From the Bar – a handful of new spirits and wines to try plus a new snack

drinksWe went on a shopping trip to replenish the bar. These were mostly on sale at the PA liquor stores when we were there last week.

Bacardi Black (Carta Negra) Rum – This is a strange one. To our palate, it is wood and smoke, coal smoke. There is the standard sweet molasses rum taste, but it’s nearly overrun by the bitter smoke. We’re also still not sure if we like this. I think it should work in some kind of a tiki-style drink(something named for a volcano!), but haven’t come upon a good recipe. When mixed with cola, it has this peculiarly nostalgic taste of Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup.

Devotion Vodka – I was looking for a vodka to keep on the shelf, and this bottle caught my “goth before there were goths” eye; a pair of angel wings and a fancy font will do that. This is very smooth, a fairly heavy mouthfeel for a vodka, and a bit of sweetness on the flavor, but not much else. It is a corn based vodka, and happily doesn’t taste anything like the corn whiskies aka moonshine, that are enjoying some popularity. It’s marketed as “gluten-free” “no sugar added” and “gmo-free”, all things that I do not care about in the least.

Rhum Barbancourt 5 Star(aged 8 years) – After reading so much about tiki drinks, I wanted to try a rhum agricole. They are quite different than molasses-distilled rums. There is still a bit of the rum taste, but it’s like the lightest rum ever, very smooth, with a touch of grassiness and citrus fruit.

Woop Woop Chardonay – This is a decent unoaked chardonnay from Australia.   For $10, it does the job. Since it’s unoaked, I can taste the minerality of it. It’s very dry, and I find it similar to pinot Grigio and similar wines.

Sky River Blackberry Honey Wine – This caught my husband’s eye since he knows I love biplanes and blackberries. One of my favorite books when I was in junior high was “Falcons of France” about the Lafayette Escadrille (you can read the book at internet archive) This was a good mead, or more appropriately a melomel, with a bit of the berry funkiness to it. We’re definitely mead purists, making our own, but this was a good one.

And a new snack!

Pasta Chips – This is a new snack that I’m quite taken with. We got the Garlic Olive Oil flavor and they don’t stint on the garlic. Yum!  The chip is a very thin cracker made from pasta and baked. I really like the crunch, and I’m a texture fiend.

That’s all. Eat and drink well!

What the Boss Likes – Random things that have recently made me happy

palm-treeFor a very much needed vacation from the idiocy of the world, here are a few things that have made me happy

Nadia G’s bacon chocolate –  Didn’t use maple cured bacon, or a mold (just scoops on a parchment paper) and only had coarse kosher salt to sprinkle on them.  But they turned out fabulous. We tried the Vosges bar but it wasn’t nearly as full of bacony goodness as this. While I’m on the topic of chocolate, the Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Crushed Coffee is also a very tasty bar as are the bars and mixes from Dagoba (Yoda not included).    

NASA Johnson Style – yet another Gangam parody, but hey, it’s NASA!

Beautiful photos – just a compilation of photos that allow me to remember things can be lovely in this world.

Catfish grabbing pigeons – because the world is weird.  Adaptation at it’s finest.

Villains and Heroes – my youtube playlist with a loose theme of the title. Why yes, I did grow up in the late 70s – 80s. 🙂 

Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter – a good porter with vanilla, not too sweet.  I like most of Leinenkugel’s beers.  This is great for a cold winter night.

Kraken Rum – a dark spiced rum that has a very steampunk label.  I once released the Kraken far too enthusiastically  one evening and oh did I regret it and regret it and regret it.   Drink with caution.  My favorite way?  Add to hot cider, mix in a tablespoon or two of hot buttered rum “batter” – which is nothing more than soft butter mixed with brown sugar, and your choice of sweet spices, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, etc.  The salt in the butter is what makes this extra tasty.  Other good dark rums: Whaler’s Original Dark and Cruzan Blackstrap.

Please feel free to share your happy things.