Posts Tagged ‘jalapeno’

Uniting Fire and Ice

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Remember that jalapeno brown sugar syrup from a previous post?  I created a third cocktail with this syrup, this time in honor of our wedding anniversary today, October 30th (Devil’s Night!).  

Fire With Ice Margarita

1 ½ oz tequila
½ oz Cointreau
1 oz lime juice
½ oz jalapeno brown sugar syrup

I like my margaritas on the rocks, so I filled a glass with ice, added the ingredients and stirred well. Nice to cool the jalapeno fire with ice.

Heat Miser!

Incidentally, “Fire and Ice” is the name of our maybe-someday-in-the-future boat. Fire because hubby is a redhead and, of course, I’m ICE.  We used that idea for Halloween costumes a few years back, going as the HeatMiser and SnowMiser from The Year Without a Santa Claus. I’m too embarrassed to post a picture of us, but be assured there were cocktails involved that night, too.

 

Happy Anniversary, Fire!

Cheers, ICE

P.S.: I saw this on a forum:” If loving Halloween is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.” Yes!

Snow Miser!

 

The Spice is Nice (for Ice)

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Every once in awhile I get hung up on trying a specific cocktail recipe, despite a large number of equally tantalizing ones queued up. The Epicé Sidecar was such a recipe: Combining “heat” with “sidecar” sounded great to me. Although it is overall an easy drink to make, it took awhile to achieve the perfect storm of ingredients on-hand with the chance to make it. 

Epice Sidecar half-rimmed with Sugar in the Raw.

The Epicé Sidecar (epicé meaning spicy in French, says the recipe description) combines a simple syrup of jalapenos and brown sugar with pineapple juice, cognac and lemon juice. Since pineapple juice isn’t my favorite in drinks, I chose to use less and compensated by adding a little extra syrup. Nonetheless, the drink just didn’t WOW me. And, yes, I do expect a WOW factor from my cocktails.

Epicé Sidecar

1 1/2 oz Cognac (I used Metaxa brandy)
1 oz fresh pineapple 
 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz jalapeno brown sugar (double strength) simple syrup

Rim half of a chilled cocktail glass with brown sugar (Sugar in the Raw is recommended). Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into the glass. Garnish with two jalapeno slices and/or a small pineapple wedge (optional).

Jalapeno Brown Sugar Syrup:

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, washed and stemmed

Add the sugar, water and jalapenos sliced lengthwise to a pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes before straining through a fine-mesh strainer. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

Regardless of the anticipation of trying this cocktail, sipping the finished product made me long for the Metaxa Sidecars I was making last spring. I decided to replace the simple syrup in that recipe with the jalapeno brown sugar syrup, thereby discovering a new twist on an old favorite.  Much better.

Metaxa Sidecar “spiced” up

1 oz Metaxa brandy
½ oz Cointreau
1 oz lemon juice
½ oz jalapeno brown sugar syrup (regular sidecar uses ¾ oz simple syrup)

Rim a chilled cocktail glass with fine sugar. Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into chilled glass and enjoy.

Why Metaxa, you ask? After trying a sidecar made with the Greek brandy at two different Seattle bars (Pair and 10 Mercer), I decided to skip the hunt for a good mixing Cognac and embrace the Metaxa instead. Yum.

Cheers, ICE

 

Portland: Drink, eat, repeat

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

I mentioned in a previous post that I needed my own field trip and got my wish last weekend. Four of us trained it down to Portland, Oregon, for a weekend of ridiculously good food and cocktails. This town has it going on. Let me and my spicy booze connoisseurs take you on a tour.

We were all aboard for afternoon cocktails.

Friday, 1st round

We took the Amtrak Cascades train between Seattle and Portland and this is the way to go. Of course we tried out the onboard drink selection. A split bottle of wine for “Dee” (who felt a straw was much more klassy than chugging it out of the bottle), a cranberry-vodka for me and a surprisingly good Bloody Mary – with real worstershire sauce and not a mix! – for PRS. Meanwhile, T. atypically abstained so I assume she had a few shots prior.  It was a rolling prefunc for our weekend away.

Friday, 2nd round

Dinner on Friday night was at Southpark in downtown Portland. The drink menu appeared to have many exciting choices, but the server/bartender scrambled our drink orders enough that I’m a little confused about what we drank and when.  We went crazy for what we thought was the Foxtrot – lillet blanc, gin and a reisling reduction – but was probably the Peartini – Absolut Pear, lemon juice, simple syrup and amaretto with a sugar rim. The food was delicious, though. Best of all, my three wine-loving friends declared it a cocktail weekend. To me, this is the equivalent of the drunken, “I love you, man.” Right back ‘atcha, my Sacsayhuamán friends!

Saturday, 1st round

Our pre-lunch cards and cocktails.

We started the morning with coffee and tea rather than Bloody Marys, so remedied that at lunch. Stopping in at Henry’s 12th Street Tavern, we were expecting a slightly dive place to play a few rounds of cards, but instead found a slicker bar and grill with exceptional food and drinks. The mention of their salad with pear, manchego cheese and jalapeno dressing and the smoked turkey ciabatta sandwiches still makes me drool. The Bloodys were cold, thick and just-right spicy, fueling us for lots of walking in the afternoon that included a trip to the liquor store (just can’t help myself).

There we stocked up on minis to recreate Southpark’s Peartini. Because it’s important to get travel souvenirs and buy local (this is credible, right?), I bought a bottle of Spicy Ginger Cello made by Loft, a Portland distillery. I also lucked into a sale – can you imagine, Washingtonians, a liquor store having sales? – on a huge bottle of absinthe. I’d say it will last me years, but realistically…

Saturday, 2nd + rounds – where the gluttony starts

Tapas at Andina: Mussels with salsa criolla.

I’d like to make up a love song to this night’s restaurant, as long as someone else sings it in public (my daughter at 12 months old told me she didn’t like my singing…harsh).  Andina in the Pearl District is the whole package:  truly fresh and innovative Peruvian tapas, entrees and cocktails in a bright setting with a great vibe.  Rude as it is to talk with our mouths full, it was hard to stop commenting on how tasty everything was.

Andina's Sacsayhuamán (sok - say - hoo m-uhn) cocktail is both sassy and sexy...and too good to last long.

Andina also solidified hot peppers as one of our favorite cocktail ingredients with the Sacsayhuamán drink:  Habanero-infused vodka with passion fruit puree and sugar, served up with a cilantro leaf garnish. Pre-Incan ruins in Peru, Sacsayhuamán is pronounced much like “sexy woman,” giving us another reason to love it. And it gave us another goal: trying out all the pepper-punched cocktails we can.

Saturday, rounds #3….wait, no, #4 or 5…or infinity

Our server at Andina pointed us a few blocks down to Vault Martini.  Between the laugh-out-loud menu, people watching and mouthwatering cocktails, this may be the most entertaining bar I’ve run across. Their cocktail selection includes the 7 deadly sins plus 118 more drinks. How to choose?!? My friends went straight for the Habanero Martini – those peppers again! – with house-infused pineapple-habanero vodka and lemon juice, but my first drink was too underwhelming to remember the name. The Chocolate Martini with vanilla vodka and crème de cacao, on the other hand, was definitely memorable. Apparently they also had beer, wine and food but I can’t personally verify that.

At this point, let me give a shout-out to Portland’s street car – serving drunken visitors in the downtown corridor every night. If only Seattle was so smart.

Sunday, 0 rounds

The Vault was so cool that we never made it to our intended destination at The Nine’s hotel bar the night before, so we headed there for brunch on Sunday morning. The Urban Farmer is located in this hip hotel’s center atrium and features a Bloody Mary bar, but no hair-of-the-dog for us. We scored a table with cowhide benches and soothed ourselves with a great breakfast, leaving room for our next stop at Voodoo Donuts near the Burnside Bridge. 

Wicked good doughnuts.

The bakery’s location was perfect since it appears tucked into a bar. Its slogan is “the magic is in the hole,” and while I can’t speak to that I can say you’ll find voodoo doll doughnuts, bacon maple bars and some more, er, risqué shapes.

After close to 48 hours of cocktail and food research, we boarded the train back to Seattle.  I will have to check if Amtrak offers frequent rider miles because I am already craving several of our meals/drinks there.  Hmm, Red Hook might run the Portland Marathon in October. Surely he’ll want a couple of martinis after running 26 miles?

Cheers, ICE

A toast to Portland...and Dee's fab pictures!

 

Payback’s a Bitch

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

It’s Mother’s Day morning and I’m looking through my master drink book with bloggin’ on my mind. Red Hook* asks if I’m starting up cocktail hour early. But I see a more important question here: why isn’t he making me brunch so that I can bust out the champagne?!

There are lots of great brunch cocktails out there, and I’ll get to them here someday. But I was thinking a better drink for today is the Payback.  Is it because today is the day to pay moms back for all they do? Or the payback that we’ll enjoy when our kids become parents? Interpret it however you wish.

The Payback

2 slices jalapeno chile
Ice
½ fresh kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
1 ½ oz silver tequila
1 oz triple sec
½ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz simple syrup

(This recipe requires muddling. Ideally you would use a muddling tool with a flat end and long handle to press the fruit or herbs to release their juices or oils. This is isn’t hard, but you don’t want to mangle them.) 

Remove seeds from jalapeno slices, but leave the white membrane. Muddle the jalapeno and kiwi slices in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and remaining ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and enjoy!

This recipe comes from The Modern restaurant in New York City and is included in the excellent cocktail book, MixShakeStir.

Cheers, ICE

BTW, I just got a unique Mother’s Day gift. Roy Rogers* is pretty excited that I’m starting this blog, enough so that he created notices announcing the debut of Ice + Clink + Drink. He plans to put these in the neighbors’ mailboxes, for which I readily apologize.

*to find out who Red Hook and Roy Rogers are, please check out my “ICE, Red, Roy & Shirley?” page.