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Why You Should Brew Your Own Beer


You’re wondering whether you should start brewing your own beer? The answer is: definitely! It has never been easier to make your own beer – everything you need is just a mouse click away and there’s a community of people, who’d love to help you out! Still not convinced? Here are 5 reasons why you should brew your own beer:

Brewing saves money

All the gear you’ll need will probably cost you about $100. You can get a basic starter kit online (like this one). Or go for the Mr.Beer 24L Beer kit. For the ingredients you’ll have to pay around $30. Considering the cost of a 12-pack of Bud Lights, you’ll be able to return the investment in about 4 or 5 batches.


Brewing is fun

You get to invent your crazy recipes! A strawberry lamb-chop flavored beer? Why not?!
Also, sitting by a fire, watching water boil up has a certain charm. If you’re feeling social you could invite some people to keep you company. Imagine drinking a home-made beer by the fire with your buddy. Doesn’t it sound nice?!

You know what you’re drinking

Like any other item that you make at home, you get to know what you put in your beer. You can make sure every single ingredient holds up to your high standards, that your workplace and bottles are clean. To sum it up – you can be certain that you’re drinking exactly what you want to.

You get to meet new people

You get to be a part of a new community! You’ll find that people are eager to share their little secrets. You can learn from others’ mistakes and share their experience. Just join in a forum. Since all of the people there were newbies at one point, you’ll be surprised how helpful and nice they are.

Brewing will make you proud

It‘s a special feeling being able to brew your own beer. Imagine taking a sip of your new brew and realizing it’s perfect. You’re once step further from the consumer society; and a bit closer to your ancestors. Guaranteed, that’ll make you proud of your work.
The best thing about your beer? You get to share all that with your loved ones.

MrBeer Home Brewing Kits - Make a great gift!  Free shipping on select kits throught Christmas.

Three Classic Cocktails You Should Know How to Prepare


You want a specific drink, but you’re not in the mood for a bar? Perhaps it’s a hot day and you need a margarita to freshen up. Or you’re planning a James Bond movie night and are yearning for a martini. Maybe you just want to sit by the fireplace and read a book while drinking an old fashioned. Here are the recipes to these popular cocktails, so you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home behind!

Margarita

The ingredients for your classic margarita are:

60ml (2 ounces) tequila

30 ml (1 ounce) Cointreau

30ml (1 ounce) lime juice

A lime wedge and salt/sugar (for the rim of the glass) – optional.

You start by adding the tequila, Cointreau and lime juice to a cocktail shaker. Throw in some ice cubes and shake well.  Voilà, you made a margarita!

Protip: Leave the glass in the refrigerator for an hour. Then moisten the rim and apply sugar/salt. Garnish with the lime wedge.

Martini

In order to make a martini you’ll need:

75ml (2 1/2 ounces) gin

15ml (1/2 ounce) dry vermouth

1 or 3 green olives

A dash of Orange or Angostura bitters is optional.Add the in the gin and vermouth to a glass and fill it up with ice. Stir the mixture until some of the ice melts down. When the drink is cold, pour it in a chilled glass and add one or three olives (an even number is considered bad luck).

Although this is the classic recipe for martini, feel free to explore other options. A dry martini, for example, uses less vermouth. If you’re not a gin fan I suggest you try the vodka version of the drink.

Protip:
Most bartenders suggest stirring your martini. Shaking it will water it down and alter the gin’s taste. Perhaps James Bond wasn’t right about this one.

Old Fashioned

The ingredients for the old fashioned are as it follows:

60ml (2 ounces) Bourbon or Rye whiskey

1 sugar cube

3 dashes Angostura bitters

club soda

Cherry and orange slice are optional.

Start by adding the sugar and bitters to a glass. Pour a small dash of club soda and start stirring the mix. You can use a muddler to crush the sugar. When it’s dissolved, add the whiskey. You can garnish with a cocktail cherry and an orange slice. Don’t forget to add a stirring rod in there!

Protip: You can rotate the cup, so that the sugar and the bitters give it a lining.

How to Taste Whiskey


Build up a database of tastes

Every time you have a drink, try to remember its exact taste and characteristics. Over time, you’ll be able to build something like a database of aromas and flavors. That will help you identify precisely what you taste while drinking whiskey. It’ll also enable you to notice subtle differences.

Use your nose    

When you pour the whiskey in the glass, swirl it around. That will allow the oxygen to come in contact with the liquid and make it start evaporating, releasing the aroma.

After swirling it, wait for a couple of minutes for the whiskey to settle. Give it time for its true qualities to show.  This way, you will be able to notice the aroma without being overwhelmed by the alcohol fumes.

Don’t rush anything. Take a deep breath, wait for a few seconds and then repeat. Think about what the aromas characteristics are – is it sweet, rich or smoky? Remember, it’s all your opinion, there’s no wrong answer.

The taste   

When you take a sip, don’t swallow it right away. Allow the liquid to pass around different parts of your mouth. The taste buds are located in various sections of your tongue, let the spirit arouse each one. Be prepared for the sharp alcoholic burn after you swallow. Try to pin point the specific flavors you noticed. Repeat this a couple of times.

The after taste  

After experiencing the burn, you’ll feel the after taste. Make a note of its length, since it can be important to the quality of the spirit. Compare the different flavors and think what they remind you of. There can be some extremely subtle ones, so pay attention.

Learn a few tricks

An effective trick in whiskey tasting is using a glass with a narrow opening. This allows the aroma of the spirit to remain concentrated, so that you can feel its taste better. There are specific glasses for that purpose called snifters, but you don’t need to purchase one – a glass with a similar shape will do. Another trick is to put a plate over the glass. That’ll trap the aroma and saturate it.

How to Set Up a Home Bar


Even if you’re not much of a drinker, it’s always nice to impress your guests with a rich home bar. But how can you make sure you’re up to the standard? Here we’ll go over a couple of tips about creating a great home bar.

First thing you’ll want to do is stock up on alcohol. What kind of spirits do you and your most common guests prefer? Make sure you offer a variety of hard liquors – vodka, whiskey, rum…  Anything you like – let your taste buds guide you. These will be the main ingredients in most cocktails, so aim for middle or upper class items.

Don’t forget the mixers. A pure spirit can be too much for some, so make sure you have something to cool down the burn with. The sky is the limit here. Let your imagination roam free, because anything from Coca-cola to honey will do. Some popular choices are tomato juice, club soda and tonic water.

What makes a good bar a great bar are the garnishes. What’s a martini without the olive? The most basic garnishes are limes, cherries, ice, salt, pepper and, of course, cocktail olives.

Consider buying a mixologist book. A great choice would be “The Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master Bartender, with 500 Recipes “ by Dale DeGroff. Don’t be afraid to try and make even the hardest cocktails! A good advice is to practice your mixologist skills before throwing a party. Don’t hesitate to experiment with the recipes and adjust them to the products you have.  Prepare to become the star of the party!

Some cocktails could require specific tools. For example a shaker is a must. You should also have a citrus press and a peeler at your disposal. The obvious tools you’ll need are corkscrew, bottle opener, ice bucket and napkins. Consider buying toothpicks if you plan to use olives in your drinks.

And last, but not least, you should choose carefully what you want your home bar to look like. Do you want a modern-looking cart or a massive wooden cabinet? Should you put in the living room or the cellar? Let your imagination lead the way!

Congratulations! Now you’re ready to create your home bar!