Drink of the Month (September): It’s Bitter, Baby

I’ve decided that when the drink of the month is a beer, I’ll choose a style of beer instead of one specific beer. Craft beer can be pretty regional and I would hate the thought of sending a west coast reader running around trying to find some fabulous ale that is only available on the east coast.

That being said– this month’s style is an IPA, but not just any ‘ole IPA. No, for September you’ll want to find the most hoppy IPA you can possibly find. The one where you put your nose over the glass and all you smell is deep citrus-y bitterness. The one that is going to sting the back of your tongue just a little bit (in all the best ways).

First Draught this month is all about social media, and let’s be honest– it can be a bitter pill to swallow at times. All you want to do is write and yet today’s publishing culture demands that you have an online presence. We’ll be chatting about how to figure out which sites are the best for you, how to use them to make genuine connections with readers, and how not to let it suck away all your writing time.

Just like that super-hopped IPA that seems like it’s going to be WAY too much, but has a sweet-ness to the finish, social media can be your new favorite thing. (Okay… maybe I’m getting a little carried away there, but we’ll at least help you make it drink-able.)

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To find a super hoppy IPA, look for styles with high IBUs (International Bitterness Units – yep, that’s actually a thing). Here are a few suggestions to get you started: Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute, Foothills Brewing’s Hoppyum, Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo, and Ballast Point’s Sculpin.

Cheers! And we’ll see you next Tuesday, September 1 at 8:30pm EST for First Draught!

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Drink of the Month – Bubbly Manhattan

IMG_0577We’re rolling out a new feature here at First Draught. Every month, at least a week before our show goes live, we’re going to share our Drink of the Month with you. That way you can prepare in advance and enjoy our featured beverage during the show. Or, you know, just make the drink for fun right now. That works too.

Since we are just getting back home from the Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Conference in New York, the natural choice for August was a Manhattan. I googled recipes and found several excellent contenders. Then I stumbled on The Bubbly Manhattan, and the search was over.

The Bubbly Manhattan replaces dry vermouth with an IPA. That’s right, folks — it’s a beer cocktail. Even better, it’s a bourbon and beer cocktail. Clearly making it the most perfect drink ever for First Draught. Seriously, I’m not sure how I’m going to top this next month, but I’ll certainly enjoy trying.

Get the recipe for a Bubbly Manhattan here* and join us next Tuesday, August 4th at 8:30 EDT to talk about Hooking Readers with Effective First Chapters.

IMG_0579* First disclosure: I used bourbon instead of rye and a nice hoppy saison instead of an IPA (’cause that’s what I had on hand). Second disclosure: I’ve got the best job here at First Draught, but if Julia and Alexis ask — trying out drinks is super hard work.