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Virginia Brewery Recreates Centuries-Old Colonial Brew

 

Beer, wine and other spirits are some of the most ancient traditions in dining. These merrymaking liquids go back centuries and occasionally millennia. Wine has remained pretty static, but beer has experienced many transformations throughout the years. One Virginia brewery has been dead-set on recreating a three-hundred-year-old colonial brew that eschews barley and hops in favor of everyone’s favorite acorn-shaped fruit, persimmons.

Ardent Craft Ales, based out of Richmond, has just unveiled a recreation of “Jane’s Percimon Beer,” whose recipe dates back to a historical collection from the 18th century. However, the recipe contained no volume amounts or specific instructions, so it was created by a whole lot of trial and error and a whole lot of wasted persimmons. The final brew is said to be a highly drinkable table ale that clocks in at a refreshing three percent ABV.

The brewery will offer the beer to the public tomorrow, Dec. 9 as part of a History on Tap presentation and discussion.

Thirsty Thursday: Sex on the Beach Cocktail


It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

Sometimes an ocean getaway is out of reach on a smoldering summer day. If you’re craving beach time, sand beneath your feet and a splash in salty water, the next best thing is Sex on the Beach. The iconically named cocktail, that is.

Refreshing and fruity, this cocktail is a harmonious combination of melon liqueur, peach schnapps, fruit juices and vodka. You’ll soon fall head-over-heels for this beach-worthy summer tipple.

Bottoms up, folks!

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Thirsty Thursday: Cucumber-Jalapeño Margarita


It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

Margaritas — a staple summer beverage if there ever was one — are just meant to combat the hot, sticky dog days of summer. While a classic margarita is perfectly delicious in itself, there is also so much potential for adding other exciting flavors.

Take, for example, this Cucumber-Jalapeño Margarita. The traditional fresh lime juice and silver tequila are mixed with savory slices of cucumber and fiery halved jalapeños. The intensity of the spiciness is up to you: the longer it sits and chills, the spicier it becomes. Perhaps this is what it means to fight fire with fire.

Bottoms up, folks!

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Thirsty Thursday: Ouzo Lemon Spritzer


It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too.

When summer heat means long, lazy days, we need to take a step back and enjoy simplicity. Effortless cocktails, like this Ouzo Lemon Spritzer, rely on just a few flavorful ingredients.

This spritzer uses ouzo, an anise-flavored Greek aperitif that is often served deeply chilled on its own. The taste of the ouzo remains pure and aromatic when enhanced by only a few fresh mint leaves, lemon juice and a touch of soda water. It’s refreshing and simple, not to mention a great accompaniment to easy summer appetizers.

Bottoms up, folks!

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Super Food Nerds: How to Make Maraschino Cherries

I do not like maraschino cherries. Not in a cocktail or a mocktail, not on a sundae or a parfait. Not anywhere. And I comfort myself in the knowledge that I am not alone. Some of my favorite food and drink writers have described the maraschino cherry as “an embalmed corpse” (Toby Cecchini), a “skeleton” (Harold McGee) and “undead” (Dave Wondrich). These cherries haunt critical food lovers like a sheet-wearing treats-seeker on Halloween.

We are speaking, of course, of the chemically treated, candy-sweet modern maraschino cherry. As I detailed in an earlier post, today’s maraschino cherries arose from the grave of their pre-Prohibition-era precursor: a sour cherry (the marasca, a Croatian variety) preserved in sour cherry maraschino liqueur.

In developing the Super Food Nerds maraschino cherry recipe below, I set out to exhume the lost flavors of the original — a seemingly doable task. The cocktail authority Cecchini has claimed there was nothing more to the old maraschino cherries than throwing sour cherries in a jar, covering them with maraschino liqueur and going about your business for two weeks. If Cecchini was right, this seemed like a secret everyone should be in on.

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Thirsty Thursday: White Sangria

It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. 

Want to impress guests with your mixology skills? It’s all about the details. This summery fruit-loaded White Sangria proves that sangria can indeed be worthy of craft cocktail-ing.

Start by dehydrating lemon and orange zest, which you’ll grind into a fine powder. Mix sweet white port, raspberries, orange liqueur and peaches for your cocktail base. When ready to serve, rim the glasses with the zesty citrus powder, and pour in the sangria base. Add a few frozen grapes (in lieu of ice cubes), and top with bubbly.

Bottoms up, folks!

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Thirsty Thursday: Mint Julep Snow Cones

It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

When the 4th of July often means hot weather coupled with al fresco dining and outdoor firework gazing, a cooling summertime beverage is not only a suggestion, it’s a must! We’ve got just the cocktail to save the day: meet the Mint Julep Snow Cone, the cocktail version of your favorite childhood treat.

Muddle fresh mint leaves and sugar in silver julep cups. Top with shaved ice, pour on the bourbon, and mix the frosty concoction. Give this cocktail a positively patriotic twist by throwing a few blueberries and raspberries on top to garnish. It will be the star of your celebrations!

Bottoms up, folks.

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Thirsty Thursday: Watermelon Martinis


It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

Break out your blender to whip up a slushy, cooling cocktail for summer. We suggest these frozen Watermelon Martinis as a start.

First, make ice cubes out of the watermelon by pureeing the sweet fruit and then pouring it into ice cube trays. This clever technique helps to maintain the full flavor of watermelon without dilution (since watermelon is already over 90 percent water). Once the watermelon cubes are frozen, blend them with simple syrup, lemon juice, vodka and melon liqueur.

Tip: Keep extra watermelon cubes in the freezer all summer, to spruce up lemonade, sparkling water or an impromptu martini anytime.

Bottoms up, folks!

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Thirsty Thursday: Caipirinha


It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

The 2014 World Cup is an ideal reason to have a drink in hand, whether you’re celebrating a win or drowning your sorrows after a loss.

Brazil being the host country, we’re opting for Brazil’s national cocktail, the caipirinha. This cocktail is made with cachaça, a Brazilian distilled liquor made from fermented sugarcane juice. Simply muddle and shake with raw sugar, lime and lots of crushed ice. It’s a Brazilian classic that will keep your spirits up whether or not your team is!

Bottoms up, folks!

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Thirsty Thursday: Tequila-Spiked Watermelon Jalapeño Lemonade

It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. And what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. Here are our thoughts on how to drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

Since you’ll likely be firing up the grill this weekend for burgers, steaks and smoky ribs (a.k.a. Dad food), try pairing this meal with a summery beverage too (a.k.a. a little something delicious for everyone)? While you’re waiting patiently for those ribs to become meltingly tender, pull up a lawn chair and slowly sip on this Watermelon Jalapeño Lemonade. Word of caution: It’s spicy, so go slowly.

This refreshing summer treat has just enough bite to make Dad love it. While pureed jalapeño adds the spicy dimension, blended watermelon sweetens the deal. Add an additional jalapeño if you dare. Though it’s best with a splash of tequila, the original version is booze-free.

Bottoms up, folks.

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