Cinco De Mayo Necessity: Ultimate Beergaritas!

emily's cinco de mayo beergaritas

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!!! Probably my favorite day of the year. For those of you who aren’t familiar with my proclivity for drinking mass amounts of tequila on Cinco, well, buckle up.

One of my essentials for any Cinco de Mayo is a good beergarita. You can drink a lot without realizing how much you’re actually imbibing, and it actually tastes delightful! (PSA: I don’t care what holiday you’re celebrating, never drive drunk yo. Call yourself an Uber, Lyft, taxi, sober friend, or unfortunate booty call and make them deal with your drunk ass.)

Anyway, make these. Tonight. Or today. Or right now.

Dayna y Emily’s Classic Cinco Beergaritas

4 12oz cans of your favorite Mexican beer (or, if you really want to get “authentic Emily” just load up an unused coffee pot with keg beer)
1 can frozen limeade concentrate
Enough silver tequila to fill up 2/3 of the empty limeade can (or 1/2 can’s worth of tequila if you aren’t trynna get crazy)
2 limes, sliced

Combine the first three ingredients into your drink dispenser. (What do you mean, you don’t have a professional-grade drink dispenser?! Get one immediately, what is the point of your life right now?!) Squeeze the juice from the limes into the mixture then drop the rinds in. Fill a Ziploc bag with ice and seal it tightly, then drop it into the jug as well. (This way the ice doesn’t water down your drink… smart, eh?) Get a keg cup – because beergaritas are always best consumed out of a keg cup, and you know it – write your name on the cup so you can keep track of it, cause it’s gonna be a long night. Pour a hearty serving of beergarita in, and get this party started!

ENJOY, AMIGOS!

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Top 10 Foodie Gifts

Ah yes, Christmastime is here. Christmas music is playing at every department store in the nation, fathers and husbands are crankily rushing around to strings of lights, Christmas trees, and other gadgets that are used for one month out of the year, and yes- – we are all searching for gifts to please those special people in our lives. There are so many things to choose from. But what about for those of us who love food the most? What are you going to get them? A fruit of the month club? Another cookbook that will sit on the shelve to collect dust? NO! How about something that is different/unique but also enjoyable? Well, we’re here to help. Here are our 2014 suggestions:

First Nibs: Chocolate Subscription

10. Raaka Chocolate Subscription

Raaka now offers a subscription service that offers two limited edition bars and one of their “classics” sent directly to your doorstep. The limited edition bars are only available through subscription. We were in Bryant Park and got a chance to sample their Pinot Noir Salt and Pink Peppercorn bar which was very tasty. A neat idea for any chocolate lovers out there who also appreciate a twist on some original flavors.

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9. The Original Bacon Kit

If you don’t like bacon, you most likely hate America as well. This kit would be fun for ANYONE to try out themselves and pride themselves on serving their own bacon on Sunday morning.

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8. Handpresso Auto

You already know how I feel about this product. If you have an espresso lover in your life, I guarantee they will enjoy this. Fresh espresso in your car – what else is there to say? I mean, other than the fact that it also ensures your car will always be smelling like Starbucks!

7. Spiegelau Craft Beer Tasting Kit

Spiegelau is known for their high quality glass and practical designs, enhancing the flavors of the beverage poured into the glass. We’ve already tried the IPA, Stein, and Stout glass, but this kit gives the beer lover a glass to drink each beer they have in their fridge. I’ve been doing some in depth testing of the kit that Spiegelau sent us and I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by the way each glass enhances the aroma, flavor, and sometimes carbonation of the beer. If you know someone who loves beer, invest in two of these kits as a gift – they need to have enough glasses to share with you!

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Endless Pairings: Negra Modelo

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Mexican beer and fall-themed food. The perfect complement? Well, that’s what were determined to find out when Negra Modelo sent us a “pairing kit” to put it to the test. When presented with the opportunity to taste test, my answer is almost always yes. Negra Modelo sent us a box full of spices from The Spice House, two tulip glasses, a wooden cutting board, and a $50 Visa gift card to purchase the goods. Challenge accepted. Think of it as the at-home version of Chopped. Being seasonal food fans (mainly fall), we began planning a menu of fall foods that would highlight the spices (follow The Spice House recommendations) and pair well with a Vienna (dark) lager. Yes – a European beer style from Mexico. Here’s the menu:

  • Aged Cabot Cheese with apples, fig jam, balsamic glaze, and crostini
  • Spiced roasted brussels sprouts
  • Sweet potato puree with nutmeg and cinnamon
  • Ribeye steak with Quebec beef spice
  • Cornish Hen with bicentennial seasoning
  • Pork with bavarian style seasoning

We had a friend over and made a beer pairing tasting menu. Negra Modelo was served with the appetizer, followed by a taste of each protein with the sides. The beer and food was judged based on the flavor of each, whether the spices complemented the food, and if the beer paired well with each “course.” On to the tasting notes:

Negra Modelo (ABV: 5.4%)

Appearance: Dark caramel with a red hue

Aroma: Sweet scents with subtle scents of toast

Taste: Sweet malts give caramel flavor, biscuit flavor with light herbal and earthy tastes

Mouthfeel: Clean and crisp with lingering sweetness

Overall: A pleasant surprise, Negra Modelo provides more character than expected. While it is an InBev beer, I can forgive that if the brew offers some flavor. For a lager from Mexico, it offers the basic profile of a lager with extra sweetness of caramel and a toasty flavor as well. Tastes like it would pair well with fall foods. So here we go!

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Endless Beer: the Spiegelau Refresh Stein

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Man, sometimes writing here is hard. I had to test several different varieties of beer for this one. The Spiegelau “Refresh Beer Stein” is touted as an everybeer glass. While many beer enthusiasts believe there is a specific glass for a specific style beer, this glass is calling: “BS. Pour anything in me.” The company that brought us the IPA glass and stout glass continues to design glass for literally any beer. The Refresh Stein has a molded turbine design at the bottom of the glass. This turbine is meant to “recharge” the beer, releasing more aromas and increasing the carbonation. The only thing you have to do, is swirl the glass in order to activate the recharging of your beer. The glass also tapers to “enhance aroma.”

The challenge here was to test the glass with the various fall flavored beers. I tried the glass with a pumpkin porter, pumpkin belgian, various pumpkin ales, a kolsh, an IPA, wheat, stout, and more pumpkin beers. I was testing the glass based on several criteria:

  • It’s a Stine – is the design convenient for drinking?
  • Does the beer “re-carbonate” when swirled?
  • Is the aroma enhanced?
  • Is the flavor enhanced?
  • Does the glass enhance ANY kind of beer?
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Cocktail O’Clock: Limeade for Grownups

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Don’t know about where you are, but it seems like summer never came to much of the East Coast U.S. this year…but that doesn’t mean we’re gonna let it leave without a fight.

For just a bit more serious summer drinking, try this grown-up limeade beertail, made by mixing pilsner-style ale with fresh lime juice and a little tequila.

Bohemia Limeaid

Ingredients
1 ½oz Herradura Silver tequila
¼  oz triple sec
1 oz fresh lime juice
½  oz agave syrup
1 oz Bohemia pilsner-style beer

Directions

1.       Mix all ingredients together and stir without ice.

2.       Pour over ice and garnish with a lime wheel.

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A Very Dogfish Vacay: The Inn

DFInn1Many think of Delaware for its fun, party-hopping beach towns. I think of beer. We went down for a long weekend to enjoy the beaches and of course – Dogfish Head Brewery. As I looked into the trip, I noticed that the Dogfish Inn just opened and we decided to try it out for a night. Dogfish Head is slowly taking over the entire territory of Delaware Beaches. The Inn is located in Lewes, DE, which is conveniently between the brew pub and the brewery. Originally, Dogfish started a “360 Experience” where customers could stay at a specific hotel and were given preferential treatment at both the brew pub and the brewery. Then, one day Sam Caglione (Founder of Dogfish Head Brewery) noticed an Inn up for sale and took advantage of the opportunity. Now, the experience is truly 360 from beginning to end.

We didn’t know what to expect except for what the reviews said. I read early on that the Inn does not supply or sell beer. I was disappointed to begin with, since I am staying at an Inn created by the mind behind Dogfish Head Brewery. One of the first questions I asked is why they don’t sell or provide beer. The innkeeper, Andrew (who has a very admirable and thick beard) explained that Sam did not want to open up further competition in the town of Lewes. Since Sam is a resident of Lewes, he wanted to promote business at the local eateries and bars. Every night, the inn posts which local bars and restaurants have what Dogfish brews on tap. We asked the staff about several of the restaurants, and they were very knowledgeable about the best food and best prices. They will also call ahead if you want to eat at the Brew Pub, or if you want to take a tour. The Inn will make the arrangements for you.

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Cigars and Beers: The Perfect Pair

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One of the perks of being a craft beer fan is that breweries are always doing crazy, interesting things. For instance, Flying Dog introduced an old bay beer, Stone collaborates with everyone and their sister, and Telegraph Brewing Company is even helping a band release their album ON their label. That being said, it should be no surprise that Flying Dog collaborated with CAO Cigars to create a suggested Craft Beer and Cigars pairing. Together, the two determined which Flying Dog beers would pair the best with which CAO Cigars. Then, they packaged the cigars and published the pairings for all to try. Turns out they were pretty spot-on. Check out the pairings, the beers, and the cigars. If you can’t find either in your area, take the style of each and pair them together.

Here’s what you can expect from the Flying Dog/CAO pairing:

Flying Dog Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout and CAO Mx2

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The oyster stout carries the typical malty sweetness, but finishes dry and includes earthy and bitter undertones throughout. It’s definitely an interesting stout worth trying. Be warned – this is not a breakfast stout style, so the sweetness is not as strong as it is in other stouts. The Mx2 cigar is paired well with this stout. The cigar complements the dry and bitter finish of the stout. The Mx2 is a darker cigar, but not as bold as you may think. Instead, it has a medium strength with a smooth smoke from beginning to end. The flavors of the cigar include some herbal spice characteristics as well as those of coffee and bitter chocolate.

Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA and CAO Sol

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Hoppy meets Spicy. The snake dog delivers the promised citrus and hop flavors throughout the brew. Nice crisp mouthfeel makes it a refreshing brew with a bitter and sweet bite. Not sure what to expect, I lit the CAO Sol and was pleasantly surprised with the spicy taste that went with the IPA. The cigar had a peppery flavor throughout the smoke. Moving through the smoke, earthy notes and even some citrus were included. Another medium cigar, but it complemented the IPA well. Possibly a tie for first place in this pairing list…

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