In the world of boozy beverages, hard seltzers proved to be king in 2020. Brands popped up everywhere or created their own variations following the viral success of White Claw, and that appears to be continuing in 2021 with hard, bubbly lemonades.
Bud Light Seltzer just announced their own lineup of hard seltzer lemonades, which come in at 100 calories with less than a gram of sugar and 5% ABV.
This isn’t the first hard seltzer lemonade to come into being, as TRULY Hard Seltzer introduced their own set back in early 2020. However, with the appeal of hard seltzer and the longstanding popularity of spiked lemonades, more brands are sure to follow as the year continues.
Bud Light’s take on spiked seltzer lemonade will be available nationwide starting January 18th. The flavors they will have upon launch include regular, peach, strawberry, and black cherry.
No matter what season it is in Southern California, you know the sun will always be shining, and the best time for cool and refreshing drinks is, well, always! Without question, the go-to drink for the SoCal sunshine is a michelada, made with an ice cold can of Montejo Chelada. Despite the pandemic affecting our day-to-day lives, our friends in the restaurant industry are doing their best to keep us fed while also keeping us safe. You can be sure that these Los Angeles and Orange County spots got you covered any day of the week that you decide you need that fresh michelada.
1. Alta Baja Market (@altabajamarket) “La Chiquita”
This vibrant red and yellow miche’ from a Santa Ana market/michelada bar is made with passion fruit, with added yellow chilé packing an exhilarating punch.
2. Fiesta Martin Bar and Grill (@fiestamartinbarandgrill) “Dodger Chelada”
If bleeding “Dodger Blue” isn’t enough, you can now drink ”Dodger Blue” at this festive family-owned joint. While this drink isn’t for champions only, it’s sure to be a grand slam in the taste department.
3. Miche Fresca King (@michefrescaking) “The Piña”
This chalice dripping with chamoy is fit for a king — made fresh daily with the proper fruit and sweets garnishing the rim. This and their other refreshing flavors definitely deserve more than one visit.
4. La Chuperia (la_chuperia1145) “Chupermichelada”
This is one goblet of fuego you are going to drool over — filled with all the spicy and zesty you want in a top notch miche’. They make sure your thirst is quenched with a whole pint of Montejo in the mix; and are not left hungry with a side of juicy shrimp as a snack.
5. *Homemade Pineapple Michelada
If you can’t make it out to any of the wonderful places we’ve mentioned so far, creating it at home is easy! We hollowed out a fresh pineapple to use as the cup, drip in as much (or as little) chamoy you want, spice it up with Tajin, and add in that beautiful mix of pineapple juice and Montejo Chelada — foolproof!
6. Las Chelaguas (@laschelaguas) “Vitrolero con Sandia”
You’re a true Foodbeast if you can take this drink down on your own, because this mini jug of miche’ is a hefty little thing. Fill this bad boy up with fresh sandia (watermelon) and Montejo Chelada to balance out the flavors — and of course, enjoy.
2020 has been a big year for Travis Scott in the food game. He got a limited-edition meal collab with McDonald’s, and to close out the decade, he’s shooting his shot with alcohol giant Anheuser-Busch on a new hard seltzer.
Called Cacti, this hard seltzer differs from others on the market in that it’s inspired by tequila. As such, the brand is made with Mexican premium blue agave, and contains a whopping 7% ABV. That puts it significantly higher than White Claw (5% ABV) and other competing seltzers in the market in terms of how lit you’ll get.
Travis Scott’s Cacti line is going to launch nationwide in Spring 2021, and the Cactus Jack-inspired beverage will come in three flavors: Lime, Pineapple, and Strawberry. They’ll be available in 12-ounce cans in a 9 count variety pack, as well as 16-ounce and 25-ounce single cans.
Admittedly, I’ve only enjoyed tequila within the past couple of years. When I thought of the spirit, I was yanked back to memories of cheap bottles and nights bowing down at the porcelain temple. But thanks to a visit to the Jose Cuervo distillery in Tequila, Mexico, I was able to get tequila woke and learned just how delicious it can be. To be specific, all it took was a bottle of Jose Cuervo’s Reserva de la Familia to change my outlook on tequila.
Reserva de la Familia is the Jose Cuervo family’s private stash, bottling the finest of their tequila, originally offered to friends and family and made public back in 1995. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of this introduction, Jose Cuervo has now made available Reposado and Platino expressions of their Reserva de la Familia tequila.
Characteristics of the Reposado are a unique barrel aging process that employs three different types of wood and barrel toasting styles. Heavily toasted American oak contributes intense notes of baking spices while whole, lightly-toasted American and French oaks bring forward mellow flavors of toffee and vanilla. As for the Platino, it is an unaged tequila, and due to a natural fermentation process, the notes of agave keep their original essence and come through profoundly in aroma and flavor.
This is the perfect holiday gift for friends, family, and even yourself because you deserve it after making through to 2020, amiright?
Sake has to be one of the most versatile alcoholic beverages in the world. With all of the different types and flavors available, the options in your grasp when it comes to picking a sake are almost endless.
One thing they all have in common, however, is their synergy with seafood when it comes to umami. Research has shown that sake is much better at enhancing the sensation of umami in our mouths when compared to other alcoholic beverages like white wine.
This is because sake contains an umami compound called glutamic acid that can interact with the umami compound in seafood, called inosinic acid. The two react on our taste buds to boost the effects of umami, and sake plays a large part in supplying the glutamic acid for that burst of flavor.
Foodbeast and Instagrammer George LaBoda @atlasandmason got to try this out firsthand while visiting Hermanito, a restaurant in Los Angeles, California. There, he met up with sake sommelier Bryan West to sample three different sakes with Hermanito’s Hamachi and Uni Agua Chili Sunomo. Each of the sakes had different properties that affected LaBoda’s perception of umami.
One of the properties discussed was the ability to blend sakes, which was the case for the bottle of Hyaku Moku Alt. 3 from Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing they started with. This blend of Junmai Daiginjo and Junmai Ginjo has a collection of fruity aromas to it. LaBoda also noted that the sake and seafood together opened up flavors he couldn’t perceive with just the dish on its own.
Another property of sake the pair dove into dealt with the polishing of rice. A higher degree of rice polishing doesn’t necessarily translate to a higher quality of sake. Instead, it refers to the amount of protein left, which means that something less polished has more protein available to create a unique range of umami flavors.
None of the above necessarily has to be the “ideal” or “correct” pairing for a dish. If anything, the different qualities of the sakes show that each can provide a unique experience to the meal. However, the one commonality they do have is that synergy when it comes to umami.
Hermanito’s Hamachi and Uni Agua Chili Sunomo will be available, with the Hyaku Moku Alt. 3 sake to pair with, through the month of December as part of the Unlock Your Palate campaign by JFOODO.
You can learn more about the relationship between sake and seafood, as well as other restaurants featuring it, through JFOODO’s website, or by following the hashtags #UnlockYourPalate and #SeafoodAndSake.
Synergy is a buzzword that’s used to illustrate vividly the beautiful result of two plus parties or substances working together to achieve something more significant than the sum of their separate effects. Applying the concept to food yields scintillating possibilities, like flavor profiles being enhanced to create more dynamic and memorable dining experiences.
In one useful and powerful example, the synergy between the lauded taste of umami and sake produces a boosted dining encounter. “Umami is created by the meeting of glutamic acid — which is found in sake; you also find it in a lot of fermented food — and inosinic acid, which is found in meat and seafood like lobsters and oysters,” explains sake sommelier Bryan Patrick West. He continues, “When you get a meeting of the sake and flavors in the lobster pot pie, the union will boost the umami levels overall in your tasting experience.”
West guides Foodbeast Reach Guinto through this umami event like the wise sake sherpa he is, teaching him how to smartly pair an exquisite Lobster Pot Pie from Raw Bar by Slapfish in Huntington Beach, CA with three different sakes.
The results vary with each type of sake when eaten with the Lobster Pot Pie, yet the common thread through all three is the heightened taste of umami flavor from the synergy between the seafood and sake. Let’s take a look at the specifics:
“Fuller in body, nice and rich, earthy” is how West described this sake. He adds that beyond a fitting pairing to the seafood and root vegetables in the chowder, it is also bold enough to stand up to fried foods like the oyster crowning the pot pie.
“I personally think that the umami synergy between the fried oyster and this sake in particular will go really, really well,” highlighted West. Historically one of the more prominent producers of premium sake in Japan.
The unique thing about this sake is that the brewery uses yeasts that are derived from flowers. Moreover, it’s an unpasteurized sake, literally giving it a blooming flavor profile that enhances the seafood’s flavor.
“The way I like to put it, [sake] isn’t the star of the show. It’s a really, really good supporting actor creating this savory, umami, mouthwatering note that leaves you wanting more,” illustrates West.
Another argument can be made in support of how the umami flavor in seafood is enhanced when paired with sake via a recent experiment conducted by AISSY, Inc., a company that provides data and consulting related to the sensation of taste. The experiment revealed that sake, which contains an abundance of umami, increased the umami score no matter the food it was combined with, with the pairing of seafood like grilled lobster achieving the highest increase in umami.
With this synergy between sake and seafood making food taste better, it unlocks so many flavor possibilities through the pairing of them – whether it be through boosting some Lobster Pot Pie with Crispy Oysters as part of the Unlock Your Palate Campaign or any other seafood dish worth the extra push to titillate your palate.
To learn more about the incredible umami synergy, click here.
When thinking of what drinks to pair with seafood, like oysters, sake is something you should keep at the top of your mind. The natural umami present within sake and oysters don’t just pair with each other: they mesh and enhance each other, meaning you get more umami from the two combined than either individually.
This is because sake and seafood contain different types of umami compounds. Umami compounds are substances found naturally in food that trigger tastebuds to register the savory taste umami has in our brains. Sake has a compound called glutamic acid, while oysters contain another called inosinic acid. When combined, they are shown to have a synergistic effect that enhances umami.
A recent joint study between JFOODO and Japanese company AISSY looked at these pairings by quantifying umami as an “umami score” across multiple types of beverages. White wine is a typical beverage to pair with seafood, but based on these umami scores, sake results in a larger increase in umami. According to a press release, when paired with raw oysters, white wine only increased the umami score by 0.13 points, while pairing the oysters with sake increased the umami score by 0.41 points. This signifies a larger enhancement of umami in our mouths when we drink sake with seafood over white wine.
Foodbeast and food Instagrammer @ashyi recently got to experience this new type of pairing style firsthand. She met up with sake sommelier Bryan West at Shuck Oyster Bar in Costa Mesa, California to try some different sakes meant to pair perfectly with oysters.
Suigei Brewing’s Koiku No. 54 is made with Gin-no Yume rice, which is locally produced in the same region the brewery is located in. It’s a semi-dry, light sake with citrusy notes, yet still retains a strong umami flavor that pairs with and enhances an oyster’s taste.
“Isaribi” is the name given to a fire meant to lure fish at night. It’s a fitting name for this rich, dry sake, which was crafted to pair well with all types of seafood, including oysters.
Each of the above sakes has unique flavor profiles and qualities, but all contain that glutamic acid that provides the umami synergy with oysters. Together, that creates a mouthwatering flavor combo that you can’t get with just either alone.
A unique yet optimal way to combine the two umami sensations is through something called a “sake drop,” where some of the sake paired with a meal is spooned on top of the oyster. It’s then all eaten at once to enjoy the enhanced umami synergy.
You can try doing a sake drop at Shuck Oyster Bar, who is serving a special oyster dish alongside the Isaribi sake as part of the Unlock Your Palate campaign by JFOODO. It will be served alongside Oysters on the half shell topped with caviar, micro greens, yuzu spritz, and a dash of Fresno chili sauce. This pairing will be available at Shuck starting December 1st, and may end when the stock of sake runs out. Otherwise, it will run through the entire month.
To learn more about the sakes and how they go with oysters, check out the full video at the top of this story. You can also learn more about the pairing, and other restaurants featuring it, through JFOODO’s website, or by following the hashtags #UnlockYourPalate and #SeafoodAndSake.
Guinness is releasing two new beers that are sure to brighten the mood on an expectedly bleak holiday season for anyone who lives and breathes stouts.
The new Imperial Gingerbread Spiced Stout takes the warm flavors of gingerbread and bakes them straight into your beer. Brewed with allspice, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, the stout boasts an 11% ABV. Holiday pairing suggestions for the gingerbread stout include roasted pork with fig, vanilla pan cotta, or creme brûlée.
I might just have it with some Little Ceasars this holiday if we’re being honest.
Also joining shelves will be Guinness’ barrel-aged Imperial StoutAged In Bourbon Barrels, which features notes of chocolate, bourbon, coconut, and vanilla. At 10.5% ABV, the Imperial Stout boasts an oaky finish.
You can find these two new Guinness stouts at retailers nationwide for a limited time. Not gonna lie. That gingerbread stout sounds delightful.