, and yes, I have paid over $100 a bottle for a Premier Cru. It was more than worth every penny that I saved up to do it. Even the ordinary years are worth the prices the stores charge. Other wines I like: Frascati
are the perfect summer time whites. Gewurztraminer
is for winter. Sauternes
with cheeses. And Neuer Wein
in the late autumn with a perfectly made onion tart is ambrosia.
Beer: I don't drink it. I won't cook with US beers because they bring no flavor. (All right, Ommegang
is technically an American beer, but it's a Belgian recipe.)
Cider: The Normans do a Cidre mousseaux which has all the lightness of champagne and, back in the day, cost less than three dollars (BF 100). Unlike true champagne, it doesn't give me a headache. For a beer-style cider, I love Woodchuck's Granny Smith cider.
Oh, dear. I don't think of myself as a hard drinker and yet I have more in this category than I do in wine. *blushes*
Eaux de vie: This includes grappa.
My favorite is Eau de Vie Mirabelle made with the rich and lovely mirabelle plums. I was introduced to the plums, the eau de vie, meursault, and black truffles all at the same meal, and I've never forgotten any of them.
As for grappa, the variety of grape is at play there. When Lucy and I were in Bergamo, we found a charcuterie with sit down service and requested their meat plate and their cheese plate. We both tried everything on both plates. At the end of the meal we looked at the grappa menu -- they had over twenty different types -- and asked the owner to bring us the two he thought were the most typical and the most different from each other. I can say with authority that Cabernet Sauvignon grappa tastes like paint thinner. Muscat Grappa smells like perfume and has a delicate taste. I love it. Having said that, opening the bottle has caused people to claim their contacts were melting. *G*
Scotch: I can't stand blended scotch, but my first boyfriend introduced me to Glenfiddich which I adored. My current favorite is Lagavulin
and I'm particularly fond of the twenty-one year old. Let the dirty jokes begin.
I like gin and prefer the dutch ones when I can get them. Can't stand vodka.
My favorite cocktail is a gimlet.
In honor of the Kentucky Derby today, my recipe for a mint julep.
Chill the stirrup cup, Jefferson cup, or glass. Muddle two or three sprigs of mint and a teaspoon of caster sugar (superfine sugar NOT confectioners) in each glass. Add a jigger of bourbon, mix and then fill to brim with crushed ice.
I've seen recipes that call for simple syrup. For me they're too sweet, and they water down the cocktail. Ice melt will take care of that. You can always add more sugar to taste, but you can't take it out once it's in.
Bourbon: I've tried several, but I really like Maker's Mark.