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Entries in Drinks (8)

Wednesday
Jan022013

Homemade Ginger Ale

Neither Rob nor I drink soda, but when I indulge, I typically reach for a ginger ale.  There is something about the ginger flavor, combined with its subtle spice, that I can't get enough of.  

One of my favorite Christmas presents was a new cookbook called Roots from J.  Since she introduced me to both Kale and Pear Salad and Carrot Quinoa Muffins (two of my all-time favorite recipes), I knew I was in for a treat.  The book is organized by root vegetables (29 in total) and ranges from commonly found sweet potatoes, beets, and parsnips to a number of vegetables I'd never heard of (salsify, cassava, crosnes).  My eyes are peeled at the market now for unidentifiable vegetables in the hopes that I can branch out and experiment.

Isn't it odd how the ginger from different roots was a completely different color?  I didn't really notice the variation until I looked at the picture above.

If you enjoy ginger ale, I think you'll love making your own ginger syrup.  The flavor from the fresh ginger is much more pronounced and fragrant than store bought soda and it is so satisfying to make something like this yourself.  I've only used the syrup with sparkling water, but my hunch is that it would be excellent in a cocktail as well. 

Homemade Ginger Ale
Roots Cookbook by Diane Morgan
Yield = Syrup for 4 Ginger Ales

Ingredients for Ginger Syrup 
1/2 cup grated fresh ginger (I used a cheese grater and then chopped the really stringy part of the root that I couldn't grate)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup water

Ingredients for Ginger Ale
4 cups club soda / sparkling water
4 tbsp fresh lime juice 
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
4 lime wedges

Note - I didn't measure the amount of syrup, lemon and lime juice, and sparkling water when I mixed the drink.  I did the syrup to taste and squeezed in some lemon and lime juices.  The measurements below come from the original recipe.

Preparation

1.  To the make the ginger syrup, in a small saucepan, combine the ginger, brown sugar, and water and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes to completely dissolve the sugar and infuse the syrup.  Remove from the heat and let the ginger steep in the syrup until cool, about 30 minutes.  Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a container with a tight-fitting lid (I used these Weck jars) and then cover and refrigerate until well chilled.  The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

2.  Fill four 16-ounce glasses two-thirds full of ice.  Pour approximately 1/4 cup of syrup, 1 cup of sparkling water, 1 tbsp of lime juice and 1 tsp of lemon juice into each glass and stir to combine.  Garnish each glass with a lime wedge and serve immediately.

Monday
Dec172012

Eggnog

Eggnog is one of those foods that I initially distrusted.  Before I ever tried it, something in the name made me suspicious... eggnog?  It certainly doens't tell you anything about what to expect!  As it turns out, the etymology is unclear but the drink itself is sweet and frothy and creamy and it took Rob bringing it home from the grocery store at some point for me to realize I actually like (love) it. 
Making eggnog at home isn't difficult and it tastes worlds better than store bought nog.  I served a virgin version on Sunday afternoon with grated nutmeg on top and it helped to put me in the holiday spirit.  The house is decorated, most of the presents are wrapped, and now we just need snow!  
Homemade Egg Nog
The NY Times 
Yield = 8 servings 

Ingredients
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups dark rum (optional)
  • Whole nutmeg

Preparation

1.  In a saucepan, heat 2 cups milk but don’t boil. Turn off the heat.
2.  In a mixing bowl, gradually add the sugar into the egg yolks and whisk until thick and pale.
3.  Whisk 1 cup of the warm milk into the yolk-sugar mixture. Add this back to the milk in the pan, stirring over low heat until thickened and blended.  Turn off the heat and quickly stir in the cream.
4.  Place pan in a large bowl half-filled with ice water.  Stir occasionally, until chilled.  When chilled, stir into punch bowl and add rum and remaining milk.
5.  In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Then fold them into the nog.  Top each serving with grated nutmeg.  Note that you'll have to re-whisk the nog if you wait to serve it because the frothy egg whites will separate a bit from the milk/cream/egg base.  And if you aren't serving the nog immediately, refrigerate it until you are.

Monday
Mar122012

Tonx Coffee

Image credit to Tonx Coffee.This is a household of devoted coffee drinkers and we are always willing to try something new.  I read about Tonx over the weekend and am intrigued.  We love to try new coffees (although Monmouth Coffee in London will forever be our favorite - if only I could persuade them to ship abroad) and I like the idea of having a new bag arrive every other week.  Has anyone tried Tonx coffee?  Please let me know if you have!

 

Friday
Jan132012

Cuppow!

I love the look of a canning jar, whether for holding a drink (probably with a striped straw in it) or for flowers, but I've never thought about using my canning jar to go until I read this post.  Cuppow, a company in Somerville, Massachusetts, developed a plastic lid for canning jars so you can use them as a travel mug (and for only $7.99 plus shipping).  All images are courtesy of Cuppow.

Tuesday
Aug302011

Strawberry Slushies

 

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If you are looking for an easy way to mix things up at your Labor Day BBQ, think about serving these Strawberry Slushies.  These delightful drinks take only a few minutes to make and you could whip them up and store them in your freezer until ready to serve.  I followed the recipe and used fresh strawberries, but I imagine they would be great with peaches (I recommend removing the skin), raspberries or blackberries.  Of course, the slushies ought to be served with a festive straw!

Strawberry Slushies
Bon Appétit, August 2011 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups hulled strawberries
  • 1 750-ml bottle dry Riesling
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
Purée strawberries, Riesling, lemon juice, and sugar in a food processor until liquefied. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.  Divide among cups.  Serve immediately with straws, or transfer to a container and freeze.
If you prepare these in advance and freeze, remove frozen slushy mixture 15-20 minutes ahead of planned serving time.