Category Archives: Drinking

The Connemara Spirit

Spirit.  Sugar.  Bitters.

Players

The building blocks of the classic cocktail.

This month’s Mixology Monday hosted by Sass & Gin is a back to basics with a twist.  We start with the venerable Old Fashioned.  Perhaps the drink that most defines or even originates the concept of a cocktail.  My preferred version is made with 1 sugar cube muddled with 2 dashes Angostura, 1 dash Orange Bitters, and a barspoon of water.  Then firmly press in a large orange peel and pour in 2.5 ounces of Rye.  Add a large sphere or cube of ice and stir until well chilled.

Orange Peels

Sass & Gin has tasked us to take that classic and push it outside the box.

Here it goes.

Poitin

Since we are all feeling a little Irish this time of year, I thought it fitting to offer up an old fashioned cocktail with one of the world’s oldest spirits: Poitin (say potcheen) derived from the Gaelic word for little pots, as in pot-stills.  Early records apparently report distilling in Ireland way back in the year 584 by Irish monks.  Traditionally made with malted barely, potatoes, and sugar beets, poitin is typically an un-aged Irish moonshine.  It was “outlawed” (or prohibitively taxed) in 1661 by King Charles forcing distillers to ply their craft in hiding, evading the excise men, for the next several hundred years.  So, in a way, you could say that Poitin is the spirited distillate of Irish independence.

The Glendalough mountain-strength Poitin I’m using is rather intense.  It’s got some burn, but it also has a pleasant woody quality with a grape-like fruitiness, maybe a bit of green apple peels and a touch of lime.  A pinch of spice, clove?  My first attempts at this drink used straight-up, mountain-strength.  And well, it was too much…too much to achieve proper balance that is.  So, I backed it off and ‘gasp,’ diluted it a bit.  In the future, I will purchase either the regular strength or the sherry cask finished version rather than the mountain.

Honey

Now for the sugar.  I tried a bunch of options.  Molasses was overbearing.  Maple didn’t jive.  Simple syrup was too simple.  Demerara syrup could work.  However, it was a 1:1 honey syrup made with a fall honey that we got from a friend that made it sing.  During the fall, the bees feast on the aster flowers and the resulting honey has a vivacious floral, herbal aroma along with a deep amber color and a heavier flavor than that of, say a spring honey.

Expell the Oils

Bitters…  I really wanted this drink to have some exotic bitters in it, but in the end, I liked the Angostura and Orange bitters best.

Here you have it:

Stir

The Connemara Te (pronounced tay)

1.5 oz Poitin, Mountain-Strength

.5 oz Cold Water

.5 tsp Honey Syrup

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

1 dash Orange Bitters

4 drops Orange Blossom Water

Orange Peel

Ice

Combine the honey syrup, bitters, and orange peel in the bottom of an old fashioned glass.  Use a muddler to press out the citrus oils.  Add the water and give it a swirl or two with the muddler.  Then add the poitin, the orange blossom water, and ice.  Stir with a barspoon until well chilled.

Note:  I suspect that if I were to use a lesser proof of poitin, I would find this drink quite agreeable using 2oz of spirit and only a barspoon of water.  However, I’ll have to confirm that some other time.

Other Note: Connemara Te is a reference to the song The Hills of Connemara, which is about Irish moonshiners.  In the song they refer to the ‘shine as mountain te.  ‘Te’ is the gaelic word for tea.

To see a round-up of all the great contributions to this month’s Mixology Monday click here.

Connemara Te

Happy Saint Patty’s Day!

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Surviving the Blizzard…

Blizzard 2015 a

(PS – A week later, the snow completely covers the patio furniture and is up to the window.)

(PSS – Three weeks later, my back has about had enough of the daily shoveling.  The driveway get longer and longer.  I’m pretty sure it stretches for at least 3 blocks, now.  Running out of places to put the snow…)

(PSSS – Six weeks later, the snow is still there.  Why, yes, I do think I’ll have another Toddy.  We’ve probably added at least another foot or two.  However, spring is just around the corner.  I can feel it in the air.  We had some melting yesterday: our first 40F degree day since mid-December.  Although, last night dropped below zero again, I think hope the deep freeze temperatures are mostly behind us.)

Warming

A Winter Remedy

2 oz Whiskey

1/4 oz Lemon Juice

2 tsp Demerara Sugar

Boiling Water

Lemon Peel studded with 4-6 Cloves

Add the sugar to a mug.  Fill half way with the boiling water.  Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Add the studded lemon peel garnish and stir it around a bit.  Next pour in the lemon juice and whiskey.  Stir a final time.  Enjoy.

Pour

Warding off the cold one toddy at a time.

Pour 2

Whiskey

Toddy

Simple and delicious.

Blizzard…What blizzard?


Blue In Green: MxMo XCIII

Blue like the January sky.

Blue ghosts cross a white field

Ice blossoms dance in cold sunlight

Blue is the memory of color.

Chilling the Coup

Anyhoo, Blue is the theme for this month’s Mixology Monday hosted by Ginhound!  The blue cocktail trend is supposed to become a thing, so this seems very a la mode.   I’m not really one to add food coloring to my drinks just in order to turn a perfectly good martini blue, or a beer green.  However, it is near impossible to walk a hard line on food coloring.  I’m pretty sure that Campari contributes a fair amount of it, as does Angostura and a host of other common occupants of my bar, for that matter.  But as for just adding a few drops of blue… well, that would be too easy anyway.

So, I originally set out thinking about how I could turn a drink blue more naturally.  (I also didn’t have any Blue Curacao or other blue liqueur.)  Ginhound had plenty of good ideas of using red cabbage, blueberries and the like, which could totally work, but I wasn’t feeling it.  Then I thought about ingredients that have blue in the name, then cocktails that have blue in the name…  But that’s when things got more interesting.  I started thinking about blue outside the food context and things/feelings associated with that color/word.  The challenge to create something around an abstract theme is exciting!

Enter Miles Davis

A smoky, blue lit club swirling sounds about the atmosphere.  Jazz always has had this hazy blue vibe to me.  Not all jazz recordings of course, but rather the general idea of it.

Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue is one of the greatest jazz albums of all time.

“Why does Kind of Blue possess such a mystique? Perhaps because this music never flaunts its genius…. It’s the pinnacle of modal jazz — tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality….”  – AllMusic senior editor Stephen Erlewine

Let’s create a cocktail inspired by Kind of Blue!

Establishing 1

After listening to the record, I knew right away that the rounded sophistication of the sound called out for cognac.  Naturally, my thoughts turned to the Vieux Carré, hailing from the land of jazz with a solid base of cognac.  But I didn’t want to just make a classic cocktail.  I wanted something that spoke to the source material more specifically.

Lemon

The finer details of the drink, therefore, needed more boundaries.  So, I narrowed the album down to one track in particular, Blue in Green.  The soft piano and bass undertones would be played nicely by the cognac.  An accent of scotch for my smoky haze.  The brassy inflections that pop above those undertones add complexity and high notes to the sound and really make the music interesting.  Bitters and a twist of lemon.  A little sweet vermouth to echo the Vieux Carré, add mouth-feel and round it all out.

Let’s swirl some green chartreuse into a chilled coup for the improvisation and a subtle shout out to another New Orleans classic.  Then, we’ll pour our Blue into the Green!

Chartreuse

The Stir

The Pour

From Above

Blue in Green

1 oz  Cognac

1 oz  Scotch

1/2 oz  Sweet Vermouth

2 Dashes  Angostura Bitters

2 Dashes  Peychaud Bitters

2 Dashes  Orange Bitters (Fee Bros.)

1 Bar Spoon Green Chartreuse

Lemon Peel for Garnish

Set a cocktail glass to chill.  Combine the first 6 ingredients in a mixing glass/tin.  Add ice and stir.

In the chilled glass, add a bar spoonful of green chartreuse and swirl it around the glass.

Strain the contents of the mixing glass into the coup, twist the lemon peel over the drink to release the oils and garnish.

Profile

Blue in Green – a “subtly shifting” cocktail.

Check out the Mixology Monday round up here.


Pumpkin Beer to the Rescue

Thanksgiving feast was laid out in all its delicious magnificence.  Days of culinary dabbling had finally culminated to this moment.   After hours of toiling and waiting…were all quite hungry.  It was at that moment, we realized that something was missing…

Pumpkin!

Pumpkin!

Where is the Pumpkin!

We remembered that cute little rouge-ish pumpkin from the CSA.  The one we had kind of been saving for such an occasion as this.  It was still sitting there.  Not anywhere near cooked to perfection.  So there it was: We had made nothing with pumpkin.  No pumpkin pie, no pumpkin breads.  Not even a squash (or sweet potato for that matter.)  It didn’t seem right to have Thanksgiving without pumpkin and just as it seemed all hope was lost…  Pumpkin beers to the rescue!

In honor of their late arrival to our holiday menu, we’ve put together another round-up of the sometimes awful and sometimes marvelous, celebrated and/or maligned seasonal beverage.

(Previously on pumpkin beers we tasted these, click here to revisit.)

For 2014, we have 13 new beers to try!  Well technically, we’ve had a couple of these before, but whatever.  Let’s start at the bottom and work up.

Long Trail Pumpkin Ale

Long Trail Pumpkin Ale

#13 Long Trail Brewing Pumpkin Ale  – Score 1.5

I can only imagine that this beer was tainted somehow.  Sour, musty aromas lead to astringent bitter flavors, heavy on the spice.  The body and carbonation were nice, but the flavor was just not pleasant.

Magic Hat Wilhelm Scream

Magic Hat Wilhelm Scream

#12 Magic Hat Wilhelm Scream – Score 2

This was at least one of the most unique renditions.  The aroma was very earthy and vegetal.  It tasted like raw squash with hints of baking spice and a touch of demerara sugar.  Finishing lightly astringent with a fresh grind of black pepper.  We just couldn’t get into that vegetal assault.  Not really into drinking raw pumpkins, I guess.

Pumple Drumkin

Pumple Drumkin

#11 Cisco Brewers Pumple Drumkin – Score 3

It’s too bad it doesn’t taste as cute as the little pumpkin critter on the can.  There just isn’t that much going on here.  Lots of carbonation and a creamy mouth-filling body, but there is also too much bitterness.  Some light sour notes and a biscuity finish pretty mush wraps it up.  The faint spice and pumpkin notes are almost totally lost.

Traveler Jack-O-Shandy

Traveler Jack-O-Shandy

#10 The Traveler Beer Co. Jack-O-Shandy – Score 3.5

So this could arguably, not qualify for a pumpkin beer since it is really a shandy. A shandy is half beer and half lemonade.  The Jack-O-Shandy tasted like an Arnold Palmer with a sprinkle of cinnamon, ginger, and raisin.  Fuzzy carbonation, light pumpkin essence, and a bit of malt flavor on the dry finish.  The cloudy, brownish appearance was not very appealing.  Over all, the lemon tea flavors were somewhat refreshing, but this is definitely not something I’d buy again.

Red Hook Out of Your Gourd

Red Hook Out of Your Gourd

#9 Red Hook Out of Your Gourd – Score 3.75

I really like the idea of a pumpkin porter and still hold out hope that there is a truly rockin’ version of it.  I will try to seek one out for next year…  This wasn’t a bad beer, just not very good one.  The porter characteristics dominated with roasty flavors of coffee, dark brown sugar, and black pepper.  The finish was bitter, dry, roasty, and lightly sour.  The pumpkin and spice notes were very subtle, which for some might be preferable, but when evaluating pumpkin beers, those attributes should be more noticeable.  Admittedly, had it been a better porter underneath, I would have put less emphasis on that short coming.  There were slight hints of cinnamon, clove, but no pumpkin.  The body was lighter than I would have liked.  All in all, it didn’t start with a particularly stellar porter base and the “pumpkin beer” attributes were too subdued to cover that up.

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale

#8 Smuttynose Brewing Co. Pumpkin Ale – Score 4

Very nice aroma: floral, bright lemon peel and spice.  Warming on the palate with cinnamon and clove spices, but bitter.  Medium body.  Unfortunately, I liked the way it smelled more than the way it tasted.  An okay beer, but nothing special.

Uinta Punk'n

Uinta Punk’n

#7 Unita Punk’n – Score 5

Pumpkin and spice aromas and flavors are present, but not over-whelming or particularly defined.  Light musty, fermented fruit aromas.  Some additional sour (Meyer lemon) flavor with a bit of red hot and Smarties candy on the finish/aftertaste.  Easy drinking, but definitely not tradition worthy.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

#6 Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale – Score 5.75

Cardamom is big in this beer.  Nutmeg and black pepper are also present along with fried sage, demerara sugar with a hint of roasted squash.  The cardamom intensity was a bit more than we liked.  A decent pumpkin beer, but not one that we would seek out for next year.

Waterfront Spiced Pumpkin

Waterfront Spiced Pumpkin Ale

# 5 Waterfront Spiced Pumpkin Ale – Score 6

I’m actually surprised that this beer ranked as high as it did.  It was the first one we tasted and it was brewed by Shipyard.  We are typically not big fans of Shipyard brewed beers and we certainly didn’t care for their namesake pumpkin beer.  However, this was a balanced, nicely carbonated beer with the right holiday aromas and flavors of cinnamon, pumpkin (most notably in the aroma).   There is even a little hint of pastry crust.  I wouldn’t commit to purchasing a full 12 pack… we didn’t like it that much.  However in a mixed 6-pk, I would consider adding a bottle or two.

Long Trail Imperial Pumpkin

Long Trail Imperial Pumpkin

#4 Long Trail Brewing Co. Imperial Pumpkin – Score 6.5

This beer is part of the Brush and Barrel Series.  We’ve sampled a few beers from this series and they were all pretty good.  We really enjoyed this beer last year and while we still liked it this year, we were a bit less impressed.  Circus peanuts dominated the aroma / flavor.  Along with candied yams, marshmallow cream, and Banana Runts candy, this beer seemed less like a pumpkin beer and more like a Halloween-candy-bag beer.  It had a nice creamy full body with well integrated spice notes and a dry finish.  The hops, however, were a bit much and seemed to clash with the rest of the beer.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

#3 Dogfish Head Punkin Ale – Score 8

This beer has been a regular addition to our holiday season for some time now and it continues to deliver the right balance between solid beer making and additions of pumpkin and spice.  It starts off with sweet notes of brown sugar and caramel malts.  Then comes the spice: cinnamon and allspice with hints of hops and pumpkin on a creamy, medium to full body.   It finishes pleasantly hoppy and dry.  Leaving you ready for another sip!  This is a tradition that will continue for sure.

Southern Tier Pumking

Southern Tier Pumking

#2 Southern Tier Pumking – Score 8.25

I suppose one could say that this isn’t a pumpkin beer, but rather a pie crust beer.  Either way, it’s definitely seasonal and definitely delicious.  Biscuity aromas lead to flavors of pie crust, graham cracker, gingerbread, baking spices (cinnamon and ginger), and vanilla custard.  Hints of hazelnut and pecan pie.  Pumking is the beer equivalent of a soft, warm blanket.

And for our favorite pumpkin beer of all… so far…

New Belgium Pimpkick

New Belgium Pimpkick

#1 New Belgium Pumpkick – Score 9.5

Nearing perfection, the Pumpkick delivers it all plus a little bit extra that tips it into the outstanding category.  The nose is like pumpkin pie: full of spice (allspice), biscuit, mild pumpkin, and a hint of cranberry.  It all happens again on the palate with flavors of pumpkin butter, brown sugar, allspice, and cinnamon.  It’s that juicy tart cranberry twist at the end that kicks this beer to the top.  That tart pop balances the sweetness and richness of the other flavors keeping the beer lively and engaging.  The spices and pumpkin taste fresh and are well integrated into the malty backbone of the beer.  A complex brew that evokes the season!  We only wish it was available in Maine.

Pumpkin Beer Line Up 2014

Pumpkin Beer Line Up 2014

Until next year, Happy Holidays and bring on the Winter Warmers!

 

 

 

 

 


Spanish (Iced) Coffee: Mixology Monday LXX

I had this great idea for an inverted cocktail after reading the Mixology Monday announcement.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work out quite the way I’d hoped, but I didn’t have to walk away empty handed.

Putney Farm, the gracious host of this month’s mxmologodecided to challenge everyone with inverting a classic cocktail or at least something to that effect.  Here’s what they said:

A while ago, while researching Julia Child’s recipes, we noticed that she was well-known for enjoying “upside-down” or “inverted” Martinis. This is a version of the classic cocktail that swaps the ratios of gin and vermouth, turning the Martini into something of a “long drink”… We wondered if we could apply the same “inverted” approach to Mixology Monday and, at first, didn’t think it would work. But then we asked ourselves, what does “inverted” really mean? Well, here is the definition, “To turn inside out or upside down; to reverse the position, order, or condition of.” Hmm…it appears that the definition is pretty broad. It seems that “inverted” really just means something “flipped on its head”. And that can mean almost anything, and leaves plenty of room for creativity… You can invert the ratios of spirits, liqueurs or bitters in a cocktail, but we suggest you go beyond that and “invert” whatever you want. Spirits, name, ingredients, proof, color, geography, garnish and glassware are all fair game.  An apéritif made with Navy-Strength booze? Give it a try. A beer-based cocktail that tastes like champagne? Sure. A clear Manhattan? Worth a shot (and good luck with that). The only thing we expect is the unexpected. Have fun.

The Booze

The Booze

I pondered it for a minute and then had the idea of inverting the Spanish Coffee recipe from Huber’s Café in Portland, OR.  I ran across this recipe on the Imbibe website while researching coffee cocktails.  I had been working on cold brewed coffee / tea in cocktails project recently (more on that in a future post.)  Remembering the Spanish Coffee, I decided I would swap out the hot brewed coffee with the cold brewed.  Since the cold brew is concentrated, I figured I could invert the amounts of coffee and rum.  Three ounces of rum is a fair bit and at 151 proof seemed dangerous.  Well, that wouldn’t really stop me, but I had a couple types of rum available in my arsenal, but not 151 so figured I would balance the increased volume with a lower proof spirit aka use what I had.  That and lighting it on fire should allow for a pleasant, but not overly boozy cocktail.  The fireworks, in blue blazer style, would serve several purposes – it would burn off excess alcohol, heat the cold brewed coffee, and be theatrical!  

Putting a Flame to Rum

Putting a Flame to Rum

I started the week before by brewing up some coffee liqueur.  This time, I started by cold brewing a nice medium roasted Guatemalan coffee.  Then, I made a simple syrup with Turbinado sugar.  Once the sugar was all dissolved in the water, I let it simmer for a bit before adding in the coffee concentrate.  Over lowish heat, I reduced the coffee and sugar syrup together by a third to a half careful not to boil or even vigorously simmer the liquid.  Just kept it steaming. Took about an hour.  When it had reached a consistency that I liked, I turned off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.  I then filtered it into a bottle through a fine mesh strainer, added the rum and half of a vanilla bean split lengthwise.  Gave it a little shake and refrigerated it for a week.  This liqueur turned out much better than the last time I made my own.  I do, however, have a few tweaks for next time, but this is not a coffee liqueur post, so, on with the cocktail!

It was all ready to go.  I cold brewed again, this time a natural processed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe bursting with dark berry and chocolate notes.  I had it in a mug with the coffee liqueur.  In the other mug was the 2.5 ounces of Pyrat rum.  The idea was to light the rum on fire and pour it into the coffee/liqueur mixture which would start to burn the rum in the liqueur.  Pour it all back into the other mug and then pour back and forth in a stream of blue flame a couple more times to mix and heat the drink.  Finally, pouring it all into a sugar rimmed glass swirling the burning liquid to lightly caramelize the sugar and then, douse with the curacao.

All Ready to Go

All Ready to Go

Didn’t happen.  Couldn’t get the 80 proof rum to ignite.  Go figure.  Okay well maybe if I added a half ounce of 100 proof Captain Morgan.  Nope.  Still no fire. Okay, okay… What if it was just the 100 proof?  Nothing.  Match after long match.  No fire.  A tiny blue flare up that disappeared before you even realized it happened, sure, but no stream of blueish flaming booze.  Not sure why, at this point.

Well, if it doesn’t want to light on fire, fine.  Spanish coffee is typically served hot so, I’ll invert that and serve it iced.  Take that, amazingly non-flammable alcohol.

Shaken not Flamin'

Shaken not Flamin’

Shaken together with ice those ingredients provided a delicious, frothy cocktail.  One which I would have no issue consuming…I just better not have much planned for the rest of the day.  It was a boozy concoction.   Almost went with that, but there was this nagging.  I knew it could be better.  What if I inverted the inversion?  Bring it back to the original ingredient quantities?  I gave it a go.  It was the weekend so why not.

Spanish (Iced) Coffee

1 ounce Rum (I used Pyrat)

1/2 ounce Curacao

2 ounces Coffee Liqueur

3 ounces Cold Brewed Coffee Concentrate (Nat. Ethiopian Yirgacheffee Gelana Abaya)

Fresh grated Nutmeg for garnish

Sugar Rim

Sugar Rim

Shake, with some vigor, the above ingredients together with ice.  Strain into a small snifter glass, run the rim with a bit of lemon and sugar it.

This was better.  This was good.  Less boozy and the coffee came through more.  The shaking helped to create this foaming action that cascaded just like a Guinness.  Much better suited to a breakfast cocktail.

Cascading

Cascading

Garnish with freshly grated Nutmeg.

Garnishing with Nutmeg

Garnishing with Nutmeg

So that’s my Spanish Coffee inverted to become a Spanish Iced Coffee.  Not too shabby.

Spanish Iced Coffee

Spanish Iced Coffee


Glögg: Mixology Monday LXIX

Each year for the holidays, we select a different country and explore their traditions and perhaps, most importantly their cuisine.  This past season we spent some time with Sweden and made a full on Smorgasbord.  It was hit or miss, but a lot of fun none-the-less.  I actually have started considering a rematch.  Since I now have the framework of tradition under my belt (figuratively and literally), I’ve brainstormed some tweaks and revisions here and there that could really make the various dishes shine.  But that’s another blog altogether.

The Line Up

However, one of the best elements of the dinner was the glögg!  It really hit the spot and went down pretty easy…maybe a bit too easily.  The warm depth of baking spices blended wonderfully with the raisiny and nutty density of the port wine.  The rum and bourbon took the warming quality to the next level.  As the spice aromas filled the house and the light boozy burn warmed us from the inside, we decided that glögg was the perfect foil to the cold snowy night outside our door and would definitely be a tradition that we carry over from year to year.

So when Jordan Devereaux of Chemistry of the Cocktail, this month’s host of Mixology Monday, announced that his theme would be fortified wine, I knew exactly what I would be making.  It was the perfect excuse to make this again.  Here is Jordan”s description of this month’s theme,

Fortified wines began, in large part, as a way to deal with the difficulties of shipping wine long distances in the holds of sailing ships. Without the rigorous sterilization that is possible today, wines would often spoil en route. However, increasing the alcohol concentration to around 20% ABV was enough to keep them from going off. Coincidentally, this also made it possible to age those wines for very long periods, increasing their richness and depth.

These wines held an important place in the ur-cocktails of punch and have continued on in cocktails proper, the personal punches of the past several hundred years. Though less common nowadays, sherry, port, and, to a lesser extent, madeira and marsala, all find their way into various mixed drinks.

For this month’s Mixology Monday, I’d like to see what you all can do with these versatile wines. They can play many different roles – from taking the place of vermouths in classic drinks, to providing richness and sweetness in winter tipples, to serving as a base for lighter aperitifs. Whether forgotten classics or new creations, let’s see what you can put together.

Click here to read the MxMo round up.

Granted glögg is one of those things were you can find seemingly infinite variations.  Everyone of them claiming to be the most authentic recipe that so and so’s Swedish/Norweigen/Danish/Finnish/etc. grandmother/grandfather made and passed down as had been done for generations.  I make no such claim.  I found a couple of recipes that looked decent and co-mingled them to come up with this version.  So here is our recipe: …At least I think this is what I did last time… 🙂

All in the Pot

All in the Pot

Glögg (gleug)

1 (750 ml)  bottle Port, Ruby or Tawny (I used the tawny last time and I think I prefer that)

6 oz  Bourbon or Rye

6 oz  Rum

2-3  Cardamom Pods, cracked

1  Cinnamon Stick, cracked in half (or about 2 tsp. Cinnamon Chips)

3-4  Whole Cloves

3 points of a Star Anise

1 small sliver of Ginger

Peel of half a large Orange

1-1/2 oz  Raisins, plus some for garnish

1/2 oz  Almonds, blanched and slivered, plus some for garnish

2 Tablespoons  Turbinado Sugar

Combine everything in a medium saucepan except for the sugar.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the temperature so that only a few bubbles surface at a time.  Let it slow simmer, or just under simmer, for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Fire!

Fire!

Then light the pot on fire with a match and let it burn for about 30 seconds.  Pour the sugar into the flames.  Woohoo!  Now cover the pot with a lid to put out the fire.  Give it a few good stirs to dissolve the sugar and then return to lid to the pot and let it rest for an hour.

Straining

Straining

Strain out the solids and your ready to go.  Serve warm and garnish, if you like, with some raisins and almonds in the bottom of the glass.  Optionally, you can also add an orange peel garnish.

I think it actually gets better if you allow the glögg to cool completely and then reheat to serve.  It gives the flavors more time to mellow and blend together.

Glögg

Glögg

Enjoy the pleasant burn and keep warm.  Skål!


Happy New Years, People!

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years!

Wishing you all, whoever you are, wherever you are, a most wonderful New Year!  I hope your 2013 is everything you hope it will be!

Tonight we’re jamming out to KEXP‘s end of the year count down and  toasting to the success of future changes and to our continued good fortune.  May many more glasses see their end…

Bollinger Champagne

Bollinger Champagne

Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut Champagne is the sparkling of choice ce soir.

It starts our with bright green apple with some fugi and honey crisp apples mashed into a cider.  It shows more sweetness mid palate with some vanilla and custard notes before drying out with a lemony zip.  The finish, however, lingers with pleasant and soft apricot, almond flavors.  Definitely recommend!   Especially, if you get it on sale like I did…

Cheers!


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