Horsetooth Bloody Mary’s

Love supporting local businesses. Also love Bloody Mary’s. A new mix for such concoctions I have stumbled upon since moving to CO is Horsetooth Hot Sauce‘s. They have two levels of it.

I aim towards the milder side of things, so go for their ‘Dog That Bit You’You woke up licking your wounds from a night of excess imbibement. Perhaps you need a little hair of the dog that bit you? That’s where our The Dog That Bit You Bloody Mary Mix comes in, with just enough of our Rubin’s Red hot sauce to help you forget the pain from the night before.

They have a hotter level, the ‘Wake Up Call‘ — The Wake-up Call balances delectable spices with our infamous Rubin’s XXX hot sauce to give you a fiery flavor that will get your engines revving.

The mix has great tastes and all you have to do is add that vodka! I picked some up at the local farmers market, but it’s also available in some retail locations.

They also have some other drink mixes, as well as BBQ and hot sauces. Check them out and support the local Ft. Collins guys.

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Jose meet Stirrings

Was totally in the mood for a margarita and didn’t have any of the great pre-mixed/alcohol-holding stuff at home.  And, didn’t feel like driving to the liquor store to get some.  But of course I have the essential components to make one of the essential drinks in life (tied with wine, 2nd in line to water) — tequila and triple sec — but not the rest.

So when I went to the closest grocery store to get some food (with initials WF, meaning they can’t have super unnatural, chemical-saturated, 10-syllable ingredient products), I bumped into some margarita mix.  Darn!  Inspected, thought for about 5 seconds, purchased.

It was Stirrings.  They tell you to add 1.5 oz of tequila to 3 oz of mix.  I did 1 oz Jose Cuervo and 0.5 oz of triple sec (rough estimates).  Perfect on the rocks, no salt.  I was pretty impressed.  Good to know for future binding situations.

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Green Hat Distillery

Microbreweries are expanding/exploding but now so is something else…microdistilleries.  What is the world coming to?  HEAVEN!  In DC there is a gin distillery, Green Hat (they hope to make more than gin in the long run).

IMG_2680They have been around for a little over 3 years now and are located in NE (the North East quadrant if you’re not completely familiar with the area).  It’s one of the less expensive areas so this is of course where a lot of the growing micro (alcohol) folks in DC are going because of the cost.  It’s amazing, there is so much potential and it’s really helping these areas grow.  It’s also where Union Market (drove near it since the street sign isn’t actually on noted off of NY Ave so took a couple extra turn and my GPS was taking me some extra places).  Ok, anyway, back to in.

So to actually visit the distillery you can only go on Saturdays from 1-4pm.  The rest of the week they are busy making this good gin for us.  You go in and get to taste a couple gins and get a tour of the place.  What was great on the tour is that you walk to the back of the distillery (maybe the width of a football field) and the guide said ‘ok, this is the whole size of the place, nothing more, are you disappointed that more of your tours are so much bigger?’  This ‘tour’ was very interesting because I’ve only done beer and wine tours so I learned the process of distilling gin.  They have gone through a long process of who to work with for getting their product and are working with relatively local farmers in Virginia.  Then we learned about everything from start to finish, from grains going in, to heating to the ‘flavor’ choice going in to bottles.  The whole process can take about a month.

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With the tour you of course get a taste.  They consider a variety of spices when making the gin, from juniper berries to celery seeds, so have these out for you to smell why enjoying the gin.

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The first gin we tasted was their tradition gin. This one was about 41% alcohol.  They hand write the percentage and proof on each bottle in case anything changes and anybody comes in to inspect them.

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The second tasting was the Navy Strength which was around 57% alcohol.  WOW!  I think I was shivering when I sipped that stuff.

Though we didn’t get to taste them, they received awards for two of their gins last year — Ginavit and Spring-Summer.  Side note — I though we were tasting all 4 of the gins, so I was carefully sipping the first 2.  Not that I needed to down them, but still, I wanted to taste the awards winners.

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They are also working in whiskey.  They hope to have this ready in about 3 years.

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So, if you live in DC, head to NE on a Saturday afternoon and check this out.  Go to Union Market after it and get some food, or there is a MOMs 3 blocks away.  This area is growing and it’s great.  Cheers.

Ripple Effect

Checked out this new place (to me) in Cleveland Park (a DC neighborhood, if you’re not from around here) last night and it was quite nice!  From cocktails to wine to menu, you can’t get bored.  The name — Ripple, hence the name of the post.  Side note, there are quite a few meanings of Ripple Effect.  Check them out of you want some good conversations pieces to either draw people in or get them away during upcoming holiday parties.

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They have quite the cocktail, wine and beer selection and after watching the bartender add some type of liquid to a glass from ‘something’ that looked like it could have been a funky whipped cream container, I come to find out they make their own juices and soda and have these cool, funky pressurized, carbonated container, vessel things.  Good terminology on my side, right?  The key point was that I had to try something.  After some debate, I opted for the Herbivores Delight — chamomile vodka, grapefruit-thyme soda.  The sage leaf on top brought it all in!

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Now, jumping forward awhile, while the bartender was prepping that, the folks next to me were trying some wine.  They had a taste so I had to inquire.  I had a sip as well.  That was my pre-planned round 2!  When I see wines I’ve not tasted, bring it on.  I have now added to my shopping list Donkey and Goat 2012 Carignane from Mendocino.  Of course when you go to the website you find it’s Limited Edition, but hey, it’s just new a new winery to explore!

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Food-wise, for some reason I flipped to the cheese menu and saw they offer sheep’s milk cheese, aka lactose free!  Opted for the ossau iraty.  Also ordered some prosicutto and olives.  They serve the cheese and meat on a nice board and complement it with house-made mustard and honey. Then, they throw their bread crisps in there. Ahhh….heaven.

 

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IMG_2349(had already eaten most of these)

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So, if you’re in DC, check this place out.  And this was just part of the menu.  So much more to explore!

Three weeks, three people, three new tastes

Good things come in threes, right?  So I’ve met some great people over the past few weeks and all of them have introduced me to some new drinks, all in different ‘categories’ — liquor, beer, wine.  Great way to keep the mind and palette active.   Wanted to share them so more people can learn about them (or nod and say — oh yeah, I’ve been loving that for ages, glad she’s finally caught on).

#1 — Gin & Tonic, the wonderful G&T, with cucumber vs. lime.  The important part about this concoction is that you MUST muddle the cukes to release the juice, you need good gin (everybody does have their favorite — mine is Bombay Sapphire but I will never turn down a host who provides Hendrick’s) and apparently if you don’t use Q tonic, why bother making it?  The things you learn.  There are apparently some measurements to this drink which could/would not be revealed…

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#2:  Westmalle Trappist  Ale Tripel.  It was the kickoff to college football.  Great Belgian beer to enjoy while sitting on the couch watching sports for many hours.  This stuff is potent — 9.5% alcohol!  It’s good to be watching football because you don’t want to drive for awhile and the food you eat while being sedentary for hours on end soaks up that percentage.  My friend served it in the appropriate glass to which you fill to the 33cl line.

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#3:  Bloem Red.  Amazing wine from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.  Since I’m headed there next year I want all the ‘amuse-bouche’ I can get.  It had a light-medium body with fruit and spice.  Was enjoying this over Labor Day weekend and it was served with just that perfect chill for a red that made it even better.  It’s a blend of about 65/35 Syrah/Mourvedre.

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May these inspire you for the weekend to come.