Sunday, October 31, 2010

Putting Up Beverages!

Isn't the Anisette a festive color?
Happy Halloween!

So while the garden is quiet, I’ve managed to cast about for new projects on the domestic front, don’t worry Martha, I’m not gunning for you at all.

To that end, I finally managed to take a few moments to make Paul Prudhomme’s non-alcoholic Anisette as my offering for an upcoming Southern/Creole/Cajun exchange.

I know there won’t be too many things I can have because everyone knows they even put pork in the sweet tea in the south.

So I decided I would do my darndest to impress this northern bunch, I think one’s from Florida, but that doesn’t necessarily count as the south to my mind, and one-up those coming with offerings of corn bread, read beans & rice, gumbo, and sweet potato pie.

No run-of-the-mill, albeit beloved, sweet tea would I bring. So I rummaged through one of two lone Southern cookbooks and found this ruby-colored gem in the Prudhomme book. The recipe itself is a simple boiling of sugar and water then adding anise oil***, vanilla, and red food coloring. But it actually requires a “curing” in that once made and stored in canning jars (at least it doesn’t require processing) it can’t be consumed for at least two weeks. It is good for 6 months. Drawback: It must be cured in your fridge.

I’ll admit, I’m not a lover of licorice, but uncured this tastes mildly of Robitussin cough syrup. It actually has my mind spinning because it was rather refreshing. Even DH after tasting it uncured and responding with “blech!” then a few moments later said, "yeah, that could be quite good on ice."

I think Anisette is one of those drinks that you have to think about before you give it a thumbs up.  It's simple ingredients really pack some complexity into a beverage.  I’m already looking for more space in the refrigerator to put up some more of this for Thanksgiving. I also think it makes a lovely offering as, “not- another- jar- of- jam” or holiday cookie offering (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
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*** Anise Oil can mar plastic, so you should use wood, metal, or glass when working with this drink

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