Monday, February 15, 2010

Bourbon renewal: books looks at rousing recipes in time for Mardi Gras
The stories, the recipes, the photos and the anticipation make Fred Thompson’s book a treasure. “Bourbon: 50 Rousing Recipes for a Classic American Spirit” puts a light spin on the spirit Americans take so seriously.
Enjoy the elixir in concoctions such as hot chocolate nog and beach punch or in a mint julep sorbet or turkey brine. Here are two that seem designed for Mardi Gras/Valentine’s Day:

Southern Love
Ice Cubes
1 ounce bourbon
1 ounce amaretto
6 ounces cola
Fill an oversized cocktail or old-fashioned glass with ice cubes. Let it sit for 2 or 3 minutes to chill the glass.
Holding the e ice so it doesn’t fall out, discard any melted water. Pour in the bourbon and amaretto and top with the cola. Stir and serve immediately.

Cajun Comfort
Ice cubes
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce Southern Comfort
2 tablespoons honey
4 or 5 dashes hot sauce
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add the bourbon, Southern Comfort, honey and hot sauce. Shake slowly, allowing the honey to incorporate, until the shaker is frosted.
Pour the mixture, ice and all, into an old-fashioned glass. Serve immediately.

Honey, come here
Just saying the name Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur, or seeing it in print, puts me in a by-the-fire mood. An Eastern Prussian bear trap company introduced “bear hunter” in the 15th century as sweet stuff to lure bears from their dwellings. Remember this Valentine’s Day that honey is considered an aphrodisiacs, derived from the Greek goddess of sensuality, Aphrodite. Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. is doing the reminding that many medicines in Egyptian times were based on honey, including cures for sterility and impotence. Medieval seducers plied their partners with mead, a fermented drink made from honey.  Lovers on their "Honeymoon" drank mead and it was thought to "sweeten" the marriage. I have tried and enjoyed this honey liquor and the silver topped Jacques Cardin Cognac VSOP in Jasmine (my daughter’s name). It’s enough to make me want to try their regular and apple cognacs. Watch out bottle collectors: You’ll love the woven basket wrap and hive lid on the honey liqueur. I fancy the following would be warm drinks for cheering your Olympic favorites in snowy Vancouver:
Hot Honey Crisp
1 Packet Apple Cider Mix
2 1/2 Cups Hot Water
3 ounces Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur
2 ounces Jacques Cardin Apple Cognac
Garnish w/ Cinnamon Stick and Whipped Cream
Makes 2
Frisky Whisky
1 part Michael Collins
1 part Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur  
1 part fresh orange juice
1/4 part simple syrup
2 Dashes angostura bitters
Between The Sheets
2 parts JC Jasmin VSOP
1/2 part Cointreau
1/2 part Tommy Bamaha White Sand Rum
Freshly squeezed lemon Juice
Garnish with an orange twist in a chilled martini glass

Hire a CADDi
Beverage CADDi is a holster collar with strings designed for people like me, who lug purses, cases, bags, coats and books to the car, with a steaming, hot cup cradled in the recesses of spare elbow room. These necks, adorned with black beans, quotes, stripes, gumdrops or a deco pattern that makes me long for the ‘80s, allow coffee lovers to manhandle all their gear and swing that coffee from a pinkie while opening doors, texting, etc. It’s so cool, you’ll wish you’d thought of it, but you have to go to for yours.

Snuggling old school style
For centuries, robes have warmed young and old, rich and modestly-meaned people. You slip them on, close them in front and don’t have to wear a backwards blanket with sleeves, Cypress reminds these creatures of comfort. The brand supplies spas and hotels and has an affordable line of plush pastel and shawl robes and poolside cover ups. I plenty snug in a lightweight short robe in a bright Mardi Gras/lime/green color. My mother jokes this is a morning robe, because that color sure perks up the spirits. It’s as bright as the orange juice and sunny-side-up eggs. Check out Cypress online or at Belk department stores. I’ve been to one Belk in my life, during Hurricane Ike evacuation to Sherman.

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