Beverage recommendation for menu, with a "problem"
Venison Stroganof with Straw Potatoes
Rosolos salad (beets, et.al.)
Bitter greens (arugula, etc.) dressed with oil/vinegar
Rye bread, butter
Dessert: Rhubarb kissel
Problem: Wine is out of the question, due to allergies. We would like something lighter and more refreshing than the obvious choice of beer. Finnish simaa is not within reach in the timeline, nor do I want to test-run Russian kvass.
I was thinking of concocting something along the lines of the British Shandy, but with the midwestern college twist of the "Strip-and-go-Naked". So, I'm thinking a light punch-like drink of lemonade (fresh-squeezed), a splash of Finlandia or Stoli, and...and...and...some kind of beer, as in a Shandy, all over ice. With the heavy Slavic food, I was thinking a stout, but am so very open to suggestion. Does this sound disgusting, or good? I like it, but need input.
Water will be the beverage on the table, but our guests like an alchoholic sip as well. Chilled, lemon-infused Stoli shots will follow with some (low-brow) caviar (as a later-on snack), so there will be some continuity.
Any beverage suggestions for this set of foods and needs?
(Maybe this is better on the Spirits or Beer board, but those boards don't seem to get as much traffic.)
Is it grapes that are the provoker of allergies? If so, there are other drinks worth having. What about fermented cider or perry (that's cider made from pears), which are often bottled like wine and very food friendly?
I really like a what gets called a shanty up here in Canada (I'm guessing this is what you say is called a Shandy in Brittain). It is a mix of beer and gingerale. It is better if you can get good British or Carribean-style gingerale (i.e. the hot, truly gingery stuff). However, I do not think you would want to do this with a stout! You want a lager or light to medium ale. A hoppy medium ale is best. As for doing it with vodka and lemonade instead of gingerale, I don't know what to think. I think if you want to do vodka and lemonade, then just serve that!
Or just drink the vodka the whole time, or some aquavit.
I'll throw out a mixed drink, though it might be on the sweet side for your guests. Since it's fall and I think the boldness will go well with the beef, how about a Maple Leaf?
3 oz of Knob Creek or Woodford Reserve Bourbon (stay away from the cheaper bourbons on this one as the flavor is really added by the smooth and sweetness of the bourbon)
1 oz of Maple Syrup
.5-1 oz of Lemon Juice.
Mix in a cocktail shaker and serve over ice with a lemon garnish.
Have you considered Mead? It may seem a bit novel but if you go with a medium mead or perhaps one of the flavoured ones, they might prove an interesting contrast to the meal.