……………………………………………………. Baking our mark

Stuff we like: Fall drinks October 23, 2011

Filed under: Drink — krandle @ 12:32 pm
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Fall is a great time for drinking. We’re really busy, there are great beers going on, and….well….when isn’t a good time to be drinking?

Here are some beers we’re into right now:

River Horse Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Onion Brewery Pumpkin Ale

Duck Rabbit Porter (even though it’s not seasonal, it’s fall-ish and delicious)

Update: Victory Moonglow Weizenbock

Don’t forget some autumnal cocktail options — subdued seasonal fruit flavors combined with the nice edge of hard alcohol.  These are definitely on the to-do list:

Amaretto and cream soda, mixed in equal parts

Pear and Sparkling Cider Cocktail

Ginger Smash (with gin!)

Glühwein (Mulled Wine) — this is a tiny bit early in the season (over excitement for the chillier weather!), but mulled wine is hands down amazing, fragrant, and flavorful, even when the landscape is sans snow. Must drink this out of a mug!

And of course, the traditional hot whiskey toddy. Not exactly a new and exciting flavor combination, but nevertheless still evokes fall in all the best ways. Use honey instead of sugar to get a smoother, less obvious sweetness.

Try them. You’ll like them.


Light Pina Colada August 3, 2011

Infusing alcohol with fruit is simply the best idea ever. I know the home beer brewers and wine makers are pooh-poohing this trend as basically faux alcohol making – but I still love it. Just like I like “making” jello with fruit in it or bundt cake using a mix as the base.

Anyways, last week, I improved on a recipe for berry mojitos by making them with strawberry-infused rum. And blueberry-infused gin mixed with lemonade is a summer afternoon dream.

This week, I kicked up a recipe for light pina coladas by using pineapple-infused rum (which is currently tied with mango-infused rum as my favorite summer creation).

Light Pina Coladas with Pineapple-Infused Rum

3/4 cup coconut water
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 cups fresh pineapple cubes
1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup pineapple-infused rum (see directions below)

Blend everything but the rum together in a blender. Then stir in the rum. Garnish the glasses with coconut. Serves 4 (or 2).


Pineapple-Infused Rum

To start the process, you’ll need to hack up a pineapple, and put the usable fruit (i.e., not the core) into a clean container that can be tightly sealed (like tupperware). Then, pour in enough silver rum to cover the pineapple.

Leave this in your fridge for a while, shaking up your concoction daily. About two weeks gives the rum a nicely pineapple-y flavor, but the length of time is really dependent on your tastes.

Strain the rum into another container that can be tightly sealed, and discard the fruit. [I promise, it just tastes nasty; don’t try to do anything with it because it tastes like a shot, not a boozy fruit salad.] Then it’s ready to go.


Gin Blueberry Lemonade July 24, 2011

Filed under: Drink — krandle @ 1:56 pm
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I’m currently living with a chick who is…not really into food. (Let’s just say that my house now has more leftover McDonalds napkins on the counter than I’ve ever seen at a McDonalds.) That means that I get to hog the entire fridge.

I’ve taken advantage of all the deep nooks and crannies in a variety of ways: 18 ct. egg cartons, extra condiments, and containers of alcohol that I’m infusing with fruit. Yes – fruit infused liquor is my interest du jour. A few weeks ago the mango-infused rum got mixed with some Arnold Palmers at a barbecue. Delicious.

The most recent creation is a tad different.

Gin Blueberry Lemonade

2 cups blueberries, washed thoroughly
Gin [you need to start with a good alcohol to have the final product turn out well; I’m partial to Bluecoat Gin right now]
Store-bought lemonade [and in case you question that decision, check out this BA article about how store-bought lemonade is awesome]

To infuse the gin, you’ll need to let it sit in with the blueberries for at least 3 days, but preferably closer to a week or two.  Then, when the gin is good and berried up, pour it in a glass and top it off with ice and lemonade for a refreshing summery drink. Note that you cannot use the berries used to infuse the gin to garnish the drinks; the berries taste like nothing but alcohol as all their berry goodness is in your liquor.


Ricotta Frozen Smoothie March 18, 2011

Blender, ca. 1975, courtesy of my mother

This recipe is something I sort of made up as a substitute for frozen yogurt, which I am seriously craving today. Ricotta is kind of a nice change of pace from regular yogurt, especially as an alternate version of the Greek variety in terms of flavor and consistency.  It’s probably not something I’d eat all the time because the protein count is higher in yogurt, but whatever.  It’s gorgeous outside (crocuses sprouting in the neighbor’s backyard!), and there are lots of blackberries lying around in this house.

This takes a little planning, as the fruit needs about a day to freeze (or you could just buy frozen fruit if you prefer). You could pretty much add any fruit you like, I just happen to be obsessed with blackberries.  However, the bananas are non-negotiable– they provide the smooth and creamy consistency.

For the smoothie:

3 bananas, cut into pieces and frozen

2 cups blackberries, washed and frozen

1/2 cup blueberries, washed and frozen

3/4 cup frozen strawberry puree (this will be the one time I mention a brand: Goya puts out nice un-sugared frozen fruit purees at the local grocery store… they have some interesting flavors (i.e., prickly pear) that I intend to try soon.)

1 cup soy milk (or regular)

3/4 – 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1 tablespoon honey (I actually didn’t use this, but in retrospect it seems like it should be included in the mix.)

Start by letting things sit out of the freezer for a little bit (like 2-3 minutes) to at least get things more pliable, especially if you’re using a blender. (If you’re using a food processor you can probably jump right in.) Puree the bananas and strawberry puree together and add the milk slowly as they start to get clumpy. Then add the blueberries and blackberries (or your fruit of choice) in shifts (about 2). The mixture will start to get thick as the bananas become liquefied, so lots of stirring is important.  I ended up separating the mixture into two batches (put one in a bowl until I was ready for it) and continued to blend in the rest of the milk.  Add the ricotta and puree further.  Then mix the two batches together as best you can (this isn’t a big deal as long as things look about the same color, in my case a mauve-ish light purple– how delightful, right?)  Store in an airtight container in the freezer or eat immediately (highly recommended).

For next time: a spiked version of this would be awesome… I’m not really a cocktail/girly drinks person (weißbier and g&t’s, please), but a touch of vodka would definitely make this more fun……….. is it summer yet?


Stuff we like: SNAP organic liquor March 13, 2011

Filed under: Drink — krandle @ 1:31 pm
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We haven’t reviewed any products yet, but I know that’s on our list of things we’re going to get into more as we keep writing. So, I’ve decided to start us off.

If you live in Philly and are even vaguely connected to the art/food scene, you’ve probably heard of SNAP or ROOT, organic spirits made by a local artists coalition called Art in the Age. (They’re very trendy and have a philosophy behind all their funky t-shirts and soaps and whatnot.) ROOT tastes like root beer, SNAP tastes like ginger snaps.

Yes. Liquor that tastes like ginger snaps.

SNAP (The liquor is actually more of a dark beer color - bad lighting + bad camera skills = bad representation)

I tried this for the first time at Wishing Well, which is a generally awesome place –  I opted to man up and order it neat. A few weeks back, a friend who works for Philadelphia Live Arts told me so much about how awesome this alcohol was that I felt obligated to try it.

And it was worth it. And when I saw it was on sale at PLCB stores, I picked up a bottle of SNAP over the weekend. (For those of you outside of PA, buy it here. Yes, it’s a little pricey – but this isn’t something you just knock back. It’s something you enjoy and mix with things for flavor.)

And, in case you want some ideas on how to use SNAP yourself, I recommend a few options.

First, this recipe from Art in the Age for “Haymaker’s Punch” – it involves cider vinegar – is delicious. (I won’t type it here – I want you visit their site.)

Second – and this is only for the brave and flavor-loving – try the drink my roommate and I came up with when we were experimenting.

2 oz. snap
Pinch of fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-4 oz. water (and/or ice)
Dash of cayenne

That is for people who love flavor. Anyways, check out this nifty liquor, support the arts, and impress everyone with how trendy you are.