displayOn my sister gaoo’s recommendation, The Fella picked up a big bottle of J.K. Scrumpy hard cider for me to sample. I’m a well-known lightweight, given to wide-eyed staring and whispered pronouncements of “I’m a teeny bit drunk!” after a drink or two, so I tried to persuade him to split the big bottle with me, but no go. I think it’s just possible he likes to get me sauced.

Bravely soldiering on, I guzzled the whole lot down on my own, smacking my lips the whole time. Nuanced online reviews of peppery backnotes and smooth finish notwithstanding, I have this to say about Scrumpy: it tastes like non-alcoholic sparkling cider, but, uh, not non-alcoholic. It’s crisp but quite sweet with a boozy little kick, and ridiculously drinkable.

I drank it with a supper of rumbledethumps* with spicy salsa, and it suited that humble dish down to the ground, complementing the earthy flavors while its round, fruity smack balanced the sting of the chiles. I think it might go even better with something slightly sweet and fatty, like a squash pizza. On this first tasting, I found it uncomplicated, but be assured that I’ll endure many, many future tastings to be sure.

Incidentally, to scrump = to steal apples.

Also, “scrumpy” is a perfect word to giggle over when you’re lolling about on the sofa after two drinks.

*Around here, that’s potatoes, cheese, and broccoli, not cabbage.
I am participating in NaBloPoMo. Still!


Enjoying my first egg nog of the season spurred me to remember one more quirk: I find it hard not to swig the whole glass at once. Something about the taste and texture of egg nog — and of no other drink — urges me to fill my entire mouth with the stuff, like a tiny baby who packs his face with mashed beets to sate the taste buds located on the sides and roof of the mouth.

Occasionally, I allow myself to do the same with M&Ms. If you’ve never filled your mouth with M&Ms and felt the cool shiny sugar shell click against your molars, you’re missing out.

Oh, shut up.

Obviously, I am participating in NaBloPoMo.

update: Sweet honeyed Lucifer, it runs in the family.


In a recent Ask Metafilter question about undrinkably bitter lemonade, I gave a few quick tips on keeping the tart, zingy flavor from the lemon zest without extracting the pith’s bitterness, and some quick instruction on making infused simple syrup.

To my surprise, my off-the-cuff comment was added to the sidebar on the main page of MeFi.

Wow. People like lemonade.

The admins labeled my comment as “perfect lemonade recipe,” but it’s not a proper recipe with measurements and proportions, just a few hints for tarting up your favorite lemonade. Here’s the proper recipe, along with a recipe for ginger iced tea, and a few hints for cooling summer drinks:

Continue reading