My Drinking Problem

I have to come clean. Todd and I have a drinking problem. Despite our best efforts, we just can’t stop.

There are days when our fridge has more drinks than food in it. It’s usually not even alcoholic drinks. Oh, you thought… no! Not THAT kind of drinking problem!

When we go grocery shopping, we usually load up on 2 or 3 different kinds of soda, juice, or other drinks, then realize we haven’t even thought about what we want for dinner.

Maybe it’s because drinks pack a powerful punch of flavor, and they require little to no effort to consume. Because chewing is so strenuous. But whatever the reason, we seem to be turning into beverage hoarders.

I wasn’t always like this. I used to drink mostly water all the time. Major tangent story: When I drink water – and this has been the case for probably a decade or more – I always stop drinking with about a half-inch of water left at the bottom and pour it out. How terrible is that? I have never understood why I do that. It’s like a compulsion or something. I’m very sensitive about the taste of water, too. When I was little, I used to only get water from the bathroom faucet, because it was colder and tasted cleaner/crisper. That all changed when we remodeled our bathroom and got a new sink. Then it tasted too fluffy. Can water taste fluffy? I think I have major water issues. Does anyone else have a weird story like that?

Back to my pre-tangent thought:

Todd has introduced me to a lot of new drinks in the last 4 years. I thought I’d see if anyone else has heard of them and what your thoughts are.

We just so happen to have 3 of them on-hand right now. I told you. Drink hoarders.

Horchata (left) – Horchata (pronounced “or-CHAH-tah”) is a Hispanic drink with a lot of variations. The once I’m most familiar with is Mexican horchata, which is made with rice milk, sugar, and cinnamon. It is served nice and cold, and I think it tastes like melted ice cream. Todd and I discovered this at a Mexican restaurant just off-campus at UW-Madison (where we met) called La Hacienda. This is the same place that Todd and I tried beef-tongue tacos.

The package in the picture is a horchata drink mix we found at Cermak Fresh Market. The directions say to mix it with water or milk, but I tried it with water, and it was NOT good. A lot of authentic Mexican restaurants have horchata, so just remember to look for it on the menu, or find yourself a mix like the one pictured. If I can find a recipe for homemade horchata, I will definitely share it with you all.

Some of you might have tried Rumchata, an alcoholic Bailey’s-esque drink. It’s based off of horchata, and you should really try the original if you haven’t already.

 

“Squash” (right) – Squash is a concentrated juice drink in the UK. It can be flavored with lots of different fruits and herbs, like berries, orange, apple, mango, and the like. You simply pour some squash in a cup and add water to make it the desired flavor (strong or weak). I thought the flavor was weird the first time I tried it at Todd’s parents’ house. But it has grown on me a bit. It’s not something I pick out for myself, but I enjoy it when I do have it. You can find it at World Market, usually.

 

Ginger Beer (left) – Ginger beer is like very strong ginger ale. If you like ginger ale, you need to at least try ginger beer. It is non-alcoholic (like root beer), and it has a sharp, spicy kick of ginger. I love ginger, and it’s great for treating nausea, muscle pain, and a lot of other conditions. (I just read that they warn you not to consume it while you are pregnant, though, so keep that in mind if you are expecting.)

The ginger soda that I have pictured is not ginger beer. It’s a little bit more mild, but sharper than ginger ale. One thing you can make with ginger beer is a “Dark and Stormy,” something my parents introduced me to. It’s dark spiced rum with ginger beer and a slice of lime. If you go to a liquor store and ask them if they have Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, Gosling’s ginger beer with usually be right next to it. It’s a perfect pairing, and probably my favorite alcoholic drink, though I usually leave out the lime.

I don’t think Todd and I are in any position to kick our beverage habit. So, what are your favorite non-mainstream drinks? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and submit your chili recipe by clicking the link in the right margin for the “It’s a Melting Pot Pie All (or Nothing) American Chili Cook-Off” Recipe Contest. Recipes can be adaptations from something you found in a cookbook or online, just as long as you’re adding your own personal touch. We’ve all gotta start somewhere! Submission deadline is Saturday, September 17th, so get to work! (The odds are looking good right now as far as the number of submissions are concerned.)

Until the next taste,

Whitney

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