Posts tagged ‘Syrup’

February 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday | Tapping Maples at Flying J

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Playlist included Mr. Sun, by Kina Granis.

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August 14, 2011

Persephone’s Drinks Cabinet | Fig Margarita

Several years ago, before Cherub was born, I bought my mother a fig tree.  For years she had longed for a tree like the one that grew in the backyard of the little house in Austin where she raised her two little girls.  She always loved feeding me peeled figs when I was tiny and just beginning to enjoy my first tastes of  real food.  This was something she hoped to recreate with soon-to-be-born grandbabies.  She needed a tree in the ground early, she told me, so the harvest would be ready when I got around to having one.

Ahh, how she forgot what a harvest she would have from just one, abundant tree.  Now in its prime, at peak season, she picks five and six pounds of figs a day from that little tree.

The babies, that so recently mashed just-picked and peeled figs between soft pink gums, now grab branches and haul themselves up to climb to the places Demeter can’t reach.  And she has lots and lots of figs.

I still love them.

When she visited, she brought me a couple of bottles of fig syrup.  Because to make a moderate amount of syrup you need lots and lots of fruit.

I am more than a little grown up now, and I enjoy figs in all sorts of ways.  Most recently in the form of a fig margarita.  This margarita would be equally enchanting with fruit syrups of any kind (raspberry, certainly strawberry, peach).  Just give some thought to what spices on the rim might marry best with the fruit you choose.  This cocktail is all about celebrating a bounty in unexpected way.

Aggie Lane Margarita, makes one

For the rim:

1/2 t brown sugar

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June 4, 2011

Persephone’s Drinks Cabinet | Sage Flower Sangria

Get some food people together and you can come up with some pretty tasty ideas.

At dinner recently, my friend Bethia pointed out how flowery Kate‘s sage plant was and plucked a few of the purple blossoms for us to pop in our mouths.  Our eyes widened and we were immediately smitten with the surprisingly honeysuckle-y sage-iness of the teensy lavender-colored blooms.  Enterprising Kate made up a quick batch of sage flower syrup and kindly gifted me a batch.  I love that girl.

I used some this afternoon in some red wine sangria.

My sage plant in the background with the last of the flowers on it. Note the syrup and the triple sec in the bottom of the pitcher. Make sure to give it a good stir.

Sage Flower Sangria, serves me and Hades…

1 bottle of red wine (inexpensive Rioja, Beaujolais and Lambrusco are all good kinds)

Small handful of strawberries, halved (Worthington farmer’s market has them in now)

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May 10, 2011

Persephone’s Drinks Cabinet | Candied Ginger Vodka Gimlet

Sometimes, you just want a little cocktail, but only have a few things in the fridge or pantry.  This is perfect drink for those times.  We seem to almost always have a lime or a knob of ginger lying around as I’m always making Asian noodles of one sort or another.  Tried and true, this is a gimlet with just a little twist.  It’s extra delicious with OYO Vodka.  But then again, just about everything is better with a little OYO Vodka.

Candied Ginger Gimlet, makes one

3 ounces vodka, use OYO if you can find it

1 ounce lime juice

1 ounce ginger simple syrup

For the candied ginger simple syrup:

In a nonstick pan, take a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and diced, and throw it in with a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of water.  Heat it until it becomes extremely syrupy, and add it to your simple syrup (1/2 c sugar, 1/2 water, brought to a boil, simmered for a moment or two and allowed to cool).  Let it infuse for as long as you like, but try to give it at least 15 minutes. Strain.

For the cocktail:

In a shaker with crushed ice, combine all ingredients, shake well, and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with ginger and lime.

Playlist included Surfboard, by Esquivel.

April 18, 2011

Persephone’s Drinks Cabinet | The Rhubarb Middleton

Playing in the backyard with Cherub this afternoon, I couldn’t help but admire the rhubarb plant that’s seriously taken off.

I’ve watched it daily from my kitchen window, but from that vantage point, I had no idea just how much was ready for harvesting.  Cherub and I picked four large stalks (for a total of about 3/4 of a pound) this afternoon.  There must be another 40, at least.

My favorite way to use rhubarb is in cocktails.   I simmered the rhubarb down to a syrup (straining and reserving the remaining pulp for a dessert to be determined).  It’s a perfect early-spring combination of rhubarb, orange, vanilla and vodka.  It’s creamy, tart and appropriate for any get together.

I thank Jamie Oliver for the original inspiration, but cheekily name this version after Kate who will be bidding farewell to her “common” life.  And if you’re NFI, this cocktail might be the perfect thing to toast the newly married couple.

The Rhubarb Middleton, Makes 2

For the syrup:

3/4 pound rhubarb stalks, sliced

Juice from 1/2 orange

1/2 c sugar

1/2 vanilla bean sliced lengthwise (or add in a 1/2 t vanilla extract after the syrup has cooled if you haven’t the bean)

Simmer together over medium low heat for eight to ten minutes or until it becomes a pulp.  Strain, reserving the solids for another purpose if desired.  Allow syrup to cool.

For the cocktail:

Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice:

2 shots rhubarb syrup

2 shots vodka

1 shot Grand Marnier

1 shot half and half, Snowville, of course

Playlist included Common People, by Pulp.

When it was just a wee sprout a few weeks ago.The four stalks harvested this afternoon.

January 3, 2011

Persephone’s Drinks Cabinet | Blood Orange Nocturne

On the leftover nights, I don’t really bother with buying a bottle of wine.  (Although one would have gone marvelously with the leftover crab rollatini and lettuces with ume plum and blood orange vinaigrette.)  Instead, I mix up a couple of cocktails for Hades and me.  And in a lovely turn of events, I wound up with something that I would eagerly serve at any cocktail party.

Cheers to seasonal leftovers and winter cocktails.

Blood Orange Nocturne, makes one

2 ounces vodka (the house vodka is Chopin, but OYO is a close second)

2 ounces blood orange juice

1.5 ounces lime thyme simple syrup (equal parts lime juice and sugar with a generous helping of fresh thyme sprigs, simmered until dissolved and cooled)

Splash of tonic water, or some champagne, if you’re feeling saucy. And you should.

3 supremed segments of blood orange, sprig of thyme for garnish

In a cocktail shaker combine the vodka, orange juice and syrup.  Shake over ice until very cold.  Pour into a martini glass, top with a float of tonic water or champagne, the orange slices and the thyme.

Playlist included Nocturne op. 9 no. 2, by Chopin.

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