed in the watering hole of one of the most historical hospitality establishments of the colonial world, I was not expecting a orangey-pink monstrosity (with a maraschino cherry to boot). I think the story goes that the colonial manly-men of the day needed to mask the foul taste of their gin.  Thus, pineapple juice, grenadine, and sweet and sour mix was used to mask the taste. My hat is off to you, ye olde colonizers – never have I seen such shameless sweetening of a drink. Wear your man-parts with pride!

Anyways, sarcasm and colonialism aside, It was a decent drink. Admittedly, this is a departure from the original recipe, but I couldn’t complain. The foam was a nice touch; the sweetness and tartness put it somewhere between “Peeps” and “Ring-pop”; and there was an absolute lack of alcohol burn, despite the three liqueurs and heavy-handed pour of gin. An interesting drink, for sure.

Next time, expect Hong Kong.

-J Lo

Six Mile Creek Vineyard

Just some pretty pictures of Six Mile Creek Vineyard, only a ten minute drive from Cornell campus. We were too tipsy too intrigued by their many drinks (they make wines and distill liquor) to take notes.

One of our favorites was their number one seller, Pasa Tiempo, a sweet wine with hints of lemon and honey. They also distill their own vodka (made from grapes and oh-so-smooth), gin, limoncella, orangecella, and grappa!

Thanks to Derek for a great tour and a fun afternoon!

Hot Spiced Milk

There’s that time of night on weekdays, somewhere between 7 and 11pm, that isn’t late enough to start worrying about homework but too early to sleep. I find myself in this limbo quite often. Usually I end up catching up on the latest episode of Boardwalk Empire and craving something warm to drink. This non-tea chai is not as heavy as hot chocolate or as caffeinated as coffee.

Hot Spiced Milk
makes 1 large serving

1.5 cups milk
~2 teaspoon cinnamon
~1 teaspoon ground ginger
~1 teaspoon allspice
~1 teaspoon cloves
Dash of vanilla extract
Sweeten to taste with sugar or agave nectar

I never really measure the ingredients, so the measurements are approximate. Put all ingredients, except for the extract and sweetener, in a small saucepan. Bring to a low simmer and be sure to keep stirring so that the milk doesn’t burn on the bottom of your pot. The longer you cook it, the more water cooks off and the creamier your drink is! I used 2% milk. Add extract and sweetener at the end in your glass. The spices get in the way of drinking so, unless you want to wait for them to collect at the bottom of your glass, pour the drink through a sieve.

 

Happy Holidays!

- A

Here’s to the holiday season!

Beverage Club readers,

As promised, I present to you more of my cocktail ideas. I was given the opportunity to bar tend a formal, and I had to come up with a few winter/holiday-inspired cocktails. After a bit of brainstorming, here’s some things I came up with…

Mint and Tonic

1.5 oz Gin

.5 oz Peppermint Schnapps

Tonic Water

Instructions: Build the drink in a highball glass full of ice. Use a mint leaf for a garnish.

Yes, I realize this one’s a bit stiff. The true gentleman’s drink, the gin and tonic, with a minty, holiday spin.

And since we’re all trying to kick back as the semester comes to a close, I present to you something more festive for all your end-of-semester festivities! I present to you a shooter!

Build these babies in a shot glass and pass around…

Sweet Tooth

1 pt Amaretto

1 pt Coffee liqueur

1 pt Irish cream

1 pt Rum

Instructions: start with the alcohol with the lowest specific gravity and then go up from there: Rum, Irish Cream, Amaretto, and then the Coffee Liqueur. The idea is to “layer” the shots. Use the end of a spoon to slip the heavier alcohols to the bottom on the side of the shot glass.

This is all very hypothetical at the moment. I need to see if the colors work and see how to improve the layer effect. I’ll give it a go this weekend and let you all know how it goes.

Happy holidays,

J Lo

Bar Wars: A New Recipe

Hello world,

Many apologies for my recent absinthe (bahahaha). I got caught up with life, and sadly, life did not involve too much mixologizing.

HOWEVER! That doesn’t mean there weren’t any ideas sloshing around in my head.  In an event that I had to coordinate in the past few weeks, I took it upon myself to create a classy little number.

This upstanding group of young professionals that I wanted to impress deserved something  more than just a re-hashed “coke and rum” shenanigan. They needed a sophisticated beverage. Something dynamic that could be nursed… or chugged. Something that induced ample salivation… yet impressed members of the opposite sex.

Behold! I give you… a treasure…

A Known Pleasure

1.5 oz Bacardi Gold Rum

.75 oz Disaronno Amaretto

Fill Club Soda

Instructions: Build in a highball full of ice.

General Notes:

This is a great, yet simple drink. Caramel notes from the gold rum compliment the amaretto fairly well. I’m still thinking of an appropriate garnish… but the base works wonderfully! Whiskey acts as a comparable substitute if you’re into that kind of thing. A blended whiskey, preferably.

Next time, I give you two sexy cocktails. That’s right. Two. Deuce. Dos. A pair. More than one and less than three. I’ll shut up now.

J Lo, out.