Tag Archives: alcohol

Blackberry Spritzers and a Mojito



~ Blackberry, Lime and Mint Spritzers~

It’s summertime and the living is easy. And what better way to enjoy the sultry season than with a refreshing, thirst-quenching drink? During this window of time when blackberries are prolific, I like to make a syrup which I add to drinks and use for desserts.  Depending on the mood or time of day, I’ll stir a few spoonfuls of the vibrant, tangy syrup into icy glasses of Prosecco or sparkling water. If we’re feeling extra festive, I’ll muddle a jigger-full with mint, lime and rum and call it a mojito. It’s all good. Just be sure to make extra to freeze as ice cubes to pop in drinks or thaw later in the year for a sip of summer.

Blackberry Syrup
Makes about 1 cup

12 ounces blackberries
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until blackberries soften and release their juices, about 10 minutes. Cool. Purée in a food processor, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Discard the seeds.

Blackberry Spritzers
Makes 1 

Ice cubes
1 part blackberry syrup
2 parts sparkling water, white wine or Proscecco
Lime wedge and mint leaves for garnish

Fill a wine or cocktail glass with ice. Add syrup and sparkling water. Stir. Garnish with lime and mint.

Blackberry Mojito
Makes 1 

1/2 lime, cut in 4 wedges
2 sprigs mint, plus extra leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) blackberry syrup
Crushed ice
1.5 ounces white rum
Sparkling water
1-2 blackberries for garnish

Muddle 2 lime wedges, mint sprigs and syrup together in a sturdy highball glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Pour rum over ice. Top with sparkling water to taste. Garnish with whole blackberries, remaining lime wedges and mint.

If you like this, you might enjoy these recipes:
Elderflower Syrup from TasteFood
Blackberry Frozen Yogurt from Simply Recipes
Lemon Ricotta Blackberry Muffins from Two Peas and Their Pod

Gløgg: Scandinavian Spiced Mulled Wine

Glogg tf

It’s nearly December which means one thing:  It’s time for Gløgg. Gløgg is the Scandinavian version of spiced mulled wine. From a corner of the world where winters are defined by brief grey days and long dark nights, fire and warmth are woven into the Nordic lifestyle and winter celebrations.  Candles provide cosiness and light, adorning windows, tables and the holiday tree. Pelts and fur soften cold surfaces and soothe the skin. Socializing and rituals enliven the home and brighten the spirit. And hearty meals with fortified drinks warm the belly and feed the soul.

From now until Christmas, gløgg is prolific in Scandinavia. Hot, spiced and boosted with wine and spirits, this liquid pick-me-up is an elixir worthy of the vikings. Served in cafes and restaurants, from city street carts and at social gatherings, it’s the season’s antidote to the cold and dark. Most home cooks will make their own brew, whether enabled by a mix or from scratch. This recipe is my version of gløgg from scratch, and I encourage you to try this method. It avoids the cloying sweetness often found with mixes and is easy to prepare. As it simmers, the aromas of wine and spice will fill your home hinting at Christmas to come. Never mind any inclement weather outdoors. Inside it will be warm and cosy – a perfect complement to the winter day.

Gløgg

Makes 8-10 servings

For the garnish:
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup Cointreau or rum
1/2 cup whole almonds

For the gløgg:
1 – 1/2 cups Port wine
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup Cointreau or Gran Marnier
1/3 cup brown sugar
zest of 2 oranges, cut in strips
10 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bottles inexpensive dry red wine

Fresh orange slices

Prepare the garnish:
Combine the raisins and Cointreau in a small bowl. Let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours. (Raisins can be prepared up to one week in advance.  Cover and refrigerate until use.)
Toast the almonds in a dry skillet on the stove. Remove from heat and coarsely chop in large pieces.

Prepare the gløgg:
Combine all of the ingredients except the 2 bottles of red wine in a heavy large pot with a lid.  Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered until reduced to 2 cups, 12-15 minutes.
Add red wine and warm over low heat with the lid on the pot. Do not boil.
Add a spoonful each of raisins and almonds to a glass or mug.  Strain gløgg into glass.  Garnish with fresh orange slices.

These TasteFood recipes are a nice accompaniment to gløgg:
Ginger Pear Streusel Cake
Ginger Spiced Molasses Cookies
Mini-Dried Fruit and Nut Cakes

or try these warm drink recipes from the food blogs:
Hot Apple Ginger Toddy from the Kitchn
Warm Eggnog from No Recipes
Real Hot Chocolate from Healthy Green Kitchen