Let's be perfectly honest. It's been a long time since anyone's accused me of following trends, particularly when it comes to fashion, decorating, or lifestyle stuff.
Even when it comes to food, I'm not particularly trendy. Hey, I live in the middle of the country. It takes a while for the trendy stuff to travel this far and then make it uphill on a donkey. By the time the trendy ingredients get within my reach, they're usually trending towards boring in NYC.
So when I got an email about beer day and beer-ology, I thought that for once I might dabble in the trendy. Because apparently beer cocktails are the next big thing.
I like beer. I like cocktails. I've had a michelada. I might have also tried one other beer cocktail. And there are those mutant beer/margarita things that aren't too bad with a lot of ice on a hot day.
To help me celebrate beer day, my new BFF sent me samples of Templeton Rye Whisky and Fernet Branca, neither of which I had tried before. And there were recipes for a whole bunch of cocktails. This one intrigued me:
The Black Sea
1 ounce Templeton Rye Whiskey
.5 ounce Fernet Branca
.5 ounce Chocolate Syrup
Top Ballast Point Sea Monster Imperial Stout
In a mixing glass with ice, shake whiskey, Fernet Branca and chocolate syrup, strain and fill with stout.
Garnish with shaved chocolate and pinch of sea salt.
Let the games begin!
I checked my fridge, and I had no Top Ballast Point Sea Monster Imperial Stout. In fact, I had no sea monsters at all. No sea monkeys, even. What I did have was a bottle of a local brew: Left Hand Milk Stout.
So, I sort of made the recipe, but ...
I drizzled the inside of the glass with the chocolate sauce. I saw that presentation in a cocktail with a lighter-colored beverage, where you could see the drizzle in the glass. With the milk stout, the presentation aspect was lost. Oh well.
And then I went with 1/2 ounce of the Templeton Rye and 1/4 ounce of the Fernet Branca. In a shorter glass. Poured right into the bottom of the glass, and then topped off with the Milk Stout.
Well, then. Okay. It was ... um ... Dark brown and not really photogenic. I didn't add the chocolate shavings because it was just a sample for me and it was 10 p.m. and I wasn't in the mood to go shaving any chocolate. If chocolate wants to be shaved at 10 p.m. it should just go shave itself.
In retrospect, white chocolate shavings might have added a visual interest to the drink that would have made it a tad more appealing for photos. But still. 10 p.m. No one's taking photos at 10 p.m. around here.
The herbal notes in the Fernet Branca reminded me of root beer. Which is still beer, right?
Well, okay, it's not actually beer, but I have some root beer made by a local brewery - Oskar Blues - so it's beerish and beer-brewery-brewed, so I'm proclaiming it beer-like enough for cocktail purposes.
Because it's my blog, and that's how I roll. Sideways, usually. I never really got the hang of somersaults.
At first I thought about making the same drink, but substituting brewery-brewed-beer-of-root instead of the stout, but I realized that would leave me with yet another dark drink in a glass. Ho hum. That's not fun.
So I thought, well, why not an ice cream float?
*rumble around in freezer for ice cream flavors*
So, I had some ice cream with chocolate mint Girl Scout cookies crumbled in, chocolate ice cream four pink-to-purple ice creams (cherry/berry sort of things) and a citrusy ice cream.
I decided the chocolate would be too dark for good photos, the fruity ones didn't appeal to me all that much. So, I decided to dunk the Girl Scouts.
Black & Blues Root Beer Float
2 (ish) scoops ice cream
1 ounce Templeton Rye Whiskey
1/2 ounce Fernet Branca
Root beer (I used Oskar Blues root beer)
Chocolate Sauce (with mad abandon)
Put the ice cream in a tall glass. Add the Templeton Rye Whiskey and Fernet Branca. Top with root beer. It will foam up, so let it subside or stir it a bit to deflate the foam. Top it off with a bit more root beer.
Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the top.
If you want to spill a little chocolate sauce artistically over the side, that's fine. I was just messy.
I received samples of the Templeton Rye Whiskey and the Fernet Branca for the purpose of this post.