Fools For Our Favorite New Beverages

KIMBERLY CHARLES

 Photo courtesy of Breakaway Matcha

Photo courtesy of Breakaway Matcha

My new favorite beverage is: Matcha in any form, I’m fine tuning my nutrition and have found that as much as I like coffee it makes me agitated.  I like the natural energy boost matcha offers and I can already see the health benefits kicking in. 

Description of beverage: is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea. It is special in two aspects of farming and processing: the green tea plants for matcha are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest, and the stems and veins are removed in processing. During shaded growth, the plant Camellia sinensis produces more theanine and caffeine. This combination of chemicals is considered to account for the calm energy people might feel from drinking matcha. The powdered form of matcha is consumed differently from tea leaves or tea bags, and is dissolved in a liquid, typically water or milk.

The traditional Chinese and Japanese tea ceremony centers on the preparation, serving, and drinking of matcha as hot tea and embodies a meditative spiritual style. In modern times, matcha also has come to be used to flavor and dye foods such as mochi and soba noodlesgreen tea ice cream, matcha lattes, and a variety of Japanese wagashi confectionery. Often, the former is referred to as ceremonial-grade matcha, meaning that the matcha powder is good enough for tea ceremony. The latter is referred to as culinary-grade matcha, but there is no standard industry definition or requirements for either. (Source: Wikipedia)

Why is this your new favorite beverage?: Breakaway Matcha, from a local Bay Area tea purveyor prepared hot using the traditional wooden whisk. 

ALEX FONDREN

 Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

My new favorite beverage is: It's not really new, but I've recently re-discovered the beauty of the 'Lemon, Lime & Bitters.'

Description of beverage: It's not as straightforward as it sounds, but only because I first had this when I waited tables in Australia, where they refer to what is essentially Sprite as 'lemonade' - the balance is fresh lime juice and bitters. It was a go-to for designated driver diners (Australia's 'drink-driving' laws are far more severe than they are here, and most drivers abstain accordingly). 

Why is this your new favorite beverage?: With summer weather around the corner, I've been trying to get into a healthier groove. Even eating right, working out and avoiding alcohol (at least a couple of days a week) can't always curb my nightly craving for something fizzy yet sophisticated - minus the alcohol effect and calories. Sometimes I just do sparkling water with squeezes of both lemon and lime, and playing around with different flavors of bitters. Can't go wrong with L.A. based Greenbar Distillery's Bar Keep Lavender Spice bitters, but the classic Angostura works just fine as well. Serve in a highball glass with ice. 

HOLLY REYNOLDS

 Photo courtesy of Serious Eats

Photo courtesy of Serious Eats

My new favorite beverage is: Amaro

Description of beverage: Amaro is an Italian herbal liqueur with a bitter-sweet flavor. It can be made from a variety of alcohols by macerating herbs, roots, flowers, bark and citrus peels in either neutral spirits or wine, mixing the filtrate with sugar syrup and allowing the mixture to age in casks. We've covered this topic in the past at CCA but it is a new pursuit for me. 

 Why is this your new favorite beverage?: The taste profiles of amaros are very different depending on which alcohol they come from and the (secret) mix of herbs, flowers and bark used, and are unlike any other liqueurs I have tasted. Many people have tried Vermouth, but lesser known amaros like Carciofo, Tartufo and Rabarbaro are full of interesting flavors. I have never before experienced a beverage that is a delicious combination of silky, bitter and sweet. With every amaro being so different, I know I still have a lot to discover about this unique and fascinating digestif.  

ANTHONY SALAZAR

 Photo courtesy of Anthony Salazar

Photo courtesy of Anthony Salazar

My new favorite beverage is: Spontanyuzu from Mikkeller

Description of beverage: This lambic beer from Copenhagen, Denmark has notes of Yuzu, a citrus fruit that is similar to Pomelo and used primarily in Korean cuisine. This sour beer has the perfect balance of sour, sweet and bitter flavors. Fruit-driven and very refreshing. Easily my favorite beer EVER!

Why is this your new favorite beverage?:  I have always been a big fan of Yuzu, from the natural juice itself to Yuzu-flavored desserts, to even those jelly candies they sell at an Asian market. So it was no surprise that I immediately got drawn to the Spontanyuzu Sour Beer on Mikkeller Bar's menu. Prior to tasting this, I was not really a big fan of sour beer. It was usually the unbalance of flavors on the palate that would make me deviate and choose another drink. However, I really could not say no when I saw that Yuzu was the main flavor profile for this beer. Lo and behold, I found myself going to Mikkeller Bar for 3 consecutive weekends. The freshness and the yuzu and other citrus flavors present made me love and appreciate sour beers more than ever. This beer had a great body and mouthfeel and every sip made me want to take another. I cannot wait for summer to come with this drink on my hand!

AMANDA GERALDO

 Photo courtesy of 21st Amendment Brewery

Photo courtesy of 21st Amendment Brewery

My new favorite beverage is: Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer by 21st Amendment Brewery San Francisco, CA

Description of beverage: This is an American wheat beer that is brewed with real watermelon, for a flavor that's surprisingly crisp, dry, and refreshing. It is a summer seasonal beer only available April-September. They start by brewing a classic American wheat beer, which undergoes a traditional secondary fermentation using fresh watermelon. 

Why is this your new favorite beverage?: I am usually more of a cider fan, but this beer has a flavor that I can't resist! The light touch of sweetness makes it the perfect beer to enjoy on a hot summer day (or a foggy San Francisco afternoon). As warmer, dry days are approaching, I have been searching for a drink that is light and flavorful. This beer has a tart aroma that reminds me of a sour candy, but is surprisingly not too overpowering. Also, I love the fact that it is brewed locally. It's seasonal, so it's only available during this time of year!