• Weekly Cocktail #43: The Jezebel

    The Jezebel Cocktail.

    The Jezebel Cocktail.

    After a thoroughly enjoyable time hosting Mixology Monday, we are back to our regular weekly cocktail. Although in this case our weekly cocktail is really just a holdover from our MxMo experiments. And while it didn’t make the cut (for purely technical reasons- we had no photos) the Jezebel is a delightful cocktail that we will make any time we have some blood oranges on hand.

    jezebel3The Jezebel is a riff on the classic cocktail the White Lady, a simple combination of gin, lemon juice and Cointreau (some recipes include egg white for extra body). But for this drink we substitute blood orange juice for a bit of both the lemon juice and the Cointreau. And the extra berry notes, acidity, tartness and color of the blood oranges makes big difference (better than the original, IMHO).

    jezebel2Yes, we are on a bit of a blood orange kick (we are a seasonal food blog, after all). But it has been a tremendous season for blood oranges here in California, and we simply can’t resist one of our favorite fruits (and a number of MxMo participants seemingly agreed and used blood oranges in their recipes- very cool). And what makes this even more fun is that orange juice is traditionally a difficult citrus ingredient for cocktails. Flavors and acidity vary, and oranges are often just too sweet (and watery) to balance the base spirits. There are some classic exceptions like the Bronx cocktail, the Monkey Gland (horrible name) and the Screwdriver, but generally oranges are a difficult cocktail ingredient. Blood oranges are a whole different story, the only bummer is limited availability based on the season. But if it’s winter, go get some and start making drinks (the juice is great on its own, btw).

    jezebel4As for the name of the drink, we have the MxMo theme of “inverted” and one of our favorite blogs, Silver Screenings (a fantastic blog about classic movies, we can’t recommend the site enough) to thank. We wanted to invert the White Lady and decided that blood oranges would work, and the drink tasted great. Happily we were looking at Silver Screenings and asked, “what about using a classic movie name” and, of course, we immediately thought of the 1930′s Bette Davis movie “Jezebel“. We won’t give away much of the story, but we will say that respectable young ladies in the 19th century shouldn’t wear red to the ball when all the other bells wear white. In the 21st century, we may have cut Jezebel a little more slack, or maybe even bought her a drink….

    jezebel1The Jezebel Cocktail:

    Ingredients:

    • 2 oz. dry gin
    • 1/2 oz. Cointreau (or quality triple-sec)
    • 1/2 oz. blood orange juice
    • 1/2 oz. lemon juice.

    Assemble:

    1. Put all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well-chilled. Strain (or even better, double-strain) into a chilled cocktail glass, coupé or flute. Serve.
  • Max’s Mocktail

    Max's Mocktail

    Max’s Mocktail

    Truth be told, we mix a lot of drinks and cook a lot of dishes with the blog in mind, but most of the things we make are simply to feed our family and friends. But when they do like something and ask for a recipe, you can be damn sure we are going to post it. Happy faces never get old, and successful dishes and drinks are still hard to come by. If you want the recipe, just ask, we are happy to oblige.

    max3max6As for this “mocktail”, our eldest son had his friend Max over to work on a school project and play some baseball. After some time outside, our son asked for a mocktail, and if our kid gets one, well, so does his guest. And since we had a bunch of fresh winter citrus available, including blood oranges and Meyer Lemons (two of our favorite ingredients) we figured we could make something the boys would enjoy. And Max liked this enough to want the recipe, so here it is.

    max4max5Max’s Mocktail combines blood orange juice, lemon juice, falernum syrup, a dash of Rhubarb bitters (optional) and sparkling water. So what’s falernum syrup? Falernum is a sweet West-Indian syrup with flavors of lime, ginger and clove. Falernum is a common tiki-drink ingredient and is a primary flavor in classics like the Jet Pilot and Zombie. You can find falernum syrup in many liquor stores, it is inexpensive and lasts forever. Just don’t confuse falernum syrup with Velvet Falernum, a version that has alcohol and isn’t safe for “mocktails”. We understand that many people won’t have falernum syrup, so we also have a second version of the recipe that subs a dash of lime juice, sugar and ginger ale for the falernum syrup and sparkling water.

    max7max8 Continue reading

  • Blood Orange Sorbet: A splash of color in winter

    While we grow a lot of our own citrus at Putney Farm, we do not get warm enough in the Bay Area to grow one of our favorites, Blood Oranges. At our farmers market, we do get Moro blood oranges from the lower central valley, usually from about 100-150 miles away. Local enough. 

    And certainly good enough. Blood oranges are a fantastic ingredient and worth the time to seek out. The color can be a beautiful, intense, reddish purple that just pops visually. It screams FLAVOR, and it does not disappoint. The juice has distinct raspberry overtones along with traditional orange flavors and sometimes features a pleasant tartness. While I love pure, sweet orange flavor, the added complexity (and beauty) of the blood orange really shines in cocktails and sorbet. Blood orange sorbet may be one of the best “bang for your buck” desserts you can make at home- and it is easy to make. Continue reading