Those of you who know me in real life know how much I like to infuse vodka myself--infused vodka makes the best cocktails. In fact, I was recently told that if I ever need to write a dating profile, I should lead off with my love of vodka infusion (hopefully I never will have to write a dating profile!). I always use cheap vodka when I test an infusion out because if it's bad I don't want to waste good vodka (and I have had them go bad before [when I say that something "went bad" I always imagine it in a little leather jacket smoking a cigarette and skipping class]). So feel free to mock my vodka choice, I won't feel bad.
I love iced tea so I was excited to try to try the Tea vodka (p. 58).
I used good Earl Gray tea and dropped a quarter cup of tea leaves into the bottle:
I left the vodka for a couple of days. Eventually, after I transferred it into another bottle, it looked like this:
So good. It was absolutely delicious. I've made it a couple times since then, with good vodka, and it's incredible. It's a winner with everyone. I gave Kristin the leftover tea vodka when I moved and she loved it.
I mixed the tea vodka with water and sugar syrup to make Joy tea (p. 58). Imagine a picture of a cocktail here because I forgot to take a picture. Imagine it with the appropriate garnishes, in the appropriate glass, because I'm sure that's what it looked like (rrriiiggghhhttt). Soooo good. I don't even like sweet tea normally but this was awesome. It's also delicious with fresh mint.
I also made a Mai tai (p.61). I shook dark rum, light rum, curacao, orgeat, grenadine, and lemon juice with ice and then strained it into a mug (rather than an old fashioned glass. I can only explain this by saying I was drinking a lot by this point).
What a hideous concoction. I thought mai tais were white. Although of course it was muddy when it had dark rum, grenadine, and my blue curacao in it. It was tasty although I just had a sip because I'm allergic to some rums and it's not worth risking it for anything other than a mojito. Certainly ugly though.
And onto one of my favorite items off this party. I know most of you like when I fail at cooking endeavors, so this should make you happy. There are so many punch recipes in TJOC. I actually dread most of them because they are so expensive to make but I thought "I'm having several people over, perfect time for punch". I settled on Planter's punch (p. 66) because I've always liked it in the past.
I mixed pineapple juice, orange juice, and light rum. So far so good. Attractively orange. But...dark rum? Okay...now it's muddy. It was at this point that I made an idiotic mistake. Instead of using nice clear Triple Sec, I added blue curacao. The planter's punch was vaguely the color of swampwater. I added the lemon juice and sugar syrup. And then I added a half cub of grenadine, which didn't improve anything.
Look how hideous this punch is:
Making punch is more rewarding now that I have a punch bowl (it also works as a cake dome).
I decided to add a hat aspect to the party, not knowing that some of my friends have a TON of hats. I, wisely, decided on the mangy rabbit ears. Also, I don't know why my apron wasn't tied, it's not very flattering like that--I would imagine the reason is the drink in my hand. Fun times!