Posts Tagged ‘honey_syrup’

A Second Chance for Aquavit

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

In my pre-family, pre-suburbs days, I spent a lot of time in Ballard. Ballard is now full of fresh restaurants and craft cocktail havens, but that’s not the Ballard of my youth. That Ballard was The Sloop, Hattie’s Hat and sometimes the Tractor Tavern – these gems are still there, still treasured, but fairly overshadowed. Somewhere among these I once tried aquavit, probably encouraged by one of Ballard’s transplanted Norwegians (one of whom introduced me and Red, but not in a bar!), the prized Scandinavian liquor.  A shot and a shudder: No more aquavit for me. Uff da!

But then I tried the Trident (aquavit, sherry, Cynar and peach bitters) at the Zig Zag Café and re-examined my opinion of aquavit, a neutral spirit flavored with caraway seeds, anise, fennel and citrus peel. In the right cocktail it is lovely and soft, not harsh. Thinking about aquavit after some blackberry foraging, I created the following cocktail. Enjoy!

Uff Da

 4 blackberries
1 oz aquavit
½ oz yellow chartreuse
¾ oz lemon juice
¼ oz honey syrup (equal parts honey and warm water shaken to mix)

Muddle the blackberries with lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and remaining ingredients and shake well to chill. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

When not playing fetch, Nacho loves some hang time.

A Nacho Libre Update: Despite my scoffing, the meds are actually working. He wakes us up only once in awhile, is cuddlier again, and spends less time on patrol. But he still loves his upside-down time.

Cheers, ICE

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

Can a Cocktail Cure a Cold?

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

It is so predictable.  The kids go back to school and I get sick. Usually when I have a cold I nix the alcohol, but last night I got to thinking: could a cocktail also serve as a curative?

It makes sense, since so many of the ingredients I use do have health benefits.  All those limes and lemons add up to good doses of vitamin C, honey is a known mucous thinner (I know, ew), ginger is great for calming upset tummies, and alcohol is a relaxant (thus appearing in nighttime cold medicines). Browsing my pantry, I noticed some mint tea – wouldn’t that help clear a stuffy nose? Then my idea for a healing hot mint julep was born.

The No-More-Sniffling-Stuffy-Head-or-Coughing-So-You-Can-Sleep Cocktail*

6 oz brewed mint tea
1 oz bourbon
½ oz honey

To brew the tea, add one mint teabag to 6 oz of boiling water and let steep only 1-2 minutes. Add the bourbon and honey, and stir until dissolved. Let cool slightly before drinking!

Red Hook, who has progressed to the sinus infection stage of his cold (and is the source of mine!), balked at trying it but then declared it “really good.”  After sipping it a bit I really could breathe easier. So while it may not cure my cold, it does make the duration a bit more pleasant.

 *This, of course, is a variation of the old Vicks Nyquil slogan.

Cheers, ICE