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!


AlcoHOLidays | National Mustard Day | Pretzel Dip



To presume that National Mustard Day was a promotional effort instigated by one of the many mustard producers (or Big Mustard?) wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility but, as near as I can tell, it wouldn’t be true, either! Apparently National Mustard Day, celebrated on the first Saturday of August, is the product of the National Mustard Museum, currently located in Middleston, Wisconsin, and houses over 5,500 mustards and various mustard memorabilia.

Barry Levenson founded the Mustard Museum while he was still the Assistant Attorney General of Wisconsin and 6 years later changed careers to run the museum full time. The Mustard Museum was been the sponsor of National Mustard Day since 1991.

Now, mustard can be sweet. My favorite used to be this raspberry honey mustard I first had at a wine tasting. Just amazing! Of course, just your usual run of the mill honey mustard is pretty tasty, too, but these days I gravitate more towards Dijon and Creole mustards, the grainier the better. Mustard is part of the holy trinity of my mom’s ham glaze (brown sugar, orange juice, and the aforementioned mustard), pretzels and hotdogs would be lost without it, and the powdered variety is wonderful to cook with (then again, so is the prepared variety).

So the challenge was to create a cocktail based on this “King of Condiments.”

Pretzel Dip

2 oz London Dry Gin
1 oz Beer
1/2 oz (or 1 Tbsp) Dijon Mustard

Combine ingredients over ice and shake until nice and frothy. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a mini gherkin or kosher dill pickle, whichever you best prefer.

You could even go more elaborate with your garnish and skewer a cocktail wiener or some deli meat with an olive. Or, hey, if you’ve got some pretzel bread handy, go for it!

I don’t think I have to point out that this is not a sweet cocktail. This is very much along the lines of a dirty martini with the added boost of the emulsifying property of the mustard. The mustard and gin go so well together than I’m seriously considering using gin instead of vinegar in my next vinaigrette, and the beer gives the cocktail a bright finish–though the exact tone will change depending on what beer you have on hand.

50 Shots of America–Oklahoma


The countdown has now begun, folks, as we’re making our way through the final 5 in our cocktail tour of the United States we’re also just now getting to the territories that reached statehood in the twentieth century!


Sooner Twist Than Shout cocktailOOOOOOOOOk-lahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains… (C’mon, tell me that’s not the first thing you do when you hear Oklahoma. It is the state song, after all, so I guess it’s meant to be just that memorable.)

Originally the Indian Territory–home to both native settlements as well as where the displaced tribes of the southeast were packed off to via the Trail of Tears–it didn’t take long (less than 30 years) before cattle trains between Texas and Kansas began making regular runs through there and the US decided, hey, we might want that territory for our use after all. First they subdivided and shrank the Native American lands and then they just started giving the rest away to anyone who could show up at the appointed day and time of the Land Run.

In fact, that’s where the state nickname originated: a “sooner” was someone who crossed into the not-quite-available territory before the allotted time, generally to stake out the choicer claims for themselves. Sooners became known as go-getters and ambitious folk… guess it does sound better than “sneakers.”

Of course, this was all before statehood was granted (that didn’t happen until November 18, 1907).

But, hey, it’s not like the early days of the Oklahoma Territory were anything different than any other settled area we managed to grow into, right? And the way I see it, we all have our fair share of karma from those decisions. Those plains-sweeping winds can just as easily be tornadoes as they could gentle spring breezes is all I’m saying.

Sooner Twist Than Shout

1/2 oz Dry Gin
1 1/2 oz Beer
1/4 oz Lime Juice
Coffee liqueur

Combine the gin, beer and lime juice over ice in a shaker and whirl it around like a truck in a tornado. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

To add the coffee liqueur to the bottom of the glass, draw the liqueur into a straw or pipette and hold it in place, put the full end of the straw at the bottom of the glass and release. You may have to tap or bounce the straw a bit to relative gravity issues, but it’s worth it–not only for the look of the cocktail but the tiny bit of sweet coffee that finishes the drink is an amazing finish to an otherwise tart cocktail.

Like Florida, Oklahoma has got quite the panhandle going for it and their panhandle is full to the brim with pinyon pines and others of that resinous ilk. Pine makes me think gin and this time I wanted a twist (get it? do I have to explain all of my cues and puns by now? we’re on cocktail #46, here!) on the classic gin and tonic, using good old American beer instead of tonic water (OK ranks 5th in wheat production).

With oil representing such a boon to the state’s early and continued economy (they have an active oil well on the grounds of the state capitol!), I wanted to make sure it was represented in the drink, as well.

Whether you serve this with the state meal or not–yes, they have one–of barbecue pork, chicken fried steak, biscuits, sausage and gravy, fried okra, squash, corn, grits, black-eyed peas, cornbread, strawberries, and pecan pie–it’s a great drink the end a long day. Just wait until after you pull off Route 66 before consuming any alcoholic beverages–we want us all to get to state #50 in one piece.

Episode 9: I Need a Drink


Whether it’s celebrating the new year, starting off the 12th Night celebration or congratulating yourself for getting the mammoth end-of-year to-do list, done, a drink with a kick can do wonders. After all, what we call cordials and liqueurs were once known as restoratives!

As I rambled mentioned on the show, one of my many sites is Sips & Shots, where I create a new cocktail a week and post about other beverage interests from time to time. And if my voice sounds a little rough on the recording, all I can say is it’s a good thing I recorded when I did as I woke up with practically no voice at all the next day!

Now, what you’re really here for, the music:

Pumpkin Pie–Russell Wolff
Alcohol–O Sweet Static
In the Bar Tonight–Dakota
Crazy When She Drinks–Lee Rocker
Sipping Tea–The Gentlemen Callers
Cold Beer–Jeff Ronay
Glass of Wine–The New Autonomous Folksingers
Wine of Her Lips–Billy Bourbon
Vodka Kosovo–On Wave
Martini Time–AirFerg
Ginned Up–John Hughes
Gin & Tonic–Sammy Barker
The Old Black Rum–Great Big Sea
The Saltee Tango–Stoat
Only the Tequila Talking (feat. John Popper)–Lisa Bouchelle
Sweet Tequila–Brain Buckit
Whiskey Time–The Whiskey River Band
Nancy Whisky–Murder the Stout
Drinking Like a Fiddler–Dust Rhinos

And that’s us for another month. Please, everyone, if you do imbibe, don’t be a drunken monkey–use a designated drive, take a cab, or drink at home and do so in moderation.

Fun’s better if you can remember it the next day!

50 Shots of America–Colorado


Welcome to our continuing trek across the Unites States in search of fun facts and tasty cocktails. This week we’re in the Rocky Mountains, visiting Colorado!


Imperceptible Kink

Imperceptible Kink

After many changes of hands and disputes over the years, the free Territory of Colorado was organized by outgoing-President Buchanan in February of 1861. Named for the Colorado River, it would more than 15 years before Colorado would officially become a state in August of 1876–100 years after we declaration our independence from British rule–with boundaries made up of latitude and longitude markings, not natural boundaries (and it’s only 1 of 3 states like this).

While gold and silver were big pulls to the Centennial State in the 1800s, more than half the Colorado population is settled in the greater-Denver area where industry and agriculture now hold sway. Denver, Aspen and Boulder are well-known foodie destinations but the natural splendor of the state’s many parks, forests, trails and refuges help keep the population fit and healthy. It’s also making a name for itself in wine–both the grape and fruit-based varieties–while maintaining the largest annual production of beer in the country.

Of course, what I first think of, when Colorado comes to mind, is John Denver. Now, granted, he’s not a native son but he was adopted as their official Poet Laureate in 1977 and his song, Rocky Mountain High, is one of the 2 state songs for Colorado. I went through a bit of a folk music phase about 10 years ago and Denver was one of my favorites. Even so, I’m still finding songs of his I didn’t know were his to begin with. If I had to narrow it down to a top 5, just off the top of my head, the list would include:

  • My Sweet Lady
  • Wild Montana Sky
  • Goodbye Again
  • A Song for All Lovers
  • Perhaps Love (with Placido Domingo)

And, oh, 5 is not nearly enough but, well, I’m digressing and there’s a cocktail to get to!


Earlier I mentioned that the borders of Colorado are based on lines of latitude and longitude. Apparently, though, the surveyors charged with marking the official border faced some challenges while tracing the longitudinal border with Utah resulting in “several nearly imperceptible kinks.”

Oh, that’s just too good a phrase to pass up. Hence…

The Imperceptible Kink

1 oz Sleepytime-infused Tequila*
1/2 oz Peach Nectar
1/2 oz Beer

Combine over ice and shake vigorously–not quite like crossing the Continental Divide, but close. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

*To Infuse Tequila: Heat 2 oz of Tequila until steamy and fragrant and remove from heat. Add 1 Sleepytime tea bag and steep for approximately 2 minutes. Remove the tea bag and let the mixture cool until ready to use. Tip: this smells great but don’t inhale too deeply or you’ll find yourself choking on the alcohol fumes. Not that we did that or anything…

Colorado boasts a significant Hispanic population, so we’ve got a Tequila base to represent that. I’ve had cocktails served to me with both tequila and beer, and with Coors being a Colorado company and all the microbreweries there, it seemed a natural addition. Peach is apparently one of the common fruit-based wines produced there but I was still looking for something else–something to give that hint of imperceptible kink!

Enter Celestial Seasonings, a Boulder company since 1969. I have several of their products in my tea cabinet and felt Sleepytime, with its definite floral taste and aroma, would pair perfectly with the botanical taste of tequila. The end result is a cocktail with a clean, crisp feel, a hint of peach and beer at the end and that little something else that you’re not quite sure about. That’s the infused tequila.


Next week we’re heading a north to meet the Dakotas! Until then… Safe Sipping!

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