Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Where There's A Will There's A Whiskey

Bro Rule #867- There can ALWAYS be more burn.

You can totally mix a drink without disrupting its alcohol content. And if there is anyone whose word you should take on that it is a college student. In a recent quest for Fireball Whisky, to no avail, I came to the conclusion I usually arrive at- I can do it myself. Despite the interwebs having no directions whatsoever for making your own, my little project was a success anyway. And now, there ARE directions on the internet.

Here it goes!

The Ingredients:

I like Red Hots, but your favorite cinnamon candy will do just fine. I also threw in a few Chewy Atomic Fireballs for funsies.

Jack Daniels is my whiskey of choice. Again, any will do. Be warned- crappy whiskey will make crappy Fireball Whiskey. This process doesn't mask the flavor, it just enhances it with an awesome sweet cinnamon finish.

To layer the flavors even further, check out that bad boy in the picture below. That's a cinnamon stick. Throw it in, shake it up, and let it steep for a day or two, but no more than that. It'll get a bit rank if you leave it too long.

Toss about a cup of cinnamon candies into a saucepan. Add about 5 tablespoons of whiskey to the mix and turn on the heat to a low-medium. You don't want to burn your candy- more like a slow melt. I dilute it with whiskey instead of water so as not to dilute the drink, but if you want to tone down the strength of the whiskey water works too. Just don't melt the candies dry. The mess will be no bueno and you can kiss your cookware goodbye.

Yes, that's a tree on my thumb nail. Moving right along.

After a few minutes of constant stirring it'll look like this:

Much foam, a delicious invigorating smell, and complete opacity. If you notice it getting too sticky or thick, add more liquid. You don't want it to re-solidify.

When it gets to this point you should have pure liquid, no solid pieces. Note- if you used the Atomic Fireball Chewies I spoke of, they won't melt totally. You'll have to strain those out at the end. Then eat them because they're tasty and whiskey saturated.

Let it sit over low simmering heat until it starts getting glassy. Then pour in the rest of the whiskey TO THE POT. If you don't put it on over the heat it won't combine properly. Don't heat it too long- just a couple minutes to stir it together. Because as we know, heat makes the alcohol go away. :( You can use whatever whiskey to candy syrup ratio you like. I used equal parts of each to delicious results, but feel free to experiment and comment with your results!

Enjoy, and remember to be safe.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Puh-Lease Hurricane Irene. No One Gets Between Me And Caffeine.

With this hurricane, tornado, and earthquake business going on in Jersey the past few days, electricity's been pretty shaky. My main concern? HOW WILL I BREW MY COFFEE?

I'm actually not too concerned though. Not because I am able to do without coffee for a few days. No sir. I'm not concerned because I spend my summers making jar after jar of cold brew coffee.

While not all of you are in the middle of an electricity crisis due to Hurricane Irene, cold brew is an entirely different coffee experience and you should really try it regardless of your fancy schmancy coffee brewing devices. Here are the primary coffee brewing devices in my arsenal of caffeinery during the Jersey Shore summer:

Yup. It's pretty high end stuff.
 Though I AM loving that cute little measuring cup I got at Pier1.

Here's how to make yourself some cold brew.
FIRST OFF. Let me make it known that what you are making is a CONCENTRATE. So it needs to be diluted with a large proportion of milk unless you like triple strength coffee, in which case, knock yourself out, and God bless your soul.

I like to use 1 cup of coffee grounds for every 2.5-3 cups of water. But this is really up to you and how strong or weak you want it to be. I played around with it for a while and this is the best I came up with, at least for how I liked to mix up my iced coffee in the end. More of that later though.

Ready? Put the grounds in your jar.

 I used a paper towel rolled into a funnel shape to get the grounds in the jar easily but its up to you. Someone with normal amounts of hand eye coordination can probably do without that.

Add water and shake it up good.

 I like to do a little jig while I'm shaking it. This is not necessary to the process, but I think you should do it anyway.

Let it sit for about 10-12 hours. Using a coffee strainer of some sort, strain the coffee into another jar or container.

I have a 4cup coffee maker with one of those reusable washable filters inside so I put that on top of a cup with the right sized opening and let it sit, refilling the filter as it drains and empties. But paper filters will definitely do. That's how I did it before I remembered I had an easier option staring me in the face.

Mix up your coffee drink! Use about 4 ounces of coffee and then add about 6 ounces of milk. If it licks your lizard you can add some sugar and a splash of cream as well! I'm satisfied with skim milk and coffee myself.

Easy right? Yet delicious. Easy and delicious. My favorite! n_n

As a side note- I use whole bean coffee that I grind myself in my cute little Cuisinart grinder right before brewing of any sort. IT IS SO GOOD. Best 30$ investment of my entire life. I was completely shocked after having a friend make me coffee this way at how pure and downright good it tasted. How could I love coffee so much and not grind my own? For shame.

Hey Man, Check Out My Sweet New Blog!

The infamously needy HappyBurger, my trusty sidekick.
I love to read blogs. Love it. I decided late last night, as my eyes began to burn and the clever words of my favorite bloggers began to blur on the screen, that it was time for me to join the community. And here we are! In the throes of Hurricane Irene, I am cozied up on my couch, with my faithful pooch and a cup of hibiscus tea, beginning what I'm sure will become a daily habit. The question remains- what will I blog about? I could have contemplated that as I lay awake at 4am last night listening to She and Him, but my delusional late-night thoughts really were not where I wanted to begin this little project. Instead, I'm deciding right now, as my old man pup Happy paws at my keyboard, that I will see what manifests and roll with it. Why not? I don't believe in planning. That's my mother's forte. This nut fell miles away from the tree my friends. Enjoy!