No matter what the season, there is nothing like a little red dress to set the mood. Instantly, you are transformed from the casual jeans-girl to one who is a little “hotter,” more enticing, with a bit of mystery behind the magic. You might be tempted to start speaking in Russian – like Jamie Lee Curtis in “A Fish Called Wanda” – to drive him mad with desire – (perhaps that’s not such a good example) – or break out with a little French number, chanting “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?”
Better yet, maybe you choose Latin with an enthusiastic catchphrase like Carpe Diem – Seize the Day. For myself, I prefer “Corripe Cerevisium” – “Seize the Beer,” more loosely translated to “Grab a Beer, Sweetie!” And I don’t need to stray from Latin to stay wrapped in pleasure. As they say, find a Latin lover and the night is guaranteed. Unforgettable. Gaudeamus igitur (so let us rejoice) as we take a tour of our Latin origins.
Seme Della Vita - the Seed of Life- crafted by Monkish Brewing Company in Torrance, California flows in at 9.8% ABV, a Belgian Tripel with pistachios and vanilla. Golden and hazy, it paints the tongue with sweet malts and nuttiness, like biscotti in the morning. A touch of vanilla softens the landing.
Carpe Diem from Le Brasseurs du Temps of Gatineau, Quebec is a gloriously yellow Belgian Strong Ale at 6.5% ABV. Gentle vanilla pulls your attention into the hazy glass, where you are overtaken by a citrus bouquet, sweetened with pear, and spiced with pepper edginess. The bready yeast profile - clearly Belgian- lasts long into the finish.
But you may wish to explore beers similar to the ‘land of smoke,’ Terra Fume, crafted in 2009 by Earth Bread + Brewery in Philadelphia. This smoked wheat beer, with family ties to the Grodziskie style, paints the palate with bready fruitiness, and envelopes the mouth with full smoke.
At Iron Abbey in Horsham, Pennsylvania, Rui Lucas created a collaboration series worthy of any Latin addiction. His Abbatia, aka Abbey, series of beers arose in collaboration with talented brewer, Doug Marchakitus who was head brewer at Manayunk Brewery at the time of the initial launch. Like its inspiration in Belgium, these beers slide in, low key, as simple numbers: 8 (Octo), 10 (Decem) and 12 (Duodecim), accented with Abbatia Tempore, surfing in as a summer Saison for the warmer weather.
“Are these styles fit for a chalice?” you ask. “I feel like I need a chalice.” Absolutely!
Abbatia Octo, a Belgian Dubbel, keeps true to the style with the luscious fruitiness of sweet and sour cherries, imported European chocolate, and caramel smoothness. Everything about it says more, from the way it shimmers, dark and full, in the crystal to the tingle it creates in your mouth on the swallow. Step a bit higher to 9% alcohol, and allow Decem Belgian Tripel to tease the tongue with orange and lemon citrus, candi sugar, and spicy coriander and clove.
A break into a light Saison may cull the fairies in your head for a moment, but that big, bold Latin Quad is beckoning. Full and rich, Duodecim roars like a lion with a deep fruity foundation, screaming of plums, black cherries and Grecian figs, covered in chocolate caramels and silken cream. The 12% ABV can hit like a flash mob, quite unexpectedly - social lubrication for a night about to turn wild. So keep your glass full and your spirits high, and celebrate your Latin roots, even if they are only imaginary. Corripe Cerevesium!