I had a couple girlfriends over to share the awesomeness of all things kombucha. Looking back at my previous posts, I realize that while I’ve touched on kombucha, I’ve not gone too deep into what it is and how to make it. Of course you can just go find it at your local grocery stores these days.
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that is purportedly rich in probiotics and other stuff good for our tummies, joints, brains, and bodies. I’m not a doctor, just a nerd who likes to play with stuff in my kitchen.
Here’s my basic recipe:
1 gallon water
10 black tea bags
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 scoby and starter tea
• Bring water to a boil.
• Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
• Turn off heat
• Add 8-10 black tea bags and let steep at least 5 minutes, but as long as overnight.
This must cool to room temperature before you add your scoby or starter tea. Any warmer than 85-95 degrees and you can kill you starter.
Cover with a coffee filter and set aside in a warm place, out of direct light, for about 2 weeks or until your scoby grows to cover the surface. Start tasting your kombucha after 5-7 days. When it tastes good, drink it and start the process over again.
If you want to add flavor to your tea, you can do it by adding, or substituting, 6 additional bags of tea. I like ginger tea (I prefer Yogi Ginger tea), chai, or green tea.
The cocktail I made for the ladies was a riff on the classic margarita. Kobucha with it’s slightly tart flavor is a perfect pairing with lime.
1.5 oz tequila
.5 oz triple sec
1.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
Build over ice in a rocks glass and top with kombucha.
Perfect for a summer evening on the patio.
We all have that story. You know, the one where we do shots of tequila and then end up ridiculously sick. Mine was on my 21st birthday. So was yours?! It took me years to drink tequila again. I was more scared of tequila than I was of whiskey… hmmm… maybe not…
I am so thankful tequila and I made up. It really is one of life great pleasures.
According to our author, much of the popularity and “premiumization” of tequila is thanks to Patron. It certainly was the first tequila I thought was something better than swill. I can’t recall the name of it now, but there was (is?) a tequila bar in Portland. That was the first time I had ever heard of a shot, one single shot, of tequila costing $30+. I didn’t spend that, but I did try some that certainly made me rethink tequila.
The key with tequila is buying one that is 100% agave. Many will say agave tequila, because like whiskey they have to have a certain percentage of agave to be called tequila. There are different types of tequila. Silver or blanco, is an unaged tequila. Clear in color, right off the still. Then there is reposado, where it has “rested” anywhere from two months to nine months in wooden vessels. Finally, there are anejo, meaning aged. These are aged at least a year, but can spend any where from two to four years in a barrel.
This week also would have covered mezcal, but I have a good stock of tequila and decided to stick with what I had on hand. I’ll double back and hit mezcal on a week I foresee another fail.
My friend P and I used to drive home from work on a back road, winding through Oregon City and we stumbled upon one of the greatest margaritas of all times. We still refer to this as the Steven Margarita. We made a rule, we could talk about work for one drink, then when the second one was placed in front of us, all talk of work had to stop. These margaritas cured everything! When Steven got a new job and left us to fend for ourselves, we attempted to recreate his magic.
There is really nothing better than a fresh, from scratch margarita. But most of us don’t have that kind of time or patience during the week. So, I came up with the Steven Shortcut.
In a rocks glass, muddle 1 or 2 wedges of lime
1/2 oz triple sec
2 oz tequila of your choice
top with about 4 ounces of Freshies Margarita Mix*
Sprinkle with pink Himalayan salt (or whatever you have on hand)
Stir and drink. ahhhhhhhh
*Freshies has no high fructose corn syrup and if I can’t make fresh, its my favorite mixer.
I have three tequilas on my bar, one purchased purely for the pretty bottle, one for mixing, and one for sipping or mixing. This is the first time I have ever sipped all three side by side and I’ll admit I was surprised. The pretty bottle may be my new favorite mixer, especially for people who think they don’t like tequila.
Coa Silver was about $15. It has a little boozey nose, but it tastes like water. Quite smooth, but it got lost completely in the drink.
El Charro, a reposado, has been my mixer, and by itself I was not impressed, but it stands up quite nicely to a mixer. Giving my margarita a hint of something, with that little bit of age coming through.
Finally, my sipper/mixer has been Zircon Azul, but I think it’s been bumped in favor of the other two. Good, but a little more expensive and not any better.
This Toast Tuesday I leave you with a poem…
Tequila with salt and lime
I can drink you any time
You always lift my mood
And pair with all kinds of food
Oh the simple joys in life
A cup filled w happiness & ice
I don’t know how else to tell ya
I love a good margarita
In my move to a new city, I’ve been toying with the idea of making a calling card, or personal “business” card. But really, what’s the point of a card? Everyone has smart phones and giving out your pertinents has become quick… assuming you have an initial conversation.
While I’ve been trying to decide about whether or not to make a calling card, the next question is what to put on it. Since it’s a personal calling card and not related to business, what do I want to share? NPR has a series called Six Word Stories and so far my six word story only has four words. Eater. Drinker. Cooker. Crafter.
Though, since I’ve moved all done is the first two. Like my blog, I’ve sorta lost my voice and rhythm for the last two. I’m hoping that’s changing. I was recently motivated to make a fruity, frozen margarita. Something not normally in my repertoire, but when my cousin invited me for dinner, I offered that as my contribution in lieu of the frozen bucket of margarita she normally serves. I’m fairly certain she did NOT add tequila last time!!
I have a patio full of herbs and wanted to incorporate some into my margaritas. I made three variations, and after an hour of blending and sampling, I had pineapple basil, pineapple mango mint, and pineapple mango (no herbs for cousin). I froze them in 8 ounce mason jars; the perfect single serving. I’m delighted to say, she was quite tickled with the results and asked for the recipe. Since I didn’t measure and she doesn’t make anything from scratch, I didn’t feel to bad admitting I had no recipe to share.
While my six word story is ever evolving and I still haven’t decided what to do about a calling card, I have been inspired to make more cocktails with herbs. Friends are coming over this weekend for Thai basil cucumber martinis!
I’m a little embarrassed to say I drive by Nuestra Cocina all the time. It took me until a few months ago to check this place out. And now I’m hooked!
I get off work at 4:15 and by the time I get over there the doors are swinging open at 5pm and the bar stool is calling my name!
The bartenders, Danny and Ernie, are darling. As we sat at the bar nibbling on chips and 3 different salsas, Ernie gave us tiny tastes of several different drinks he served up while we watched.
The Cocina Especial has become my staple. A nice spicy margarita which I get just a little hotter than usual. The girls have ventured through a few more beverages on the menu, such as the Scarlet Orange Margarita, the Serrano Lime Drop, and the Margarita De la Casa, all of which are outstanding.
I’ve learned through life’s hiccups there are certain things that can cure anything. One is ice cream. Breyer’s Vanilla Fudge Twirl. The other is a fabulous Margarita. Throw a bit of arbol simple syrup in there and the world is just about perfect.
ahhhhh… the weekend is almost here