The Friday Tipple: Back to School Shandy

Back to School Shandy

Our nest has emptied, Boozers. As the fledgling stood uncertainly on the edge, we gave a mighty shove right between the shoulder blades, calling behind the offspring’s flapping wings: “For God’s sake, if you must drink beer, at least make it good beer!”. Because there’s really nothing sadder than social media pictures of overeager freshmen clutching cans of Coors Light.

And so now it’s cocktails à deux, as these wayward parental units sit back and contemplate life without PTA meetings, smelly sports equipment, and teen angst. Taking it slowly as we ease into the unknown, we’re starting off with a classic shandy, with a bit of a twist: beer cubes. As our loyal Boozers know, we have a long love affair with cubes of all sorts, as they help change the character of a drink while they melt and meld. Cubes also have the added benefit of looking somewhat innocent at the start, slowly becoming more devious as time goes on — not unlike the fledgling now flapping off into the sunset.

Back to School Shandy

A sparkling lemonade creates the base for this little Tipple, which you can make yourself by making a strong lemonade and then topping it off with seltzer water. We actually used a tasty bottled variety called Spindrift, which was lightly sweet, somewhat tart, and filled with a bubbly effervescence — rather like the offspring.

5 ounces chilled sparkling lemonade
1 ounce limoncello (we like our local Don Ciccio & Figli)
3 – 4 beer cubes (recipe below)

Put all ingredients into a tall glass (or a classic red Solo cup, if you want to relive your college days), stir briskly, garnish with a slice of lemon, and enjoy.

Beer Cubes:

12-ounce can or bottle of beer (for God’s sake, make it good — we used Shift Lager this time)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 cup citrus juice (we used both orange and lime)

Put all ingredients into a bowl, whisk together, and pour into an ice cube tray. Freeze until solid, about 4 or 5 hours.

 

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The Friday Tipple: Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

The school year is in full swing, Boozers. We’ve seen hordes of little ones marching off in search of naptime and enlightenment, armed with shiny new backpacks and toothy grins. The sight has harkened us back to an earlier time when we drooped soporifically at the school bus stop in the pre-dawn hours, sipping from a styrofoam cup of Carnation Instant Breakfast Drink. Ah, we can almost taste the powdered chocolatey goodness.

The appearance of the “adult milkshake” on many menus has given barflies a chance to relive their favorite childhood flavors with a grown-up twist, like the Dirty Girlscout and the Bailey’s Caramel Macchiato. So we started to think, what if a classic breakfast drink were reimagined as a creamy cocktail? Hence, the Breakfast of Champions. We might not actually recommend it for breakfast if you’ve got an 8 a.m. meeting scheduled with the boss, but it could be a tasty way to start off the weekend.

Breakfast of Champions

For our homage to liquid breakfast nutrition, we chose to combine a nutty soy or almond milk with a smooth rye whiskey for a truly eye-opening brunch cocktail. To provide a little contrast, and to aid digestion, we opted to toss in some bitters — in this case, The Bitter Truth’s Chocolate Bitters or Cocktail Kingdom’s Coffee Bitters provide just the right counterpoint.

1/2 cup chilled almond or soy milk (plain, unsweetened)

1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 ounces rye whiskey (we like Catoctin Creek’s Organic Roundstone Rye)

2 tablespoons light agave nectar (add more or less to your taste)

1/2 teaspoon instant coffee

chocolate or coffee bitters

3 ice cubes

Make a slurry of the cocoa powder, rye whiskey, agave nectar, and instant coffee, mixing until well-combined. Pour the slurry and the almond or soy milk into a blender, then add the ice cubes and blend on high for a minute or two until the ice cubes are completely incorporated (no large chunks). Stir in a few dashes of bitters and pour into a chilled glass.

The Friday Tipple: Back to School Shandy

Back to School Shandy

Our nest has emptied, Boozers. As the fledgling stood uncertainly on the edge, we gave a mighty shove right between the shoulder blades, calling behind the offspring’s flapping wings: “For God’s sake, if you must drink beer, at least make it good beer!”. Because there’s really nothing sadder than social media pictures of overeager freshmen clutching cans of Coors Light.

And so now it’s cocktails à deux, as these wayward parental units sit back and contemplate life without PTA meetings, smelly sports equipment, and teen angst. Taking it slowly as we ease into the unknown, we’re starting off with a classic shandy, with a bit of a twist: beer cubes. As our loyal Boozers know, we have a long love affair with cubes of all sorts, as they help change the character of a drink while they melt and meld. Cubes also have the added benefit of looking somewhat innocent at the start, slowly becoming more devious as time goes on — not unlike the fledgling now flapping off into the sunset.

Back to School Shandy

A sparkling lemonade creates the base for this little Tipple, which you can make yourself by making a strong lemonade and then topping it off with seltzer water. We actually used a tasty bottled variety called Spindrift, which was lightly sweet, somewhat tart, and filled with a bubbly effervescence — rather like the offspring.

5 ounces chilled sparkling lemonade
1 ounce limoncello (we like our local Don Ciccio & Figli)
3 – 4 beer cubes (recipe below)

Put all ingredients into a tall glass (or a classic red Solo cup, if you want to relive your college days), stir briskly, garnish with a slice of lemon, and enjoy.

Beer Cubes:

12-ounce can or bottle of beer (for God’s sake, make it good — we used Shift Lager this time)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 cup citrus juice (we used both orange and lime)

Put all ingredients into a bowl, whisk together, and pour into an ice cube tray. Freeze until solid, about 4 or 5 hours.

The Friday Tipple: Breakfast of Champions

It’s back to school time, Boozers. We’ve seen hordes of little ones marching off in search of naptime and enlightenment, armed with shiny new backpacks and toothy grins. The sight has harkened us back to an earlier time when we drooped soporifically at the school bus stop in the pre-dawn hours, sipping from a styrofoam cup of Carnation Instant Breakfast Drink. Ah, we can almost taste the powdered chocolatey goodness.

The appearance of the “adult milkshake” on many menus has given barflies a chance to relive their favorite childhood flavors with a grown-up twist, like the Dirty Girlscout and the Bailey’s Caramel Macchiato. So we started to think, what if a classic breakfast drink were reimagined as a creamy cocktail? Hence, the Breakfast of Champions. We might not actually recommend it for breakfast if you’ve got an 8 a.m. meeting scheduled with the boss, but it could be a tasty way to start off the weekend.

Breakfast of Champions

For our homage to liquid breakfast nutrition, we chose to combine a nutty soy or almond milk with a smooth rye whiskey for a truly eye-opening brunch cocktail. To provide a little contrast, and to aid digestion, we opted to toss in some bitters — in this case, The Bitter Truth’s Chocolate Bitters or Cocktail Kingdom’s Coffee Bitters provide just the right counterpoint.

1/2 cup chilled almond or soy milk (plain, unsweetened)

1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 ounces rye whiskey (we like Catoctin Creek’s Organic Roundstone Rye)

2 tablespoons light agave nectar (add more or less to your taste)

1/2 teaspoon instant coffee

chocolate or coffee bitters

3 ice cubes

Make a slurry of the cocoa powder, rye whiskey, agave nectar, and instant coffee, mixing until well-combined. Pour the slurry and the almond or soy milk into a blender, then add the ice cubes and blend on high for a minute or two until the ice cubes are completely incorporated (no large chunks). Stir in a few dashes of bitters and pour into a chilled glass.