Showing posts with label coolers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coolers. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How to Make a Virgin Sangria While Amusing Your Cat by Cleo Coyle




Got overripe fruit?  Waste not! This virgin sangria is a nice way to make use of it. 


Why virgin? 
A white wine sangria is delicious, and one of my favorite summer drinks, but on a warm day, I prefer that my fingers hit my laptop keyboard rather than my forehead, which means no firewater until the workday is done. A virgin sangria is also a good solution for households with kids because the drink can be converted into an adult beverage at the time it's poured, which means one pitcher can conveniently serve drinkers and non-drinkers.

Want a Happy Hour Cooler? 
Spike it...
To turn this drink into an adult beverage, Marc and I recommend mixing the virgin sangria in a glass with a generous splash of port, sherry, brandy, grappa, cognac, or your favorite fortified wine. Fruit liqueurs (and amaretto) work well, too. The virgin sangria will dilute the alcohol, which is why a more concentrated choice works better for mixing this cooler than using a standard red, white or sparkling wine (although your mileage may vary). While we’ve never tried vodka, it should work well, as should rum. Unfortunately, as I’ve written in the past on this blog, white rum sends me to the dark side, so it’s a non-starter for me. That’s why I drink a virgin mojito.

To get my Virgin Mojito recipe (pictured right), see my "Tale of the Virgin Mojito" post by clicking here.


For my Virgin Sangria recipe,
scroll down...




Cleo Coyle's 
Virgin Sangria - Makes 2 quarts


Ingredients:


- 1 (11.5 fluid ounce) can of frozen
   white grape juice concentrate

- 1 quart bottled or sparkling water
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 4 to 5 peaches or nectarines, chopped
- 2 cups chopped watermelon


MIX IT: Empty concentrate into your pitcher or container and stir in the water. When the concentrate is melted into a smooth liquid, add in the fruit. Stir well, cover, and chill for several hours or overnight. The fruit will fortify the white grape juice, making it refreshingly delicious. It will also blush the color from an unappetizing dark yellow to a pretty shade of deep pink. 





SERVE IT: Serve chilled in a frosty cold glass and garnish by a triangle of watermelon or small strawberry (see photo above for ideas).


SPIKE IT, IF YOU LIKE: This is a versatile drink for a household with children or one with drinkers and non-drinkers. To serve this drink as an adult beverage, simply mix half a glass of the virgin sangria with a generous splash of port, sherry, or your favorite fortified wine. Brandy, grappa, cognac, vodka, rum, and fruit liqueurs are other possible ways to spike this refreshing summer cooler. (A concentrated wine or hard alcohol will give you better results than standard wines or sparkling wines, which may taste too diluted by the virgin sangria.)


Amuse Your Cat... 




Yes, as I was taking photos for this post, our newest adopted New York Stray, Durango Quick (aka “Rango” or “Mr. Quick”), decided that a peach also makes a very good beach ball. And, of course, after playtime, he decided to take a taste of the delicious water droplets shimmering on the edge of my watermelon garnish. So…


Cheers to all you thirsty
cats out there!




Drink with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries



To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse: CoffeehouseMystery.com



The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 
 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How Snakebites and Bleach Can Quench Your Thirst and Let's Play Dead!


Have you ever quenched your thirst with a Snakebite? No? How about Chlorine Bleach? I know what you're thinking: Are you crazy? They're poison. They'll kill you. Not if you drink them my way....

"Snakebites" and "Chlorine Bleach"
are types of shandies...
 


Cleo Coyle, who sips Blue
Moons by moonlight, is
author of The Coffeehouse
Mysteries
I never heard of a shandy until I traveled to the UK, where pub life introduced me to the delights of this drink, along with a "ploughman’s lunch," but that's another post.

The shandy I drank, which was a mix of Harp beer and carbonated lemonade, was love at first sip. Bright, refreshing, a delightful summer cooler! Unfortunately, after I returned to America, bartenders shook their heads when I ordered one.

Mixing beer with lemonade? Please. In my hometown, bartenders poured you an Iron City or Rolling Rock off the tap—and that was it. Mixing it with lemonade made as much sense as mixing it with chlorine bleach, which is (ironically) exactly what certain regions of Spain call their version of a shandy. :)

Well, it's over 20 years later and American bars regularly serve Mexican beers (e.g., Corona) with a wedge of lime or lemon.

BTW – I always wondered why this was done. One source claims adding lime and lemon to these beers hides a type of spoilage known as skunking, which comes from exposure to light or heat during shipping—an especially common problem with beer shipped in clear bottles.

A squeeze of citrus was supposed to mask this defect, and according to at least one Texan I know, the citrus also "keeps the flies out of your beer." :)

These days, even standard American brands like Bud and Miller are marketing a variety of bottled beer already mixed with lime. My favorite of this new trend comes from the Coors brewery in Colorado, which introduced a very nice line of bottled beers with citrus notes, under the Blue Moon label. (I could drink these babies all day...)



Like many lagers, Brooklyn is
a bit bitter. For me, it didn't
work in a shandy. I also
found the Sprite too sweet
and cloying.

SO HOW DO YOU
MIX A SHANDY?

Generally speaking, a shandy is a lager beer mixed with a citrus-beverage like lemonade, or a citrus-flavored soda (such as Sprite or 7-Up). The proportions are generally half-and-half, but almost everyone (including me) adjusts to taste.

NOTE #1: I've tasted many versions and concluded that lagers (like the Brooklyn Lager in my photo at the right) are too bitter to use for a shandy. I strongly recommend using a pale lager like Heineken, Corona, Amstel Light, Rolling Rock, Michelob, Coors Light, or the Japanese Sapporo.

For more on pale lagers, click here.

NOTE #2: Frankly, I find Sprite and 7-UP to be too sweet and cloying for the drink. For my taste, the very best shandy will always be made with lemonade...

As for the Snakebite and Chlorine Bleach, you'll find them listed below, along with some other names for this drink...

SHANDYGRAFF, as it's known in the UK, is a mixture of beer and ginger beer or ginger ale.

LAGER TOPS is also served in the UK; it's made by pouring a layer of non-carbonated lemonade or freshly-squeezed lime juice over the top of a beer before serving.

BLACK SHANDY is enjoyed in Canada; it uses stout (instead of lager) with a carbonated citrus soda.

OLD GROUCH ("Brummbär") is Germany's mixture of stout and cola.

SNAKEBITE is an American version that uses beer and hard (alcoholic) cider. (Note: See the comments section of this post for a note from Riley/Elizabeth on this drink.)

DEVIL is Belgium’s version of a Snakebite. 

PANCAHE, served in Italy and French-speaking Switzerland, is a shandy made with lemon-lime soda (e.g. 7-UP or Sprite).

STING ("pika") is the name for this same drink in Basque, Spain.

CHLORINE BLEACH ("leija") is apparently what they call this drink in Spain’s Guipuscoa region!




To read more about the differences among lager, ale, stout, and porter, click here.

The link will take you to Riley Adams' (Elizabeth Spann Craig's) informative post for this blog: A Side Order of Beer.






Finally, here's how I make
a shandy in Queens, New York...



CLEO COYLE’S
SUMMER SHANDY

Per serving...

1 glass or mug (frosted is suggested)

1 bottle of pale lager beer (trust me, use a pale lager*, other lagers are too bitter)

Lemonade (carbonated is traditional, but I use non-carbonated and enjoy it. You can also make your own carbonated lemonade by mixing fresh lemonade with club soda.)

Method: First pour the beer into your glass. Add the lemonade. To what ratio? I recommend 3-parts beer to 1-part lemonade. You’ll enjoy a refreshing citrus note without flattening or overwhelming the beer.

*As mentiond in my post above, examples of pale lagers include (but are not limited to) the brands: Heineken, Corona, Amstel Light, Rolling Rock, Michelob, Coors Light, or the Japanese Sapporo.




Drink with joy!



~ Cleo Coyle, author of 
The Coffeehouse Mysteries



To get more of my recipes,
sign up to win free coffee,
or learn about my books,
drop by my *virtual*
coffeehouse at...


CoffeehouseMystery.com











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Releasing August 2nd

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To pre-order from Barnes and Noble click here for the book; for the Nook click here.



 
 
 
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