You can learn a lot about ice just by looking at it. A pristinely clear cube tells you it’s made from pure water in a perfect crystal lattice. Cloudy ice signals impurities, absorbed gases, and irregular crystals. Those impurities (such as chlorine or fluoride) impart unwanted flavors, while absorbed gases (like oxygen and nitrogen) and irregular crystals weaken cubes, making them more prone to shattering while shaking. This creates many unwanted ice shards that will overdilute your cocktail. Bartenders go to obsessive, time-consuming lengths to achieve perfectly clear ice for craft cocktails, but we just wanted an easy at-home technique to get us as close to clear as is practical.
This recipe was shared with us by The Kitchn's Sheela Prakash as part of our All-Star Summer Cookout episode. It's bubbly, enjoyable tart (thanks to the shrub and lemon/lime), and can easily be made into a cocktail by adding the spirit of your choice. We're thinking gin or vodka would work well here. Fruit shrubs are commercially available in stores and online; see below for Sheela's recommendations. You can also make your own shrub using this recipe from The Kitchn.
The cherry concentrate gives an extra layer, but isn’t essential. However, I recommend keeping the cherry concentrate in the fridge as a sugar-free cordial. It’s also delicious with hot water.
I love the taste of ginger in the morning and have a guilty love of ginger beer at any time of the day. This is an instant, healthy, fizzy ginger hit, with none of the vast amounts of sugar found in commercial brands of ginger beer. It’s completely invigorating.
This is a super tasty version of a Virgin Mary—it’s almost a liquid lunch. I recommend transferring it to a thermos and taking it on a long morning walk in the fresh air to revive you halfway. If you do use a thermos, chill the Bloody Bull beforehand and don’t use ice, as the drink will become too diluted.
Cedar is a sacred tree and, like sweetgrass and tobacco, is part of many ceremonies. It’s used to purify homes, in sweat-lodge ceremonies, and as a medicine. The tea of simmered branches is used to treat fevers and rheumatic complaints, chest colds, and flu. This brew is delicious warm or cold and is simple to make. Just simmer 2 cups of fresh cedar in 4 cups of boiling water for about 10 minutes until the water becomes a golden color. Strain off the cedar and sweeten with maple syrup, to taste.
Tamarind is a tropical pod with a sticky brown flesh that is both tangy and sweet. Dissolved in varying concentrations, it can be used to make a thin, tart water or a thick, pulpy puree.
1. Combine the lime zest, agave syrup, and sea salt in a 32 oz Mason jar.
From the court of the Bentivoglio family in Bologna during the 1600s comes this recipe for hot chocolate. Their cook, Giuseppe Lamma, was responding to the fashion of the day in writing a recipe for processing the cocoa bean along with his own rendition of the drink, chocolate (the candy was still far off). Some historians claim Italians taught the art of chocolate making to the French and English in the 1700s. Another logical explanation is all the Spanish connections with those countries through diplomacy, noble marriages and alliances. After all, it was the Spanish who brought chocolate to Europe from the Americas, and they adopted chocolate drinking with great enthusiasm.