I pretty much booze up everything, from puddings, candies and cupcakes to baked beans and, yes, I   even turn whipped cream alcoholic. I'm just a booze infusing fool and folks have come to expect to have a little alcoholic kick in whatever I serve them. I make no apologies, it's part of my job ... and it's fun.

If you're looking for a way to spike up your next cocktail or dessert, try this recipe:


1 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
1/3 C. Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract, optional
2 Teaspoons to 1-1/2 Tablespoons Liqueur or Liquor (amount depends on how boozy you want it.)

TOOLS: Large stainless steel bowl, hand mixer, measuring spoons

Make sure all your ingredients AND tools are as cold as possible. I chill my stainless steel bowl and my mixer blades in the freezer for 20 minutes before whipping my cream. This helps you not to over beat the cream into butter.
Combine all your ingredients then beat on high until soft peaks form.
Serve immediately or within 30 minutes.

Need your whipped cream to last longer?

Here's a little trick I learned in culinary school; add some bloomed gelatin to the whipped cream.

Follow the instructions above THEN:
Put a teaspoon of unflavored gelatin powder into 1/4 cup of cold water in the bottom of a small sauce pan.  Allow the gelatin to absorb into the water for about 3 or 4 minutes. Heat over medium just until the gelatin dissolves then allow to cool slightly.  When cool, gently fold into your whipped cream then re-whip to soft peak consistency.

This stabilized version of whipped cream not only lasts several days in the refrigerator, but is great for when you want to take a dessert or recipe with whipped cream to a party.

Try some of these boozed up whipped cream combinations:

Cointreau with a little bit of orange zest and a teaspoon of orange juice added to the recipe.

2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree and some pumpkin pie spices.

Lemoncello with some lemon zest and teaspoon of lemon juice.

Chocolate liqueur and a teaspoon of dark cocoa powder.

Espresso liqueur and a teaspoon of instant espresso powder.  

Spiced rum with a tablespoon of mango (or papaya, pineapple, etcetera) puree and lime zest.

P.S. This recipe works for non-alcoholic flavored whipped cream as well, just leave out the booze and add some of your favorite spices, purees, extracts and/or flavored powders.


Top 10 Google Cocktail Searches for 2015?

 What were the top 10 Google searches for #cocktails in 2015?

You might be surprised, I certainly was. Here you go and don't blame me, I'm just the messenger ...
1.  Sangria
2.  Moscow Mule
3.  Gimlet
4.  Cosmopolitan
5.  Long Island Iced Tea
6.  Margarita
7.  Mojito
8.  Aviation
9.  Sex on the Beach
10.  Daiquiri 
Nearly everything on this list surprised me except the Margarita, Mojito and Moscow Mule. The Moscow Mule, don't  ask me why, was the darling of the cocktail scene throughout last year, no surprise there.  Margaritas and Mojitos are respectable and always popular drinks which can be tweaked with all sorts of fruits and flavors, I'm good with these. Gimlets are classic, easy drinks but I'd have expected them to switch places with Daiquiris which deserve to be much higher on the list.

As for Cosmopolitans, I suppose they will always be on the list as long as women are watching reruns of Sex in the City. Not one of my top 10, but it's an innocuous little pink drink made with cranberry and vodka that can't be totally ruined by amateurs.

Sangria in the number one spot? Hmmmmm. Yes, this fruit infused, sweet and often bubbly punch is seeing a resurgence from it's heyday in the seventies, but number one? Do people really have that much left over wine?

And speaking of the seventies, WTH?? Long Island Iced Tea and Sex On The Beach??? Both are cocktails that should have been buried under the sand along with disco balls and leisure suits. Their high alcohol content and ability to reach "I'm young and stupid and want to get drunk and stupid fast" can be the only factor adding them to the list.

What took me by complete surprise and made me do a little happy dance was seeing the Aviation, a beautiful cocktail that can only truly be made properly with a hard to find, rarely used Crème de Violette liqueur. It's a sophisticated gin drink with subtlety and balance and a thing of beauty. This gave me back some hope for the future drinking habits of humanity.

Happy New Year and here's to a more cocktail enlightened list for 2016! Cheers, M'Dears!


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