Once again the week has ended and the office clothes have been exchanged for comfortable pajama pants and comfortably worn t-shirts. And today, I had no real control over our happy hour. It was all my babydoll’s doing.
He has been brewing again as he wanted to get several batches put up before the summer sun started affecting his brewing work space. So he brewed more in one sitting than usual. As a result he needed more bottles. Usually he orders his brewing supplies on-line, but the need for bottles was kind of immediate, so he went in search of a homebrew supply locale. He found one and secured his bottles. Tonight he will be a bottling fiend and I am banished from the kitchen while he does so.
However when he found the homebrew store he found out there is an Eastern European Deli in the same shopping complex.
He went a little bananas.
And so tonight for Happy Hour we are having a Hungarian Salami sliced into thin rounds and accompanied by a pickles from the same company and some pepperoncini’s. It is a really good mix. The salami is spiced but not hotly spiced and it has a good fat content for the sausage. This salty fatty spicy meat pairs really well with the slightly sweet and sour pickled flavor of the Hungarian gherkins. They have a fairly mild flavor. Personally I prefer them room temperature rather than fridge cold so that more of the flavor comes out of them. They also seem to be less astringent when they are room temperature. The Pepperoncini’s are both astringent and provide the element of heat to the offerings. They have a slight sweetness too which matches well with the pickles.
They are not an overpoweringly hot pepper. They are however full of pickling liquid. It is why we have them in a bowl instead of laid out neatly on a plate. When we eat them, we pull out the stem. I like the heat so I tend to leave the seeds. You can take them out if you want them milder. But either way you have to squeeze them over the bowl so you don’t dripple and squirt the peppers all over everything. It always amazes me how much liquid they can gather inside them.
As for drinks, to be honest I wasn’t feeling like alcohol tonight. Luckily my baby picked up a bottle of Sour Cherry Syrup while at the deli. The sourness helps balance the sickly sweet almost cough syrup like taste that regular cherry syrup can have.
I added a measure to a glass of carbonated water (courtesy of my Soda Stream) and then added just a drop of lemon juice to the mix. There you have a super simple non-alcoholic beverage to sip along side the platter, or just sitting on the back porch as the heat of the day fades. It is easy enough to make this alcoholic if you want, I would suggest sticking to your clear liquors though. Citrus flavored vodkas are especially nice with this.
The only issue is that it is a big bottle of Sour Cherry Syrup and once opened it needs to be refrigerated. I suspect that because it is kind of taking up prime real estate in the fridge we will be using it often in the next few weeks. I will have some of my non-alcoholic versions throughout the week and possibly be using it in some of my upcoming cocktail recipes.
But for now it is a very low key home happy hour and a non- alcoholic beverage to go with it as my baby and I sit back and unwind from the week. I hope whatever you do to unwind lets you relax and let all the stress of the work week go. Because you deserve it.