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  • Post #61 - July 17th, 2007, 8:22 am
    Post #61 - July 17th, 2007, 8:22 am Post #61 - July 17th, 2007, 8:22 am
    young's is pretty solid stuff. it tastes much better in winter though :)
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #62 - August 28th, 2007, 1:27 am
    Post #62 - August 28th, 2007, 1:27 am Post #62 - August 28th, 2007, 1:27 am
    "What am I drinking?" Well, homemade St. John's wort-flavored snaps, of course!

    St. John's wort grows literally like a weed over here. It has a long blooming period (from, say late June until late August) and is easily identifiable thanks to the fact that its yellow blossoms (strangely) leave you fingertips stained red/purple if you squeeze them. St. John's wort is also reputed by many to have beneficial effects on depression and/or anxiety. However, I believe that its use in flavoring vodka over here has more to do with its availability and nice flavor than any sort of homeopathic reason.

    This year's batch began on a wind-swept beach on the Eastern coast of the Baltic island of Gotland in late June (coincidentally only about 20 miles south of where Ingmar Bergman was spending his last weeks at his home).

    Image

    One needs about a cup of the blossoms for a bottle of vodka so I picked a few healthy plants and took them home with me.

    Another shot of the blossoms and buds:

    Image

    You primarily want the ready-to-bloom buds but a few open blossoms won't hurt either as long as your planning to filter the finished infusion:

    Image

    Simply take the buds/blossoms and let them steep in vodka for approx. 10 days. Most Swedes recommend using a low-proof vodka for flavoring. I used 32 proof (called "brännvin" over here instead of 40% vodka). The lower proof allow simply allow one to taste more of the flavoring as it doesn't overpower as readily as 40 proof.

    Image

    Almost immediately, a red/purple color begins leeching out from the yellow buds. After a night or so, the vodka is a beautiful hue of crimson.

    After steeping for 10 days, filter the vodka (a coffee filter works fine) and add a touch of sugar (say, 2 sugar cubes per 750 ml bottle).

    Image

    (The color, unfortunately, came out all wrong in this photo...)

    Now comes the difficult part. Most people recommend allowing the flavored vodka to mellow for awhile - preferrably until next summer. Mine, however, was quickly consumed at our annual neighborhood crawfish party ("kräftskiva") after only 6 weeks or so...

    The flavor is surpisingly non-flowery. Instead, it has a fruity, berry-like flavor that is very pleasant. Honestly, my home-infusions are really no match for much of the pleathora of flavored snaps one can purchase in Sweden. However, I find the experience of flavoring one's own snaps to be well worth the effort.
  • Post #63 - August 28th, 2007, 9:12 am
    Post #63 - August 28th, 2007, 9:12 am Post #63 - August 28th, 2007, 9:12 am
    Just be aware that St. John's Wort can interfere with all sorts of drugs.

    "St. John’s Wort appears to be an inducer of an important metabolic pathway, cytochrome P450. As many prescription drugs used to treat heart disease, depression, seizures, certain cancers or to prevent conditions such as transplant rejection or pregnancy (oral contraceptives) are metabolized via this pathway, the FDA recommended that health care providers should alert their patients that St. John's Wort use might reduce the effectiveness of their medications." (from the FDA advisory)

    see http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/advisory/stjwort.htm

    The most widely documented St. John’s wort–drug interaction has been with cyclosporine (Neoral®, Sandimmune®), a drug taken by transplant patients to fend off the immune system’s tendency to reject a transplanted organ. As blood levels of the drug decrease, the risk of organ rejection rises. The tendency for blood levels of the drug to decrease when people start taking St. John’s wort has been cited in several case reports in the medical literature, including a report totaling 45 transplant patients.

    Other reports in the medical literature of St. John’s wort–drug interactions include the protease inhibitor indinavir (Crivaxin®), used to treat persons with HIV infection, as well as digoxin (Lanoxin®), warfarin (Coumadin®), theophylline (e.g., Slo-Bid®, Theo-Dur®), and birth control pills.

    See also
    # Piscitelli SC and others. Indinavir concentrations and St John's wort. Lancet 355:547, 2000.
    # Ruschitzka F and others. Acute heart transplant rejection due to Saint John's wort Lancet 355:548, 2000.
    # Jobst KA and others. Safety of St John's wort. Lancet 355:576, 2000.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #64 - August 28th, 2007, 9:32 am
    Post #64 - August 28th, 2007, 9:32 am Post #64 - August 28th, 2007, 9:32 am
    Very true, leek.

    I'd actually written a bit about this (although not nearly as much or as detailed as in your excellent information) in a previous version of this post that I accidentally deleted before finishing.

    Your warning is certainly warrented. I'm not certain as to whether this flavored snaps is as concentrated as the homeopathic remedies most warnings are about. However, if I were taking any prescription medication that are known to be effected by St. John's wort, I certainly wouldn't take any chances.

    Thanks for your post!
  • Post #65 - September 6th, 2007, 7:29 pm
    Post #65 - September 6th, 2007, 7:29 pm Post #65 - September 6th, 2007, 7:29 pm
    I have become quite fond of Goose Island IPA. It has become a staple in the house, and I think it is quite worthy as it is generally $2-3 less than most other craft beers, but just as good or better.

    Have also been enjoying a few 6 packs of Lagunitas Sirius since it was recommended at Kuma's a few weeks back. In general I pass on Cream Ales so this was a surprise, but I like their high gravity take on it.

    Was not a big fan of the Goose Island Harvest Ale. It is pretty similar in taste to a Honker's Ale but hoppier and has a bit of a mushroom taste to it. It wasn't undrinkable, but left me reaching for something else. Tolerable at best.

    Jamie
  • Post #66 - September 7th, 2007, 11:30 am
    Post #66 - September 7th, 2007, 11:30 am Post #66 - September 7th, 2007, 11:30 am
    Found something new at my central Illinois purveyor - Longhammer Pale Ale by Red Hook. Since it's new to my area, it probably has been available in Chicago for quite some time, but I thought I would mention in case other hopheads might want to give it a try.

    I am normally quite happy with Sierra Nevada, Dogfish Head 90-minute and Alpha King, but I found myself really enjoying this milder version of pale ale. It has a certain sweetness that lends itself to quaffing with salty snacks or fresh-from-the grill bacon-wrapped dove breasts. And it's cheap at $10/12 pack.

    Cheers,
    Davooda
  • Post #67 - September 7th, 2007, 3:54 pm
    Post #67 - September 7th, 2007, 3:54 pm Post #67 - September 7th, 2007, 3:54 pm
    Davooda wrote:or fresh-from-the grill bacon-wrapped dove breasts.


    It sounds like someone has been hunting recently :wink:
  • Post #68 - September 10th, 2007, 8:33 am
    Post #68 - September 10th, 2007, 8:33 am Post #68 - September 10th, 2007, 8:33 am
    Dale - indeed I have. I am a recent convert to the dove field, though I have hunted and enjoyed eating wild game nearly my whole life. As teens and young adults, we didn't hunt doves (I grew up in the western suburbs) but since moving to central Illinois I am now an avid dove hunter. They provide great sport and the breast meat is delicious. I marinate, wrap with bacon, a slice of onion, a slice of jalapeno and a slice of mushroon and grill on high heat for about :08 per side. Allow to rest for :05 and dive in. A limit is 15 which provides 30 appetizers - and they don't last long on the platter.

    And the Longhammer IPA provided an excellent accompaniment!

    Davooda
  • Post #69 - October 14th, 2007, 7:33 pm
    Post #69 - October 14th, 2007, 7:33 pm Post #69 - October 14th, 2007, 7:33 pm
    This is taken from my review of Butter:


    '05 Pine Ridge Chardonnay - nice way to start the evening. Although I prefer a heartier chardonnay, this was very enjoyable.

    '04 Darioush Pinot Noir - Oh....Darioush. The King of Silverado Trail! Darioush, an impresively powerful wine at all varietals, the pinot is unlike any other conventional pinot noir to be had. I'm happy to have a half case sitting in the cellar. Fall '07 is perfect for this bottle.

    '04 Rubicon Cabernet Franc - A rare varietal at 100% (Darioush does a good job at 100% Cab Franc, as well) this smelled like the tasting rooms, chateau and caves of Rubicon. This was my second favorite wine of the evening. Highly recommended.

    '04 Quintessa - I have a half case of this vintage shipping in November...and I can't wait! Velvet in a glass! (We realized we were down to two more bottles of wine, so we negotiated a Quintessa purchase in lieu of any corkage fees. The house manager gladly obliged and was more than friendly and helpful. Due to the corkage fee being waived, we got the Quintessa at retail price. ) This was the consensus #1 poured tonight. For very good reason.

    '05 Caymus Zinfandel - Available only at the estate, Caymus proves they can do more than their signature Cab. Spicy and tough.... Best description of the evening: "This wine will slap yo mama in the teeth! It's like fighting a Puerto Rican woman in the produce section over the last bunch of grapes."

    '02 Turley Ueberoth Zinfandel - Coming off the very nice Caymus Zin, the normally reliable Turley didn't deliver. Still a wonderful wine, though.
    I've lurked far too long.....
  • Post #70 - November 7th, 2007, 12:51 pm
    Post #70 - November 7th, 2007, 12:51 pm Post #70 - November 7th, 2007, 12:51 pm
    Gold Peak Lemon Flavored Iced Tea
    This now sets the gold standard for bottled iced tea for me.
    It has a rich deep tea flavor, not achingly sweet, and not fruity at all, even though it has a lemon note.

    Comparitively, Snapple is overwhelmed by the flavor of fruit juice concentrates (very pear- or apple-like), and Arizona used to be my fave, but I'm just not as impressed with it. I don't know if they've changed, but it doesn't have the depth of flavor (the canned Southern Sweet Tea is about their best, but if it came bottled, and had lemon, I'd still put it a small notch below the Gold Peak).

    Yes, I could brew my own, but when reaching for bottled cold drink when I'm on the road, this is my #1 choice.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #71 - December 11th, 2007, 7:47 pm
    Post #71 - December 11th, 2007, 7:47 pm Post #71 - December 11th, 2007, 7:47 pm
    Fat Squirrel Nut Brown Ale, brought to me from my wonderful friend from college who still lives in Madison. New Glarus continues to be my standard for American craft brew, absolutely delicious.
  • Post #72 - December 11th, 2007, 10:25 pm
    Post #72 - December 11th, 2007, 10:25 pm Post #72 - December 11th, 2007, 10:25 pm
    Fat Squirrel Nut Brown Ale, brought to me from my wonderful friend from college who still lives in Madison. New Glarus continues to be my standard for American craft brew, absolutely delicious.


    A friend of mine just brought me some New Glarus Staghorn Octoberfest. A very fine brew. He also brought another great Wisconsin brew - Furthermore Knot Stock - a pale ale brewed with peppercorns. It really works well, especially when paired with some spicy food.

    As to what I am drinking right now - Bell's Batch 8000 It makes other wits weep.
  • Post #73 - December 16th, 2007, 10:52 pm
    Post #73 - December 16th, 2007, 10:52 pm Post #73 - December 16th, 2007, 10:52 pm
    Hebrew Origin Pomegranate Ale.

    Last two times I had it was at Feed the Beast in North Center.

    8% alcohol. Sold in 40s.

    I'd try to describe it using appropriate descriptors, but not really knowing the difference between hoppy versus not hoppy, etc., I'll just say it is tasty, a tinge of sweet, a crack of bitter, potent, and not too fizzy, which I find a benefit.
    These pretzels are making me thirsty...
  • Post #74 - December 18th, 2007, 10:10 am
    Post #74 - December 18th, 2007, 10:10 am Post #74 - December 18th, 2007, 10:10 am
    The last few nights:

    Corazon Blanco Tequila, Miller High Life, and Budwesier.
  • Post #75 - December 18th, 2007, 10:12 am
    Post #75 - December 18th, 2007, 10:12 am Post #75 - December 18th, 2007, 10:12 am
    2 oz of Pappy Van Winkle 20, followed by 2 oz of Redbreast.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #76 - December 19th, 2007, 2:24 pm
    Post #76 - December 19th, 2007, 2:24 pm Post #76 - December 19th, 2007, 2:24 pm
    A drink I call the Blonde Bombshell:

    1.5 oz Vanilla Royale
    1.5 oz Vodka

    Both iced & then poured into a martini glass rimmed with crushed Werthers Original candies.

    Yummy!
  • Post #77 - June 2nd, 2008, 1:44 pm
    Post #77 - June 2nd, 2008, 1:44 pm Post #77 - June 2nd, 2008, 1:44 pm
    Last night I opened (and drank) a 22oz. bottle of Lagunitas Old GnarlyWine (a barley-wine ale).

    This is a nice example of an American barley-wine ale, with a reasonably aggressive level of hops balancing the fruity sweetness. Lagunitas says they age it for 1-month before bottling. I'd describe the flavor as an American pale ale with greater malt and fruit intensity.

    If you like American barley-wine ales like Bigfoot or Old Crustacean, this is worth checking out. Not something I'd drink everyday, but a nice example of this style of beer. I found it at Binny's by Manny's.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #78 - June 2nd, 2008, 3:13 pm
    Post #78 - June 2nd, 2008, 3:13 pm Post #78 - June 2nd, 2008, 3:13 pm
    These days - thanks to my brother-in-law - a Salty Dog. I enjoyed this drink in college and had forgotten about it until a family cookout last weekend:

    Tall cocktail glass, rim rubbed with lime and then salted
    fill glass nearly to top with ice cubes
    a generous shot of quality gin or vodka (I like mine with gin)
    grapefruit juice to top it off (not PINK grapefruit juice)
    stir and enjoy

    Hits the spot on a hot summer day!

    Davooda
    Life is a garden, Dude - DIG IT!
    -- anonymous Colorado snowboarder whizzing past me March 2010
  • Post #79 - June 2nd, 2008, 4:11 pm
    Post #79 - June 2nd, 2008, 4:11 pm Post #79 - June 2nd, 2008, 4:11 pm
    eatchicago wrote:Last night I opened (and drank) a 22oz. bottle of Lagunitas Old GnarlyWine (a barley-wine ale).

    This is a nice example of an American barley-wine ale, with a reasonably aggressive level of hops balancing the fruity sweetness. Lagunitas says they age it for 1-month before bottling. I'd describe the flavor as an American pale ale with greater malt and fruit intensity.

    If you like American barley-wine ales like Bigfoot or Old Crustacean, this is worth checking out. Not something I'd drink everyday, but a nice example of this style of beer. I found it at Binny's by Manny's.

    Best,
    Michael


    I've had some really nice success with Lagunitas. Their Imperial IPA and normal IPA are both nice examples of their respective styles without being unbalanced. Their recent seasonal, Hairy Eyeball, was a good American strong ale, and the Uncensored (an amber) is great for easy drinking.

    If anyone is a fan of barley-wines, I would suggest New Holland's Pilgrim Dole. It's a wheat wine (so, you know, less barley, more wheat). There's a little bit less malt and it's not as full-bodied. A little bit easier drinking, I think, though this particular bottle can run a little sweet and cloying over the course of the 22oz. bottle. I would reccommend splitting this bottle with others.
    best,
    dan
  • Post #80 - June 2nd, 2008, 5:11 pm
    Post #80 - June 2nd, 2008, 5:11 pm Post #80 - June 2nd, 2008, 5:11 pm
    Drinking some Bookers right now. Was drinking Laphroigh this weekend
    Dave

    Bourbon, The United States of America's OFFICIAL Spirit.
  • Post #81 - June 2nd, 2008, 6:23 pm
    Post #81 - June 2nd, 2008, 6:23 pm Post #81 - June 2nd, 2008, 6:23 pm
    davecamaro1994 wrote:Drinking some Bookers right now. Was drinking Laphroigh this weekend
    I really love laphroigh- it does for my tastebuds often what moto does for my culinary sensibilities- turns them on edge to cause me to re-evaluate everything. Bookers is getting to be too much for me, though that didn't seem to stop me from drinking about 6 fingers of it on the rocks a couple of weekends ago.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #82 - June 2nd, 2008, 9:39 pm
    Post #82 - June 2nd, 2008, 9:39 pm Post #82 - June 2nd, 2008, 9:39 pm
    I just had the Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron. I am typically a bit skeptical of barrel-aged beers - they are hard to pull off. This, however, is a truly remarkable beer. It is a sipping beer at 12%, but the alcohol is surprisingly subtle. It is reminiscent of a good soy sauce (yes, that is a good thing.) Highly recommended.

    I was also in Minneapolis last week and got a chance to get a pint of Surly Bitter Brewer. It is an excellent example of a bitter. Best I have had. I have not seen it in Chicago, and I am not sure we will be getting any, but if it does pop up, do yourself a favor and buy a pint, particularly if it is on cask.
  • Post #83 - June 3rd, 2008, 11:59 am
    Post #83 - June 3rd, 2008, 11:59 am Post #83 - June 3rd, 2008, 11:59 am
    schenked wrote:I was also in Minneapolis last week and got a chance to get a pint of Surly Bitter Brewer. It is an excellent example of a bitter. Best I have had. I have not seen it in Chicago, and I am not sure we will be getting any, but if it does pop up, do yourself a favor and buy a pint, particularly if it is on cask.


    As of last Friday, it was on tap at the Clark St. Ale House (742 N. Clark). I didn't try it myself, but am now regretting the missed opportunity. I guess I'll just have to go back before the keg runs out!
    best,
    dan
  • Post #84 - June 8th, 2008, 7:13 pm
    Post #84 - June 8th, 2008, 7:13 pm Post #84 - June 8th, 2008, 7:13 pm
    I'm working my way through at 24oz bottle of Sierra Nevada 2008 Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop Ale...quite a title in itself! It's a very hoppy ale, with hops from New Zealand. I've always been a big fan of SN beers in general, and one of my accounts (I sell wine) turned me on to this new arrival. It was $5.49 but that's not bad for a double-sized bottle of a "special release" beer I guess. Since this is a "first release" I'm assuming that you could cellar it like some other IPAs or barley wines.

    The flavor is pretty true to SN style: rich copper color with a medium-bodied, malty palate and a dry, herby-citrus hop nose. Pretty tasty brew!

    According to their website, this is part of the "Harvest Series"
    - Mark

    Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon? Ham? Pork chops?
    Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
    Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.
  • Post #85 - June 10th, 2008, 12:15 pm
    Post #85 - June 10th, 2008, 12:15 pm Post #85 - June 10th, 2008, 12:15 pm
    I wish to officially declare gin and tonic season open, and a toast to all! :D
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #86 - June 13th, 2008, 11:20 am
    Post #86 - June 13th, 2008, 11:20 am Post #86 - June 13th, 2008, 11:20 am
    The wife has been enjoying the Dogfishead Pestina Feche - she likes the sweetness and the peachy-ness to it; I found it a little too tart for me. I got the chance to try the Kalamazoo Hopsolution at Hopleaf this week, and was pretty disappointed - it was barely hoppy at all, at least not to my taste. I had preceded it with a Dark Horse IPA which might have knocked my palate out of whack, so who knows. YMMV. The Lagunitas Censored on tap was phenomenal as ever, though.
    Writing about craft beer at GuysDrinkingBeer.com
    "You don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now." ~Ebert
  • Post #87 - June 13th, 2008, 3:26 pm
    Post #87 - June 13th, 2008, 3:26 pm Post #87 - June 13th, 2008, 3:26 pm
    Split a bottle of Brooklyner-Shneiner Hopfen-Weiss with a friend las night. A beautiful beer - All the complex flavor of a weiss back up with nicely balanced assertiveness of american hops. Well done, I say. It was in stock last week at West Lakeview Liquors.
  • Post #88 - June 16th, 2008, 10:14 am
    Post #88 - June 16th, 2008, 10:14 am Post #88 - June 16th, 2008, 10:14 am
    Went to Costco this weekend. They have a great new Jim Beam Black promo. The 1.75 of Black comes in a wooden mini keg with a tap. pretty cool. I bought one. $50
    Dave

    Bourbon, The United States of America's OFFICIAL Spirit.
  • Post #89 - June 16th, 2008, 4:45 pm
    Post #89 - June 16th, 2008, 4:45 pm Post #89 - June 16th, 2008, 4:45 pm
    davecamaro1994 wrote:Went to Costco this weekend. They have a great new Jim Beam Black promo. The 1.75 of Black comes in a wooden mini keg with a tap. pretty cool. I bought one. $50
    Jim Beam Black = tastes a bit less like battery acid :)
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #90 - June 17th, 2008, 9:13 am
    Post #90 - June 17th, 2008, 9:13 am Post #90 - June 17th, 2008, 9:13 am
    I found a recipe for a Ciroc Obama:
    2 oz. ciroc
    1 oz. chambord
    Top with freshly squeezed lemonade

    I haven't tried it yet but I plan to soon! McCain doesn't have a cocktail, does he?
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    In the world of apples, Pink Lady runs the whorehouse. ~ James Napoli

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