Olivia Dish

Archive for the ‘Beverages’ Category

Variations on a Snow Cream

In Beverages, Homemade, Sweets on January 10, 2011 at 8:21 pm

A bowl of snowy goodness

I’ve never understood the attraction of snow cream. In my experience, it always turned out a watery, milky mess.  Once I tried pouring maple syrup over snow, the way they did in Little House on the Prairie (the book is one of my major culinary influences, by the way), hoping to get some kind of frozen candy effect. Nothing.

snowy backyard

A snowy day in the South is always a holiday.

Over Christmas, my mom was recalling the joys of snow cream in her youth. “We didn’t have ice cream all the time, so it was a real treat for us,” she said. Today, we have plenty of snow to burn, so I decided to set past disappointments aside and give it a go. I mixed sugar and a bit of vanilla bean into milk. I scooped up a big bowl of snow from my backyard. Then I combined to make a slushy. It was pretty decent, sort of a milky granita.

Which got me thinking about other possibilities.  How about espresso and snow?  Or bourbon and snow?  A day of experimenting lay ahead…

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The Bourbon (Street) Cure

In Beverages, Homemade, New Orleans, Restaurant on November 22, 2010 at 11:50 pm
A Gold Rush

DIY Gold Rush: aka "the cure"

I blame my present cold on Bourbon Street. Now bourbon, it seems, will cure me–thanks to a little recipe I happened across in the Wall Street Journal this morning.

The drink that has set my sinuses free: the Gold Rush.

It does all seem just a bit too neat, doesn’t it? (Well, except for the pile of tissues but let’s not dwell on that.) My work took me to New Orleans, where I was assigned to a perfectly fine hotel room with one awful attribute: it was on a third floor overlooking Bourbon Street. The music from the bar across the street was so loud that I had to take my phone into the hallway in order to hear.

Two nights of no sleep had given my tiny sniffle a toehold. So here I sat, back home at my computer, half-working with a head so stuffed it felt it might explode. I saw the wsj.com video of a bartender making a Gold Rush and decided, come evening, that might be just the thing for me.

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My Little Limoncello

In Beverages, Homemade on July 31, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Why limoncello packs a punch

Global warming made me do it.

Made me drive over to the liquor emporium and buy my first ever bottle of Everclear. (How was I lucky enough to miss out on that in my youth?)

Made me skin lemons and steep the rinds.

Yes, global warming is the reason I’m stewing up a batch of limoncello crema in my kitchen.

Making limoncello is fairly easy. What’s not so easy is finding the definitive recipe.  I stumbled across one on NPR’s website, while I was tracking down a story about climate change. Limoncello crema sounded delicious. And doable. So I started assembling the ingredients.  But then, a closer look and my questioning began.

The original recipe calls for not one, but TWO bottles of Everclear. A 5-pound bag of sugar. A half gallon of milk. It seemed huge, too sweet, too Evercleary.  I googled and the questions only multiplied.

“Never use Everclear.”
“We only use high-quality vodka.”
“Never use vodka.”
“We always use Everclear or some other pure grain alcohol.”


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Taste Test: Sports Drinks

In Beverages, Homemade, Taste Tests on August 25, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Gatorade Alternatives

After my lousy 17-mile training run, I conceded that maybe I need a little more than water to keep me going.  But I can’t bring myself to drink Gatorade.  Don’t know why.  Maybe it’s the color.

So I started looking around for an alternative, something that offered replenishment, something that’s flavor wouldn’t make me gag.

Online, I found a recipe for a homemade sports drink–basically water with a splash of orange juice, a spoon of sugar and a pinch of salt.  It was drinkable if not wildly delicious.

Then I found two more options at a grocery store–coconut water and a natural sports drink.  I gave them a try this morning, after a run.

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