I've fallen for a new craft beer. Lock, stock and barrel is the term most commonly used.
I cannot explain my passion for this beer other than to say it's a huge surprise.
The first surprise was receiving a case of hand-crafted beer from Mexico. Handsomely packaged in a brown bottle with a screw-off cap, this beer is simply named Cabotella.
The gold colored label features a donkey with a pole carrying a tassel in front of him. He appears to be harnessed as if to turn a wheel to grind grain. The name Cabotella is printed in bold letters vertically. It's a well designed package that says very little other then Mexico Ale and the name.
I did notice that the label does tell the abv., which is 5.5% So this beer has real guts.
I have long held that beer is my favorite culinary ingredient. After years of traveling in Europe as a boy while tasting the myriad of flavors at my disposal (beer, wine or spirits were never denied to me as a lad) I always like beer the best with food. Yes, perhaps even more than wine. It's probably because of the plethora of flavors and the relaxed nature of the beverage. Wine is so very serious! Beer is flirtatious and fun!
Pizza goes well with beer. Everyone knows this. While in Naples as a boy I discovered the charms of Italian lager beers with pizza. As my tastes and my physical being grew older I discovered different styles of beer went with different foods- just like wine! This might seem like simple stuff, but to a young guy without the benefit of the internet (it was the 70's) discovery is done one sip at a time. Not reading about it from your smartphone.
But I digress- Beer is my favorite beverage with pizza. The rounded pizza in this case was built by my friend Steve Hoeffner in Morristown, NJ. Steve and his brother Marty own Hoeffner's Meats.
Steve makes a pizza on a pita bread that is so simple yet texturally quite complex. He takes pita and covers it with a layer of his sausage and tomato sauce gravy. Then he slivers hot chili peppers and scatters a tangle of cheeses over the top of the sausage/tomato base. You would put this "round slice" into a toaster oven until the cheese is toasty and melted about 8-10 minutes. The pork sausage and tomato mixture becomes crunchy and savory- the cheese toasty and the pita crunchy during each bite. This is a unique form of pizza.
Cabotella is a unique kind of beer. Soft against the palate, German styled malts dominate the mouth-feel and a nice lingering sour/sweet finish make each bite of pizza and swig of beer a delight.
I also enjoyed Cabotella with a tuna fish sandwich on rye bread with bacon, tomato and mayo. Here this beer really became quite assertive in the flavor profile. I bet it would be fabulous with a fish taco. Whatever the case I think one of the best examples of this beer is in a beer cocktail.
Commodore Perry Fizz will charm the palates of you and one friend.
2 Bottles Cabotella Mexican Ale
6 oz. Avua Cachaça (Soon to be released, stay tuned!!)
.50 oz. Tenneyson Absinthe
6 oz. freshly squeezed Blood Orange Juice (or regular orange juice- ESSENTIAL, the juice MUST be freshly squeezed)
Mavea "Inspired Water" Ice handcut in large chunks (essential)
Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters
Pour the Cabotella Ale into a large glass bowl
Add a few chunks of hand cut ice
Add the liquors
Add the Blood Orange - or regular orange juice
Add 5 drops of the Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters
Serve in Old Fashioned Glasses with further chunks of Mavea filtered water ice