Category Archives: beer

A beer drinker’s holiday

Attention beer drinkers. Specifically, Belgian beer drinkers. More specifically, lambic style beer drinkers. This may be a post for you.

Ms. S&C recently took 10 days to spend some time in London, Belgium (Bruges and Brussels), and Amsterdam. When you’re on a holiday such as this one, it’s hard not to visit a pub or a beer bar *at least* once a day. Ms. S&C would argue it’s one of the best ways to settle into a new city, get to know a neighborhood and just get off your feet for a bit. And when visiting these cities in particular, the most interesting — and perhaps the most refreshing — thing to order is beer.

In London, you’re gonna order a pint and you’re gonna order something on draft. Or, there may be a time or two when you order a half pint and that half pint may be cider. Either way, cheers!

In Belgium, ordering beer can be intimidating. Even the smallest of beer bars will have a hundred or more beers to choose from. Ms. S&C stuck mostly with lambic style beers. They’re funky and earthy, and sour, and sometimes with a touch of sweetness. They’re complex. And despite my choice of adjectives to describe them, they’re really, really good.

Here’s an almost complete list of what two beer drinkers can drink in three short days in Belgium (in order of appearance):

  • De Ranke XX Bitter
  • 3 Drei Fonteineri Oude Gueze
  • Girardin Gueze (black label)
  • Girardin Kriek
  • Boom Mariage Parfait
  • Cantillon Gueze
  • Moinette Blonde
  • Brugse Zot
  • Rochefort 6
  • Saison Dupont
  • Troublette
  • Duchesse de Bourgogne
  • Hanssens Artisanal Oude Gueze
  • De Garre Triple (on tap)
  • Gulden Draak (on tap)
  • Petrus Gouden Triple
  • Duvel (triple hop)
  • Cuvee De Ranke
  • Saison de Dottignies De Ranke
  • Cantillon Faro
  • Cantillon Lambic (on tap)
  • Cantillon Kriek (on hand pump)
  • De Rank Gulden Berg
  • Houblon Chouffee
  • Boon Oude Gueze
  • Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus
  • Oerbier

When visiting a new city, one may ask: how do you know where to go? Sometimes you can rely on just popping into the nearest place when your legs are too tired to take you any further. But much of the time, you can benefit from a little research beforehand. For instance, Tim Webb’s Good Beer Guide to Belgium is worth the purchase. Rick Steves is a pretty reliable source too (he also recommended our favorite bar: t’Brugs Beertje in his travel guide). A few spots Ms. S&C would like to find herself drinking a beer again:

  • The Lamb and the Fog (London)
  • Lounge Bohemian (London, cocktails)
  • The Rake (London)
  • The Jugged Hare (London)
  • t’Brugs Beertje (Bruges)
  • De Garre (Bruges)
  • Poatersgat (Bruges)
  • Chez Moeder Lambic (Brussels)

When in Amsterdam, after seven days on the road, you might want to chill out, have a smoothie and stick with a beer you know. Amstel, particularly Amstel Light, has always been a personal go to. But, it’s also a city when you may just want to sit back at a coffeehouse overlooking a canal, drink some mint tea and watch the bicycles go by.

posted by Ms. S&C

Happiness awaits

There’s a sign for Palm Grove Bar & Grill that reads “Where happiness awaits you.”

Ms. S&C just returned from her third trip to Anguilla, and her second to Palm Grove. It was this recent trip that she had the honor of chatting with Nat, the owner, while she ate her grilled lobster (with a tasty curry butter) and drank her Red Stripe. The conversation covered everything from Johnny Cakes, to American politics, to Anguillan heritage, to what it’s like to own a shack (Nat’s word) by the water. Ms. S&C likes this shack by the water. But, Ms. S&C pretty much likes all the shacks by the water in Anguilla.

Ms. S&C and her Red Stripe at Palm Grove, one of many favorite spots on the beautiful, relaxed, 16-mile long island of Anguilla.

Other Caribbean beverages of choice: Pyrat Rum, Carib, and Presidente. And, where are some good spots to drink said beverages? Favorite bars include: Dune Preserve (and if you’re lucky, reggae legend and owner, Bankie Banx, will be around; and if you’re really lucky, maybe you’ll show up on his birthday), and The Pumphouse (if you don’t see Bankie’s son Omari at the Dune, maybe you can catch him here on Friday night).

Favorite restaurants to wine and dine (there are so many!): Tasty’s (the best Johnny Cakes on the island, and they serve them for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Ms. S&C knows because she went there for breakfast, lunch and dinner), Picante (*really* good Mexican), Blanchard’s (for beachfront chic), and Smokey’s (great for live music and fresh fish sandwich). New places that she’ll be back to: E’s Oven (best bite of the trip was the grilled grouper with tomato jam), and Bonjour Cafe (a hippy-ish spot tucked back in the woods with a great vegetable roti).

The best way to hydrate? Fresh coconut water! (A rastaman that’s handy with a machete is particularly helpful in this endeavor.) And hydration is needed after sea kayaking, yoga on the beach, a Thai massage, and a night out at The Pumphouse.

Happiness awaits at many spots on Anguilla. This sunset spot was taken from Ms. S&C’s patio. She viewed it for eight full days. If you are ever thinking of visiting, please let her know (after three trips, she has copious notes that she’d love to share!).

posted by Ms. S&C

When in Tanzania



Miss Mojito is recently returned from Tanzania. Business was the focus of this particular trip, which featured a schedule packed with visits to villages surrounding the capital city of Dodoma. So, what’s a girl to drink while on a Tanzanian adventure? Miss Mojito had two top beverage picks.

Stoney Tangawizi would make the list based on name alone. This super-tangy ginger soda packs way more “oomph” than the average American equivalent – there’s more ginger and fizz in every sip!

East Africa has plenty of local breweries, but my favorite beer was Tusker. It’s pale, fairly mild and eminently drinkable after a long day of trekking around central Tanzania.

I won’t even try to show you the shoes I sported while traveling in Tanzania. Suffice it to say that long skirts paired with sporty sneaks is not a good look for Miss Mojito!

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Three quick things: how to be cool

Let’s use these quick things as a lesson on how to be cool.

(1) Garance Doré’s Blog

What does the picture on the left tell us about how to be cool?

  • Learn to wink
  • Start smoking (or maybe just start carrying around a long, skinny cigarette?)
  • Wear a trench over the shoulders
  • Read more of Garance’s blog

(2) Anthropologie Dresses

Polka dots are always cool, right? We think so — especially when in flowy maxi dress form. (And speaking of fabulous Spring dresses, how does one choose between the twisted stripe dress, the pom flower shift, and the imprint fossil maxi skirt?)

(3) Beer Floats

Ms. S&C has determined that using beer in a non-traditional manner — say in cocktails and desserts — is now a very cool thing to do. (PS: Brasserie Beck’s beer float — a Kasteel Rouge, with hints of cherry, topped with honey cinnamon ice cream — is t-a-s-t-y. PPS: She also thought beer floats were cool last year when she made one herself.)

Because we all want to be cool.

posted by Ms. S&C

Three things: tall boots, beer cocktails, yoga

Here’s what’s on the mind of Ms. S&C at the moment.

(1) Tall Boots

Ms. S&C is in love with these Franco Sarto boots. The soft leather, the detail around the outer zipper, the buckles, the rubber outsole — and, they are comfortable! Tall boots are nothing new, but Ms. S&C happily spent the whole weekend wearing these shoes (and she would wear them again tomorrow if she could). PS: she bought the cuoio calf color (reminds her of caramel) and looks great with burnt orange tights, jeans and black leggings (yes, that was the weekend wardrobe).

(2) Beer Cocktails

Ms. S&C can’t stop thinking about the honey beer cocktail she had at JoeDoe’s in New York a few weeks ago. Made with Dale’s Pale Ale, gin, lemon juice and delicious, delicious salted honey that dribbled down the side of the glass. It was so tasty and so refreshing, she can’t wait to recreate this beer cocktail at home. Ms. S&C also loves the idea of beer cocktails so much that it will likely be the signature cocktail for her ninth annual (yes, ninth) Super Bowl party. (By the way, discovery of this cocktail came courtesy of Frank Bruni’s excellent Tipsy Diaries column in The New York  Times.)

(3) Yoga

Now, for the unrelated segment: Ms. S&C likes yoga. She likes it so much, she almost wants to rename the blog: Shoes, Cocktails and Yoga. (Not really, but it is important to her.) She doesn’t think of herself as a purist when it comes to her practice, but she respects tradition and history. She also appreciates that yoga has evolved, and that yoga *can* evolve. That’s why she doesn’t hate this Tara Stiles person. (I’ll admit: at first, I wanted to hate everything she stood for.) For more on Tara Stiles and yoga, this blog post by YogaDork is worth a read.

The three things blog posts give Ms. S&C an opportunity to share a combination of shoe and cocktail-related finds, along with something else. That something else usually includes music or yoga.

posted by Ms. S&C

What to drink on Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from S&C!

Over here at S&C, we are grateful for a lot of things this Thanksgiving. We’re grateful for loving family and friends. We’re grateful for our good health. We’re grateful that we continue to be inspired. We’re grateful for you!

Thanksgiving is a great holiday. It is a great holiday filled with some really great food. (Ms. S&C *loves* Thanksgiving Day food.) In addition to that turkey you’re brining, that homemade cranberry sauce you’re making and that pumpkin pie you’re baking, there are beverages to think about! Don’t get overwhelmed though, Ms. S&C is here to help.

PUNCH

Why not start off the afternoon with a seasonal punch? Your guests (especially if you have a lot of them) will think it is festive and fun and delicious. You can go with the Autumn Spiced Punch (a S&C fave that has been referred to as “autumn in a cup”). Or, you can try this new S&C punch recipe (which is good with or without the booze). It is another crowd-pleaser, not to mention it looks so pretty with the floating apple slices and cinnamon sticks.

Sparkling Cinnamon Apple Punch

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 gallon apple cider , chilled
  • 4 cups cranberry-apple juice, chilled
  • 12 bottles sparkling wine , chilled (or sub one liter ginger ale for mocktail version)
  • Fresh apple slices
  • Cinnamon sticks

Directions:

In a saucepan, bring the water, sugar and cinnamon to a boil; stir until sugar is dissolved. Chill (preferably overnight). Just before serving, combine the syrup mixture, juices and sparkling wine in a punch bowl or large pitcher. Garnish with fresh apple slices and whole cinnamon sticks. Serve over ice, or use an ice block to chill.

BEER

For those non-punch-drinkers, offer them beer before dinner. And if you are going to drink beer on Thanksgiving, you might as well drink a pumpkin beer, right? There are some good ones out there. There are a lot of good ones, actually. There are some mild ones and there are some full-bodied ones. Ms. S&C gave a rundown of her faves awhile back. (And yes, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale is still high on the list.)

WINE

Opinions run far and wide about what wine to pair with Thanksgiving dinner. Some say Zinfandel goes best with turkey. Others say Riesling, for its acidity and touch of sweetness, is a good match. You could have the best of both with a rose. Or, Beaujolais Nouveau is often a popular choice because it is light and fruity, and it goes well with turkey and the melange of side dishes. Ms. S&C says drink what you want! (But you should probably have a mix of red and white. And don’t forget the champagne! Because: it truly goes with everything.)

NIGHTCAP

Have a bourbon. Or a glass of prosecco. Or a cognac like B&B.

Ms. S&C wants to know: What’s on your Thanksgiving dinner menu? What will you and family and friends be drinking around the dinner table?

posted by Ms. S&C

Cocktails by numbers

Ms. S&C hasn’t blogged a lot recently, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had some notable experiences to share — especially on the cocktail front. Here’s a little glimpse of what she’s been up to.

13 — Points scored in a blind beer-tasting game

Friends, who host an excellent Halloween bash each year, led guests in a blind tasting of eight beers at their most recent party. Points were awarded for correctly guessing the beer style, brand and country of origin. Ms. S&C had a respectable third place finish.

2 — Punches made in a one-week period

Ms. S&C made a punch for her friends’ Halloween party. Ingredients included: cinnamon-infused simple syrup, lemon juice, apple cider, apple brandy, sparkling wine.

Ms. S&C made a second mocktail punch for a co-worker’s baby shower, using many of the same ingredients: cinnamon-infused simple syrup, apple cider, cran-apple juice, ginger ale. Please note the lovely garnishes of fresh apple slices and cinnamon sticks.

2 — Parties hosted in a three-day stretch

The two cocktails Ms. S&C created for her bookclub and a post-dinner party deserve their own dedicated posts. The Clover Club Cocktail was tres apropos for discussing “The Group.” And the pear margarita (secret ingredient: pear-infused simple syrup) was an inspired choice for post Mexican dinner imbibing.

7 — Football games left in the regular season

One recent game day beverage was a Red Eye (or Michelda). A simple combo of lager and tomato juice (but feel free to add lime and spices), is a great treat for those days when you want something more than just beer.

posted by Ms. S&C