Hot Spiced Milk

There’s that time of night on weekdays, somewhere between 7 and 11pm, that isn’t late enough to start worrying about homework but too early to sleep. I find myself in this limbo quite often. Usually I end up catching up on the latest episode of Boardwalk Empire and craving something warm to drink. This non-tea chai is not as heavy as hot chocolate or as caffeinated as coffee.

Hot Spiced Milk
makes 1 large serving

1.5 cups milk
~2 teaspoon cinnamon
~1 teaspoon ground ginger
~1 teaspoon allspice
~1 teaspoon cloves
Dash of vanilla extract
Sweeten to taste with sugar or agave nectar

I never really measure the ingredients, so the measurements are approximate. Put all ingredients, except for the extract and sweetener, in a small saucepan. Bring to a low simmer and be sure to keep stirring so that the milk doesn’t burn on the bottom of your pot. The longer you cook it, the more water cooks off and the creamier your drink is! I used 2% milk. Add extract and sweetener at the end in your glass. The spices get in the way of drinking so, unless you want to wait for them to collect at the bottom of your glass, pour the drink through a sieve.

 

Happy Holidays!

– A

Bar Wars: A New Recipe

Hello world,

Many apologies for my recent absinthe (bahahaha). I got caught up with life, and sadly, life did not involve too much mixologizing.

HOWEVER! That doesn’t mean there weren’t any ideas sloshing around in my head.  In an event that I had to coordinate in the past few weeks, I took it upon myself to create a classy little number.

This upstanding group of young professionals that I wanted to impress deserved something  more than just a re-hashed “coke and rum” shenanigan. They needed a sophisticated beverage. Something dynamic that could be nursed… or chugged. Something that induced ample salivation… yet impressed members of the opposite sex.

Behold! I give you… a treasure…

A Known Pleasure

1.5 oz Bacardi Gold Rum

.75 oz Disaronno Amaretto

Fill Club Soda

Instructions: Build in a highball full of ice.

General Notes:

This is a great, yet simple drink. Caramel notes from the gold rum compliment the amaretto fairly well. I’m still thinking of an appropriate garnish… but the base works wonderfully! Whiskey acts as a comparable substitute if you’re into that kind of thing. A blended whiskey, preferably.

Next time, I give you two sexy cocktails. That’s right. Two. Deuce. Dos. A pair. More than one and less than three. I’ll shut up now.

J Lo, out.

A Glass of Class: Not For Kids Under 21

Candy Crasher

1 generous handful of Warheads candies (make sure they’re all the same flavor)

3 shots Bacardi 151

2 scoops of ice

Blend the ingredients together, liquefying the ice and candies.

So, Calvin and I came into possession of a massive bag of candy this past week. As a testament to just how much willpower we have, we didn’t end up eating ourselves into diabetic blindness. However, this meant a good amount of candy was left in the bag by Friday. Neither of us wanted it taking up space, but we couldn’t waste such a glorious testament to how childish we are. So, I threw some Warheads (my favorite) into a blender, added some Bacardi and ice, and just let the bastard grind for a bit. What emerged was a frothy green abomination, challenging our sensibilities. It was an absurd collision of childhood and adulthood, gurgling in the highball; I’m almost certain I faintly heard it say “kill me.” We were less than enthusiastic about tasting what looked like a bad idea, but I manned up and decided to dignify my creation with a sip. I sloshed it around, looked into the glass, and took another; the drink’s tangy-sweet mix had just enough of a bite from the rum to make it taste right. We were astounded that such a stupid idea turned out well, but it looks like it did. Not only does it taste good, it’s a great talking point at parties when people ask just what the hell it is. I recommend, if you choose to embark on this trip into absurdity, that you experiment with it, though (especially with how it looks. Try to make it less…vomity.)

–The sweet and sour C & L

A Glass of Class: Gin and Bear It

Gin and Bear It

2 shots U.V. vodka or Blue Curacao (the latter if you like sweeter drinks)

2 shots gin

1/2 a glass of cola

Mix it all together.

Even drunk Lucio can make delicious concotions, ladies and gents. At a recent friend-of-a-friend’s house party, I got my hands on some U.V. It was my first of many adventures i plan on having with that tangy, delicious liquor. Blueberry usually doesn’t agree with me, too, but for some reason, this stuff was just perfectly balanced between sweet and sour to keep the berry sugar from overtaking the taste. I had, in my hazy inebriation, the great idea to mix it in with some cola we had on the drinks table. Before I could taste it, though, somebody poured me a shot of gin. With rapier wit (just kidding,) I convinced my cohorts to let me just add the shot to my drink. I feared the worst, cringing at the thought of having wasted the drink. However, some magical chemistry shit had occurred in that sloshing Solo cup: the drink tasted fresh and tangy without taking on the usual sweetness-enhancing properties gin tends to have. Needless to say, the drink was immediately filed under “THINGS TO REMEMBER TOMORROW MORNING.”

A side note: I added to the recipe a possible substitute for UV with Blue Curacao, in case tang doesn’t sit well in your tastes; be warned, however, that I haven’t tested this mix, and it could be (and probably is) ridiculously sweet.

–C and L

A Glass of Class: Pumpkin King

The Pumpkin King (The Nightmare Before Christmas Cocktail)

Ingredients:
2 oz Eristoff Black (mixed berry vodka)
1 oz Godiva Chocolate Raspberry vodka

Directions: Stir ingredients with ice and pour into a cocktail glass.  Serve with a peppermint stick as a stir.

I found this recipe floating around the tumblrnet on a Halloween kick, and tried it early this weekend (with help from some far-less-poor-than-me friends from home.) The berry and chocolate flavors mix really well, and the peppermint stir brings the theme around perfectly. In addition to the drink, I point you to the site I found it: http://www.thedrunkenmoogle.com/. The site specializes in nerdy cocktails, which is right up my alley.

 

Happy Halloween, and pleasant screams.

–C & L

A Glass of Class: Doubleshot!

Since fall break punctured our schedules with sleep and autumnal activities, Calvin and I missed a week. To make up for it, we have two fall-appropriate recipes for you boys and girls.

Classic Hot Cider

3 parts store-bought cider

1 part cinnamon

1/2 part brown sugar

A small handful of chocolate chips

(For hard cider only) 1 part mid-tier or higher vodka

Mix everything together in a large pot. Put the pot on medium heat for about thirty minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure everything is blending nicely. Taste often to adjust for your personal tastes (or just for fun, it’s hard to wait for cider.)

In celebration of the annual Apple Harvest Festival, we made a few thermos-fulls of hot cider. Unfortunately, this was the night after the festival, so we didn’t get to enjoy it out in the crisp fall air, and had to pay stupid amounts of money for cider in the commons. Awesome. Yet, that night, we rang in the eating season (as I so affectionately call it) with a delicious, sweet-and-tart aperitif. This recipe is all Calvin’s; I cannot take any credit for it. However, I can hold up my personal counterpart to it…

Fall Breeze

2 shots Bacardi Limon

1 shot peppermint schnapps

1 tbsp cinnamon sugar

Iced tea (use whatever you like; I make my own with some Crystal Light)

Mix everything together. Drink out of a big jug with three X’s on it to feel like a true American.

I stayed in the Ith this fall break, which got me a number of weird looks. See, I live three hours away from home, and have my car up here. Why didn’t I go home, people who made ridiculous treks to see their families for a meager three days would ask me. I am simply too lazy to go home for no reason. It’s nothing against my family, I love them, fall just turns me into a lump. So, I hung out with some friends over break, making absurd concoctions, trying to embody the taste of the autumn air I do so adore. I didn’t succeed, but I’d say this comes pretty close. A brisk, biting, smooth drink to keep you warm during the cool October nights. And we do so hope you all enjoy your fall as much as we do.

–C and L

“If Life gives you lemons, cut them into slices and you’re well on your way to making SANGRIA”

Cue, backstory

I spent this past summer in Shanghai doing an internship, exploring the city, and just bumming around a bit. Shanghai, as I soon found out, has always been a mix of old and new. You could find old men crowded around an intense game of Chinese chess, a crowd of fanny pack-toting tourists, a hip and trendy Starbucks coffee shop, and a local with his pushcart selling meat skewers all on the same street. Louis Vuitton? Check. Fake eggs at a local market? (I’m not kidding) Check. Authentic Italian thin-crust pizza? Check. You get the idea.

On one of my gastronomical explorations with one of my friends, we went to a Mexican brunch place called “Maya”. Boasting a “brunch menu below 50 RMB” on Sundays, this offer was a steal. While perusing the menu, the drinks list naturally caught my eye (yes, even on a Sunday morning). Bellini! Mimosa! And then Sangria! My God, people. This was not the first time I’d been to brunch, so I’m not sure why the idea of having a little bit of drank with Sunday brunch was such a novelty (Oh right, I know why, it’s because I live in America).

So to do my first real brunch justice, we ordered white wine Sangria.

Our Sangria arrives. Condensation forms around the wine glasses from the ever-present humidity. Ice cubes bob amongst the fruity bits and pulpy pods of lemon, orange and grapefruit. Bubbles fizz around the edges from the added Perrier. To use my native, regional Bay Area, proverbial term… it was “hella” good. For those of you who are not acquainted with the jargon: it was the bomb dot com, it buttered my toast, etc.

The Sangria was refreshing, simple and absolutely tasty. Better yet, when I was done sipping on the bubbly wine, there was still floating fruit to fish out! Double whammy.

Om nom nom nom.

Brunch and Sangria

Fast forward to a week later… my friend who is leaving Shanghai mentions two bottles of wine that he forgot to give to his boss as a going-away present. My mind whirs a little, and then I give him the look. I give him the upward shift of the eyebrows, a subtle smirk indicative of mooching, and the “you know what’s up” expression all in one go. He takes a second to process my meaning. We all know how that one ended up.

Utilizing the unique and fruity flavors of Asia, I devised this simple recipe:

Shangria (see what I did there?)

1 Bottle (750 mL) of red or white wine (I used a 2007 Australian Shiraz while in Shanghai)

4 Lemons (or substitute half limes)

3 Kiwis

6-8 Lychees

1 Pink Lady Apple (or whatever’s freshest near you)

1 Asian Pear

1 cup Orange Juice

2 cups Peach Nectar

Sparkling Water

Cut lemons into slices. Skin the kiwis (I had no idea how to do this, so check it out) and similarly slice. Peel and seed the lychee. Make sure to crush the lychee so the inner pulp becomes exposed (which releases juices). Finely dice the apples and pears.

Place all fruit in a pitcher or bowl and add wine and juices. Allow Sangria to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Overnight is best. Add sparkling water to taste right before serving. Serves 5-6.

Sangria sitting in fridge overnight. Fruity bits floating...

Note: You can use any kind of fruit. Play around with the recipe and be creative. For red wine Sangrias, all kinds of berries work very well. For white wine, grapefruit, mango and watermelon would make great additions.

So whether you’re in need of a summer throwback or just have some leftover wine that your friend forgot to give their boss that you can mooch off of… Sangria’s your go-to!

Enjoy!

-J Lo