Friday, June 17, 2011
Summer Drinks, You Gotta Love 'Em
My (real life and blogging) friend Denny over at DennFinn did a little post recently on her favorite warm weather refreshments. I can't get it out of my head - they all seemed so delicious! So I'm literally going to copy her post concept and give you my own:
Lime Drinks: First of all, you can't have a hot summer without lemonade, limeade, and margaritas. How you make all three, or what brands you prefer to buy, are up to a huge range of individual tastes. But for us, one thing we keep on hand all summer is Simply Limeade. Limes and cane sugar. That's it. It tastes amazing on its own in a glass of ice, and you can't come up with a better margarita base that doesn't involve you squeezing your own limes. The lime tastes fresh and tart, and the cane sugar is extra sweet. It's good. Runner up: El Paso Chile Company's Natural Margarita Mixer.
Maine Root Ginger Brew. This is a light and lemony ginger beer with a pronounced ginger bite. Unlike some of the other famous brands, they don't try to kill you with ginger while strangling you with syrup. Runners up: Barritts (Bermuda) and Reed's Premium (NYC?).
UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen Unfiltered, brewed by Harpoon (MA). While nowhere near the best wheat beer on the market, this is a special summer beer. The raspberry sticks with you through the whole bottle....without getting sweet. It's a wonderful recipe for hot afternoon cookouts. Runners Up: So many!....Southern Tier (NY) Heavy Weizen and how about Flying Fish (NJ) Exit 11. Both are technically better wheat beers, but not quite as summery.
Southern Tier (NY) Unearthly IPA. It's not for the faint of heart, but the bitterness doesn't try to asphyxiate you the way that some of today's most popular IPAs do. It's extra hoppy of course, but the fact that the ale is aged in oak barrels makes for a complex taste that won't knock you over after just one drink. Runners Up: Dogfish Head (DE) Shelter Pale Ale - their least bitter pale ale, and Bells (MI) Two Hearted Ale.
So, you're mowing the lawn or spending the day on a hot, sunny beach. What you need is a good old fashioned light beer. The main problem with light beers, especially American lagers, is that they taste (and smell) like old, wet shoe leather unless they are absolutely ice cold. My pick? Rolling Rock (PA). I love this beer for the summer, and always have. It actually tastes decent, comes in cans and bottles, and (I recall) is only about 4% ABV. Runners up: doesn't matter as long as they are really, really cold.
Whatever you choose to drink this summer, please do it responsibly. If you're planning to drink a lot, do what I've done for years now - designate a driver AND show up at your destination with a sleeping bag in the car. Whatever consequences you may face at work or at home for staying out all night, it'll mean nothing compared to the anger and sadness your family will feel if you pick up a $5,000 DUI, kill yourself on the road, or worse, kill somebody else. Please think ahead!
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