Archive for the ‘Rum’ Category

When catnip is not an option

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

My cat is stressed. Or not. Or he is depressed. Or not. All I know is that I’m now giving Nacho Libre a low-dose antidepressant that the vet says should calm the “fight or flight” response making him pee around the garage and wake us up at night. Actually, I’m not really sure what the vet said because I was very busy thinking, “what the bleeeep?!” and executing some massive eye rolling. But even better was when the pharmacist, explaining that the med gel should be applied to Nacho’s ear, presented me with wee little “condoms” for my finger and started to show me how to put them on. No, they do not feature a reservoir tip.

I got Nacho neutered specifically to avoid this awkward conversation.

 I think what Nacho really needs is a kitty kocktail. Something to take the edge off after romping through the yard and arguing with sassy squirrels. But I don’t have any catnip or, frankly, much motivation to pamper the beast right now.  So, I made a new cocktail for myself by repurposing the yummy ginger-habañero syrup from last summer’s post. And I shall name it…P.O.’d. Because I am every time Nacho wakes me up.


 1 ½ oz golden rum
¾ oz lemon juice
¾ oz ginger-habañero syrup
5 basil leaves + 1 for garnish
2 dashes orange bitters
1 oz club soda

Muddle basil in glass, add ice and mix remaining ingredients together. Do not share with your cat. 

The basil lends a nice cooling touch to the spicy syrup and makes me think of chilly evenings cooling down warm days as summer wanes.  Mmmm, much better than catnip!

Hey, paws off -- that’s Nacho liquor!


 Cheers, ICE


Declare Your Independence: No July 5th Hangover!

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

There are pros and cons to cocktails. One of the pros is how the alcohols and mixing agents combine to create new, fabulous tastes. But the con is that strong drink equals drunk. Now that my friends and I are getting just a wee bit older, getting sloshed isn’t usually a goal at a party.  Not that it can’t still be fun (get that girl a microphone!). 

 So, sometimes a pitcher drink with a wider ratio of non-intoxicating ingredients to alcohol can be the right prescription. Sip this DRY soda Rhubarb Mojito at your 4th of July BBQ and you’ll still be conscious for the fireworks (notice I said sip and not guzzle!).

Rhubarb Mojito* Pitcher (8 servings)

Bunch Mint Sprigs
16 oz rum
8 oz simple syrup
6 oz fresh lime juice
2 (12 oz) bottles Rhubarb DRY Soda

Muddle mint in a pitcher, add rum, simple syrup and lime juice. Refrigerate to chill. Just prior to serving add chilled Rhubarb DRY Soda and stir gently. Serve in ice-filled glasses.

DRY Sodas come in a variety of interesting flavors and are found at many grocery stores, including Amazon Fresh. While using the DRY soda is a convenient option for easy entertaining, a mojito would also be fabulous using the rhubarb syrup I posted last year.  Try this: 

Rhubarb Mojito, Take Two

Bunch Mint Sprigs
16 oz rum
8 oz rhubarb syrup
6 oz fresh lime juice
24 oz club soda
 Muddle mint in a pitcher, add rum, simple syrup and lime juice. Refrigerate to chill. Just prior to serving, add chilled club soda and stir gently. Serve in ice-filled glasses.

 Cheers, ICE

 *Created by Matthew Walker & Devlin McGill for Bellevue, Washington’s 0/8 Seafood Grill. Original recipe can be found on the DRY Soda site. 



Aloha to Okolehao Liqueur and a Taste of Hawaii

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Torrential rain, snow and hail on the first day home from a Hawaiian vacation – that’s the worst way to re-enter reality, especially in April. Fortunately I have new booze to keep me cozy as my “tan” fades.

Ever heard of ‘okolehao?  Traditionally it was a form of Hawaiian moonshine (also called oke by Native Hawaiians) made from the ti root. After falling out of favor for a few decades, a Maui rum distiller has resurrected ‘okolehao as a liqueur, and I happened to run across it at a Big Island grocery store (this isn’t quite as random as it sounds, given that I’m frequently found scouring a liquor aisle).

Having now sampled it, I think the ‘Okolehao liqueur most resembles a spiced rum, though none specifically. It has that caramel-ly rum vibe, along with a bit of coconut and taste of Kahlua liqueur.  Most information online references Haleakala Distillery’s re-creation of ‘okolehao, but includes very few recipes. So I tried a Bali Hai for my first ‘Okolehao Liqueur cocktail and then dabbled a bit to create my own. Both make me glad I got this souvenir for my liquor cabinet.

Bali Hai (changed a bit from the original)

1 oz ‘Okolehao Liqueur
1 oz light rum
½ oz gin
2 oz lemon juice
2 oz lime juice
½ oz orgeat*
¾ oz simple syrup
Top with champagne

Combine all ingredients except champagne in a shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with champagne. Note: I felt this drink was way too sour and so added the simple syrup. Reducing the amount of lemon and lime juices at the start would be preferable.

Oke would probably make a fine substitute in most recipes calling for spiced rum. If you pick up a bottle on your next trip to the islands, I suggest keeping it sealed until you return home. The bottle top is the cork-plug type and would probably leak in your checked luggage (and they won’t allow you to carry it on). If you score a bottle, give my new recipe a try:

Oke? Okay!

1 ½ oz ‘Okolehao Liqueur
¾ oz lime juice
¾ oz honey syrup (equal parts honey and water shaken until mixed)
Club soda
Scant dash of falernum (optional)

 Shake all of the above with ice, and strain while pouring into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.

Home may lack 80 degree weather and island breezes, but at least I can create a bit of vacation in a glass. Maybe I can make myself a lei when the Northwest rhodies bloom. Aloha!

Cheers, ICE 

As always, check out my Glossary of Spirits page for alcohol and mixer definitions and details.

Aloha, Pina Colada. Our time together was far too brief...

*orgeat is a syrup made from almonds that is commonly used in tropical drinks. Commercial versions are available.


Hot and buttered for the holidays

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

It’s almost Christmas Eve. Are you stressing about a last-minute gift or what to bring to the holiday potluck? Don’t get hot and bothered – get hot and buttered! Whip up this Hot Buttered Rum recipe from my husband’s family and relax.

Big Sky Hot Buttered Rum

1 lb butter (2 c)
1 lb brown sugar (2 c packed)
1 lb confectioners’ sugar (2 c)
1 qt vanilla ice cream, softened (4 c)
1 T ground cinnamon
1 t ground nutmeg   

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Blend in brown sugar and confectioners’ sugar. Remove from heat, and whisk in the ice cream, cinnamon and nutmeg. Use immediately or pour mixture into a container to freeze.

In a coffee mug, measure 1 T (or more to taste) Hot Buttered Rum batter and 1 oz of rum, then fill cup with 5 oz of hot water. Stir and sprinkle top of drink with nutmeg.

This recipe is ideal for a couple of reasons. You can make it ahead and freeze the batter for many single drinks in the cold nights ahead. You can also package it up, grab a bottle of rum and present both as a last-minute gift (with instructions to freeze it). Here’s to cozy nights during the holidays [clink].

Cheers, ICE