Classic Lemonade

Homemade Lemonade

Last night’s sankalpa was an uncharacteristically nebulous “Love” rather than her customary litany of qualifiers.  That was careless.  His email was waiting for her the next morning.  Impossible love.  Foolish love.  Lost love.

Next time, her sankalpa will be crafted with finer precision.  Actionable Love.


Classic Lemonade

A shot of vodka turns this simply classic lemonade into a decidedly adult beverage.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice, from about 5 lemons
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup simple syrup, depending on your sweetness preference

Directions

  1. In a pitcher, stir all ingredients together until well blended. Pour over ice and enjoy!

Hot Buttered Rum

Hot Toddy

Ah, December, when my reclusive side is not only tolerated, but exalted. When crackling fires, naps with kitties and piled blankets equal bliss and HBO loses to a Rankin-Bass animated holiday special – you know…Heat Miser, The Island of Misfit Toys, “Put one foot in front of the other.” Don’t pretend like you don’t still watch them.

December is also the month when this recluse can rationalize drinking a nightly mug of this decidedly decadent soul-warming beverage to abate the chill. I’ve been serving this spiked indulgence, which we’ve nicknamed “Hot Bubba,” for almost 30 years.

Hot Buttered Rum

Ingredients

  • 1 pint gourmet Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (softened)
  • 8 oz. Light Brown Sugar (by weight)
  • 8 oz. Powdered Sugar (by weight)
  • 8 oz. Salted Butter (softened)
  • ½ teaspoon (generous) Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg (freshly ground)
  • ½ jigger Rum or Spiced Rum
  • ½ jigger Brandy
  • Boiling Water
  • Freshly ground nutmeg for garnish

Directions

  1. Make Batter: Beat together ice cream, sugars, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg until butter is evenly distributed throughout ice cream. Store in freezer.
  2. Place 2 or more Tablespoons of batter into a mug. Add rum and brandy and fill mug with boiling water. Stir until batter is fully dissolved. Sprinkle with nutmeg before serving.
  3. Light the fire and let it snow.

The Happy Maker

Cremasse - Let the festivities begin

Cremasse – Let the festivities begin

In the early 1990’s, my recipe for mulled wine, quickly dubbed ‘moldy wine’ by my brother, became a Christmas Eve tradition. This was soon followed by a recipe in 1992 for hot butter rum, nicknamed hot bubba, made with a vanilla ice cream base. For the next 20 years, tradition necessitated a mug of moldy wine before appetizers followed by hot bubba after dinner with the cookie tray.

Last year, the firm where I work produced a “Holiday Cheer Guide” of employee family recipes. After hastily skimming the guide, it was headed for the trash – no need for for Aunt Edna’s fudge recipe or Mom’s secret ambrosia salad – when I happened upon a coworker’s recipe for Cremasse, a traditional celebratory beverage from Haiti. This was something I wanted to taste!

Within one evening, Cremasse (a.k.a. The Happy Maker) has usurped both hot bubba and moldy wine as our festive holiday cocktail of choice. At first sip, I knew this was no sissy’s drink and must be consumed slowly and judiciously, but surprisingly (or maybe not so surprising), the carafe was entirely drained within a few hours.

Cremasse – The Happy Maker

1 L.         dark or spiced rum**
2 c.         sugar
¼ c.        water
3              cinnamon sticks
14 oz.    sweetened condensed milk
12 oz.    evaporated milk
15 oz.    cream of coconut
2 T.         vanilla extract
1 T.         almond extract
1 t.          ground nutmeg
1 t.          ground cinnamon
1 t.          salt
Zest of two limes

Combine sugar, cinnamon sticks and water in a saucepan and place on low heat. Allow sugar to fully dissolve and make a simple syrup. Remove from heat and cool.

Whisk rum into cooled syrup. Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk and coconut cream. Vigorously whisk milk mixture into rum in a steady stream to avoid curdling. Add extracts, spices, and zest. Set aside of two hours to allow flavors to meld. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Pour into glasses, garnish with nutmeg and serve. Cremasse can be served cold or room temperature – I prefer it cold.

**dark rum allowed the almond to come through while spiced complimented the cinnamon and nutmeg

Time for sleep

Time for sleep