Friday, May 4, 2012

November party part 4: Tea vodka (p. 58), Joy tea (p. 58), Mai tai (p.61), and Planter's punch (p. 66)

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:

There were a lot of tea leaves in there:

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? 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:

 Wow.  Perfect for that swamp party you've been thinking of throwing.  Or a Halloween party.  And maybe St. Patrick's Day.  Not particularly appetizing to me.  Fortunately, most of us didn't particularly care.  It was certainly tasty (nice fruity kick) and not nearly as strong as the delicious champagne punch.  I just wish it hadn't been a dirty green.

Making punch is more rewarding now that I have a punch bowl (it also works as a cake dome).

I think this might be the strangest picture of me ever taken:

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!