Happy Friday and Happy Happy Hour!
I thought today we should drink to the newly-anointed Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, and tip our mugs to great possibilities in our not-so-distant future — not to mention the first woman of color selected as a VP candidate!
Born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland, California, to her mother Shyamala Gopalan of India, and her father Donald Harris, born in Jamaica.
The two both immigrated to the United States to receive doctorate degrees at the University of California at Berkeley. They met and fell in love there while following a civil rights movement, where they eventually took a young Kamala to some marches, with Kamala in a stroller. After one march, her mother asked, “What do you want Kamala?” And the toddler replied “FEE-DOM!” (source — good stuff here)
In honor of the heritage of Senator Harris, let’s consider a couple of beverages — one popular in India, and one in Jamaica — to raise a glass to Joe Biden’s running mate.
What is bhang?
Bhang is part of Indian culture! Ingredients may vary, but the general gist of the drink is a milk or yogurt base with a marijuana paste and spices. Cannabis production and sale is forbidden in India, but Bhang is still allowed is some areas on cultural and religious grounds. It also has medicinal uses such as treatment for malaria, dysentery, rheumatism, and fever, as well as to reduce anxiety and increase libido. Wow, so versatile!
Yum? I’m not sure, but this concoction certainly came up frequently in my research of what “cocktails” were popular in India. It may be something to keep in mind if we
lose win bigly in November.
While historically Barbados is the birthplace of rum, Jamaica gets credited for refining the rum-making process and putting the spirit on the global map with very strict quality standards. Christopher Columbus brought sugar, needed to make rum, to Jamaica. When the Brits took over rule of Jamaica in 1655, the rum industry boomed thanks in part to the role of slaves in its production. When slavery was abolished in the 1830’s in Jamaica, it had a big impact on the rum industry.
Jamaican rum is considered full-bodied, fermented from molasses for its natural sweetness. Another quality of Jamaican rum is from the limestone its sugarcane is grown in. The limestone water softens the final product and makes it sweeter.
They say the best way to experience a fine Jamaican rum is neat, but there are many classic cocktails like Daiquiris, Pina Coladas, and Mojitos — or with a little Coke.
But if this seems more complicated than you need on a Friday night, grab a Red Stripe, the pride of Jamaica in terms of pilsen malt, hops, cassava starch, and water. The colder, the better.
Regardless of what’s quenching your parched kisser this week, raise a glass to Senator Harris. I wish her well, I wish us all well.
Stay safe and have a great weekend!