Sunday, March 18, 2012

gluten free st. patrick's fun

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking three of my favorite people to their first kegs & eggs.  I was delighted to see that our first stop - Molly Malone's - had Magners Irish Cider on tap.  I hadn't tried it, but I'd heard great reviews.  By the end of the day, I had taste-tested a few new gluten free drink options!
Magners has less bite than most hard ciders and is made with 17 varieties of apples.  It's like apple juice mixed with champagne.  The alcohol content is 4.5% - higher than that of beer, which is generally 3.5-4.2% - and it's much sweeter & easier to drink.  If you try it, I suggest only having one :)

Fun fact from the Magners site: cider has the same number of antioxidants as wine.

In an effort to get one of the first 100 free t-shirts, we arrived at 6:45 yesterday morning for the 7 o'clock event at Molly Malone's.
We were among the last folks to get shirts.  Score!
Around 8:30, we headed to Holy Grail at The Banks for a 9:30 reservation.  Holy Grail is across from Great American Ball Park where the Cincinnati Reds play and near U.S. Bank Arena, home of the Cincinnati Cyclones.  Scott & I stop there on occasion before games.  (Sidenote: Reds Opening Day is just 18 days away!!)

Prior to yesterday's festivities, our group had already verified that Holy Grail didn't have a gluten free option (yet!).  We were given permission for me to bring my own, and they kept it cool for me.  In advance of St. Patrick's, Scott had picked up a Woodchuck Hard Cider Private Reserve Barrel Select and a 4-pack of new, gluten-free Dogfish Head Tweason'ale (brewed with strawberries, sorghum, and honey).   My choice yesterday: Barrel Select.
Woodchuck Hard Cider Private Reserve Barrel Select is a hard apple cider that is handcrafted in very small batches, using bourbon barrels.  The first and most noticeable taste is apples, followed by vanilla and bourbon.  But do make note that it is 6.9% alcohol by volume - nearly twice that of some beer. 

Tweason'ale has a nice flavor, with a hint of strawberries and honey.  It's sweet without being overpowering, and it's still beerlike.  I enjoy it more than Redbridge but less than Bard's.  It's fun & different, like Shakparo Ale (a West African style) from the Sprecher Brewing Company.

The eggs option was a breakfast burrito, and I was able to get it without the tortilla.  Because of my inability to eat onion, I couldn't have the potatoes, so they gave me pretty orange slices.
The owner of Holy Grail happens to be the cousin of one of the members of our party, and he's now looking at gluten-free options :)

Not knowing what the breakfast might include, I had stuffed my purse full of Fruit Roll Ups and Snyder's of Hanover Gluten-Free Pretzel Sticks just in case.
We enjoyed the Cincinnati St. Patrick's Day Parade through downtown and headed home until that evening.  I tried Hoosier Momma Bloody Mary Maker, which is gluten free.  Unfortunately most bloody Mary mixes are NOT gluten free - a real shame since there isn't really a need to add gluten.  This is a pretty spicy mix, so I cannot imagine how the Hoosier Momma Spicy Bloody Mary Maker is!  Much to my surprise (because it didn't give me the usual symptoms), it has ginger puree. 
This is the selection Scott picked up for me.  These items are all available at Party Source or from the companies' individual websites.

It was a fun and memorable day, and I'm happy to report that on the same day, my parents' Old Homestead Farm Market had a wonderful third week of business.  My mom has a variety of gluten free goodies to help those in the underserved community and increase awareness.  I'm looking forward to working at it next Saturday!

Happy eating :)

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