Last night I was out and about and was just about parched when I arrived at the restaurant. Someone asked what I wanted to drink and my response was, “something refreshing.” That got me to thinking about what exactly is the criteria for being refreshing?
I think the first criteria will have to be something cold, chilled or served over ice. That pretty much eliminates red wine unless you are looking at something like Sangria (hey, that actually would be quite refreshing!). I suppose if you were in the middle of Siberia in the wintertime a hot or room temperature beverage might be considered refreshing, but this was NC in September. Not a hot day, but definitely looking for something to wet the whistle.
The second criteria is something which can be consumed easily. Not something you need to sip and savor over an extended period of time. That would mean something with a lighter body and mouthfeel and nothing thick or overly alcoholic. For beer that would generally mean something less than six percent alcohol and for a spirit drink something with fruit or a light soda/mixer. Bourbon could fit the bill, but it isn’t my go to when I think I want something refreshing.
The third criteria is something which leaves the palate refreshed, not something which has a long-lasting aftertaste. I absolutely love an India Pale Ale, but on some variants the hop bittering would be too high to be considered refreshing. I tend to prefer and aftertaste which fades into nothingness when looking for a beer to have before having another beer, especially if the purpose of the first beer is to rehydrate and quench thirst. Now my MO is to always drink a glass of water with my beer and so I could cheat and have whatever I wanted and use the glass of water to quench the thirst, but yesterday I was more concerned with having a drink which in and of itself would prove refreshing. In the end I settled on a margarita which really hit the spot and followed that with a nicely crafted India Pale Ale.
What’s your idea of a refreshing alcohol beverage?