Sunday, July 5, 2009

Black Velvet

I generally don't go for beer cocktails all that much, but our friends Jen and Joey, who recently visited us, are huge beer fans. They left behind a fridge full of Guinness, which left Virginia and I with a quandary. On the one hand, we both love Guinness; on the other hand, the heavy, rich stuff often makes us feel bloated after a few sips.

Virginia's solution was to introduce me to one of her favorite mixed beer drinks, a layered Guinness/pear cider concoction called the black velvet. Since the beer selections are limited in the Bronx, we picked up some Woodchuck pear cider on a trip to Manhattan. Unfortunately, we got it up at a Gristedes supermarket, which means that we each had to sell a kidney.

To be honest, it was worth it, as the black velvet is one of the best-named drinks imaginable. The cider cuts the thickness and strong flavor of the Guinness, evening out the rough patches and making it smooth as...well, velvet. Filling, comforting, and tasty, it's the perfect drink for fall evenings -- or even summer evenings when you have a fridge full of Guinness.

According to Wikipedia, a true black velvet is made from Guinness and champagne, while my wife's concoction would more accurately be called a "Poor man's black velvet."

Black Velvet
(courtesy of my wife Virginia)

8 ounces Guinness
8 ounces pear cider

Fill a large pilsner glass halfway with chilled pear cider and layer the other half with chilled Guinness. Serve immediately.

Incidentally, layering the two might be pretty hard. My only suggestion is that practice makes perfect, and my only condolence is that drinking your mistakes is a lot of fun!

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