Sour Patch Drink Review & Adaptation

Sour Patch Kid inspired shooters and Mocktini. Sour Patch Virgin Shooters Front from left to right: Sunrise, Sour Grape, Sour Cherry, Sour Lime and at the back: Sour Patch Kid Mocktail.

Sour Patch Kid inspired shooters and Mocktini. Sour Patch Virgin Shooters Front from left to right: Sunrise, Sour Grape, Sour Cherry, Sour Lime and at the back: Sour Patch Kid Mocktail.

Previously I blogged about the dilemma with syrups when making shooters. Without an additional ingredient like juice, pop, milk or something the drink can be a little like that sugar tolerance test you take at a clinic – sickly sweet and not at all palatable. So I lay in bed wondering what can be done about this, and my science brain starts steaming. Citric acid as a Rimmer! Turns out I am not the only one who figured this out, and that there are many recipes for sour powder out there. According to ehow.com making sour powdered sugar isn’t that hard. All you need is citric acid and powdered sugar. Check out the recipe here. Another gal shows a recipe for sour powder including gelatine, baking soda. Not sure what the baking soda adds to the mix, I would think bitterness though. Here is her video. And what is the best way to use sour powder? Sour patch kid drinks!

Sour Patch Shooter

So I look to see if anyone had the idea, and yep that’s not a new concept. Turns out that there is even a virgin shooter recipe online. TheModernWoman actually came up with a virgin shooter based on that idea – for a girls night with mom’s to be. Check out her blog here for her great take on sour patch shooters. The ingredients are below. She didn’t have exact measurements in her blog, so I have included what I did.

Ingredients:
  • Unsweetened Koolaid (various flavours like: lime, cherry, grape and orange) 2 packs per colour
  • sweet & sour mix (see below)
  • Orange juice
  • grenadine
  • Sour Powder (for rim)
Procedure:

Depending on the colour of the shooter, not all the ingredients are used. The first step is to mix 2 packs Unsweetened Koolaid powder with 8 oz water and 4 oz sweet & sour mix for the foundation to the drinks. Fill each drink about 1/2 full. Sweet Sunrise Flavour: add 1/2 oz orange juice & 1 tsp grenadine to fill to 3/4 full.  Sour cherry & Sour Grape flavours: simply add 1 tps grenadine and top with sour mix. Sour Lime: Sour lime flavour: only add sweet and sour mix to the drink.

Our Thoughts:

Once you get the foundation flavours mixed up (they should be sour tasting and kind of strong) the rest of the drink mixing is done mostly by feel and mixed in the glass. The grenadine adds a lot of sweetness, so depending on how much you like sour, you may choose to add more or less of this. I couldn’t find lime Koolaid locally, so I improvised making a pretty awesome sour lime out of the following: 4 oz sweet and sour mix, 4 oz water, 4 oz rose lime cordial syrups, 1.5 oz bottled lime juice and 3 drops green food colouring.

Our family tried these out and my husband knocked all four back (brave man!) Us gals shared a set of four flavours sipping at each. These are very much like their name sake – and the sour hits you after the second sip – but they are equally full of flavour. Because of the strength and sourness of these they have that “Shooter” feel and I am looking forwards to offering these as my latest Skeeters (virgin shooters) for the next event I am invited to.

Oh and how sour are they? In order of least to most: Sunrise (orange juice and grenadine sweetened it), Sour Cherry (grenadine helped here), Sour Lime (I think my mix was perfect for this, lime should be sour) & most sour… Sour Grape (this was a surprise!)

Kid-o-metre 5/5 My kids loved these!
Taste: 4.5/5  So much like the sour kid candy !
Simplicity: 5/5 Once I worked out the amount of water and sour mix for each of the flavours this was fun and easy to make.
Ingredient finding: 4/5 Required adapting the lime recipe, otherwise easy to find ingredients.

 Sweet & Sour Mix

The basics of a sour mix is lemons, limes and sugar. According to seriouseats.com making the mix to have on hand for cocktails is a must and buying the mix isn’t necessary. Well I am all for that! Here is their take on it.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

Procedure:

Make a simple syrup using sugar and water. Cool and add strained juices. Keep in fridge.

Simple Sour Powder Rimmer

This is the very simplest of recipes that I introduced above, from ehow.com slightly adjusted to make a more crystallized and sour rimmer.

Ingredients:

1 cup berry sugar
1 Tbsp citric acid (ascorbic acid)

Procedure:

Mix ingredients in a sealable container and store until needed.


Sour Patch Kid Mocktail

Other ideas for sour patch drinks? There were no virgin drinks online, but Drinkmixer.com had a sour patch cocktail – that wouldn’t be hard to alter and turn it into a Mocktail. Here is the resulting drink recipe adapted and tested.

Ingredients:
  • 3 oz club soda
  • 1.5 oz Blue Curacao syrup
  • 1 oz grenadine syrup
  • 1 oz sweet & sour mix #2 (see below)
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • Sour powder rimmer (see above)
Procedure:

Mix the first four ingredients and the juice from the lime into a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into cocktail glass filled with ice – rim with sour powder to add an additional sour hit!

Our Thoughts:

When I first made this drink using the original recipes quantities, but in syrups instead of liqueurs, it was overpoweringly sweet. Due to the sweetness of the sweet and sour mix I chose to use (the sugar syrup based recipe), and the sweetness of the grenadine and curaçao syrup, the Mocktail version of this drink had a high concentration of sugar. I went back to the original recipe and tried again using their sour mix suggestion – which was simply lemon juice and a bit of sugar mixed together.  I also increased the lime from one wedge in the original recipe to a half ounce to help balance the taste. And finally, because the original cut the sweetness with vodka and I had chosen club soda, I doubled the amount of club soda to balance the drink further.

The resulting colour of the mix is a fantastic purple, and the taste is fruity with a strong lime tone. The drink definitely has potential – and if you like fizz I would recommend adding even more club soda to your mix.

Kid-o-metre 5/5 Kids loved this.
Taste: 4/5  The adaption worked – kids say it could even use more club soda .
Simplicity: 5/5 Simple and easy to make.
Ingredient finding: 2/5 Requires home made curaçao, sweet and sour mix and a trip out of town for grenadine.

 Sweet and Sour Mix Recipe #2

I found a more simple recipe that may be more sour than sweet on DrinkMixer.com which called for 8oz lemon juice and 2 Tbsp sugar only. This may produce a more sour mix – if you need to balance out sweetness of syrups.

Pineapple Pepper Martini

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Pineapple Pepper Martini is a blend of fresh ingredients and juices.

In one of my very first posts I referred to Luis Sanchez, the Food and Beverage Director of Nic’s Martini Lounge in Beverly Hills, California. He has put up a wonderful video teaching how to make three non alcoholic martinis. After seeing what had been created, all from natural fresh ingredients, fruit juices and syrups, I was inspired to see what creations could be made in a similar way.

As always, I look to cooking and flavour pairing for inspiration. Starting with pineapple and a bit of fresh orange muddled in, I took the risk and tossed in a bit of chopped fresh red sweet bell pepper. The result was fresh and interesting, but I wanted just a hint of something stronger. Again to the fridge and to the cookbooks for inspiration. Hoping to stay away from syrups and concentrate on juices and fresh ingredients I decided to try a hint of onion, the green part of a green onion to be precise. The result was exactly what I had hoped for: intriguing, refreshing and all natural.

I asked my family to taste it, which they are generally willing to do. Did everyone like it, of course not, but that was to be expected.

Kid-o-metre 1/5 not really mom.
Taste: 3/5 some like it, some not
Simplicity: 5/5
Ingredient finding: 5/5

Cacoa Nibs and Cocoa Powder

The difference between Cacao and Cocoa. From left to right: Cacao Nibs, Cacao Nib Syrup, Chocolate Mocktini, Chocolate Syrup and Cocoa Powder.

The difference between Cacao and Cocoa. From left to right: Cacao Nibs, Cacao Nib Syrup, Chocolate Mocktini, Chocolate Syrup and Cocoa Powder.

Did you know that cacao nibs are the raw form of chocolate? Did you know that they are said to have one of the best sources of magnesium. According to WebMD “Researchers estimate that the average person’s body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, and about half of that is in the bones. Magnesium is important in more than 300 chemical reactions that keep the body working properly.” National Institutes of Health lists some of these chemical reactions “including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation” And that is just five! If your into nutrition and science then check out the links to find more.

Ok, but back to food right?

What the heck is Cacao? and why are they spelled different? Is that just a Canadian thing, eh?

Nope. Nothin’ like that. Turns out that Cacao is unprocessed and the real  raw deal. Cocoa processed and can refer to products with added sugar. But not always.

I checked this out by reading the ingredients on the back of my Fry’s Cocoa Powder. Processed – yes. Sugar added – nope. Here is the ingredients on my container: Cocoa, sodium carbonate. May contain peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat and/or sulphites.

So the last bit is all about the “don’t sue us if you have an allergic reaction, we processed this somewhere where other stuff you may be allergic to is held and/or processed.” But the first bit? So Cocoa and … what? Sodium Carbonate. An additive used to keep the powder from caking, grumping up, compacting like a lump. Get the picture? So processed, but pretty pure, well mostly.

Ah sorry, again with the science right? Jeez. This blog is called Experimental Virgins for a reason. Love me some science.

Back to drinks though. Why do I care? Why bother with all this research?

I want to make drinks as close to the original tastes of the adult versions as possible, when possible. Infusing Cacao Nibs will give a clear fluid, while using Cocoa Powder will give an opaque look. Think of it as the difference between cinnamon sticks and powder, there is a place for both. You don’t put whole cinnamon sticks into cinnamon buns (mmm cinnamon buns…) and you don’t put ground cinnamon into a clear iced tea. Same thing with Cacao Nibs and Cocoa Powder.

On to the recipes and enough with the preamble.

Cacao Nib Syrup

I came across cocoa nibs in my research to find a way to make an alternative to creme de cacao and looked up as my starting point DIY Chocolate Liqueur. The basic ingredients for flavouring? Cacao nibs. Infused in vodka along with sugar, water and vanilla.

So can you make a similar syrup and how? Turns out it’s pretty easy and has been done. I found the recipe simply with Google and a little poking around on a site describing a yummy iced tea using a cacao infused syrup. Great! The ingredients? Cacao nibs, water, sugar and vanilla. Sound familiar? You can check out the original recipe here for the whole drink. For the syrup alone here is what they say:

Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp cocoa nibs
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
Procedure:

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil stirring to dissolve sugar. Simmer 5 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Strain the syrup through a fine sieve; discarding the solids. Store in fridge until needed.

My Thoughts:

First thing you should know is 1 made six, yes six, times the recipe. Go big or go home I say, and I am gonna use this a lot! Gotta have stuff to test with, and gotta have enough to make mistakes and go “ick” and chuck the drink in question down the sink.

Second I have trouble telling if sugar is dissolved completely when there is particulate matter in my syrup. So I tend to make the syrup first and then add the flavouring to it, simmer a few minutes, and then continue as before. Will that affect my final product? Not sure…

After the said time I strained the syrup, keeping the nibs for the time and tasted the syrup. Then in an exercise of science, I divided the syrup in half (remember I made six times the recipe) and added the nibs back to half the syrup. According to the DYI for chocolate liqueur, it calls for 8 days to steep the cacao nibs in the vodka before adding the remaining ingredients, then one more day to blend flavours. Since sugar syrup is thicker than alcohol I gave it two weeks in the fridge.

How did the original syrup taste?

Chocolatish. Ok so that’s not a word, but cacao nibs don’t taste like a chocolate bar. Remember not processed and unsweetened? They also have a nutty taste and are a bit acidic. The husband says it tastes a bit like maple syrup with a dash of apple cider vinegar.

14 days later I tested the second batch of syrup that had been infusing in the nibs for in the fridge. The flavour had mellowed and was more chocolatey but also less acidic. Much more pleasant but still the hint of a bite is there. I wonder…

In order to be completely scientific I purchased a different brand of nibs to repeated the recipe. My first reaction to the new brand was that they smelled different. When I made the recipe again using the new product, the resulting syrup was the best of the bunch, chocolaty and sweet with only a hint of acidity. (My husband still finds it unappealing, give him regular chocolate syrup any day.)

Final thoughts? The quality of the nibs makes a difference, and infusing the nibs for 2 weeks with high quality nibs will give you the best product. What name brand did I finally choose? Navitas Naturals Raw Organic Cacao Nibs (unsweetened). If you can’t find them locally, I got mine from HealthyPlanetCanada.com.

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Sometimes you need a real thick chocolate syrup for the job. Our family tested out a few we found on the net with the “chocolate milk” test. Does the syrup make a good cup of chocolate milk? Is it chocolaty enough, too bitter, too sweet?

The first from Allrecipes.com was too weak in our minds, especially when mixed with milk. The second passed the muster. This one is from KitchenTreaty.com and is thick and strong, but makes a great chocolate milk. You can find all the instructions on their site here, but to get you started here is the basic list of ingredients you will need.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Mocktini

Ingredients:
  • 1 oz chocolate syrup
  • 1 oz cacao nib syrup
  • 2 oz club soda

To show the difference in density and opaqueness of the two syrups I decided to make up a simple martini using both drinks, layered and topped with soda water. I probably wouldn’t serve this, as is, since the Cacao Syrup doesn’t work alone with soda water. Once it’s mixed it is reminiscent of a rich cold cocoa drink. – more appealing, but again, not quite there yet. My husband added a splash of cream and it became “OK”.

It is pretty though, and if one were to mix something else with each layer, and serve with cream on top, or maybe a candy cane for stirring, this could have potential. I think I will revisit this around Christmas time, maybe add some mint and see if I can’t come up with something inspirational.

Wicked Witch of the West Martini

Wicked Witch of the West Martini

Wicked Witch of the West Martini

I have been watching season three of Once Upon a Time and been considering the newly introduced character from Oz – the green with envy Wicked Witch of the West.

So I wondered, what about a drink named after this infamous witch? It would have to be green of course, and have a hint of brown sugar. So, on a quest to see what can be created, I headed first to the internet to see what has been created.

Turns out the only drink I could find with this name is a lemon vodka drink made for chugging at a frat party. Not even green, huh.

So off to the kitchen in search of green drink potential and my eye landed on my bag of fresh green apples. Ok, sour is good. The witch definitely had a sour personality. And brown sugar goes with apples. Throw in some lime… maybe some green mint…

It’s got potential.

Wicked Witch of the West Martini

The foundation of this sweet and sour drink is apple sour made with tart green apples, but with a twist of mint and lime thrown in.

Ingredients:
Procedure:

Rim a martini glass with apple juice and brown sugar. Pour into bottom licorice syrup. Mix brown sugar syrup, mint syrup and apple mint sour in a cocktail shaker with ice. With a straw or small dropper, carefully add up to 5 drops of concentrated chlorophyll. Watch that you are using just enough to colour the drink a deeper shade of green, this stuff is strong! Shake again, strain into glass and serve.

My Thoughts:

The added mint gives a nice hint along with the lime to the apple beverage. The juice is tart, but not too. I felt that a splash of mint syrup was required to up the green and the sweetness, since too much brown sugar syrup would darken the drink. The drink needed just a hint more dark green though. So I decide to think outside the box and add just a tiny bit (and that’s the key) of liquid concentrated chlorophyll. This took me dripping tiny drops from the end of a straw as my bottle was happy to drip huge drops into the drink, overpowering the more delicate flavours with the health products flavour and over darkening the drink.

With the blend of flavours, and when the licorice is swirled in the drink has a unique blend of apple, mint and licorice that is appealing — if you like licorice. This could be made without the black to create a nice mint apple drink, but I found it tasted too much like a health juice and not enough like a martini.

Kid-o-metre 1/5 not a hit – kids don’t like licorice and flavour is too complex for them
Taste: 3/5 hubby and I enjoyed it. Would love more input from what other think… please try it and comment!
Simplicity: 1/5 Four of five ingredients requires creating yourself. Skill and precision necessary for layering.
Ingredient finding: 3/5 Chlorophyl not available here, had to get it out of town. Fresh mint only available in summer/fall, luckily I had some left in my fridge.


Apple Mint Sour
Ingredients:

2 apples
10 fresh mint leaves
2 oz lime juice
1 oz lemon juice
3 oz water plus 8 oz water

Throw all ingredient except water into a blender and pulse slowly increasing the speed until pulped into mush. Strain over wire double strainer using water to rinse out the remaining apple pulp. Push to squeeze out juice with the back of a spoon. When all juice is strained out, return pulp to pot with second amount water. Heat for 5 minutes then strain again and discard pulp. Store juice in airtight container for 1 week. Makes about 4 cups juice.


This was a fun creative process, I hope you enjoyed it and would love to hear what your thoughts are on any of these inventions I’ve brewed up. With Halloween only a few day away, there are two drinks left to try. Stay tuned and happy brewing!

An Apple a Day…

Fall Apple Cocktails

Fall Apple Cocktails. From left to right: Sweet Orchard, Apple Ginger Sparkler, Caramel Apple-disiac, Apple Temple, Apple Lemon Fizz and Apple Pie Shooter.

Today was the day to start my first set of experiments – apple drinks. All the prep work was out of the way, all my ingredients laid before me. The ham and baked potato was in the oven, the potatoes peeled and ready to cook.

The Sweet Orchard

First on my list: something called The Orchard from Saveur which would use two of my new infusions. Pulling out the Apple Jack Syrup Infusion and All Spice Dram Infusion, grabbing a lemon and a rather expensive bottle of maple syrup (yep more sugar, you can see where this is going) I mixed up the first tester and just to be scientific… the original recipe (gotta know what your aiming for).  WoW! Sweet like eating candy!! And instant sugar rush. Ok, so I can work with this, the trick is how to cut the sweetness without diluting the taste – which was splendid. The original does this with the … you guessed it… booze.

After some research I discovered that the mixologist secret for a sweet drink is bitters. Well that’s great, except these are hard to come by and also booze. What do to… more research of course! And a solution, cider vinegar. Testing this on my two kids proved to be successful, the drink maintained their required sweetness but added a bit of brightness and that bitter taste that helps cut the sweet just enough to make the drink come alive.

Ingredients:
  • 2 oz applejack syrup
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz maple syup
  • 1/2 oz all spice dram infusion
  • 6 drops apple cider vinegar
Procedure:

Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake well to break up syrups. Strain into a glass and serve.

My Thoughts:

When I offered this to my kids the first thing they said was “can you make this again, lots?” As far as simplicity, once you have the two specialty ingredients made up, it’s a cinch.

While this is a wonderful recipe, it’s more of a sipper due to it’s sweetness. Consider this a desert drink, maybe with some wonderful cheese.

Kid-o-metre 5/5. My kids can’t get enough
Taste: 4/5 very sweet so not for everyone
Simplicity: 3/5. Two special ingredients to make for the recipe but then easy to make
Ingredient finding: 4/5 All spice berries not available locally here, had to get from out of town.

Here are the recipes for the two specialty syrups. For more details see my previous blog.


 Apple Jack Syrup

2 cups green apples, peeled and chopped really thin
3 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cup sugar

Dissolve sugar in water, add apples and simmer until tender about 10 minutes. Apples should become translucent. Add cinnamon and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into mason jar, add 2 tablespoons brandy extract and let cool completely before sealing and storing. Let sit overnight or as long as you want in fridge.

All spice dram infusion

2 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup all spice berries
1 cinnamon stick
2/3 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons imitation rum.

Boil water and spices and simmer 10 minutes. Let steep half hour. Strain and add sugar. Heat to dissolve sugar, remove from heat and add rum extract. Cool and store in fridge until needed.


Next to tackle – another drink that required some form of bitters. Since this was not something I had originally prepped, back to the research and the grocery store for the most bitter of citrus: Grapefruit.

Most bitters involve some form of bitter herb as well as some flavouring agent. I chose to pair the flavour and bitterness of grapefruit peel with the essence of thyme and a touch of lemon and vinegar for some bite. The results turned out perfect and the recipe is a snap to make.

Thyme and Citrus Bitters

Ingredients:
  • 1 lemon – zested and juiced
  • 1 grapefruit – peeled and half it’s flesh
  • 2 oz apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dried Thyme
Procedure:

Zest and juice lemon into blender, cut skins off grapefruit, chop coarsely and put in blender with half of grapefruit flesh, add remaining ingredients and pulse until blended. Turn to high speed and pluse a few times more.

Pour into storage container (plastic is fine) and refrigerate overnight. Next day, strain with a fine wire mesh strainer into a bowl and discard pulp. Keep liquid refridgerated until use.

The Apple Temple

The original for this next drink comes from Bonappetit. Known as the fall classic, this martini used bourbon and brandy for it’s kick. In order to create something new and exciting without simply being another sparkling apple cider I added a splash of grenadine, and worked with as many fresh flavours as I could.

The result is not a perfect replica of the original, but hints at some of the flavour components, while being available for any palate.

Ingredients:
  • 1 oz applejack syrup infusion
  • 1 oz fresh apple sour (see below)
  • 1 oz fresh apple cider
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp thyme and citrus bitters
  • 2 oz club soda
  • splash of grenadine
Procedure:

Measure first 5 ingredients into a cocktail glass. Add ice and shake well to blend flavours and chill the drink. Rim a chilled champagne glass with sugar. Pour cocktail into glass and add soda water to top up. Add a splash of grenadine just before serving, and let it sink to the bottom for effect.

My thoughts:

This is lovely and refreshing, the thyme and citrus add a nice touch but the grenadine may not work with this flavour complex. Alternates would be to make a red apple syrup and use that to keep the flavours more pure.

Kid-o-metre 4/5 sweet enough for kids to love
Taste: 4/5 grenadine not best option for colour
Simplicity: 3/5. Three special ingredients to make for the recipe
Ingredient finding: 5/5 everything available in a small northern town with only one store


Apple Sour Recipe
4 green tart apples
2 oz lemon juice (bottled is fine for this)

Quarter the apples, with skins on, cut out the cores and chop into thumb size bits. Fill blender with apples and add lemon juice. Start blender on lowest setting, chop by pulsing until apples are finely chopped. Turn to next setting and blend until the apples are moving freely through the blades without help. Increase speed and continue until you get to top speed and the apples are pulp. Pour apples into strainer over the bowl, and use the back of your wooden spoon to push and squeeze all juice out of the pulp.


 Caramel Apple-Disiac

This recipe proved to be the most challenging to get close to the original four at cosmopolitan.com. When creating a coffee liqueur replacement, the concentration of coffee per tbsp of syrup becomes double what would be found in the most common coffee liqueurs. So, when I created this recipe using the same concentrations of each ingredient and compared it to the original I found the taste of coffee in the virgin drink too overpowering – you couldn’t taste the apple at all.

In altering the recipe, it soon became apparent that additional ingredients would be required to add depth and richness. After about 6 tries, I finally came up with something that is very close to the original in flavour, but milder in kick.

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp coffee syrup (see below)
  • 2 oz fresh apple sour (see above)
  • 1 tbsp apple juice concentrate (undiluted from frozen)
  • 1 oz carmel syrup (see below)
  • 2 oz fresh apple cider
  • 6 drops apple cider vinegar
  • 1 oz cream
 Procedure:

Measure all ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into martini glass. Garnish with a slice of apple if desired.

My Thoughts:

This is an acquired taste. With the addition of carmel and decrease in amount of coffee flavour, my non coffee non drinker husband found the drink more enjoyable and finished the glass. My kids however do not like this, due to the richness of the flavours.

I made this for a few relatives this thanksgiving at dinner – one thought there was banana in the drink due to the way the flavours mix. She said “I taste about five things at once in the first sip”. Do these flavous work together, the veridic is still out with my family.

Kid-o-metre 0/5. Definitely an adult taste complex
Taste: 3/5 as not everyone will love this.
Simplicity: 1/5. Three special ingredients to make for the recipe
Ingredient finding: 5/5 everything available in a small northern town with only one store


Coffee Syrup Recipe

2 cups strong coffee
1 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp vanilla

Heat coffee and sugar in sauce pan until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Bottle and keep in cool place until needed.

Caramel Syrup

2 cups white sugar
1 cup boiling water

Boil water and have measured and ready. Heat sugar in sauce pan on medium heat stirring regularly. When sugar starts to melt it will caramelize, keep stirring just until sugar is almost all melted. Remove from heat and carefully pour in hot water. The sugar will sizzle and pop from the water and the results will be a ball of toffee and some caramel tasting water, don’t worry. Return to heat and dissolve toffee sugar in water until the results are a thick dark rich syrup.

IMPORTANT: Hot melted sugar will keep on cooking and burn quickly if you don’t work quick, don’t let the sugar start to boil and bubble this means it’s burning. YEP, this took me two tries to get it right.


Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry, choose one drink and enjoy. Then when your ready, try another. This is the first three apple options I created this holiday season – and the most difficult. My next blog will be the other three : Apple Pie Shooter (virgin), Apple Lemon Fizz and Apple Ginger Spritzer.

Stay Tuned!