MxMo XLV: TEAS

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Its tea time folks!

MxMo XLV says TEA…over at Cocktail Virgin Slut who is hosting the event this month is written: “Find or concoct a drink recipe that uses tea or tisane (a herbal “tea” which lacks tea leaves) as an ingredient. This can be hot tea, cold tea, tea syrups, or infusions and use it in a cocktail, punch, or other drink type.”

I like to drink tea, all kinds of tea but i must admit i rarely use it in cocktails. Now there´s a tea that i like, its called Kusmi and is a Russian-style tea and tea blends established in 1867 in St. Petersburg, Russia. But in 1917 after the Russian revolution the company relocated to France. These teas are blends of Ceylon, Indian and Chinese teas and are often flavored with fruits, spices and other scents.

One of my favorite blends is Kusmi mint and chocolate and i decided to try it and make a classic Cuban mojito with a twist adding some of the mint and chocolate Kusmi tea. This tea is flavored with only natural ingredients and tastes very good and should do well in a mojito. Really…the mojito is a summer drink – but i don`t care because i like to pretend its always summer and the mojito is always nice plus i could not resist trying this thing out to see what happened.

Here´s the recipe:

KUSMI MINT CHOCOLATE MOJITO

kusmi-chocolate-mint-mojito

2 oz white rum ( i should have used Havana Club blanco here but it`s finished so i used El Dorado 3 year cask aged white which is a superb rum in my opinion)
1 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz raw sugar syrup (light, i use Oxfam which is lightly tanned and fine to make this syrup)
10 mint leaves
2 oz Kusmi mint and chocolate tea – cooled
Top with some Club soda

Muddle mint, raw sugar syrup and lime in a glass. Fill glass with ice and add rum and tea and top with Club Soda, stir. Garnish with a mint sprig or why not tea leaves? Actually the drink turned out to be very refreshing and i think the mint and chocolate Kusmi tea played weill with the mojito. I think i might mix this one more times.

Adding Kusmi tea to a cocktail was an interesting experiment which i wouldn´t have got the idea to do  if it wasn´t for this Mixology Monday theme. Maybe  i`ll get busy playing with different Kusmi teas.

Thank you Cocktailvirgin for hosting!

kusmi-tea

MXMO XLIV – “MONEY DRINKS”

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To quote from “Beers in The Shower” who are hosting this months Mixology Monday:

“I feel a “Money” drink is something you can put in front of anyone, regardless of tastes or distastes about the spirits involved. Come up with a drink or a list based on spirits about drinks that would appeal to anyone. example: turning someone onto a Corpse Reviver #2 when they like lemon drops.”

For those of us with access to top shelf spirits, Make an upscale twist on a classic. To quote an email from Paul, (Clarke, Cocktail Chronicles) :

“Along with what you mentioned, I’m thinking it could include stuff along the lines of “there are some drinks that really prompt you to break out the good stuff”, including ways people upgrade drinks for special occasions — having old friends over, birthday drinks, etc, for example mixing your regular Sazerac, but breaking out the Red Hook Rye and the Jade Edouard absinthe for a Sazerac capable of breaking the sound barrier.” – the only rule to this one is you actually have to make it “

So i want to upgrade a drink and i know what i want to make, i want to mix up the best Cuba Libre or Rum & Coke ever!

Now,  i`m not a person that is or ever have been very fond of rum and coke but i have noticed that many are. But also – and this is important, after i once tried it with sugarcane coke instead of the ordinary corn-fructose coke i felt a huge difference. So i`m going to mix up a Cuba Libre with two of the best rums i have and i`m gonna use sugarcane coke plus i`m also going to spice it up. Actually this is more of a twist of the Cuba Libre than an actual Cuba Libre.

I`m not going to dig into its history here, and as with so many other cocktails the exact way it was invented are told in different versions. Bacardi and Havana Club have their own versions for example, not surprisingly. Cuba Libre used to have a dark syrup made of cola nuts and coca.

Charles H. Baker points out in his Gentlemen’s Companion of 1934, the Cuba Libre “caught on everywhere throughout the [American] South … filtered through the North and West”.

To spice it i`m gonna use a splash of Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine because i love its spicy flavour and it goes well with coke. Also Root can be used or some Rootbeer i think, if you can`t find Catdaddy.

What we are stepping up from is the use of the corn-fructose sweetened coke to real sugarcane coke paired with premium rums and a bit catdaddy spiced up as well which makes this drink to become transformed.

SPICED SUGARCANE RUM AND COKE

spiced-sugarcane-rum-and-coke

1 oz good demerara ( i used Port Morant demerara 1990 but try El Dorado 15 year old or Banks XM 10)
1 oz Havana Club 7 (sorry..sub with Appleton Extra, which in no way is similar but equally good)
0.75 oz Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine
Small sprinkle of fresh lime juice
Fill up with sugarcane coke
Crushed ice

Build quickly all ingredients in a rocks glass filled halfway with crushed ice, add more ice to fill. Garnish with lime wedge.

It turned out to be rummy and boozy, spicy and fresh at the same time.

Happy MxMo and thank you Kevin for hosting this month!

MxMo XLIII: VERMOUTH

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Vermouth is the topic of this Mixology Monday – a topic that to me brings back many sweet memories from my early travels in my teens, especially it means Italy to me, not only was i introduced to Campari there but also to Vermouth namely Cinzano and Martini.

We used to drink them neat with ice, maybe a sprinkle of lemon in the lazy hot afternoon. When i drink a sweet vermouth with ice  i`m immediately transported to those memories and can mentally almost feel the warm sunny floor on the terrace of a small apartment in Napoli. It was not until many years later i learnt to use Vermouth as a component in cocktails.

Cocktailians are the host for this MxMo and i`m happy for this topic, thanks Vidiot for hosting!

The drink i got in my mind to make already before i had thought so very much about what to mix was the much beloved Negroni, it pairs 3 ingredients i really like. But i didn`t want to make the common Negroni this time so i decided to experiment with another of my favorite spirits – mezcal – instead of gin.

Really if i could have chosen i would have wanted to try Carpano Antica Formula in this drink but its not sold here so instead i had the choice between Martini Rosso or Punt e Mes. Need i say that i would love to see Carpano sold here? its really a shame it isnt.

I chosed the Martini because i find it better for this drink, a bit more neutral than Punt e Mes. And like Carpano and Punt e Mes Martini Rosso its strong enough to stand up against both Campari and the smoky mezcal (i used Ilegal joven which is an excellent mezcal)

And because it was mezcal in this i also added a small sprinkle of fresh lime, i feel that`s what this drink wanted and instead of an orange peel garnish a lime wedge went into the glass. It turned out to be a good drink, i cannot say its better than the classic Negroni but its an interesting twist.

I wish Vermouth could be stored longer than it can, even in the fridge it starts loosing its flavour after some time and therefore i usually buy small bottles because despite that i really do like vermouth i don`t use it often enough and really i should use more of it. Its a lucky thing that they are not so pricey. When the flavour isn´t so fresh anymore i usually use up the rest in cooking, its good in different pasta sauces.

SIGNORA ROSSA

signora-rossa

1 oz Mezcal

1 oz Martini Rosso

1 oz Campari

Small sprinkle of fresh lime

Stir with ice, serve in old fashioned glass, garnish with a piece of lime.

Happy Monday everone!

Sugarcane bar

 

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MxMo XLII: Dizzy Dairy

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Time again! This months MxMo is hosted by eGullet Society – thanks very much for hosting! Here is the announcement:

This month, fellow Society members, we are the hosts for a Mixology Monday on the theme of dizzy dairy. Any drink using a dairy product is fair game: milk, cream, eggs, butter, cheese, yogurt, curds, you name it. Given the importance of dairy products in drinks dating back centuries, there are lots of opportunities for digging through vintage receipts for a taste of the past, and as always innovation is highly encouraged.

This really gives room for a lot to play with and i`m a lover of egg whites in cocktails, but i suspect many will use that so therefore i have chosen another route – butter. In the form of honey-cream-mix which is equal parts honey, sugar and butter, no cream even though the name suggests that. As one may guess, the honey-cream-mix is a part of the tiki realm of cocktail mixing. The most well known is honey-mix which is equal parts honey and water. A similar mix is used in Pearl Diver`s Punch.

When using honey-cream-mix its necessary to keep it just above room temp before you mix it because of the butter solids. The preferred way to mix it is with a blender saving ice for last and blend at high speed no more than 20 sek. Then strain through a fine wire mesh sieve and serve immediately.

SMOKY PINEAPPLE

smoky-pineapple-delight

1 pineapple, hollowed
5-6 chunks of fresh pineapple
2 oz tequila reposado
0.5 oz Crema de mezcal (Del Maguey)
1 oz honey-cream-mix
¼  oz orgeat
Ting to top

Hollow out a whole pineapple to make a drink vessel, the easiest way is to use a pineapple corer. Preferably use a pineapple thats is newly matured, they are less sweet. To easily take out the core in the middle, cut a bit with a small knife and/or twist it. Then take 1-2 slices and cut out chunks. If you dont have a fresh pineapple, don`t use canned juice…rather use a cartoned juice.

Add all ingredients to a blender saving ice for last and blend at high speeed for exactly 20 sek. Then strain through a fine wire mesh sieve into the pineapple filled with crushed ice. top with Ting and serve immediately.

Garnish a pineapple leaf and mezcal soaked cherry.

HONEY CREAM MIX

Take equal parts liquid honey, sugar and butter and heat it and stir to make a sauce.

smoky-pineapple-delight-close

 

Sugarcane bar

 

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MxMo XLI: VODKA IS YOUR FRIEND

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And so its time again for the next Mixology Monday!

The one in July never happened..and good was that, i think many agree. For myself, i did completely forget about that one – wound up in the after-waves of the Tales and i don`t think i was the only one.

So what`s on the topic for this one? well…its actually vodka and our host Amelia at Felicia’s Speakeasy says:

The theme of August 10th’s Mixology Monday is “Vodka is Your Friend.” The recent high profile bashings of vodka interspersed with a few weak “yeah, buts…” left me wondering, is vodka the axis of evil, our most dangerous enemy? While it may not be the life of the party, experts agree: Vodka’s obituary does not have to be written just yet.

Thanks for hosting! this should be fun.

So there we go…let´s see now what to do with this spirit said to be the best selling spirit of all in many places. I`m not usually a vodka drinker despite growing up in a vodka country but i do for the moment have a bottle of Uluvka and then a 176 proof Balkan in my bar which so far has been used for infusions. I`m of the opinion that there´s not that much flavour in vodka but i do know that there are vodkas out there with flavour.

Its true though that becuase its quite flavourless its like an empty canvas for you to spread about your fresh local fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. That´s the good thing. On the other hand i think its more fun to pair my mixers with various types of flavourful spirits..

When i was in New Orleans we went to a great place called Attiki and they served the best Bloody Mary i ever had (but it was made with gin.) Ever since i had that one its been in the back of my head to try to make a variation of it at home. And so now with vodka as a topic in this MxMo i  find a perfect opportunity to make a New Orleans style Bloody Mary.

I made some research on the net for various Nola style Mary`s and found a few recipes and then made my own variation.

NOLA STYLE BLOODY MARY

bloody-mary

* 2.5 oz tomato juice (i made from fresh very ripe tomatoes and added a tbsp tomato paste as well plus the bajou blast)
*2  oz vodka (Uluvka)
* 0.25 oz overproof vodka (Balkan)
* 0.5 tsp  fresh lemon juice
* 0.5 tsp  fresh lime juice
* 0.5 tsp prepared horseradish
* Worcestershire sauce to taste
* Louisiana hot sauce to taste
* pinch freshly ground black pepper
* pinch  Bayou Blast
* dash Peychaud´s
* 1 tbsp of the juice from okra jar
* Pickled okra, for garnish
* Green olives for garnish
* Black olive coarse sea salt to rim the glass

For tomato juice: Blend a couple of ripe tomatoes in a blender and strain. I also mixed in the Bajou blast here.

Prepared horseradish: Take a very small piece of horseradish and add 0.5  tsp cider vinegar and water and puree in mortar until smooth.

Bayou Blast: For one drink take a pinch ea of these things and mix them well: paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder,dried oregano,dried thyme, black pepper, cayenne. All dried spices.

Rim a tall glass with black olive coarse sea salt and set aside. Shake well over ice and double strain. Garnish with a pickled okra and 1-2 olives.

Sugarcane bar

MXMO XL – GINGER

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This months Mixology Monday is all about ginger and is hosted by our own RumDood and he says:

For the MxMo: Ginger, participation is relatively simple.

  • Find or concoct a cocktail recipe that uses ginger in one of its many forms as an ingredient.  This can be muddled ginger, sliced ginger, ginger syrup, ginger beer (commercial or homemade), ginger liqueur, ginger candy, or pieces of a shredded photo of Ginger from Gilligan’s Island.
  • Make this recipe, take a picture of it, and then post the recipe, your thoughts about the recipe, and your photo on your blog or at the eGullet Spirits and Cocktails forum.

I think Dood have picked a great theme and no surprise – its very rum-friendly.

Indeed ginger is one of my favorite spices, its one of my essentials and not only for cooking and cocktail mixing and infusions its my no 1 cold remedy as well. You just boil up some chopped ginger root with 1L water and leave overnight to steep, then drink it as tea with milk and honey or just as is.

Using ginger in cocktail mixing – there are almost unlimited options here, you can use the lovely fragrant and biting ginger in so many ways and in so many cocktails. I think ginger pairs exceptionally well with rum but also with cachaca, tequila, mezcal, bourbon..you name it – actually i wonder what ginger wouldn`t pair well with?

As its summer and hot (well..at least its supposed to be but someone told me the Swedish summer has moved to the US)  i wanted to make something refreshing and oh..this wonderful spicy flavor and aroma is so addictive!

Yesterday i passed by the multi-equipped Indian-Caribbean shop here to see if they have yet gotten any more Ting but they didn´t.. so i picked a can of ginger beer instead and decided to use it for this MxMo post.

Then i also decided to make a cocktail that is  gingery in every way i can make it including using ginger leaves for the garnish and here it is:

ZINGIBER COCKTAIL

ginger-queen1

1-2 thin slices fresh ginger and 1/4 oz simple syrup – muddle
Add 2 oz dark rum like Appleton extra
Add 0.5 oz JWray overproof
Dash Bob`s ginger bitters
Top with ginger beer

Shake and strain – serve in glass with crushed ice. Garnish slice of ginger and if you have it – a ginger leaf

I really should have made homemade ginger beer but i didn`t have the time – ok i admit…i was lazy –  so i used Old Jamaica ginger beer, more or less the only ginger beer sold here. I find ginger beer to be a lovely cocktail mixer and it goes very well with JWray too.


Well, this cocktail here is all about the ginger really – and rum – and both are friends of mine.