Cuz it’s Summertime! Will Smith’s finest – second only to the bare chest scene from Bad Boys… but i digress.
She’s here! She’s here!
I’m telling y’all… I have waaaaayyy too many flavor combinations in my head. This is just a couple of the flavors I’ve been tossing around in this crazy brain of mine. What doesn’t help is my instagram feed is 50% bars and spirits companies constantly giving me suggestions of cocktails to try and emulate. Madness, i tell you, sheer madness!
As a foodie, i have an entire catalog of flavors in my head. You remember the card catalog at the library, right? or am i dating myself? (History lesson: before Google, before the interwebs, there were “books” that contained everything in the world you needed to know. These books were housed on thousands of shelves in buildings called “libraries”. And there were file cabinets called “card catalogs” that you had to comb through to figure out which shelf the book was on in the massive expanse of the building. Finding the card in the catalog was an adventure in and of itself… Go watch Inside Out to get a visual of the system. I’m actually surprised at how accurate it is.) But i digress from my digression. Imagine each drawer is a different flavor. Each card is a variation of that flavor. Then you cross-reference this flavor with that flavor from that other drawer and you get a whole new flavor. And keep doing that until you go a little bit crazy. Yeah, that’s my brain. I’ve stuffed squid with mushroom butternut risotto and covered it in a cream sauce. I’ve cooked berries with orange juice and cinnamon just because, duh. I’ve got recipes and combinations of things that don’t make good sense, but taste great. Same with cocktails. Sparkling wine and Kool-aid? College standard. Beer and 7-up? Shandy! Any fruit juice with vodka and soda? Spritz away! So now, in cross-referencing the “sweet flavors” drawer with the “alcohol” drawer, insanity ensues…
This is how my feature flavor menus are born. Summer is all about light and fruity flavors, so i combine this fruit with that cake with “spin the wheel and pick a liquor”. I told you my husband is a compulsive buyer, right? I’m real close to banning him from liquor stores simply because he brings home the oddest, off-radar liquors simply because he likes the bottles. The reason i won’t completely put the kibosh on his spending is because he makes me think, discover and create (see Summertime and Jubilee above). It doesn’t make sense to have a whole bottle of something distilled, aged or fermented sitting on my shelf and not doing something with it. My mom’s even in on the game (see Stella above). It’s because of my son that my brunch menu came to fruition. Seriously, who puts liquor in waffles? No, he didn’t, i did, but it was his idea… But this is how my brain works. It’s constantly putting flavors together to keep you intrigued and surprised.
The premium batter upgrade is essential to this process. There are some things that can’t be accomplished with just a few ingredients. Take my Hipster Juice for example. Hippie Juice (the original cocktail) was watermelon vodka, coconut rum and pink lemonade. Flippin delicious! But to achieve an approximate flavor in the cake, I had to change up the liquors. Watermelon margarita mix provides an intensified watermelon flavor, the citrus tang of triple sec and a healthy shot of Cuervo 1800, while the vodka brings a subtle coconut flavor, allowing the watermelon to be the star. A couple drops of grenadine and fresh squeezed lemon juice will turn this super rich batter. Could this be accomplished with my original batter? Not well because of the increased liquid content (I rarely use extracts or other flavorings, instead opting for the original spirit straight from the bottle and juices directly from the fruit). It’s necessary to change up the dry ingredients to handle all that goodness. Result: you get a richer, moister, bigger and more flavorful cake!
Think i’m gonna go watch Bad Boys again… and then I Am Legend. But totally not After Earth. Peace out!