Transform your beer... and your marshmallows
Ever stuck a red-hot poker into your beer? Most likely not, but back in colonial-era America, it was a regularly practiced ritual throughout New England. It wasn’t just a fun thing to do on slow nights at the local tavern, either. The intense heat of the poker (also known as a loggerhead), inserted for just a few seconds, caramelizes the sugars in the beer, creating a bittersweet, slightly smoky, and, many would argue, a more delicious brew. And of course the visual aspect of the glowing metal and the sizzling ale is pretty spectacular, too.
It’s been a few centuries since beer poking, as it’s sometimes known, has been done on a widespread basis. But everything old is new again. And the Wisconsin-based 1571ºF (named after the average temperature of the center of a campfire) is bringing it back with their Beer Caramelizer. It’s an updated and more versatile descendant of the original pokers, and the only tool made specifically for beer poking. Heat it up in a campfire, fire pit, or fireplace until the tip is glowing, insert the red-hot tip into your glass of beer (or your beverage of choice) for 3-5 seconds, and enjoy the transformation. It’s an “ex-beer-iment” worth repeating again and again.
In colonial times, ale drinkers would use the poker to heat up their brews as well as caramelize them, but a poke of just a few seconds will add flavor and complexity without appreciably raising the temperature. However, if you want to create one of the tastiest proto-cocktails of the 18th century, use your beer caramelizer to make flip, which warmed up countless Americans when the nation was busy being born. Take a not-quite-full cup of English ale (about 12 ounces) and 1 1/2 tablespoons of Demerara sugar. Stir in the sugar, poke the mixture with your red-hot Beer Caramelizer for about 7 seconds. and top off with about 1 1/2 ounces of rum (preferably a good New England rum, of which many can be found nowadays, but whatever you have on hand will work). We’re grateful this delicious and long-lost drink has been found again.
All this talk of campfires inevitably leads to thoughts of roasting marshmallows and hot dogs, and 1571ºF has you covered in that department as well. In the Vices Fireside Edition, along with the Beer Caramelizer, you’ll find the Roaster Tip — a metal extension containing four prongs, perfect for cooking franks or making the perfect toasted marshmallows for s’mores. We’ve also included an extra 12” rod to keep you at a safe distance from the fire’s edge, as well as a leather glove to keep your beer-poking hand safe.
To learn more about the fine art of beer caramelization, get fun drink recipes (it’s not just for beer!), and find out about the woman-owned company that’s made this retro-revolutionary tool, head over to 1571f.com.