Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Thursday, November 3, 2016

2016 Gameday Liquor-o-the-week - UCLA Edition

Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer liquor for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beerliquor") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers liquors around. But, in the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson "IT'LL GET YOU DRUNK!"

Mid-week games are an interesting feat.  To get any amount of tailgating in before kickoff, you pretty much have to come straight from work, fighting traffic along the way while carrying your stresses with you.  To make matters worse, once you get to the lots, the party window is compressed. For example, if you leave work at 4:30 today, even given a 30 minute trip to the stadium (which is stretching things), you'll have just an hour, maybe an hour and a half, to prepare for kickoff.  With these kinds of compressed timetables, we just ain't got time for beer.  No, we need to get serious, and up the ante.  So, the pick this evening isn't a beer, it's hard alcohol.  Colorado-based hard alcohol, to be precise.  The unique style of Arvada-based Rado Distilling's Beet Spirit is this week's gameday liquor-o-the-week.

Yep, beets.  Colorado sugar beets. Rado revels in the qualities of what they call 'Colorado's richest natural resource,' and base all their spirits on the plentiful root.  Certainly, beets grow well in this state, but I'm not sure how far I want to go with the 'richest natural resource' noise ... I digress. While you may crinkle your nose at the thought, let me assure you that you eat beets every day.  Much of the country's non-corn syrup sweets are made with white sugar from beets, which tastes identical to that from sugar cane without the requirement of a lush, tropical growing environment.  At the end of the day, sugar is sugar, and you wouldn't be able to taste the difference, anyways.

For our purposes here, Rado uses the beet sugar to make a very rum-esque series of products.  Dark, Gold, and White, their beet spirits can be used as a rum substitute in any number of classic cocktails. Straight in a glass, they strike me as sweeter, smoother, and more complex than most rums that I've tried. I have a bottle of the Gold, and the taste, beyond just simple rum, also reminds me of a good tequila with a warm kick and a near-agave flavor (scent, too).  Aftertaste is earthy and woody, with maybe a little chocolate, but definitely not unpleasant.  Overall, sweet and mixable.

Seriously, these are fun, local products, and I urge you to try some.  I found mine in Superior Liquor, but they they seem to distribute all over the Front Range.  Like any other standard hard liquor, these are all 80 proof, so consume responsibly.  Believe me, the Gold will keep you warm as the temperature dips this evening.

Happy Friday Thursday!  Go Buffs, beat the Bruins!

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