Thursday, July 10, 2014

a summer libation (hold the booze)

Oh man. It's a hot summer night and I want something cool and interesting to drink. Something that comes over ice. Something that involves bitters, or maybe an herbal-infused simple syrup ... but then, it's so hot out and I've been feeling kind of on the verge of dehydration all day from the heat, you know? And I just know that if I have any alcohol at all tonight, it's going to leave me feeling fuzzy and limp, and I might even wake up with a tinge of a hangover - yuck, no thank you!

So, I give you: the Virgin Dark & Stormy. It's easy as pie to whip up: in a glass with three or four ice cubes, combine one bottle of strong ginger ale (I like Reed's Extra Ginger Brew), the juice of one lime, and - here's the neat part - about 1 Tablespoon of molasses, to simulate that deep sugarcane sweetness of rum. I recommend starting with less molasses (closer to 1/2 Tbl) and working up to 1 Tbl or more, adjusting the flavor to your taste.

When I'm making an alcoholic Dark & Stormy, my favorite rum to use is Cruzan's Blackstrap Molasses Rum; it's deep and dark and earthy and herbal. So, when I mix up one of these, I use blackstrap molasses - and a heavy hand with it. It gives that same earthy quality to the mix that I like. And if you're not abstaining entirely from alcohol, try adding a few drops of bitters (orange or lime bitters would be great), just to give it an extra interesting kick!

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