Posts Tagged ‘honey_syrup’

You Can Lead a Horticulture, But You Can’t Make Her Drink*

Thursday, July 8th, 2010
I’m getting used to strange looks from friends. Usually they stem from my mention of some less common (but incredibly yummy) liquor or the fact that I have willingly embarked on a cooking-related activity in pursuit of a cocktail. But I know I’m in for some serious eye-rolling when I say that I’m actually growing my own food – herbs, mostly – to use for cocktails.

Past years I’ve stuck to planting shrubs, trees and other perennials in the yard, but frankly the upkeep is pretty tedious. I’m not into tedious.  However, I figured that a few pots filled with herbs should be manageable even for me. Oh, and a Topsy Turvy strawberry planter because my kids can’t pass one on the street without yelling, “Topsy Turvy! Topsy Turvy! You should get one, Mom!” Buying a few strawberry plants seemed like better parenting than duct tape as a gag.

Who knows if my “garden” will bring forth cocktail bounty?  I will admit it has been very satisfying to wander to the patio to pick the mint, lemon thyme, basil or cilantro called for in my recipe books.  Soon I should be able to try out some pineapple mint, orange mint, thai basil and sage, too.

My cocktail garden.

In the meantime, here is a great recipe that utilizes the cilantro, as well as the blackberries that are poised to take over in my region. My friend Dee calls the Yerba Mora, “bright and lovely.” Funny, that’s how I describe Dee, too.

Yerba Mora  (created by mixologist Joaquin Simo)

5 cilantro leaves
5 blackberries, plus 3 blackberries skewered on a pick for garnish
2 ounces blanco tequila
1/2 ounce green Chartreuse
Dash of absinthe
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce honey syrup (equal parts honey and warm water, shaken to mix)

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the 5 blackberries. Add ice and all of the remaining ingredients except the skewered blackberries and shake well. Strain (a small fine-mesh sieve is handy to catch the blackberry seeds) into an ice-filled highball glass and garnish with the skewered blackberries (optional).

The Chartreuse is an appealing liqueur and one of the finds that I’ve been happiest about discovering. I have the green Chartreuse called for in the Yerba Mora, but there is a also a yellow (and therefore not actually chartreuse) Chartreuse that is sweeter. Monks in France have been making it for centuries, which suddenly make monks seem far more interesting. It has also made my liquor cabinet more interesting.

Cheers, ICE

*This headline – slightly tweaked – is courtesy of writer Dorothy Parker’s quote, “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.”


We Need a Pitcher, Not a Belly-Itcher!

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Little League has wound down, but I’m still thinking about pitchers…of the drinking kind, of course. I brought the following to my son’s end-of-season team party and it disappeared quickly.

Bon Appetit is not my usual read, but flipping through the June issue I found its recipe for the Leland Palmer, which uses layers of juice, liquor and tea to create a unique, adult Arnold Palmer (usually half iced tea and half lemonade). As usual, I was missing an ingredient – jasmine tea – and forced to improvise, but I think it was successful. The TimberRattlers’ moms gave many thumbs up. 

 Here is my approach to this pitcher drink. Because there is plenty of time for the sugar to dissolve, simple syrup isn’t a necessity.

 1/2 c. honey + 1/2 c. warm water — stir until dissolved then chill
3 c. iced tea (I was lazy and used Trader Joe’s pre-brewed black tea)
3/4 c. gin
3/4 c. limoncello (a liqueur easily obtained at the liquor store)
3/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. fresh grapefruit juice (regular or pink)
2.5 to 3 oz simple syrup (or use sugar to taste: maybe 1.5 to 2 oz to start)
1 c. club soda
Lemon wheels for garnish (optional)

Combine all and chill for 3-4 hours to let the flavors meld. Stir well before serving. A taste test will let you know if you need to add more sugar/simple syrup to the end product. Serve on ice and garnish with lemon wheels. Makes approximately (10) 6 oz drinks. Created by bartender Damon Boelte of Brooklyn.

Or another option…

One friend, who liked it because it isn’t alcohol-strong, recently served this at a volunteer function at her home.  She made further changes to my version, using decaf green tea instead of black tea and ruby red grapefruit, as well as bottled lemon juice.  Again it was popular and her guests quickly drained the pitcher and asked for more, proving this a versatile recipe. I have to love a drink that allows goofs, substitutions and day-of mixing –while I might plan ahead, I don’t always shop and execute ahead. I can now consider this pitcher drink to be my back-up plan.

Cheers, ICE


Drinks on Wheels

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Many cocktails out there are riffs on classic or popular drinks. So I felt warranted in changing up a recipe created for the new Sex in the City movie called “Red Over Heels.” Instead, mine is “Dead Over Wheels” in honor of the Rat City Rollergirls championship bout this weekend. Because roller derby rocks.

I saw Red Over Heels at’s cocktail blog. The recipe calls for ginger-infused vodka, but I saw this as an opportunity to use the Loft Spicy Ginger Cello I got in Portland (I’m guessing you could also use plain vodka and muddle in some fresh ginger). As well as my bitchin’ skull vodka.

Crystal Head Vodka

Dead Over Wheels

1 ½ ounces vodka
½ oz ginger cello
1 oz honey syrup (equal parts honey and warm water, shake to mix)
¾ oz lemon juice

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into chilled glass. Flip someone off.

June 5th throwdown

Like the derby skaters, the Dead Over Wheels looks all nice but packs a punch. If you have a free Saturday night, go see the season-ending bout of the Rat City Rollergirls (motto: “You Win Some, You Bruise Some”). The Derby Liberation Front vs Throttle Rockets are the first half, followed by Grave Danger vs Sockit Wenches for 1st place honors. The bouts are athletic and strategic, and the skaters’ names are pure entertainment; look for Hard Cora, Pink Tatillac,  Sarah Impalin and my fav, Yoko Onoudi’nt.

To me, roller derby is like 5-year-olds playing T-ball (albeit more bad-ass) because you just can’t root against any of them. But since I have socket wrenches in my blood (thanks, Dad) and maybe a little wench, too, well…Go, Sockit Wenches!!

Cheers, “Spite & MalICE”


Beyond ComPear

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Spring.  My days are given over to field trips, baseball, or the schedule upheavals they create. I spent the day on a preschool field trip to West Seattle. This meant a volley of high-pitched screeching in enclosed spaces (how do 5 year old girls hit notes that high?) and that fun “why” game.  Would it have been wrong for me to get to drink every time I was asked, “why?”

I did perk up on the way home when I hit the West Seattle Produce Company – a brand new produce stand on Fauntleroy Way SW. I got lots of cocktail fixin’s, including mint, cilantro, pineapple, Meyer lemons and Asian pears. It was these last that my daughter went crazy for, and while I was thinking the equivalent of comfort food in cocktails, Shirley Temple was insisting that we make a drink with pears (yup, even my kids are getting into the act).

So we did. Asian pears, fresh mint leaves, honey syrup, lime and lemon juices and ginger beer. Of course, I added some Captain Morgan’s spiced rum to mine.  I’m sure you could substitute regular pears.

Beyond ComPear

3 mint leaves
1 ½  oz Captain Morgan spiced rum
3/4 oz pureed Asian pear
½ oz honey syrup (see below)
¼ oz lemon juice
¼ oz lime juice
1 oz ginger beer (I used Cock N Bull brand; other brands may be sweeter)

Make the honey syrup ahead by vigorously shaking together equal parts honey and warm water and allow to chill in the refrigerator. Make a batch as it will keep for 3 weeks refrigerated.

Puree the Asian pear and set aside. Muddle the mint leaves in a shaker, then add ice, pear puree, honey syrup, and lemon & lime juices; shake well. Double-strain into cocktail glass, add ginger beer and stir.

Keep in mind that even fresh ingredients can vary in flavor, so it’s important to taste a drink and then adjust for sweetness or tartness as desired. If you are serving to guests and they don’t want your cooties, try this: dip in a straw, hold the top and then release the portion into your mouth.  

I’m thinking it is time for my own field trip. There are many mixologists shaking up great cocktails Seattle area. If you have a favorite destination, please share with us!

Cheers, ICE

Next up to bat: drinks featuring rhubarb.