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Liquid Sunshine

May 24, 2013

Mr. French always wore a sour expression. Whether or not he always wore a drab gray suit is immaterial, but that’s how I remember him. He was the fiercest figure of authority in my middle school years, and was known for yelling into the faces of students.

Rainy days, when everyone else was in the dumps, were the only times I would see him smile. He’d look up at the tropical torrent falling from the Miami sky and joyfully proclaim it to be “liquid sunshine.” Even then, there was still menace in the tone of his voice.

True story. Or at least that’s how I remember it. And I only mention it insofar that it looks like this will be a pretty rainy Memorial Day weekend. The rain will be followed by a cold snap. With a high of 63 on Saturday, it’s unlikely I’ll be getting in the pool as planned.

So what are you to do if you’ve found your weekend plans ruined–or at least your spirits dampened–by the unseasonably cold and wet weather? Well, I’ve got a couple of ideas.

The first part of today’s story gets filed under the Kimmie Project.

Kim M. gave me a bottle of Fee Bros. rhubarb bitters and tasked me to find something delicious to do with it. Well, I think about natural pairings for rhubarb and my first instinct is strawberries. But it’s not strawberry season. What are strawberries anyway? A summer fruit. Perhaps other summer fruits would go well with rhubarb too. What about peaches? It may not be peach season, but I still have an inch or two remaining in my Peach Jack. Eureka!

If you want to turn that frown upside down, remember two things. One, nobody can be unhappy when eating a perfectly ripe peach. Two, it’s hard to be in the dumps when you are drinking champagne or some other good sparkling wine.

Now let’s combine those two into an summertime Champagne cocktail. It’s easy.

Put a couple drops of rhubarb bitters on a sugar cube (not too much) and drop it into the bottom of a fluted glass. Pour one tablespoon of Harvest Spirits Peach Jack into the glass. And then top with Champagne or sparkling wine.

The rain is no match for this festive, summery tipple. And it’s so easy, you can even make one after you’ve had more than one.

Speaking of Harvest Spirits, by the way, they are going to be participating in the Hudson-Berkshire Wine and Food Festival. The event is Saturday (May 25) and Sunday (May 26). I don’t know if they will be sampling their Peach Jack, but I do know that the festival occurs rain or shine.

While I love this distiller, there will also be two others who make products I’ve yet to try. Hillrock Estate Distillery is doing interesting things with whiskey and Dutch’s Spirits is making something from demerara sugar that they are calling Sugar Wash Moonshine. Both are right up my alley.

This is the first year of the festival so it’s unclear how much food will be given away as samples and how much food will be offered for sale. But the ticket price is remarkably reasonable at $25 regardless, as it entitles its holder to samples from four distilleries, 12 wineries and two breweries. There are also demonstrations and discussions scheduled over the two days, including a beer tasting being led by Chad Polenz of Chad’z Beer Reviews (who occasionally comments here).

Unfortunately, this weekend I’ve already got a full dance card. But if plans get cancelled based on the weather, it’s good to have things up your sleeve that can make you smile.

Have a great Memorial Day. And remember, on this day especially, having your cookout spoiled by rain is nothing compared to the sacrifices made by those in our military. I’m incredibly thankful for them. I can’t even imagine being over in Afghanistan or Iraq. All I know is that it wouldn’t be pretty.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2013 11:12 am

    Yeah I actually didn’t know about it until a few days ago myself. Not sure how this flew under the radar. If you’re going to be there Sunday be sure to stop by the beer tasting :)

  2. -R. permalink
    May 24, 2013 1:34 pm

    Was Mr. French really his name? I never thought Sebastian Cabot to be particularly fierce…Buffy and Jody on the other hand were the devil’s spawn.

    • Susan L. permalink
      May 24, 2013 9:48 pm

      Don’t forget that omnipresent demon Mrs. Beasley.

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