Tag: Organic

Cream Soda so good you’ll Scream!!

Homemade Organic Cream Soda

Upon hearing ‘cream soda’ I’m sure your mind goes straight to something comparable to a nasty little chemical filled can of corn syrup and artificial vanilla flavor. And I can’t blame you, unfortunately many fabulous recipes have been reduced to just that. Though I’m sure you can find a more natural alternative in some stores, why not make it yourself with this simple recipe!

A little background, cream soda doesn’t actually contain cream. The name comes from the fact that it used to be made with cream of tarter to help preserve the beverage. In this recipe we’ll be using lemon juice instead which gives you a more bright, zesty, and full flavor. Cream soda has many different variations, the original actually used milk. However, this was quickly superseded by Dr. Brown who created an entire line of sodas in Brooklyn in 1869. His original line of sodas included celery (Cel-Ray), black cherry, ginger and of course, cream soda. Although you can still find this brand today, I can’t confidently recommend it.

The Natural Mixologist cream soda is an incredible mixer you can make yourself as either a non-alcoholic drink by simply adding to club soda or of course, make cocktails! See below to see how I turned it into a phenomenal boozy-butterbeer (like it was intended to be) or add to whiskey for a magical Old Fashioned!

The recipe you’ll be making is actually a syrup which then should be put in a soda stream or mixed with club soda. You could equate it to a simple syrup…except it’s not quite as simple to make since there are a few more steps. But because it is a very concentrated syrup it does last longer so you could make a full liter and keep it in your refrigerator for three months.

Ingredients

Club Soda & Ice for serving

Makes about 24 ounces

 

Directions
1. Place sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until sugar is caramelized. This can take up to 20 minutes. You want a lovely caramel color. But check on it often – you do not want it to burn.
2. Carefully add remaining water and lemon juice. Be careful as it will splatter a bit as you add in water. Add vanilla beans and seeds then bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand for a minimum of 1 hour. I left mine overnight.
3. Discard vanilla beans & coconut chips (set aside*). But do not finely strain – you want to keep as many of the vanilla seeds as possible (the little black flakes). They are so flavorful!
4. Transfer the syrup to an airtight container. Syrup may be kept, refrigerated, for about 3 months. To serve, fill a 16-ounce glass with ice cubes and add 1 1/2 ounces syrup; top with seltzer and stir to combine. See my video below for how to make Boozy-Butterbeer!
*These coconut chips covered in vanilla seeds are still so flavorful! Remove the large pods and then put the rest to good use, #upcycle. 

I made some gluten-free scones and added the vanilla-ed coconut and some dried apricot… amazing! Try putting them into a curry or sprinkle on anything. They would be an incredible addition to a butternut squash or roasted vegetable soup. Add some to your breakfast cereal or bowl of fresh fruit…the options are endless! 

Share with us how you plan to use them!

 

Boozy-Butterbeer

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Grilled Lemonade, it’s SMOKIN’!

Grilled Lemonade

One of the most fabulous things about Summer is all of the fresh and amazing produce. I’m lucky enough to have friends with a lovely lemon tree in their back yard which provides some of the best lemons I’ve ever tasted.

This year we discovered grilling lemons to give them a wonderful smokey flavor just before juicing them into lemonade. The simple process brings such a complex and delightful twist to a quintessential Summer drink, lemonade. And of course when life gives you lemons you make lemonade cocktails!

Now if you don’t have a lemon tree in your backyard (or your friends) you can obviously get them anywhere. Though I’d recommend purchasing fresh lemons from your local farmers market since they will be the most fresh and juicy.

Grilled Lemon Juice Recipe:

  • 1.5 cups fresh grilled lemon juice (about 8 large lemons)
  • Organic sugar

This process is simple; first start by cutting the lemons into halves, then coating the exposed flesh with sugar.

Place all of your lemons face down on the grill. I used tin foil to help keep the lemon juices in (and hotdog juices out) and make clean up easier. Let grill for 15-20 minutes and then flip them and grill for another 5 minutes.
Let the lemons cool enough for you to touch them and juice normally.
Now the fun part! You can either use the very concentrated juice and mix it with a simple syrup to make it into a cocktail, obviously my recommendation (see recipe below) or you can add some sugar and water to make it into a non-alcoholic lemonade which you can then still add your favorite spirit to 😉

Grilled Lemon Juice Recipe:

  • 1.5 cups grilled lemon juice
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 8 cups water

Follow the steps above to create the grilled lemon juice. Add all ingredients to a pitcher and stir. Easy as…well, making lemonade!

Subscribe to my YouTube channel to see more recipes and how to’s!

Smoke on the Horizon

Glass: Smoking Bowl                           Garnish: Smoke (optional, requires smoking gun – if you’re fancy like us)

Add all ingredients with ice into a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into glass and enjoy!

Lavender Simple Syrup…so, so SIMPLE!

Lavender Simple Syrup

Making your own flavored Simple Syrup is an easy way to customize your cocktails and elevate your mixology.

Lavender simple syrup is just that; simple. Equal parts sugar and water heated to a boil, lavender buds are added in and allowed to rest just as you would a tea. The great thing about simple syrup is you can use this process for a variety of flavors that suit your recipe or taste buds! Some of my other favorite simple syrups include: lemon-ginger, mint and hibiscus.

Flavored simple syrups are a perfect addition to enhance your favorite cocktail, recipe or even just mixed with soda water as a better alternative to soda.

Making your own simple syrup at home is a great way to dip your toe into the world of healthy(er) drinking. The average soda contains around 39g of sugar, in addition to all sorts of yucky chemicals, corn syrup and additives. Don’t even get me started on diet soda.

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 1 oz organic lavender buds

In a small pot, bring your water to a boil. Once the water is boiling add the lavender and allow to boil for 30 seconds to a minute.

Turn off the heat and swirl the lavender buds around then add your sugar and swirl again. Now allow the combination to cool for about 15 minutes.


Once the simple syrup has cooled down you will want to strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a clean glass container.

 

If I’m making my syrup for a specific recipe I like to make more than needed, that way I have it on hand for other uses. Your simple syrup can be stored in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. You should always label your simple syrup so you know when to throw it out, if it lasts that long! However, if you have not labeled it and want to make sure it’s safe for consumption, look for any white cloud like matter that grows from the bottom of the container. Whether it be lavender or any other flavor, this would indicate that it has gone off. It’s the number one indicator that your simple syrup has past its date and should be thrown it out.

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Now that you have this glorious creation it can be used for many things, check out my cocktail recipe below featuring Astral Pacific Gin by The Spirit Guild.

Impress your friends by using it in place of plain simple syrup or sugar. Enhance your tea drinking experience tastes great in black tea, fabulous in Earl Grey, Chai or Darjeeling.

You can also get creative and use it in other baking ideas; short bread in place of sugar, drizzle over vanilla ice cream, add it to pudding, even great on chicken! Share below and let us know how you’ve used it!

 

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The Summer EstrellaIMG_1372

– 2 oz Astral Pacific Gin by The Spirit Guild
– 1 oz Mixtress Cocktail Mixer: Lime, Ginger, & Lemongrass
– .5 oz Lavender Simple Syrup

Glass: Coup/Martini
Garnish: Mixtress Cocktail Perfume: Lavender & Lemon Blossom.
Lemon wheel and lavender buds (optional)

Pour Gin, Mixtress Cocktail Mixer and Lavender Simple Syrup into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, strain into glass and garnish with Mixtress Cocktail Perfume. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Over Indulged? Try This All Natural Hangover Remedy from BuzzFeed

Most hangovers are caused by all of the chemicals and harmful ingredients that are in the cocktails that we drink. However, even if we drink naturally, but drink too much, we can be left with a hangover in the morning. I was interviewed by BuzzFeed Creative , along with several other Los Angeles Mixologists. She asked what my go to hangover cure is.

I certainly do not recommend drinking too much. But if we do, then an all natural hangover remedy is just the thing to save the rest of the weekend!

Continue reading “Over Indulged? Try This All Natural Hangover Remedy from BuzzFeed”

Bourbon & BBQ – Pulled Pork

Is there a better match than Bourbon & BBQ? When asked to pair Lexington Bourbon with a perfect bite of food for a Tasting Panel Magazine

Tasting Panel SF Speed Tasting May 2015 (2)

event to be held at the James Beard Nominated Trick Dog in San Francisco, my heart leapt.  I pictured tasting batch after batch of pulled pork with bourbon. And that is just what happened. I tried many, many recipes and methods (marinades, dry rubs, wet sauces, oven roasting vs crock pot) and want to share the results with you! Watch the video here….
Continue reading “Bourbon & BBQ – Pulled Pork”