Tag Archives: vodka

Apparently there is an estimated trend for tacky 70s cocktails. These new- er old- drinks have got me playing around. What is a little nicer about these drinks is that they are a little more forgiving. Very shelf stable, and no fancy fortified wines that I need to use in a few weeks. The downside is that I don’t have many of the hard liqueurs used for them.

The star of 2017 was probably The Grasshopper. The drink is pretty simple, 1 part creme de cacao, 1 part creme de menthe, and 1 part half and half. I tried this drink, just subbing the half and half with coconut creamer from Trader Joe’s. My god was it terrible. So nasty.

Seems like the trend is less about how tasty the cocktail is, but more like a challenge for a bartender to make an edible version of this drink. Some infused the mint into the half and half, some have infused the mint and cacao nibs with vodka, but I am still a little puzzled by this trend. Maybe I just need to invest in better spirits? Nope. That is too hard. All the places I went to only have creme de menthe and creme de cacao that was $12 and under. So it seems the grasshopper is doomed to general public.

But it got me thinking, what I liked, disliked, etc. And I decided we needed more body to the cocktail, and included some aquafaba to get a nice texture to the drink. I also like the mint-coconut flavors, which naturally made me decide to ditch the cacao, and add matcha.

What I love about cocktails is that I can spend a lot of time perfecting a recipe. I only have to make ONE and I can easily just make it again the next day, or if I am feeling up to it immediately after making the first drink. I think I perfected this cocktail so here are some tips to make it sucessfully:

CREME DE MENTHE: I have a huge passionate hate for peppermint schnapps. I am not sure what, by definetion, makes a schnapps different from flavored vodka, but peppermint schnapps is my arch-enemy from college. It made everything it touched taste like peppermint extract mixed with bleach. So what makes creme de menthe better? Sugar, duh! The “creme” refers to the creamy texture the sugar adds. I am sure if you are in a jam, or already have *shudders* peppermint schnapps or minty vodka, you just need to add a little simple syrup to your drink.

AQUAFABA: Many classic cocktails use raw egg whites in the drink. You don’t have to be vegan to get a little queasy from this idea. but it does give a really interesting texture to the cocktail. Making it thick and foamy. Just putting in a small amount of aquafaba will transform a cocktail. Just put in a teaspoon and shake your drink like your life depends on it.

Don’t feel like opening a can of beans? That’s fine. It does nothing for the actual FLAVORS of the drink. But I would follow the long shaking instructions as the melted ice helps mellow some of the booze in the cocktail.

MATCHA: Although mint, matcha, and coconut are all flavors I love together- I will admit this: I used matcha for March’s MiniMOFO. I bought a clear creme de menthe since it is more versatile, but lacks that green color. I first tried using Pique Tea Crystals, but I was surprised by how bitter they were, and the color was more like pee-yellow. I LOVED the bitter flavor paired with the syrupy mint, but I knew it wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But if you don’t have tons of cash and can’t find inexpensive matcha, I would recommend pique. I EVENTUALLY found a cheap and small package of matcha, though the more you shell out, the better quality.

So, this isn’t a grasshopper, and I don’t care. I think this result is MUCH better. It is easy to make, and the ingredients will last for awhile. And the best part is sipping up the bitter foam at the end of the drink.

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I’ve finally made this cocktail! I had the idea to make a bloody mary with tomatillos for awhile. But was nervous about where to start, so I googled it and there are MANY people who had a similar idea. At first I was going to make a recipe for a recipe roundup (the tomatillo edition will be coming up soon!) but I never seemed to have all the ingredients. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money for something that isn’t really food.

It also didn’t help that I never had vodka on hand. I am not a huge vodka person, I don’t quite see the point. So it doesn’t have any flavor? Isn’t the fun of booze to have the flavor? I get it- there is a time and place for vodka, and some of the liquors I like are pretty much infused vodkas.

So when it became tomatillo season here I knew I really HAD to make some cocktails with tomatillos. I jazzed things up a little and made the jalapeno lemongrass vodka, and decided to use it in the bloody mary. Since the vodka uses lemongrass, I tried to use more “asian” based mix ins. Instead of tabasco sauce, I used a little Sriracha. Instead of vegan Worcestershire sauce, I use some sweet soy sauce.

If you are interested in this drink but not a spicy person, simply make the lemongrass vodka without jalapenos. I would recommend keeping in the sriracha, it add just a hint of spice. The recipe makes 4 drinks, and they aren’t very strong. If you want to make them stronger just change the ratio of water to vodka, though you might want to change the serving size to 6 glasses instead of 4.

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I am always shocked at how many vodkas aren’t vegan. Stupid filters! And it gets more complicated when you start going into the flavored vodkas. Is the bacon vodka vegan? So cake vodka is vegan but not candy bar vodka? It can get all so confusing.

But in many ways, buying these flavored vodkas are pointless. It is so easy to make your own at home! It is literally as simple as dropping crap in a bottle, adding vodka, and waiting to two weeks, drain. Okay it involves a little foresight on your end, you need to start making the vodka before creating the cocktail.

I originally made this infused vodka last year… when I was pregnant. haha. I didn’t drink it for awhile. See my CSA started to grow lemongrass, and I didn’t have time to make a curry paste with it. So I soaked it with vodka, waited several months till I could drink again. I was going to make some recipes for cocktails, but I couldn’t find any lemongrass vodkas available commercially. So I knew I would have to make a recipe for the blog.

So now I decided to give the recipe. But I added a little twist. I had a jalapeno from my CSA and couldn’t use it because they were super spicy. Long story short- baby- can’t use it. So I thought make something ONLY for adults (and didn’t involve heating up the pepper). There is a slight trick to this, the jalapeno infuses MUCH faster than the lemongrass and only needs a few hours. 

So make this vodka, and I will have a recipe soon posted to use it.

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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 consomm√© 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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