Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Mansion on O Street

We went here for a friend's birthday party last night. Lots of fun. $50 for a buffet dinner and bottomless cocktail until 8.

The great thing about the place is that it's like 3 rowhouses remodeled into a hotel, with crazy theme rooms that you can wander in and out of (so long as no one is booked in them).
Also, the place is stuffed with packrat-grandmother levels of knick-knacks, which are all available for purchase, from a 50 cent button to a $15,000 antique couch.

The coolest thing, though, is the secret passageways. Down in the kitchen, there is normal-looking spice rack.

But it opens to reveal a sizable wine cellar!

I gotta get me one of those...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sure, Call it a Comeback

Hello to my fives of readers. It's been a long while since the last update, so I'll hit you with some beerology.

During the Great Blizzard of 2009, Mrs. Brew Dude and I were snowed in, so we thought "Why not make some beer?"

We had ingredients for a brown ale. I am great lover of Newcastle Brown, and something sweet and rich seemd like it would really hit the spot during the unforgiving DC winter.

I used twice the recommended amount of chocolate malt in the mash for this batch, mostly because I had a few ounces left over and did not forsee needing it for a different batch in the near future. But also, hey, I like chocolate.

I used big bowl-fulls of snow scooped off our windowsills to help chill the wort after the long boil. No actual snow went into the beer, but we feel it helped enough for the batch to be dubbed "Blizzard Brown."

We popped a few last weekend and it is very chocolately, but the typical ale tartness kind of fights against the chocolate smoothness. Hopefully that will balance out with age. Had I the means (ie, room and patience), I might try the same grain bill but instead make it as a lager rather than an ale.

You'll forgive me if I try to widen the scope of these here e-pages, but I have somewhat recently began to branch out, drinking-wise. I used to swear off most liquor, due two reasons:

1. At a bar, you always know what you're getting with a beer. With a cocktail, it is woefully easy to get underpoured and you're left with nothing but rotting teeth and your own, painfully sober thoughts.

2. I had a bad experience in college. Let's just leave that one there.

But I have been coming around to the "cocktail craze" and have even taken to ordering some straight bourbon on the rocks.

My favorite of the moment is Knob Creek, from the Small Batch collection of Jim Beam distilleries. It's smoky, with hints of caramel and vanilla, and REALLY relaxing at 100 proof.

I'm looking to expand my bourbon vocabulary, as well as learning about all the other previously unthinkable drinkables our fair city has to offer. Enjoy responsibly!