Charles' Top 5 Drinks of 2013!

Rainier's this beer from Seattle. You've probably never heard of it.

When I first started writing this list, I was worried that I didn't drink enough to populate it. That turned out not to be the problem. No, I drink (and drank) plenty. The problem then became that fact that when you're a recently graduated journo moving to a major city for your first real in-industry job, you don't have much money to spend on booze. I was worried everything I drank during my Seattle sabbatical would be too boring to include on a Top 5 list.

That also became not the problem, because apparently when I had to choose between heating my apartment during the Northwest winter and alcohol, I chose alcohol. (This also turned out not to be a problem, because only one of my drinks is Seatown exclusive.)

So, without further ado and for your enjoyment, my top five drinks of 2013.

5. Crooked Belgian Wit from Two Beers Brewery

The front one! An aside: Can we stop using Mason jars yet?

The Crooked Belgian Wit from Two Beers Brewery is the best beer I have ever had in my short life.

When it comes to food and drink, I do not use the word "best" lightly. I stared at the best french fry I had ever eaten for a good five minutes after I had taken a bite (They were from Haven, and, malherusement, they're not as good the second time around.) The best donut I've ever eaten? (A Chinese ballon donut from Koi Palace in Daly City) I was speechless.

After I took a sip from the Belgian wit, I had a mini panic attack. It kind of freaked out my dining partner.

The Crooked Belgian Wit is a clean, crisp beer with a middling flavor. It's not particularly light, it's not particularly heavy, it sits right in the middle. While, I'm writing all of this on months-old, five-hundred-miles-removed memory, there's one thing about the beer I can't forget -- the effervescence. Crooked never failed to make me feel like I was floating, and it lifted every single thing I ever ate with it. Oh, what I would give for a bottle.

Two Beers Brewery isn't distributed out of the Pacific Northwest just yet, but I have hope. Please Hi-Times? Pretty please?

4. Yoju (Or Really, Any Soju Cocktail) at The Past Memories

Photo by Dezzawong
Better with soju!

Yoju is this wonderful mix of Asian yogurt drink and soju. The yogurt drink, most commonly Yakult, is sour and sweet and inoffensive. It perfectly cuts the cloy present in many sojus, and The Past Memories, my favorite Korean bar in Garden Grove, sells yoju by the (large) bottle.

You could mix it yourself too, yeah, but how are you supposed to get Korean barbecue before hand? Or free Korean Funyuns?

If you've never had yoju before, make sure you do it right: For relaxing times, make it The Past Memories time.

3. Rye Old Fashioned at Little Sparrow

Photo by Gregory Yee
I don't have a photo of the old fashioned, so here's a drink Jefferson made me once

Rye Old Fashioneds are my go-to drink, and now that Jefferson doesn't work at Memphis anymore, my favorite Old Fashioned out of Downtown Santa Ana is Little Sparrow's. Less sweet than many, theirs is more mellow, more graceful, and more.. whiskey-y.

That being said, everything that makes it on the drink list there has been superb, so if you don't know what to get, let them pick for you.

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