I think most of us who drink have a few regretful drinks in our history. Somewhere along the lines, as a younger drinker, I got the idea of mixing Crystal Light Peach Iced Tea with Malibu. It was horrifying. And secretly delicious. Shut up, it was a lot time ago.
Because I secretly love that old horrifying beverage, I’ve been looking for a way to recreate it in a less terrifying way. Last year I bought peach schnapps and steeped a bunch of black tea bags in the schnapps to create a base that could be watered down or added to other things. It was surprisingly tasty but the shcnapps was syrupy sweet.
I wanted to come at it from a slightly different angle this year and Chris convinced me to try steeping the tea in peach brandy instead. The result is a bit drier and less “juicy,” but also way less cloying.
We just finished a morning of errands and yard work so I kept things simple. About two ounces of the peach tea brandy with ice, soda water, and a sprig of mint. It’s actually quite tea and tannin forward so next time I may try it with a bit of lemon or simple syrup. Maybe Malibu. HA! TOTALLY KIDDING!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! (Sneaks off to the hidden corner of the bar where the embarassing things are kept.)
Mr. Drinker and I just bought a house and moved in together full time and that means combining finances, lives, Google calendars, and (most importantly) beer cellars. And since my motto seems to be “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth OVER doing,” I made a spreadsheet inventory of the beer cellar and then went on to add a page of statistics. That’s totally normal, right?
A few of the more “interesting” factoids:
We have a combined 134 beers in our cellar. (There are two more boxes of “Drink Soon” beers that I’m not counting, and another crate of homebrew not yet cataloged.) 64 of those came from my apartment and 70 of them came from his house.
The most popular style of beer is Imperial Stout with 41 bottles of 18 different stouts. Second most popular is Barleywine, with 14 bottles of 7 different beers. I’d say this is skewed by the fact that these beers cellar best – but it’s actually a pretty accurate reflection of my beer preferences.
The most popular brewery is Surly with 27 bottles of 13 different beers. Runner up is Boulevard with 7 bottles of 6 different beers.
The oldest beer in the cellar is an Oak Brackett from White Winter. Chris got that in 2000.
Chris has been making cocktail ice at home for a while now, using a cooler to keep the sides from crystallizing too much and allow the top of the ice block to stay clear.
I caught him pulling a fresh batch out this evening. He has to trim off the thin bottom edges (saved for crushed ice) and then chop the larger block in to smaller rough blocks to be used and shaped later.
My home bar has kind of exploded recently so I took advantage of my home bartender/boyfriend being out of town and decided to inventory and organize my spirits. I still haven’t found an app that does quite what I want, though I feel like it MUST exist. In a perfect world, I would scan the barcode on a bottle and then tell it how much is remaining in the bottle – that’s all I really need. Having recipes that use what’s in my bar would be a nice bonus.
Anyway, it’s not like I’m trying to do inventory management very precisely at home. But when the spirit collection starts to overflow the bar, it’s nice to see which bottles are nearly empty and need to be used up. It’s also nice to have a clear idea of what bar staples are low or out – for instance, last night I killed our bottle of Cabin Still for the sake of space management. Yeah, let’s call it that. Knowing what we have also means remembering that lovely Glenrothes from last Christmas that doesn’t get sipped nearly as often as it should.
Not every home bar enthusiast needs to be this particular. Hell, I’d go so far as to say *I* don’t need to be this particular – but once in a while I enjoy it. Plus, we have a cocktail party coming up soon and will need a clear shopping list for that. Since I couldn’t find an app that did what I wanted, I settled on my other favorite tool – Google Docs. I’ve set up a very basic spreadsheet with spirit type, name, notes, inventory date, percentage left in bottle (rough estimate), bottle size, and approximate volume. The next stage in this insane process will be cataloging the things like mixers, bitters and vermouth.
If you sort the sheet by approximate volume, you can see that when my
bartender…I mean boyfriend…gets home, he needs to find a way to use up the wee bits of Svedka (left over from a brunch party), cognac, navy strength rum, and pear liqueur. I was tempted to just pour all four in a glass and drink it, but a)three of the four ingredients deserve better and b)I had to come to work today.
I learned a few things from all this.
One, I really like organizing stuff and making spreadsheets. (Well, I knew that already. My friends verbed my name to reference organizing by spreadsheet.)
Two, bottle shapes and sizes are annoying.
Three, we have a bizarre collection of liqueurs.
Four, I’m pleased with the number of local spirits we’ve got.
Five, for a cocktail novice, I have an enviable bar. Thanks honey!
Six, we need a bigger bar.
Seven, you totally want to come to our cocktail parties.
The finished bar
Now I need to catalog the beer cellar. See you in a few months!