Infused Spirits

Infused Spirits

Infusing spirits with flavor is a great way to experiment with your own personal tastes. The basic concept is to marry a variety of choice flavors into a base liquor to create a custom-flavored spirit. You can give your spirit a subtle hint of spice or deep, aromatic notes of flavor simply by choosing how long you let your infusion sit. Follow these guidelines for best results: Strong flavors, such as hot peppers, vanilla pods, and lavender buds, only need from a few hours to a day. Fresh herbs, ginger, and citrus peels need 1 to 3 days, tops. Most fruits and berries need 3 to 6 days. Vegetables and hardy fruits, such as apples and pears, need 5 to 7 days. Here is a recipe to get you started. Goji Berry Infused Vodka 1 cup vodka 1/2 cup dried goji berries Combine the vodka and goji berries in a sealable glass jar and store in a dark, cool place for 1 week. Shake periodically to distribute the flavors. Remove the goji berries. Strain and store. (You can use the vodka soaked gojis in your Superfruit Sangria)...
How Sweet It Is

How Sweet It Is

Sweetness is a key component to any good drink, helping balance acid, bitterness and even alcohol. Swap your regular simple syrup and processed sugars for these natural ones for a healthy dose of sweet nutrients. Here’s my recommended list of natural sweeteners to keep your drinks naturally sweet. Coco for Coconut Made of 100% pure coconut tree sap, raw coconut nectar is an amber colored, low-glycemic sweetener contains 17 amino acids and several minerals. Raw Coconut Nectar is 90% fructose, but it contains far more minerals and nutrients than any agave syrup. Mighty Molasses Blackstrap Molasses contains less sugar than white sugar, brown sugar, regular molasses, or dark molasses, yet far more minerals electrolytes. So, when you add a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses to your cocktail, you’re getting more calcium than a cup of raw spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana and almost 100mg of magnesium. Featuring a robust bittersweet flavor, blackstrap molasses is a fantastic sweetener that will add complexity and subtle sweetness to cocktails while also adding a dose of healthy nutrients to your libation. Tapping into Maple Syrup Researchers refer to maple syrup as an “anti-oxidant cocktail of beneficial compounds” that contains some of the beneficial compounds of berries, teas, and flax seeds. Make sure to buy 100% Maple Syrup. The Best Date Date Sugar is 100% dehydrated dates ground into small pieces. It is a whole food, high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The Buzz on Honey According to Ayurvedic medicine, honey is revered as one of the five elixirs of immortality. Although, not a vegan option, honey has so many healing and...
Flavored Syrups

Flavored Syrups

Cocktails made with infused spirits or syrups add a complexity and depth that you can taste: an extra hint of cinnamon, a floral undertone, a prick of heat, a fresh hint of mint. Best of all, these infusions are simple to create. They just take a little time and some forethought. Here’s one to try: Lilac Syrup Recipe 1 cup water 1 cup coconut sugar 2 cups culinary-grade lilac blossoms Handful of blueberries or blackberries 1 tablespoon orange flower water 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice Combine the water and coconut sugar and in a medium-size saucepan and stir over low heat until it boils. Add the lilac blossoms and berries and bring back to a boil. Add the orange flower water and lemon juice. Strain the liquid into a wide-mouth container while hot and funnel into a sealable bottle. Cover, and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Use in the Boozy Blueberry Lilac...
Drinks with Benefits

Drinks with Benefits

A super food is a nutrient rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and wellbeing. Although, advertisers have been throwing around the word quite loosely these days, the concept behind the term remains quite real. A super food is a food occurring naturally in nature that contains a high ratio of micronutrients to calories. These culinary super heroes are my cocktail superstars and they deserve a spotlight! Make sure to look for additional notes throughout the book. Here are some highlights: Acai Berry The acai berry was long cherished by the Amazonian people. This unique berry has an extraordinary amount of antioxidants that protect the tissues and cells of the body. The little acai berry also packs more grams of protein than an egg, and when combined with its host of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, acai has been shown to improve the look and texture of your hair, skin and nails. Avocados High in fat (the good kind) may help reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. Also high in fiber and potassium. Beets This humble root vegetable holds a wealth of nutrients, including beta carotene and folic acid, fiber and iron. The leafy greens are even more nutritious, with double the potassium, folic acid, calcium, and iron. Berries Almost all berries rank among the world’s most nutritious fruits. Their concentrated micronutrients make them one of the best sources of antioxidants. Cacao A prized food of the Mayan’s, cacao is the raw, natural source of one of the most cherished treats of all time: chocolate! And in its unprocessed form, cacao ranks as one of the most...
Boozy Blueberry Lilac Granita

Boozy Blueberry Lilac Granita

Blueberries’ natural sweetness help create this full-flavored, elegant floral granita with minimum effort. 3 ounces vodka 2 cups blueberries 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 ounce Lilac Syrup (link) Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until frosty and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a shallow container and freeze for 1 hour. Remove from the freezer, stir to create slush, and return to the freezer for another 2 hours. To serve, scrape the surface with a spoon and transfer the granita to serving...
Zen and Tonic: Savory and Fresh Cocktails for the Enlightened Drinker

Zen and Tonic: Savory and Fresh Cocktails for the Enlightened Drinker

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