Usually when your neighbors go on vacation, you water their plants, and take in their mail, and in return you receive a shiny new mass produced souvenir from the airport that they’ve grabbed in a frenzy before departing. A magnet of an alligator that says “Stay Cool!”, a snow globe with a palm tree, or if you’re lucky, a not-too-obnoxious coffee mug. Not if you’re me! The Lush Lady and Lush Husband just received a beautiful goody bag containing all the makings of a Caipirinha, the national drink of Brazil, including Cachaça(Brazilian rum), organic sugar and limes. Thank you Melody and Greg for being such amazing neighbors!
+ 1/2 lime, quartered
+ 2 tsp sugar
+ 2 ozCachaça
Directions: Muddle limes and sugar in an old-fashioned glass. Fill with crushed ice and add Cachaça.
Cherry season is May through August - which is now! Go get ya some! And when you’re thinking of all the wonderful things you can do with them, don’t forget you can get them drunk. Spiced brandied cherries will dress up any cocktail or dessert and are sweet to give as a gift. And they’re unbelievably easy to make. Pitting them is the hardest part but there are many tricks out there.
Here is the recipe I used from local foods.about.com:
- 1 1/2 lb. cherries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 whole allspice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup brandy
- 1-quart jar with lid
- Pit the cherries and set them aside.
- In a medium saucepan bring sugar water, lemon juice, and spices to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the mixture is slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Stir in the brandy and the pitted cherries.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cherries to a 1-quart jar. Pour enough of the cooking liquid over the cherries to cover them completely. Twist on lid.
- Process in boiling water for 10 minutes, let cool, and store in a cool, dark place (such as a cupboard) for at least 6 weeks before using. Once opened, keep chilled. Alternatively, you can forgo the hot-water processing and store in the refrigerator.
It’s about time I jumped on the Boozy Pops bandwagon. I was first inspired to go for it when I saw the People’s Pops: 55 Recipes from Brooklyn’s Coolest Pop Shop recipe book (which I don’t own, feel free to send me a copy!). Since the book wasn’t available yet I searched the internets and discovered a plethora of recipes, but the one that always got the best reviews was the Bittersweet Chocolate Bourbon Pop. And ya’ll know I love me some Bulleit Bourbon. The ingredients and directions are simple, but the pop is a rich chocolatey sin, with just a tease of bourbon flavor to savor.
Here’s the recipe from Finecooking.com:
+ 1/2 cup granulated sugar
+ 3-1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (70% to 72%), chopped
+ 2 Tbs. Dutch-processed cocoa powder
+ 1/8 tsp. table salt
+ 2 Tbs. good-quality bourbon
Directions: Put the sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder, salt, and 2 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Transfer to a 4-cup glass measure (or any container with a spout for easy pouring). Let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the bourbon and divide the mixture among eight 3-oz. pop molds or wax-lined paper cups. Freeze until just set, about 3 hours. Insert craft sticks and freeze until completely set, about 4 hours more. When ready to serve, unmold or peel off the paper cups.
Side note : The mold I purchased was the Norpro Ice Pop Maker, which I have absolutely no complaints about. But I do recommend reading the user reviews for tips on how to use it the most efficiently.
Who’s going to a cookout this Memorial Day weekend? I am! Who feels obligated to take a side? I do! Who thinks fruit salad sounds exciting? …Neither did my husband. But you might change your attitude if i told you this was Fruit Salad with Dark Rum and Honey.
Simply whisk together 3 tbsp dark rum, 3 tbsp honey, 1 tsp Angostura bitters (if you have it on hand), and add it to a bowl of fruit of your choice. Chill for 3 hours …you and the fruit. Enjoy your long weekend everyone!
(Recipe found all over the internet).
Interpretations of the Sidecar, from Food & Wine magazine.
Why pay for what you can make?
Homemade Bourbon Vanilla Extract (by The Boozy Baker)
+ 3 Vanilla Beans
+ 1 cup Bourbon
Split the vanilla beans in half and add to a jar. Pour the bourbon over the vanilla beans. Close the jar and shake a few good times. Store in a dark place for 8 weeks, shaking occasionally. The extract will darken over time. There is no need to remove the vanilla beans. This can be used in place of vanilla extract in any recipe!
St. Germain is not the only elderflower liquor on the market anymore! Now there’s Absolut Wild Tea - a mix of black tea and elderflower flavors. Another selling point - the bottle is uniquely beautiful for Absolut. Below is the first recipe I made with it, a simple recipe that let the flavors shine:
Absolut Intrigue (from the Absolut website)
+ 2 oz ABSOLUT WILD TEA
+ 1 oz Lemon Juice
+ 1 oz Simple Syrup
Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass.
Aviator cocktail (recipe borrowed from Food Network)
+ 2 oz gin (Caprock Organic gin is recommended)
+ 1 oz maraschino liqueur
+ 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
+ Garnish with lemon twist
Prepared by mixologist Julie Goedekke.