October 15, 2011

Fancy Pants Popcorn and a Whisky High Life

In the beginning, there was popcorn.

I would come home from a long day of elementary school, take one of those little popcorn envelope things out of the box, stick it in the microwave, and set the microwave to 3 minutes and 20 seconds. I would feel my spirits lift at the first few bangs of pop, pop, pop began, increasing every few seconds in speed until a veritable frenzy of popping sounds erupted from the microwave. The kitchen filled with the enticing scent of popcorn, its buttery aroma wafting through the air. Then, a slowing of pops, and finally, the long-awaited beeping of the microwave, signaling it was ready. (If you are feeling at this point that this description of popcorn is a little overly dramatic, rest assured, so am I). 

I would remove the popcorn from the microwave, open the bag and watch the steam pour out. Then, snack time! And so I snacked. And the world rested.  And it was good. 

Then, there was beer. 

I would come home from a long day at college (or not so long, whatever), grab a can of Miller High Life from the fridge and snap open its pop-cap. The crisp sizzle of carbonated beverage in the late afternoon. Tipping it back, I would feel the refreshing taste of cheap beer soothing my throat. And so I sipped. And the world rested. And it was good.

And then, there was the great flood. God directed Noah to collect one male and one female of each animal and bring it to his arc. A flood of flavor. And I was hungry. And I made fancy pants popcorn and a beer cocktail. And it was awesome. 


Today, I bring you an updated version of two classics, microwave popcorn and beer, that couldn't be easier, more dorm room friendly, or addictive. The popcorn gets updated with two simple ingredients - chipotle powder and lime zest - for a smoky, zesty, buttery rendition. The beer becomes a whole new animal - flavorful and complex - with whisky, lemon and ginger beer. It's really a terrific cocktail, and together with the popcorn it's perfect for your next movie night, pre-game, or afternoon snack. 

Recipes below. 

Fancy Pants Popcorn

-1 bag microwavable popcorn, popped
-1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder or chili powder, such as cayenne 
-1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest

1. Open the bag of popcorn and add the chipotle powder and lime zest. Close the bag and shake until the popcorn is coated. Eat. 

A Whisky High Life 

This recipe can easily be quadrupled for a pitcher, using a whole can of beer. 

-1/3 cup (about 1/4 can) Miller High Life, or other cheap beer
-1/4 cup ginger beer or ginger ale
-3 tablespoons/1.5 oz/1 shot whisky 
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
-1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger, chopped into matchsticks (optional)
-ice, for serving

1. Mix all the ingredients in a tall glass. Serve over ice.