A Glass of Class: Not For Kids Under 21

Candy Crasher

1 generous handful of Warheads candies (make sure they’re all the same flavor)

3 shots Bacardi 151

2 scoops of ice

Blend the ingredients together, liquefying the ice and candies.

So, Calvin and I came into possession of a massive bag of candy this past week. As a testament to just how much willpower we have, we didn’t end up eating ourselves into diabetic blindness. However, this meant a good amount of candy was left in the bag by Friday. Neither of us wanted it taking up space, but we couldn’t waste such a glorious testament to how childish we are. So, I threw some Warheads (my favorite) into a blender, added some Bacardi and ice, and just let the bastard grind for a bit. What emerged was a frothy green abomination, challenging our sensibilities. It was an absurd collision of childhood and adulthood, gurgling in the highball; I’m almost certain I faintly heard it say “kill me.” We were less than enthusiastic about tasting what looked like a bad idea, but I manned up and decided to dignify my creation with a sip. I sloshed it around, looked into the glass, and took another; the drink’s tangy-sweet mix had just enough of a bite from the rum to make it taste right. We were astounded that such a stupid idea turned out well, but it looks like it did. Not only does it taste good, it’s a great talking point at parties when people ask just what the hell it is. I recommend, if you choose to embark on this trip into absurdity, that you experiment with it, though (especially with how it looks. Try to make it less…vomity.)

–The sweet and sour C & L

Advertisements

Midnight Wine Talks #3: Chianti Superiore

Today we tried a Banfi wine, the namesake of our school’s hotel’s restaurant.

Varietal: Chianti

Vintage: 2009
Origin: Tuscany, Italy
ABV: 13%
Price: ~$10

Winemaker’s notes: “Fresh and fruity hints on the nose, well integrated in a round structure and full body.  The lively acidity is well balanced with the rest of the structure. Ready to drink, pleasant and persistent. [It]… is pleasingly smooth and satisfying with its clean and distinctive flavours… Ideal with grilled meat dishes, poultry or pasta.”

Our notes:

Sunnie: I would say it’s very medium body, light on the tannins, and there’s a strong aftertaste.

Audrey: What varietal is this?

Sunnie: I think it’s just Chianti.

Audrey: Definitely not as familiar with that name as ones like Cabernet, or Pinot.

Sunnie: Time for some internet research… They age it for 4-5 months in a French oak barrel and after, another 4-5 months in the bottle. It is 75% of the Sangiovese varietal.

Audrey: I didn’t know Banfi’s makes this kind of wine. I’m really enjoying this Da Vinci painting on the bottle. This is very easy to drink… it’s almost sugar-y sweet and the aftertaste is not too strong or bitter.

Sunnie: Wines with Sangiovese grapes usually taste of ripe black fruits, like black cherries or plums. It’s usually used as a ‘blender’ varietal that’s added on to the local varietal. By itself, Sangiovese is usually too harsh and acidic. It’s the most-planted red varietal in Italy.

Audrey: Very cool, I can definitely taste the black fruits. It’s more fruity than floral.

Sunnie: Why is it so cheap? I don’t understand… it’s cheap and affordable, so great! Hm… I can definitely taste black cherry.

A Glass of Class: Gin and Bear It

Gin and Bear It

2 shots U.V. vodka or Blue Curacao (the latter if you like sweeter drinks)

2 shots gin

1/2 a glass of cola

Mix it all together.

Even drunk Lucio can make delicious concotions, ladies and gents. At a recent friend-of-a-friend’s house party, I got my hands on some U.V. It was my first of many adventures i plan on having with that tangy, delicious liquor. Blueberry usually doesn’t agree with me, too, but for some reason, this stuff was just perfectly balanced between sweet and sour to keep the berry sugar from overtaking the taste. I had, in my hazy inebriation, the great idea to mix it in with some cola we had on the drinks table. Before I could taste it, though, somebody poured me a shot of gin. With rapier wit (just kidding,) I convinced my cohorts to let me just add the shot to my drink. I feared the worst, cringing at the thought of having wasted the drink. However, some magical chemistry shit had occurred in that sloshing Solo cup: the drink tasted fresh and tangy without taking on the usual sweetness-enhancing properties gin tends to have. Needless to say, the drink was immediately filed under “THINGS TO REMEMBER TOMORROW MORNING.”

A side note: I added to the recipe a possible substitute for UV with Blue Curacao, in case tang doesn’t sit well in your tastes; be warned, however, that I haven’t tested this mix, and it could be (and probably is) ridiculously sweet.

–C and L

A Glass of Class: Pumpkin King

The Pumpkin King (The Nightmare Before Christmas Cocktail)

Ingredients:
2 oz Eristoff Black (mixed berry vodka)
1 oz Godiva Chocolate Raspberry vodka

Directions: Stir ingredients with ice and pour into a cocktail glass.  Serve with a peppermint stick as a stir.

I found this recipe floating around the tumblrnet on a Halloween kick, and tried it early this weekend (with help from some far-less-poor-than-me friends from home.) The berry and chocolate flavors mix really well, and the peppermint stir brings the theme around perfectly. In addition to the drink, I point you to the site I found it: http://www.thedrunkenmoogle.com/. The site specializes in nerdy cocktails, which is right up my alley.

 

Happy Halloween, and pleasant screams.

–C & L

Gimme! Coffee Cupping

Today we went to Gimme! Coffee’s weekly ‘cupping’ at their State St. location in downtown Ithaca. We got to try four coffee varietals: Kenya Kiandu, Guatemala Atilán, Honduras Linda Vista, and Honduras Las Penitas.

Flavor and aroma wheel

After we had a quick lesson about the coffee production process, we got down to ‘cupping.’ ‘Cupping’ is the method of determining the quality of coffee beans by coffee professionals. Small portions of different varietals are ground, smelled, and tasted to compare aromas, flavors, and quality.

Cupping setup

Coffee beans are very labor-intensive; they need to be picked manually at the height of ripeness. Machines cannot do this since the coffee berries on the same tree are at different stages of ripeness. The coffee bean itself is the seed of the fruit. The fruit is taken off through drying or washing.

The four varietals were ground up for us to smell. The aroma is not necessarily indicative of the coffee’s final taste, but it’s interesting to compare. The Kenya Kiandu has recently been rated an incredible 95 by Coffee Review. We thought the Kiandu smelled salty, almost like soy sauce. The two Honduran ones were more mild and what we thought coffee usually smells like. The Guatemala’s aroma was rich and hazelnut-y. After this step, we added hot water to the cups of ground beans and waited four minutes exactly for the flavors to be extracted. During the waiting time, the coffee grounds rise to the top of the cup and form a crust.

The ground beans of four varietals

Our coffee expert pours water in the grounds

After four minutes of waiting, we lightly scraped off the crust. More intense aromas burst from the brewed coffee as we put our noses right into the cups.

The crust of grounds forming

Smelling the brewed coffee

After smelling, we drank the coffees; the best way to get the full flavors of the coffee is to slurp! The more oxygen you mix with the coffee, the more flavor you get. The biggest surprise was the Kenya Kiandu. It was very different from most coffees we were used to. The Kiandu had the acidity of tomatoes and was strangely vegetable-y. The Honduran coffees, the more popularly consumed coffees, tasted nutty and toasty, similar to what we find in most coffee shops.

Our super friendly cupping expert

Gimme! Coffee has cuppings at their State St. shop at noon every Saturday. Their staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. It’s a great way to start your Saturday and get free coffee!

Peace, love, and drinks,

Sunnie and Audrey

Midnight Wine Talks #2: Cline

Varietal: Viognier (pronounced vee-ohn-NYAY)

Vintage: 2010
Origin: North Coast, California
ABV: 14.5%
Price: ~$10-11

Winemaker’s notes: “Cline’s Viognier offers rich and distinctive aromas of pears, apricots, orange blossoms and honeysuckle.”

Our notes:

Sunnie: I don’t like it.

Audrey: Wow, already? Why?

Sunnie: I don’t like it.

Audrey: Oh, this is weird, you’re right. Not very drinkable for college kids. Although it does have a higher alcohol content than most wines.

Sunnie: Well maybe the flavor’s too young. I think it will mellow down the flavor if we drink it after 2-3 years.

Audrey: Gasoline. I taste gasoline…

Sunnie: Maybe we should chill it. Maybe that’ll improve the flavor.

(Ten minutes later)

Sunnie: …

Audrey: …

Midnight Wine Talks #1: Mirassou

Welcome to our new column where Sunnie and I will be ‘live blogging’ once a week about a different wine. School’s stressful and sometimes after a long day, you just want to pop a cork. We’re wine amateurs (although Sunnie’s taking the infamous Wines class and will be applying her education!) and might be bullshitting from time to time but like most young drinkers, we’re learning. Hopefully, this simple guide can help you find some good wines because let’s face it, selecting wines when you don’t know anything about them can be tricky. I’ve googled “good supermarket wines” on my iPhone while shopping more than once but it usually didn’t help. So, a bottle a week, it can’t be that tedious, right?

Mirassou

Varietal: Pinot Noir
Vintage: 2009
Origin: California
ABV: 13.5%
Price: ~$9-10

Winemaker’s notes: “Offering intense flavors of cherry and plum, with delicate floral notes, and hints of vanilla… This versatile wine pairs beautifully with salmon, poultry, or risotto.”

Our notes:

Continue reading