mixologist tagged posts

Mixologist’s Review: Dunkin Donuts Mountain Dew Coolatta

“Do the Dew”, the marketing has told us since time immemorial. I’ve been drinking Mountain Dew since I was vey little and still have no idea exactly what that means. 

From middle  school to college, it is likely that I consumed more Mountain Dew than any other food or beverage, and still the answer eludes me. From extensive research, it seems that the answer lies somewhere between defending the world against alien invasion and trying to snowboard off of everything, I mean all things.

To the people at Dunkin Donuts, “Doing the Dew” involves adding yet another flavor to their Coolatta line-up, just in time for the sweltering heat of summer. With the Burberry building in New York reading 139 degrees last week (I’m certain it was just broken) it seemed as good a time as any to try one out. Plus, it couldn’t be worse than that frozen hot chocolate concoction, right? 

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The Mixologist’s Review: Dunkin Donuts Frozen Hot Chocolate

At work, we regularly walk down to the local Dunkin Donuts. This means I get to see all of the weird things Dunkin seems release but very rarely do I ever try anything. The Reverse Boston Crème was terrifying because it was literally chocolate cake filled with chocolate pudding and covered in vanilla frosting and yet somehow socially acceptable to eat! Part of me wanted to try the Meat Munchkins but I never got that low.

But with it being summer and the weather is getting into the high nineties, I decided to try Dunkin’s latest offering – the Frozen Hot Chocolate!

For those hoping this frozen concoction is some mystical blend of ice and fire, you’ll be disappointed because it is just a chocolate Coolata. In a world where the Starbucks’ Frappucino rules supreme, the Coolatta feels like a relic of a past age. Even McDonalds has stepped up their game with the McFrappe which I secretly think is just a milkshake with some ice.

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Mixologist Review: LEGO Minifigure Ice Cube Tray

When I’m not baking up a storm or shuffling up for a game of Magic, I spent far too much of my free time with LEGO sets. After getting re-addicted by discovering LEGO created two sets for a winter village (one of them is a bakery!), I was soon buying up sets at a feverish pace. And last time I was at the store, they tossed this in as a freebie.

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Alemaster’s Discussion: Beer, Demystified

Beer Taps

I love beer. I started making it with my dad years ago and was captivated by the process, then took a few tasting classes to learn more about styles and flavors. The result of all this is that I really like trying new beers and I’m excited by the complexity of the beverage. When I want to share this with friends, though, I hear two different excuses. Some people think that beer is boring and they’ve never had a beer they liked, though they usually haven’t tried much beyond Budweiser and Michelob. Other people, though, look at the pages-long menu at pubs and just shrug their shoulders and order the same thing as always. Both of these people are missing the bigger picture, though. Beer has an amazing variety but knowing what you’re drinking is actually pretty easy.

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Mixologist’s Drinks of Science Fiction: Star Wars Blue Milk

Thaxus looked around at the twin suns setting over the endless desert as two advanced golems left a trail in the scorched sand. He knew something was wrong as he trekked down to the cantina. Then it hit him, he was in the wrong campaign again. “Note to self,” he muttered, “never trust a goblin powered teleporter.”

The drink known throughout a galaxy a long time ago and far, far away as being “rich and refreshing” according to Wookiepedia is none other than the sweet blue milk of a bantha. If you thought milking a yak was difficult, I’d imagine that a bantha is much more of a challenge. So I’ve taken it upon myself to create a drink that matches the hue but is a little more creative in taste (plus if you have enough, you’ll get a buzz)

I based the drink off the classic White Russian – a delicious blend of vodka, kahlua and cream. I knew I wanted a drink that was sweet and meant to be sipped. To make blue milk, I knew I needed to use milk and blue curacao, but I was reluctant to let it have such a bitter citrus flavor. To offset it, I added in a splash of amaretto and coconut rum for sweetness. The almond flavor of the armaretto helps reduce the blue curacao’s citrus flavor while bringing up the sweetness. The closest thing I can compare this Jedi drink of choice to has to a creamsicle.

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Mixologist’s Recipe: Pumpkin Juice

If you follow me or Castles and Cooks on Twitter, then this recipe may not be that new to you. Sometimes flashes of inspiration just happen and after spending months thinking about the flavors of that delicious bottle of Pumpkin Juice I had while at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I finally figured it out.

The trick is to simmer the juice over heat so the pumpkin flavors infuse with the rest of the juice and further breakdown, giving the juice a smoother consistency and much better flavor. This is definitely a drink that would make Dumbledore proud.

Pumpkin Juice

Makes around 48 ounces of juice

1 Can of Pumpkin
1 Bottle of Apple Juice (32 ounces)
1 Bottle of Apricot Juice (16 ounces)
3 Sticks of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

A large cauldron

Fill the pot with everything and let it warm up over a medium heat. Still regularly until the pumpkin dissolves into the liquid. Allow it to cool and serve chilled (though you can serve it warm too).

If you’re looking for other Harry Potter related drinks, be sure to check out our Butterbeer recipe and the Harry Potter House Sorting Shots.

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Mixologist Recipe: Dark & Stormy

Like any good summoner, the mixologist goes beyond just opening ready-made monster bottles and unleashes powerful concoctions that transcend the mortal realm. After discovering a brand of rum call Kraken, there was only one drink that could be made: Dark ‘n Stormy.

A blend of ginger beer, dark rum and shaved ginger, this spicy and sweet potent potable is perfect for these colder nights. So grab your dice and get ready for a drink that bites back that makes both the fire shamans and hydromancers in your group happy!

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Gollum’s Recipe: Gollum Juice

Photo from Serkis.comOne would imagine that speaking all day in a raspy whining voice, mixing in various throaty coughs and noises, would irritate your throat. In the case of Andy Serkis, who portrayed Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, his voice was destroyed day after day.

In order to combat the utter annihilation of his vocal cords Serkis drank what he termed “Gollum Juice” which, as he describes it, “which was made of honey, lemon and ginger. So we used to make up big jugs of it with warm water and I used to drink that on set everyday, lots of it everyday.” (BBC Newsround) . Curiously, no actual recipe for the drink exists, as Serkis never described the proportions of all the ingredients. Aside from helping to soothe the pain from excessive singing or voice acting Gollum Juice serves as a fantastic little remedy for a sore throat or cold.

Despite the lack of a recipe, the principle ingredients are clear. In some ways this is like a tea, except that the ginger serves as the ingredient that “steeps” in the warm water. Both Jesse and I have used this recipe on a number of occasions, especially when trying to remedy sore vocal cords from a night of singing at the bar or an all night Rockband party, but that is a tale for another time. For now, here’s a recipe, ingredients and all, for Mr. Serkis’ famous remedy.

(photo from Serkis.com)

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Mixologist’s Recipe: Butterbeer

I just got back from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida and two things immediately struck me: I still want to be a wizard and Butterbeer is exceptionally delicious. Between feasting on a turkey leg the size of my forearm at Three Broomsticks and battling dementors underneath Hogwarts, I worked up quite a thirst and repeatedly refilled my goblet with the frothy, delicious concoction known as Butterbeer.

But there were two things missing from it: alcohol and the ability to get it outside of Universal Studios. Like my original Harry Potter Sorting Shots, I managed to make a delicious version that also has a bit of a kick to it.

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The Colors of Castles & Cooks

Undoubtedly, if you’ve looked through any of our early recipe or class introductions you’ve seen various sections coded in various colors. These colors are part of our system to define equipment and ingredients based on attainability, price and ease of use. For gamers experienced with World of Warcraft or Diablo I & II, the system should appear familiar, for these colors are a handy guide to determining the rarity and scarcity of items without having to consult a glossary.

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