AlcoHOLidays | Cow Appreciation Day | Sweet Bessie Brown



So plenty of folks out there complain about manufactured holidays, especially those by corporations, often in a serious case of sour grapes. Well, today’s holiday appears to be 100% corporate but listen up: I. Don’t. Care.

I don’t care that Chick-fil-A seems to a have thought up a cute, fun, customer appreciation idea that takes place on the second Friday of July: Cow Appreciation Day. (Please note: this is not a sponsored post. Neither I nor this post is affiliated with the Georgia-based company that is awarding free food to customers who arrive dressed not in their dignity but in cow costumes.) Frankly, it just sounds like a lot of fun, and that’s excellent marketing on their part.

Also, I really do appreciate cows!

I think cows are, most of the time, beautiful creatures with big, sleepy eyes and soft, soft skin. I am a Taurus, so the bull/cow thread runs astrologically deep, along with my fascination with the Egyptian goddess Hathor (a mother-goddess often represented by a cow). In their less-than-living state I very much like my steaks medium rare, same goes for a really good burger. I also appreciate their milk (especially when companies like Lactaid make it safe for me to drink without tummy upset), butter, cheeses, and–of course–ice cream!

Because when I first found Cow Appreciation Day on a list (totally separate from anything Chick-fil-A related) what I immediately thought of was the soda fountain classic: a Brown Cow. And until I had to cut out honey, I used to get a Soy-Kreme Brown Cow at my local toy store/soda fountain, Lofty Pursuits, made with Sprecher’s Root Beer.

And, you know, those cute, English-challenged cows predate lolcats by 11 years!

Sweet Bessie Brown

3/4 oz Vanilla Rum
1/4 oz Peach Schnapps
3 small scoops Vanilla Ice Cream
Root Beer

Stir together the rum and schnapps over ice to chill. Scoop ice cream into a footed glass and top with the spirits, then fill with root beer to the top of the glass, jiggling a spoon in the mixture to get the liquids starting to play nice.

Optional garnishes could include chocolate syrup, malt powder, or some freshly whipped cream.

The only thing you’ll be tipping is your head back to get the last of the creamy float out of the glass!

I know we’ve been a bit rum-heavy, lately, so I was all set to use vanilla vodka for this one but it betrayed me. I don’t know what kinda chip it had on its shoulders but it did not want to play nice with a single other ingredient. First time that’s ever happened!

Of course, for the underage and the non-drinkers, the classic goes down just as well.

Cheers! (And moo!)

AlcoHOLidays | St Patrick’s Day | Sweet Irish Coffee


jwalker_sweetirishcoffeeOn St Patrick’s Day, everybody has a touch of the Irish in them!

Granted, the day has devolved (in many areas, including my own college-anchored town) into an excuse to drink watered-down, green-tinted beer for a ridiculously long time. It’ll be interesting to see if that is at all curbed by March 17 falling on a Sunday this year, but I have my doubts.

As most folks know, St Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to the pagan Irish. Though we think of green as the natural color for St Patrick’s Day, originally the color most associated with him was blue. But (probably) because the story goes he used a shamrock to teach the idea of the trinity, so more and more people took to wearing shamrocks on his feast day, and it just sort of took off from there.

While beer, especially Guinness, is a more common drink for St Paddy’s Day (and, yes, it is spelled with d’s, not t’s, in deference to the Irish spelling of Pádraig), Irish whiskey is pretty popular, too.

One of the most excellent ways to drink Irish whiskey (if you don’t fancy it straight), is in the popular after dinner treat: Irish Coffee.

To see an really impressive way to make Irish Coffee en masse, check out this video courtesy of Concannon Irish Whiskey:

(Direct link for the feed readers: How to Make Irish Coffee)

Some  recipes for Irish Coffee I’ve seen call for only the whiskey and the coffee–no sugar, no cream. That just makes me shudder. In fact, after making one like that (but with the sugar cubes) it was still too bitter for my liking. I like my coffee flavored and sweet, with or without the alcohol, so here’s my take on this classic.

Sweet Irish Coffee

3 Sugar Cubes
4 oz Coffee, brewed strong
1 oz Irish Whiskey
1/2 oz Chocolate Liqueur
1 spoonful Vanilla Ice Cream

Prepare your Irish Coffee glass by filling it with hot water as the coffee brews. When the coffee is ready, pour out the water and add the sugar cubes and coffee to the mug, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the Irish whiskey and chocolate liqueur and top with a spoonful of ice cream.

Our local ice cream shop serves an affogato–a shot of espresso poured over a scoop of their sweet cream ice cream–which served as a partial inspiration for today’s twist on an old stand-by. Whipping heavy cream isn’t particularly difficult, but I had some lactose-free Breyers vanilla in the freezer, so I thought I’d give it a try as a substitute. For the whiskey I used Concannon Irish Whiskey (that I reviewed on Tuesday) and for the chocolate liqueur I, of course, used Godiva. The resulting drink is still a strong Irish Coffee but with a sweeter edge making it perfect for after a meal.

I had to search my local Cost Plus World Market to find where they’d hidden the Irish Coffee glasses, and the smallest I could find actually hold 8 oz, but we’ll just let that slide, right? The reason for pre-warming the glass is two-fold. First, just like chilling a glass for a cold drink, it helps the drink maintain its temperature. Second, coffee is very hot and while most coffee mugs can stand it, some of your more delicate glassware is not as tough and adding hot coffee to cold glass could lead to some bad breaks.

If you do choose to go out to your favorite watering hole this Sunday, make sure you have a designated driver or the number of a cab company handy. A DUI would sure put a damper on your day!