Monday, August 27, 2012

By All These Lovely Tokens September Days are Here, With Summer's Best of Weather And Autumn's Best of Cheer - Helen Hunt Jackson

August 27
Summer Bank Holiday

     Today is Summer Bank Holiday for our friends across the pond. Introduced in the Bank Holidays Act of 1871, it was intended as a day to give bank employees a chance to catch cricket matches. The first 100 years the day was celebrated on the first Monday of August,with the Banking and Financial Dealings Act of 1971, it was moved to the last Monday. Scotland's Bank Holiday schedule is different than the rest of the UK, as SBH is still the first Monday.
     Similar to Labor Day, the holiday signifies the end of the summer for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. With most businesses closed on Summer Bank, many take advantage of the long weekend by going on the last trip of the summer. In London, the Notting Hill Carnival is held annually. The second largest carnival in the world, it is a multicultural celebration with Caribbean flair. Organized by immigrants from Trinidad and surrounding islands, brightly colored costumes, dancing and steel drums fill the streets!

    Today we toast a gracious summer that has left us with many memories - Till we meet again. If you have children, we toast to that joyous moment of silence you are gifted with right after they leave for school!

Black Velvet
A London original, the drink was created in 1861 by a bartender at the prestigious Brooks's Club. The drink was dedicated to honoring the death of Prince Albert, as its beautiful layers resembled the black or purple armbands worn by mourners. Porter beer originated in London in the 18th century. This is also the birth of the modern Stout, as they were originally called Stout Porters, differentiating being a standard porter and a strong porter. Eventually the beer would come to be known only as a Stout. Guinness Extra Superior Porter shortened it's name in 1840, becoming Guinness Extra Stout.

Chilled Stout beer
(Quantity and source depends on your mood and location)

1 Bottle of chilled Champagne
(Any sparkling wine will do, champagne is just common)

Champagne glass

Fill a champagne glass half full with Stout of your choice. Carefully pour the champagne over the spoon into the glass. This keeps the two liquids from mixing. Trick of the Trade: This will work for any two liquids with different densities, as it allows the liquid to gently run in as opposed to splashing down and mixing.
While Guinness is used more commonly, there are several delicious English Stouts. The BeerAdvocate has a great page giving descriptions and examples of outstanding English Stouts.

With Fall moving in quickly, a different version of this recipe calls for mixing a hard cider with the stout. When the two ingredients were just mixed together it was referred to as a Poor Man's Black Velvet. Since the densities of the cider and the champagne are different, you must pour the cider first in order to layer this type of cocktail. Fill your favorite pint glass half way with delicious cider, then pour the stout over the spoon to again create the mysterious layer. Once the layer is present the drink is called a Black Adder, although many in the states still refer to this as a Black and Velvet.

The Problem With Some People is That When They Aren't Drunk They're Sober. --William Butler Yeats

1 comment:

  1. were you thinking of me when you posted the fall version of this drink? :)