Crabbies Spiced Orange Alcoholic Ginger Beer (Review)

Hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland, Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer has appeared in the US by way of St. Killian Importing. Popular in the UK (where it is available in flavors such as strawberry and lime and Scottish raspberry), Crabbie’s is the official sponsor of the Grand National Festival, an annual handicap steeplechase held in Liverpool, England. St. Killian’s has been importing Crabbie’s into the US for the past couple of years, and it’s currently available available in 18 US states.
Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer, ginger beer
Crabbies Spiced Orange Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Category: Flavored malt and cider

Style/Type: Malt beverage

Description: Flavored with imported ginger cold-steeped for a period of up to 6 weeks, then combined with “four secret ingredients.”

How to serve: In a tall glass, over ice, with a slice of lemon or lime.

Stats: ABV 4.8%

Tasting notes: Has a lovely spicy ginger flavor that provides the gentle, back-of-the-throat burn that ginger lovers will appreciate. Both the original and the orange versions are dominated by ginger flavor, and as is typical of other malt beverages, the alcohol is almost indiscernible. The sweetness is prominent, as in nonalcoholic ginger ale. Because Crabbie’s isn’t technically a “beer,” I won’t use the ASTMO standards in my review.

Comments: Although I don’t typically choose sweet beverages, I enjoyed this one. It’s sweet but crisp, spicy, and very refreshing. It has a complexity of flavors that, for me, worked well with the sweetness. I can see why the words “alcoholic” and “for grownups only” are used in all the labeling.I’d like to try this in a shandygaff, the British version of the shandy, which mixes ginger beer with ale. (Click for my Lemon Shandy recipe.) It’s not the sort of thing I’d drink with a meal–I prefer straight-up beer–but it’s a nice summery change of pace from hard lemonade or cider for patio sipping. I’ll be stocking this one over the summer for sure.

Disclaimer: I received samples of both the Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer and the Spiced Orange for tasting and review. My review is not compensated, and all opinions are mine.

Avocado Pound Cake with Lime Browned Butter Icing

Avocado Pound Cake
Once upon a time, a nice girl (or boy) could not go to the market and purchase an avocado without risk of ruining her (his) reputation. Avocados, it seems, were the culinary equivalent of items more typically purchased in drugstores, with much brow-beating and little eye contact. Back in the day, if you were after avocados, you were planning on making whoopee ~ not guacamole.

Simply put, Avocados were a forbidden fruit because way, way back when, the Aztecs thought they were nature’s answer to Viagra. On what did they base this? Let’s just say that the Aztec name for avocado is ahuacuatl because the fruit on the tree grow low and hang in pairs, and they’re shaped just like….
Anyway, avocados were considered to have such potent aphrodisiac powers that maidens were kept under lock and key during key harvest times.

Then in the 1920s, American avocado growers decided to get proactive about cleaning the naughty image of their fruit. To that end, an advertising campaign was launched declaring that avocados were not, in fact, aphrodisiac. Anatomical resemblances aside, sometimes a fruit is just a fruit ~ a yummy, buttery, wholesome fruit that would never dream of inflaming sexual appetites or endangering the virtue of maidens.
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Happily, the advertising campaign was a success! Now the avocado was safe for consumption by good girls and nice boys, and the “alligator pear” ~ a much cuter nickname than “testicle fruit” ~ began its rise to Status: Inoffensive!

And that’s why, today, we do not have to buy our avocados online or in windowless stores that feature private viewing booths. We can boldly walk right into our supermarkets and walk out with an armload and, I assure you, no one but no one will suspect we have plans to get lucky.

Which is a little bit ironic if you’re buying avocados to make this cake. Because in that case, you’ll be feeling pretty lucky to be enjoying a piece or few of this incredibly luscious, intriguingly flavored, pale green pound cake. Who knows? After all, the Aztecs were a pretty populous bunch before they made some very bad choices in the making-new-friends department.
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Avocado Cake with Lime Browned Butter Icing
The avocado in this delicate pound cake is present but subtle ~ don’t be afraid to try it, even if you’re not a tremendous fan of the flavor of avocados. It’s really very delicate.

  • 6 ounces (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 very ripe Haas avocados, peeled, pitted, and mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; grease two 81/2 x 41/2 loaf pans. If your pans are not nonstick or well seasoned, you might want to flour them as well.
  2. Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add mashed avocado and continue beating until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  3. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Turn mixer down to low and add half of the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk, then add the remaining flour mixture. Mix on low just until ingredients are incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the bowl.
  4. Divide the batter between the loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. If loaves are browning too quickly, cover lightly with a piece of foil.
  5. Let loaves cool on rack in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely. Glaze with Lime Browned Butter Icing (recipe follows) if desired.

Lime Browned Butter Icing

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 11/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon lime oil
  1. Cook butter in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until golden brown (about 5 mins); remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
  2. Whisk together confectioner’s sugar, lime zest, lime juice, and lime oil. Gradually pour in browned butter while whisking. Adjust texture of icing, if necessary, by adding additional confectioner’s sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until a thick glaze consistency is reached.
  3. Use an offset spatula to apply glaze to cooled avocado cake; let set for 30 mins, then slice and serve.

Beer Me

In the interest of not going insane trying to keep track of four different blogs, I’ve decided to integrate posts from my craft beer blog–GrowlersandLace.com–here on Eat Real. Makes sense, right? Real food pairs beautifully with real beer.

Here’s to good meals, good company, and good beer!

10 Qs with Steve Harvey

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Steve Harvey, with his lovely wife, Annie

10 Qs with Steve Harvey

Race Director, Old Goat 50, Nanny Goat, Chimera

Web site: Old Goat Trail Races
Facebook: Steve Harvey

1. What is your running story? (When/who/how did you get started?)

A Convoluted path – I lived on Guam and had celebrated my 29th birthday with a bottle of $250 Cognac, and awoke with the mother of all hangovers.  When I looked out of my apartment window I saw people trying to mark lanes in the high school crushed coral track with a huge rake. Out of curiosity I went over (with a splitting headache) and asked if I could help.  I learned that they were member of the Guam running club and were prepping for a meet.  I suggested they attach the lane rake to my car to speed up the process.  I then became a spectator.  The last event of the day was a mile…  Having been a high school jock, I asked if I could enter.  I was wearing a bathing suit and hauraches. I ran a 6:45 and came in dead last… (I got better.)  I continued running until I returned Stateside… where as a recent divorcee, I took up smoking and strong drink.

Segue ten years, remarried, generally sober, and fifty pounds overweight.  My daughter announced at dinner that daddy was fat “F.A.T. spells fat.” My then wife informed me that there was fifty pounds she didn’t marry and she didn’t want to sleep with.  I started jogging to lose weight and perhaps regain a partner.  When I started running with a friend he suggested we run a marathon together…  I scoffed… but, a few months later my weight was down and speed was up so I entered the Heart of San Diego Marathon.  At twenty miles my friend told me he couldn’t hold the pace and sent me ahead.  I ran a 3:17.  Encouraged, I entered three other marathons.  I broke 3 hours and continued lowering my times (and weight) for two years… I was a respectable street marathoner.  Then one day another friend asked if I wanted to “go long” on a trail.  Without further info I agreed.  My ‘long’ training runs at the time were18 -20 miles on asphalt.  After 13 miles of truck trail I asked Walter “How long is long?”  His response was “42 why?”  I ran the 42 loved every step and wanted more dirt…  Thirty two years later I still want more dirt!

 2. In a given week, how many miles/hours do you run?

50 – 60 optimal…  any more and I ache.

 3. If you could run any race and be guaranteed to finish in the top 5, which would it be?

The next one (really – participating is far more important than placing).

 4. What’s in your race bag (i.e., what items do you consider essential for self-care when running a race)?

Aleve during and a cooler with beer for after.

 5. Do you cross-train? If so, what do you do when you’re not running?

No…  exercycle at a health club.

 6. If you run with music, tell us what’s on your go-to playlist right now.

I sing at the top of my lungs.  People running with ear buds annoy me.

 7. Do you observe a special diet or eat differently when training? Tell us about it.

Vegan with a bacon problem.

 8. Worst running-related injury you’ve had?

Displaced fracture of big toe…  I ignored it and it didn’t heal correctly.  My speed never returned.

9. Running moment you’re most proud of?

Proposing to Annie during Western States 100.

 10. Please share your best piece of running wisdom/advice:

Don’t stop.   DFL is better than DNF which is better than DNS.

Filed under: 10 Q Project, Q & A, Runners, Ultramarathoners Tagged: 10 Q project, 10Q project

10 Q Project

If you’ve been running and racing for any period of time, you probably have a hero or two in the community. A runner you admire for their speed or endurance or sheer tenacity. I’ve reached out to several runners who fit this category–superstars, badasses, all-around athletes, and some very interesting people. I sent these folks a list of 10 questions, and they have been kind enough to send me answers, which I will feature here.

I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know more about these amazing runners as much as I do.

PS…If you have a star runner you’ve always wanted to know more about, leave his or her name in a comment and I’ll send a questionnaire their way.

If you like beer and want to know more about some of your favorite craft beer brewers/brewmasters, check out the 10 Q Project posts on my beer blog, Growlersandlace.com.

 

Filed under: Q & A, Runners, Ultramarathoners Tagged: 10 Q project, ultramarathoners, ultrarunning