Glacier Melt

Glacier Melt: a new name for a wicked drink - served over crushed ice for a wonderful new virgin flavour.

Glacier Melt: a new name for a wicked drink – served over crushed ice for a wonderful new virgin flavour.

In looking up drinks to try using the bitters that I had procured in my trip to Vancouver, BC, and while I was in still in holiday mode, I was cruising the internet looking at recipes and came across an drink made with orange juice, orange bitters and curacao along with both dry and sweet vermouth and gin. Being in full holiday mode and awaiting the arrival of Christmas, my brain translated the drink as Santa’s Whiskers – Curled and I thought, what a fun thing to try as a virgin make-over during the holiday!

Turns out I was experiencing a dyslexic moment, as the true name of the drink is Satan’s Whiskers – Curled. Oops.

Not to be daunted by misspelling, I gamely converted the drink into a virgin creation substituting curaçao for curaçao syrup which I had picked up (but is also simple enough to make with some orange rinds, simple syrup and blue food colouring), white grape juice for the dry vermouth and a blend of apple juice, lemon juice and water for the sweet vermouth. The idea for the substitution was based on cooking substitutions for alcohol which if you are interested you can find here.

The result was a fun blue drink, with a nice flavour complex and no name! Without the 2 oz of alcohol, the drink is not as “wicked” as the original and needed a name that fit the new flavour of the beverage.

Glacier Melt

Ingredients:
  • 1 oz juniper and lemon tea (see below)
  • 1 oz Apple Lemon Blend (see below)
  • 1 oz white grape juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz curaçao syrup (or for do it yourself check here)
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
Procedure:

Blend all ingredients in a mixer with ice and shake well. Strain into a old-fashioned glass and serve with a twist of orange. Or serve over shaved ice in a tall glass for an elegant and modern look.

My Thoughts:

This drink received positive reviews from young and old while we were on holidays. Everyone found the beverage tasty and commented on the nice blend of flavours. The addition of the Juniper tea enhances the drink flavour, however the cinnamon was the prevalent flavour and I may reduce the cinnamon by half or less (break the stick into a smaller bit). Depending on what tea you choose to use this drink will vary slightly in flavour.

This drink really relies on the blend of flavours, I tried it again later but didn’t have any white grape juice available, the mix didn’t have as much power and presence.

If you wish to keep this drink less complex, omit the tea. The drink will change in flavour only slightly, but who’s to know but you?

Kid-o-metre 5/5 This drink was enjoyed by my daughters and the adults.
Taste: 4.4/5  This drink can be made with or without the juniper tea, and either way it’s enjoyable.. just different.
Simplicity: 3/5 If you can find curaçao it is slightly easier, but making the juniper tea increases the difficulty of this drink.
Ingredient finding: 2/5 juniper berries, specialty tea and specialty syrups… all need to be shipped in or pick them up on a trip to a specialty store.


Gin Flavouring – Juniper Tea Recipe

To replace gin I wanted a infusion or tea that included a blend of flavours. Gin is normally predominantly juniper, but includes such botanicals as orange and lemon peel, cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg, angelica and coriander among others. According to ginvodka.org there are usually from six to ten flavouring agents (or botanicals) in the gin making process. So for a replacement I chose a tea, and instead of a simple juniper berry tea I chose a tea from DavidsTea called Detox which has juniper, lemongrass, ginger in it’s flavour profile and added about 2 Tbsp juniper berries, cinnamon and a few cardamon pods to the mix.

Ingredients:

3 tsp juniper/lemongrass based tea (detox or other variety)
2 Tbps juniper berries (dried)
4 cardamon pods
1-1/2 cinnamon stick

Brew all ingredients for half hour in hot water, strain and cool. Store until needed.

Apple Lemon Blend

Knowing someone who knew the taste of vermouth is very helpful in making a replacement. The description of what to replace sweet vermouth from the website mentioned above include apple juice or a blend of lemon juice and water. I worked out a recipe that my taste tester says is very “vermouthy”.

Ingredients:

6 oz apple juice
2 oz water
1 oz fresh lemon juice

Blend ingredients and chill until needed.


I am a big fan of this virgin version of the drink and look forward to serving this to friends in the future. How does it compare to the original Satan’s Whiskers? Mild, very mild, I would guess.

Virgin Old Fashioned Part Three

Made with Diet Coke and sweetened with Agave, this drink is one of my top ten!

Made with Diet Coke and sweetened with Agave, this drink is one of my top ten!

Kola Old Fashioned

This recipe was found after some serious digging on MakeMeACocktail.com. The ingredients not your standard four as tequila replaces whiskey, chocolate bitters replaces orange bitters, and coke is added (just a splash) instead of the standard water. I was excited about this option – as tequila is actually fairly simple to replace with agave syrup.

I tested this recipe on my kids, my parents and a friend who wanted to join the tasting fun and in an effort to be scientific worked out the important of each ingredient by testing the mix starting with just Coke and bitters and then adding the agave syrup and finally orange to the mix. Interestingly, the agave syrup brings the chocolate taste to the forefront of the drink and lends some complexity to the flavour. This created a very nice “chocolate cola” but I wanted to push it one step further.

As citrus and chocolate are commonly blended flavours, I tried muddling in a mandarine orange (skin and pulp) and adding just a dash of orange bitters back to the mix to bring back the element of citrus so common in Old Fashioned Cocktails. The result was something I am proud of.

Ingredients:
  • 1 oz agave syrup
  • 1 oz water
  • 6 drop chocolate bitters
  • 1 drop orange bitters
  • 6 oz cola
  • 1 mandarine orange (cut in 8)
Procedure:

Muddle orange, syrup, bitters and water in cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well to blend. Strain into two 6 oz glass full of ice and top cola. Stir and serve with a twist of orange as a garnish.

My Thoughts:

This drink is reminiscent of chocolate orange candy. The cola lends well to the two flavours without being lost in the mix, and the addition of the orange bitters, while seeming negligible, brings out the orange of the mandarine to blend without competing with the chocolate.

Not everyone like chocolate and orange together though – and the drinks without the addition of the muddled orange or orange bitters is also very tasty – just less sophisticated in my opinion. Other family and friends enjoyed both options, some preferred the chocolate alone with the coke and agave. Which to be honest is closer to the original concept of the Kola Old Fashioned.

What did the kids think? My daughter thinks this should be called the Kola Miracle since it converts a simple Coke into something… well magical.

Kid-o-metre 5/5 my kids love this, they finished off their testers and asked for more.
Taste: 5/5  unless you don’t like orange and chocolate together and then, well… you’ll disagree.
Simplicity: 4/5 muddler required.
Ingredient finding: 2/5 mandarines are sometime seasonal, and the syrups require special order or specialty store purchases.

Virgin Old Fashioned Part Two

Silver Mocktail - a pink tinted mild mannered drink

Silver Mocktail – a pink tinted mild mannered drink with hints of juniper and orange.

Silver Mocktail

Another recipe from the same site (found here), called for orange bitters, sugar, and a combination of dry vermouth and gin. Instead of citrus for the fruity taste, they ask for maraschino cherry liqueur. Vermouth can be replaced with white grape juice which is easy to find, and gin… well I had just brewed up a pot of juniper and lemongrass tea which I am hoping would make an appropriate replacement.

Ingredients:
  • 2 oz. Juniper/Lemongrass Tea (or other juniper citrus based tea)
  • 2 oz. White Grape Juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Sugar Syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
  • 1 tsp. Maraschino Cherry Juice
  • 4 dash(es) Orange Bitters
Procedure:

Brew tea according to instructions. Strain & let cool. Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Serve garnished with a twist of lemon peel.

My Thoughts:

This drink is pleasant but lacks the kick and clean feel of a true Old Fashioned. The resulting flavour is very mild and … not dry enough? I think this has potential but needs some work. Back to the drawing board!

I tried this with a dash of Jamaican Ginger Beer (a carbonated beverage – non alcoholic) and this added a kick, but also changed the flavour complex from fruity to strong ginger/pepper bite. I may revisit this later… but there are other more interesting options for Old Fashioned Drinks to tell you about next!

Kid-o-metre 3/5 the kids enjoyed this, but didn’t ask for more, I agree…
Taste: 3/5  bland.
Simplicity: 4/5 One ingredient that takes some work, unless you have to make your own bitters.
Ingredient finding: 3/5 specialty tea and orange bitters are a “ship in” items

Virgin Old Fashioned Part One

Virgin Old Fashioned. Take away the whiskey but non of the kick.

Virgin Old Fashioned. Take away the whiskey but non of the kick.

Recently I picked up new ingredients to enhance my drink making repertoire. One of the essentials I had been missing was bitters – a needed ingredient in Manhattans and Old Fashions, both whiskey based drinks.

According to Wikipedia an Old Fashioned drink starts with muddling sugar and orange bitters then adding the whiskey, water and a twist of citrus. It’s served in an Old Fashioned Glass – and if you are curious what comes first “the glass or the drink” … it’s the drink.

Old fashioned drinks have come along way since the original in 1806. By the 1860’s the drink evolved to include a number of orange flavoured liqueurs, and became fashionable again and given the name “Old Fashioned”. Today recipes can include a splash of pop instead of water, brown sugar syrup instead of white sugar, a choice of bitters, and sometimes even a choice of liquor.

Interestingly enough when you google virgin old fashioned drinks there is nothing that comes up that is actually non alcoholic. Huh! Looking further, into cooking substitutions, again there is no substitution for whiskey. Not to be outdone, I looked up drinks made with orange bitters and … Bingo!

BarNoneDrinks lists 135 drinks containing orange bitters (which you can find here) and among them a number of drinks that use sugar, bitters and whiskey that could be adapted. Here is the first of a series of attempts to create some interesting New

Commodor Mocktail #1

This recipe is an alteration of the whiskey based drink found on BarNoneDrinks that for all practical purposes uses the same key components of a basic old-fashioned: sugar, bitters, citrus and whiskey (no water in this version).  Since there is no real replacement for whiskey – I chose to go unconventional and use something that recently came into the market: Dark Ginger Ale.

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 oz. Dark Ginger Ale
  • 1/4 lemon – juiced
  • 1 tsp  sugar
  • 2 dash(es) orange bitters
Procedure:

Muddle sugar and bitters with lemon in bottom of glass. Add Ice and Ginger Ale and serve with a twist of orange.

My Thoughts:

Wow! This drink is a powerhouse. When creating a virgin drink, often all the drinks tend to blend together into either fruit juice blends or fizzy sweet beverages. The idea behind the Old Fashioned is actually simplicity and kick. And this virgin version brings both in spades.

Kid-o-metre 5/5 my kids love sour, and they finished off their testers and asked for more.
Taste: 4/5  Dad didn’t like this, but everyone else thought this drink was the bomb.
Simplicity: 5/5 easy as lemonade.
Ingredient finding: 3/5 two ingredients that are more challenging, dark ginger ale may only be seasonal, and orange bitters are a “ship in” item.

A Bitter Story

Bitters and infusions.

Bitters and infusions, having bottles is so nice. Left to Right: Orange, Angostura & Aztec Chocolate Bitters, Hibiscus and Lavender Water. Far Right: Experimenting with Infusions – Grapefruit.

Living in a small town limits the drink recipes that can be created somewhat as the selection available to a admixture drink mixer is limited. While many items can be made with a bit (or a lot) of work if the basic ingredients are available this is not true of every item used in cocktails and some of the basic items are worth considering a trip to the big city or the shipping to have them sent to you.

One of my most missed ingredients is bitters. Virgin drinks are mostly juice, syrup or pop based. This leads to many being sweet and if one blends too many sweet items together – well it becomes unpalatable. One can use infusions – tea like creations made with water and flavouring agents without the sugar, to help cut the sweetness and I continue to experiment with teas and fruit, but sometimes one needs a strong concentrated hit to enhance or add interest to a drink without adding volume.
Bitters in cocktails play the role of seasonings in food, adding an element of interest but also toning down the sweetness in the drink and bringing the more subtle flavours to the front. (For the non-virgin drink makers bitters are a must in old-fashioned or manhattan cocktails.)
There are loads of great websites that teach how to make your own bitters, which I used when first starting out in October – creating a bitters from thyme and grapefruit appropriate for the apple cocktails I was creating. Lately I have found that bitters are not a one fits all ingredient, and that a selection of flavours is necessary to expand my drink making options.
Most bitters recipes call for grain alcohol and a selection of herbs, spices and botanicals. If you are interested in making your own, it looks like you can order a “build your own custom bitters kit” through Etsy and then use one of the great online sites to make your own.
Some suggested sites to check out are listed at the end of this blog but three types of bitters stood out as must haves for me in 2015: Orange, Chocolate and Angostura Bitters.

Orange Bitters

Orange Bitters are a bit more complex than simply infusing orange rind in liquor. The orange bitters recipe from chow.com is fairly straight forward, and most ingredients can be found in your grocery store: Orange peel, fennel, coriander, cardamon all are pretty accessible. Gentian extract is more challenging to come by. I found the product at Mountain Rose Herbs and on amazon.com. but have been deliberating about dealing with shipping costs for the one, and as a Canadian am not privy to purchasing from the other.

Chocolate Bitters

Chocolate Bitters according to the recipe on howsweeteats.com is fairly complex with 14 ingredients. Wow! Adventuers in cooking hot chocolate bitters recipe calls for extracts – which are fairly hard to find in small towns such as mine. After my experience making my own cacao syrup with mixed results,I have been hoping for a true chocolate flavour to add to drinks and trying to decide how to best go about this.

Angostura Bitters

According to instructables.com Angostura Bitters calls for 13 ingredients. HooBoy! That 7 dollar prepared bottle is looking like a really good idea about now, if it were not for the extravagant shipping! Fortunately that is not the end of the (Bitter) Story.
This year, Christmas holidays included a trip to big city (Vancouver) and led to a fruitful shopping extrusion to Gourmet Warehouse where I picked up these three bitters as well as some other additions (floral flavoured waters) to my drink making kit. So, while at some point I will experiment again with making my own bitters and infusions (which from all research can often be far nicer)… for the time being I am going to explore what can be done with these fabulous additions and take some of the guess work out of virgin recipe making.
Make your own bitters online instruction sites:

Virgin Manhattan Review


Virgin Manhattans. Left to right: Sophisticated Smoked Manhttan, Tasty & Tart Manhattan.

Virgin Manhattans. Left to right: Sophisticated Smoked Manhttan, Tasty & Tart Manhattan.

Now that I have a selection of bitters for use in drinks, I figured the first thing to do is determine how to use them in the most well know of drinks: a Manhattan.

Manhattans are made with bourbon or whiskey, sweet vermouth and orange bitters.
For the non-alcoholic choice, most sites give a juice based recipe for a virgin manhattan calling for cranberry, orange, cherry and lemon juice with orange bitters, which remind me a lot of a fruit punch. Since all the recipes had the same proportions I am using the recipe from DrinkMixer.com.
The challenge for the Manhattan virgin cocktail is coming up with something to replace the whiskey or bourbon. If you google the taste of bourbon you find descriptions like “smoky, burnt toast, molasses” used to describe the taste, along with the flavour of cherry or cherry coke. Ok well sounds like marvellous stuff!
Continuing the research I came across convivial.org which suggested a different take, using smoked tea and pomegranate juice to create a new experience using the idea of a smoky flavour from the original recipe. Ok sounds intriguing, and definitely not like fruit punch. But which is the preferred option? Time for some scientific taste testing – preferably on more than my little family of four. Well good thing I was visiting extended family!!

Virgin Manhattan – Tart and Tasty

This is the most commonly found recipe for a Virgin Manhattan. See the full recipe here.
Each element of this drink lends to a tart bright flavour creating a juice based beverage that has a slight kick and is slightly astringent. The drink is pleasant, however the prevailing flavours are citrus and cranberry and the cherry flavour seems lost in the mix. To me this drinks seemed like a poncy cranberry juice – lovely for breakfast but not something I would offer as an alternative to alcoholic beverages at a party.
Since the recipe calls for so little cherry juice (1/2 tsp) I am not sure what that element brings to the table. This is normally not something I have access to in Tumbler Ridge, and would have to choose to use either maraschino cherry juice (which cocktail:uk suggests), home-made cherry juice from frozen dark cherries or omit it all together.  As I was down in the “big city” I commissioned my husband to find said beverage, and was surprised and amazed at the price (so was mom). I have trouble justifying $8/bottle for a half teaspoon of something, and am now endeavouring to find out what else I can use this super expensive juice for, as I can’t justify pouring glasses of this as a straight beverage.
Our Thoughts:
In order to determine scientifically what the cherry juice adds to the drink, I remade this recipe in triplicate: one without the juice, one with maraschino cherry syrup and one as directed; and retested the results. The cherry juice added colour to the drink making it darker, but did it add any discernible taste? According to my kids: Nope! The more discerning palates notices a nicer taste in the black cherry juice version – so we determined that the cost may be worth it if serving this drink to adults.
Kid-o-metre 4.5/5 Either with or without the cherry juice, the kids rated this drink highly.
Taste: 3.5/5  What’s with the .5 right? well it’s the result of science man.
Simplicity: 5/5 A no brainer…unless you have to make your own bitters.
Ingredient finding: 3/5 two ingredients that are “ship in only” for our small town.

Virgin Manhattan – Smoky and Strong

The second version I found online at convivial.org required some more challenging ingredients: Lapsang Souchong smoked black tea, a second black decaf tea, and pomegranate juice along with orange bitters and simple syrup and vanilla. I chose a rooibos de province from DavidsTea, since it’s fruity flavour would blend well with the pomegranate juice, and brewed up the two teas for the drink as per the instructions (2 bags tea per 6 oz boiled water).
This drink did not go over well with the adults in our family the first time I made it. Me own mum likened the drink to musty mattresses, dad said it reminded him of burned food while camping, my husband took two sips and simply refused to drink the rest. I made the tea separately, about a week later, and realized that my original tea brew was stronger than it should have been, and over steeped. The recipe indicated using two bags of tea for 6 oz boiled water, I used loose tea and used 2 tsp per 6 oz of boiled water. It is possible that this smoked tea is stronger than a bag version, and that overstepping created a more acidic and bitter flavour. My tea loving father tried the tea plain from the first batch, made a face and stated it tasted like medicine. My tea loving niece tried the tea from the second batch, and finished the glass, enjoying the taste. I tried both and the first attempt was indeed an epic fail.
The purpose of the smoked tea was to add the smokiness of the bourbon, but I have been told that bourbon isn’t smoky, it is sweet. The second batch of tea was indeed more tea like and had a hint of sweetness but the tea was made with only the regular amount called for (not double strength) which in this case was 1 1/4 tsp per 240 ml.
Ingredients:
I would recommend the following tweak:
  • 1 1/4 tsp Lapsang Souchong smoked black tea steeped for 3 minutes in 60z boiled water.
  • 2 tsp decaf black tea (rooibos or other) steeped for up to 6 minutes in 6 oz boiled water.
  • 1 1/2 oz pomegranate juice
  • 4 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 tsp simple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • (cherry for garnish)
Procedure:
Steep both teas as directed. Mix juice bitters, syrup and vanilla with 1 1/2 oz black tea only. Taste the drink, and ad the smoky tea in small increments (up to 1 1/2 oz) to get just the right amount of smokiness without overpowering the drink – similar to bitters, the flavour is very powerful. We found that 1/2 -1 tsp was enough to lend the smoky flavour and maintain the sweetness and fruity flavour of the drink with the original over steeped double strength tea. When remade with the regular strength tea….
Our Thoughts:

This drink, once perfected to a mild smoky taste was surprisingly easy to serve to both kids and adults. One adult still found the smoky flavour too much, but both kids rated this favourably and my youngest said it tasted like sour key candies. Compared to the first drink, due to the broad spectrum of opinions this drink rates lower. The original recipe calls this a Sophisticated Manhattan – which indicates that not every palate will appreciate this drink.

Kid-o-metre 5/5 kids loved it once the smoky flavour was reduced. Who would have thunk it!
Taste: 3.4/5  Slightly less preferred than the popular and common drink recipe.
Simplicity: 2/5 Bitters (bottled or DIY), special tea brews (2 of them), and simple syrup needed.
Ingredient finding: 2/5 the majority of these ingredients are not easily acquired in Tumbler Ridge.


Would I make either of these regularly? Probalby not. Neither feels worth the time or cost to make, and I would definitely not bother serving either to guests. The first drink is simply not impressive or noteworthy, the second with the recommended adjustment is a nice drink – however pomegranate juice is simply to0 difficult to get in little northern communities.

Spoon!

Drinks inspired by the mighty tick. From right to left: Big Blue Moon, Mighty Blue and Blue on Ice.

Drinks inspired by the mighty tick. From right to left: Big Blue Moon, Mighty Blue and Blue on Ice.

“[The Tick is has an eating utensil in his hand. He is trying to come up with a battle cry that will strike terror into the hearts of evil-doers]

Tick: [shouts] Spoon!”

Yesterday a much awaited item to add to my arsenal of drink making tools arrived in the mail – a genuine bar spoon complete with twisted handle and metal disc on the end. With spoon in hand, I spent the next half hour waiting to yell “Spoon!” to my Tick loving hubby, who was in meetings… oh so many meetings.

So with the thoughts of blue drinks coursing through my mind, I set upon a mission to make a new drink inspired by the Tick – something big, blue and powerful.

Here is my Ode to the Tick.

The Mighty Blue

“Like a great blue salmon of Justice, the mighty Tick courses upstream to the very spawning ground of evil.” – The Tick 

This first drink is inspired by spiritdrinks.com recipe for Angostura Stinger. The recipe is a blend of mint, chocolate, orange, cream and bitters. Creating similar ingredients sans-booze was not difficult but took a few steps.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 oz mint simple syrup
  • 1 oz White Chocolate Cream (recipe below)
  • 2 oz blue curaçao syrup (recipe below)
  • 2 oz half and half cream
My Thoughts:

The taste of the white chocolate and cream mix well with the flavours to create a sweet powerful flavour that is best sipped. I omitted the bitters as the home version of the curaçao tends to have that component. Great for a dessert beverage.

Kid-o-metre 4/5 Sweet!
Taste: 4/5  nice blend when you keep the mint syrup light in the mix.
Simplicity: 3/5  Three recipes to make, but nothing hard to do.
Ingredient finding: 5/5 Local Local Local.


 White Chocolate Cream
Ingredients:

6 oz white chocolate chips
1 cup whipping cream

Heat whipping cream in saucepan on medium high. When heated add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Remove from heat and pour into container to cool. Keep in fridge until use.

Blue Curaçao Syrup
Ingredients:

2 cups cold water
2 cups white sugar
1 tbps orange extract
peel of two mandarine oranges – chopped
10 drops blue food colouring

Mix water and sugar on medium high in a sauce pan until sugar is dissolved completely. Add extract and orange peels and continue to heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Give the ingredients a chance to infuse for half hour then tint mixture with food colouring to desired degree. Strain out peels and store in air tight container in fridge until needed.


The Big Blue Moon

“I am mighty. I have a glow you cannot see. I have a heart as big as the moon. As warm as bathwater. We are superheroes, men, we don’t have time to be charming. The boots of evil were made for walkin’. We’re watching the big picture, friend. We know the score. We are a public service, not glamour boys. Not captains of industry. Keep your vulgar moneys. We are a justice sandwich. No toppings necessary. Living rooms of America, do you catch my drift? Do you dig?.” – The Tick 

Seems there are a ton of ideas for blue drinks out there, both using the blue tinted citrus flavoured curaçao, or Sourz Tropical Blue or for virgin drinks the use of blue Kool-Aid or Hawaiian Punch. Since neither family friendly blue liquid was available locally, I decided to make my own curaçao syrup, add a dash or two of food colouring and work with something more “adult inspired.”

The original Blue Moon includes vanilla, cream, curaçao and orange juice but I wanted something fizzy and the rating on the recipe was not inspiring. The Blue Duck blends curaçao, vanilla and raspberry together in a martini flavour, this had potential to update with a fizzy twist. And I could use my new “Spoon!” to not only measure some ingredients but also to try a stirred drink.

Ingredients:

Serving Size: Two 9 oz drinks

Procedure:

Measure vanilla, lemon juice, blue curaçao syrup and blue raspberry mix into a martini glass. Stir to blend and pour into two 10 oz old-fashioned or highball glasses. Add Ice and top with club soda (about half can per glass). Stir again to mix and serve.

My Thoughts: 

This is a very tart drink. The pure vanilla can become overpowering, so care has to be taken to make sure the other flavours are in correct proportion. If you prefer something sweeter, use Sprite.

I first tried this without the raspberry mix, forgetting I had an additional blue ingredient in my pantry. Without the added ingredient the beverage was too sour and the vanilla dominated the blend. Adding that one extra ingredient changed the mix to something worthy of writing about. Why the name Big Blue moon when the drink is far from the original? Well the tick doesn’t talk at all about ducks!

Kid-o-metre 3/5 with the addition of blue raspberry, this drink was acceptable but not guzzled down when served with dinner.
Taste: 4/5  Tart and good when thirsty, would be good with salty tortillas and dip.
Simplicity: 5/5  one recipe, simple to make, rest is all bottled ready to use from the local store.
Ingredient finding: 5/5 Small town possible.

Blue on Ice

“Let your journey into hugeness teach us all a lesson. Absolute power is a sticky wicket. And, Arthur, chum, you were the stickiest. Don’t you get it, good friend? Some of the best things come in small packages.” – The Tick 

This one is directly inspired by the layered drink called the Toronto Maple Leafs. I was looking for a layered shooter, using the colour blue, but also using my wonderful new spoon. In the end I also got to use my long spoon to pull the iced cream from the bottom of my blender (another reason they  make the shaft so long – just for that purpose!)

Ingredients:
  • 1 oz blue curaçao syrup (see above)
  • 1 oz Irish Cream Syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 oz whipping cream
  • 3 ice cubes or 1/4 cup ice

Serving Size: Two shots

Procedure:

Divide blue curaçao syrup between two shot glasses. Carefully layer Irish Cream Syrup over the blue syrup. Toss the cream and ice into a blender or magic bullet and use the ice chop setting if you have one to crush the ice into slush. Spoon over each drink and serve.

My Thoughts:

I originally tried this with the two ingredients from the original recipe. Because of the lack of the alcoholic bite, the final drink was too sweet and needed something new to cut the flavours. So I decided to try layering cream on the top. Even with whipping cream the density of the two top ingredients was too close and after four attempts I realized I had to be creative to get that final ingredient layering on the top. Inspired by the Maple Leafs who spend all their time on the ice, I decided to throw caution to the wind and toss the cream into a blender with a little ice, creating an iced cream that happily sat on top of the drink looking like a pile of ice shavings from the Zamboni.

I left these two drinks sitting for my kids to try, by the time they got home from school the iced cream had melted into a froth, leaving white moustaches on both girls after they tipped the drink into their mouths. I am guessing there would be a small brain freeze with the original, not a problem for such as the tick, who has such a small brain to start with I am sure it would never be affected!

“Destiny’s powerful hand has made the bed of my future and it’s up to me to lie in it. I am destined to be a superhero, to right wrongs and pound two-fisted justice into the hearts of evil-doers everywhere. You don’t fight destiny, no sir! And you don’t eat crackers in the bed of your future or you get all…scratchy. Hey, I’m narrating here!” 
– The Tick 

Kid-o-metre 5/5 Whether it’s melted or iced, this drink is pure yum!
Taste: 5/5  Gotta be good if it’s inspired by hockey right?
Simplicity: 3/5 This one takes skill baby!
Ingredient finding: 5/5 Even up north, these things are easy to find… especially the ice!


Irish Cream Syrup

This is the recipe from Allrecipes.com for DIY Original Irish Cream. I just omitted the whiskey!

Ingredients:

1 cup whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 tsp chocolate syrup (Hershey’s or similar)
1 tsp pure almond extract

Add all but cram to blender, blend well then add cream and blend again. Pour into container and store in fridge. Lasts about 1 month refrigerated.


Well there you have it, that was fun! Not too scientific this time, in keeping with the theme…

“Oh, science… boring… interest… fading…” – the Tick

Bye for now!