New Year's Eve! I was going to be in Iowa for once. One of my very best friends, Rachel (who some of you may remember from Thanksgiving or my birthday) cane up with a truly terrific idea--she wanted to have a party and we could cook lots of recipes from TJOC! I thought it was a truly inspired idea and we made a boatload (well, if 16 or so fill a boat) of recipes. I'm going to break them into five posts so keep checking back!
Rachel and I made three sets of drinks for the New Year's Eve party--I will discuss them in the order I find them the most interesting. I don't usually have events with enough people for the party drinks in TJOC (ie punch).
Rachel and I had an excess of beef broth. I said "You know, TJOC has a recipe for Becker bloody bull shots (p. 57) and it uses beef broth and is kind of like a Bloody Mary". Rachel perked up--we are both huge Bloody Mary fans. I told her that I thought the recipe looked gross and she replied that it looked delicious and we should make it (we had all the ingredients). The recipe is one of those bizarre ones--tomato juice, beef consomme (or beef broth, I figured), tons of vodka, lime juice, a dash of hot sauce (or many, many dashes if you measure like Rachel), and a little black pepper:
Rachel and I were absolutely exhausted by this point and a drink was well needed:
We decided to drink this more as a drink and less as a shot. It was STOUT. Not kidding around. This is a great drink if you really like hot sauce and vodka. It didn't taste particularly beefy, so if that is scaring you away from the recipe, don't worry! Of course, if you have vegetarians at your party, you might want to warn them--there aren't usually animal products in what seems to be a Bloody Mary :)
I love champagne, I love punch, it seemed Champagne punch (p. 65) would be the perfect drink for a NYE toast.
First, we peeled and cored three pineapple.
Rachel went shopping for the first set of groceries without the list and thought "how many pineapples could this recipe possibly take". She bought two, it takes THREE! THREE PINEAPPLES! Does that seem like a lot to anyone else?
We then sprinkled a pound (yes, a pound) of confectioners' sugar over the top and let it stand for an hour.
Lemon juice, brandy, rum, curacao (actually, Grand Marnier, we traded up), and maraschino liqueur (what the heck is this? We used cherry schnapps) were added to the pineapple and powdered sugar mixture.
The whole thing sat and chilled for four hours. We then added four bottles of champagne.
It was so delicious! Nice and sweet. The pineapple was nice and punchy too--and tasty. This is the perfect drink if you don't really like alcohol because it was so sweet and easy to drink. People seem to mock punch as a innocuous drink. A drink for 15-year-olds to drink and feel naughty. And it is, if it doesn't have alcohol in it. This punch? Almost entirely alcohol.
There was one problem with the punch. Well, actually two problems.
Problem 1--the punch was easy to drink but had no liquid ingredients, other than the lemon juice, that weren't alcoholic so it was STRONG. So, it packed a punch (ha!). Problem 2--I'm allergic to fresh pineapple. That's why I had Rachel slice the pineapple. I thought about it all day. But for some reason, I drank about ten glasses of it. The next day, I was in real pain--my throat was swelled almost shut, my lips itched, my eyes itched, and so on. FOR THREE DAYS! Next time I try to eat pineapple, slap me. Or kiwi, I'm allergic to that too. So I won't be making this again :(
There are a couple of recipes in TJOC that have absolutely amazing lines. Glogg (p. 67) is one of these recipes but we will get to that later...
Glogg requires cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cardamom pods to be tied up in cheesecloth:
The packet was dropped into a mixture of tawny port, brandy, vodka, the peel of an orange, and a cup of raisins.
Getting the tawny port was not as easy as it should have been. Rachel and I went to a grocery store and looked for the port section. Not easily finding it, I asked the liquor employee. He asked me what port was. That's not a good sign! I stumbled upon it myself (in the "dessert wines" section).
TJOC recommends a large non-reactive pot. What is a reactive pot? We had no idea, we figured reactive pots would be copper, everything else is non-reactive. Does anyone know the answer to this?
It was then simmered for an hour.
And on to the best line in a long time...
"Holding the lid against the edge of the pot as a shield, hot a lighted long match near the rim of the pot until the alcohol fumes ignite."
Love it! A shield!
It was on fire! How pretty!
The glogg was strong. STRONG. Really strong. Did I mention it was strong?
There was NOTHING in the glogg except for raisins, spices, and alcohol.
I will admit to not liking the glogg much but I don't like cinnamon. It's a VERY cinnamon-y drink. Unfortunately, it was so late by the time we finished that almost nobody drank it! So Rachel packaged it up--hopefully someone got use from it, it was extremely expensive to make! And lighting it on fire wasn't a fraction as difficult as it seemed like it was going to be.