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My very first home brewed Dark & Stormy! I was so proud.

This past weekend was remarkably mellow and very enjoyable. There was a full day of pool time, a walk in the park, lots of cooking and tinkering in the kitchen, and very important things to watch on TV. Rum was involved.

Last week, I made my very first attempt at brewing my own ginger beer. I used this recipe, which seems to be a basic, straightforward and simple one, but still open to enhancements and modifications as one would see fit. I made it just as written and didn’t add lemon or pineapple or anything. I used a piece of ginger that was probably about 8 ounces.

When I opened my ginger beer (slowly, so that it didn’t explode everywhere), I was so thrilled to see it bubbling. It was a success! It tasted OK. It had kind of a watery ginger flavor and was still better than, say, ginger ale, but did not have that major ginger bite that I love. It didn’t stop me from drinking it or anything. I enjoyed my very first home brewed Dark & Stormy as I watched The Ultimate Fighter Finale on Friday night (and cooked tomato sauce, mint cocktail syrup and basil cocktail syrup, and tweeted). It was actually a very lovely evening and the fights were really good.

Awesome Georgia Tech Baseball fans enjoying some Dark & Stormy cocktails at the regionals viewing party

I debated going to exercise Saturday morning but blew it off since I’d had a really long walk in the park after work on Friday. Instead, I went to Tower Liquor where I got some Brinley’s Shipwreck Spiced Rum and stocked up on Mount Gay Eclipse rum since Tower has such a good price on it that I’m convinced it must be a mistake so I need to buy as much of it as I can before they figure it out. It just makes sense, really. After getting all the rum, it was time for the pool where I paced myself with a single faux Dark & Stormy (I was pacing myself for a party Saturday night). The faux cocktail consisted of a shot of Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum (it’s 92 proof, y’all), half of shot of Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, a quarter lemon squeeze, club soda and a dash of Peychaud’s bitters. It was pretty good because that Canton really packs a nice ginger punch. It would do in a pinch for sure.

The ginger beer right after it was opened.

On Saturday night, I went to some friends’ house to watch Georgia Tech play in the NCAA baseball regionals and I brought all the Dark & Stormy supplies. We finished off the ginger beer as everyone sampled it with Gosling’s Black Seal rum and a little lemon. It was well-received but I still thought it needed more ginger. And, the party was super fun even though Tech lost.

On Sunday, I didn’t really drink much rum but I did make preparations for drinking more rum. I’m still so in love with the Port Antonio Cocktail at The Optimist and I want to make it at home so I decided to make my own falernum. It’s “resting” right now to steep all the flavors but it was pretty easy and it gave me a reason to use that bottle of Bacardi Silver I have sitting around. And, it looks like a terrarium, which is nice. I was also able to get another batch of ginger beer going before “Game of Thrones” and “Mad Men” got started. This one features lemon juice and 14 ounces of fresh ginger and I think it will be an improvement over the last batch. I just put it into the fridge after 24 hours of room-temperature fermentation and the bottle is already all misshapen – yay! Of course, I’ll update on how that one turns out.

Finally, weren’t both “Game of Thrones” and “Mad Men” SO GOOD? I am, of course, deeply saddened by the whole Lane Pryce situation but still thought it was a great episode of “Mad Men”. And, “Game of Thrones” was ridiculously good. Khaleesi!

Bella enjoyed the baseball party, too.