Showing posts with label after dinner liqueurs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label after dinner liqueurs. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pomegranate Martini Cocktail

Well I'm sure I'm not the first one to discover the deliciousness of this cocktail but I wanted to share it with you anyways because I made this a couple weekends ago for some friends that were over and it was a big hit. I have a huge pomegranate tree in my backyard. Everyone that sees it oohs and ahhs over it because it is beautiful and growing big and strong and the fruits of this tree are perfect and organic and I swear to you I do NOTHING for this tree. I have the worst green thumb ever...so I guess I should say I have no green thumb at all. But nonetheless I have this tree that grows all by itself and the branches are getting a little out of control to be honest with you so I'll have to do something about that soon before my neighbors start complaining...

 
So I really had no idea what to do with all the bountiful fruits that it gives me until my cousin told me that he discovered a Martini cocktail where you add the juice of a pomegranate to it and I said "How do you acquire the juice from a pomegranate?" Why, you simply juice it as you would an orange...and it actually worked! So I just mixed half Martini and half pomegranate juice and we had ourselves a little Pomegranate Martini party :-D

 
Of course then I had to Google the benefits of pomegranate and found out that it is a super food that is packed with antioxidants and vitamins, reduces inflammation, reduces risk of heart disease and lowers cholesterol and the list goes on and on. Here are some more for you that I found on www.LiveLoveFruit.com:  



via Live, Love, Fruit

AND it keeps you young! Who doesn't want that, right? There are sooo many beauty products out there that use pomegranate as anti wrinkle treatments and I had no idea... Where have I been all this time?!


via www.TheChicSpy.com

I will definitely have to look into some of these products and will also be trying out more recipes with pomegranate seeing as though I have like a hundred and one of them that I don't know what to do with other than make Martini's so if you know of any recipes that use pomegranate please let me know! In the mean time I'll just sip my Pomegranate Martini Cocktail :-D





Monday, September 14, 2015

Homemade Limoncello - Part 2



On Saturday I finished both my Limoncello and Bay Leaf Liqueur. I bottled them up and will be giving them as holiday gift favors for friends and relatives. 

As I said in Part 1, many Americans I know use Vodka instead of 90%. The alcohol content in Vodka is lower than 90% therefore we have to add less water when making the syrup.
Here is the Limoncello recipe:
Step 1 – As shown in Part 1, steep 5 lemon peels in ½ liter of alcohol for 7 days shaking the bottle once a day
Step 2 – After the 7 days have passed the alcohol should turn a bright yellow and the lemon peels lose their color turning pale.
 
If using Vokda, bring to a boil 500 ml of water and 250 grams of sugar stirring until all of the sugar dissolves. Let cool completely. If you're using 90 proof alcohol or over, use 700 ml of water and 250 grams of sugar.
Step 3 – Mix the alcohol with the cooled syrup and filter into a bowl or directly in the bottle you will be using. Some people only use a strainer but I like to filter using napkins because I feel like it makes the Limoncello more translucent.  It takes more time but in the end I think it’s worth it.

At this point the Limoncello is ready to be sealed in bottles. You should write down the date it was  bottled and you can keep in the freezer. Alcohol is a natural preservant and will not freeze.   
The procedure for the bay leaf liqueur if exactly the same. Let 50 bay leaves steep in 1/2 liter of alcohol for 7 days and then mix with syrup. Enjoy!!

 
 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Bay Leaf Liqueur - "Allorino"


Well, my limoncello is holding up well. It has turned a beautiful yellow color and tomorrow it will be ready to be mixed with the syrup and get filtered. Here it is as it looked this morning:
 
So what did I do with the other half liter of alcohol I had left over? I’ve been steeping bay leaves in it and I will be making bay leaf liqueur, or “Allorino” as it is called in Italy. Bay leaf liqueur is a delicious after dinner drink that is widely made in the Apulia region. Again, this is made with organic bay leaves and has a somewhat bitter taste to it even though, as with the limoncello, sugar is added at the end of the process. The infusion of bay leaves has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. It is a known diuretic removing excess water from the body and is also known for healing wounds and infections.
Gather about 50 organic bay leaves. Wash and dry each one well with paper towels and let steep in ½ liter of alcohol or vodka for 7 days. At the end of the 7 days the leaves will turn a light brown color and the alcohol will turn a beautiful dark green. Here it was this morning:
So tomorrow I will finish making both the Limoncello and the Allorino and post about it next week. These make great gift ideas for the holidays. I love buying cute little bottles for them and giving them as Christmas favors or bringing them to Thanksgiving dinners.
This weekend I will also try to make my own bread for the first time. A very good friend of mine, Alessandra, makes the most amazing sourdough bread. The kind that our great grandparents used to make, naturally leavened bread. You can find her amazing pictures on Instagram @lasalsicciaciociara or follow her blog that she just started writing:
She is such a sweet and creative person and she prides herself in making genuine high quality food for her family. She is a wonderful mother who I look up to and wish to be like one day.  She gave me a simple bread recipe to start out with so I will try it out over the weekend and let you know how it goes. It won’t be as good as hers but I’m excited to try it out! Eating genuine high quality food is so important for our body and mind.  And it's even better for you when you make it with love :-)!
One last thing I wanted to say, or rather reflect on, is today’s date. 14 years ago today we lost 3,000 innocent people in the September 11th attacks.
Never Forget 9/11
 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Homemade Limoncello - Part 1

I promised I would be sharing our family Limoncello recipe and I figured I should share it before the summer is officially over since Limoncello is typically tied to the summer season and is an after dinner drink that should be served straight from the freezer! There are many variations and it is made at home by many in Italy, especially in the southern regions.

It is VERY important that the lemons be organic and fresh. I can’t emphasize this enough because as I will be describing later on, only the peel of the lemon is used therefore it is imperative that the lemon has not been treated with pesticides or chemical fertilizers. It takes at least one week to make, some people let the lemon peels steep in the alcohol for one month but I find that one week is suitable.

First things first, gather together your ingredients for the first step. You will need 90% alcohol. From what I understand, this is not easily found in the States. I know that some use vodka. Vodka is usually about 38% alcohol so the recipe with have to be modified using less water to even things out (I'll elaborate more on that in Part 2). If you are using vodka, the first step is the same. So steep 5 organic lemon peels in a half a liter of vodka.
90% alcohol is sold here in regular grocery stores because, as I said earlier, many people make their own after dinner liqueurs using freshly grown organic ingredients. I will be sharing another liqueur that I made using bay leaves which is a typical digestive drink widely made in Italy and is also one of my favorites. Back to the Limoncello, you will need a half liter of alcohol and 5 medium sized organic lemons.
Begin by washing the lemons under running water and dry them well using paper towels. Peel the lemon with a knife or vegetable peeler making sure not to peel the white part of the lemon because it will make the Limoncello taste bitter.
This part sounds easier than it actually is. It takes time and patience. As you can see in the picture below,  if you see white on the lemon peel, just pry it off with a knife.  
Mix the lemon peels with the alcohol in a tightly closed bottle and let sit in an undisturbed area away from heat sources for at least 7 days. You will see the alcohol turn a beautiful bright yellow as the days go by :-). I place mine on top of the open shelves in my kitchen and once a day I shake the bottle to mix the lemon peels. My bottle has been sitting since Sunday so I plan to finish the Limoncello this Saturday.  As soon as I finish I will post the next steps. Ciaooo