Leveling up a Christmas ale? Is that possible? Yes, yes it is. You can pick up the Bourbon Barrel Aged version, or, whip up a Twisted Christmas Ale, or, do both. This is a fun beer-cocktail I've enjoyed every season since discovering it - and it's so simple!
A word to the wise - this makes an already decently potent beer even more potent, so please drink and serve responsibly. Life Ride and 1073 asking that you don’t drive - not saying don’t drink - just don’t drink and drive. Call a cab, Uber, Lyft or public transportation and get home safely. Life Ride is supported by Budweiser, House of LaRose, Kisling Nestico and Reddick, NECA , IBEW Local 106 and Parta. So please - have a ton of fun, but please, be safe.
Twisted Christmas Ale
Cinnamon mixed with Demerara Sugar (for the rim)
Pour a little Kahlúa on a plate and the Cinnamon sugar on another to rim the glass. Pour in 1-2 oz of Kahlúa, then slowly pour in the ale, (if you pour the beer at an angle hitting only the glass you’ll have little to no foam). Give it a light stir, and enjoy!
This week, we have a golden bachelor whose loyalty will outshine anyone you meet on a dating app - he’s tall, dark, handsome… and solid. Meet Schwartz! An 8 year old black lab mix, who has that little bit of salt and pepper that makes an older gent look distinguished. Don’t let his age fool you though, he has lots of energy and is a true Labrador Retriever in every sense - always happy and ready to greet you with a big grin. Although, Schwartz is not aware of his size, so a home without smaller animals is recommended.
If you’re interested in retrieving Schwartz, you can meet him at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, and if you can't adopt, please share his information. Remember that foster homes are always needed as fostering helps the shelter save even more. Read about thebenefits of fostering here. You can also help the shelter through donations, supplies or volunteering. Consider a Cage Sponsorship or contributing to their Medical Relief Fund. Every little bit helps!
Also, consider one of our previously featured pups, Bruno! He is a 1 1/2 year old tan and white pittie mix who is a Miracle K9 Graduate, ready to show off his skills to his new family!! He has also been at the shelter since last January - a happily ever after home would be a great gift to al of us who love Bruno.
Homemade is better - well, in most things that is. I'm talking about homemade cordials and liqueurs. One of the things I love about making my own is that I can control the alcohol, sugar levels as well as flavoring. Plus it's crazy easy! For example - many liqueurs call for vanilla, and I'm in love with Ronald Reginald's Melipone Mexican Vanilla, which I swear by and use for anything that calls for vanilla. Bonus: it pairs beautifully with coffee for those in love with Kahlua.
In most cases, making your own flavored liqueurs is a lot less expensive, unless your focus is on high alcohol percentages, which you totally can do. I'm guessing it depends on what you plan to use it for - sipping straight? Get the higher quality. The brand names you get in the store usually have lower percentages, not to mention they are often mixed into cocktails with alcohol that do have a higher percentage. That said, you do you boo. I'm not here to judge.
Every year, I stock my crisper drawer with GLBC's Christmas Ale, (yes, I'm one of those people - if that's your pet peeve, I do save the other crisper drawer for actual vegetables), and for years would also stock my liquor cabinet with Kahlua to make a taste beer cocktail which I call the Twisted Christmas Ale.... Then one year when the budget was tight, I did what I always do when that happens; I make it myself. Then, I learned really fast that mine had way more flavor and generally tasted better than what I was buying. Below, I've gathered a few favorites to make - they do make great little gifts - just be sure to keep some for yourself!
2-3 c Freshly Brewed Strong, Hot Coffee
2-3 c Rum
2-4 c Sugar
1-2 T Vanilla Extract, or a Vanilla Bean, cut lengthwise.
Mix sugar and coffee together; if using vanilla bean, add while the coffee is still hot - it will release more flavor. Let the mix cool and add rum and vanilla extract (if using instead of vanilla bean). Vanilla extract can lose flavor with heat. Taste-test and adjust any ingredients if needed. Store in a cool place for 3 or 4 weeks, (if you can wait that long). If using a vanilla bean, leave it in the mixture for how ever many weeks you can wait to enjoy.
2 c Water
2 c Sugar
1/2 c Brown Sugar
2 c Vodka
2 T Almond Extract
1 T Vanilla Extract
In a pan, combine water and sugars, dissolve sugars and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, add vodka and extracts. Store in a cool dark place.
Raspberry (or Blackberry) Liqueur
3 c Vodka
2 c Fresh (or Frozen) Raspberries or Blackberries
2 c Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean (cut lengthwise and divided) or, 1 T Vanilla Extract.
Add vanilla bean, (or extract divided equally), berries and sugar (divided equally) between 2 quart jars, then fill jars with vodka. Shake to combine and to help dissolve sugar. Place in the fridge, and shake a couple of times a day for at least a week.
We’ve talked about Bruno before - the handsome, energetic, good vibes tan and white pittie mix who has known shelter life since January. Not even 2 years old, (1 year and 7 months actually), he doesn’t understand why he’s been overlooked for so long, nor do the folks at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter. He’s even been to Miracle K9 training school (a 30 day board and train program), and he’s eager to show off his smarts and skills, but people continue to pass him by. The folks at the shelter know how disheartening this can be, so they hooked Bruno up and he is now in a foster home, to give him a sense of belonging and to prepare him for his perfect person or family. We know you’re out there!
If you’ve ever been overlooked by a team you know you’d be great on, you know how Bruno feels. Bruno walks well on a leash, knows the commands to come when called, sit and lay down when asked and is working on furthering his off leash commands. He also has the makings of an agility or rally dog - and that’s no small feet. It takes smarts, and major obedience skills, and everyone who's met Bruno believes with continued training, he'd be great at either sport. If this training talk intimidates you - worry not! He comes with his basic training supplies, go home lessons, plus, follow up training at Miracle K9, free of charge. If you thought that dogs don't come with a training manual, this one does!!
Bruno is great with kids, but they are recommending his family have older children and even though he also does well with other dogs, he'd be happiest as your one and only copilot.
Remember that foster homes are always needed and help the shelter save even more. Read about the benefits of fostering here. You can also help the shelter through donations, supplies or volunteering. Consider a Cage Sponsorship or contributing to their Medical Relief Fund. Every little bit helps!
Ryan talks with Peter Billingsley who played Ralphie in "A Christmas Story!" He's back in town for the 40th Anniversary celebration of the film that was filmed in Cleveland! Here the interview below!
There's nothing quite like the amazing taste of a perfectly made pizza, when the crust is just right, the sauce is balanced with the perfect amount of cheese and all the right toppings. There is also nothing quite like the taste of your favorite beer or wine... but what if your favorite beer makes your favorite pizza taste "meh"? Just like orange juice after something minty, it can really ruin one or the other, or both.
There are beers and certain kinds of wine that I would never choose to drink on their own, but when guided by flavor pairing, they end up tasting amazing. The flavor profile completely changes depending on what it's served with. So I looked into what the experts recommend for some of the more popular kinds of pizza. I usually put different toppings on my pizzas and personally, when I'm in doubt as to what to pair with a pizza that lands outside the norm, I go by what pairs with the toppings. I usually enjoy a red blend, (which the experts never mentioned once in my research, apparently, they're subpar), with my go-to pizza of sausage, grilled mushrooms, peppadew peppers and goat cheese. Steak & Blue Cheese? Exactly what I serve if I'm serving a Steak with Blue cheese - Cabernet Sauvignon. But that's just from me, someone who knows a little about a lot of wines and beers, and a lot about what I love. Most of us do - so - feel free to break the experts' rules - they don't have your palate.
Classic Cheese Pizza: Beers: American Pale Ale, Pilsner. Wines: Chianti, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc or Sparkling Cava.
Pepperoni Pizza: Beers: Brown Ale, Belgian Wheat, IPA. Wines: Merlot, Sangiovese or Cabernet Franc, Unoaked Chardonnay or Pinot Gris.
Sausage Pizza: Beer: Pale Ale, Belgian Wheat. Wine: Chianti, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, Chenin Blanc, Unoaked Chardonnay.
White Sauce Pizza: Beer: Pale Ale or Pilsner. Wine: Burgundy, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay.
Margarhita Pizza: Beer: New England, Hazy or Tangy IPA. Wine: Lambrusco, Pinot Noir, (red) Zinfandel, Dry Rose, Chardonnay.
Mushroom Pizza: Earthy Ales such as an English Ale or bright lagers. Wine: Pinot Noir, Syrahs, Cabernet Sauvignon, (Red) Zinfandel, Chenin Blanc, Barrel Aged Chardonnay.
Veggie: Beer: Blonde Ale, Mild Lager, Pilsner. Wine: Pinot Noir, Syrah, Lambrusco, Oaked Chardonnay.
Seafood: Pale Ale, Belgian Weiss. Wines: Sauvingnon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Buttery Chardonnay, Rose, Pinot Noir.
Who needs a Big Mac when you’ve got a Quarter Pounder? (With or without cheese). Quarter Pounder is quite the handsome 5 year old, white & brindle bulldog mix, full of wiggles and wags, and would love to be your one and only burger buddy.
Quarter Pounder is learning his leash manners and loves snuggling with his humans. He is also a pup who would do well with older kids.
You can meet Quarter Pounder in person at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, and if you can’t adopt, please share his information.
Also, consider one of our previously featured pups, Bruno! He is a 1 1/2 year old Miracle K9 Graduate, ready to show off his new skills!
The Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter is FULL!! There’s no vacancy at the canine inn, so, we are re-featuring the 4 remaining pups who still have not found their forever homes! Hera, a lovely lady with floppy ears and expressive eyes, Bruno, a Miracle K9 graduate, Billy a gentle golden bachelor hound mix and Scrappy a sweet Sharpei mix!! When the shelter is at capacity, it's through foster homes they are able to continue to help abandoned, sick and homeless dogs. If you’ve ever thought about fostering, now is the perfect time to take the plunge!
Hera is a lovely silver lady with expressive eyes that will melt your heart - a 7 year old super sweet terrier pittie mix, who has been at the shelter since March - her foster family says she’s the kind of well behaved guest you want to stay! Zero accidents, and she even puts herself to bed. She also has great leash skills that she loves to show off! Hera is a people pup - just like a people person, but so much better, so she’ll make a great only copilot. The folks at the shelter can't believe this super good girl still hasn't found her forever home!
Bruno is a fun, energetic 1 1/2 year old Brindle and tan pittie mix who's bee at the shelter since January - which means he’s spent nearly 1/2 of his life in a shelter, The folks at the shelter hooked him up with Miracle K9 training for 30 days and he came back with leash manners and knows all kinds of commands. Bruno is very smart!! But don't worry, his new family will get his training info plus follow up visits with Miracle K9 (so they can be doggone smart too)! Bruno would make a great jogging/hiking buddy. He loves the water, his toys and could become quite the rally or agility pup. Bruno does like playing with other dogs, but will probably be happiest as an only copilot. He also likes kids, but they recommend his new family have kids 14 and older.
Billy is 9 year old handsome hound mix. This golden bachelor enjoys chill walks and afternoon naps. Always happy to see the shelter staff and ready to show it with kisses. Billy is a gentleman with a heart of pure gold and he does well with other calm, respectful pups. As great as the staff is at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, a shelter is no place for a senior, and there are so many advantages to adopting a senior dog! They're usually already trained, and still easily learn a new schedule (the old adage of "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" is total bs - whoever said that didn't understand dogs at ALL). Seniors are also already calm and happy to just chill at your side most of the time. The best part is giving a dog who has given his or her best years only to find themselves alone in a shelter the retirement that is worthy of the love, loyalty and acceptance they gave and are still ready and willing to give.
Scrappy is a one and a half year old tan Sharpei mix, who has spent much of his young life in a shelter, so he’s been hooked up with a foster home so he’s ready for his new family with fresh home training!! According to his fosters, Scrappy has learned a couple of basics quickly, gets along with his furry foster siblings and gets a gold star for being accident free! He is a little shy when you first meet him, but with a little time, he’ll be your bestie for life! Scrappy also loves toys and is a de-fluff enthusiast!
You can meet any one (or all) of the Fabulous Four, as well as plenty of potential copilots at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter and of course Foster Homes are always needed, especially now!! You can also help the shelter through donations, supplies or volunteering. Consider a Cage Sponsorship or contributing to their Medical Relief Fund. Every little bit helps!
This week, we want you to meet Scrappy! A one and a half year old tan Sharpei mix, who has spent much of his young life in a shelter, so he’s been hooked up with a foster home so he’s ready for his new family. According to his fosters Scrappy learned a couple of basics quickly, gets along with his furry foster siblings and gets a gold star for being accident free! He is a little shy when you first meet him, but with a little time, he’ll be your bestie for life! Scrappy also loves toys and is a de-fluff enthusiast! You can meet Scrappy by reaching out the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter.
If you can’t adopt, please share Scrappy's information. You can check out previously featured pups who still need a home as well, like Tinka, a sweet Australian Shepherd mix, Hera, a lovely girl that the shelter staff can't believe no one has adopted yet, or educated Bruno, who wants to showoff his new good boy skills. Foster homes are always needed. You can also help the shelter through donations, supplies or volunteering. Consider a Cage Sponsorship or contributing to their Medical Relief Fund. Every little bit helps!
Now that we’re welcoming October this weekend, many are actually ready for pumpkin and to truly enjoy all things fall - and no - there are plenty of us that really can’t get into autumn when it’s 90 degrees out, including apple cider. It’s just weird. But now, it really is fall - so our cocktail this week is the Maple Cider Old Fashioned - I opted to keep the orange slice because it brightens it up plus the syrup replaces the sugar and adds depth to the cocktail.
Maple Cider Old Fashioned
Dash of Bitters
2 oz Bourbon
2 oz Apple Cider
1/4-1/2 oz Maple Syrup (depending on tatse)
Cinnamon Sticks (for garnish)
Place the orange in the bottom of a rocks glass and add the dash of bitters and muddle; add maple syrup and muddle again. Fill the glass with ice; pour bourbon and cider over the ice. give the cocktail a good stir, garnish with a cinnamon stick and enjoy your glass full of autumnal happy.