Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Taste of Oregon in New York City Part I

On Sunday Night, I had a woman and her daughter come in to watch the Game 1 of the Portland Trail Blazers vs. the Houston Rockets. The mother comes up to the bar and orders a Red Beer. Now, me thinking she's actually ordering a red hued beer, I tell her that the only beer that comes close to that is a Bass. I'll touch on the Bass connection to the Red Beer that she ordered in a minute. She told me that a Red Beer is simply a beer with some tomato juice. That it is often used as a hangover cure but that she likes to drink it regularly. I can see how this is a combination of the "hair of the dog" and a hangover cure. When I'm hungover I like to drink a combination of fresh lime juice, orange juice and tomato juice pounded in one quick gulp. But back to the Red Beer.

In looking online for some references on a Red Beer, I came across the article entitled Brass Tacks
The mighty thirst of Don Younger by Brian Libby from Imbibe Magazine.com that touches briefly on why I though of Bass when the woman asked for a Red Beer:
“I had an English bartender who always drank a Bass ale after work,” Younger recalls. “He kept trying to get me to taste the Bass. I said, ‘If I want a red beer, I’ll pour some tomato juice in there.’
Now I'm not sure where the custom for adding tomato juice to a beer started but it really isn't any different than what my dad used to do by adding Clamato to a glass of Heineken back in the day. Here is the simple recipe for a Red Beer from Roadfood.com:
Red beer is popular in much of the West. We first came across it in Pendleton, Oregon, during the annual Roundup. Beer is always the main ingredient; tomato juice is second fiddle; but the exact ratio can vary from an effervescent 5:1, in which the beer is merely flavored, to a 2:1 mix as fruity as a drink in a health food juice bar. V-8 juice, regular or spicy, may be substituted for the tomato juice if desired.

1/2 cup tomato juice
12 ounces beer

Pour the tomato juice into a 16-ounce cup.
Gently pour in the beer, stirring just enough to mix but taking care not to stir out all the beer's bubbles.
I decided to give this little concoction a try and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It was very light and quite refreshing. I would definitely have a Red Beer on a hot day while outdoors. Thanks for the eye-opening experience. =)

My next post will highlight the second Western flavored cocktail that the woman ordered from me called the Colorado Bulldog.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla