What’s to drink?

I understand that most here at Headlife are teetotallers. However, for those of us who like a good drink nowadays (and for those non-Headlifers who come here on occasion), I thought I’d share what I’ve been drinking this winter holiday season.

One reason to look forward to the winter is the appearance of two fantastic beers. The first is Anderson Valley Brewing‘s Winter Solstice. It’s a medium-bodied beer with lots of complexity. There’s a little sweetness and perhaps a hint of nutmeg and other holiday spices. And because it’s a winter beer, the alcohol content is high, coming in at 6.9% abv. Similar in style is a beer from Yorkshire’s Samuel Smith brewery, their Winter Welcome Ale. It’s also medium-bodied (I tend not to like the more standard winter beers that are very heavy and often either hoppy and bitter, such as Sierra Nevada‘s Celebration Ale, or dark with a coffe and chocolate nose, like Baltimore’s own Clipper City and their Peg Leg Stout), with a bit more malty flavor and a bit less sweetness– though you do get some fruity flavors, especially in the nose. It’s also not quite as strong, coming in at 6% abv. Both definitely hit the spot on a cold winter evening.

Winter also calls for some fuller-bodied red wines, too. One I recently tasted and loved was the Buehler 2001 Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s got lots of cherry and plumb flavors and is velvety smooth. Unfortunately, Wine Spectator named this one of the 100 best California cabernets this year, so it’s likely going to be hard to find– especially since it’s relatively cheap at ca. $22 a bottle. Worse, I now see that the suggested retail of their ’02 is in the $35 range– I guess success went to their heads (and our wallets!)

Finally, winter just isn’t complete without egg nog. Dairyland Distillers in Philadelphis makes the best egg nog I’ve had– their “original brand” Pennsylvania Dutch (sorry– I couldn’t find a website). It’s a wonderful blend of good-tasting, quality egg nog with brandy, rum, and blended whisky. And, at 14.75% abv, it won’t knock you over after a glass or two.

Winter’s really settling in here in Baltimore (Monday’s high is going to be below freezing!), so I defintely have at least a few more nights to look forward to tasting some of these, and I hope thost that are interested will get a chance to, too!



  1. Being a teetotaler definitely has its disadvantages! 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2F2004%2F12%2Fwhats-to-drink.html%23comments" TITLE="john dot fowles at gmx dot net">john fowles<>


  2. Lancer, you should write for a wine-tasting magazine. Such colour! I recently bought a nice blender and have been inventing my own smoothies, but there’s only a few superlatives and I can employ to describe what is, in essence, fruit and ice. Almost thou persuadest me to become a drinker… 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2Funitedbrethren" TITLE="ronan at jhu dot edu">Ronan<>


  3. I recently tried the Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Nog and fell in love with it. It’s dreamy and creamy, and I found myself drinking more than one glass. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fwww.journalscape.com%2FShenanchie%2F" TITLE="">Shenanchie<>


  4. Wine really is an amazing drink. Apparently, whatever chemical processes go on really do create aromas and tastes that, chemically, are quite like the thing they resemble. So even though there are no cherries in wine, that dark cherry nose isn’t an illusion; it’s really there!

    And as for the egg nog, I can’t tell you how great it is on a cold winter night. If only my apartment had a fire place! Sitting by the fire sipping egg nog would make a great end of an evening! 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>Lance


  5. Personally, egg nog doea nothing for me (and I have problems with drinks that sound like a character in a bad fantasy novel – Eggnog the dwarf?) but this Christmas has led me to the secret of how to make the perfect Irish Coffee. After 10 years of marriage into an Irish family, they finally concluded I was worthy to share the recipe. Probably the definitively non-LDS drink, it has a great deal to recommend it on a cold night.

    I would love to share the secret, but they’d probably shoot me 🙂 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>Phil


  6. Anyone know who in Southern Calif. carries Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Nog besides Costco?? It’s the best I’ve ever had, but hate fighting the crowds to get it.Thanks!!!!


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