The Sacramento Treat

Posted on July 1, 2010 – 7:50 AM | by OldManFoster
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by Josh Chaffin

I’ve had a few honors bestowed upon me at various times in my life: a blue ribbon in the science fair in 6th grade at Tahoe School, the Associated Press Radio and Television News Directors year 2000 award for Best Documentary/Special Program (co-producer), hearing myself on All Things Considered for the first time.  But to be honest, gaining the recognition of my peers as the inventor of The Sacramento Treat kinda tops them all.

The Treat was originally an adaptation to the summer weekend drinking session, which would often start around mid-day and last 12-14 hours.  I like to drink a lot, but I don’t particularly like to get shit-faced, and – ask anyone – I tend to get sleepy real easily.  Even drinking cheap American lager or light beer, I noticed myself getting tired with all the heat and alcohol, and didn’t always want to drink water to keep refreshed.

Originally I just started putting water in my beer. But everyone would make fun of me, and to be honest the mixture can be bland and unappetizing.  Soon thereafter I started adding lemon to give it some more flavor.  I guess at some point I got the idea to add ice; it was already watered down, so why not?

Socially, those early days were not easy.  Eyebrows were raised.  Sexuality was questioned.  But when you’re standing in a hot-ass Midtown kitchen at 10PM after a whole summer day of drinking, and someone busts out a giant cup full of ice and beer and lemon, frothing at the top, eventually people stop laughing and start getting jealous.

And once The Treat had a proper name, it was on.

I haven’t done any research, but there may be historical precedent; we noticed that in a couple of old-timer bars downtown, the older bartenders didn’t even flinch when we asked for beer on ice with lemon.  Makes me think it may have evolved at earlier stages of Sac history, and died out.

Any inexpensive American lager will do; my preference is the Champagne of Beers, Miller High Life, or Miller Light.  The only important technical consideration is to add the ice AFTER pouring the beer.  No matter how cold, if you try to pour beer over ice, you get a foam apocalypse.

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