Tuesday, April 3, 2018

I Drink And I Know Things - Two Boozy Reviews

I am, by no means, a booze hound.  I can go for days, even weeks, without taking a drink, and I have no trouble stopping at one drink after a long dry spell.  Nevertheless, I do enjoy a good drink.  When I do choose to imbibe,  I like to drink outside the box a bit.  I enjoy drinks featuring interesting ingredients and tasty flavors.  In a nutshell, I like my booze to taste as good as my food.  Thus, when I came across two potent potables promising potentially palate pleasing profiles, I had to try them.

| Subject: Heritage Bacon Vodka and Mississippi Mud Black & Tan |
| Date: 03/30/2018 | Photographers: James Kiester & Dani Cogswell |

I was making a liquor run when I came across Heritage Distilling Company's Bacon Vodka.   Being a fan of bacon, I picked up a fifth for $20.00.

True, Smirnoff and Grey Goose both hands their bacon flavored offerings, but there's are clear colored, like traditional vodka.  I was attracted, rationally or not, by the brown bacon-esc appearance of the bottle's contents.  Silly as it seems, it simply looked more authentic to me, as if it had been in a vat with actual bacon.

First, I used it in a Bloody Mary.  Even without the liquid smoke (see recipe below) the cocktail was smoky, spicy, and, to my surprise, a little sweet. It was easily one of my new favorite cocktails.

A few days later, I used it in a Dirty Martini.  While I didn't get the hit of smokiness up-front as I had with the Bloody Mary, it left a pleasant smoke flavored finish on the back of my palate.  Another home run, I must say.

Distilled from grapes, rather than potatoes, with natural flavors added to give it its amber hue and smoky flavor, Heritage Distilling's Bacon Vodka contains 30% alcohol by volume (60 Proof).  I give it 9 out of 10 stars.

Mississippi Brewing Company's Mississippi Mud Black & Tan was given to me as a gift.  I initially raised an eyebrow at the idea of a bottled Black & Tan.  The traditional drink is a beer cocktail consisting of lager being poured over the back of a spoon into a glass of stout.  The result is a drink with tan lager on the top and black stout on the bottom.  I wasn't sure they could mimic the effect in a premade concoction, and if they couldn't fulfill the drink's first promise, I was skeptical of the taste too.  Still, the 1 quart jug looked cool, so I shrugged and thanked her for it.

I poured myself a glass to go with a bowl of popcorn.  As I'd thought, the beer was stout black with no visible signs of the tan lager.  It had a good strong beer hall aroma though, which was a good sign.  Upon sipping, I found an easy to drink stout with delicious flavors of grain and coffee.  Just like Life Cereal's Mikey, I LIKED IT, I LIKED IT!

I milked four and a half glasses of beer from the jug and drank them ice cold with no sign of funky bitterness.  At 5% alcohol by volume (10 Proof), Mississippi Mud Black & Tan is a find worthy of 8 out of 10 stars.

Below you'll find three relevant recipes which I personally recommend for happy drinking. 

Black & Tan

For those of you who want to make a traditional Black and Tan, all you'll need is;
1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle of your favorite lager,
1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle of your favorite stout,
a tall glass,
and a large tablespoon.

Gently pour half the lager beer into a tall beer glass. Place a large tablespoon, dome side up, an inch or so above the lager beer, with the tip of the spoon pointed slightly downhill. Slowly pour half the stout beer over the tablespoon, so the stout gently pours down the side of the glass in a thick trickle.

Allow to stand a few seconds so 2 distinct layers of beer form.

Dirty Bacon Martini

3 oz of bacon infused vodka
1 oz Dry Vermouth
1 oz olive brine
3 stuffed green olives

Into a cocktail shaker, pour the Vodka, Dry Vermouth and olive brine. Shake well. Strain and pour contents of cocktail shaker into a chilled martini glass.

Drop the olives into the martini before serving.

Bacon Bloody Mary

1 1/2 oz bacon flavored vodka
4 oz tomato juice or V8
1 dash of Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes of liquid smoke
2 dashes of celery salt
2 dashes of hot pepper sauce

(Optional Garnishes)
1 slice of cooked bacon
1 celery stalk - I prefer this one.
A sprinkle of seasoned salt

Fill a shaker with some ice. Add remaining ingredients and give it a good shake. Pour it into a seasoned salt-rimed glass and garnish with a piece of cooked bacon and a celery stalk.

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