BOTW–Double Duty

As I was remiss, and did not do a Beer of the Week last week, this week I’ll cover two beers.

In my opinion, one of the coolest things about the craft beer revolution, such that it was, is that in just about every US state you visit you can find a delicious and unique craft beer.

One of my favorite Midwestern beers is Bell Brewery’s Two Hearted Ale.  It is an IPA that is sort of half way between the extremely hoppy west coast IPAs and the mellower Pacific Northwest and East Coast IPAs.

Delicious!  Any trip to the Midwest would be a failure in my book, if I didn’t drink at least one bottle, or preferably, draft pint of Two Hearted Ale.

In San Francisco, a fun local Brewery is Speakeasy.  They are located in the shadow of the Bayview Housing Projects on Evans off of Third Street here in San Francisco.

They often have parties or events at the Brewery, which can be pretty fun to attend.

Be warned, though, that the guys are pretty big heavy metal fans.  The last time we were out, they had an acoustic metal jam going on.  It’s a bit different feel than the mellow, grateful dead influenced vibe of the Magnolia Brew Pub.

They call the Untouchable Ale and American Style Pale Ale.

I suppose along the lines of Sierra Nevada Pale, Untouchable is a bit hoppier and also slightly heavier beer than the Sierra Nevada.

They make several other beers which they don’t bottle.  One of my favorites of those is the Hunter’s Point Porter.  If you ever see that on cask, don’t hesitate to order it.

Anyway, as you travel, my advice is to experiment.  If you’re out at a bar or restaurant that seems to take care with their beer, pick a beer you haven’t seen before.  I think you’ll find, local beer is almost always the best beer.

Saturday Night Dinner

It’s been a while since I posted a Saturday night dinner. I figure most folks read for the drinks, but this dinner was to celebrate Mrs. Flannestad’s triumphant return from her travels, so I’ll put it up.

Figs, Plouts, and Plum arranged in the pan for upside down cake.

Batter into cake pan. I based the batter on this one from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine: Cranberry Upside-Down Cake. It was a bit of a pain to make, but quite tasty.

Cleaned Maitake Mushrooms.

Sauteed Maitake Mushrooms with shallots and herbs.

Beautiful Tigerella tomatoes from a Japanese couple at the Farmers’ Market. Thyme and Thai Basil.


Tomatoes in a Sherry vinegar and Olive Oil dressing.

Cake Landscape.

Chicken Breasts with a generous amount of sauteed Maitake Mushrooms under the skin.

I like this orzo preparation. You make it more or less like a risotto.

Roasted Chicken Breasts.

Ms. Sweetpea wants to know why I’ve been spending so much time in the kitchen instead of paying attention to her.

I’ve never been much for presentation, at least when I’m cooking at home.

Depanned upside down cake.

Sorry, this is a bit out of focus. We’d had a bit to drink (sentimental favorite, Lazy Creek Anderson Valley Pinot Noir!) and were a little tipsy by the end of the meal.

Yay! My lovely partner in crime is back home!

Desert Healer Cocktail

Desert Healer Cocktail

The Juice of 1 Orange. (Juice 1 1/2 Honey Tangerine)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz No. 209 Gin)
1/2 Liqueur Glass Cherry Brandy. (3/4 oz Cherry Heering)

Shake well and strain into long tumbler and fill with Ginger Beer (Bundaberg).

In his book, “Barflies and Cocktails”, Harry McElhone notes that this cocktail, “Recipe (is) by Hon. H. Grayson.”

I’ve been meaning to try the Bundaberg Ginger Beer for a while. The Desert Healer seemed a fine excuse to pick up a 4 pack. Very natural tasting, if a bit sweeter than I expected.

With the Bundaberg, Heering, and Tangerine Juice, this cocktail ends up a bit on the sweet side for me. Quite tasty all the same. One interesting idea I had was, instead of shaking the Heering with the cocktail, to add it after shaking and then top with ginger beer. I bet you could get a nice Tequila Sunrise type effect. Will have to try that next time.

I suppose there is the question of Cherry Eau-de-Vie vs. Cherry Liqueur. I tried it both ways, and didn’t really care for the Kirsch version. Almost all the sweetness here comes from the juice and ginger beer. Swapping Heering for Kirsch didn’t make that much difference in sweetness and the Trimbach Kirsch I used brought out an unpleasant “Children’s Aspirin” flavor in the cocktail.

Anyway, after the not very good Kirsch version of this cocktail, which went down the sink, I still had a half a bottle of Ginger Beer. 2 oz of Rittenhouse Rye, a couple ice cubes, topped with cold Ginger Beer. C’mon. To me, it was tastier than either version of the Desert Healer. Rye and Ginger Beer, what a combination. Sometimes simpler is better.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.