Vodka Cocktails: Vodka Watermelon Cocktail

I love Vodka and though I love my Sprite/7Upwith vodka on ice, I always look out for simple cocktails that I can make with easily available ingredients. As far as that goes, this is one of the simplest! Only 4 ingredients and you’ll be sipping away on this light refreshing cocktail! It’s made with fresh chilled watermelon, coconut sugar, fresh lime juice and Vodka! It’s low in sugar and only 136 calories a serving!

Ingredients

  • 8 cups chilled watermelon
  • 11.5 oz. coconut water
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup vodka citron (citrus flavored vodka)
  • mint for garnish

Instructions

  • To a blender add watermelon, coconut water and fresh lime juice.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Pour mixture into a large pitcher.
  • Add Vodka and stir.
  • Serve over ice.
  • Garnish with lime wedges and fresh mint.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Top 11 Beer Facts Every Beer Lover Should Know

1. Oldest recorded brewery : Beer is the oldest recorded recipe in the world. The first known barley beer can be traced back to around 5,000 B.C.

2. World’s oldest operating brewery : Established in 1040, in Weihenstephan, Germany, Weihenstephan is the world’s oldest operating brewery.

3. World’s most consumed alcoholic drink : Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage drink worldwide. In fact, after water and tea, beer is the most commonly consumed drink in the world.

4. Strongest Beer in the World : The strongest beer in the world has a strength of 67.5% alcohol by volume. This beer was created in 2017 by the Scottish brewery Brewmeister. The beer is called Snake Venom.

5. Top beer-producing countries : China, the US, Brazil, Mexico, and Germany are the top beer-producing countries in the world, even while global sales are down.

6. Leading beer brand worldwide : According to Brand Directory ranking, the leading beer brand worldwide is Corona. The value of this brand is more than $11.4 billion dollars. In second place is Heineken, in third place is Budweiser. The top five also include Victoria and Bud Light.

7. Most popular beer style : Lager is the most popular beer style in the world. Budweiser, Coors Light, Corona and Michelob Ultra are all lagers. These come from large beer producers, which accounts for roughly 87% of the beer marketplace in the U.S.

8. Beer health benefits : Beer is made from natural ingredients, including malted cereals (most often barley), hops, yeast and water. Thanks to these, beer contains minerals, vitamins, fibre and polyphenols that can positively contribute to a person’s diet.

9. Country with most expensive beer : Qatar has the most expensive beer in the world, with an average price of USD $11.26 (Rs. 830.76) per 330ml bottle.

10. Country with the cheapest beer : The cheapest beer is in South Africa, where the average price is $1.68 per bottle. The Czech Republic has the highest consumption rate, with 468 beers per person per year. The cheapest beer is in South Africa, where the average price is $1.68 per bottle.

11. Largest number of beers consumed in a single sitting : Andre the Giant holds the world record for the largest number of beers consumed in a single sitting. During a six-hour period, Andre drink 119, 12-ounce bottles of beer.

Happy International Beer Day – August 6th, 2021

Beer is  one of the oldest drinks the world has ever known. International Beer Day gives fans worldwide just one more excuse to have a round on the first Friday in August. Beer has a reputation as the drink of choice for the ordinary working man or woman. When it’s served up cold and frothy or strong and We celebrate International Beer Day on the first Friday in August every year – August 6, 2021 –, when summer’s end begins to loom large. The start of another weekend beckons us to put aside our work, set aside differences, and come together to celebrate our shared love of beer.

Founded in 2007 in Santa Cruz, California by Jesse Avshalomov, since its inception, International Beer Day has grown from a small localized event in the western United States into a worldwide celebration spanning 207 cities, 80 countries and 6 continents. Specifically, International Beer Day has three declared purposes:

  1. To gather with friends and enjoy the taste of beer.
  2. To celebrate those responsible for brewing and serving beer.
  3. To unite the world under the banner of beer, by celebrating the beers of all nations together on a single day.

Participants are encouraged to give one another the ‘gift of beer’ by buying each other drinks, and to express gratitude to brewers, bartenders, and other beer technicians. In the international spirit of the holiday, it is also suggested that participants step out of their domestic/locally brewed comfort zone and sample a beer from another culture. Popular forms of International Beer Day Events include: Tapping of new or rare beers, all-day happy hours, beer flights, trivia nights, binge drinking and other games (such as beer pong), beer/food pairings and beer gear giveaways.

Bars Reopen In Kerala, To Sell Only Beer & Wine

Liquor bars in Kerala have resumed operations from Monday though only beer and wine will be sold for now. They were closed nearly a week ago, soon after the latest Covid unlock had commenced, in protest over the hike in warehouse charges by the Beverages Corporation or Bevco which is the wholesale seller of liquor in the State. Bar owners on Monday said no liquor will be sold at bars till their demands are met. The exception has been made for beer as it cannot be sold after the expiry date.

The president of the Federation of Kerala Hotels Associations, V Sunil Kumar, said private bars could resume parcel service only if the government took a decision favourable to them. More than 800 bars and 40 liquor outlets of the Consumerfed across Kerala had shut operations this month citing financial loss. The outlets turned sick as the Bevco increased its warehouse rate and slashed the profit margin of retailers. Bevco had raised the warehouse charge for bars from 8% to 25% and for Consumerfed from 8% to 20%.

Bevco justified the move saying that the increase was needed to recoup the loss it faced during the COVID lockdowns. Following the move, the bars and Consumerfed liquor outlets decided to cease operations from June 21, three days after the sale of liquor had resumed in the state. The profit margin of retail outlets fell to three per cent from 20% after Bevco increased its warehouse rate. Private bar owners said they would incur a loss of Rs 9,000 while selling liquor worth Rs 1 lakh under the revised Bevco rate.

Bars In Kerala Shut In Protest

All bars in Kerala will remain indefinitely shut starting from Monday, in protest against a decision by the Kerala State Beverages Corporation Limiter or Bevco to increase their wholesale profit margin on the sale of liquor provided to consumerfed and bar hotels from its warehouses. The profit margin has been increased from 8% to 20% and 25% on the sale of liquor from Bevco’s warehouses to bars and the consumerfed. However, the bars have not been allowed to increase retail prices on sale of liquor, despite this increase in profit margin. This has led the bar owners to protest, as the move will eat into their profits.

According to reports, the government had allowed bars to sell liquor as take away since June 17. However the purchase rate of alcohol for bars was higher than its MRP, forcing bars to sell their liquor at a loss. For the lowest priced rum, the purchase rate for the bar is Rs 611 per bottle while it’s MRP is fixed at Rs 600. Pointing out that it is the buyer who eventually pays the high tab, an office bearer said that Bevco buys the liquor at a much lower rate and sells it to bars at a wholesale price including taxes and profits.

Speaking to the media, office bearers of the Federation of Kerala Hotels Association said that Bevco’s decision will negatively affect hotel bars as it will lead to a significant drop in their profit margins. They also said that it would be tough to run the bars with these profit margins in a scenario where the bars are already hit hard by the pandemic. The federation has approached the state government, which has assured that it will look into the concerns of bar owners. Until the government takes action on the issue, the federation has decided to stop the sale of liquor from bars in Kerala.

Enjoying The Games

Football tournaments is always an enjoyable time for fans like me. Whether it is the Euros or the World Cup or even the Copa America (the latter of which I rarely actually watch other than the semis & finals), I love watching international football tournaments. Since the Euro2020 got delayed due to the pandemic, it is something which I was looking forward to a lot during the last year.

Along with the games I (like man others) also enjoy having my snacks while I watch the games. This weekend I couldn’t get any beer and since I had just recovered from a bad cold, I wasn’t planning on drinking rum or vodka. Coke was the choice for drinking along with coffee. I enjoy popcorn or chips like Lays or Bingo. What are the best flavours of chips – for me it is American Cream & Onion and Tangy Tomato. Yum!

These go well with beer, vodka+Sprite, rum+Coke or even coffee. Amazing to enjoy these while watching a good game.

Cocktail : Vodka Sour

A vodka sour is one in the family of sour cocktails. Sours are defined as three parts: liquor, citrus, and sweetener. The most basic formula for a sour cocktail is 2 ounces spirit, ¾ ounce sour, ¾ ounce sweet. Of course, there are all sorts of variations on the theme! The most classic of all sours are the Whiskey Sour and Pisco Sour. But there are many more: with or without the title “sour”. This vodka sour is very similar to our Tequila Sour and Gin Sour!

The ingredients for this vodka sour are:

Vodka
Lemon juice
Lime juice (optional)
Agave syrup or simple syrup
Angostura bitters
Egg white

A vodka sour is similar to another drink with a fancy name: the Cosmopolitan Cocktail! The Cosmo is essentially a vodka sour that uses cranberry juice to give it a vibrant pink color. Of course it skips the egg white foam and bitters, and uses orange liqueur (in this case Cointreau). Another variation on the vodka sour is a Vodka Gimlet! The main difference with the gimlet is it uses lime juice instead of lemon. It also skips the egg white foam and bitters. Both are great cocktails that we’d absolutely recommend trying!

The Black & The Red

Is Coke slowly replacing Pepsi as my choice of soft drink? Since Covid hit, even though I have been getting the odd Pepsi bottle or can, I seem to be buying more & more Coke instead.

During the work week, when it is hot, there is nothing more that I enjoy than a cold drink with a bit of ice added to the glass to sip and enjoy as I work. Especially in the late evenings. During the weekend, Saturday I will add my Old Monk rum or Smirnoff Espresso to it and enjoy the combo while I eat some good food. Sunday I will drink a large glass of Coke as I watch Youtube and enjoy listening/watching music videos throughout the evening.

I still prefer Sprite overall and 7up is a close second but I like a cola since my current alcoholic beverages at home are the Espresso vodka and black rum. They go so well with a Coke or Pepsi. So for the time being it is a cola that I buy and Coke seems to be winning. Beside there is something really special about a rum & Coke.

Rum & Pepsi

So usually I am a vodka guy when it comes to harder liquor – because vodka is delicious – and enjoy drinking a few but rum and Coke or Pepsi is also delicious. While I usually drink Old Monk which is an Indian rum, I have had more Bacardi White rum more often in the last 10 years.

Light rums, also referred to as “silver” or “white” rums, in general, have very little flavor aside from a general sweetness. Light rums are sometimes filtered after aging to remove any colour. The majority of light rums come from Puerto Rico. Their milder flavors make them popular for use in mixed drinks, as opposed to drinking them straight. Light rums are included in some of the most popular cocktails including the Mojito and the Daiquiri.

While I love cocktails, I find that mostly I just like the rum with Coke or Pepsi with a few chunks of ice. That in itself is delicious enough for me. Today I had some Bacardi white, which I haven’t had in over a year, while I ate some sausages for starters and a pizza for lunch in a bar.

Afternoon @ Blue Rock Bar

Finally! After over a year I went to a bar and enjoyed a few drinks and some food. Even though the bars opened in late December, I wanted to wait for a few weeks before going in as Covid isn’t going anywhere. But after my cousin went to Couchyn & Blue Rock bars last month I was really wanting to go to one myself.

IMG20210307124456IMG20210307155416

So I planned to go in last weekend but I was feeling a bit tired and wanted to stay in all weekend and catch up on my sleep. This weekend my cousin was headed to Trivandrum to meet some friends and other relatives. Even on my own I thought I still want to go just because it’s been so long. I wanted a change of pace and it having been over a year, I was ready to go. So I went to Blue Rock yesterdat at 12 pm.

IMG20210307123752IMG20210307125506

I went in and there is plenty of social distancing in the tables and I love the layout. I ordered 4 Smirnoff Vanilla vodkas and 7up. This is the first time that I am trying the vanilla flavoured ones and boy is it delicious. I love their espresso one, which tastes just like a light cold coffee and this one is like a vanilla flavoured 7up! Hmmmm.

IMG20210307130737

And now let’s talk about food. Blue Rock & Olive Downtown (which the hotel that this bar is in) has excellent food. I first ordered me some golden batter fried prawns which are really delicious. They had this thick sweet chilli sauce to dip the prawns. I could drink that sauce everyday. It was that good. And I love prawns.

IMG20210307141534IMG20210307154248

After that, and while I started my 3rd drink, I ordered some honey glazed pepper pork. I was thinking of sticking with seafood but this place has a lot of pork items on their menu. It was good and well cooked but a bit too oily and spicy for my taste. If they had gotten down that under control it would have been the perfect dish. I needed to cool my tongue down and I kept sipping 7up for that.

I ended the afternoon with a slice of cake as a dessert. I then went to buy some groceries and some medicines before coming back home and watching part of a movie.

Bira Boom Super Strong Lager

The rich and malty Boom Strong is a malt flavoured beer with notes of honey and biscuit. The makers have achieved a balance between the flavours of noble hops. The different ingredients include water, barley malt, rice, hops, yeast, CO2 and ethyl alcohol.

Based on the Munich style lager, it has a rich and nicely thick pillowy head but smell wise it is a lot like most lagers. It isn’t as bitter as most lagers, targeting the Millennial crowd and it is easy to drink. It is around 8 ABV but less on sugar.

Bro Code 15

Bro Code is not a traditional type of beer. It is actually a Brut IPA and does not actually taste like a traditional beer.

So this new experiment which actually gained popularity in 2018, came out when the Brut style of Champagne making is mixed with IPA, giving it a new name Brut IPA. So Bro Code is not actually a 100% beer but a Brut IPA.

It combines the bone-dry aspect of a Champagne in an India Pale Ale. In this process, the residual sugar of the beer is converted into alcohol. Brut IPA lacks the taste of hops, hence the bitterness of the beer is lacking. it was created by Kim Sturdavant in late 2017, the brewmaster of Social Kitchen and Brewery in San Francisco, who used amyloglucosidase, or AMG, to remove the sugars in an IPA. Bro Code is manufactured by Indospirit, which also has a manufacturing unit in Goa.

They launched the Bro Code in January 2018, It is essentially a sparkling wine cooler that is smooth & refreshing. A roaring success in the Indian market, BroCode is the spirit of brotherhood as their slogan says. Any occasion, any reason, no occasion or simply no reason, chill with the perfect sidekick by your side. Bro Code 15 has 15% alcohol in it.

Edit – I tried it and it’s terrible. Couldn’t drink more than a few sips. Poured the rest down the sink.

Bira 91 – India’s Craft Brew Champs

Bira 91 is a craft beer brand manufactured by B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd. It was launched in 2015. The company’s first brewery unit was located in Flanders region of Belgium where a craft distillery was used to contract manufacture the beer with ingredients from France, Belgium, Himalayas and Bavarian Farms and the beer was imported to India. After initial success, the company thereafter began manufacturing the beer in India with the same ingredients. Made from wheat, barley and hops, the beer is available in draft, 330ml, 650ml bottles and 500ml cans. B9 Beverages Pvt Ltd was founded by Ankur Jain, an entrepreneur who moved from India to the United States in 1998. Jain completed his degree in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.

Jain moved back to India and started his first beer venture in 2008; which was importing traditional craft beers from Europe and US to India. B9 Beverages launched Bira 91 beer in early 2015. The company has five beers in its portfolio – Bira 91 White (a low bitterness wheat beer with alcohol content of 4%), Bira 91 Blonde (an extra hoppy craft lager), Bira 91 Light (a low calorie lunchtime lager), Bira 91 Strong (a high intensity wheat beer with a higher percentage of alcohol content at 7%), and The Bira 91 Indian Pale Ale (the first IPA brewed and bottled in India). Bira 91 garnered unprecedented success amongst Indians due to its distinct taste that is low on the expected bitterness of beer.

Bira 91 made its International debut in New York City at the Tribeca Film Festival 2016 where it was the chief sponsor of beer. It claims to be the first craft beer from India to be sold in New York. In May 2018, Bira 91 was the beer for the month of May at the United Nations global headquarters in New York. The monkey mascot was designed considering the urban millennial as the key consumer of Bira 91 and with the idea of presenting the brand with a playful identity.

Will Skip The Bars For Now

A few short days ago the state government decided that they would reopen the bars for people to come in and order drinks and food. The bars will no longer be allowed to sell bottles of beer and alcohol to customers at the retail price. You see the bars usually sell their wares at a huge profit (a 650 ml beer bottle that costs Rs.100-120 at a Bevco outlet is usually charged at anywhere between Rs.250-350 at a nice bar). During Covid the bars were not allowed to serve drinks and food but the public can buy the bottles off them for the regular price.

That is how I have been buying beer these past few months. I also bought a bottle of Old Monk Rum and 2 bottles of brandy for my dad. I have bought them from a private club and from a nice bar. Now I won’t be able to do so from a bar but I can get them from Bevco outlets and the private club. However I plan to try to get some beer from a BevCo outlet though I will have to get a token via their app which barely works. Let’s give a try in the morning and see if it works.

And that’s because I don’t want to go to a bar. Not now anyway. People won’t be careful and I just don’t want to risk it. So even if I don’t mind paying the higher prices for beer or vodka/rum and enjoy some delicious food in the nicer bars, I won’t be going for a while.

How To Make Red Wine Sangria

INGREDIENTS

2 medium apples
2 medium oranges
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup orange liquor, such as Cointreau
1 (750-milliliter) bottle red wine
2 to 3 cups sparkling water, chilled
Ice

INSTRUCTIONS

Cut up the fruit. Cut the oranges and apples into thin slices or wedges. Leave the peels on. Transfer the cut fruit to a pitcher.

Add the brandy. Measure the brandy and pour it over the fruit.

Add the orange liquor. Measure the orange liquor and pour it into the pitcher as well.

Add the wine. Uncork the wine and pour it into the pitcher.

Stir to combine. Stir the liquor, wine, and fruit together.

Cover and refrigerate. Do not taste the sangria now; you will be disappointed! Cover the pitcher and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. The sangria gets softer, sweeter, and much more delicious overnight in the fridge.

Top with sparkling water. When ready to serve, top off the sangria with sparkling water. Stir gently to combine. Taste and add more if desired. Scoop a few pieces of fruit into each ice-filled glass when serving.

Beck’s Ice : New Beer For Me

So even during the pandemic I get to try out a new beer or a beer I haven’t tried out before.  Beck’s Ice, inspired by its German heritage from 1873 and made from 100% pure malt Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) is betting big on Beck’s Ice, a German 100% malt beer, to make a dent in the growing affordable premium segment of the beer market in India delivers pure refreshment to consumers in a flint bottle that comes with a ring full feature.

Beck’s Ice was pilot-launched in some parts of Maharashtra in July 2018 and then became available in Karnataka and Puducherry about a month later, and in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Goa around October 2018. I don’t know when they started getting it here in Kerala. That is good now only if we could also get Stella Artois & Hoegaarden often in Kochi. Priced at Rs.150 it is a bit more expensive than the ones I usually buy.

Beck’s is a European lager, and these lagers sometimes tend to be too bitter (or hoppy in brewing parlance) for the Indian palette. AB InBev has brought down the bitterness level in the Indian variant—Beck’s Ice. The brand is currently being brewed at its Maharashtra facility. I will do a taste review later. Glad that we are getting more & more brands but we should be getting more. With such a large population, we should be easily getting more international brands as easily as we get Kingfisher.

Should The Drinking Age Be Lowered?

When I growing up the drinking age was 18. As a kid I never did like the idea of drinking much. That was mainly because as a kid, maybe at the age of 7 or 8, I took a little sip of beer or something and it was so bitter that I “yucked” at it. (I am so sorry beer that I ever did that. I know I was just a kid at the time but still, I apologize)

When I was 16 that changed and I looked at beer differently. My older cousins took me to a restaurant where they knew the owner and they were over 18, they served my cousins beer. I took a glass and got almost drunk at that. That was my first proper taste of beer. And I was hooked. At 17 I and my friends would buy bottles from a bar in Edapally and the bartenders would only tell us “you can’t drink it in here but I will sell it to you as long as you carry it of in a bag”. Ofcourse we said yes and it was glorious. We friends shared a few bottles between us and it was fun.

I see it as a rite of passage for a lot of people, especially here in India. Now, a few years ago – I don’t remember which year – they changed the minimum drinking age from 18 to 21 in most states in India. In a couple of states it’s 25! What the fuck!! I think they can keep it at 18 for beer and maybe 21 for hard liquour. Knowing the kind of trouble some of these kids get into (comparatively, I was more careful when I was a teenager) it would be wise.

Prompt from 401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing At The New York Times