As of July 4, 2011, most of my blogs are on indefinite sabbatical, but you can still keep up with me on Twitter, my writing and Florida blogs, and JSH News!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Aunt Beru and the Blue Leader

For years now, there's this little baby bottle of 'island blue' sweet-and-sour "Pucker" schnapps that's been taking up space in the official JSH secret cocktail lounge.

How did it get there? I have no idea. Certainly isn't something I'd choose to part with coin for, myself. As Colleen Graham astutely observed in a review of it: "there was not one mix I tried where Island Blue Pucker didn't completely destroy the drink. Even a dash did some otherwise good cocktails in."

It must have been imported by a guest and left behind, at some sort of evening of debauchery whose details are likely best kept buried in the archives of the mind. So, the other night I decided to clean out the bar and get rid of that silly little bottle of dreadful drink. And what better way to accomplish that task than to mix it up for some Ouzo shooters?

Since it isn't likely that the mating of Island Blue Pucker and Ouzo has been consummated previously on this planet, we consider this another big win - however pyrrhic - for our side. And it actually tastes pretty good, surprisingly enough.

What to call it? Victoria, faithful Jedi that she is, promptly suggested two names, both of which just happen to be Star Wars-themed: Blue Leader and Aunt Beru. (Luke's Aunt Beru, as you may recall, is briefly seen filling a pitcher of some sort of blue milky substance.)

So it is, with the powers invested in me as the Mayor of Pulcova, I hereby decree an Aunt Beru to be the name for the mix in shot form, while it's designated a Blue Leader when enjoyed in a martini glass.

It's 2 parts Ouzo, one part Pucker. Shaken on ice, which gives it that lovely magickal louche, also known as The Ouzo Effect (which would make a great band name) and Ostwald Ripening (not so much).

Don't make the same mistake I did and consume large quantities of Ouzo when you have to get up at 6am the next morning. Ouzo can be a very mind-altering beverage - especially a bottle that's aged, as mine is. I tossed and turned in bed having crazy fevered dreams all night. But that's life in the Blue Leader's Squadron.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Orange Jicama Cocktail

I've always wanted to make a jicama martini or a jicama cocktail, and finally I've done so. Another victory for our intrepid team of researchers at the Creeps Science Department.

Jicama has a slight bland funk to it, one that doesn't matter so much when you eat it raw but it sure as heck stands out when you're drinking the juice. The original plan had been to make it a vodka-based martini, but instead I opted to fight funk with funk. Rather than trying to mask the odd vegetable whang of jicama, I threw something equally pungent at it: Cachaca.

And not just any Cachaca, but Ypioca Gold, the granddaddy of all powerfully senses-reshuffling mega-fermented Brazilian golden goodness.

So what's the recipe? The envelope, please:

3 parts freshly juiced jicama
1 part cachaca
1 part Cointreau
1 tbsp sugar

Shake well. Garnish with orange slice if you got one (I didn't).

This "wild root cream oil" kinda bev'age obviously isn't for everyone. Me, I'm fine with it minus the Cointreau, but I think the average palate would take to it a little better with that orangey touch. You may be just fine using Grandma but I'm a snob and must have my Cointreau. (I haven't tried Mandarine Napoléon yet but it's on my to-drink list.)

Wasn't inclined to give this'n a clever name - the "Orange Jicama" suits me fine. I think the turnip-like rooty-grassy zing of jicama might be even better paired with the smooth and cucumberly Hendrick's Gin, and experiments in the "Hendrick's Jicama" are forthcoming. I might also attempt a theoretical drink called a "Hillbilly Jicama", with bourbon or Southern Comfort as the kicker.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bacon-Infused Old Fashioned

While surfing the web for maple-powered bourbon cocktails similar to The Veranda, I came across a recipe on for an Old Fashioned that uses maple syrup and bacon-infused bourbon:

2 ounces bacon-infused bourbon
1/4 ounce Grade B maple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Twist of orange

For tips on how to make your own bacon-infused bourbon, read the full article at or also peruse Brendan & Wayland's attempts at bacon-infused vodka.

View the video of PDT's Don Lee making a Bacon Old Fashioned here!