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Cr(EAT)e Food Blog:  The Most Delicious Time of the Year

Sweeter the Juice cocktail and ingredients: a halved lemon, some sage leaves, crushed spices, scattered blackberries, and a bottle of vermouth.

Sweeter the Juice cocktail and ingredients

This truly is the most delicious time of the year. Traditional family recipes and new favorites abound from the kitchen; however, let’s not forget the wintry virtues of a well-designed Holiday Cocktail.  I’m the first in line for turkey, ham, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and everything in between, but one of my greatest culinary joys comes from devising a new adult beverage every December for my friends and family to enjoy.

 

2017 has been a complicated year, filled with layers of interesting happenings that have left us all running the gamut of emotions, so I rather liked the idea of stratifying this year’s drink with a number of fun flavors.  We start with Mint Chilla Nilla Tea from the Spice and Tea Exchange of Bentonville, boasting toasty brown spice flavors against dark blackberries, bright lemon juice, sweet vermouth, and a topping of effervescent prosecco.

 

I call it the Sweeter the Juice, and I must admit it’s been a hit this season at both the museum and holiday parties at home: earthy, sweet, tart, with a whisper of bubbles at the end that tickles the palate…and soul.  So, from our family to yours, enjoy Sweeter the Juice responsibly…and Happy (hiccup) Holidays!

 

Sweeter the Juice Cocktail

 

Ingredients

  • 1 oz tea concentrate (recipe below)
  • 1/2 oz blackberry simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • Prosecco
  • Blackberries for garnish
  • Sage leaves for garnish

Tea Concentrate:

  • 1 tbsp. Mint Chilla Chai Nilla Tea
  • 1 cup water

Blackberry Simple Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup blackberries

Technique

Tea Concentrate:

  1. Steep Mint Chilla Chai Nilla tea in sachets in water just under a boil for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Blackberry Simple Syrup:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium until the sugar dissolves. Then add blackberries and increase the heat to medium-high.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
  3. Allow the syrup to cool.
  4. Strain the syrup through a strainer. Discard pulp. Keep syrup in air-tight container, refrigerated.

Cocktail:

  1. In an ice-filled wine glass, add all ingredients except sparkling wine. Stir.
  2. Top with prosecco and garnish with a skewer of sage leaf and blackberry.

 

 

 

 

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