Friday, July 23, 2010

Hot Summer Nights

   I am out of my favorite summer time drink, sweet tea.  I am addicted to the Southern form of iced tea.  Sugar does not dissolve in cold water, in the south they boil the water and sugar together to form a syrup, then let the tea bags seep.  This is then added to a pitcher, leaving it strong enough to not be watered down by ice cubes.

How to:
   Add water to a saucepan (amount doesn't matter, it will get fixed later), add 1 1/2 cups sugar.  Boil.  When it has boiled, turn the stove down as low as possible and add eight tea bags, stir, sometimes I add a cinnamon stick.  Let it sit for 15 minutes.  Pour the tea into a 1 gallon jug, leave the bags in the saucepan.  Pour cold water over the tea bags in the pan and add this liquid to the jug.  Keep repeating until the 1 gallon jug is full.  (Squeezing the tea bags can lead to a bitter brew.  Because you will be adding ice cubes to your glass you want it strong.)

   But, pity, I am out.  SO I GUESS I WILL JUST HAVE TO TRY  the black cherry vodka I just bought. 

   Well...all right,  3 ounces of cola to 1 1/2 ounces of black cherry vodka is a pretty good summer time drink too.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

When is a maraschino cherry not a maraschino cherry?

   When it is a “blob of artificially colored cellulose, …the product we know today, in all its zombielike glory, ” according to David Wondrich. 
He wrote “Imbibe!” in 2007.  This book started out as an update of a 1928 Asbury edition of “How to Mix Drinks, or The Bon Vivant’s Companion” originally written by Jerry Thomas in 1862 and long out of print.  After five years of research (I envision the movie “The Thin Man when I imagine the path the research took him on), David wrote a history book, with a few recipes to try out in it. 

   What started out as an update of the 1928 book led David to search for the exact ingredients and equipment to recreate the recipes.  He discovered that a cherry is not a cherry and ice is not ice.

   The Luxardo Company, now, makes the only true maraschino cherry for your drinking pleasure.  In the 1890s, a maraschino cherry was a sour cherry macerated in maraschino liqueur.

   Ice came in a solid block in the late 1800s.  In preparing cold drinks, “great discrimination should be observed in the use of ice.”  Shaved ice should be used when the spirits form the principle ingredient and no water is used in the drink.  If eggs, milk, wine, vermouth, seltzer, or mineral water is used in a drink, use small lumps of ice.  These lumps must always be removed before serving the drink to the customer.

   I haven’t even mentioned the problems David ran into with sugar.  Non, non, I repeat, of the current sugar on the market is the equivalent of 19th century sugar.  White, raw sugar is too dark, but it is the closest to the taste.  What the author recommends is a Demerara or a turbinado pulverized in food processor.

About Me

Boomer, hippie, yuppie, none of these are me. Born in the 50's, graduated from high school in the 60's, married & had children in the 70's, graduated from college in the 80's, joined corporate America & divorced in the 90's, was an early casualty of the recession in 00's,08, still unemployed in 09.