Sometimes when we go on a Food Adventure, we meet someone that makes a big impression. It is fair to say local talent Henrique Couto did just that. About a year ago, the Big Ragu randomly saw Henrique at a Chinese Buffet. He was dressed in his trademark colorful pajama pants and a unique Hawaiian shirt. His handlebar moustache was perfectly curled and he had rubber bands holding his beard tight. Immediately, we knew we had to meet this interesting character. After a couple of photos at the buffet, we went on our merry way, not even knowing his name. Then, a few months later, we saw Henrique’s music CD’s at a local store and got in touch with him.
But who is Henrique Couto? He is a filmmaker, musician and self described “raconteur” who finds any and all ways to express himself. How does he fit into our Food Adventures? Well, he also makes some “Softened Drinks” which are available at unclehennys.com . Being curious. we decided to check out these beverages.
We met Henrique at his home where he brews these special batches. Couto shared with us how he got started in the beverage making business. He told us that he had tried some incredible Ginger Ales from all over the country, yet there was nothing like this available in Dayton, Ohio. Henrique decided to develop his own tasty sodas by cooking them himself in his kitchen, and people quickly took notice. Henrique says, “I hope people to enjoy it, I hope they love the way it tastes, and I hope they buy lots more. I like that level of validation!”
We each decided to buy a 6 pack of soda from Henrique. We chose regular Ginger Ale, and the diet version. The ginger ales are unique. You have never tasted something quite like this. They are made with pure cane sugar and real grated ginger root. He shies away from using peppercorns and cayenne pepper, and instead adds habanero for a subtle heat. Definitely a very individual taste. Not for everyone, but we know he is going after the eclectic and adventurous soda seekers.
But, Couto does not only make beverages. Henrique is a man of many talents. He records music and has some of those videos online. He plays an electric ukulele. How cool is that? He even has a website called UkeOrDie.com. He also hosts a local game show on Wednesday nights at Milano’s Restaurant near University of Dayton called “Drink n Think.” He is of Portuguese decent, and shares our love for food, like a good Pad Thai.
After swapping foodie stories, Henrique asked us if we would like to see his mausoleum. That’s right, this horror film buff had set up a mini studio in his garage using his experience from his days in the film industry. We also love horror movies, growing up with Dr. Creep and Shock Theater. The 3 of us shared some laughs about our favorite creepy movie actors, then ended the visit with a few photos.
What is next for Henrique Couto? He is currently developing a fruity root beer beverage that he intends to call “Froot Beer.” We can’t wait to taste this, but it will not be available for a few weeks.
Henrique was very kind to take the time to invite The Big Ragu into his home for our Food Adventure. We found out there is much more to him than the unforgettable outfits. He is very witty with a great sense of humor. We will be seeing him around town and wish him much success in his “Softened Drink” endeavors, which you can check out HERE. Whether being Dayton’s favorite electric ukulele player, game show hosting, or brewing his own beverages, we think Henrique Couto is an example of when nice guys finish first.
Have you met Henrique? Have you tried one of Uncle Henny’s Softened Drinks? Have you seen his game show or been to one of his ukulele shows? Then post you comment below !
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