Category Archives: Drinks

Beer, soda, and other fun fluids you put in your mouth.

Basil Hayden’s 

Basil Hayden’s is a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. It’s closely related to Jim Beam, but it’s a classier drink to order. It has more rye than most whiskeys and has a spicier finish. Once upon a time it was aged for eight years but it has since been rebranded as “artfully aged” so I’m sure they are skimping somewhere on the production line. It’s 80 proof which gives it a 40% alcohol by volume content, pretty standard for a bottle of bourbon. 

Basil Hayden’s is a lesser known bourbon despite some mainstream support. If you’re at a bar that carries it, you should take advantage and order a shot. I only became aware of it in the last few weeks because it was the whiskey of choice for my friend Josh. He’s no longer with us, but I’ve since tried it and must admit that he had good taste. I’m going to sip it, enjoy it, and remember a great person that was taken too soon. Try Basil Hayden’s. Do it for Josh. And don’t tell me if you hate it because I don’t want to hear it. 

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

Ordering “Beer” at a Bar

I bartend at a tourist trap in San Francisco. That means I deal with a lot of people that don’t know how to order drinks. At least twice a shift I will ask a customer what they want to drink, and they will respond with “Beer.” I just shake my head and explain to them that this isn’t Hollywood. This isn’t a movie. You don’t just say “Beer” and get a beer. Do you want bottle or draft? Do you want something imported, domestic, or a local craft brew? Do you want a lager, an ale, a stout, a porter, a wheat beer or an IPA? You have to be more specific. If you want a Budweiser, then order a fucking Budweiser. I don’t have time to hold your hand and walk you through the menu. I’m too busy helping people who actually know what they want to drink. The next motherfucker who asks me for a beer is getting a glass of O’Doul’s and the middle finger. You wanted a beer, you got one. Now fuck off. 

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

Moscow Mule

I normally drink beer but I’ve been drinking a lot of vodka lately. I’ve mostly been making Moscow Mules. It’s a simple drink. Vodka, lime juice, spicy ginger beer, and ice. It’s crisp and refreshing, and it gets you drunk without much of a hangover the next day (provided you use a decent vodka). There are a few recipes out there but mine’s been working for me. I’ll pour two ounces of vodka into a twelve ounce glass (copper mugs are ideal, but I don’t have any on hand). I’ll squeeze and drop in three lime wedges, add ice, and top with ginger beer. Give it a quick stir, then sip and enjoy. Add more vodka as needed. But the trick lies with the ginger beer. Ginger beer is harder to find than ginger ale, but it adds spice and zing and is worth searching for. Reed’s, Bundaberg, and Gosling’s all make great ginger beer. The lime is also a key ingredient and often overlooked. Most recipes say to use lime juice. I think it’s important to use an actual lime. Squeeze that shit and drop it in. Let the lime rind release its oils and flavors into the cocktail. Enjoy the zest. Thank me later.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

Cutting Six-Pack Holders

I drink beer but I care about the environment. That means I take the time to cut plastic six-pack holders. I don’t want any fishes or small animals to get caught in one. They shouldn’t suffer because I had a cold one. Cutting six-pack holders is a quick and easy way to make Captain Planet proud. It’s up to all of us to save the world. And it’s a lot easier to cut plastic six-pack holders than it is to stop drinking. I did my part. Hope you did the same.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

Aunt Sally (Beer, Not the Relative)

Today is my day off and I decided to celebrate with a little day drinking. I went to the corner store and surveyed their beer selection for a few minutes before deciding on a six pack of Aunt Sally from Petaluma, California’s Lagunitas Brewing Company. It’s described on the label as A Unique Dry-Hopped Sweet Tart Sour Mash Ale, and that’s precisely what it is. It’s a good introduction to the world of sour beers. 

It pours a pale goldish amber color with a moderately foamy head. The aroma is of citrus fruits, green apple, and floral hops. It tastes sweet at first but turns tart and sour on the tongue. I get bursts of lemons, limes, maybe some pineapple, and hops. It’s crisp and seductive, the type of beer that cider lovers and wine aficionados can enjoy. 

Aunt Sally is a great beer for day drinking. It has an alcohol percentage of 5.7. It’s stronger than a Budweiser but lighter than most IPAs. It’s very drinkable and reminds me of sipping lemonade on the front porch at grandma’s house in the country. And my grandma didn’t have a porch or live in the country. Drink this beer if you’re lucky enough to get it.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

Sour Grapes (Documentary)

I’m in the restaurant industry and I’ve always been suspicious of self-proclaimed wine connoisseurs. They always seem so pretentious and full of shit. Last night I watched Sour Grapes, and it appears that my suspicions have been confirmed. Sour Grapes is a 2016 documentary about Rudy Kurniawan, a con artist who made millions of dollars by selling bootleg bottles of wine to rich suckers. It’s a cool crime story involving forgery, counterfeiting, manipulation, and wine. I won’t even discuss what Kurniawan did, how he did it, or who he did it to because I want you to watch it. It’s on Netflix. It doesn’t even matter if you like wine or not. In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t like wine because it’s fun to laugh at other people’s misfortunes. Watch it. Or don’t. It’s really up to you.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks, Entertainment

Drunk Food

 One of the best things about getting drunk is getting drunk food. Drunk food is a complete meal you can eat with your hands that fills you up and is served quickly. Certain foods taste better when you’re inebriated. Pizza is always good, but it’s so much better when you’re drunk. A drunk burrito in between bars keeps your night going. Stumbling across a street vendor selling bacon-wrapped hot dogs will make you believe that God is real and wants us to be happy. Drunk food provides you with the much needed fuel to keep on drinking. It makes the party last longer. You know you had a good night when you find an empty pizza box on the counter when you wake up the next morning and no recollection of getting it. I’m not promoting binge drinking, I’m promoting eating food when you’re binge drinking. There’s a slight difference I’m sure. 

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks, Snacks

Half Frozen Bottle of Water 

 I’m a big fan of ice cold water. It’s refreshing and invigorating and thirst quenching. I found a pretty useful life hack online a few months ago that allows me to have ice cold water whenever I want it. All you have to do is take a used bottle of water, fill it half way, lay it sideways in the freezer, and leave it alone for a few hours. Once the water is frozen, you open the bottle and fill it up the rest of the way. If you do it right, there will be ice on one side and water on the other. The ice makes the water cold instantly and keeps it chilled for hours. No muss, no fuss. I keep a half frozen bottle of water in the freezer at all times. It’s a cheap and easy way to impress thirsty guests when they come over. They think I’m smart and clever for coming up with it. I don’t tell them that I stole the idea from the internet. It’s not lying. It’s deceiving. There’s a difference.
  

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young 

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

That Wasn’t My Water 

 I was starving at work today, so I ran into the break room to eat some food real quick. I took a few bites of my burger and took a big gulp of water to wash it down. Then I realized that it wasn’t my water. I didn’t even have water. I chugged somebody else’s water that they left behind. I felt sick. I felt violated. It’s pretty horrifying to discover that you drank some random person’s drink. It was disgusting. And it didn’t even have ice, so it was lukewarm and gross. I wish I didn’t do that. Now I’m going to spend the next few days worrying about catching strange diseases. That’s not how I wanted to spend my weekend. I’m going to dwell on it for a while. Woe is me. 

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

Guayakí Brand Yerba Mate

 I used to drink a shitload of Energy drinks back in the day. Then I switched to coffee for a while. Now I’m starting to drink yerba mate, specifically Guayakí Brand Yerba Mate. It claims to have “the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate.” I don’t know about all that, but I do know that it provides me with a quick pick-me-up. It’s refreshing and more hydrating than most standard sugary energy drinks and it doesn’t leave me all jittery. It come in bottles and cans with a few different flavors, but I suggest that you try a can of Enlighten Mint as your first foray into the world of Yerba mate. It’s crisp and delicious and you shan’t be disappointed. Guayakí Brand Yerba Mate is gaining in popularity and it’s about to blow up and become super trendy. You might as well jump on the bandwagon now. You don’t want to be accused of being a loser later.

 Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

Cheers Tap Down

I drink beer and I drink socially. That means that I usually do a toast or cheers a few times a week. I’ll go to the bar with a friend, order a couple of beers, and will raise our glasses to one thing or another. I’ve noticed that every time I clink my glass against another, I tap the table with my glass before I take a sip. I can’t help it. It’s built in. It’s an automatic reflex. I call it the Cheers Tap Down. Maybe you have a better name for it. Good for you. You should write a blog post about it. Maybe I will read it.

I don’t know when I picked up the habit of tapping my glass down before I drink it. I might have gotten it from my European friends (do they do that in Europe?). I might have gotten it by mimicking cool people. Either way, I do it now instinctually. It feels weird if I don’t do it. I like to think of it as a way of wishing for good luck, like knocking on wood or something. Cheers to you, one for the homies, and a sip for me. The Cheers Tap Down. Try it once and you’ll never go back to normal toasting again.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

a-toast-to-mad-men

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

Retox

My friend came over the other day to hang out for a few hours. Being the good host that I am, I offered her a beer. She said no and I asked her why. She said it was because she was doing a detox. I was totally supportive of her decision but I still cracked a beer open for myself. Some people choose to detox. Good for them. I choose to retox. It’s more fun. I retox almost every night. It’s what happens when you work in the restaurant industry. You work hard and play harder. Plus there are days when customers bring you down and crush your spirit. A little booze does a lot to revitalize oneself. If you do retox, retox responsibly. Use coasters and try not to spill anything. That’s alcohol abuse.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

booze---303-party-eecue_24035_ar4z_l

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

Mission Brewery Hard Root Beer

I drink a lot of beer but I’ll mix it up every once in a while and try something different. I was feeling adventurous at the store and got a six-pack of Mission Brewery Hard Root Beer. It’s what it sounds like. It’s root beer with booze in it. It has a respectable 7.5% alcohol content so it’s harder than Budweiser. I cracked open a bottle and poured it into a frosty mug. It looks like root beer. It’s a dark brown color with moderate carbonation and a thin head that dissipates quickly. It smells like root beer. There’s spice, licorice, and vanilla aromas. It tastes like root beer on the first sip, but with a definite boozy aftertaste once you swallow it. It has an herbal medicine flavor that takes some getting used to. It’s neither good nor bad. I’m not impressed and I’m not disappointed either. It’s just a different way of getting drunk. It’s worth trying if you like root beer and booze, but a six-pack is a big commitment if you’re not sure about it. I wish that I bought a single bottle to sample first. I’ll finish my six-pack eventually but I’m not in any rush to do so.

Critically Rated at 10/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Mission Brewery Hard Root Beer

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

Eggnog

I celebrated Christmas with my family yesterday. It was a grand old time. We laughed, talked, and caught up with each other. We had hors d’oeuvres, a nice steak dinner, and consumed copious amounts of alcohol. We had beer, wine, and a few cocktails. I even brought up a bottle of a rum and brandy mix to make some eggnog. It’s been a long time since I’ve had eggnog. At least five years I’m guessing. I was well overdue for some nog. Eggnog is traditionally a chilled dairy and egg-based cocktail with a couple of added spices for flavor. It could be non-alcoholic but that’s no fun. There are a lot of recipes for eggnog. You could make it from scratch if you have all the right ingredients, but it’s a lot easier and faster to buy some premade eggnog and then add some booze to it. That’s what I did. Sprinkle a little nutmeg on top and you’re in business. Pacing is important when consuming eggnog. Drink it too fast and you’ll get a stomach ache (or possibly salmonella). Drink it too slowly and it will curdle. It’s a holiday drink most enjoyed around Christmas. I wouldn’t bring a batch of nog to any Fourth of July festivities. It’s too hot. Milk and eggs are a bad choice.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

12.09.11_FA_Eggnog

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

Breaking Bud

I went camping with my family over the weekend in California’s gold country. A few of us went to the Knee Deep Brewing Company in Auburn to try some of their amazing craft beers. Hoptologist is probably their flagship beer but they have a lot of other brews that rival it, chief amongst them is Breaking Bud. It’s a pretty amazing American IPA. It pours a nice golden color with a thick white head. The aroma is of citrus hops like grapefruit and subtle orange peels, and there is also a little pine and malt as well. It tastes of grapefruit, tropical fruits, dank hops, and little resin. Not only is it a great beer, it also pays homage to Walter White and Breaking Bad. How can you not want to try it? Pick it up if you see it at the store. The brewery is definitely worth checking out if you’re ever in the Auburn area. Plus they sell it in growlers or crowlers (32 ounces sealed in an aluminum can) so you can buy it in bulk. If you like IPAs, you’ll love this beer.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

bearpanel_breakingbud

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

Your Father Smelt of Elderberries (beer, not an insult)

Your Father Smelt of Elderberries is a beer from Stone Brewing Co.’s Stochasticity Project and a reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It’s a medieval-style ale brewed with elderberries. It’s a pretty interesting brew. It pours a dark amber color with a thin off-white head. It has a fruity, malty aroma with a hint of wood. It tastes more bitter than I expected. There’s fruit, malt, smoke, a little wood. It reminds me more of a barley wine than an amber ale. It has a hefty 10.3% alcohol content, so it’s a heavy beer. A couple of these will make you sleepy. It’s not my favorite offering from the Stochasticity Project, but it’s one of the more memorable ones. I bought a few bottles to age, but I’ll probably end up drinking them within the week. It’s a decent beer, but it’s a limited brew so you should buy it now while you have the chance.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

POS-HeaderIMG

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks

Ice Cube Tray

I have a freezer in my kitchen. It doesn’t have an icemaker. My roommates and I have to use ice cube trays. An ice cube tray is a plastic or rubber flexible trough that you pour water into, then you stick it in the freezer. The freezer makes the water really cold and really cold water turns into ice. It’s not magic. It’s science or physics or something. I don’t know, it’s been way too long since I was in school. Anyway, if you like ice but don’t have an icemaker, ice cube trays are the way to go. Your only other option is buying ice at the store, but that requires wearing pants. The only major downside to ice cube trays is that they don’t refill themselves automatically. You have to do it yourself. Consequently you’ll often find empty ice cube trays in the freezer.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Ice-cube-tray

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinks