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September Cooking Club Part 1: Pomegranate Mint Gin Fizz September 3, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in cooking club, drinks.
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Our cooking club theme this time was Mediterranean, and I chose to do the salad and drinks. Salad post is coming later, but I wanted to share this drink as well. When I think about drinks from the Mediterranean region, wine and sangria (and ouzo!) immediately come to mind. But I wanted to make a cocktail. I googled for a Mediterranean cocktail recipe on the web, and came across a thread on the Chowhound message boards that gave me an idea for a pomegranate mint drink. Here’s what I came up with. It takes a little bit of time to go through all the steps, but if you can boil liquids and have just a small amount of patience, it’s easy to pull together. Unfortunately I did not take a picture of the drink, so I am ripping a picture off the internet of what it COULD look like, just so you know.

Pomegranate Mint Gin Fizz

pomegranate-mint-fizz

Drink contains:
2 parts gin
1 part mint simple syrup
1 part lime juice
1/2 part pomegranate molasses
Top with club soda

Ingredients:

To make pomegranate molasses:
16 oz. of pure pomegranate juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup lemon juice

To make mint simple syrup:
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
handful of fresh mint leaves, crushed

Fresh lime juice
Club soda
Gin (I know nothing about gin and chose my brand solely based on looks: Cittadel gin. Very delicious.  It might be because it has 19 herbs and spices included, whereas the other gins I inspected had fewer than 10.)

Citadelle gin

Method:

First, make your pomegranate molasses, because it’ll take the longest.  Put 16 ounces of pure pomegranate juice, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1/8 cup of lemon juice in a pot and bring it to a boil.  After it comes to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and let it simmer away for at least an hour.  The liquid should reduce significantly, leaving you with about 1/2 cup of very concentrated, red liquid.

After you have your pomegranate simmering, start your mint simple syrup.  Simple syrup is made with a ratio of 1:1 water:sugar.  I used 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar in this case.  Add the water and sugar to a pot, crush/tear a handful of fresh mint leaves, and add them to the mixture.  Let it come to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  The liquid should be a nice light green at the end.  You don’t want this simple syrup to reduce as much as the pomegranate molasses.  Mine was still pretty watery (not syrup-y) when I took it off the heat after 15-20 minutes of simmering.

Let both the pomegranate molasses and mint simple syrup cool.

Mix your drink in a big pitcher following the ratios listed at the top of the recipe.  At the end, I had about 1/2 cup of pomegranate molasses, so I used that for my basis and added the following to a pitcher:

1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
1 cup lime juice
1 cup mint simple syrup
2 cups gin

Mix it all together, and top off with club soda as you pour individual drinks.    You can garnish with lime slices or mint sprigs, if you’re fancy.

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Jalapeno Vodka and a Clean Dog: How I Spent My Lunch Break August 6, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in drinks.
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I think Toby is a tiny fur-covered mind reader.  I went home at lunch, made myself a sandwich (fake bacon, basil, spicy hummus, and white cheddar on sourdough), ate it at the little table in my kitchen, cleaned off my dish, and turned around to look for Toby.  He was cowering behind the couch in the living room—even though I had given him no indication I was about to give him a bath, he somehow read my mind  and knew he was about to be put in the sink.  I put an apron over my work clothes, turned on The Black Album, and gave him a bath (I think listening to Jay-Z during bath time helps calm his nerves 🙂 )

Toby ran around after the bath trying to transfer all remaining water from his body to our bed and furniture.

toby

Meanwhile, I sliced up three jalapenos and one long hot green pepper and popped them into an open bottle of vodka.  I’m trying to make a spicy vodka to use in Bloody Marys (yummy) and in a lemongrass martini recipe I found on the internet this week.  I’m thinking it’ll be ready to try in a day or two, but a week’s worth of infusing time is probably best.  Results to come!

jalapeno vodka