Last night, we had a gathering at our house. It was fun. Not huge, as per usual, but really just the right size, and combination of people for it to be a success, without my feeling like I had to divide my attention all over the house as in years past.
Apparently The Cold Of Doom has come to Portland early, and damn, that thing is a sadistic bitch. I had it last week, which is why I had to reschedule this shindig. So... when people told me of the woes, I said: "Say no more." It's an evil one.
I made my usual spread, but didn't have as much time this week as I have in years past to prepare, so I bought cans of garbanzo beans from Trader Joe's to make my hummus.
And well? Fail.
I should have known when I was prepping the beans to go into the processor that they were not the right consistency. They were way too hard, and basically nullified all the prep that still goes into that.
So... what did I learn there? This: Trader Joe's garbanzo beans. Proof that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Yeah, I will never take that shortcut again. But... you know, at least it wasn't all fails: today, I have quite a hangover. For a... somewhat unusual reason.
See, I don't normally enjoy sweet cocktails, but I decided to get creative. I also have an herb shop next door to my house, so I mosey on over there a lot, peruse the shelves, and dream things up. I had heard the virtues of infused simple syrups extolled a time or two recently, and decided to give that a whirl. The one I really wanted to try, I discovered that I was missing a key component, and was therefore, unable to make it. I had one of my regular kitchen cleanouts last week, and threw out a sizeable container of black peppercorns, without thinking of the fact that I might... want to use those, after all. Sure, they were about a year old, but they may have been OK.
The one I did end up making was pretty good though. I had some dried Jasmine flowers. I love those in tea, or sometimes just by themselves in hot water on a cold day. So, that was what I did!
The first thing I made, was a Jasmine screwdriver. It was fairly tasty, although a bit sweet for my taste. It contained:
2 cups orange juice
1 cup absolut vodka
2 cups soda water
1/2 cup Jasmine syrup.
Not too bad, but yeah, pretty sweet.
The one that I really liked, and seemed to be a big hit with everyone, was also the one that I sort of made up as I went along, while quite tipsy. I was a little worried that it wasn't going to turn out, but well? This was one of those cases in which I became awesome, rather than just... drunk, and made magic happen. I will call it a Jasmine Vodka Rickey.
It contained, and I am guessing at the proportions, since I wuz teh dronk when I made this, but it... sounds right, considering the pitcher I used was a 6-cup pitcher:
1 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (Please use this. Don't buy that bottled shit. It's just not as good. I prefer to leave the pulp in this, as well.)
2 cups absolut vodka. (I would have preferred gin, but Mr. Hed wasn't paying attention at the liquor store, and inadvertently picked up 2 bottles of vodka, different brands. Oops!)
2 cups soda water (I used the lime-essence soda water from TJ's.)
1/2 cup Jasmine syrup.
I just made sure everything was well-chilled, poured into a glass pitcher, stirred, and served up.
To make the Jasmine Syrup:
2 cups water
1/2 cup Jasmine flowers
2 cups sugar
Place Jasmine flowers in pan, and cover with water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow-simmer.
Simmer for about 10 minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and allow to sit for another 10 minutes.
Strain flowers from water, squeezing them to get all of the goodness out.
Place water back on stove, and add sugar. Return to a low boil, then back down to a simmer, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved.
Let cool, then refrigerate. This should keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
There you go. Now you, too, can be awesome.