This cocktail was deliciously-spiced for the holidays. After the buzz we got from our cocktail-contest entry, Will has been having a lot of fun with spiced-up cocktails. This one isn't named or photographed, but it is tested on an unrelated vodka-lover and voted a winner:
Make a spiced syrup by infusing one part water and one part honey with whole anise seeds, coriander seeds, whole cloves, and black peppercorns (a pinch or so of each). Bring it to a boil, allow to rest, then strain.
Shake one part syrup with one part vodka and ice (dilute with a bit of water if desired) and serve in a cocktail glass.
August 12, 2011
I burnt-out Will's immersion blender (trying to make garbanzo bean crackers - not worth it!!) before we left for our long trip, and it wasn't until the beginning of August that I finally got him a replacement. He has been busy frapping and blending since and making me feel extra-guilty that I didn't replace it sooner. This is what he called "Granita Maya" for the coffee, cinnamon, and hot sauce flavors. And don't forget the decorative layers of cream and whipped cream! I don't know if the Mayan's would agree to be this drink's namesake, but if you taste it, we don't think you'll care what it's called!
February 26, 2011
1 1/2 parts vodka (something that you already like the taste of to drink)
1 part basil sugar syrup (dissolve 1 part sugar with 2 parts water, add 2 large sprigs basil, bring to boil, cover, remove from heat and steep as desired - I do overnight in the fridge. Strain.)
1 part freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
top off with sparkling water
garnish with grapefruit peel and a tiny basil leaf
February 14, 2011
This doesn't exactly include mixology, but it's still a beverage, and one of Will's favorites at that.
|A happy Valentine's Day photo emailed to me during my workday.|
This isn't technically Will's drink, I found the recipe, and I made it, but it's a drink so here it is posted. I wanted a festive sparkling wine drink for a girly party. I was at a holiday party where the champagne cocktail was spiked with a shot of cherry juice to give it a romantic, red hue. But it was pretty sweet, and if done improperly, could come out tasting like cough syrup. So I was looking for something else to mix with sparkling wine that would still have a warm holiday glow. I discovered this use for the campari we scored as leftovers from someone else's party, which Will loves adding into every beverage concotion, but which often ends up being too bitter for me: Due Campri Nuovo. I followed the proportions in the recipe, but substituted half of the lemon juice with limoncello to give it extra sweetness and extra kick. I also skipped the matchstick business, though a plain orange twist or iced cranberries would make nice garnish. I actually mixed everything but the wine in a pretty decater the night before and kept in the fridge. Then just eyeballed a 1-4 ratio when guests were ready to be served, pouring in a bit of the mix and topping off with champagne. It was a hit!
I first came across HotLips soda at Homegrown, a terrific breakfast and sandwich shop in Fremont (and Queen Anne!) with a focus on local and sustainable ingredients. HotLips is a Portland company, also with a serious commitment to sustainability. Homegrown had their Pear Soda on offer, and I didn't buy it, but I couldn't stop thinking about how good it would be, especially after I read more about it on their website. So the next time I was there, I invested in a bottle. I knew Will would have some awesome ideas for how to mix it.
We started out each tasting one-ounce of pure soda, to appreciate the baseline, and get a sense of the intensity. It is delicious - it is sweet, but not cloying, and light and refreshing, while very much imparting the experience of biting into a fresh pear, with just a dabble of carbonation.
That left us 10 ounces remaining, which we divided equally into four cocktails: Will is quite creative with the beverages, because I don't provide him much outlet with the food prep. Here was one of his first labyrinthine garnishes (it's an orange peel.)
- with light rum and lime (this was good, but the pear was lost in the bold flavors of rum and citrus, left adding only sweetness.)
- with cognac (also good, pretty boozy)
- with Grand Marnier (mmm, lip smacking delicious)
- *** and our favorite, a thick slice of fresh ginger left to infuse into good quality vodka for a few minutes, topped off with the soda. This is an incredible beverage, spicy, sweet, and sophisticated.
|Labrinthine garnish (orange peel).|
This is one of our favorites to date, and it was especially delicious with the meal I posted about in "Entertaining a Pescatarian."
It's called a Bassilltini. It has an incredibly sophisticated flavor, yet completely delicious, and so unexpected as to be quite amusing and playful.
Basilltini (recipe coming, I have to rely on Will for this one...)
Will says this is a "FrappIt," it is best drunk on FrappIt Fridays! (He was an advertising exec in a previous life.) It's mocha on the bottom, a layer of vanilla sweetened whipped cream, espresso upper, and a star of whipped cream on top.
Yes, I know this isn't a cocktail or beverage, but it is 100% made-by-Will. He said he made a few cakes with his mom growing up, but this is the first one he's made since I've known him. It's also the first time he ever made frosting, and he iced the cake himself. Yum!
This doesn't have a name, but this direct quote from Will says it all: "Coconut pineapple ice cream shake with chocolate-vanilla sweet whipped cream, thanks to the immersion blender and charged whipped cream dispenser, a dynamic symphony of gadgetry."