Posts Tagged ‘pomegranate’

A Sparkling Toast to Simplicity

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

It’s just the simple things sometimes, isn’t it? After my year of more complex cocktail making, my friend Mags reminded me of such a simple yet elegant drink at a recent ornament exchange. She filled our flutes with Prosecco and dropped a few pomegranate arils in. Voilà.

Riding the bubbles

Prosecco, from Italy, is a sparkling wine like champagne. It’s often cheaper, and even tastier, than champagne. Pomegranate arils are the juicy part surrounding the seed. You can liberate the arils from the pomegranate, or be lazy and buy them loose at Trader Joe’s and now other grocery stores (look among the refrigerated cut fruit).

I love Prosecco anyway, but the pomegranate arils jazz it up for a party. And I was strangely happy watching those seeds rise and fall in the bubbles like a lava lamp. I’m more conscience of such moments since reading another friend’s new blog called Just the Simple Things. Check it out.

I hope you find many simple pleasures – cocktail and otherwise – this season.

Cheers, ICE

PS: My next post will focus on a not-pleasurable event – hangovers. Got a preventative or remedy? Send it to me via the “Submit Your Recipe” link in my sidebar.

 

Pour This in Your Apple Cup

Monday, November 29th, 2010

This Saturday is the annual Apple Cup, Washington’s intra-state football showdown: WSU Cougars vs. UW Huskies. In our case, it is an intra-house battle, as I’m a Coug and hubby is a Dawg.  Mostly this is a skirmish to determine which of us gets to dress our kids for the day.

In addition to beer, a big game needs a cocktail, right? Lo and behold, I discovered this drink already called the Washington Apple. Perfect! And so easy even a Husky can make one.

Washington Apple

1 oz Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey
1 oz Sour Apple Pucker
½ oz cranberry juice
½ oz simple syrup (omit if not using 100% cranberry juice)
Splash of soda water (optional)

You can combine the liquids and shake with ice, or simply build in an ice-filled glass and stir well.

The lovely, red Washington Apple

Now, the trouble I have with recipes using cranberry juice is that they are usually not very specific. 100% cranberry juice or the actual fruit are not always available, while juice combinations (with added juices, sugar or even the dreaded high fructose corn syrup) are ubiquitous. But I draw most of my recipes from books and sites that preach the gospel of market-fresh ingredients – are they really using regular ol’ Ocean Spray? These are the questions that vex me.

In this case, I used 100% cranberry juice – which is soooo tart – and therefore compensated with the added simple syrup. If you prefer, make yours with a cranberry juice beverage, omit the syrup and fuggedaboutit.

I will say that with the pure cranberry juice, this drink was a lovely deep red…crimson, really (Go Cougs!).

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Oh, fine. Here’s a purple one, too. I fashioned this one for the UW Alpha Delta Phi Centennial banquet because my friend and organizer wanted a purple cocktail. After I got over the swearing and shaky hands, I came up with this:

Woof

1 oz citrus vodka
½ oz Cointreau
2 oz Trader Joe’s Pomegranate Blueberry Juice mix

Combine in a shaker filled with ice, and shake until well chilled. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

Oh, sorry. Was that too fast for you? Here it is again:

Woof

1 oz citrus vodka
½ oz Cointreau
2 oz Trader Joe’s Pomegranate Blueberry Juice mix

Combine in a shaker filled with ice, and shake until well chilled. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

Cheers, ICE

 

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Monday, October 18th, 2010
Halloween Drink #1 of 2…

Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, hence the name for this drink. This one is my own creation, using my newest find: black vodka!

I may be all very “2000 and late,” as Fergie would sing, but Blavod black vodka was a revelation to me. I didn’t know such a thing existed. Perfect for Halloween, it added enough darkness to this drink to get it close to that blood red quality I was looking for. By the way, I created the Bloody Sunday for a friend’s party, so the store-bought sparkling pomegranate juice made for easy mixin’.

Bloody Sunday punch — serves 16

16 oz Blavod black vodka
8 oz limon rum
8 oz Velvet Falernum
25 oz Trader Joe’s Sparkling Pomegranate beverage
2 oz 1 ½ oz absinthe

Stirring gently, mix all ingredients together in a pitcher or punch bowl. Serve with crushed ice.  Note this recipe change: When scaling this recipe I used 2 oz of absinthe, but after playing with it a bit, I recommend starting with only 1 ½ oz, stir, taste and add more if desired.

The Bloody Sunday, along with Blavod in its spiffy wet suit…in case you want to go diving with your vodka? You can see the black hue of the vodka in the shot glass.

Blavod (aside: What a lame name. Oh, and it comes in its own wet suit. Huh?) is vodka tinted by the bark of black catechu, which is used for a variety of medicinal and commercial purposes, including as dye.  The black catechu doesn’t add much flavor, so it can work in any vodka drink.

As a responsible blogger, I tested the Blavod and can assure you that, a) it will not discolor your teeth while drinking, like black food coloring certainly would, and b) if a sloppy guest spills some on your cream carpet or sexy nurse’s costume, the vodka won’t leave a stain. Whew. 

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