Category Archives: Beverage

bourbon cider

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I wish I could come up with something more creative and alluring for a title, but to be honest, I’m exhausted.  The sprint to the end of the summer has left me worn out.  The yard work, the garden explosion, the canning and fermenting, the end-of-summer weekend trips and errands, not to mention work?  I’m spent.  This drink that I cobbled together from a couple of places was just what I needed to accompany the knit-leggings-and-solo-bonfire party I held for myself tonight.  It hit my sweet tooth and warmed me up- just what I need for the beginning of fall.

DSC_3374Bourbon and Cider
Serves 1

2 oz. bourbon
4 oz. apple cider
1/2 tsp lemon juice
3-5 drops angostura bitters
small pinch of allspice
slightly larger pinch of cinnamon
2-3 oz. ginger beer

Shake together bourbon, cider, lemon juice, bitters, allspice, and cinnamon.  Pour in a tall glass over ice.  Top with ginger beer; stir to combine.

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Filed under 30 min. or less, Beverage, Fall, Summer

the long stretch (whiskey-spiked iced tea)

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We’re in it.  Days are bright and hot. Nights are short and leave a film of dew on the yard.  Late nights and early mornings, watermelon and zucchini and peaches, dirty foot prints, darkened skin, gin and tonics.  The long stretch of high summer, July into August, is possibly the most fleeting time of the year, and I always feel a deep need to make the most of it.

Making a pitcher of this tea is possibly the easiest thing you could do to start the weekend off right.  Green and black teas, a couple lemons, a bottle of ginger beer, and our favorite brown liquor.  Whiskey has a firm grasp on fall and winter, but in this drink, it does right by summer too.  I’m particular to Bulleit Rye, but bourbon certainly isn’t bad.

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Whiskey-Spiked Iced Tea
Inspired by Thug Kitchen (nsfw!)
Makes about 84 oz.

2 bags black tea
2 bags green tea (ginger and/or citrus green tea is great too)
2 lemons
1/4 c. maple syrup (or agave or honey)
1-1/2 cups whiskey (rye or bourbon preferably)
1 bottle ginger beer

Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the black and green tea bags and let steep for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, juice one of the lemons and thinly slice the other.  Remove the tea bags, add the maple syrup, and stir to dissolve.  To the tea add 4 cups of cold water, the lemon juice, and the whiskey, and stir to combine.  Add the lemon slices and let chill in the fridge.  Before serving, carefully stir in the bottle of ginger beer, starting with half of the bottle and adding more to taste. (This is for personal preference- I like more ginger beer, but most of my friends preferred less.)

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Filed under 30 min. or less, Beverage, Summer

Two Wintertime Cocktails


I have a problem calling these wintertime cocktails.  I’ve seen no snow, no gusting winds, no blizzards that force mass-exodus-style trips to the grocery store followed by 2 or 3 days of hunkering down in the house, eating beef stew and peeking out the window as the plow goes by to see how high he’s piled up snow at the end of your driveway.  This meek and mild “winter,” pfft, has been downright enjoyable.  Not that I have a problem with it… but clearly, I do have a teeny tiny problem with it.

Even if you happen to be in southern California or up in the Yukon, these cocktails might help fill a small missing piece on a Friday or Saturday evening.  I know I was searching for something by the time happy hour came around on Friday, and these hit the spot.

1. Heidi’s Blood Orange Gin Sparkler.  I only had two blood oranges so I juiced a naval along with it, and it definitely worked.  I had misremembered the recipe that I read earlier in the day and used club soda on the first drink, but found that I preferred the called-for tonic.   These are too good! And I can’t wait to try these with grapefruit, or a grapefruit-0range combo next weekend…

Edit: I couldn’t hold off for long.  Fresh grapefruit juice is, dare I say, even better than the blood orange juice?! Divine.  A perfect shade of light pink, and brighter-n-lighter in flavor, too. Plan for approximately half a large grapefruit per drink.

2.  Rhubarb Rosemary sparklers.  In an attempt to use up the rosemary-infused simple syrup in the aforementioned gin sparkler recipe, I remembered the jars of rhubarb liqueur I had stowed away last summer.   Rosemary and rhubarb…  beyond alliteration, did they have a chance to work in harmony? I say yes.  I had used a mix of the sweet pink and tart green stalks, and the savory-sweet syrup compliments the tart-sweet liqueur.

Rhubarb & rosemary sparkler
Serves 1

2 oz. rhubarb liqueur
1 oz. rosemary simple syrup
2 to 3 oz. club soda
Pour over ice and stir in a highball or Collins glass.

Muted, earthy, and perfect for a quiet winter night in.

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Filed under 30 min. or less, Beverage, Condiments, etc., Winter

rhubarb-strawberry cocktail

 

YES, more rhubarb.  This is not just a shallow crush, some fickle spring-fling sort of deal.  I have an honest love affair with rhubarb.  Deal with it.

I recommend using clear rum, though I’ve seen recipes that use vodka and even gin. If using those, I’d suggest lime juice instead of lemon, and definitely use more sugar in the syrup if using vodka.  I personally always have clear rum around the house in the summer for mojitos… *hint hint!*

Rhubarb-Strawberry Syrup and Cocktails
source: my imagination and tastebuds
Serves: about 3 generous drinks

1/2 c. water
1/3 c. sugar
2 c. chopped rhubarb
couple of strawberries
1 T. lemon juice

Bring all ingredients to a slow boil while stirring frequently. Let the mixture stew for 15 minutes on medium; stir occasionally.  Use a heavy spoon to gradually smash up some of the fruit. Pour this through a fine strainer and use your spoon to press out as much of the liquid as possible.  Let this cool to room temperature.

Fill a tumbler or goblet (fancy shmancy!) with ice. Pour in one ounce clear rum (or liquor of choice), two ounces of the rhubarb syrup, and two ounces of lemon-lime soda (like sierra mist or 7up).  Poke the ice cubes to mix gently. You can add more syrup if you want it sweeter, or more 7up to make it fizzier and less “buzzy”. Looks really pretty garnished with a strawberry on the rim. :)

Coming soon:  Hard Rhubarb Lemonade and Strawberry Rhubarb Mojitos!

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Filed under Beverage, Spring, Summer, Vegetables