I was in the mood for some Scotch and some chocolate and I thought why not just make a Chocolate Rob Roy? It didn't take much to turn a classic Rob Roy into a chocolate Rob Roy, just change out somw chocolate bitters for the Angostura bitters.
Yes, I gave myself some little gold stars as a garnish because I earned them today.
I added a little piece of some Godiva Blood Orange Dark Chocolate to enjoy with it and it ended my day with perfection.
You know those berries and fruits you just infused some booze with? Well, the leftover fruit is not always just trash, it's a wonderful way to amp up your next entree!
A while back I had made a few bottles of Homemade Berry Liqueurs and, after straining the beautiful vodka infused liquids, I had almost 2 cups of boozy berries left over. It's not in my nature to throw things away if I can figure out another use for them so I tossed them in the freezer. I will often make a puree later or use them in a sauce, however this time I decided to toss them in with my pork ribs and go for a sweet, Asian style recipe.
Whenever pork ribs are on sale I always buy several packages. I like ribs and they're easy to toss in a crock pot for a great no fuss meal at the end of a long working day. Most of the time I just use BBQ sauce and some simple aromatics but that gets boring after a while and I need to change up the flavors occasionally. When I remembered those frozen booze berries they got a new home, in my crock pot with a few additional ingredients and a little creativity.
Hell yes, I added more booze! I thought they could use a little kick and some extra sweetness so I added some maple bourbon. Don't worry, it cooks off, so you can still have a cocktail before dinner.
Throw everything except the cornstarch slurry in the Crock-Pot and cook on low for 7-3/4 hours.
** Mix one tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water to form a thickening slurry. Add this to the crock pot and turn up to high for the last 15 minutes of cooking. Not only does this thicken your liquid into a sauce, but it puts on beautiful shiny glaze on your pork.
Serve with cilantro infused Basmati rice. Spoon some of the thickened sauce over each portion of ribs and rice.
If you're wondering about the small amount of vodka from the berries mixing with a bourbon, don't worry. There wasn't enough vodka left in those berries to mess with my bourbon, not the way I strained the liqueurs.
In the Star Trek universe Romulan Ale (aka Kali-fal) is the king of cocktails and is referred to throughout all iterations of the franchise. According to the Romulan Tutorial Missions it is said to be produced on the Romulan colony Virinat and is brewed from honey-like secretions of khellid insects whose exoskeletons give the Romulan Ale it's distinctive blue color. Another source claims it's distilled from a harsh grain called kheh. It is blue, it is seriously overproof, it is illegal throughout the Federation and it is also said to cause instant drunkenness and a warp corp breach sized hangover.
Despite it's illegality it is a favorite tipple of Captain James Tiberious Kirk, often gifted him on special occasions, usually by Scott and McCoy.
Kirk: "Romulan ale? Why Bones, you know this is illegal."
McCoy: "I only use it for medicinal purposes."
Its said the Romulans themselves drink it solely to prove they can. The Romulan's cousins, the Vulcans, leave it alone. Even the Klingons respected Romulus Ale.
Worf, after Troi and Riker's wedding:
"Romulan ale should be illegal"
Geordi La Forge: "It is."
For some reason, I left it off both my Star Trek 1 and Star Trek 2 cocktail recipe posts. I must have been exposed to some alien neurotoxin. I correct that grievous error right now.
There are numerous recipes for Romulan Ale out in the universe, not one of which uses any form of ale, beer OR malt liquor. This is just Tribble level nonsense, how can you call it ale if there's no ALE or BEER or MALT LIQUOR? There is blue ale here on Earth, Abashiri Okhotsk Blue Ryuhyo Draft by Abashiri Beer being one of them, but it's made from seaweed and not nearly high enough proof to sub for Romulan Ale. So, since Romulan Ale is not available - still - on Earth or anywhere in the Federation of Planets, you're going to have to make your own and below is the recipe.
Think of it as a high powered, alien version of a Shandy.
Fair warning: If you're still living in the 21st century and have no access to medical care, or Synthahol, you might just want to just skip the Everclear.
Garnish: What garnish? Romulans don't need no stinkin' garnish!
Tools: Cocktail Shaker
Glass: Some kind of beer glass that won't melt on contact with corrosive liquids.
Shake the Blue Curacao and Everclear with ice then strain into the glass.
Top off with the Q.C. Lemon Shrub.
Drop in a large chunk of dry ice to make it bubble, but be careful to warn people that dry ice is nearly as dangerous as this Romulan Ale recipe.
Hide the car keys. Nobody's going to be driving anywhere for a while.
* Everclear also has a 191 proof version, which would probably get you closer to true Romulan Ale deadliness, but who are we kidding here?
The official Star Trek Day is September 8th, celebrating the first television broadcast of the original Star Trek series. First Contact Day is April 5th which commemorates first contact with an alien species within the Star Trek universe.
The Caipiroska (aka a Caipivodka or Caipirodka) is similar to Brazil’s famed Caipirinha but made with vodka in place of cachaça. The basic recipe consists of a lime, cut into wedges, and a tablespoon of sugar which are muddled in the bottom of an Old Fashioned (rocks) glass, the glass is filled with crushed ice then topped off with 2 ounces of vodka, stirred and garnished with lime wedges.
What you end up with is Brazil's lower alcohol version of a vodka gimlet (1 parts lime juice, 1 part sugar with 5 parts vodka.) The difference lies in the lower ratio of spirit to citrus and sugar as well as the muddling of the citrus which releases greater amounts of the lime oils and adds a touch of bitterness from the pith of lime. It's also like a sweet Vodka tonic without the tonic.
It's an uncomplicated cocktail and surprisingly refreshing for an Indian summer kind of Fall day. It's also an interesting playground for some fun variations. As you know, I'm all about fun variations. I simply started with the standard recipe then experimented a bit.
2 Oz. Vodka
1 Lime, cut into 8 half slices
1 Tbsp Raspberry Simple Syrup*
I decided to go with some frozen raspberries and make a Raspberry Simple Syrup to replace the sugar. I simply reduced 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar with a teaspoon of grated orange zest over a medium heat until the sugar dissolved. Then I reduced the heat to low, added 2 cups of frozen raspberries and simmered for 10 minutes (or until the syrup is reduced by half). I let that steep until cool them chilled it in the refrigerator until it was time to make my cocktail. (Leftovers will be great on pound cake or ice cream.)
2 Oz. Vodka
1 Lime, cut into 8 half slices
2 Tbsp. Raspberry Simple Syrup
Garnish: Lime & Orange Slices, Frozen Raspberries
Tools: Mixing glass, Muddler
Glass: Rocks or Old Fashioned
In the bottom of your mixing glass muddle five of the lime slices with the raspberry simple syrup.
Fill your glass with ice then pour in the vodka. Stir well.
Fill your glass overflowing with crushed ice, pour the drink over the ice, garnish with the rest of the lime slices, an orange slice and a handful of frozen raspberries then serve with a straw.
I have to say this was a great cocktail. It reminded me of a Cobbler cocktail, refreshing and just hit the spot on a hot day.
Asude from the Caipiroska, there are also 2 more variations on the Caipirinha, one made with rum, the Caipirissima and Caipisake, made with (you guessed it) sake.
If you're interested in a little background, I happened on a site that is devoted just to Caipirinhas and its offshoots which has some great info on the Caipiroska and its own variations.
Brazil Independence Day is celebrated on September 7th.
If you ever need a little bit of decadence, buy yourself a bottle of Trader Vic's Macadamia Nut Liqueur. Then add some chocolate to that. Oh, and a dash I feel bitters and a pinch of sea salt.
Trader Vic's Macadamia Nut Liqueur is smooth with an immediate note of the macadamia nut and a hint of vanilla. It's rich, very rich and sweet, but the addition of the coffee bitters and that dash of salt balances that out and aldo helps bring up the chocolate liqueur.
It's also great in a cup of coffee and over ice cream.
What do you do when a friend stops by - right at cocktail hour, of course - unexpectedly and with her new boyfriend to boot?
OK, first you grumble that you look like a hobo because you were working on your new jewelry line in you baggy art clothes and you're covered in glue and paint and little bits of jewelry pieces. BUT, then you grab that bag of frozen strawberries and bananas you originally bought for smoothies and a bottle of rum, plug in the blender and whip them up a delicious daiquiri, that's what you do.
And that's what I did. I even plopped a nice little dollop of whipped cream on top.
Oh, and did I mention she sat down and said, "It's been a bad day. Make 'em really strong!" So I did. (You might wanna cut down the rum by half.)
I'm such a good friend. But she did bring me a cute little rose tea light for my troubles.
3 Cups of Frozen Bananas and Strawberries
(Or 2 Cups of Fresh Strawberries and 2 Bananas)
3 Tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice
1 Cup Bacardi Light Rum
1 Cup Ice Cubes
Garnish: Whipped Cream Topping
Glass: Whatever you want to put it in. People who stop by unexpectedly gets what they gets!
Toss all the ingredients in the blender and pulse until smooth and creamy. I always add the more liquid ingredients first to keep stress off my blender motor.
Pour into your glasses, plop on the whipped cream and sit back like the excellent host that you are.
Of course Bailey was there - there was booze and guests involved!