Posts Tagged ‘ginger’

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.

 P.O.’d

 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

 

Hooray for the PTA

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Each year at my kids’ elementary school the staff holds a Volunteer Tea to acknowledge the work of the PTA and volunteers. These are some dedicated parents who put in a lot of time making sure the students and teachers feel supported. They are fortunately not, in other words, in the mold of the Harper Valley PTA folk (other children of the seventies out there?).

To celebrate another successful year of fundraising, hosting school events, chaperoning field trips, coordinating enrichment classes, revamping Websites and general volunteer excellence, I created for them an enhanced Volunteer Tea.  Like many school projects, there are a lot of parts that combine to make the whole. Drink enough and it just might “sock it to the Harper Valley PTA.”

Volunteer Tea

4 raspberries muddled and 3 to garnish
1 oz Pimm’s No. 1
2 ¼ oz brewed Tazo Vanilla-Rooibos Tea, cooled
½ oz ginger liqueur (I used Stirrings brand)
¼ oz Cointreau
¼ oz honey syrup (equal parts water and honey mixed well)

Brew tea according to package directions (1 teabag to 8 oz water) and let cool. Muddle raspberries in a glass; add ice and remaining ingredients and stir well to chill (straining is optional). Garnish with raspberries (optional). Note: if you don’t have ginger liqueur then ginger beer or muddled ginger could also work here.  Serves one weary volunteer.

Thanks for all your great work!

Cheers, ICE

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

 

A Green Cocktail for a Festive Season

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

There’s a reason most New Year’s resolutions focus on eating better and drinking less, and it’s called Holiday Hangover. We are thick into the season of treats, heavy buffet tables and boozin’. So if you want a cocktail that is a bit lighter in calories and alcohol, it’s right here for you. And, being green, it’s perfect for those Christmas parties.

Single Ladies (not mine, I didn’t name it)

1 oz Ty Ku sake liqueur
1 oz ginger liqueur (Loft Spicy Ginger; if using Domaine de Canton, add  ¼ to ½ oz)
3-4 oz white cranberry juice
Splash of Green Apple Jone’s Soda (optional and only to bump up the color)

Shake all of the above with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve.

I originally discovered this drink and the Ty Ku liqueur after a friend asked me to suggest a green cocktail for a fraternity alumni banquet last month. The drink was such a hit there was a rush to the bar and they ran out early! The Ty Ku has a light, slightly melon flavor and comes in a groovy illuminating bottle. Being less sticky-sweet, I have found it preferable to Midori in other drinks.  

I suggested to another friend planning a holiday party that she serve red and green drinks – this one and my Bloody Sunday punch (although perhaps it should be renamed for this occasion), and she got great reviews for both.  Serving a fabulous cocktail is expected; having it match the decorations is a bonus.

 

Cheers, ICE

 

Drinks With a Bite

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Ha, I’m betting my headline misled that I’m posting vampire-related drinks, what with the Twilight Eclipse movie releasing this week.  Given that I lean Team Jacob, any cocktail would have to have garlic in it – which sounds just gross — and a Bloody Mary seemed too obvious.  So instead the bite is about spicy…

As my liquid weekend in Portland confirmed, I love the drinks with heat. Not torched-mouth heat, just the kind with a nice burn in the back of the throat.  Apart from muddling a jalapeno or adding a little Serrano pepper juice, I haven’t worked much with peppers at home. After pulling this recipe out of my stash so many times, I decided to attempt both the pepper-infused syrup AND turning a single cocktail into a pitcher drink.  Ooh, this could have been dangerous.

**Ginger-Habañero Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
 1 seeded habañero
2 oz sliced fresh ginger

Heat to just before boiling and sugar is dissolved, and then remove from heat. After 5 minutes off heat, scoop out peppers. Allow remaining mixture to cool and strain out ginger. Keeps in refrigerator for 3 weeks in a sealed container. Makes 10 ounces.

Since I didn’t find habañeros at the store, I substituted two Serrano peppers per instructions on various Web sites about peppers and cooking substitutes. I also used 3 tablespoons of jarred sliced ginger because I have no idea how to cook with fresh ginger. These were fine substitutions because the end syrup was delish. It was also wonderfully easy to make.

Next came the challenge of scaling the cocktail recipe to pitcher proportions. The original recipe is The Chadwick and was created by bartender Adam Seger at Nacional 27 in Chicago.  Since I had only 10 oz of syrup and the original recipe called for 1 oz, I knew I had to multiply the other ingredients by 10 as well. This was easily done with this particular recipe, although I chose to add a little extra of this and that in the end. I also opted to use 3 ounces of lime juice rather than muddle 20 lime quarters.

Here is my pitcher version of The Chadwick:

30 large mint leaves
5 oz dark rum
7 oz light rum
12 oz pomegranate juice
3 oz lime juice
10 oz spiced syrup
33 oz club soda

Muddle mint leaves with lime juice, add in all ingredients except club soda to chill in refrigerator. Add club soda before serving.

In hindsight, I could have added all dark rum, as the original listed, and more of it. Considering how quickly the pitcher was drained, no one at the BBQ seemed to mind, though. I was left wishing I had doubled the syrup recipe so that I could have made a larger pitcher AND been able to try this non-alcohol Nojito from the same creator:

Pomegranate-Ginger-Chile Nojito

Sugar + 1 oz pomegranate juice for rim of collins glass
½ lime, quartered
8 mint leaves
¾ oz ginger-chile syrup
1 oz pomegranate juice
3 oz chilled club soda

Moisten the outer rim of a collins glass with 1 ounce of the pomegranate juice and coat lightly with sugar. Fill the glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lime quarters with the mint leaves and Ginger-Habanero Syrup. Add ice and the remaining 1 ounce of pomegranate juice and shake well. Strain into the prepared collins glass and stir in the club soda.

These drinks are sure to add heat and praise to your 4th of July function!

Cheers, ICE