• (Hopefully) Rescuing a bottle of drink

    With the change in weather, I'm having to take painkillers a lot more regularly, which means I can't drink.

    I thought, as an option, I'd explore some non-alcoholic spirits - there seems to be quite a market for them, so there must be some good ones out there.

    I did have some luck in finding some "gin". However, whilst searching, I stumbled upon "Xachoh Blend No. 7 Non Alcoholic Spirit", which lists the following tasting notes

    Xachoh Blend No. 7 has a warm and richly spiced aroma. The prominent flavours of ginger root and blades of mace strike a perfect blend of warmth, spice and a subtle fruitiness. The luxurious aroma of cinnamon quills brings sweetness to the nose and palate, balancing perfectly with saffron & the other spices. Dark crystal malt adds delicious toasted notes and a real depth of flavour, similar to that of a well-aged dark spirit. All of these rich and dark flavours are balanced by a refreshing acidity of sumac on the palate, leaving the way for a long finish and an eagerness for that next sip.

    Sounds good eh? As with anything on Amazon, reviews were incredibly mixed, some love it, some hate it.

    So, as it sounded good, I took a risk and ordered a bottle.

    It arrived this morning:

     

    So having been looking forward to it's arrival, I had a little taste. 

    It's got a nice and very varied aroma to it. But things go downhill once you get it to your mouth - if it was just a little less watery, I'd probably be looking to add Ribena to it. 

    Disappointing doesn't cover it, the only trace of flavour it has is a somewhat unpleasant aftertaste. Unfortunately, if you mix it with ginger ale, it transpires that all you get is ginger ale with a horrendous aftertaste.

    The answer for why lies on the back label (and in fairness *is* listed on the Amazon listing)

    Free from:

    • Alcohol
    • Extracts
    • Gluten
    • Sugar
    • Calories
    • Sweeteners

    With the exception of a tiny bit of salt, the nutritional information is just 0's. This stuff is literally water with some Barley Malt and a few flavourings.

    It's "natural", it Gluten Free, it's vegan, it's... it's fucking shit and it's destined for the drain. Yuck

    But, rather than pour a £30 bottle of water down the drain, I thought I'd have a go at improving it first - worst comes to worst I'm just pouring a slightly more expensive bottle of water down the drain, and it's not like I could realistically make it much worse.

    As I'm extremely unlikely to try making this again, and there's not a lot of room there for snark, I figured this was better placed here than on my recipes site.

  • Breaking the Google Addiction one step at a time

    Google isn't your friend. Google isn't my friend. Google is, and always has been, a data-whore.

    But, still we use them and allow them to slurp up more and more data about us.

    They're a bit like Amazon in that respect - you know they're an increasingly terrible company, but they're just so convenient and you keep on using them whilst ignoring the power they're amassing over the market.

    But, it is something that's been concerning me more and more over the years.

    We install adblockers, no-script and other extensions to add a fig-leaf to our privacy, or to try and avoid Google's user-hostile changes, yet we keep on using the same services. Even when they completely change the UI around on us, for no good reason, we still keep using their services.

    I decided, quite a while ago, it was time I made a change, but then did very little, at least until recently.

    As great as a "clean-break" might sound, going cold turkey off Google's services is never going to work - no model of user behaviour supports making massive jarring changes.

    So I decided to start with the most obvious interaction with Google - their search engine. I don't have Google Home or similar, so my most frequent interaction with Google is search.

  • Last Nights Storm

    We had an awesome double thunderstorm last night, it ran for well over an hour.

    I'd been drinking so couldn't drive out to stand and watch from a field, but this post has some gifs of what I did capture

  • Twitter Jail: My Memoirs

    Sometimes life throws you an opportunity. A quick search on the net suggests that whilst many celebrities have written about their time inside bricks and bars prison, no-one's had the foresight to document their time in something more modern.

    I've been thrown in Twitter Jail, with all privileges withdrawn pending appeal. In physical jail, you can still watch the other inmates, but in Twitter jail if you have the temerity to appeal they blind you until the appeal is concluded.

    This is a tongue-in-cheek record of my time in Twittertraz - with some very strong language within