Vegan Mofo: BEER ‘Round the World

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It’s Friday! That means it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!

While I drank my share of white wine spritzers in Europe, the beverage that has been the most constant throughout Europe and Asia is of course… beer.

 

Mid-afternoon pint in London: the best time for beer

Mid-afternoon pint in London: the best time for beer

Good ol’ beer. Fitting, considering I spent 7 years working at a brewpub. I drank Amstel in Holland, cider in London, Tiger beer in Vietnam and Lao Beer in Laos. Beer is typically the cheapest adult beverage (in some countries even more affordable than water), and readily available almost everywhere.

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I think my favorite beer drinking happened in The Netherlands, where pubs offer two sizes and offer complimentary nuts and snacky treats with every pint. Or else in Laos (where I currently am), because Beer Lao is everywhere and better than I thought it might be. Or else London, because I love cider probably a little bit more than beer. Or, well, okay. I’ve loved them all.

 

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Vegan Mofo: Bon Vivant Cocktails in Edinburgh, Scotland

Happy Friday! Who need a cocktail? Luckily, It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere. For my Friday Vegan Mofo, I’ll be focusing on beverages–sometimes with alcohol, sometimes without.

Some of the most creative cocktails I have had the pleasure to sample on this trip were at Bon Vivant, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Bon Vivant craft cocktails in Edinburgh, Scotland

Bon Vivant craft cocktails in Edinburgh, Scotland

I’ve been typically sticking to beer or wine, but my travel companions and I had heard from several different sources that Bon Vivant on Thistle Street is THE place to go for quality craft cocktails. My friend Dave, who recommended the place to me, compared it to Teardrop in Portland, Oregon. Sold. (Teardrop is the place where I tried a specialty bourbon cocktail with smoked ice cubes a few years back. SMOKED ICE CUBES.)

 

The menu, which changes seasonally, is overwhelmingly intriguing; I wanted to try one of everything. In addition to the multiple page menu, they also have an extensive champagne and bubbly list. If I had my druthers, and bottomless pockets, I would have stayed for several cocktails and a few bottles of bubbles. As it was, we each picked just one to sample.

The Volunteer @ Bon Vivant

The Volunteer at Bon Vivant

My drink of choice was The Volunteer: Gentleman Jack, Ardbeg 10yr Scotch, Noval Port, demerara syrup, chocolate bitters and an orange twist. Scotch is not usually a palate-pleaser for me, but the precisely measures liquor and mixers led to a pleasantly round and full-bodied drink, with a touch of sweetness from the orange and finished with just a slightly peaty taste from the scotch. When I’m in places where I know I can trust the menu and the bartenders to put care into each cocktail, like Bon Vivant, I’m more likely to step out of my comfort zone and order somethinglike this. And I’m usually rewarded, as I was in this case.

*Note, some cocktails are made with egg white, so take care when reading the menu.

Bon Vivant

55 Thistle Street

 bonvivantedinburgh.co.uk.

Open Mon–Sun noon–1am