May 15, 2020

Cocktails later

All are welcome to join us on zoom at 5pm, when, if previous weeks are anything to go by, we will talk about cheese and not going out. Have you a cheese related cheesefactlet to share? We need you. Link arrives later on in the comments.

May 9, 2020

Alcohol-Free Beers (Part Twelve)

(View previous instalments here)

Welcome to the lockdown instalment of my alcohol-free beer reviews. Some of these were ordered from The Grumpy Goat prior to the lockdown beginning. Others were ordered from other home delivery sources – I will give details of these below.

Tiny Rebel Club Tropica

But don’t worry, you can suntan.

This had a really promising fruity tropical smell but had a pecularity in the flavour that, try as I might, I can’t quite put into words. Not very helpful, I know, but for once I’m stumped. Still, I did find that I got used to the weird flavour by the end of the drink, so it wasn’t a deal-breaker by any means. I’d be interested to sample the alcoholic variant to see if the same quality is present in that one too.

Big Drop / Harbour “Going Swimmingly”

Good grief this is vile stuff. Imagine that you had a glass of really bold, punchy, tangy hibiscus flavoured drink. You finish your drink, and then it’s time for bed, and you want to take a glass of water up with you. But you’ve got no clean glasses, so you just re-use the same glass that you were drinking from before. In the night, you go for a swig of water, and can still detect the flavour of your delicious hibiscus drink, albeit at homeopathic levels.

That’s what this drink tastes like.

Dolden Null

Karen added this to our Abel and Cole order. It’s not a bad IPA, to be fair, but it is a little on the sweet and malty side, so it’s not got what it takes to become one of my favourites. That said, it’s still very drinkable and I’d gladly have it again.

Brewdog Wake-Up Call

In response to “The Lockdown”, I placed a hefty order online at Wise Bartender. I’ve ordered large quantities of some of my favourites (Clausthaler, Infinite Session, A Ship Full of, Hazy AF) and some singles of some new ones (reviews will be forthcoming). I also took a punt on a 6 pack of this, which I’ve never tried before, but I was feeling a bit bold.

This is an espresso stout that contains a fairly hefty amount of coffee – I didn’t realise at the time but it’s actually got about 37mg of caffeine per can. Considering that I’ve also been off caffeine for a couple of years, I was worried that I might have pushed my luck a bit.

But it’s great stuff, and I encountered no negative reaction to the caffeine, so on the whole this is everything I hoped it would be, and I don’t regret buying 6 instead of just a solitary can. There’s an ever-so-slight whiff of tobacco, which is not a flavour that I enjoy in a drink, but it’s at bearable levels.

Maisel’s Weiss

I generally feel quite optimistic when trying a new alcohol-free wheat beer, as the standard has been consistently high. This one makes an extra-special first impression as Maisel was one of the names by which we’d sometimes refer to the fantastic and recently-departed Maisy.

The drink itself has a deliciously clean orangey flavour and is utterly divine. It’s hazy with a succulent and creamy mouthfeel, and has a head that lingers without being ridiculously overblown to start with. This beer is so good that it’s got me wondering if I need to add a “3 pint” option to my rating system.

There are more new beers waiting in the garage, so if you’ll excuse me, it’s time I went and started work on the next collection of reviews.

May 8, 2020

Thank Lockdown It’s Friday: Cocktails Later

It is VE day. In my line of work, a VE is quite a different thing, and the less said about that, the better.
Here at Casa Uborka, we don’t go in for triumphant victory marches, but we do like peace so we’ll have a piece of that and celebrate the hell out of it. Or … seriously, the church bells keep ringing at random times and it’s very unnerving. Is that a VE day thing? What for?

Anyway, cocktails will be served, and we shall wear party dresses if we want to, and there will be a link in the commentses later on today. See you at 5.

April 24, 2020

Welcome to the Firkin & Gherkin

Cocktails will be served this afternoon at 5pm in our pub. Inspired by Jon Richardson’s pub in his garage, I converted what is by daytime my workspace into a cosy snug bar, and invite you to join us with drinks, snacks, fancy outfits optional (I’m already wearing my sequins, but I suspect Pete will have changed out of his by now. Link will be in the commentses later.

April 17, 2020

Uborka Lockdown Cocktails

Lockdown cocktails are now a normal thing at Casa Uborka on a Friday after “work,” for those of you who still take part in such mundane activities. Some of us are merrily furloughing along and spending our day acquiring and using vast quantities of flour.

Today’s cocktail hour was a happy party featuring the entirety of Team Uborka, only one of whom actually had a drink of any sort until Pete fetched the dregs of a bottle of tequila, which we finished in one slam. Also present were Gordon, whose sofa matched ours nicely (but no dogs); Lyle who managed not to swear a huge amount but may have made some slightly off-colour remarks but we forgive him, since they didn’t come close to Fluffspangle‘s graphic description of ways she could put down her dog. Lori brought a touch of glamour, and the Gammidgys brought a touch of tortoise. It was excellent in many ways and (apart from a latte that Pete made me earlier), the highlight of my day.

See you all next week!

  • Comments: 2
  • It was pretty good going for you. - Karen
  • I tried. And then knew I’d failed when I got the chorus of shocked “Lyle!” calls... - Lyle

Flour Girl

Let me tell you a story about when I worked in catering. One of my crappy jobs was ordering food from suppliers, which is probably not that hard if you know one single thing about catering, which it was quickly established that I did not. I was given a handy formula for working out how much to order, but if I applied it then the chefs moaned about tiny quantities of meat where the predicted order was only two portions.

This was before the internets were a thing, so the orders were done by phone, working from a paper catalogue. The dry goods catalogue was a huge dot-matrix printout listing each item alphabetically. Nobody told me the difference between 1×1000 candarel, and 1x1kg candarel, which seriously upset the diet chef when he had to open a LOT of packets to make diabetic jelly.

How is this applicable to the current situation, you demand, for everything must be made into a lesson we can apply in a pandemic. On opening my last bag of bread flour, I felt sad. And a bit stressed, because we eat a fair bit of bread and pizza, and because baking is a nice thing to do, it feels productive and wholesome and passes the time. And then a friend put me on to a catering supplier in Basingstoke, who delivers, and I opened up a glorious website of supplies, nothing marked out of stock, and all the types of flour. Now I am SURE I ordered 4×1.5kg of each flour, but apparently I ordered 1x16kg of each flour, and that’s fine, I’ll use it.

Large packages of food

So much flour.

Note also the single carton of passata (not 1×6 then?) and the ENTIRE BOX of chocolate raisins. Oh yes, that’s nearly enough for Pete. And I’m pretty sure the raisins are the reason he didn’t hit the roof at 8am when a pallet of flour was delivered to a small suburban semi with no plans to open a bakery.

  • Comments: 2
  • The tiny carton of passata makes me laugh! Poor little carton next to all the big mega-pac... - Lyle
  • I'm not sure which to comment on first, the flour hoarding (you awful person you!) or the ... - Gordon