Popcorn & Banana Tic Tac Vodka

….made with Minions!!

Here’s one I’ve been meaning to post up for a little while, now finally online in time for ‘National Vodka Day’ (seriously though, who makes these days??) – popcorn and banana flavoured vodka, made using Tic Tacs. The latter was made using Minion Tic Tacs – their sacrifice shall not be in vain!

For the popcorn-flavoured vodka, I poured one container’s worth of Tic Tacs into the bottle, then just a little extra from another container, then allowed to brew.

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Around 90 minutes later, it looked like this….

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Then the following day, it looked like this….

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To play it safe, I decided to allow it to brew for another day, then moved on to the next one.

For the banana-flavoured vodka, I added about half of a large container, equivalent of a regular sized one. A little less may have sufficed, as it left more to filter out, but it was still worth it.

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I ended up having bits of Minion floating around….

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A few days later, both had the right scent – just needed to be filtered and taste-tested.

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Given that this was my first attempt at flavouring vodka, I was quite pleased with how they turned out, having tasted both. Still need to try these out on friends, hope they’re ready….

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Bakewell Tart shot

For National Amaretto Day

I heard that it was National Amaretto Day today via Twitter, so thought I’d share this quick and simple one today – a ‘Bakewell Tart Shot’, created to taste just like the popular cherry-topped tart.

Simply pour a shot of Disaronno Amaretto into a glass, and add a dash of Grenadine. Combining the almond and raspberry flavours, you’ll notice the similarity. Cherry optional!

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Hope you’re enjoying the themed shots I’ve posted, there will be more to come.

How To Make Minion & Frozen Shots

Let It Flooowww

These were actually among the first themed shots that I created last year, when I started to play around with shots using popular culture as inspiration, so thought it was about time I posted them up here.

The ‘Minion’ shot

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Banana juice
Orange juice
Blue Curacao

I’ve made a whole load of cocktails using banana juice (also very nice on its own), this was the first shot. Mix two parts banana juice with one part orange juice, just enough to get a bolder yellow colour, then add a dash of Blue Curacao.

The ‘Frozen’ shot

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This actually happened after a request from a friend, a fan of Frozen, to make one based on the animated film.

Simply a measure of Bitter Lemon, with a dash of Blue Curacao.

Have fun trying these, there will be more to come.

——

For those curious:

Banana juice cocktails – https://randomkitchenexperiments.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/banana-juice-and-coconut-rum-cocktails/

Other themed shots:

Sweet/candy shop shots – https://randomkitchenexperiments.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/sweet-shop-shots-part-1/

Austin 3:16 –
https://randomkitchenexperiments.wordpress.com/2016/02/24/the-austin-316-shot/

Chocolate Egg Shots (+ drinking game)

Drinking to eggs-cess? (I apologise for nothing)

It’s a little late for Easter this year, but you can still try this any time of the year – using a surprise egg as a shot glass. It’s an idea a friend of mine once tried, and I knew I just had to give it a go when I saw the photo they’d uploaded. At the time though, I didn’t realise it can be tricky getting a photo of a perfect half!

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I used Jaffa Cake flavoured schnapps for this, which conveniently looked like egg yolk in the photos….

I didn’t just try this with a Kinder Egg – I also tried this with another variety (an Avengers one, for those curious, I couldn’t resist!), which brings me to the next part….

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The ‘Mystery Shot’ drinking game

Here’s a game to try with friends, using the case from a surprise egg. You’ll need at least two, but I’d say around four or five would be ideal. Pour a different shot in each one, close then mix them about and see what you get. Each one of these is large enough to hold a shot’s worth of alcohol.

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Obviously it’s more of a mystery if you use a few cases of the same colour, or spirits of similar colour, this is just to show that you can use either Kinder cases (which won’t actually leak, despite their appearance) or another variety.

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This bottom one contains Sour Blueberry flavoured Mickey Finn.

Feeling tempted? Have fun!

Cocktail Jelly Cubes

Here’s a test run for an idea I made up as I went along – thought it might be a good idea to use for summer gatherings or for parties with friends. It’s simple enough but has to be prepared over a couple of days. I had originally hoped I’d get a marbled effect, but upon realising that that idea needed more work, I improvised and instead decided to go for a layered look. Here’s the method I used.

I used:
1 Orange jelly
A few cubes from a Blackcurrant jelly
Grenadine
Blue Curacao
1 ice cube tray
Drinking straws

Make the orange jelly as instructed on the packet.

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Being very careful to pour (or use either a spoon or smaller jug), pour a little of the jelly into each empty compartment, to around halfway.

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Then (and here it can get messy, so lay some kitchen towel down first!), drip a little Grenadine and/or Curacao into each – I opted to use the straw method to achieve this (place the end of the drinking straw in the bottle, place a thumb over one end, then draw out the straw, slowly releasing over each cube). The Grenadine will instantly form a layer at the bottom, whilst the Blue Curacao will form a wispy effect – it’ll need further tinkering to get it to set this way.

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Place in the fridge, keeping flat at all times. OPTIONAL PART – a few hours later or the following day, add a few drops of Curacao as an extra layer. Given time, it will set with the jelly, but leave for a few hours at least before adding the extra jelly on top. Leave overnight if chosing to do this the same day as the first jelly layer.

Next, take just three blocks of your second jelly, and melt down in around 100ml of water. Allow this jelly mixture to cool to room temperature, then carefully spoon onto each jelly cube. Place back in the fridge, again leave in overnight.

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You should hopefully end up with something like this!

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I’m happy with this result, so it’s an idea I’ll try again, continuing to tinker with it. For serving suggestions, I’d suggest placing a couple of cubes in a glass with some cream soda, or serving with some ice cream as part of an adult’s dessert, or simply as a substitute for a shot/jelly shot.

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Vodka Trifle

A party favourite for grown-ups

This was the first improvised recipe I ever tried out, starting out with something simple, when making the jump from just experimenting with cocktails. The first time I made it, for a friend’s party, I had my friends coming back for seconds, with one friend requesting that I make it when she eventually get married. I’m gonna need a bigger bowl….! I have since made it again for friends and family on request. It goes without saying that as this trifle contains vodka, keep it away from little ones! Also, despite the fact that I use two types of vodka here, it is not used to be overpowering – more as an extra flavour, something to give it a more adult appeal. A trifle is really easy to make, but I have nonetheless still described each stage.

I couldn’t resist using silver pearls (dragees) as a topping – as a child, I was confused by the concept of a decoration that resembled metal, yet was edible. To add to the appeal, they also featured during one episode of Doctor Who, where the Doctor refered to them as “edible ball bearings” – a phrase I’ve continued to use!

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For this recipe, you’ll need:

Around 210g of seedless grapes (amount can be adapted to suit preference), washed
1 Blackcurrant Jelly
12 sponge fingers
A 1kg carton of custard (or equivalent homemade if prefered)
A pack of Banana-flavoured angel delight/instant whip
Peach-flavoured vodka
Vanilla vodka
Silver pearls (cake topping)/Dragees AKA the “edible ball bearings”
Optional – any further toppings you wish to use

Make up the jelly mix as stated on the packet, and pour into a large dish/container. Add the grapes to the jelly, enough to appear evenly spread (though there will be some shifting when setting), also taking care not to add too many as this will prevent/delay it setting properly. Add one or two shots’ worth of peach vodka, and then place in the fridge, to set overnight.

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For the next layer, place some of the sponge fingers on a plate or dish, then carefully pour a tiny amount of vanilla vodka around the fingers, so that they soak up the vodka – tilting the plate around a little will help with this, and you only need a small amount to do this, not too much to be overpowering. Place the fingers on top of the jelly, and if desired, drip any remaining vodka on top, as pictured.

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Then gradually pour the custard over the sponge fingers, taking care to ensure it is poured evenly and no air bubbles remain, also making sure that any sponge fingers don’t float up. At this point, you may wish to add anything extra into the custard, choc chips/strands etc. Then place back in the fridge for the time being.

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Prepare the instant whip/angel delight mix as normal – I prefer to add more milk than the 300ml stated on the pack, to ensure it spreads evenly. Spoon the topping onto the trifle, spreading evenly with no gaps.

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Then sprinkle the pearls on top, and any further toppings you wish, like the more traditional hundreds and thousands. Done!

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At my friend's housewarming party, before seconds were requested.

At my friend’s housewarming party, before seconds were requested.

Had to share this one - by this time, we'd run out of bowls, so used glasses instead.

Had to share this one – by this time, we’d run out of bowls, so used glasses instead.

I hope you find this recipe appealing, and get as much satisfaction from it as myself, my friends and family did!

Bangers and mash, with a twist!

Pork sausage balls with sweet & sour sauce and spring onion, on a sage and onion mash potato cake.

Here’s proof that not all experiments turn out as hoped, but without necessarily being a failure as such – some might call this a ‘deconstruction’! A friend showed me this recipe recently http://marinecorpsnomads.com/2012/09/shepherds-pie-cupcakes.html, and I couldn’t resist attempting to put my own twist on it, using the ‘cupcake idea’ but creating my own recipe for it. Whilst it might not quite have gone to plan (made some rookie mistakes), the end result was still enjoyable – it was less a ‘cupcake’ and more a meatball. Nonetheless, a recipe I will revisit, with some tweaking.

You’ll need:

About 8oz of potatoes (around 4 large potatoes), mashed – this makes six potato cakes
Sage and onion stuffing
2 spring onions, chopped
2 375g packs of pork sausage meat – this makes nine meatballs
One sachet of sweet and sour sauce (or any S&S sauce, but leave out the pineapple and water chestnuts, unless you wish to use them)
Margarine
Optional – two eggs (you’ll see why below)

For the sage & onion Potato cakes:

Boil and mash the potatoes as normal, with a little margarine. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5 (375f). Prepare some stuffing (how much you use will really come down to personal taste) and mix into the mash. Using a pastry cutter, mould the mash into circular shapes on a greased tray, as shown. Put in the oven, middle tray, for about 20 minutes.

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I was most satisfied with how these turned out – eaten hot or cooled to room temperature, these were very nice.

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For the sausage balls:

The method for these was improvised on the spot. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 (375f). With great care, open the sausage meat packs into a bowl. Add the chopped spring onions, and mix. Add in some of (not all of) the sweet and sour sauce, and stir in, and if desired, continue to add in a little more, stirring in each time until thoroughly mixed. Spoon the sausage mix into a greased cupcake tray to fill each mould. Now the mistake I made here was not using eggs to bind the meat together, which would’ve helped to keep the cupcake shape, but if you wish create a meatball shape, these won’t be necessary. Also bear in mind there will be some shrinkage.
Put in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, then with some care, turn them over and repeat, to get a nice golden colour on both sides. I shall be aiming to tweak this method in future, seeing if I can reduce the cooking time, so if you try this for yourself you may wish to play with the cooking times.

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A new twist on an old recipe – deconstructed bangers and mash, anyone? Enjoy!

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