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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for The Nibble

HALLOWEEN: Cinnamon Vodka Punch

cinnamon-punch-belvedere-230sq

Cinnamon evokes fall and Halloween. Photo
courtesy Belvedere Vodka.

 

If you’re looking to fill the punch bowl on Halloween, here’s a recipe from Belvedere Vodka. You can make the cinnamon simple syrup in advance.

RECIPE: CINNAMON VODKA PUNCH

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces vodka
  • 3 ounces cinnamon simple syrup
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 5.5 ounces pink grapefruit juice
  • 16 ounces cranberry juice
  • 1 ounces lemon juice
  • Garnish: slices of orange (ideally, blood orange) and
    pink grapefruit
  • Ice cubes or block of ice*
  •  
    *The larger the pieces of ice, the slower they will melt and dilute the punch. Instead of ice cubes, you can freeze a block of ice in a small cake pan or other container. We use a star-shaped gelatin mold.
     

    Preparation

    1. ADD punch ingredients except garnishes to a punch bowl. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    2. ADD ice and garnishes when ready to serve.
     
    RECIPE: CINNAMON SIMPLE SYRUP

    Ingredients

  • 16 ounces water
  • 16 ounces white sugar
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SIMMER the ingredients for approximately 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve and funnel into a glass bottle.

    2. REFRIGERATE until ready to use.

     
      

    Comments

    HALLOWEEN: Jackson Pollack Style & Other Chocolate Candy Apples

    You can make candy apples the traditional way or you can cook to the tune of a different drummer. In this recipe, adapted from Cooking Light, melted chocolate is dripped on the apple in a Jackson Pollack approach.

    Green Granny Smiths go well with the sweet white and bittersweet chocolates and provide a better backdrop for the squiggles than darker red apples, but use any apple you like.

    By drizzling the chocolate instead of enrobing the entire apple in a red sugar or caramel coating, these are “candy apples light.”

    You can add colors by tinting the white chocolate orange, and add more layers of tinted color—red and yellow, for example. Just load up on the white chocolate.

    RECIPE: CHOCOLATE-DRIZZLED CANDY APPLES

    Ingredients For 6 Candy Apples

  • 6 Granny Smith apples
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2-1/2 ounces premium white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Wooden sticks (from the craft store or online—or use forks!
  •    

    jackson-pollock-candied-apples-randymayor-cookinglight-230sq

    Drip the chocolate, Jackson Pollack style. Photo © Randy Mayor | Cooking Light.

     

    Preparation

    1. WASH and dry the apples; remove stems. Insert a wooden stick into the stem end of each apple.

    2. PLACE the bittersweet chocolate in a glass bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring every 20 seconds until smooth. Working with 1 apple at a time, hold the apple over a bowl. Using a spoon, drizzle the apple with about 2 teaspoons bittersweet chocolate. Place the apple, stick side up, on a baking sheet covered with wax paper. Repeat the procedure with the remaining apples.

    3. PLACE the white chocolate in a glass bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring every 15 seconds until smooth. Working with 1 apple at a time, hold the apple over a bowl. Using a spoon, drizzle the apple with about 1-1/2 teaspoons white chocolate. Place the apple, stick side up, on a baking sheet covered with wax paper. Repeat procedure with remaining apples.

    4. CHILL the apples until ready to serve.

     

    AY1005HW015

    More ways to decorate apples with chocolate.
    Photo courtesy MyRecipes.com.

     

    MORE CANDY APPLE RECIPES

  • Traditional Candy Apple Recipe
  • Sugar-Free Candy Apple Recipe
  •  
    CANDY APPLES HISTORY

    The practice of coating fruit in sugar syrup dates back to ancient times. In addition to tasting good, honey and sugar were used as preserving agents to keep fruit from rotting.

    According to FoodTimeline.org, food historians generally agree that caramel apples (toffee apples) probably date to the late 19th century. Both toffee and caramel can be traced to the early decades of the 18th century. Inexpensive toffee and caramels became available by the end of the 19th century. Culinary evidence confirms soft, chewy caramel coatings from that time.

     

    Red cinnamon-accented candy apples came later. And, while long associated with Halloween, they were originally Christmas fare, not a Halloween confection.

    According to articles in the Newark Evening News in 1948 and 1964, the red candy apple was invented in 1908 by William W. Kolb, a local confectioner.

    Experimenting with red cinnamon candies for Christmas, he dipped apples into the mixture and the modern candy apple was born. The tasty treat was soon being sold at the Jersey Shore, the circus and then in candy shops nationwide.

      

    Comments

    HALLOWEEN: Spooky Pasta Recipes

    Add some food fun to your Halloween with these two pasta recipes from Certified Angus Beef.

    RECIPE: SPOOKETTI & MEATBALLS

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 eggs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar pimento-stuffed olives
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 6 cups cooked whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 (26-ounce) jar prepared pasta sauce
  •  

    ghoulish-pasta-certifiedangusbeef-230

    Spooketti and meatballs. Photo courtesy Certified Angus Beef.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F.

    2. COMBINE the ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, ketchup, herbs and spices; shape into 1-1/2-inch balls, making 12 total. Insert 1 olive into each meatball to look like an eye.

    3. PLACE the meatballs in a pan and roast approximately 25 minutes until thoroughly cooked and no pink remains (160°F internal temperature).

    4. HEAT the sauce and ladle over pasta. Serve 2 meatballs per plate.

     

    graveyard-bake-certifiedangusbeef-230

    Eat the graveyard! Photo courtesy Certified
    Angus Beef.

     

    Graveyard Bake

  • 1 pound round chuck
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 pound fusilli pasta, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups crushed potato chips
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • 6 oval crackers (like Keebler Town House), optional
  •  

    Preparation

    1. BROWN ground chuck in large fry pan. Drain liquid from beef.

    2. ADD tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion powder, garlic salt and cayenne pepper; simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in the cooked pasta.

    3. POUR into a 9 x 9 baking dish. Top with potato chips and cheese and broil for 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and chips are golden brown.

    4. GARNISH with green onions and crackers (the tombstones).

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pairing Chocolate Bars & Wine

    If your idea of grown-up Halloween does not include costume parties, how about a chocolate and wine tasting?

    For years, THE NIBBLE has been updating its highly-regarded wine and chocolate pairing chart. You can use it to prepare a memorable Halloween tasting.

    While our chart is quite extensive, your tasting can be as simple as four or five chocolate bars. John Scharffenberger, who got his start as a wine maker, shares his own favorites to pair with Scharffen Berger dark and milk chocolate bars:

  • Scharffen Berger 72% Signature Dark Chocolate. John Scharffenberger notes that darker chocolates pair beautifully with dry, rich, full-bodied red wines. He likes an Italian Amarone, a Spanish Rioja or French Bordeaux.
  • Scharffen Berger 72% Dark Chocolate with Pistachios and Sea Salt. While you can use the same wines when pistachios are included, lighter nuts like pistachio can be served with Mas Amiel, a dessert wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France; Sauternes, a dessert wine from the Bordeaux region, or Cabernet Sauvignon, which can bring out nutty accents.
  • Scharffen Berger 33% Smooth Milk Chocolate. Lighter-flavored chocolates pair best with light-bodied wines. John Scharffenberger advises that buttery caramel overtones make this chocolate a perfect complement to a Sauvignon Blanc. Also try it with Armagnac, a single-distilled French brandy.
  •  

    5-bars-ribbon-230

    For holiday gift giving, tie some fine chocolate bars with a ribbon and bestow them with or without matching wines. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     
    THE NIBBLE particularly likes these wines with milk chocolate: Hungarian Tokaji (pronounced TOE-coy); Muscat, a white dessert wine from France with peach and apricot flavors’ and Tawny Port, a fortified wine from Portugal. In fact, Tawny Port is our favorite match with milk chocolate. Its nutty nuances highlight milk chocolate’s nutty and caramel notes and enhance the overall chocolate flavor.

  • Scharffen Berger 33% Milk Chocolate with Toasted Coconut and Macadamia Nuts. For this delicious bar, THE NIBBLE recommends Brachetto d’Acqui, a light, ruby-colored sparkling dessert wine from Piedmont, with typical aromas of fruit and roses. It’s a great match with both nuts and coconut. A Sauternes from Bordeaux (Lafaurie-Peyraguey or similar style) or a Late Harvest Semillon from Australia are also good complements.
  •  
    The educational fun of a tasting is to be able to compare and contrast different wines with different chocolates, and decide what you like best. That’s more important, after all, than any expert opinion.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Kale Popcorn

    kale-popcorn-bowl-bag-230

    Now, you can have kale with your popcorn!
    Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Quinn Popcorn, developed by a young husband and wife team following all the bad press on microwave popcorn. They:

  • Made the bag without chemical coatings from the bag (PFOA, PFCs, plastic liners, etc.) while creating a grease-proof and compostable microwaveable bag.
  • Eliminated the susceptor (gray metal/plastic patch).
  • Use organic, non-GMO corn, with no preservatives or artificial ingredients; rBGH-free cheeses and expeller pressed oils that are high in omega-3s.
  •  
    In their better-for-you, better-for-the-environment version, you pop the kernels in the microwave, then blend them in a bowl with the oil and seasonings provided in separate packets. It’s a feel-good product, currently available in six microwave flavors:

  • Hickory Smoked Cheddar
  • Just Sea Salt
  • Olive Oil & Herbs
  • Parmesan & Rosemary
  • Real Butter & Sea Salt
  • Vermont Maple & Sea Salt
  •  
    There are also two ready-to-eat flavors, including:

  • Cheddar & Chipotle
  • Kale & Sea Salt
  •  
    For those who need a boost to get on the kale bandwagon, start with a bag of this popcorn with tiny flecks of green, salted with a bit of sweetness.

    The company calls these two flavors “Farm To Bag.” Each bag has a batch number for complete transparency, a first in the snacks industry.

    The line is Certified Non GMO, Certified Gluten Free and whole grain (23g per serving, with 39 calories).

    To learn more or buy online, visit QuinnPopcorn.com.

      

    Comments

    HALLOWEEN: Spooky Spider Biscuits

    Here’s another fun idea for Halloween, courtesy of Certified Angus Beef. They’ve added ground beef to refrigerated biscuit dough, to create a snack, first course or light lunch for kids and adults alike. Adults: These go great with beer!

    RECIPE: SPOOKY SPIDERS GROUND BEEF BISCUITS

    Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 package taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tube (16-ounces) home-style refrigerated biscuit dough
  • Ketchup or barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
  • 16 sliced black or green olives
  • 32 pretzel sticks
  •  

    spooky-spider-biscuits-certifiedangus-230ps

    Spider muffins. Recipe courtesy Certified Angus Beef.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F.

    2. COOK the ground beef and drain the excess fat. Add taco seasoning and water, simmer for 5 minutes and set aside.

    3. SEPARATE the dough into 8 biscuits; place each biscuit into the well of an ungreased large muffin tin. Press the dough firmly into bottom and up the sides of each cup.

    4. Divide the crumbled ground beef evenly into the dough cups. Top the meat with some ketchup or barbecue sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Place two olive slices on the top of each biscuit for the eyes.

    5. BAKE for 20 minutes, or until the biscuit edges are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes; remove from the muffin cups. Stick four pretzel sticks into each side of each biscuit cup for the legs and serve.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Seasonal Breakfast Bread

    pepperidge-farm-pumpkin-spice-swirl-230

    Swirl into holiday season with these delicious
    breads. Photo courtesy Pepperidge Farm.

     

    We just finished our last slices of Pepperidge Farm Blueberry Swirl Bread, a limited edition hoarded from the height of the summer in our freezer.

    Now, we’re moving on to two fall flavors: Caramel Apple Swirl Bread and Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread, both available for a short time this fall.

    They make delicious toast and French toast. As toast, they combine the crunch of toasted bread with the sweetness of a breakfast pastry.

    Check the store locator to see where you can find them.

    And if you can’t find the seasonal specialties, content yourself with the year-round swirls: Cinnamon Swirl, Raisin Cinnamon Swirl, Brown Sugar Cinnamon Swirl and 100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl With Raisins.

    Our goal is to keep an eye out for other seasonal swirl breads, a fun new way to “eat seasonally.”

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Apricot Jam-Glazed Pork Tenderloin Roast

    We’ve been obsessed with pork roast since we saw one made recently on a TV cooking show. We visited two restaurants we’d hoped had it on the menu, but no cigar. We did, however, enjoy a wonderful calamari and Italian sausage with jalapeño, capers and balsamic reduction; and a tasty lamb osso bucco over risotto.

    But we still wanted roast pork.

    So we were happy when Crofter’s Organic sent us an easy recipe that beginning cooks learn: a pork roast glazed with a jar of apricot jam. How could we resist? We called the butcher and had a pork roast delivered that day.

    The apricot jam glaze trick can be used on any meat roast, and it’s tasty and easy. But today’s tip is to be sure that the glaze has more than one-dimensional sweetness—beyond just apricot jam. The fruity glaze in the recipe below is done the right way, with counterpoints of bitter (such as herbs and zest), pungent (such as garlic) and tangy (such as mustard, which also supplies heat).

    You can also use the glaze with chicken, duck or lamb.

    We enjoyed our pork roast with sides of quinoa (you can use any whole grain); cubed, roasted butternut squash (we roasted it along with the tenderloin); and a mixed green salad with dried cranberries and slivered almonds.

       

    apricot-roasted-pork-tenderloin-croftersorganic-230

    Oh, how delicious! Photo of a glazed pork roast courtesy Crofters Organic.

     

    RECIPE: APRICOT GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apricot fruit spread or jam
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • juice of 1/2 orange
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs or leaves
  •  

    crofters-apricot-spread-230

    Fruit spread contains less sugar than jam,
    jelly, marmalade or preserves. Photo
    courtesy Crofters Organic.

     

    Preparation

    1. BLEND all ingredients except wine and pork in a food processor or blender. Place the tenderloin in a cast-iron pan and spoon the mixture over it. Let sit for 1/2 hour at room temperature.

    2. HEAT the oven to 400°F; place the pan in the middle of the oven and sear for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and continue to cook, 25 minutes per pound.

    3. REMOVE cooked tenderloin from the pan and let rest. Meanwhile…

    4. DEGLAZE the pan with 2 tablespoons of white wine. Drizzle over sliced tenderloin and garnish with fresh rosemary.

    Check on the company website for coupons for Crofter’s spreads.

     

    WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JAM & FRUIT SPREAD?

    Crofter’s makes both apricot jam and apricot fruit spread. The difference is in the level of sweetness. Savory recipes like roast pork don’t need the extra sugar, so you can use fruit spread rather than jam.

    Jam consists of chopped, crushed or puréed fruit cooked down with sugar—a recipe as old as refined sugar. Fruit spread began to appear in the 1970s as a reduced-calorie product, made with alternative sweeteners such as juice concentrate.

    There are distinct differences between chutney, conserve, jelly, jams, marmalades and the rest of the sweet spread category. Take a minute and take a look.
     
    MORE WAYS TO USE THE JAM OR FRUIT SPREAD

    Breakfast

  • Hot Cereal. Use a dab of fine jam instead of sugar.
  • Pancake/Waffle Topping. Substitute jam for syrup.
  • Yogurt. Add jam to plain yogurt to customize your perfect fruit yogurt.
  •  
    Lunch

  • Grilled Cheese. Sharp cheeses like blue cheese and Cheddar are perfect pairings for jam. Grill the jam with the cheese or serve it on the side as a condiment. For more flavor, use rye or a textured whole grain bread.
  • Salad Dressing. Warm a spoonful of jam and whisk it into salad dressings.
  • Sandwich Spread. Spread jam on the bread with a sandwich of cheese, ham, lamb, poultry or roast pork. To cut the sweetness, you can mix the jam with plain yogurt.
  •  
    Appetizers/Snacks

  • Canapés. Top a cracker or slice of baguette with cheese, ham, turkey or other favorite and a bit of jam.
  • Cheese Condiment. Wonderful with a cheese plate (more cheese condiments) or atop a baked Brie. The popular appetizer of jam poured over a brick of cream cheese or a log of goat cheese, and served with crackers, is vastly improved with fine jam. On a slightly different note, a dab is delightful with cottage cheese.
  • Dipping Sauce. Mix jam in a small bowl with sriracha, a hot chile and vinegar-sauce; or with plain hot sauce plus vinegar. You can also make a dip with fresh grated ginger and soy sauce.
  • Pepper Jelly. Mix in some red pepper flakes or dried or fresh minced chipotle, jalapeño or other chile (the different chile types).
  • Pretzel or Breadstick Dip. Mix with Dijon or other mustard. For a sweet-and-hot profile, add some hot sauce.
  •  
    Dinner

  • Meat Glaze. Particularly delicious on poultry and pork. Mix with fresh herbs and garlic.
  • Sauce For Meat & Seafood. Use jam with wine or vermouth to deglaze the pan. Add some to the pan while you’re cooking chicken, pork chops, fish, scallops or shrimp and let the flavor coat the meat.
  •  
    Dessert

  • Cheesecake. Fine jam makes a wonderful topping or a condiment on the side.
  • Cookies. Thumbprints and rolled cookies with a jam swirl are classics.
  • Crêpe Filling. Delicious plain or with fresh goat cheese or mascarpone.
  • Dessert Sauce. Mix with plain or vanilla yogurt or sour cream.
  • Ice Cream & Sorbet Topping. Crown a scoop of sorbet with a dab of fine jam. Lightly warm the jam so it flows like a sauce over ice cream.
  • Layer Cake Filling. A coat of jam between the layers is a classic: Think Sacher Torte! Apricot or raspberry jam is delicious with chocolate cake; any flavor works with lemon cake.
  • Tarts & Tartlets. Fill tart or tartlet shells with jam. Top with a dab of crème fraîche, Greek yogurt, mascarpone or sour cream.
  •   

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: Easy Gumbo Recipe With Swanson’s

    Gumbo is a Creole soup from Louisiana, thickened with okra pods. “Gumbo” is an African word for okra.

    Okra came to America with the slave trade and was introduced to the Southern white population by African cooks. As with all recipes, there are regional variations and different styles of gumbo.

    You can toil for many hours to make your gumbo, or you can make this one quickly to celebrate National Gumbo Day, October 12th.

    Made with Swanson Louisana Cajun Flavor Infused Broth, it delivers the taste of New Orleans when combined with your chicken, sausage and vegetables.

    Prep time is 25 minutes, total time is 1 hour, 25 minutes. Serve it at your next get-together.

    RECIPE: EASY CAJUN GUMBO

    Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 pound fresh andouille sausage links*, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 extra large onion, diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
  •    

    gumbo-with-andouille-sausage-swanson-230

    It’s gumbo time! Photo
    courtesy Swanson.

  • 1 carton (32 ounces) Swanson Louisana Cajun Flavor Infused Broth
  • 8 ounces (1/2 of a 16-ounce package) sliced frozen okra (or fresh if you can find it—about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • Optional: hot chile sauce to your desired level of heat
  •  
    Serve With

  • Hot cooked rice (traditional) or other grain
  •  
    *To save time, you can substitute 1 package (12 ounces) fully-cooked andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, for the fresh sausage. Then, skip Step 1 below, and stir the cooked sausage in with the broth in Step 3.

     

    swanson-louisiana-cajun-broth-230

    A great starter to make easy gumbo. Photo
    courtesy Swanson.

     

    Preparation

    1. HEAT 2 tablespoons oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until well browned, stirring occasionally. Remove the sausage from the saucepan and drain on paper towels. Do not pour off the drippings from the saucepan.

    2. REDUCE the heat to medium-low. Stir the remaining oil and the flour in the saucepan. Cook for 30 minutes or until the flour mixture is dark brown, stirring occasionally.

    3. Stir the onion, celery and pepper in the saucepan and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the broth, okra, chicken and sausage and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
     
    MORE GUMBO RECIPES

  • A gumbo recipe from Chef Emeril Lagasse
  • A gumbo recipe from Chef David Venable
  •  

    CAJUN VS. CREOLE: THE DIFFERENCE

    Some people think of Creole cuisine as “city food” and Cajun cuisine as “country food.” But to eyeball the dish and tell its provenance, here’s a simple trick:

    Creole cuisine uses tomatoes and Cajun food typically does not. That’s how to distinguish a Cajun gumbo or jambalaya from a Creole gumbo or jambalaya.

    “Creole” referred to people who were born to settlers in French colonial Louisiana, specifically in New Orleans. In the 18th, century Creoles were the descendants of the French and Spanish upper class that ruled the city.

    Cajuns, on the other hand, emigrated from the Acadia region of Canada, which consisted of present-day New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. They settled in the swampy region of Louisiana that is today known as Acadiana; their name, “les Acadians,” became shortened in the vernacular as “Cajun.”

    Enjoy a deeper discussion at LouisianaTravel.com.

     
    CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SOUP IN OUR SOUP GLOSSARY.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Fall Mocktail

    Two days we presented an extensive drink menu for a Halloween cocktail party. But what do you serve the non-drinkers and the kids?

    Fall mocktails, of course. You can find many of them online.

    For starters, here’s a recipe full of fall flavor: apple, cinnamon and ginger, courtesy of Reed’s Ginger Brew, which has a portfolio of ginger beers from plain, in different strengths, to cherry and raspberry.

    RECIPE: APPLE GINGER MOCKTAIL

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • Reed’s Spiced Apple Ginger Brew or other ginger beer
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Optional: splash of grenadine for color
  • Ice cubes
  • Cocktail option: 2 ounces apple schnapps (liqueur), applejack or Calvados (apple brandy)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. FILL a tumbler with ice. Pour in Spiced Apple Ginger Brew and optional alcohol.

    2. STIR with a cinnamon stick and serve.

       

    cider-mocktail-reedsgingerbrew-230

    Looking delicious: a fall mocktail of ginger beer with apple and cinnamon notes. Photo courtesy Reed’s Ginger Brew.

     

     

    reeds-spiced-apple-4-pack-230

    Reed’s seasonal six-pack. Photo courtesy
    Reed’s Ginger Brew.

     

    WHAT IS GINGER BEER

    Ginger ale is carbonated water simply fllavored with sugar and ginger flavoring. Ginger beer, on the other hand, is brewed for deeper and more complex flavors and a sizzling ginger “burn.”

    The basic recipe combines ginger, sugar, water, lemon or lime juice (for an acidic pH balance) and the ginger beer plant, a fungus that contains specific yeast and bacteria that aid fermentation. Other live cultures can be substituted, including brewers’ or bakers’ yeast, lactic acid bacteria, kefir grains or tibicos, another culture of bacteria and yeasts.

    Brewers can add citrus zest, cayenne pepper and other hot spices, and blend-ins from nettle or dandelion beers.

    After a few days of fermentation, you’ve got ginger beer, effervescent with natural carbon dioxide (as in the fermentation of beer).

    Ginger beer originated in England, where it can be made with an alcohol content of up to 11%, or with no alcohol at all. In the U.S., it is typically found as an alcohol-free soft drink.

     

      

    Comments

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