Springtime Adult Beverages

Everyone should know that “adult beverage” translates to “alcoholic drinks”. The following recipes have been gleaned from several sources, including a local grocery circular. They all have some appeal to us, and so we share them with our readers.
POMEGRANITE VODKA COCKTAIL
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients 
4 oz. orange juice
6 oz. 100% pomegranate juice
2 oz. lime juice
8 oz. Absolut Vodka
3 Tbsp. superfine caster sugar
½ Tbsp. ginger juice
1 orange, sliced and quartered

Directions 
Whisk together all ingredients to combine.

Divide among 4 glasses and serve over ice, or pour into a pitcher and pour over ice as needed.

Add a wedge of orange to the rim of the glass for a festive addition.

 

FIZZ BOMB
Hands-on Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients 
4 tablespoons powdered lemonaid
½ cup water
4-6 ounces tequila ro vodka
4 cups lemon sparkling water or ginger ale
8 scoops lemon sorbet

Directions 
Place lemonade mix into a pitcher and add plain water, stirring until dissolved.

Add sparkling water and alcohol. Pour into glasses.

Top each glass with 2 scoops lemon sorbet. Enjoy immediately!

Leave out the tequila for a great virgin drink.
SWEET BOURBON MOJITO
Hands-on Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients per drink 
8 fresh mint leaves
1 Tbsp turbinado (raw) sugar
½ ounces club soda, chilled
Ice cubes
3½ ounces bourbon
¼ tsp almond extract
1½ ounces pineapple juice
2 tsp pure maple syrup
Pineapple wedge for garnish

Directions
Muddle mint leaves with sugar and club soda, then pour mixture into a cocktail shaker.

Add the bourbon, extract, juice and syrup. Shake well, then strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.

Garnish with a pineapple wedge.
BLOODHOUND WITH JERKY
Hands-on Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients 
3 cups tomato juice
2 tsp. prepared horseradish
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp. ground celery seeds
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 large dash Tabasco sauce
Celery salt or kosher salt
Lime wedges
Ice cubes
6-8 oz. vodka
4 sticks beef jerky (I like Jack Links)

Directions 
In a large pitcher, combine tomato juice, horseradish, Worcestershire, lemon juice, celery seeds, pepper and Tabasco. Stir well.

Place celery salt or kosher salt on a small plate. Rim 4 glasses with the lime wedges and dip the rims, coating well.

Fill the glasses with ice and divide the vodka among them. Pour in the tomato juice mixture.

Garnish each drink with a beef jerky stick.

For an added treat, garnish with a skewer of grape tomato, beef jerky, and a mild or hot pepper. This garnish adds more color as well as a dash of panache.

 

Remember, always drink responsibly!

— Ann Cathey

BBQ Chocolate!

Bar-B-Que or BBQ is a great tradition among the southern states in the US, from Kansas down to Texas and all the way to the Virginias. Each region has it’s own way of making BBQ sauce (sweet, spicy, savory, thick, thin…) and different woods used in pit (mesquite, hickory, pecan, apple…). You get the idea. The same is true for all the many variations of beef and other meats as jerky.

The new wave of where to find BBQ and jerky flavors has gone beyond the potato chips we’ve seen for many years. These days, they are a gourmet flavoring for all kinds of treats.

At this year’s Apollocon in Houston, Texas, some brought along a couple of chocolate bars to share in the ConSuite. They were not what you would expect to see at a sci-fi/fantasy con. Or maybe you would given the eclectic mix of people and the foodie reputation Apollocon now has. These chocolates are from Wild Ophelia, and are guaranteed to be all natural with no preservatives and gluten free.

In both cases, the flavors were astoundingly correct. It was a pleasant surprise for my taste buds to say the least. The chocolate itself was of a smooth consistency, darkly rich and an excellent carrier of the BBQ and jerky flavors, respectively.

Ophelia BBQ ChocSmokehouse BBQ Potato Chip Dark Chocolate (70% cacao)
From the website:
Featured Artisan: The Billy Goat Chip Company
Varietal: Russet Burbank Potatoes gown in Idaho
Where: St. Louis, Missouri

Flavor Profile: A sweet, savory and spicy warm-the-back-of-your-throat chip entrenched in dark chocolate.

Craft: Billy Goat Chip Company hand selects, slices and seasons their potatoes to ensure the highest quality craftsmanship. Their chips are made with NO added preservatives, MSG or gluten. Their Kicker seasoning is the magical powder that flavors the chips with a zing unlike any other. A ripple cut potato slice that “holds” more seasoning is a crucial characteristic of the Kicker chip, adding increased flavor to each bite. With so many snack foods relying on salt and artificial flavorings, it’s refreshing to taste a superior chip that’s all natural.

Ophelia Jerky ChocBeef Jerky Milk Chocolate (41% cacao)
From the website:
Varietal: Piedmontese and Angus Cattle
Where: Plains of Idaho

Flavor Profile: Natural smoked fruit woods and peppered spices perfectly match our rich milk chocolate.

Craft: As far back as the late 1800s, cattle ranches have been an important part of the agricultural economy of Idaho. The cattle are treated humanely, raised in lush green pastures. They are accustomed to crisp, clean air and wide-open spaces as nature intended and have never received growth hormones. With a grass-fed, 100% vegetarian diet, the end result is a gluten-free product with no artificial ingredients. With minimal processing, it is surely the purest transition from pasture to plate.

The Wild Ophelia website also touts a New Orleans Chili Dark Chocolate Bar, Peanut Butter & Banana Milk Chocolate Bar, Salted Chowchilla Almond Milk Chocolate Bar, and a good half dozen other quixotic flavors. To help you get your hands and lips on these delectable goodies, a store locator is available.

Keep these delectable taste treats in mind when looking for something new to try or even as gifts for the holidays. They are sure to please the adventurous foodies in you life!

— Ann Cathey
Photos by Christopher

The Beef Jerky Outlet – Galveston

It seems like there is always something new to discover in Galveston, Texas, and my two most recent discoveries are well worth talking about. The first, I’ll address in this post. The second…well, you’ll have to come back and read all about it!

The first of my two newest discoveries in Galveston is the Beef Jerky Outlet. There are franchises of this store scattered across the country, but I’d never heard of the place until I stumbled upon the one on the Strand in Galveston.

I’d been toying with the idea of going inside for a while, but every time I happened to be in the Strand area, the shop had either closed up for the night or I was running low on funds. Finally, though, I had money and time, and I went inside.

The Outlet in Galveston is a small shop, but it isn’t like Jerky requires a lot of space. The walls are neatly lines with packet after packet of jerky of every type imaginable (and some I never would have imagined). There are also “barrels” set up around the room that hide open packets of jerky and tongs that the staff is not only willing but eager to let you sample. Not all of the types or jerky are available for sample, but many (15 or so) are.

Now, the jerky itself. This place has a wide, wide variety. There were all sorts of beef varieties, including Blazin’ Cajun, 3 Beer BBQ Rub, Cherry Maple, and Peppercorn. There were also quite a few turkey jerky varieties. But they don’t stop there; the Beef Jerky Outlet offers some interest types of jerky: chicken, crawfish, bacon, venison, duck, buffalo, elk, salmon, alligator, and even kangaroo!

My partner-in-crime and I opted to try the Slap Ya Mama crawfish jerky (which mostly tasted like the Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning –hot!) and then the maple-glazed bacon jerky (which tasted exactly like you’d think it would…heavenly). We also tried the PB Crave products that they carry. Erin opted to try the chocolate and peanut butter version, which she really liked, and I tried the kind with banana, which I found disappointing (the banana part tasting like banana flavoring rather than actual banana).

After much, much perusing and discussing, Erin and I made our selections and took them home. Erin bought a 4oz bag of the maple-glazed bacon jerky and I bought three jerky sticks (venison, buffalo, and elk).

We had a little taste-testing party later, and our opinions of the three flavors actually lined up (a rarity).

  • The venison did not win any points with us. It had a decent flavor, but the texture was dry and crumbly. It made me feel almost like I had a mouth full of tobacco or tea leaves. Not something we will purchase again (though we might try the actual jerky instead of the jerky stick).
  • The elk had a much better texture, and a wonderful flavor. It was juicy—unusual for jerky of any kind—and absolutely delicious. It’s a type I definitely will buy again and will share with my foodie friends.
  • The buffalo had an even better flavor than the elk, though it lacked the juiciness. It also had a very nice texture. Again, I will buy it again and share with friends.

Overall, although the products are a little pricey (as all jerky is), I’m very glad we stumbled into the Beef Jerky Outlet. I love that you can try many of the products and that the staff is friendly, enthusiastic, and helpful. Whether, like me, you just like to try new things or you’re a die-hard jerky enthusiast, this place needs to be on your “to visit” list when you’re in Galveston.

— L.B. Clark