Candace Karu

Cocktails

Unzipping: The Green Teani

CocktailsCandace KaruComment
The Green Teani

The Green Teani

I begin each morning - usually very early - with a cup of jasmine green tea from the Grace Tea Company. It's light floral scent suits my break-of-day mood and whispers, not yells, for me to start my day. Coffee comes later, when I need a firmer hand to push me on my way.

And let's not forget the health benefits of green tea. It stumps me how something with such a lovely flavor can be so good for you. Green tea is loaded with powerful antioxidants like flavonoids and catechins. Studies show that green tea increases the body's ability to burn fat and can improve physical performance. (Have you seen the Chinese acrobats and contortionists at Cirque du Soleil? I'll bet they drink green tea with abandon.) Other studies have shown that the catechin compounds in green tea can also protect aging brains, lowering the risk of age-related diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Check out more health benefits of green tea here.

Jasmine Green Tea - a gentle way to start the day.

Jasmine Green Tea - a gentle way to start the day.

But, I digress. This is a cocktail post and cocktails it shall be.

On a magical night at one of my favorite restaurants in Portland - Empire Chinese Kitchen - my date and I ordered a martini made with oolong tea. It was, in a word, divine. Several weeks later on a whim I decided to create my own version with my beloved Before the Rain Jasmine Green Tea.

Picture courtesy of  St. Germain

Picture courtesy of St. Germain

My version is simple - light with slight floral notes imparted by both the jasmine-infused tea and the addition of a splash of my favorite liqueur, St. Germain. This artisanal French liqueur is made from the hand-picked blossoms of elderflowers. It smells and tastes like springtime in the South of France. St. Gemain takes so many classic cocktails to delightful new heights. I encourage you to peruse their website and try some of their creations.

The Green Teani is surprisingly refreshing, the perfect cocktail to welcome the advent of a new season. It's like springtime in a glass.

Three simple ingredients to produce such a delightful drink!

Three simple ingredients to produce such a delightful drink!

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz of your favorite Vodka
  • 1 oz Jasmine Green Tea
  • 1 splash St. Germain

Instructions:

Combine ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and give it a good shake. Then shake a little more for good measure. Serve in your favorite martini glass with a twist of citrus or a few fresh raspberries. 

#cheers #clink #weekend

¡Viva Margarita!

CocktailsCandace KaruComment

There are dozens of origin stories about the invention of this universally loved cocktail. Many of them involve suave bartenders creating a special drink for a favorite show girl or socialite. The truth of the cocktail's genesis is lost somewhere in the mists of time, but its legend and appeal live on.

With many variations available to customize a Margarita, the basic recipe is nonetheless quite simple. Esquire magazine named the Margarita its "Drink of the Month" in December, 1953 and its proportions have stood the test of time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce tequila
  • Dash of Triple Sec
  • Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

Instructions:

Pour over crushed ice, stir. Rub the rim of a stem glass with rind of lemon or lime, spin in salt—pour, and sip.

A simple formula, yes, but open to change and suggestion. Do you like a frozen Margarita? Increase the measured ingredients a little and throw them in the blender with ice. I'm a fan of this basic recipe shaken and poured over ice in a cocktail glass with a salted rim. Some people prefer the mellower effect of lemon juice over lime, but I'm of the opinion that fresh lime juice is key. And don't skimp on the tequila. Buy the highest quality you can afford and revel in the smokey nuance of this drink.

A final word of caution. A well made Margarita goes down easily. It also packs a punch that can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Proceed with caution.

Buena suerte, amigos.

Lychee Martini

CocktailsCandace KaruComment

Let it be known that the Lychee Martini is no quotidian cocktail, but an alcohol-infused punctuation to an important event. It is slightly sweet, light, and fragrant, an exotic take on an iconic libation.

Yes, you could call it a Girlie Drink, but you’d be wrong. Think of it more as an exotic alternative to a classic Martini, a luscious libation with a hint of mystery and intrigue.

Ingredients (for one Lychee Martini)

·      1 oz Vodka

·      2 canned lychees

·      2 oz syrup from canned lychees

·      juice of half a lime

 

Instructions

  • Put two lychees in a martini glass and freeze for half an hour.
  • Combine remaining ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Extra points if you are dancing as you shake.
  • Pour over the frozen lychees.
  • If you are feeling particularly festive, add a splash of Champagne or prosecco. Because…bubbles!