My dad can appreciate well-crafted food. While he doesn’t go out of his way to sit himself before any fragile souffles or dainty gelees, he can certainly respect the art of the dish. The same goes for beverages, except his beer habits reflect more of a meat-and-potatoes attitude. The pint of beer he likes the best is always the one he made himself (starting, for the fun of it, in the early 80’s) or something ‘easy’ from Trader Joe’s. A bottle of Jack Daniels in the cupboard usually means it’s the holiday season.
What do you get when you cross a banana with an iguana? A Guanabana! Guanabanas, contrary to what the name may bring you to believe, is neither a reptile nor a fruit of the Musa genus. It is in fact a fruit native to many Latin American countries and also goes by the name of Soursop. Guanabana is most commonly used in ice cream and agua frescas in Mexico, which is where I initially fell in love with it. This pulpy fruit tastes lightly of mango and pineapples. It adds a wonderful tropical twist to many traditional cocktails that call for fruit juices as well as occasionally used in cooking (beer carnitas anyone?).
This beer cocktail is fresh, minty and perfect for a warm evening under the stars.
I’m a bit of an Anglophile. I like the empire and all of its trappings, especially with the boozing and the wenching and more boozing. It gave us things like the gin and tonic – actually anything and tonic, IPAs, and naval strength spirits. The Victorian Era saw a whole proliferation of beer cocktails. Many of them made possible by the reach of both the commercial and colonial empire that reached its zenith during this time.
Spices and sugar from around the world, spirits and wines imported from all over Europe, and industrialization bringing luxuries into the reach of more and more people of all classes. Right in the middle of this era was Charles Dickens. He imbued many of his novels with wonderful descriptions of the indulgences at table and bottle, using them to help set the scene and illustrate the atmosphere.
If you were to carefully read all of his books you could collect all of the drinks and track them down and see what they were drinking. Thankfully, Dickens’s great grandson Cedric Dickens had done us the favour of collecting them for us in a book called “Drinking With Dickens.” It’s been fun going through it and picking out some beer cocktails from his great grandfathers’ era to play with. The first two to catch my eye were the Dog’s Nose and the Champagne Velvet. Continue Reading