The Raven Special Lager
One of the things I like about Baltimore is that it sparked the careers of two artists that dealt with the macabre and the bizarre. I haven’t had any John Waters-related beer yet, but thanks to RavenBeer, I’ve now had some Edgar Allan Poe-related beer. (He didn’t die from alcoholism, contrary to popular belief, so there’s nothing tacky about this. But even if there was something tacky about it, John Waters would tell you that this would not be a problem.)
The Raven has a rich, brown color and sweet, malty aroma. So many bubbles dance around the glass after I poured that I wanted to have a Poe-themed disco party. I thought The Raven was a bit thin in body, but the subtle malt and wheat flavor gave it the kind of moreishness that comes with the style of German lagers it emulates. It’s definitely something I’ll look for next time I’m eating a pile of crabs up in Baltimore County.
Seacrets Distilling Company
Ocean City, MD
Can you keep a secret? I’ve lived in Maryland for 13 years and I’ve never been to Ocean City. I feel like I have failed as a wannabe Marylander. Maybe I can pretend that drinking Seacrets white rum is a reasonable substitute.
Normally, I don’t drink straight shots of rum (especially not after New Year’s Eve 2005… shudder), but I am nothing if not thorough here. It smells like rubbing alcohol, but that’s not a bad thing for white rum. It is much sweeter than it smells, even with the astringent bitterness that comes with drinking fresh rum. It’s a really smooth, velvety drink that provides a nice base for mojitos and daiquiris and for the recipe below.
Fig Leaf Flip
I pulled this delicious concoction out of the Complete World Bartender Guide. It’s hard to tell where the Fig Leaf Flip comes from, but I saw a reference to tiki bartender Adam Rocke being the originator. I’m a bit skeptical, only because it’s a fairly straightforward drink, which is out of character with your typical tiki libation. But I’m more than willing to give Rocke the credit.
- 1½ ounces sweet vermouth
- 1 ounce Seacrets white rum
- 3 dashes of bitters
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- Ice cubes
- 1 pitted cherry
Add the vermouth, rum, bitters, juice, and ice into a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously until very cold.
Double strain into a highball glass filled with ice and serve with the cherry on top.
Ocean City Brewing Company
Ocean City, MD
I wouldn’t say I am a beer purist, but my tolerance for what I perceive as gimmicky beer is low. Even if that is not a fair perception. So I was a bit on edge when I picked up Nuckin’ Futs. This was going to be ridiculous, I said to myself. But I bought it anyway because, hey, I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before.
Is Nuckin’ Futs a gimmicky beer? I guess so, based primarily on the edgy wordplay. Ocean City Brewing says they brew this beer with walnuts and honey and to be sure, the initial aroma is less like beer and more like a walnut syrup. Its body is rich and creamy, but a little bit syrupy. The flavor is rich and deep, but a little bit syrupy. Basically, it’s a bit syrupy. It accomplished what it set out to do, which is taste sweet and nutty, so there’s that. But I can’t say I was wrong about it.