Tag Archives: cocktail

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I’ve seen a few “spooky” cocktails out there. Some do make me get the Halloween feels, but most just have spooky photos and a spooky name. Maybe these do too. But I tried to keep some “creepy” ingredients, mostly kombucha and absinthe. Why are they spooky? Well both drinks are brightly colored like many candies. Eerily unnatural if you will. Then kombucha really reminds me of the blob with it’s mother culture. You are drinking living creatures by having this drink.

Absinthe on the other hand has a more sinister history. For anyone who hasn’t had the drink before, it is composed of various plants, but the most well known ones are wormwood, green anise, and sweet fennel. So it really has a taste like licorice. It is often described as a liqueur but it has no added sugar so it is technically just a spirit. Absinthe became popular in 19th-20th century France in part because of a wine shortage (European grapes were plagues by a bacteria from the United States) and also from soldier drinking it during the war to prevent malaria (thanks to the wormwood). The drink was popular with various artists, and got a reputation for causing hallucinations. Often the effects of the drink were described as being visited by the Green Faerie. Many paintings show a poor soul drinking absinthe while being visited by the green faerie, being driven to madness. Although wormwood technically does have some psychoactive chemicals, the amount present is absinthe is minimal. Many countries banned the drink, but once proven to be no more harmful that other alcoholic drinks, the bans were lifted.

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So next question, is absinthe vegan? It should be. Absinthe is characterized by the plant based flavoring, not what is used to produce the alcohol. There is an absinthe that is made from honey, which is unusual. If you want to be safe, you can see the list of approved vegan absinthes on barnivore. There aren’t many listed, and truthfully I have only seen one of these liquors sold in a store- Lucid. And I understand that what you find at your local liquor store might vary greatly from mine, but I used a very cheap absinthe called Parnasse. I got it for roughly $14 from Total Wine and More. Would I get it again? No. Hell no! But it gave me an idea what absinthe tasted like, and I am now more willing to splurge more money on a bottle when I run out. Another way you can try absinthe are those cute little bottles of booze. Total Wine and More sells one brand- so grab it if you can get liquor shipped to you in your state. 

And what about that beautiful green color? Well, I know my bottle artificially colors it, but some companies choose to let the liquor stay clear. But there can be a natural green color, it just won’t be as bright. In the past, some companies used copper to color the drink green, which is thought to be the culprit to it’s hallucinatory reputation. So if you are looking for something more natural, look for less toxic green colored bottles.

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Ever read a recipe, and make it, but the recipe is so simple that you don’t need to look at it again next time you make it, so you completely forget where you got it originally? That happened to me with The Reanimator. I couldn’t for the life of me find the recipe, until I found it on a fluke. I knew it was in the book Let’s Bring Back the Cocktail, but where? There are so many recipes. Turns out the original drink was “Battery Charger” and I made some artist interpretations on it. Which is fine, but when I tried to find it again I was looking for all the wrong things. 

I like to pretend this is the ye-old jägerbomb. I may of had one or two of these in college, but I like to point out that I went to art school. We knew why we were drinking booze, it was to get drunk. Why bother with crappy beer? But this drink is actually very different. I am not sure what Red Bull is suppose to taste like, but the red in this drink is from grenadine, you know like in a Shirley Temple. The mix between pomegranates and licorice is a big eye opener, which is why I named the drink The Reanimator. The color of your drink will rely on the grenadine you use and the absinthe you use.

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What I love about these two drink is how different they are. This cocktail I named Suspiria in honor of my favorite horror film of the same name. The movie features so many vivid colors, including green, and evil being are witches. This completely looks like some mystery witch brew. The drink features lime juice and bee free honee to flavor it. This really lets the true colors of absinthe shine through, but still working with the lime-citrus flavors. If you can’t use kombucha, feel free to just use water.

I hope these two drinks give you the courage to give absinthe a try! They are both really very different from each other, giving something for everybody. 

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I might be one of the few people who got stumped by todays prompt to recreate a dish from a restaurant. I don’t eat out often, and I think part of the fun of eating out is that it is something you can’t make. So the desire to recreate is a little low. At first I thought about recreating the heirloom beans with a hazelnut-tomato vinegrette that I had from Charlie was a Sinner. But truthfully they were pretty simple, and I felt weird adapting an already vegan recipe. And then I started thinking of NON-vegan restaurants I’ve been too lately, which is pretty much only Indeblue. And then I thought about the bloody mary.

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Then it occurred to me that their bloody mary might not of been vegan, because I always forget about Worcestershire sauce. Even though the bloody mary tasted awesome, the texture was a little off. It was really thick, and some of the spices, particularly the black pepper, were just in chunks. So I thought I could surely make something better, especially since I had a bunch of delicious tomatoes picked from my CSA farm.

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I am a big bloody mary fan, but I am aware of it’s very un-vegan potential. It is one of the few savory cocktails that are popular, and therefore it is easy to add animal based umami flavors. A lot of cocktails end up using beef consommé or bouillon and worcestershire sauce, and that is if they didn’t fancy up the cocktail. Some places will add a slap of bacon or shrimp instead of a celery or pickle garnish. And then there is the Mary’s Canadian cousin Caesar that uses clamato juice. Ugh! And I am not going to get into the whole bloody mary mix. So many disappointments!

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So what’s a vegan suppose to do? Well, make their own, duh! It is easy to make in large batches and serve in a pitcher for Sunday Brunch. And it tastes pretty good without the vodka too! So if you aren’t a drinker or underaged, you are still in luck. I tried to make this drink pretty simple, no fancy appliances. So hopefully most of you guys will have these two things: a blender and a nut milk bag. And your set!

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Of coarse it is in order to point out that this isn’t a normal bloody mary. I got this at an Indian restaurant that was serving brunch, so it uses a curry blend in the drink.

I’ve heard from my sister who has traveled to various parts of Europe, and even lived in France for a year that Bloody Mary’s are a very American cocktail. Since Vegan Mofo has a lot of readers across the globe, I would love to hear if you had any Bloody Mary. When do you drink it? In a bar or brunch like Americans do? You wouldn’t think Bloody Marys would be such a brunch drink because of the vodka. I recently told my father in law how you make it, and he seemed pretty surprised!

Side note- if this is your first bloody mary, there are some standard garnishes. Celery is the classic, but I prefer the pickle (I just didn’t have any for the photo.) But there is still more variation including carrots, olives, and heck, do some facon-bacon!

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I find it is a little funny how vegans compassion can vary so much. The other night I was talking to my friend Chrissy who is also a vegan. I asked if she still ate honey, and she said yes. That is a little too extreme for her, while I try not to consume it. But later on in the night she said how she wouldn’t eat food sharing a deep-fryer with meats. Me on the other hand, very cool with shared cooking areas with vegan and omni foods. Everyone has their own boundaries.

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Even my recently turned vegan husband and I have totally different views on compassion. A big nasty house fly got stuck in our house and kept bothering us. It bothered me endlessly, and I was waiting till he got old and fat so I could smack it. I mean that fly is a big asshole and had it coming, right? My husband instead says “This fly is annoying as hell, but I don’t want to KILL it. I just want to catch him and release him.” Sure enough he eventually caught the fly and released him back into the wild, making me into a horrible evil person for wanting to hurt a fly.

Roles reverse today. I noticed a few ants on our rug, and told him about it. It suddenly became a battle of the ants for him. He is looking up natural ways to kill the ant and block their passage. And then there is me, feeling a little bit like what is the harm for letting them hangout? Maybe we should just leave bags of sugar outside of the house so they don’t come in ours? Then I would be known in the neighborhood as the crazy ant lady, collecting ants instead of cats.

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But enough bug talk- let’s talk about this awesome drink! I’ve been laying off the hard liquor lately or rather making drinks because of the move. Heck, I technically haven’t even unpacked the cocktail mixer yet. But I got a little excited when I found Sage by Art in the Age at my local liquor store since I’ve been wanting to try it for awhile now. I got a little creative and used glass, espresso tamper, and a hand strainer to make this drink.

I also had a bunch of badly bruised shiro plums from the orchard. They are pretty tasty, but not the pretties things to look at. So I thought this would taste pretty good with Sage, so I made a drink by muddling the plum into the drink. Now I am not sure where this drink sits on the cocktail genealogy‎ tree, but as far as I can tell I used fresh seasonal fruit and smashed it. So it’s a smash in my book. If you want to make this drink more “smash-ish” I would use some sage leaves instead of mint to work with the liquor.

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If you asking which bourbon we used, well I used Knob Creek’s Rye Whiskey but mostly because that is what we had on hand. I probably would use Bulleit Bourbon next time. And if you can’t find any Sage, then I would use a very mild gin or perhaps a homemade infused sage vodka. But honestly there is a really unique flavor going on with Sage so I wouldn’t try and sub it.

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Everyone is pumpkin crazy anymore. It is pretty much pointless to deny it any longer- you need more pumpkin in your life. I think our current obsession might be because all the kids who grow up loving Halloween. So we reach and grab things vaguely related to Halloween that are more adult- like horror movie marathons. Or costume runs in graveyards. I feel like we clutch to pumpkins because of jack o’ lanterns. Maybe not. But I am not going to stop eating them.

I thought I would take it up a notch and make a drink just for vegans with pumpkins: The Spiced Carriage. There are two secrets to the cocktail- homemade pumpkin spice syrup and Snap. Snap is a spirit made by Art in the Age of Reproduction. They have several spirits that are inspired by old practices or traditions from American settlers. Snap has the perfect mix of spices that give the drink an extra depth. You can buy it online with Hi-Time Wine or you can search their store locator.

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Alexa came down to visit, and I knew I had to give her this cocktail. I also wanted to brainstorm names. I haven’t been too creative with food names, and cocktails usually have names that are more fun. Alexa came up with “The Spicy Ginger (Babe)” but my husband voted for my more fairytaled themed “Spiced Pumpkin Carriage”

I think I can safely say this is sort of like a Pumpkin Spice Latte in cocktail form. Okay there isn’t any coffee elements to it, but has that similar creamy and warm pumpkin feeling to it. Though I am now seeing that I could of put in a little Kona and gotten some yummy results. Oh well. Maybe next year…

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You’ll have to turn on the stove to make this cocktail. Well, you don’t have to, but if you want it to taste the best you should. I made a custom syrup for this drink, which can be used in coffee, or to sprinkle on top of desserts. Below is the recipe and you totally will want to make it ahead of time.

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Can I make a confession? I kind-of hate watermelon. I know, that is totally un-American of me. It is actually a curse. I love the FLAVOR of watermelon, I just can’t stand the seeds. I am a chewer so I manage to crunch into each and every seed before I can spit it out. I know you are thinking “Well then just get seedless watermelon!” Yeah, I have tried farm fresh watermelon, and now seedless watermelon tastes like bland water pulp. So I am stuck craving watermelon but regretting the first bite.

This leaves me with a problem. Melons are doing really well at my farm. Just last week I took home THREE cantaloupe. Yup. That’s right three. I had to give one away since they were huge. This week I only got one small cantaloupe, and we got one watermelon. Then my mother in law pointed out that there was a huge watermelon that they were having a guessing contest for. Winner takes the watermelon. I never back down from a competition.

Low and behold the skills I picked up from working a restaurant kicked in. I thought “Wow this feels like a 25 lb bag of beets, only minus a pound.” So I guessed 24 lbs even, and I found myself taking a 24 pound watermelon home with my already huge pick from my share. I figured if I was going to get these watermelons gobbled up by the end of the week, I should probably drink them.

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One of my daily morning rituals is having a cup of apple cider tonic. The habit started when my husband wanted to use apple cider vinegar to help clear out his sinuses. There are lots of claims of what apple cider vinegar can do for you, some make sense, while others are a little outlandish.

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Vegans should try having a glass of apple cider vinegar tonic every morning since it helps increase the absorption of calcium. Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid, which can increase the body’s ability to absorb vital minerals. Some other most substantial health claims of apple cider vinegar are improved digestion, increased reception to insulin, weight control, and help cleaning sinuses.

I stick to Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar since they keep the mother. This means that the bacteria that helped turn apple juice into vinegar are still in there. Think of it like that poop-gurt that Jamie Lee Curtis keeps trying to sell you. Although the bacteria cultures are different, the effect is similar.

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I usually make a simple drink using just water, vinegar, and a sweetener (honey, agave, or stevia) But it came become boring. A simple remedy is just to use iced tea instead. But I woke up one morning and decided to try a little more. I brewed a big pitcher of iced yerba mate, and squeezed some limes in there. The result was amazing.

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