Taste of Home Field Editor, Pam Brooks, shares her story and recipe, for a sweet and delicious cocktail. Happy Friday!
Maybe it’s been the unusually warm weather. Or the spanking brand-new camper waiting for us at the campground, but I suspect it’s the fact that I’m neck-deep at work and overwhelmed at school that makes me wish for DITW and the long, lazy weekends of swimming, hiking and well, drinking. Tomorrow…we open up the camper and start another season of camping!
DITW is short for “Drinking in the Woods”. We keep our camper at a Western Maine campground, where we move in each weekend and sit around the campfire and relax. We call it ‘camping’, but one of our more astute friends pointed out that we’re simply ‘drinking in the woods’. My sidekick, Irene is game for about any drink I think up or find, and we rate the drinks based on taste, color, and impact. Irene and I got confused with the red, green, silver and gold star rating last year, so I’m going to propose that we go back to the 1-4 star rating. I can’t keep the colors straight in my head, and if a drink plain sucks, I don’t want to have to worry about affixing the correct color star so I don’t make the mistake of mixing it up again.
We have a theme. Martinis. Last year’s tequila theme was more than we could handle…or actually less than we could handle because there’s only so much you can do with tequila. We got bored after about three weeks in with just the few choices we came up with. Since many of you know I have the attention span of your average six year old, I had to come up with a DITW theme this year that would be varied enough to hold my interest long enough to mix the drink in the first place, and lucky for me this year, there are as many martinis as there are flavors of liquor.
I discovered this when I googled “flavored vodka.” Besides your usual vodka flavors of lemon, raspberry and vanilla, did you know they have chocolate, wild berry, Atomic Hots, Berry, Blueberry, Cake, Cherry, Cherry Lemonade, Cherry Whipped, Coconut, Cookie Dough, Cotton Candy, Grape, Gummy, Kiwi-Strawberry, Le Double Espresso, Mango, Marshmallow, Orange, Orange Whipped, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Raspberry, Tropical Punch, Vanilla, Whipped Cream, and Whipped Key Lime????… holy hen turd (as my father would say), I’ve died and gone to heaven. Cookie Dough Vodka? All’s I can say is that someone at the distillery is a genius.
Once the excitement died down about the vodka, I took another peek at Mixology, a free smart-phone app I have that allows you to search for mixed drinks by liquor, mixer, and even by what you’ve got at your own bar. You even shake your phone to the sound of ice tinkling in the glass, and a random drink pops up, if you’re too lazy to actually do a search.
Just so you don’t think I’ve been slacking before camping starts, let me tell you about a nice treat I had this past weekend….we had a cookout at the home of one of my high school friends who (according to my sons), I’ve known since the dinosaurs ruled the earth…..and she shared a shot called “Carrot Cake”. Mix equal parts Bailey’s Irish Cream and Buttershots (butterscotch schnapps). Then add a quick splash of Hot Damn (cinnamon schnapps). This really tastes like a carrot cake, but you want to stick with the shot, because it’s quite sweet. It was a 3.5 (out of four stars!) Yum, and thanks to my friend Rosie, who I’ve been drinking with since, well, high school!
With all of this new mixology knowledge, I should be all set to entertain the DITW team (and anyone else who reads this nonsense…) throughout the summer and fall months.
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