Did you know rum used to be an accepted form of currency in the United States? This was, of course, a really long time ago. Before whiskey and beer took firm hold of the American liquor scene, the US was all about the rum. So what happened? I blame frat boys and The Captain for our current view of rum, but these days rum is starting to find it’s way back into the hearts of craft liquor lovers. I’m not much of a hard liquor drinker, I tend to favor good beer and cheap wine, but after researching the history of rum for an article I wrote, I have a newfound respect. I also found the taste of Ten Cane Rum to be stellar, by far my favorite of all the rums I sampled.
I also realized that although most people think of that syrupy pink blended guy as a daiquiri, the original version is all about well made rum and some lime juice.
And I threw in some ginger simple syrup for good measure.
Ginger Lime Daiquiri
Yield: 1 cocktail with plenty of simple syrup for several more drinks
Ginger Simple Syrup:
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
¼ cup ginger, peeled and sliced
Ginger Lime Daiquiri (makes 1)
2 ounce golden rum
1 ounces lime juice
1 ounce ginger simple syrup
Dash fresh ginger, grated with a microplane or fine zester
Make the ginger simple syrup: Add water, sugar and ginger to a pan over medium-high heat. Stir continually until sugar has dissolved, remove from heat. Allow the ginger to steep until syrup has cooled to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Strain out the ginger and store simple syrup in a plastic squeeze bottle or jar in the fridge until ready to use (can be made up to a week ahead of time).
Make the Daiquiri: Add rum, lime juice and ginger simple syrup to a shaker full of ice. Shake gently for 15-30 seconds, strain into a cocktail glass. Grate fresh ginger into the glass.
Ginger simple syrup also makes a fantastic addition to watermelon margaritas
There are much more eloquent ways of explaining how fantastic this Wüsthof knife is, like it’s forged from a single piece of specially tempered high carbon steel to ensure outstanding strength, or that The slight curve of the blade makes the Chai Dao ideal for cutting, but that just doesn’t get to the meat of the explanation.
This knife is bad ass.
It’s a strong cleaver that’s the perfect size, large enough to slightly scare anyone in your immediate chopping vicinity, but not so large that it’s unmanageable. It’s also sharp enough to slice jalapenos paper thin.
Although I don’t think it’s necessary to buy high end when it comes to all kitchen equipment, knives are the exeption. Knives are an important investment, a tool that will last long enough to pass down to your children, spend money on knives. Don’t buy a cheap block with multiple cheap knives that you will inevitable have to replace in a year (we’ve all done that).
Instead, start to collect. Build your collections one at a time. Start with the basics, and build. This is a great knife to add to your collection. If you are just starting, here are my recommendations:
Because I had this knife, and was able to slice thin jalapenos, I made a cocktail. Maybe this doesn’t scream MOTHERS DAY, and fit the theme of this weeks giveaways, but I’m a mom and I love a good spicy cocktail and a sharp knife. Cocktails and knives are the new mothers day, I swear.
But maybe you wield the knife and start to chop things up with your bad ass knife before you drink that cocktail, mkay?
Jalapeno Peach Martini
2 ounces good quality vodka (I used Tito’s Homemade Vodka)
½ ounce dry vermouth
2 ounces peach nectar
6 thin slices fresh jalapeno
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
Add all ingredients, shake gently for about 10 seconds.
Pour through the strainer into a chilled martini glass.
Pineapple season is here! Although it’s still a tad colder here in the US than in the tropics, it’s still completely acceptable to soak your vacation-related produce in booze. My hard liquor consumption is fairly infrequent, but lately booze has worked it’s way into my kitchen. I’m much more of a beer and wine kind of girl, but rum has some beautiful flavors that pair nicely with pineapples.
Although this would make an excellent blended drink, there is something that feels special about eating liquor right off a stick.
Rum Soaked Pineapple Pops
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1 cup rum
1 large pineapple, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
In a pot over medium high heat, add the water and sugar. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature, stir in the rum.
Add the pineapple pieces to a 9×13 inch baking dish, pour rum syrup over the pineapple and allow to soak at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove pineapples from soak, skewer with toothpicks or small skewers.
Place on a baking dish that has been covered with aluminum foil.
Freese pineapple for 1 to 2 hours, serve immediately.
I’ve never liked ginger, it always just served as a bit of color on my sushi plate, or the stuff I would pick out of a salad.And then this cocktail happened, and I decided to fall in love with ginger when it’s mixed with bourbon.
My husband invented this beautiful drink, and it’s amazing in that get-this-away-from-me-or-I-will-drink-an-entire-pitcher kind of way. The bourbon, blood orange and ginger just meld in a perfect way that makes you wonder where this drink has been your whole life. To be honest, I cringed a bit when my husband started to grate the fresh ginger into the glass. But paired with the bourbon, it has more of a ginger ale taste that is really lovely, completely compliments and brings together all the other flavors.
Makes one cocktail, but you’ll want to make more
2 oz burbon
1 ½ oz blood orange juice
½ lemon juice
1 ¼ simple syrup
4 oz ginger ale
Garnish with fresh ginger, grated with a microplane or zester
Add bourbon, blood orange juice, lemon juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker, shake gently.
Add ginger ale and stir to combine.
Pour into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with fresh ginger (don’t be shy, it’s really good)
The first Blood Orange Cocktail dreamed up by my incredibly talented (and incredibly sexy) husband.
It’s really beautiful cocktail with a citrusy sweetness that’s perfectly balanced. It’s prefect for a Ladies Night, a Dinner Party Night, or just a Netflix Night.
I’m already starting to grieve the end of the Blood Orange season, which usually ends in March. If you can’t get your hands on these, or when the season ends, muddle some raspberries and naval orange juice in a cocktail shaker to get close to these great flavors and the amazing color.
Blood and Glory: Blood Orange Cocktail
2 oz blood orange juice
4 oz Vodka
3 oz Cointreau
1 oz lime juice
Yield: two servings
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, strainer into two chilled martini glasses.
I have such a huge culinary crush on blood oranges, it’s almost embarrassing. I drove all over the city looking for these things, giving Sad Eyes to all the produce guys who told me they didn’t carry them. Then, thanks to the magic of Whole Foods, I came into ownership of about 6 pounds of these babies.
Last year I gave you the Hot Blooded cocktail during my fling with blood oranges, and this year I wanted to do an entire week. I got a bit of a late start this week because of a Super Secret project I was involved in that required I be sequestered without internet and phone for three days. I can’t wait to tell you all about it, but that will have to wait a few more months.
I have some real life cocktails coming up for you that have been dreamed up by my husband, who happens to be trained bartender (which is actually a little known fact). He is an incredible cocktail inventor and I can’t wait to show you what he came up with.
I juiced most of my 6 lbs of blood oranges for what ended up being Team Dodd’s Naptime Cocktail Hour, and froze the leftovers. The results were incredibly gorgeous cubes of ruby red orange juice that made the most amazing and beautiful pink Mimosas.
I used these square ice cubes trays, and if you love to make cocktails for guests, they are a great way to impress with very little effort.
Bleeding Mimosa: Champagne and Blood Orange Ice Cubes
2 lb blood oranges, juiced
Serves 4 to 6
Pour blood orange juice into ice cube trays.
Place in freezer until frozen, at least 6 hours.
Fill champagne flutes with blood orange ice cubes, fill with champagne.
I’m not much of a hard liquor drinker. That was something I inadvertently gave up when I became a mom, along with sleeping past 7am, peeing alone, and buying anything for myself without feeling selfish. It’s worth the price of admission, this tequila free/up at dawn/spectated toilet runs/"why am I buying this for myself when I could be buying something for my kid," life that I live as a person who grew another human in her guts.
Because she’s really amazing.
(Me & Tater in the healing waters of Santa Barbara a few days ago)
So I drink beer (the good stuff) or wine (the cheap stuff) unless you tell me that there is a cocktail on the menu that’s spicy. I love a nice hot cocktail. Lately, jalapenos have been popping into drinks all over the country and I couldn’t be happier about it.
My undying love for the Rooster Sauce put the idea for a red hot cocktail in my head a few months ago. And adding strawberries gave the perfect balance. Be careful, alcohol intensifies heat so start with a small amount (this recipe calls for only 1/2 tsp) and then decide if you want to add a bit more.
I don’t have a name for this drink. I like names. I love this cocktail. So you can see what type of conundrum this has created in my life. I’ve even gone against suit and made this three times since it’s invention two weeks ago.
If you have a creative, fun name for this cocktail, let me have it. I’ll give you full credit and I will finally be able to refer to this properly when I make it for guest.
Update: This drink now has a name: Hot Blooded
I’ve also learned a few things about drink making with peppers, something I am completely and whole heartedly in love with. Spicy drinks have even lured me away from my one try love of the drink world: Craft Beer. While beer will still hold the number one rank in my drinking life, spicy cocktails have snuck into a close second spot. But there are rules when concocting libations from such unpredictable ingredients. Here are some rules to keep in mind:
1. Most of the heat from pepper are in the seeds. The more seeds you leave in, the hotter it will become. Exponentially.
2. When peppers sit in alcohol it only takes seconds for the heat level to go from hot to way too hot. It happens faster than you would expect.
3. No two peppers are the same and there is no way to predict how hot the ones you have chosen will be.
4. Alcohol intensifies heat. I learned this when writing an article about How To Pair Food & Wine, high alcohol beverages increase the heat level in food. The same rule applies to making cocktails with peppers.
5. Sugar mellows heat. Adding more sugar can lower the heat level a bit.
6. Use gloves. For the LOVE. You only have to forget once, and then try to take your contacts out a few hours later to NEVER do that again. If you do forget, the best way to remove the peppers evilness from your fingers is to rub copious amounts of olive oil into your hands for about 5 minutes, and then wash the olive oil off with very warm water and dish soap.
Jalapeno, Blood Orange & Whiskey
(Named by Seth)
1 cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice
2 tbs Agave
1/2 cup whiskey
1 medium sized jalapeno, chopped, stem removed (about 2 tbs)
In a cocktail shaker, add the blood orange juice, agave and whiskey, stir until combined. Add the jalapenos, replace the shaker cap and shake three times, immediately pour through a strainer into highball glasses filled with ice, straining out the jalapenos. Discard the jalapenos.
*I made this cocktail three times. The first time I made it with hand squeezed blood oranges, by far the best choice. Knowing that blood orange season is on it’s last legs, I wanted an alternative. I made it with regular orange juice and it just wasn’t as good. I also made it with Tropicana Trop50 Red Orange, while not as good as hand squeezed blood oranges,it was much better than regular orange juice, a fine substitute. And you can buy it in most grocery stores.
Update: I think we have a name. I had so much suggestions sent to me via email, Facebook, twitter and comments, but the one I can’t get out of my head is: Hot Blooded. Thanks in no small part to Foreigner. I also LOVED the idea of a TrueBlood name, since I am shamelessly addicted to that show, Bon Temp Sunrise?? Maybe not. Thank you to Seth for the new name! I can now get some rest.
I’m SO excited about this post! Mr. Fit’s first recipe. It’s a bourbon cocktail recipe, he’s so good at cocktail makin'. I’ll share that with you all at the end.
First, these super fun chocolates that make a perfect last minute hostess gift. Or a fun addition to your holiday dessert tray.
Nothing like soaking fruit in liquor to help you get through the holidays!
While my cherries where soaking in bourbon, the three of us headed over to Travel Town to take a few shots of Tater.
I’m trying to challenge myself to get better at photography by taking pictures of non-edible things like humans. Even though she’s so cute I wanna bite her little cheeks!
Even though I am way too hard on myself, I think it is really important for me to take steps towards bettering myself in a lot of different ways. If I want to be a better photographer, it isn’t just going to all of the sudden happen one day. I have to work on it, read, study, shoot, and re-shoot. And I get to take pictures of Tater, and she is pretty stinkin' cute.
When we got back, and I had finished the cordials, I had a 1/2 cup of perfectly good bourbon and nothing to do with it. I hate to waste perfectly delicious booze, so I gave it to Mr. Fits and he wrote up a recipe for us all.
Use good bourbon for this recipe. You taste it, and you want it to taste good. My recommendation is Buffalo Trace. It’s a beautiful, artisan bourbon and it’s affordable. Shocking, I know. It is one of those magical products that is loved by bourbons snobs and inexpensive enough to go out and buy. Don’t tell those Buffalo Trace people that they could probably double the price and I would still buy it. It’s the only bourbon I actually like to drink.
Bourbon Soaked Cherry Cordials
30 fresh, sweet cherries (like Bing, don’t use sour or pie cherries)
1/2 cup Buffalo Trace Bourbon
2 cups dark chocolate (60%-70%)
Pit all thirty cherries and place then in one tight layer on the bottom of a loaf pan. Pour the bourbon on top of the cherries and toss to coat.
You want the cherries to be sitting in the bourbon, about half way covered.
Allow to soak for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature, tossing to redistribute the bourbon every 20-30 minutes.
Remove from the liquid with a slotted spoon and place cherries on a plate covered with 3-4 paper towels. Allow to drain and dry for about 10 minutes. Reserve the bourbon for the below cocktail recipe.
Place chocolate in the top or a double boiler. If you don’t have one (and to be honest, I don’t even have one) add water to the bottom of a pot, then place a metal bowl over the pot (this is what I do). Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water, very important. I have also heard that you can place the metal bowl on an electric heating pad, but I have never tried it.
Place the chocolate in the bowl, set heat to medium-low. Stir constantly. Use a food thermometer to measure the temperature. You want it to be between 90 and 93 degrees. This is so your chocolate gets that beautiful shine to it and has that crisp snap when you bite into it. If you heat it too much or too little, it won’t have that.
Once the right temperature is reached, remove the bowl from the heat. Add the cherries in batches (about 8-10 at a time) roll them around in the bowl and remove with a spoon.
Place on wax paper to dry. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
NOW that cocktail recipe I promised you. He even wrote it down for me, I love his handwriting:
Sunday Bourbon Fits
2 oz Cherry Infused Bourbon (from the above recipe)
1 tsp Grenadine
1 tsp Powdered Sugar
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 Orange Slices (plus 1 additional for garnish)
1 Cherry (for garnish)
(makes one cocktail)
In a shaker half full of ice, add bourbon, grenadine, sugar and lemon juice, stir to combine. Add one orange slice, replace shaker cap, and shake well. Pour into an Old Fashion glass. Garnish with one orange slice and a cherry.
Jalapenos have been popping up in cocktails all over the place lately. Are you skeptical? Scared? Intrigued? I’m just plain excited. I have a deep love in my culinary soul for jalapenos, as you can see, I’ve add them to my Mac N' Cheese, as well as my Bacon Cornbread. Why not cocktails? And I dare you to find a better adult beverage than a margarita to showcase this beautiful pepper.
Put all of these ingredients in a blender and blend for about a minute.
Taste to see if you want to booze it up and bit and adjust accordingly. Now, you can add ice and blend or you can serve it on the rocks. Either way, you will porbaly need about 3 cups of crushed ice or ice cubes.
You can rim the glass with either sugar or salt, this recipe lends itself very well to both.
I added a jalapeno ring as a garnish, but that is totally optional.