Suzi's Blog

Apricot and Lemon and Habanero Honey Cooler

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“Do you crave a drink in the morning,” the doctor asked me.

I was having a home physical from my insurance company. They wanted to know my drinking habits. I pondered how to answer. Time, finally time for the truth. I summoned my courage.

“In the morning? I’ll kill anyone between me and macchiato.” I did not discuss my ultimate need for freshly squeezed orange juice. There is doctor-patient privacy and then there is just privacy.

Thing is, my favorite beverages number many that are sans alcohol. I know that alcohol can be an enhancement, that it can provide that the “jolt” that is quest many of us actually are pursuing when we drink. The caffeine in the macchiato is such a mechanism. So is the acid in the orange juice.

So here is how to get a jolt with Habanero Honey Syrup.

Yesterday, when posted this Habanero Honey Syrup, I suggested it should replace simple syrup in beverages like a margarita.

Here’s a non-alcoholic combination. Incorporate the syrup with apricot jam and lemon juice. Shake, stir, chill and imbibe.

This is my riff on the Sailing Off, a mocktail from Food & Wine Cocktails 2013. That recipe called for a 3-to-2 mix of lemon juice with ginger beer. I do like my ginger ale, and I might try adding ginger beer someday, but I just found this all too good sans ginger.

Oh, yes, I find the term “mocktail” incredibly derogatory. I know it is meant to be positive, but “mock” is mired in shadows that cannot be lit.

Apricot and Lemon and Habanero Honey Cooler

Yield: 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce habanero honey syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • Ice

Preparation:

Place the three ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice. Shake. Keep shaking. The syrup is viscous, the preserves doubly so, but that lemon juice and your shaking will quite thoroughly achieve liquefaction.

Use delicately. It’s hot.

 

Source: Food & Wine Cocktails 2013

Photo Information [top picture]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/10th second at ISO-3200

 

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Habanero and Honey Syrup: A Beverage Booster

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Habaneros are hot. That we all know. In 2000, with its Scoville scale of 100,00-350,000, the habanero was considered the world’s hottest chili. Thanks to genetic engineering, and perhaps man’s endless quest for pain, the habanero has been displaced from the top of that list. But never from our hearts.

This particular pepper originated in the Amazon, then spread north in the Americas and ultimately worldwide. In the 18th century, taxonomist thought the pepper came from China, hence its Latin name Capscum chinense [the Chinese pepper]. It’s American. South American. Oh, it is closely related to, but not the same as, the Scotch Bonnet.

How can we use something so potent? Let’s, let’s drink it.

Combine habanero and honey to forge a Habanero Honey Syrup. And then, unleash the dogs of war.

Well, war may be too awkward a term here. How about: rich and rapturous flavor enhancement. If you have read this blog before, you understand that when it comes to cocktails, I adopt a classic approach: a liqueur, something sour, and something sweet.

Now, let’s shift to something sweet and hot. Use this syrup in a margarita in place of simple sugar syrup. In that combination, that syrup first strikes the tongue as sweet, because it is loaded with honey. Then the tequila and lime/lemon flavors approach. But the aftertaste now is not lingering tequila. It is a rush of heat from that habanero that lingers pleasantly.

This syrup is a reward you should engage. And, if margaritas are not your beverage of preference, then tomorrow you’ll see the Habanero-Honey Syrup used without alcohol but with total satisfaction.

Honey Habanero Syrup

Yield: ~11 ounces

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup honey
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon dried habanero [available at Latin markets]

Preparation:

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of honey. Add the dried habanero. Bring to a boil, simmer for about 10 minutes, the let cool. Strain into a jar and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Use delicately. It’s hot.

 

Source: Food & Wine Cocktails 2013 and Wikipedia

Photo Information [top picture]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/10th second at ISO-3200