Ithaca Beer Co. Tour and 5 awesome facts…

Awesome fact #1: They use water from Cayuga Lake, which has a unique mixture of minerals, giving their beer a distinctive body.

Awesome fact #2: 70% of the beer they produce is Apricot Wheat.


Awesome fact #3: Correct fill height in the bottle is crucial! The perfect amount of space allows carbonation storage which increases the beer’s shelf-life (employees take home the botched ones)

Awesome fact #4: They produce 700 gallons of beer daily.

Awesome fact #5: People travel from all over the country to get a bottle of their limited edition New Years champagne, Le Bleu, which is made in oak barrels with blueberries. It sells out in one day! (This picture is not it–this is their delicious Root Beer)

A Glass of Class: Basilicola

Basilicola

Half a lowball of cola
1 oz lime juice (about a shot and a half)
Basil leaves
A few shot glasses full of vodka (how many depends on how many drinks you’re making)

Leave the basil in the vodka shots, muddling it a bit to release the flavors. Leave it to sit for 30-45 minutes, then strain the basil out. Mix everything in the lowball. Garnish with a leaf of basil and/or a lime wedge.

Calvin’s apartment is a fantastic cyclone of random, unneeded shit from other people and places; it’s an amalgam of every college apartment you saw on The WB in 1997. He says he spent the summer acquiring odds and ends while he worked up here in the Ith. One thing stands out, to me at least: the lone basil plant growing in the windowsill. Nobody knows where it came from, it just sits overlooking Collegetown in mystery (that doesn’t stop us from making king’s cup rules that involve eating basil leaves as punishment, though…) Anyway, the notion of making something with the basil has been on our minds since the year began, and one Friday, we finally had a breakthrough with the Basilicola. It’s almost serendipitous, too; we had the idea to strain vodka through the basil, but ended up absentmindedly leaving the shot glasses on the counter for some time. Think of this drink as citrus pucker on a budget. Lime juice is cheap, generic cola is cheaper, and…well, no, the basil was only free for us, but you understand.

–C and L

A Casktail: Mind, blown

Dear beverage enthusiasts,

As I told you last time, I am going to talk about another project I’m doing with a good friend of mine, Kevin. Mid-way through a class, he texts me to check out a website. The last few minutes of class were creeping very slowly, and I decided to take a quick glance. I saw one word before the professor gave me a shifty eye: cask.

Sweet baby Jesus! A cask! Excitement ensues.

My friend’s idea is to experiment with a new beverage trend: aged cocktails. Basically, we’ll put a cocktail mix into an Oak barrel and then play the waiting game (3 weeks). As it turns out, there’s quite a bit of literature out there on the interwebz. This guy knows a thing or two, and it’s where Kevin and I are drawing inspiration from to devise our own cocktail recipe.

It’s all in the works right now because we just ordered our own barrel. 3 Liters of “aww yee.” The recipe is still in the works, but one ingredient we know we’re going to be using is the Irish Mist, an Irish Whiskey liqueur. Leave comments if you think you have a good idea for our cocktail! We’ll be sure to let you know how it goes, or we’d be bastards (tasting party, anyone? I’ll keep you posted through our Beverage Club Facebook page).

I’ll post some pictures when this badboy arrives.

GET EXCITED!

J Lo

Next time, I blast to the past with Sangria.

A Glass of Class: Summer Sunset

Summer Sunset

One handful of cranberries (Fresh gives better taste, but frozen works in a pinch)
Three shots vodka
One or two mint leaves
One spoonful of sugar
A few chunks of pineapple
Ice

Blend everything until the drink has a liquid consistency, then strain it into a tall glass.

 

Fruity drinks always remind me of the summer: sun beating down on the shores of turquoise water lapping at some sand, as you watch tanned beauties sip a Cosmo with those little chunks of sweetness bobbing at the top. Since we’re on the heels of the season, though, they’ve all but gone out of style. Reminiscing about the days we’ve since passed by, the two of us decided to make a ‘last hurrah’ drink before Ithaca plunges us into thirty weeks of night again. What better way to do that than throw some fruit and ice into a blender and hope for the best? Yet, we want everyone to enjoy this, not just the ladies (which is the stereotype, or so I’ve been told.) To make it more unisex-friendly, this drink has a nice bite to it without being bitter. It provides a fresh tinge on the way down too, courtesy of the mint. Beware, though; it comes out of the blender very pulpy and gritty, so strain it well unless you don’t mind drinking seeds and leaves. In the end, enjoy this drink as a requiem to summertime, or as a celebration to inevitable future lethargy.

Until next time, kids.

–C and L

J Lo announces his project – part 1 of infinity.

Kind readers,

As the first post, I will share with you my foremost project. This will be an on-going project until… well, until I run out of friends (God-forbid it’s because I run out of booze).

My first-ever original creation took place just under a year ago. This was before I had my own Boston shaker and other tools (actually, I had converted my unused coffee thermos into a shaker which worked brilliantly—put the ice and liquids in, clap the lid on tight, shake, and then use the drinking spout as your pour!). But anyways, I was hanging out with some friends at my place, and I was looking for something more manageable than just straight booze.

I started with a few mixes and then finally settled on a particular mix. I was playing with some Mango Absolut and some random mixers in my fridge. After a bit of ‘this’ and a bit of ‘that’, I passed the cup to my friend, Seojin, who enthusiastically burst out that she loved the creation. Surprised by the reaction, I cheesily announced that this was to be her drink. The whole group of us brainstormed a name for a quick minute, finally settling on “Seojin Special.”

Then and there, my project was born. The goal of my project: to create and then name as many of my original creations after my friends as possible.

Seojin Special

Formal prep

1.5 oz Mango Absolut
Fill two-thirds orange juice (I like pulp; haters stay away)
.75 oz lime juice
Dash of grenadine down the side of the glass (ooooh, pretty!)
Instructions: Build in highball glass full of ice. Be sure to remember a stir-straw.

Party prep
Use some standard of measure (a shot glass, a red cup, etc.) to define your ‘part’.

1 part Mango Absolut
2 part orange juice
1 part lime juice
Dash of grenadine
Instructions: Build into a cup with ice, and then pour (roll) between two cups 2-3 times to mix. Color should be somewhat like grapefruit juice.

This is a great fruity drink that is basic yet sophisticated at the same time. The alcohol can be switched for virtually any flavored vodka/rum or maybe even gin. For all you experimenters out there, try the orange, limejuice, and grenadine together to know what the ‘natural’ taste of the mixers is without the alcohol. This way, you can further experiment with other juices and tastes of alcohols.

General notes: The party prep is much less concerned about presentation. It’s fast and it’s hassle-free. Given that we are all rather eager to imbibe alcohol at this juncture in our lives and that we just want to get something tasty down the hatch to relax the atmosphere, the party prep set of instruction will cater to this mindset. I assume that not everyone has all of the standard glassware to present the cocktails or the appropriate tools with which to create them.

The formal instructions are bar-ready. With these instructions, I assume that you have all the tools and resources to execute a professional-looking cocktail. This is for all you fancy-pants out there who want the whole 9-yards.

ENJOY, ALL YE PEOPLE.

Next time: I talk about a cask.

J Lo, out.

A Glass of Class: Introductions and Rasputin’s Fury

Hello, beverage-clubbers and connoisseurs! We are Calvin (mixologist/engineer) and Lucio (bar chef/writer,) sending you guys and girls our (somewhat) weekly drink experiments and personal recipes. So, welcome to the first installment of “A Glass of Class!”

Rasputin’s Fury

2 shots frangelico

2 shots Stoli vanilla vodka

half a highball of cola

Shake the alcohol with ice, then strain into highball until it is 3/4 full. Serves about 6.

The two of us discovered Rasputin’s Fury during a trip to the Center for Jewish Living’s after-shabbat bar night some time ago. The bartender was a member of one of the off-campus improv groups; we were trying to network with him, and when he offered to make us a special drink, we figured this was a big in. He wove a tale of Rasputin, the infamous Russian advisor to the Czar who supposedly cheated Death so many times, he makes Jackie Chan look like the bubble boy. To top it off, he claims that this was the drink that gave old Raz the power to survive. And here we were, drinking that same ambrosia of the gods. I was tentative at first, but being a fan of Stoli and having grown up on espresso-frangelico, I decided to go for it. Calvin had no such doubts, but then, his stomach is made of iron, so he had nothing to worry about. The drink was as smooth as silk, and tasted like some mystical get-you-drunk chocolate. To this day, we attribute that night to the kindling of our desire to experiment with our drinks to accompolish what “Rasputin” had: make a fantastic drink to call our own. As always, stay thirsty, ladies and gents.

–C and L

Attention all, J Lo in ‘da house’

Dear readers,

A hearty welcome to the online dominion of bevvies! My name is Jonathan, and in this first post I will introduce myself, explain my presence on the blogosphere, and finally toss you a favorite recipe of mine.

First, let’s get the name squared away. The name “J Lo” was a monstrosity that my sister brought to my attention when I was only in the second grade (the “J” from my first name and the “Lo” from part of my last). You. Could. Not. Realize. My. Horror. Let’s be honest, all you men out there, having your name related so closely with the cooty-infested species of girls was social suicide in second grade. I fought, and I fought hard to prevent this nickname from latching itself onto my being. Fast-forward a decade later… and now all we/I think about is that “junk in the trunk”! I can’t say I mind as much anymore.

So yes, I have now adopted the bootylicious popstar’s nickname as my own for the blog. To do the name justice, I will try my hardest to be the Jennifer Lopez of Cornell’s beverage scene. No guarantees, but I’ll sure as hell try.

Ok, name done. Now let me give you an abridged, “explain-like-I’m-five-years-old” version of what makes me J Lo. I am from a suburb outside of San Francisco, California. I love Jazz and Indie Music. I play Flute and Bass. I used to be in a band with my high school friends (shameless plug). I love to bake. I love to eat. And now, I love to make drinks.

SO! What am I doing here?

Simply put, I am here to bring the joy, the tastiness, and the greatness of the cocktail to you. In this blog, I will be sharing my liquid-related ideas and original creations with you. I will share my latest obsession. I will share my greatest dislikes. All shall be shared, and shared shall be all.

By now, you’re all probably incredibly thirsty from reading. Allow me to share my liquid love affair from this past summer. Thirst quenched:

Gimme Mo’jito

1.5 oz Gold rum (Bacardi Gold, preferably)

1 oz simple syrup (preferably made with brown sugar)

.75 oz lime juice (or half a lime)

4-6 Mint Leaves

Soda Water

Lime

Instructions: Place mint, syrup and rum in the bottom of glass. Muddle well. Fill glass with ice, add lime juice, fill with soda water. Garnish with lime wedge.

I like the color of dark rum. Sue me, I’m not a traditionalist. Here’s a fun paired reading.

Before I sign out, my friends wanted to make an appearance…

"Why hello there!"

-J Lo