All posts tagged: drinks

Sous Vide Limoncello

<…In the car, listening to america’s test kitchen podcast…>Wait…I can make my own limoncello? Phew! Christmas list solved. I’ll look up the recipe when I get home. <…At home, searching the web…> Darn…it has to rest for weeks, if not months. Christmas is too close. Hmm. <…adjusting search terms…> Aha! Sous Vide to the rescue! I can speed the infusion time up from weeks to hours. Next, I need 190 proof grain alcohol. <…remembering a particular party in college…shudders. Moving on…> Darn, again…I can’t buy Everclear 190 in Ohio without a prescription. It’s 127 miles to Pittsburgh. I’ve got a full tank of gas, ten organic lemons, it’s snowing… <…one bootlegging run to Pennsylvania later…>  Excellent warning labels on this bottle: “Caution! Extremely Flammable! Contents may ignite or explode.” That’s what you get with 95% alcohol. I got to work scrubbing and zesting lemons. And…that’s it. Lemon zest, Everclear, a quart mason jar, and three hours sous vide yield lemon infused liquor; simmering water and sugar gives me simple syrup, and the two combine into …

Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey Old Fashioned with Grilled Orange

This post is sponsored by Knob Creek® Distillery and the Original Brothers of Bourbon website. I enjoy the bold, spicy taste of Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey while I grill. The other day, as I sipped my drink and waited for the grill to preheat, the penny dropped. I can grill my oranges, adding smoky, caramelized fruit flavors to my Old Fashioned. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? How do I grill an Old Fashioned? While preheating the grill for the main course, I put an orange wedge on the grate for a minute or two, long enough to give it good grill marks. After the wedge cools down for a minute, I squeeze a little of the orange juice into a rocks glass, muddle it with sugar cubes and a dash or two of bitters, and stir in some Knob Creek® Rye. Add some ice, the squeezed orange wedge, top with club soda, and I have a tasty beverage – just what I need to fortify myself for an evening of grilling. Recipe: Knob …

Grilled Lemon Whiskey Sour

Grilled citrus is having a moment. I’ve seen it in a bunch of places recently, and I had to try it out. Is it all for show? My next thought was – grilled lemon? Sounds perfect in a drink, something to keep me quenched while I do hard work over an open fire. Grilled whiskey sour, here we come! So, is it worth grilling a lemon? Yes, yes it is. The heat of the grill caramelizes the lemon, adding sweetness to the sour citrus. Also, I was amazed by the ease of juicing a heated lemon. I was barely pressing on my lemon squeezer, and juice was squirting everywhere.Now, don’t get me wrong. It *is* quite a show when you pull browned lemons off the grill and start mixing drinks with them. Your guests will think you’re a grilling wizard. Thanks to my association with Knob Creek, I have a bottle of Knob Creek Rye Whiskey ready whenever I want to make this drink again.Like, say, tonight, while I grill dinner? Sounds like the perfect …

Fiery Mexican Martini

My day job took me to Austin a few times earlier this year. I spent as much time as I could sampling* the local cuisine – barbecue and Tex-Mex. *Read: stuffing myself until I could barely move. There are a lot of wonderful things to eat in Austin, but my favorite was the Mexican Martini. Or the Texas Martini – I saw both names used for what is essentially the same drink. Tequila, orange liqueur, simple syrup, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker full of ice, served in a martini glass with a salted rim. Drop in some olives stuffed with jalapenos, and the drink is ready to enjoy. My favorite version was the spicy Texas martini served at Chuy’s, where the tequila is infused with jalapenos, to give the drink a little extra kick. I came home determined to make it for myself. A Mexican martini is a simple drink, with no place to hide low quality ingredients. Get 100% agave silver tequila. You don’t want to infuse reposado or anejo tequila, and cover up all …

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican Hot Chocolate is my favorite drink on a cold winter’s day.*Non-alcoholic division. Mexican chocolate has a hint of cinnamon and spice in it. It makes a better cup of hot chocolate than the one I grew up with.*Swiss Miss powder, with the tiny “marshmallows” in it. Our kids love it. They’ve been drinking it since they were little. Years ago, we were visiting my aunt and uncle in Chicago.* We spent a day downtown on Michigan Avenue, checking out all the shops on the Miracle Mile. Ben and Natalie loved the Lego store; Tim was a little over a year old, and was snoozing in his stroller. We went for a late lunch at Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill. The kids thought it was the best meal of our visit. They ate tortillas and drank cup after cup of Mexican hot chocolate, while the servers cooed over Tim as he slept in his stroller.*Hi, Terry and Mary! Recipe: Mexican Hot ChocolateEquipment: Stick blender (Or a regular blender, if you’re brave. See the Notes section below.) Ingredients: 3 ounce …

Iced Sweet Tea

I discovered sweet in Charlotte, NC. I’m a Northerner, and I didn’t know that sweet tea (pronounced “Sweetea”) is the default. You have to ask for “unsweet”. And, boy, they were right about “sweet” – I wasn’t expecting that much sugar. (I wasn’t expecting ANY sugar.) Which brings me to another installment in my “favorite sentences in recipes” series.  This one is from Jaime Purviance, in his recipe for iced tea in Weber’s Big Book of Grilling: If you want a sweet batch, add about 3 tbsp of sugar to the boiling water.  If you’re from the south, pour it on until it feels right. Sweet tea is the perfect drink to have with barbecue. (Non-alcoholic category). But, as good as it is, I only made sweet tea at home about once a summer. Making a big batch is a fair amount of work: boiling a gallon of water, steeping a lot of tea bags, waiting for it to cool down…it’s a lot of work for something that seems so simple. Then I saw this …