Last weekend I escaped to Boston, and this weekend I escaped to NYC. Two of my three favorite cities in two weeks? The summer is surely off to a fabulous start.
Be on the lookout for two upcoming "What I've Been Eating" reviews: one for Western Mass and one for the excellent food I had over the weekend in NYC. My friends took my newfound foodie-ness into consideration and picked a fantastic restaurant to lunch at. I cannot wait to tell you guys about it! They even gave me a recipe for a signature dish on my way out, so I'm hoping I can accompany the review with the recipe :) I'll probably save the NYC post for next week though, since my mom and I are going back next Saturday on a bus trip and hopefully I'll get in another meal or two to talk about. Now that I know the city is SO accessible by a combo of car and train--I've only ever taken a bus there and it takes FOREVER--I plan on returning as much as I can.
|Random square of grass in the middle of the street in Brooklyn...|
In other news, I have a sizable summer reading agenda. First, some pleasure reading:
|Strange Coincidence: Bought that Ray Bradbury book the day before|
And then, some "business reading"--aka, books I bought to help me improve my blog, scan for recipes, and teach myself food photography. I'm hoping once the play I'm in is over (anyone in Western Mass? Check it out!) I can really buckle down and study these books. My friend Sarah over at A Dash and a Pinch is making excellent progress with her photography already. We've been acquiring equipment and study materials at the same rate and discussing the process with each other. It's cool to have another fledgling blogger to share ideas with. Also, the Sunday Brunch is a book I'm going to review in the near future, so long as I can find a friend's house to make brunch at. Thanks again, Lisa!
So. About this drink.
If you asked me why I like True Blood, I couldn't tell you. I'm not usually a fan of supernatural-based stories, I have never read the books, I hate Twilight with a burning passion, some of the episodes are so incredibly cheesy I literally laugh out loud, and while most of my friends gush over Erik and Bill it wasn't until last season that I found a character I thought was even remotely attractive (Ohhh Alcide...). But every summer Sunday I find myself rushing to the tv to watch it with my stepdad. It's a guilty pleasure for sure.
I came up with the idea for this drink MONTHS ago. I wanted to do something with blood oranges, specifically a drink I could sip on during the premiere of True Blood--because what other beverage is more apt than one with BLOOD in the title? Sadly, blood oranges are rather hard to come by, and the only place I could find that even carries them only does so in season and the season was over in April. So I hung my head and decided a True Blood themed post was not in the cards.
Luckily, today while shopping for a potluck dish I came across Trop 50's Red Orange Juice--close enough! My brain started reeling and I rushed around the store, brainstorming and picking up and putting down various ingredients. I think Vampire "Bite" is a most apt name--the jalapeno simple syrup gives a spicy kick to the otherwise sweet citrus cocktail.
BTW. I am seriously pumped for this season. I don't wanna give away any spoilers for people who haven't seen it yet, so that's all I'll say ;)
Vampire Bite Cocktail
(Makes 1 serving. Entirely conceived by me!)
- 1 1/2 to 2 oz vodka (I used raspberry)
- 1 tsp (or more) jalapeno simple syrup--see recipe below
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 2 oz blood orange juice (fresh squeezed will get you an awesome bloody color, but if it's way past blood orange season look for Trop 50's Red Orange juice or a similar substitute in flavor and a bit more of an orange color)
- 2 oz sparkling soda (I found blood orange sparkling juice, win)
- Lime slices and jalapeno slices, for garnish
-Place 2 slices of jalapeno in bottom of glass. Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and pour into glass. Or, if you do not have a shaker (I don't) then mix well and pour over ice. Garnish with lime slice and jalapeno slice.
Jalapeno Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
-Microwave jalapeno slices until juicy--about 20 seconds. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Let simmer until jalapenos are soft. Strain and keep refrigerated until use. Use within 3 days.