Monday, July 27, 2009

Take the Peach Tea Plunge

Back when I posted about My Kind of Arnold Palmer (re-named the Laura Palmer by clever friends), I said that drinking Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka with lemonade was pretty much the only way I'd drink the stuff. 

Well, I was wrong. I stopped by a small town diner for lunch yesterday. I ordered the special peach tea that was "back by popular demand." It's the picture at right in the Coca-Cola glass. Notice how they added an actual peach slice to the tea? I thought that was a nice touch. 

Today an idea started to take shape in my head; I could make this at home, and I could make it into an adult beverage. So tonight I created the Peach Tea Plunge.

I know, I know, the name is not that great, but the drink is incredible. Here's how I did it:
  • Mix up one packet of Crystal Light Peach Tea according to the instructions.
  • Pour four cups of the tea in a pitcher.
  • Add two shots of Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka
  • Add one shot of DeKuyper Peach Schnapps
  • Add ice and frozen peaches
  • Mix it, taste it, and add more of whatever you think it needs.
  • Serve in glass with more ice and frozen peaches.
This is my new go to drink of the summer. I bet you'll like it too. And if you can think of a better name for it, let me know by commenting here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sex and the City

Almost every time I sit down at my laptop to write a post, I get this weird feeling that I'm Carrie Bradshaw in
Sex and the City. It's not because I'm wearing a cute little outfit; in fact, I'm writing this in late July and yet I'm wearing my flannel halloween-themed pajama bottoms with a big grey t-shirt. It's not that you'd ever classify me as a "Carrie" in real life. I think I have the unlikely Charlotte/Miranda combo going on, in that I have longish dark hair, a big butt, and yet I'm pushy and kind of mannish. No, it's because I always want to write Carriesque sentences like the following:

I couldn't help but wonder, if real ladies drink Cosmopolitans, are the rest of us just whiskey bent and hell bound?

Now that I've gone down this path, please indulge me. I'm just going to admit that I loved SATC back in the day. I actually remember watching it at home one Sunday night (probably while wearing the same halloween flannels) and then getting dressed up in my best black cocktail dress and heading to GT (Des Moines drinking establishment) by myself. I ordered a Cosmopolitan, and when my friendly bartender Mike asked me why I was so dressed up, I lied and said I'd just come from a party.

It was fun to play girly girl during the three minutes it took me to down that Cosmo, but then Mike and I got to talking about the silly girls who think they are drinking martinis when they are really just drinking a vodka and cranberry juice in a fussy glass.

Though Sex and the City tried to be edgy and real, I think they missed the mark as far as real women and alcohol go. I'm not going to re-watch the old episodes just so I can give you specific examples. You'll have to trust me on this. 

I think real women sometimes like to drink a girly drink, but they also like to drink beer and whiskey and whatever is left in the cooler at the end of a long night. Cue music as I head to the refrigerator to get a Miller High Life. . .after all, it is the champagne of beers.

Finally, I'm not at all about people who put down SJP, but I will likely never get a better chance to share one of my favorite drinking-related jokes: Sarah Jessica Parker walks into a bar and the bartender says, "Hey, why the long face?" I think it is safe to say that I'm whiskey bent and hell bound.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Texas Mule

The Moscow Mule is one of my favorite summer drinks. I've been drinking them for years at The Alpine Tap Room. 

Moscow Mules are made with vodka, ginger beer and citrus fruit. They are usually served in copper mugs because they are colder and better that way.

When you order a Moscow Mule at the Alpine, Frankie, Dean or Jimmy will ask for your drivers license so that you won't be tempted to steal the mug. That is unless you are a regular, like me. My new favorite game at the Alpine is to wait until someone orders a Moscow Mule and forks over a drivers license. Then I walk up right in front of this person and ask for a Mule and watch the person's expression as it is handed right to me, no questions asked. 

Once again, I will be telling you people things you already know, but the reason they are called Moscow Mules is because of the vodka, which is typically Russian. I'm not sure, but I think the "mule" part of the moniker comes from the fact that if you drink too many of these, you'll feel like you've been kicked in the head by one.

When I drink these at home, I use Tito's Vodka. Way back on my post about the Lavender Zinski, I mentioned Tito's Vodka and promised to tell you more at a later time. Well, now is that time. Tito's Vodka (I'm hoping if I write it three times it will magically appear in my liquor cabinet) is "handcrafted" in Austin, TX. They tell you all about it on their web site. You can also get a free belt buckle and a certificate stating you are an official Tito's Taster.

Tito's is so good. It doesn't have that vodka burn. It makes me dreamy and nice, where other vodkas tend to make me angry and mean. Plus, it doesn't cost that much.

The drink pictured above is a Texas Mule because I made it with Tito's and Bundaberg Ginger Beer. I think the picture has a happy, hazy feeling representing how I feel when I drink these. It is served in one of my very own copper mugs. I didn't steal the mug from the Alpine, but I could have, because they never ask for my driver's license.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stop Whining About Iowa Wine

I'm not one to make a lot of resolutions at the beginning of the year. I definitely couldn't make one every week like my friends at Fifty2 Resolutions

However, this spring I found myself at the Farmer's Market in Des Moines, Iowa trying to buy everything for a perfect local meal. I had the organic chicken from the county where I grew up. I had asparagus. I had rhubarb. When I found myself thinking I couldn't stoop so low as to buy Iowa wine, I checked myself and decided then and there that this summer I would give wines made in Iowa a chance.

Since that time I've tried the two Iowa wines shown above. I know that trying two bottles isn't really what you'd call giving Iowa wine a chance, but mainly it's because at $12 a bottle (it seems like they've banded together and decided that's the going rate), it is a little more than I'm used to spending. But you know, I paid a little more for that chicken, and I was okay with that because it was supporting someone in my state. It's the same with Iowa wine--the people making this stuff are our friends and neighbors; they need to make a living.

So back to the wines. . .The Jasper Winery Front Porch wine was a lot too sweet for me. Luckily, I had a friend who likes her wine on the sweeter side help me drink it. It was good in small amounts, and fun to drink. Also, I'm just going to go ahead and admit that I thought the red bottle was pretty.

I used the bottle of Francesca's Folly from Covered Bridges Winery to make sangria. It was an easy-drinking Rose' perfect for a summer afternoon, just like they described it in the brochure. However, that's not the whole story behind this wine adventure.

The guy who sold it to me was really nice and said that while they only had white wines right now, they hoped to have a drier red wine ready soon. So I gave the guy a $20 and walked off with my bottle. Two days later I get an email that said, "This is going to be a totally off the wall question, but did you stop by Covered Bridges Winery’s booth at the WDM Farmers Market last night and buy a bottle of wine?"  I'd walked away without getting my change, and he tracked me down so he could get my money back to me.

As I was arranging to get my money back, I told him about Glass Half Full and how I'd made a sort of resolution to stop whining about Iowa Wines. He said, "Those of us in the Iowa wine business appreciate spreading the word about Iowa wines.  There are still a lot of lingering memories of sickly sweet fruit wines that are made in Iowa. We are working very hard to overcome the quality perception. Hopefully some of what you tasted last night will help that cause."

You know what? What I tasted did help that cause. The other thing that's helped the cause is the fact that all of these Iowa vintners are so darn nice, it can't help but make their wines taste a little sweet. . . uh, I mean, better.

I'll leave you with a recipe Kevin sent me, along with my $8 change, for Sangria, the Covered Bridges Winery way:
  • 1 bottle Francesca’s Folly
  • 1 can ginger ale
  • 1 cup pomegranate or cranberry juice
  • 4 cups of fresh fruit (frozen will work, too) Pineapple, peaches, oranges, lime, apples, pears, kiwi.  Just about anything works except banana.
  • Mix all of the above and serve over ice. Alternative – Use 1 bottle Edelweiss wine and increase the amount of juice to get a nice color.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Not Just for the Boys: Beer in the Shower

After working outside or just being outside on a hot summer day, when you are getting ready to go someplace in the late afternoon that you may not really want to go to, or in the morning before work (just kidding), there is nothing like taking a cold can of beer in the shower with you.

You don't even have to remember to take it into the shower with you. If my man finds himself in the shower without a beer, it's okay for him to holler, "Honey will you bring me a beer?" You know what? Yes, I will bring you a beer because that is just so cool.

TV commercials would have you believe that women don't want to bring you a beer in the shower. Women, it seems, don't even want you to drink beer. They want you to sit around while they shop. They get angry when they want to "vent" about their hard day at the office and you want to "vent" by drinking.

My advice for all my single guy friends, find yourself a women who will bring you a beer in the shower and not think twice about it. Oh, and be willing to do the same for her.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Margarita Monday

I was going to start this post by apologizing for a week going by without new posts. But then I reminded myself that this is a blog about drinking, written by a person who drinks; and therefore, you shouldn't expect any sort of regularity from me. 

One thing you can expect is that after work on Monday I will want a drink. Tonight it's watermelon margaritas. 

I made the drink pictured by chopping up some seedless organic watermelon in the blender. I mixed in some ice, tequila, and instead of orange liqueur, I used Midori melon liqueur.  The trick here is not to add too much Midori because it is a bright green beverage and will make your margarita an ugly color. 

This drink tastes good and gives you a good healthy drunk feeling. If you want to blend up the whole watermelon, Martha Stewart says it will last for up to a week in your refrigerator. I'm drinking all of mine tonight.