Food & Drink

I can't cook, but I love this pan.

I'm not that good at cooking, at least not as good as I want to be. I am however quite the gadget geek so that hasn't stopped me from buying a bunch of nice kitchen utensils I have no idea how to use. Because at least they look good!

One of my favorite things in the kitchen that I actually can use, at least a bit, is my Skeppshult cast iron grill pan. Even if I usually suck at cooking meat this pan makes it so easy that even I can't fail. And maybe as important, it makes the meat look good. How to use it? Turn up the stove to super hot, let the pan get hotter than you think is good, add a steak, wait, turn and done! 

My first vlog!

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First of all I want to say I’m sorry, the plan was to update the blog once a week and I missed publishing a post last Friday. I do however hope the reason is good enough for you to let it pass this time. The reason was because I was recording my first vlog! I then hoped to have it ready for Saturday and thought that one day late was ok. But as this was the first time, I gravely underestimated how long it would take to edit it (as I’m a bit of a perfectionist and it was a loooong time since I edited a video for real) and suddenly it became Monday.

But here it is, my first vlog! I Hope you enjoy. Also, if you have any feedback, just leave a comment below.

My newfound love of French Cider

Even though I would describe myself as a big beer geek, it actually took me quite some time to appreciate the wonderful malt beverage at all. As most people I tried drinking beer in my teens, but god damn it was horrible! Because of that I didn’t drink much in my late teens and in my early twenties I exclusively drank cider and cocktails. That all changed when I got a new job at 24 and almost immediately went on a business trip to Berlin, Germany for a week. Berlin and all the evening events made it hard to avoid beer so what the hell, I decided I needed to learn and started ordering weissbier at every place we came to. When I got home i had started to enjoy a cold weissbier and if there was one type of beer I liked there could be more, so I started to try everything I could. Slowly it went on to Belgian beer and after that pretty much everything except sours (that took a couple of more years but now they are my favorites).

There you have my beer journey in short, but that was not what this actually was supposed to be about. Before I liked beer I of course had tried every cider I could get my hands on and one thing I really liked was French cider. Mostly because it had more taste and was not some artificially flavored sugar water, as most Swedish cider is, like Rekorderlig. There are also pretty good English ones, but I must say the French are the experts.

After I started drinking beer however I almost stopped drinking cider, I don’t know why and regret it. This summer Sweden had the hottest summer in decades and that is when I rediscovered the beauty in a simple cider instead of all the over complex hipster beer I usually drink (like this one). When it is hot outside, or together with light food I now appreciate a cider even more than a beer. I just started to try to test every brand available in Sweden so I can’t give any tips about which one is the best or so, just that maybe you should buy a bottle or two if you usually only drink wine and beer?

Yay, I can now buy this beer year round!

Look at that color!

Last night I opened a bottle of one of my favorite beers, a Rodenbach Alexander. This beer is just an amazing work of art. First of all, and the most important thing, is that it really has the perfect balance between sweetness and sourness. Usually I don’t like Krieks and beers with cherries, but this is the exception as, exactly as the sourness, the cheery taste is perfectly balanced.

I recommend this beer to both beer drinkers that hate sour beer and sour beer lovers. It’s not that complex, it is just a super nice balanced (yes, I used that word once again) beer that has a long taste.

One problem though, the beer has only been available in limited quantities once in 2016 and once in 2017 (after the brewery stopped producing it in 1999). That is, until now! Earlier this year the news came that we now can order the beer at Systembolaget in Sweden all year round. I was so happy! But the story doesn’t end there, about two weeks ago more news came, now the beer has hit over 90 stores all over the country so it has become even easier to get a hold of.

If you haven’t tried it yet, do it now! 

De Luze XO Tres Vielle Reserve Cognac

Cognac was the the first type of barrel aged fine spirit that I really liked, and it is what got me interested in all the wonderful alcoholic beverages in the world. It is still one of the types that I enjoy the most and also pour up a glass of the most often. It’s probably tied in the top with whisky and bourbon.

One of my latest acquisitions for my drink cabinet is this De Luze XO Tes Vielle Reserve, so I thought I should write a couple of sentences about it. For those who don’t know, cognac is almost always a blend to speak whisky terms. That means that you take different cognacs from different years and blend it together for the perfect taste. This particular cognac is an XO, which means that all the different spirits that it’s made of have been aged for at least 6 years in oak barrels. According to the maker though, most of the components supposedly have been aged for around 20 years and the oldest ingredient is from 1980.

I do like this cognac quite a bit, it’s not the best, but it is really good, especially for the money (I paid around 35€ for a 50 cl bottle). The taste is sweet, but not to sweet, it has a bit of spiciness and a hint of dried fruit. The one thing that I don’t like that much is that it has a very prominent taste of oak, it’s not to bad, but a bit to much for my taste.

As said, a good cognac that I would buy again.

A quick drip tip

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Here is a quick tip for avoiding that wine runs down the bottle and leave stains on your table when you pour straight from the bottle. Of course you could use a good, fancy decanter or buy a drip stop, but where’s the fun in that?

Instead, do this:  

  1. Take a piece of paper towel
  2. Fold it into a strip
  3. Wrap it around the bottleneck 
  4. fasten it with a toothpick

Now you don’t need to worry about wine stains on the table, in your sofa or on you floor!

A whisky I never want to be without

One thing that I like is to have a "standard" bottle of every type of spirit that I like to enjoy. That is, one certain brand and type that I always want to have at home no matter what. With that said, I don't mean a base spirit that everyone needs in their liquor cabinet, but a really nice spirit I don't want to be without.

For whisky that is Aberlour A'Bunad so I thought I should write a couple of words about it. But first, what is needed to become one of my "standards"?

1. It needs to be easily available.

That means that all limited editions are immediately disqualified, and for me it also needs to be sold at most Systembolaget stores near where I live.

2. It can't be to expensive.

A standard that you always want a bottle of at home needs to be affordable. You should never need to think twice about pouring up a big glass for yourself or to a friend. For me that means a bottle may not cost more than 100€ and preferably it should be around 50-60€ at most. 

3. It must have great taste and value

Essentially it needs to be the best tasting spirit in it's price range. Also a 100€ bottle really needs to be 100% better than a 50€ bottle, otherwise the 50€ bottle comes out on top. Of course this is very subjective.

Sherry all the way

As far as whisky goes I'm very much a sherry cask guy, so if I only could have one whisky at home it would absolutely be a "sherry bomb". That is of course exactly what Aberlour A'Bundah is! I do like other types of whisky as well but as said, if I only get one it will be something aged on sherry casks.

The A'bundah costs about 65€ here in Sweden and I would say that's a steal! This is not only a great whisky for its price, it's just an amazing whisky overall and one of my absolute favorites no matter the price. 

The taste

This is a strong, powerful spirit which usually is a round 60% ABV (120 proof), it may vary a bit depending which batch your bottle is from as it is bottled straight from the cask. The same goes for the taste but it's close enough to write a couple of words about it and one thing is for sure, it's always amazing! A short description is that this whisky is a real taste explosion with sweet fruity notes of apricot and orange zest. It is spicy and a bit rough, but in a good way. I would not water it down because it makes it a bit smoother and you loose much of the that wonderful rough taste.

The conclusion is that I can't recommend this whisky enough if you like stronger whiskys with a lot of taste..