The Golden Triangle

My friend Jane and I were recently in Marquette in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  We went to a farm to table restaurant there that we had visited before called the Marq.  They have excellent food and some very creative cocktails.  One of which was called the Golden Triangle.  I am a fan of gin drinks and drinks that are not sweet so I knew I would enjoy the combination of gin and ginger in the Golden Triangle.  Jane and I both ordered one and we loved it!  I wrote down all of the ingredients from their menu and when we got home we set out to search for the ingredients.  Since we live in a rural area it is a often difficult to find unusual ingredients.  After visiting several liquor stores we finally found everything.  The most difficult ingredient for us to find was the Chartreuse which is a French liqueur made by Carthusian Monks of La Grande Chartreuse near Grenoble France.  It’s made from 130 Alpine herbs (who knew) according to an ancient formula dating back to 1605.  According to the bottle, the secret method of preparation is shared by three Carthusian brothers and is protected by vows of silence.  Whoa!  I also did not know that it is the only liqueur to have a color named after it.  According to the label it has a “totally  unexpected, remarkably beguiling, unique flavor.”  My friend and I both had to take a sip out of the bottle immediately after we purchased it…no worry about germs…it’s 110 proof.  Our facial expressions certainly attested to the taste description of unexpected and unique and perhaps even beguiling.  This is not a liqueur that I would drink by itself save for that sip in the liquor store parking lot.

The other ingredient, Domaine de Canton,  is not nearly as sexy or exotic.  While the liquor stores we visited didn’t carry it (and after being told by a liquor distributor that was in one store that it would be extremely difficult to find and we might have to special order it) we found it on the shelf in our local Meijer store.  This is a ginger flavored liqueur made in France since 2007.  Prior to that it was made in China from 1992-1997.  This liqueur is 56 proof.  It contains syrup made from crystallized Chinese baby ginger, orange blossom honey, and vanilla.

Finally, this drink needs simple syrup infused with ginger.  Which is so tasty I need to find something else to use it on or in.

The glasses are rimmed in a combination of salt and gochugaru.  Coincidentally, before even having our cocktail at the Marq, I had purchased gochugaru at the Spice Merchant in Marquette to use in another recipe.  So here we go.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 oz of good gin

1/2 oz domaine de canton

1/4 oz chartreuse

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz ginger simple syrup

salt and gochugaru

Combine all of the ingredients and ice in a shaker and shake, shake, shake!  Pour into cocktail glasses rimmed in the salt and gochugaru and enjoy!  My husband, who claims to not like gin or ginger, enjoyed one of the cocktails and said it was very refreshing!

Thanks to the bartender at the Marq who very graciously gave us the recipe!  Just one more reason to frequent the Marq when we’re in Marquette next!!  And thanks to the salesman at the Marquette Spice Merchant who went into the back room and found the gochugaru for me.

NOTE:  To make the ginger infused simple syrup combine 2 cups of sugar and two cups of water.  Bring to a simmer and stir until all of the sugar is dissolved.  Thinly slice 8 oz of ginger and bring the syrup back up to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow it to steep for at least 30 minutes.

 

Advertisements

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Pudding Shots

img_3758

A few weeks ago we went to our favorite music festival and I made pudding shots.  I made three different pudding shots – a caramel apple with Apple Pucker and Butter Shots, a coconut cream with Malibu Coconut Rum, and a chocolate and salted caramel with Baileys.  The chocolate was the most popular and I just made another batch for a friend.

Ingredients:

1  4 oz. box instant chocolate pudding

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup strong coffee

3/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream

1/2 cup caramel topping

8 oz cool whip

salt flakes

img_3759

In a medium size bowl whisk together the pudding, milk, coffee, and Baileys.  Whisk in the caramel topping.

img_3744

Fold in the cool whip.

img_3752

Spoon into little cups with lids, garnish with salt flakes and enjoy.

fullsizerender

Store the pudding shots in the refrigerator.

 

 

Bourbon Cherries

image

When we were visiting our daughter over the Christmas holiday she had made some bourbon cherries that made a great Manhattan. Maybe not a traditional Manhattan, but a pretty good variation. I made a batch of these tasty cherries when I got home and I think the longer they “cure” the better.

Ingredients:

1 fifth of bourbon (I used Evan Williams)

1 pint of grand Grand Marnier

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 T vanilla (or 2 vanilla beans slit)

1 T whole allspice

3 cinnamon sticks

a little grated nutmeg

32 ounces of frozen, pitted tart cherries

image

In a large heavy kettle combine bourbon, grand mariner, sugars and spices. Over low heat whisk until sugars are completely dissolved. DO NOT boil. Turn the heat off and allow it to steep and cool down.  Once off the heat stir in the vanilla.

image

Put the cherries in glass jars and pour the cooled alcohol mix over the cherries. You can leave the spices in the jars but be careful to remove them before serving.

To prepare your faux Manhattan…

In a small glass with a little ice pour “cherry juice” over the ice. Add a couple dashes of orange or Angostura bitters. Spear a few cherries on a cocktail pick and serve. You can add a bit of orange or lemon peel for garnish if you wish. A traditional Manhattan has a little sweet or dry vermouth but the grand mariner is a great substitute.

image

I think these cherries would be awesome over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or on a dish of homemade rice pudding.

Cheers!  Happy New Year.

Pineapple and Coconut Rum

Take a fresh pineapple, remove the peel and dice into medium size cubes. Put the diced pineapple into a glass jar (mine filled a 2-quart canning jar) and add coconut rum until the pineapple is completely covered. Keep the jar on your counter and invert it a couple times a day until you are ready to partake. Serve straight up or over ice. And make sure none of that pineapple goes to waste. 

image image