Beerbecue Health Confession. I Have Been Living a Big Fat Lie.

We are wrapping up Barf Week at beerbecue HQ. Everyone in the family should now immunized against whatever heinous daycare plague was lurking in the crevices of some Lego Duplo brick, the disease trapping fur of Big Hugs Elmo, or the dirty babbling beak of some Furby Boom. Patient zero was 2.0. Then, one-by-one, the rest of the house fell.

So now, I am finally getting around to a post I have been avoiding. Folks, I have been living a lie. I feel like the Paula Deen of the beer and BBQ blogging world. No, I have never longed for a “Plantation-style Wedding”. My wedding was pretty tame: A build-your-own taco bar, Tecate cans, and kilts. And as I’m assuming is customary at all weddings, when Smells Like Teen Spirit came on this happened:Wedding 1

Then this...

Then this…

Umm, then this...

Umm, then this…

A little less hetero than I had imagined my wedding.

A little less hetero than I had imagined my wedding.

No. No. I have promoted beer swilling and BBQ eating, while walking around as a ticking time bomb of rotundity and high cholesterol. And all the while, there was no way you could have known that following my lead was potentially harmful to your health. Reckless.

My doctor has her stethoscope in a twist about the amount of grains and gluten in my diet (which admittedly hasn’t changed much since I was swimming 5,000-10,000 yards a day in college). Apparently, along with genetics and a lack of exercise, this is suppressing my HDL and boosting my LDL. In fact, she did the equivalent of a medical facepalm when I told her I write a beer and bbq blog.

I suppose in light of my family history, the responsible thing to do is to make some lifestyle changes. Thus, my fat ass is back in the pool. And I have to make some changes regarding beer consumption. This could affect the blog. I know this may be disappointing to many of my readers, but I have given this much thought. I’m going to have to drink more bourbon. Sorry, but I have to do what’s best for my family.

Interestingly enough, I see a move to liquor as happening more broadly. Over the past several years, I have seen restaurants and bars upping their liquor game with better booze selection and carefully crafted cocktails. And with websites like Bread&Gin (check out this video) and friends with snazzily stocked liquor cabinets and freezer trays that make huge ice cubes, I can’t help but think that liquor could cut into craft beer’s game at least a little bit. (And, of course, don’t forget It’s Just the Booze Dancing…G-Lo has been distracted by Whiskey for years.)

And I can’t say I’m disappointed. First, I don’t think it will detract much from craft beer, if at all. In many ways, they occupy different realms. If anything, liquor may just impede or slow craft beer’s foray into fancy pants drinking. Second, I love bourbon. Who wouldn’t want more selection and availability. And I love me a good Manhattan, which is what I got the other day complements of my friend’s snazzy liquor cabinet…complete with home-soaked cherries, Bulleitt Bourbon, and Carpano Antica Formula. Without a doubt, the best Manhattan evar.

manhattanWhat say you about snazzy liquor vs. craft beer?


The Session #59: The Perfect Bourbon

This is beerbecue’s first crack at The Session, which for January is hosted by Mario at Brewed for Thought. This month’s topic is: I almost always drink beer, but when I don’t…

I drink the perfect bourbon drink. To make a Basin Street you’ll need the following:

  • 2 Parts Bourbon
  • 1 Part Cointreau
  • 1 Part Lemon Juice
  • A Shaker; Ice; and a Cocktail Glass

We here at beerbecue are not just beer-swilling barbarians. The Haybag and I are sophisticated individuals, with a highly-refined worldview. Thus, we seek the best of everything regardless of origin. And Cointreau is at its best immediately after distillation. So, for the perfect Basin Street, ideally one would take a trip to the Cointreau distillery, Carre Cointreau, in the Loire Valley of France.

Midway through the distillery tour, you’ll need a hysteria-inducing distraction. Announcing a German invasion is a little cliché; so try proclaiming that down the street they are handing out free Chenin Blanc and cigarettes. While every French man, woman, and child within earshot is down the street frantically looking for their free wine and smokes, take a couple ounces off the end of the distillery line. Don’t be greedy. You probably only paid 10 euros for the tour, and you’ll get a cocktail at the end of the tour anyway.

Of course, in a pinch, the Cointreau in your liquor cabinet will do. You know…the bottle with the cap that is crystallized shut. Note: If it’s not crystallized shut, then you’ll likely need a new one, as this probably means your teenager has replaced the contents with water.

For the perfect lemon, go to Sicily in November. In the morning, as the sun begins its warm embrace, just before the dew has vanished, find a terraced lemon grove near the base of Mt. Etna. Carefully pluck a plump lemon that appears to be only moments away from dropping to the earth from its own ripe weight. Then, get the hell out of there before the sun begins its warm embrace of the garbage bags neglected by the striking Sicilian sanitation workers.

Of course, in a pinch, you can scale your neighbor’s fence after dark and thug one from his lemon tree. Watch out for dog crap. And no, I am not going to stoop to stereotyping the French and Italians with a sophomoric dog-poop-on-the-sidewalk joke. A little maturity, please.

Then, the most important step for the perfect bourbon drink: Get out a whiskey glass, pour the bourbon into the glass, and drink it (ice and splash of water optional). What? Did you think I was going to fuck-up a perfectly good bourbon?

Bourbon – Not as sweet as a woman’s kiss,
but a damn sight more sincere.

The Haybag: Excuse me? And might I point out, dear, that you seem to be more than willing to fuck-up a perfectly good beer with bourbon.