Boysenberries* happen to be a favorite of fruit of mine but finding them fresh at any market is nearly impossible, most likely because the boysenberry is not as widely cultivated as other vine berries. My mom and I fell in love with boysenberries when we first experienced them in Boysenberry Pie at Knott's Berry Farm's Chicken Restaurant back in the early 1960s. They had preserves and jams too so we took home jars of those as well. When I moved my folks up to the Northern California wine country, Mom and I discovered a local farm that grew boysenberries and we continued our boysenberry love affair. Sadly, it's nearly impossible to find boysenberries here in Tucson, but to this day a jar of Knott's Boysenberry jam is always in my refrigerator, it's a tradition that keeps my mother's memory close.
When I stumbled on a few bags of frozen boysenberries at a specialty grocery stores a few weeks ago I nearly cried with joy! Then I immediately grabbed up every single bag on the shelf! Yes, I was going to make pies and cobblers and crisps, but first I was making a cocktail!
This one's for you, Mom. I truly wish you were here to share it with me.
TOOLS: Juicer, blender, medium metal strainer, cocktail shaker, channel knife, jigger, measuring spoons, coupe cocktail glasses.
Chill your glasses in the freezer. Cut your spiral out of the Mandarin heal with your channel knife, set aside.
Juice or blend your boysenberries then strain out the tiny seeds.
Add the spiced rum, Kirsch, boysenberry juice, egg white, cream and Mandarin simple syrup to the blender and blend until the liquid volume doubles or about 30 seconds on puree setting.
Pour half the mixture into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake until chilled then pour into your chilled coupe. Repeat with the remainder into a second coupe.
Dust top of meringue foam with cinnamon, add a few sugared, frozen (or fresh if you can get them!) boysenberries to a cocktail pick and set this across the glass then drape the Mandarin twist across the pick and serve.
Sharing my Boysenberry Boon with a visiting friend:
* WHAT IS A BOYSENBERRY?
A Boysenberry is a cross between a European Raspberry, a Common Blackberry and a Loganberry. They were originally cultivated by Rudolf Boysen who had gotten a "Lubbenberry", a cross between a dewberry and loganberry from John Lubben and began experimenting with several cross varieties on his Northern California farm.
In the late 1920s the rumor of these unusual berries was brought to the attention of Walter Knott, of Knott's Berry Farm fame, by George M. Darrow of the USDA and both men traveled to Lubben's abandoned farm, found a few neglected vines and transported then back to Knott's farm in Buena Park, California where Knott nursed them back into production. Knott renamed the hybrid Boysenberry in honor of Boysen and became the first to commercially cultivate the berry.
His wife eventually began to preserve the fruit in jams and jellies and sell Boysenberry pies at her tea shop at their farm's roadside stand, the same farm that would become the world famous Knott's Berry Farm and Amusement Park.
Today Knott's Berry Farm is still synonymous with Boysenberries, they even hold a Boysenberry Festival each year, and still serving up their famous Boysenberry Pie along with the best fried chicken I've ever eaten at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant right there at the park. Boysenberries are also featured for sale at the park in many of Mrs. Knott's original recipes for jams, jellies and other products, though, sadly, no longer under the Knott's trademark which is now owned by Smuckers.
I'm a Game of Thrones fanatic and my favorite character is Daenerys Targaryen because she is The Mother of Dragons. I've been obsessed with dragons since I started reading Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series more than 4 decades ago. I even got a pair of mated cockatiels because they reminded me of the fire lizards in the series, that's pretty dragon obsessed!
I wasn't all that interested in Game of Thrones until I saw the dragons, then I had to binge watch the entire series, get HBO and read all the books. Now I'm hooked and I love it for more than just the dragons, but the dragons are what drew me in so my first Game of Thrones cocktail has to be all about the dragons.
I'm sure you can guess where I'm going from there? Yes, you guessed it, Dragon Fruit*!
2 Oz. Spiced Rum
2 Oz. Coconut Rum
1 C. Dragon Fruit, Cubed
1/2 C. Coconut milk
Juice of One Lime
2 Tbsp. Pineapple Simple Syrup
1/4 Tsp. Fresh Ginger, Zested
Ginger Sugar Crystal Swizzle Stick
TOOLS: Knife, Large Spoon, Measuring Cups and Spoons, Blender, Cocktail Shaker, Jigger, Zester.
To prepare your dragon fruit cut the top off with a knife, then slice off a quarter inch disc from the fruit itself. put both aside as a garnish. Then slice off a bit of the bottom to create a level base.
Take your spoon and gently scoop out the meat from the inside of the fruit leaving enough shell to create a cup.
Add the dragon fruit meat to a blender and pulse until pureed. Add the pureed dragon fruit to your cocktail shaker then fill shaker with ice.
Pour in the spiced rum, coconut rum, coconut milk, lime juice, pineapple simple syrup and the zested ginger and shake until chilled.
Pour into your hollowed out dragon fruit, garnish with a slice of lime and the ginger sugar crystal stick and serve.
I've used the Hylocereus Undatus variety which has a deep pink skin with white meat. There is also a variety called Hylocereus Costaricensis which has a deeper red skin with a brilliant purplish red meat, as well as a white skinned, yellow meat variety called Hylocereus Megalanthus. All varieties are speckled with tiny, edible black seeds in the meat.
Just so you aren't shocked when you go to buy your dragon fruit, I paid $5.99 a pound and my fruit weighed a little over a pound and a half!
*DRAGON FRUIT, aka Pitaya or Pitahaya, is the fruit of a variety of cactus (Hylocereus) originally native to Mexico. One variety, the Stenocereus, is native to my own locale here in Tucson and it's fruit, the sour pitaya or pitaya agria, which is found in the Sonoran Desert, was an important food source for Native Americans and is still harvested by locals in the Northwestern portion of Mexico.
The Pitaya Dragon Fruit was transplanted to Central America, then introduced throughout the Old World by travelers who brought it back after exploring the Americas. It is now primarily cultivated in East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia though it's cultivation is extending beyond those borders as it's popularity increases. The Hylocereus cactus blooms at night, producing a fragrant, white flower called a moonflower which is also known as The Queen of the Night.
"When my dragons are grown, we will take back what was stolen from me and destroy those who wronged me! We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground!" ~ Daenerys Targaryen
Taking the traditional and permitted ingredients of the Passover Seder I've attempted to create two cocktails that are KFP or Kosher for Passover. My intent with these recipes is to give those who observe Passover some delicious cocktail additions to the Four Cups of Wine. Though I did extensive research and have experienced many a Passover Seder with friends, I am not of the Jewish faith and, therefore, welcome any corrections or additions from my Jewish readers and fans on any errors or misinformation in this post. L'Chaim!
WHAT IS PASSOVER?
Pesach or Passover commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery and lasts seven or eight days from the 15th day of Nisan.
THE PASSOVER MEAL (Seder) is traditionally served as a special plate containing symbolic foods which represent the retelling of the story of the exodus from Egypt. Below are the traditional Passover foods and their significance:
Zeroah - A lamb's shank bone symbolizing the ancient Passover sacrifice.
Beitzah - A roasted egg symbolizing the temple sacrifice made every holiday when the temple stood and the continuing cycle of life.
Haroset - A paste of fruit, nuts, wine or honey that symbolizes the mortar used to construct buildings for Pharaoh.
Maror - A bitter herb (often horseradish) used to represent the bitterness of slavery.
Karpas - A green vegetable (often parsley) that represents the initial flourishing of the Israelites during their first years in Egypt.
Salt water - Symbolizes slaves' tears and is normally used to dip the karpas (green vegetable) in.
The seventh food, Matzah (Matzo, Matzot) is the unleavened bread which represents the haste of the flight from Egypt for in the haste to flee Egypt there was no time for bread to rise.
Matzo, though made from wheat, is unleavened and closely supervised to ensure it is baked no longer than 18 minutes. The Three Matzo are served on a separate plate to represent Kohen, Levi, and Yisrael.
Though most liquor is not KFP (Kosher for Passover), primarily because of the use of grains in the distillation or fermentation process, there are some which are permitted if the Kosher requirements are met. Kosher wines and Kosher potato vodkas are acceptable, though many Passover observers only drink KFP wine.
As with the Passover meal, if you are serving these cocktails to someone who keeps kosher you must make sure you use ingredients that have the KFP certification.
1 Oz. KFP Potato** Vodka
1 Oz. Chicken Broth
Dash of Horseradish
Garnish with a Sprig of Parsley dipped in Saltwater.
Add the dash of horseradish to a 2 ounce shot glass.
Warm the broth then pour over the horseradish.
Add the vodka then garnish with the salt water dipped parsley.
Serve with a roasted egg.
SEDER WINE COCKTAIL
6 Oz. Kosher Wine
Tbsp. Apple Chunks
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
Finely Ground Nuts for Rim
Rub the rim of an 8 ounce collins glass with honey and dip into the finely ground nuts. Muddle the cinnamon and apple chunks in the bottom of the glass, add ice then pour in your Kosher wine.
Serve with a cinnamon dusted matzo cracker.
Chag Kasher V'same'ach - Have A Kosher and Happy Passover!
** Vodka made from anything other than potato uses grain and anything with leavened grains is considered chametz and is prohibited during Passover. In particular, wheat, rye, oats and spelt are prohibited if they’ve had contact with water/moisture for longer than 18 minutes. During distillation it is possible and probable these grains would be exposed to water for longer than the prescribed time.
One of my favorite ways to have a cocktail is a whiskey sour*. Even as a
kid I loved sweet and sour together and I was especially fond of Jolly
Rancher's sour apple candies. That pucker face it gave you was epic.
decided it might be fun to try and translate that into a cocktail as a
more sophisticated treat for adults. The fact that it used a green
colored apple pucker liqueur made it perfect for a Saint Patrick's Day
I smoothed out the sour aspect of the apple pucker with
the addition of apple juice, egg white and some powdered sugar. Tart is
fine but only to a degree, who wants pucker face after ten years old?
The APPLE GO BRAGH SOUR INGREDIENTS: 1 Oz. Dark Rum 1 Oz. Apple Pucker 1 Oz. Apple Juice 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice 1 Egg White 1 Tsp. Powdered Sugar Ice Shamrock Shaped Apple Slice(s) Garnish
TOOLS: Knife or Shamrock shaped cutter(s), Measuring spoons, Blender, Cocktail shaker, Coupe glass DIRECTIONS: Chill your coupe in the freezer. Cut your shamrock shaped apple slice then coat with lemon juice to keep it from browning. Dry
shake (shake without ice) all ingredients except the garnish in a
cocktail shaker for 2 - 3 minutes until frothy (or cheat and use a
blender like I do.) Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, pour in the frothy mixture and shake until chilled. Pour into your chilled glass and garnish with the shamrock apple.
For those of you who prefer visual aids,
The APPLE GO BRAGH SOUR RECIPE VIDEO:
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
May your glass be ever full, May the roof over your head be always strong, And may you be in heaven Half an hour before the devil knows you're dead. ~ Irish Toast
Jungle Juice is the name given to an improvised combination of liquors, mixers and fruit juices that is usually served for group consumption.
MY JUNGLE JUICE RECIPE & VIDEO IS BELOW.
Typical ingredients would include any neutral flavored booze, usually Everclear (a high proof alcohol favored for it's potency), cheap vodkas and/or cheap wines and fruit juices, sodas, and even chunks of fruit. Anything that could stretch the alcohol, turn partiers into animals and serve large groups was the sole intent.
Beloved by college students and red neck crowds, Jungle Juice is inexpensive and often mixed in large quantities in trash cans or large coolers. If Everclear or some other moonshine is unavailable, a combination of other readily available liquors and/or wines is used. Whatever alcoholic combination gathered, it's usually untasty flavor is then masked by the juices and sodas added. The whole intent is a powerful punch that goes down easy and is strong enough to lower inhibitions and get blitzed.
Another name for this potent concoction is Trash Can Punch (because of the use of the trash cans as giant punch bowls). Jungle Juice made with Kool-Aid is sometimes called Hunch Punch, and other names are Spodie or Wop.
Soldiers in the military stationed in jungles were the innovators of Jungle Juice, hence the name. They would throw together whatever alcohol and other mixers they had on hand for a hobbled up happy hour punch. Often their alcohol was a moonshine they had distilled themselves from local vegetation and even military rations. This made for a pretty rough booze, which was why it was necessary to disguise it with all the non-alcoholic additions.
Back in my college days my group's (The Bitchen Broads - shaddup, we thought we were cool) version of Jungle Juice was a combination of Ripple wine, preferably Pagan Pink (sold by the quart for 69 cents), orange juice and 7-Up. No other booze added, we were lightweights who wished to stay conscious. Later generations favored Boone's Farm, usually Strawberry Hill, for their vino element.
The Martini Diva's Version of
2 Oz. Coconut Rum
2 Oz. Raspberry Vodka
6 Oz. Pineapple Juice
2 Oz. Apple Juice
Juice of 1/4 Lime
Juice of 1/4 Lemon
Dash of Grapefruit Bitters
Toss the whole kit and kaboodle onto a cocktail shaker, shake until chilled and slurp down.
If you prefer visual aids below is my quick video cocktail recipe:
Feel free to batch up in a trash can, cooler or whatever for the frat party or gynourmous drunk event.
This writer, blog and company take no responsibility whatsoever for any stupid pranks, DUIs or other shenanigans you might get up to while under the influence of any form of Jungle Juice you might concoct.