December 26, 2009

Ginger Gin & Tonics and Blood Orange Margaritas

I spent Christmas morning eating bacon, eggs, & cream cheese butter braid, watching Julie & Julia (a gift from Jerad), drinking bloody marys, and watching it snow. Big, fluffy flakes floating around. Not a bad way to spend a holiday.

On Christmas Eve, we made ravioli at Jerad’s parents’ house, just like we did last year. I wanted to make cinnamon rolls for breakfast yesterday, but I didn’t plan ahead. Even though I am on vacation, this week was fairly hectic. I worked at Kitchen Conservatory all day Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday. My girlfriends came over for snacking, drinking, & giant tree viewing (and post tree collapse redecorating) on Monday. My dad came over for tacos on Tuesday. We went grocery shopping & out to dinner with Gwen on Wednesday.

Since Jerad just paid for an engagement ring, we agreed not to go overboard with gifts for each other. Or so I thought. I gave him a “Rock, Flag, & Eagle” tee-shirt (ala It’s Always Sunny), Son Volt’s new CD, & Hubert Keller’s Burger Bar cookbook. He gave me Riedel wine glasses & a Garmin. Jerad’s parents gave me Julia Child’s The French Chef series on DVD, new bath towels, pajamas, a grinder attachment for my KitchenAid mixer, and a leopard-print Snuggie. They are also paying to have the rest of our wood floors refinished. It was a good holiday all around!

Tonight, I'm teaching a "Date Night for Couples" cocktail party class. I chose two festive drinks to compliment our menu of fancy finger foods...

Ginger Gin & Tonic

Makes 4 drinks

1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 cups tonic water
1 cup gin
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1. Combine the first 3 ingredients in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil until reduced to 1 1/3 cups, about 3 minutes. Cool syrup; then strain. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; chill.)

2. Mix tonic water, gin, lime juice and 1/2 cup ginger syrup in glass measuring cup. Taste, adding more syrup, if desired (reserve remaining syrup for another use).

3. To serve, pour gin-and-tonic mixture over ice. Garnish with candied ginger slices and lime wedges, if desired.

Blood Orange Margarita

Makes 1 drink

2 ounces tequila
1 ½ ounces fresh lime juice
¾ ounce orange liqueur
½ ounce simple syrup
¾ ounce blood orange puree (recipe below)

1. Moisten the rim of a glass with a lime wedge. Sprinkle coarse salt on a small place and dip the glass in the salt to coat the rim lightly.

2. Fill the glass & a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, syrup, and puree to the shaker. Shake vigorously.

3. Strain the drink into the glass. Garnish with a slice of lime & a slice of blood orange, if desired.

Blood Orange Puree

Makes about ¾ cup

4 blood oranges, peeled, segmented, & seeded
1 tablespoon simple syrup
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

In a blender or food processor, combine the orange segments, syrup, & lemon juice and puree until smooth. Taste & adjust the syrup & lemon as needed.

No comments: