My New Favorite Thing: Gose (Rhymes with Rosa…)

Sips, Tuesday Revews-Day

It’s been a while since I’ve done a bevvies post, but that’s about to change: I have a new favorite thing and I just have to share about it!

It all started with a trip to Thomasville’s new watering hole: Hubs and Hops in the old Bacchus location on W Jackson…

Where I and my companion each ordered tasting flights…

Now I’ve become quite the fan of the tasting flights at Sweet Grass Dairy and have been broadening my craft beer horizons over the last several months to very pleasant results. I’ve learned that I’ll love anything that’s a Nitro; that my preferences are still all over the place as I adore both the lighter, fruitier beers as well as the heavier stouts; and that craft beers don’t give me the headache I usually get after a beer or two from the more traditional offerings. Go figure, right?

But there was something on Hubs and Hops’ menu that I was curious about, as were my companions, so we decided to order a pint of the Gose for the table…

The server was a little fuzzy on just what a gose was, so we ended up looking it up: it’s a sour beer of German origin that’s a little lemony and salty. I adored it! (So it was no hardship when my tablemates took a hard pass on it!)

A couple weeks later we were at AJ Moonspin and low and behold they had a gose on tap as well, so I had to give it another go to see if it was the three mini-beers I’d had prior that were confusing my taste buds or not.

Nope! I still loved it! So much so that I went hunting for it at Three Oaks Liquor this weekend to get some for home and–after confusing the first guy at the counter when I asked if they carried it–another guy was super helpful and pointed out the four brands they carried and which one seemed to get the highest marks (Westbrook Brewing Co), though I plan to go back and grab a couple others when I finish these.

Basically, it’s what I thought a Shandy would taste like back when I was introduced to them 4 years ago and ended up disappointed at the overall lack of flavor. (And when I said that to the liquor store gent he was like, oh, you really do like the sour… yup!)

Apparently the sour comes mainly from coriander and the salt–while usually added in the modern brews–goes back to the original brew however many centuries ago in Germany where there was a considerable amount of salt deposits in the ground, and therefore the groundwater was a smidgen on the salty side so the resulting beer was as well. The style died out somewhere between WWI and WWII, was revived mid-centuryish and faded back again, only to be revisted again during the current craft beer trend.

I don’t know how long gose will stay readily available, I can certainly understand that many would not cotton to it, but I’ll be happily consuming it while it lasts! If you like sour and salty, definitely seek some out and give it a go. Let me know what you think, too, I’m always curious!


New Feature: The Weekly Whine


Long-time followers of my various blogs might remember that for a good long while I ran a cocktail blog and, I have to say, sometimes I miss it. I miss that scheduled time to come up with something tasty and fun to share and the idea that every week I’d carve out a little time for myself to kick back with a cocktail, wine, or other beverage and share with my Internet friends.

So I’m gonna bring it back, or try to, but with a twist! Each week I will post a whine or rant for the week, attempting to find the humor in it all, and pair it with a wine or other libation. And here we go, our first Weekly Whine. Join if you’d care to; misery loves company and no one needs to drink alone!

I have a few whines to choose from this week (work, the dog, the weather), but I’m going to go with one that inspired this new feature, that of the ever-looming unexpected car expense.

I had a pretty good weekend, this one that just passed–I got up on time both days, took care of some chores that had been waiting way too long, and even made time to have lunch downtown and hang out at Fuzzy Goat and knit on Saturday afternoon. A really good weekend.

So Monday rolls around and Todd, on a rare occasion, leaves for work before I do because he and his boss had to head out of town for the morning. So not only is Todd not there, by the time I go to leave he’s supposed to have been on his way out of town.

Do you see where this is going?

Of course my car wouldn’t start. The battery was stone-cold dead because I, in my haze of self-satisfaction, completely forgot between the time I pulled through the Chick-fil-A drive thru for a Frosted Lemonade and the time I pulled into our backyard, that it had rained a bit and, like the good motorist I am, I had turned on my lights and wipers in the midst of our little sun shower.

And left the lights on.

Sadly, this happens more than I want to admit, and usually I’m careful to the point of paranoia, but my mind was completely elsewhere that day, to the point that I walked in and asked Todd if it had rained while I was away, because I noticed the street was wet. Yes, I’d driven through it and completely forgotten in in the space of 5 minutes (because that’s about how far it is from the aforementioned stops).

Anyway, Monday. I did message Todd, even though I didn’t expect him to be able to rescue me, and I used the Progressive app to schedule service and messaged my boss to tell her I’d be late. Fortunately, Todd was able to swing back by as they hadn’t left yet and I was able to make it to work only 30 minutes late. End of story, right?

You do realize we’re in a Mercury Retrograde, right?

I was only a little surprised that my car, once again, would not start when I went to leave for the day. I’d worked a tiny bit late to finish up a daily task and was the only one left in the office, so of course the battery was dead again. This time, though, it wasn’t totally dead, I got that super-scary clicky noise that everyone who drives dreads, because the clicky noice with no engine turnover so very often means your alternator isn’t working. And replacing alternators sucks!

For the second time that day I used the Progressive app to schedule a service and went back into my office to wait for the gate to ring through. I thought about actually working (I had plenty to do), but opted to scroll through facebook instead. The Pop-a-Lock dude arrived on schedule and was able to get my car started right up (yay!) and suggested I drive straight to an AutoZone or similar and have them check my battery.

He also said there was no way I still had my original battery, but I’m 99% sure he was wrong. Yes, Electra is still sporting her original battery from when I bought her with 16 miles on the odometer in October 2006. Well, was, because after going to two auto parts places in Thomasville, I was given the definitive news that the alternator was fine, but the battery was done for. Considering their relative cost, yeah, I was okay with that!

This week’s wine in Knockout from Farmer’s Daughter Vineyard, a local winery that, contrary to many in the southern Georgia, northern Florida wine set, does not use Muscadine grapes! While I have nothing against muscadine wines, I’m really loving what the Pelham, GA, vineyard is turning out!

Knockout is their sweetest red. It’s very jammy and practically succulent with lots of berry notes. It’s also so smooth–all of their wines are–that you can down two glasses without realizing just how potent it is, only to stand up and realize just how knocked-out you are!

I picked up this bottle at their tasting room in downtown Thomasville when we were out carousing after the First Friday concert this month. You can taste their full flight, from the Bro’s Cider to the Knockout for $11 pretty much anytime, and they have cheese plates and other goodies, too.

Cheers to another week done and dusted, my friends! Anyone else have a whine to share?

Tuesday Reviews-Day: Teanzo Advent Calendar


So, if you follow me on Instagram (@scrapsoflife, if you don’t), you might have noticed that I was posting an awful lot of tea pictures this month…

That's a lot of tea cups (mugs, etc.)

That’s a lot of tea cups (mugs, etc.)–No repeats for 24 days!

After seeing a picture in my insta-feed about another tea advent calendar, I hopped onto Amazon and impulsively bought the first tea advent calendar I could find that was reasonably priced and available with Prime shipping (what can I say, Prime has me spoiled). It arrived and promptly taunted me for almost a week before I could taste my first tea. (That would be the downside of Prime shipping and advent calendars…)


Prior to this I had not heard of Teanzo 1856, a company out of California, but I’m quite happy to know about them now!

The 24 teas included in this box were:

  1. Winter Earl Grey
  2. Jasmine
  3. Apple Cinnamon
  4. Irish Breakfast
  5. Peppermint Rose
  6. Acai Berry Green
  7. Dream Spa Blend
  8. Black Cherry Tea
  9. Ti Kwan Yin
  10. Chocolate Mint Tea
  11. Bergamot Earl Grey
  12. Detox Mint
  13. Cranberry Tea
  14. Breakfast Tea
  15. Tranquil Spa Blend
  16. Tropical Iced Tea
  17. Moroccan Mint
  18. Vanilla Rooibos
  19. Darjeeling
  20. Orange Creme Dessert Tea
  21. Fennel Chai
  22. Earl Grey Green
  23. Chocolate Coconut Tea
  24. Christmas Chai

Picking a favorite is nigh on impossible, so many of them were amazing in their own unique ways. Both chocolate-including teas were certainly fun, but the Chocoate Coconut Tea was my favorite of the two–even Todd liked that one, and he’s not a tea guy. He also liked the Black Cherry Tea from earlier in the month. I’m always happy with chai blends but not always fine with fennel–the Fennel Chai surprised me with how good it was, though the Christmas Chai was still my preferred of the two.

There was only one tea I was unhappy with, and that was the Apple Cinnamon–it sounded great, but I think something was off. It had an odor to it that was a little too earthy, maybe even a bit musty? I brewed it up anyway and, yeah, the weirdness lingered. It was too bad, too, as I liek apple-cinnamon items in general. I’m hoping I just got a bad batch.

I think both the Dream Spa Blend, Tranquil Spa Blend, and the aptly named Tropical Iced Tea would both be fabulous over ice in the summer. (Bonus for the Tranquil blend being my first experience with green rooibos.) The cranberry tea could have made a lovely sachet or potpourri (if I hadn’t wanted to drink it, too). The Orange Creme Dessert Tea was also aptly name, like a warm creamsicle, but in a good way.

Even though each packet of tea did not seem to hold a tremendous amount, I had no problem brewing a second cup of any of them, when desired, with no loss of flavor. I did sweeten just about all of them, and to many I added a bit of milk. Many of them I used my refillable Keurig pod to brew them and while I know purists would not necessarily agree with the method, I had no problems with it.

Of course, the majority of these teas have caffeine, and I generally avoid that. I made an exception for the advent calendar and didn’t notice too many side effects from the uptake in intake, but I would probably stick with their herbal and rooibos teas in the future (with special exceptions for their chocolate teas).

For my first advent calendar experience (yes, really, this is the first one I’ve done in my 40 years of life as far as I can remember) this was a smashing success. A tea a night, when it’s chilly outside and schedules are hectic, was a nice little wind-down for each day. I’d definitely do it again, and I’ll almost certainly be ordering from Teanzo in the future.

Full disclosure: This is not a sponsored review. I purchased the tea advent calendar myself and was not contacted by the company prior to the start of the sampler. I can’t say they don’t know who I am since they did like a lot of my instagram posts, but not beyond that.

Consistency is the Only Thing Not Super-Sized


And apparently it’s too much to ask.

I’m not a demanding client, at least I try not to be, but I do expect people and companies to hold up their end of the bargain. I shop with you, you deliver the same service each time. Fair enough, right?

For the past several weeks I’ve been heading in to the old job on Saturday mornings. It’s not the most fun way to spend my weekend, but it’s what needs to be done. To make it a little easier (and because the office is stripped down to its necessities), I’ve been stopping at Dunkin Donuts on my way in for a chai and a breakfast sandwich.

Back in June was the first time I discovered they had chai, and it’s a pretty good, sweet, vanilla chai. So when I went back (still pre-Saturday ritual) I asked, “oh, can I get that iced?”

Crucial moment here, folks, pay attention.

Not only did the voice behind the menu board say yes, they added in the question: “Would you like medium or large?”

Of course I ordered the large. After all, this is America, land of the out of control portion sizes and all that goes with. Duh!

So when I started working 6 days a week, I be-bopped into the Dunkin Donuts on the way to work and asked for a large, iced Vanilla Chai with almond milk. And they filled the order. No questions, no consternation, no problem.

What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a precedent being set. I didn’t go in and ask for a favor or expect them to do anything other than what they’d done in the past.

This continued for a couple more weeks, at two different stores, even.

And then.

Weekend before last I ordered my usual only to be told that it didn’t come in large, only medium (because it was a pre-packaged mix, you see–something I’d already figured out). “But you’ve been doing it this way for weeks,” I said.

“We can put it in a large cup,” they countered, and I said that was fine.

Now, the difference between ordering a medium vanilla chai, iced, in a large cup and ordering a large, iced vanilla chai still eludes me, as the result is the same (a full, larged, iced drink), but whatever. They were teaching me how they preferred me to order, and I could adapt. After all, it still got me the same result.

And then.

This past weekend I roll up and order it how they taught me the previous week: Vanilla Chai with Almond Milk, Iced, in a Large cup.

“I’m sorry ma’am, we don’t serve those iced.”

Say what now?!

So I went with my standard: but you have been for the last month or so.

Another voice comes through the speaker: Ma’am we’re not supposed to make them iced.

Then they proceed to offer me options:

“We can give you a cup of ice with it”

“No, thank you.”

“We do have a Frozen Chai available.”

“Once again, no, thank you.”

If I’d wanted a chai slushie I would have ordered a chai slushie. I didn’t want a chai slushie. And if I wanted to juggle a cup of ice and a hot beverage in the driver’s seat of a car–no, wait, I can’t imagine I’d ever want to do that, so we’ll just stop right there.

I ended up ordering a large iced macchiatto, which was okay, except the caramel syrup stays down at the bottom, resulting in a fair amount of bitter, cold coffee on top.

I’ve already begun my hunt for the vanilla chai mix they use and I suppose I’ll just have to do the other American thing: do it my own damn self to make sure it’s done right.

MxMo CII: Spooky Sips | The Black Julep


You know what we haven’t had a lot of around here, lately? Cocktails! And while I had something else in mind for today’s post, I was happily reminded that today is Mixology Monday and I have the perfect cocktail inspiration. So today we’re joining up with other mixologists around the web and our host for this round, Rated R Cocktails, to bring you my version of the Black Julep cocktail.

Black Julep

At Northside Pies a couple weeks ago I ordered a Black Julep from their cocktail menu and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. I’m not usually a big bourbon fan, though I’ve acquired a taste for the smoother ones over the years. One of my favorites is Tennessee Honey by Jack Daniels–I don’t generally sip spirits neat, but this one I will. The other component of a Black Julep is blackberry something–that’s where my memory got a little fuzzy (but I swear I only had one!).

For my version of the Black Julep I decided to make a syrup from blackberry wine in addition to muddling some blackberries in the bottom of the glass, like you’d do with mint in a normal julep. A semi-local winery in Defuniak Springs, Florida, Chautauqua Winery, makes a fabulous blackberry wine that we’ve been known to plan a weekend road trip around just to restock. It’s that good. If you don’t have a local favorite, Arbor Mist’s Blackberry Merlot would probably do in a pinch.

The blackberry syrup is 2 parts wine and 1 part sugar, boiled until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Now, when I say coats the back of a spoon, I mean you can run the back of your fingernail through it (or the tip of a knife, if you have short nails and don’t want to burn yourself) and the furrow doesn’t immediately fill. Let cool a bit, just so it won’t immediately melt the glass of ice. You can, of course, make this ahead of time and store it.

Black Julep

Fresh Blackberries
2 oz Tennessee Honey Whiskey
Club Soda
Blackberry Syrup

Muddle 2-3 blackberries in the bottom of a rocks or low-ball glass with a dash of sugar. Fill the glass with ice and pour in the Tennessee Honey. Top with club soda until almost full and swirl the glass to combine things a bit. Pour some of the blackberry syrup over the back of a spoon into the drink. Garnish with another blackberry on a cocktail pick and enjoy.

While I think the color of the drink is a little on the macabre side, the theme of this month’s MxMo is Spooky Sips. Frankly, the scariest thing about this cocktail is how sweet it is. That was my intention, of course.


If you’d like more spooky cocktail inspiration, head over to the host’s blog and check out the comments for more of this month’s participants.