Warm Up With A Cup Of Glogg

Friday, January 15th, 2016 by

Glogg

Our first snow here in New Jersey may have been a light dusting that melted quickly, but we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate winter with this warm, spicy, and boozy Scandinavian drink. Glogg literally means “to glow,” which is exactly what you can expect from your face after a cup or two. It packs a punch. Unlike German mulled wine, vodka and port are added after wine is simmered with spices to ensure no loss of alcoholic potency. Flavored with orange peel, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon, the aroma is a wonderful greeting after shoveling or brushing off a flake or two as the case may be.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1 bottle inexpensive red wine, dry
  • 1/2 cup port
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cloves, whole
  • 2 star anise (optional)
  • 1/2 orange (zest only)
  • 2 generous slices fresh ginger
  • For serving: 1 cup sliced almonds and 1 cup raisins

Directions

Add the orange peel, spices, ginger, and wine to a large saucepan. Heat on low to just below a simmer. Stir in the sugar and cover. Leave the mixture on low heat for 30 minutes, then add the port and vodka and heat until warm. Strain into a heat safe bowl or pitcher. Glogg is traditionally ladled over nuts and raisins (which you can soak in vodka while the wine simmers) in a small cup. You can skip this if you prefer not to eat things at the bottom of your glass. You can easily prepare the wine ahead of time, reheating gently before adding the vodka and port to serve.

A word about the ingredients: there are many variations on this recipe, and it may take some experimentation to create the sweetness and spice level you prefer. The port and sugar make for a sweet drink, so stick with a less sweet wine and adjust the sugar level to your preference. Star anise tends to dominate flavor wise, and may be added at the end (rather than simmered) as a garnish only for a more subtle flavor.

For a nonalcoholic version, check out this recipe for cranberry glogg.

The Procession Cocktail Recipe

Friday, October 23rd, 2015 by

Tea parties a are a little creepy, don’t you think? Halloween is a great occasion to host one, Mad Hatter style. Even without the tea party, this is the perfect cocktail to creep your guests out in a big way. We started with the basic recipe for a hibiscus tea cocktail called The Procession and upped the goulish factor a little with some hibiscus syrup and dry ice.

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Ingredients (for the drink)
½ oz silver tequila
¾ oz crème de cacao (white)
½ oz ruby port
¾ oz hibiscus tea, chilled (make 1 cup more for the syrup, if using, below)
2 dashes of orange bitters

For the hibiscus syrup:
Bring 1 cup of brewed and strained hibiscus tea to a boil (2 teaspoons brewed for 5 minutes made a nice strong cup). While the tea is boiling, add a cup of sugar and stir constantly for about two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Shake the cocktail ingredients together with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Add a small chunk of dry ice (check out these instructions on handling dry ice) to the glass, and drizzle a little hibiscus “blood” along the rim. Serve immediately. The bubbling lasts for about five minutes.

Created by Daniel Hyatt, The Alembic, San Francisco. Original recipe here.

Cider Hot Toddy Recipe

Friday, October 9th, 2015 by

This recipe is the best thing to happen to apple cider in a long time. Yes, it’s great with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, with or without whipped cream. But it’s also so, so good with our Lemon Ginger Green Tea (shot of bourbon optional). The tartness of the lemon balances the sweetness of the cider and the ginger adds just the right amount of heat.

Cider Toddy Tall

Ingredients per serving

1 cup apple cider (we used the unspiced kind)

1 teaspoon Lemon Ginger Green Tea

1 1/2 ounces bourbon or whiskey

Directions

Heat the cider on the stove in a small pan until simmering. Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon or whiskey. Pour the mixture into a mug and steep the tea using an infuser or T-sac pouch for about a minute and a half. Strain and serve.

Variation

If straight cider is a little too sweet for you, a more traditional hot toddy might be more your thing. Steep the tea in a cup of hot water instead of cider, leaving a little room at the top of your mug. Once the tea is steeped, add the bourbon or whiskey, a shot of cider, and a tablespoon of honey (or sweeten to taste).

Jasmine Honey Tea Granita

Thursday, August 27th, 2015 by

If you’ve followed our recipes lately, you know we’re fans of fancy looking frozen desserts that require no machine and little effort. Continuing in that tradition, we present the refreshing tea granita! If you’ve never had a granita, it is usually made with water, sugar, and flavor, sometimes fresh fruit, and has a unique texture somewhere between sorbet and shaved ice. It’s exactly what you want on a hot day and a refreshing way to enjoy the sweet, floral flavor of our Jasmine First Grade green tea.

Granita

Ingredients

3 cups near-boiling water

2 teaspoons Jasmine First Grade loose leaf green tea (or two tea bags)

¼ cup honey

Instructions

  1. Steep tea for 2.5 minutes. Green tea has a tendency to become bitter with over-steeping, so be sure to strain the leaves out at this point.
  2. Add honey and stir well.
  3. Pour the sweetened tea into a freezer safe container. The deeper  the liquid, the longer the “granitafying” takes. We used a shallow 8×8 pan.
  4. Freeze for one hour, or until ice crystals begin to form around the edges.
  5. Remove and stir the crystals into the liquid. Return to the freezer for 20 minutes and repeat. Continue this process as the mixture hardens, scraping the surface with a fork as it solidifies, until fully frozen and fluffy.
  6. Store in the freezer until ready to serve. If it solidifies too much, let it thaw a little in the fridge and re-fluff with a fork.

Thousand-Flavor Syrup Recipe

Friday, July 31st, 2015 by

Thousand Flavor

Hibiscus is a beautiful thing, but a little hard to drink straight up as a tea. Steep the dried flowers and the you get a purply-red infusion that is almost painfully tart. On the lookout for new ways to tame the flavor, we were excited to discover this recipe from Bon Appetit for a sweet, spicy, hibiscus-rose syrup. Try it in cocktails (thousand-flavor gin and tonic anyone?) and over fruit or ice cream.

What you’ll need

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups water

Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1 vanilla pod

3 wide strips lemon zest

3 lightly crushed green cardamom pods

1 star anise pod

5 juniper berries

1/4 cup dried rose petals

2 tablespoons dried hibiscus

1 teaspoon pink peppercorns

1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns

For the full instructions, check out the recipe for Fruit Salad with Thousand-Flavor Syrup.

 

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