The Friday Tipple: Daisy’s Cup

Daisy's Cup

We’re heading downstairs, Boozers. Frankly, it’s a bit more fun hanging out in the servant’s hall at the end of a long day, especially with a glass of beer in hand. Last week’s Tipple, the Earl’s Cup, brought out the aristocrat in faithful fans of Downton Abbey, but many of our loyal Boozers were also intrigued by the downstairs version created in honor of our favorite kitchen-maid-turned-assistant-cook: Daisy’s Cup.

Daisy’s expectations in life are minimal, although, emboldened by her father-in-law’s encouragement to aim higher, she may start giving up beer for champagne. Still, a little warm beer on a chill winter night is sometimes much preferred over a cold glass of bubbly. Drink up, Daisy.

Daisy’s Cup

A local ale laced with spices makes a nice base for this cup, but watch out for devious valets lurking in the shadows, who may sneak in a tot or two of whiskey for an unexpected twist.

4 ounces ale (DC Brau’s Citizen or 21st Amendment’s Fireside Chat are nice here)

1 tablespoon Earl Grey Simple Syrup (recipe below)

1 lemon wedge

1 ounce whiskey (optional, but you’d be silly not to add it in — we like Catoctin Creek’s Roundstone Rye)

Pour ale in a small saucepan, squeeze lemon wedge over it, and drop in the wedge. Warm gently over very low heat. Pour into a heat-safe cup and stir in Earl Grey Simple Syrup and whiskey.

to make the Earl Grey simple syrup: Make 8 ounces of strong Earl Grey tea (using two tea bags). Put tea and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes or until reduced by half. Cool and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

The Friday Tipple: Tailgater’s Toddy

Hang onto your helmets, Boozers. Yep, it’s time for that most hallowed of all American days: Super Bowl Sunday. Even as we write, tortilla chips are being crisped for homemade queso, pots of Mom’s secret chili are bubbling, and charcuterie enthusiasts are eagerly stuffing sausage casings. Let the games begin.

We’re pretty sure that you can’t enjoy football without a beer — or two — and a nice cold one can be tasty when you’re tucked up by the telly with a plate of nachos. But what if you’re tailgating in Indianapolis with a portable barbecue brimming with bratwurst? Time for a Tailgater’s Toddy.

If you’ve ever trekked through the frosty Eastern European countryside and stopped off at a roadside pub, then you’ll have encountered what can only be described as mulled beer — basically a strong beer that has been simmered with spices and is served warm in a large mug. The flavor is smooth and dark and brimming over with bone-warming richness; with the explosion of craft breweries across the United States, it’s easy to find a lovely local amber or brown ale or perhaps even a porter to serve as the base for this brew. We like to add just a tot of brandy, although a bit of bourbon would do just as nicely — it helps ease the pain, just in case your team doesn’t grab that trophy. Touchdown!

Tailgater’s Toddy

We like to use a beer that is somewhat malty but with a bite of hops to it — basically providing a balance of bitter and sweet that melds with the fruit and spices. Check out your local brewery and pick up a growler or two to bring home — brewers love to talk about flavor profiles and can suggest which of their beers will work best in this recipe.

4 cups beer (we like our local DC Brau, Port City, and Chocolate City)

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 slice of fresh ginger, about an inch in diameter

2 wedges of apple, such as Granny Smith

1 small orange, sliced in half

2 TB honey (an orange blossom honey is nice if you have it)

1/4 cup brandy or bourbon (we used Catoctin Creek’s Pearousia Brandy for an extra kick of fruit)

Orange wedges for garnish (optional)

Put all ingredients except brandy into a 4-quart saucepan and simmer over very low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat and add brandy just before serving in mugs or heat-proof glasses with a wedge of orange. Serves 2 – 4; okay, maybe just 1.