So this weekend was my little sister’s birthday. It was celebrated, as all good family shindigs are, in a house in the hills. This particular hill house was in Helen, GA.
Helen, for those of you who are Not From Around Here, is best-known for its epic Oktoberfest and–during the slightly less beer-soaked rest of the year–an agressive attempt to stay on theme. (The theme being twee and German.) Helen is the sort of place that is horrifying if you’re between the ages of 14-18, and absolutely weirdly delightful if you’re not.
There’s just something about Ye Olde Fudge Shoppe (and its 18 rivals, the Slightly Less Olde Fudge Shoppes and the Look At Our Fudge Innovation, We Learned This in Europe Shoppe) that is delightful. It’s probably the man in lederhosen outside, strumming his tiny banjo and renting out his parrots to children. As long as you can overlook the Confederate kitten t-shirts (it happened, I swear to you), the whole town is a weird escape from anything approaching real life.
But Alpine Helen eventually wore me out, and it was then that I retreated to the hill cabin to drink.
During this break from rounds of Alpine mini golf* and river splashing**, I was primarily concerned with eating enough sugar to push me over into diabetes territory. In addition to probably ruining my health forever, the binge allowed me to discover my new favorite drink: Goya Jamaican Style Ginger Beer.
Basically, it’s your standard-issue very gingery ginger beer–tastes like it was made from plants, will put hair on your chest, etc. But then, about 10 seconds after your first sip, you realize the delightful secret: there’s capsicum (the stuff that makes peppers burn) in the drink. It’s tremendous!
The drink’s easy to find (we got it at the import drinks section of our local Publix) and accessibly bizarre. It’d make a great mixer, or a nice thing to leave out for non-drinkers at your next party–particularly since it comes in a brown glass bottle that makes it seem slightly more substantial than a red solo cup of tepid coke. Your DDs will love you! Drinkers will find you worldly! It’s a win all around.
* I lost.
** I fell.