Farnum Hill Cider is a cidery of Poverty Lane Orchards out in the wilds of New Hampshire.  This is a true dry cider made from apples you’ve never heard of.  It is very much like a dry white wine in that the flavor of its parent fruit is represented but imitated. It’s a shame that this isn’t the type of benchmark that the mass-produced hard-cider makers don’t shoot for.  Quality levels aside, it wouldn’t be hard just to make dry versions.  Take the Japanese malt beverage Strong Zero for example.  It’s crap, sells at $2 for a 500ml can, and is sold at 24 hour convenience stores.  It’s basically the Lime-A-Rita of Japan, but it’s dry as all fuck.  So there is no reason why the mass producers can’t do that with a hard cider.Back to how good Farnum Hill is.  It’s a nice all around experience, with a semi-fragrant nose, great dry taste, and bubbly acidity that makes it great for having with cheeses, creamy soups, and oysters, but not so sharp that you couldn’t have it with a balsamic-dresses salad or fish w/ lemon.  It’s almost a shame opening one of these without some great food to accompany it… almost.  From what I can gather, this past winter was damaging to many apple growers here in the North East of the USA, but hopefully this won’t hurt the cider for next year.

Farnum Hill Cider is a cidery of Poverty Lane Orchards out in the wilds of New Hampshire.  This is a true dry cider made from apples you’ve never heard of.  It is very much like a dry white wine in that the flavor of its parent fruit is represented but imitated.

It’s a shame that this isn’t the type of benchmark that the mass-produced hard-cider makers don’t shoot for.  Quality levels aside, it wouldn’t be hard just to make dry versions.  Take the Japanese malt beverage Strong Zero for example.  It’s crap, sells at $2 for a 500ml can, and is sold at 24 hour convenience stores.  It’s basically the Lime-A-Rita of Japan, but it’s dry as all fuck.  So there is no reason why the mass producers can’t do that with a hard cider.

Back to how good Farnum Hill is.  It’s a nice all around experience, with a semi-fragrant nose, great dry taste, and bubbly acidity that makes it great for having with cheeses, creamy soups, and oysters, but not so sharp that you couldn’t have it with a balsamic-dresses salad or fish w/ lemon.  It’s almost a shame opening one of these without some great food to accompany it… almost. 

From what I can gather, this past winter was damaging to many apple growers here in the North East of the USA, but hopefully this won’t hurt the cider for next year.

1940 Plymouth Road King

Cadillac Series 61.  1951

ninjaconsultant:

Sharon Apple’s concert performance in Macross Plus animated by Koji Morimoto (森本晃司)

Why isn’t Hatsune Miku like this?

Because Japan is only into pedo-bait these days.

Pinky Mixology #Vindaloo recipe for @WarwickWinery using Doc’s Draft Pear Cider. Share with Black Dirt!Most of these ingredients should be easy to find.1)    Start with dried Serrano chilies (ancho is ok too).  Whole Foods has them if anything.2)    Use a scissors to cut off the top and open them up, and throw out the seeds, cut them up into stamp size pieces or smaller.3)    Add 10 garlic cloves, 3 thumbs of chopped ginger (freeze the ginger then thaw it for best results. Makes it less stringy/fibrous).  Also add the spice mixture, which can be bought pre-mixed from Sahadi’s Importing or if you’re not in Brooklyn, I guess any other spice or specialty food stores.  You can also follow this video regarding the spice mixture:  http://youtu.be/5E3kulJRzGY 4)    Assemble those things in a bowl.5)    Add 2 tablespoon of Worcestershire, 1 tablespoon vinegar (cider/rice/wine/doesn’t matter) and then fill with Doc’s Pear Cider until well covered… let it hydrate, and then drink the rest.6)    Add a tin of anchovies. This is optional, but it’s really good and no one will ever know that they’re in there.7)    Let the dry ingredients soak up the moisture from the cider.  8)    Start cooking your meat (chicken/lamb/pork) with sliced onions in olive oil.  You want it just to brown on the outside.  Then, turn down the heat.9)    Once the peppers and spice are soft, send them through the blender until they are puree. 10)    Add the puree spice sauce (and any other vegetables you want like mushrooms, carrots, potatoes etc) to the meat, and simmer.11)     Add (and then take out when finished) at least 8-10 bay leaves.  Sound like a lot?  It is, but seriously if you don’t do this it’s gonna taste bad.  Also salt, sugar, hot sauce to taste.12)    Add 6-8 oz coconut milk (or more if you want) and then any water to reach the thickness you desire.  Simmer until the meat is tender and then you’re ready to go.From Pinky Mixology.

Pinky Mixology #Vindaloo recipe for using Doc’s Draft Pear Cider. Share with Black Dirt!

Most of these ingredients should be easy to find.

1)    Start with dried Serrano chilies (ancho is ok too).  Whole Foods has them if anything.
2)    Use a scissors to cut off the top and open them up, and throw out the seeds, cut them up into stamp size pieces or smaller.
3)    Add 10 garlic cloves, 3 thumbs of chopped ginger (freeze the ginger then thaw it for best results. Makes it less stringy/fibrous).  Also add the spice mixture, which can be bought pre-mixed from Sahadi’s Importing or if you’re not in Brooklyn, I guess any other spice or specialty food stores.  You can also follow this video regarding the spice mixture:  http://youtu.be/5E3kulJRzGY
4)    Assemble those things in a bowl.
5)    Add 2 tablespoon of Worcestershire, 1 tablespoon vinegar (cider/rice/wine/doesn’t matter) and then fill with Doc’s Pear Cider until well covered… let it hydrate, and then drink the rest.
6)    Add a tin of anchovies. This is optional, but it’s really good and no one will ever know that they’re in there.
7)    Let the dry ingredients soak up the moisture from the cider. 
8)    Start cooking your meat (chicken/lamb/pork) with sliced onions in olive oil.  You want it just to brown on the outside.  Then, turn down the heat.
9)    Once the peppers and spice are soft, send them through the blender until they are puree.
10)    Add the puree spice sauce (and any other vegetables you want like mushrooms, carrots, potatoes etc) to the meat, and simmer.
11)     Add (and then take out when finished) at least 8-10 bay leaves.  Sound like a lot?  It is, but seriously if you don’t do this it’s gonna taste bad.  Also salt, sugar, hot sauce to taste.
12)    Add 6-8 oz coconut milk (or more if you want) and then any water to reach the thickness you desire.  Simmer until the meat is tender and then you’re ready to go.

From Pinky Mixology.

1972 Coupe Deville convertible.  Please listen to the appropriate music.

International Harvester Scout Travelall 1972, with no rust.  It’s a miracle.

stormyskiesahead:

BrewDog Russian Doll

The beautifully labelled creations you see before you (courtesy of the fantastic Esther McManus) form the most recent of BrewDog’s special releases. Four beers brewed with the same ingredients but with the hop and malt ratio altered to suite the specific styles, which increase in strength from a pale ale to an India pale ale to a double IPA to a barley wine. Pale, cara, and dark crystal malts do the malty thing while Cascade, Centennial, Citra, and Simcoe represent the green stuff.

Without further ado (I know, right?) it’s time to try ‘em. First up is the Russian Doll Pale Ale (4.0% abv), modestly hopped with tropical fruit fruit flavours, orange, and pine needles, it wasn’t ‘til it warmed in my hand towards cellar temp that it came alive with malty goodness, caramel drizzled chopped nuts getting a nod of appreciation. Light and eminently crushable, a good start.

Russian Doll IPA (6.0% abv) moves in exactly the direction you’d expect, hoppy with stripped back malts. Freshly squeezed orange juice leads the citrus hop charge, there’s a nice resinous quality and a hint of biscuity malt. A good hit of bitterness brings things to a close, the body’s more substantial and the mouthfeel more rounded than the pale. A better suit for me.

My love of DIPA’s meant that the Russian Doll Double IPA (8.0% abv) was the one I was most looking forward to. Sweet up front with bags of chewy, resinous, citrusy, tropical hops, a touch of caramel malt that kinda pretends to reign in the hop overload for a second or two then just says “fuck it” and stands back as the bitter wave of hop aggression charges past heading straight for your taste buds. A nice US style DIPA, not their best, but highly enjoyable.

Last up, after a hour or so recuperation, was Russian Doll Barley Wine (10.0% abv). By far the most gorgeous colour of the four, it and kinda tastes like blackberry jam, caramel sauce, and grapefruit juice all stirred together with a pine bough. Being an American style barley wine it’s certainly hoppy, but the hops never overshadow the malts and drag it into DIPA territory. It’s sweet and sticky, nicely boozy but not overpowering, a real tasty brew. 

And I’m done. Of the four the DIPA and barley wine were (rather predictably) my favourites, but I can’t honestly say that any of these beers come close to surpassing BrewDog’s other examples of their particular styles. For a mere tenner though, this new piece of playful experimentation from the Scottish craft brewers has been highly enjoyable. And that artwork almost makes the purchase worthwhile in itself. Cheers!

This looks worth checking out.

Pears waiting to become #Perry #cider from one of the trees at the in-law’s place in southern New Hampshire.   …sadly not enough this year for enough Perry to go around, but hopefully we can still try a bit.

Pears waiting to become #Perry #cider from one of the trees at the in-law’s place in southern New Hampshire.   …sadly not enough this year for enough Perry to go around, but hopefully we can still try a bit.

When traveling outside of Brooklyn, we always like to check out the strange oddities that lurk upstate in the less developed areas of the country, such as drive-through restaurants, pizza unfit for human consumption, a Wal-Mart, and the even more elusive …Wegman’s.   And so it was in one of these establishments, where people drive cars to go pick up groceries (this is a foreign concept to us), we found this, Woodchuck Farmhouse Select Hard Cider.  It’s Woodchuck, so you might be thinking “bleh” but it’s in a big shiny bottle with a cork on it all Belgian Ale style!  While it’s not borderline so sweet as to be sickening like normal Woodchuck, …”bleh” is more than enough to describe a cider that was $10 UPSTATE (I can’t even imagine what my local ripoff beer-bodega would try to charge).  They call it a “throwback” to the early Woodchuck days in Vermont, but since Woodchuck was explicitly started as a deceptive business practice with the singular goal of simply putting Wood Pecker Cider out of business, and since they’re owned be mass-producer C&C, you really can’t expect much. 
It certainly has that back sweetened, after-brewing faux-flavor quality to it.  They say it’s made with “Belgian beer yeast”  (yes “beer yeast”), and there’s no tang of the kind of taste you would get with a true Belgian Ale yeast like you can get from Naked Flock.  So, like everything with the Woodchuck logo on it, treat it like the mass-market stuff it is, and don’t be fooled by a $4 cider in a $10 bottle.  Stick with good stuff like Bad Seed or Farnum Hill, which are very dry, and that’s good. BUT if you don’t like cider that isn’t a bit sweet, there’s the amazing Doc’s Draft from Warwick NY.  Either way, while it’s not as bad as pouring vodka into Martinellie’s …This Woodchuck stuff is pretty close. Unimpressed, but unsurprised.   What’s “hard” about this cider should be your decision to actually buy the stuff, over locally and properly produced equivalents.

When traveling outside of Brooklyn, we always like to check out the strange oddities that lurk upstate in the less developed areas of the country, such as drive-through restaurants, pizza unfit for human consumption, a Wal-Mart, and the even more elusive …Wegman’s.   And so it was in one of these establishments, where people drive cars to go pick up groceries (this is a foreign concept to us), we found this, Woodchuck Farmhouse Select Hard Cider

It’s Woodchuck, so you might be thinking “bleh” but it’s in a big shiny bottle with a cork on it all Belgian Ale style!  While it’s not borderline so sweet as to be sickening like normal Woodchuck, …”bleh” is more than enough to describe a cider that was $10 UPSTATE (I can’t even imagine what my local ripoff beer-bodega would try to charge).  They call it a “throwback” to the early Woodchuck days in Vermont, but since Woodchuck was explicitly started as a deceptive business practice with the singular goal of simply putting Wood Pecker Cider out of business, and since they’re owned be mass-producer C&C, you really can’t expect much. 

It certainly has that back sweetened, after-brewing faux-flavor quality to it.  They say it’s made with “Belgian beer yeast”  (yes “beer yeast”), and there’s no tang of the kind of taste you would get with a true Belgian Ale yeast like you can get from Naked Flock

So, like everything with the Woodchuck logo on it, treat it like the mass-market stuff it is, and don’t be fooled by a $4 cider in a $10 bottle.  Stick with good stuff like Bad Seed or Farnum Hill, which are very dry, and that’s good. BUT if you don’t like cider that isn’t a bit sweet, there’s the amazing Doc’s Draft from Warwick NY.  Either way, while it’s not as bad as pouring vodka into Martinellie’s …This Woodchuck stuff is pretty close.

Unimpressed, but unsurprised.   What’s “hard” about this cider should be your decision to actually buy the stuff, over locally and properly produced equivalents.

1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass

An actual DeSoto Fireflite.

Amazing time at Monday’s New York Cider Week industry tasting and promotional event at Astor Center. Great labels there, with cider as it was meant to be: dry, sparkling, and well made. While the Hudson Valley region and champagne yeast ruled the day, great NY labels like Naked Flock and Aaron Burr created amazing offerings from Belgian ale yeasts and wild yeasts from wild apples. Still ciders and perry were also plentiful, with Yankee Folly an excellent step up from your day-to-day Pino grigio or what have you.
The piece-de-la-resistance was a secret stash of a true devil’s cut Applejack (that’s whiskey made from apples in case you didn’t know) from Black Dirt distilleries http://blackdirtdistillery.com/the-apple-jack/ , where the strange weather we’ve been having here in New York caused their barrels to give some extra ounces each a few weeks after being emptied. Needing the devil’s cut from over 30 barrels just to fill one bottle, I can say it was the single most amazing thing I’ve ever tasted, and my big thanks to the Black Dirt people for letting me have some (they liked my Pinky Mixology review so I got treated all special). If you would like so see some recipes involving Applejack, follow this link: http://pinkymixology.blogspot.com/search/label/Black%20Dirt%20Distillery

Ended the day with rooftop cocktails and live jazz at Attic Lounge in Midtown.

And here I almost forgot why living in NYC is worth it.

Dodge Dart (1973)

BMW 2002.