October 6, 2011

proof rum, not just for stuffing turkeys, Vol. 54

If you read our last year’s Thanksgiving blog (our first one ever), you would already know that we have a family tradition of taking a Thanksgiving forest walk before dinner. We pack a themed-appetizer and cocktail spread and head over to a wonderful trail near Georgian Bay where 11 small bridges span a gorgeous creek. www.simcoecountytrails.net/trails/lineartrails/maps/Penetanguishene.pdf. Last year our featured drink was the Peppery Apricot.  This year we are mixing two special drinks – one made with proof rum and one with proof whisky. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Like’ us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Proof-Brands/181641835185326 and Twitter http://twitter.com/proofbrands to get last minute updates on tastings, parties & events.

the make thyme (for this drink)(single) 1 oz proof rum • 1 sprig thyme • 1 ½ oz Ceres pear juice • ½ oz simple syrup • ½ oz lemon juice • splash soda
Add first 5 ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake hard and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with soda and garnish with a sprig of thyme.


the make more thyme (for this drink)(thermos) 6 oz proof rum • 6 sprig thyme • 9 oz Ceres pear juice • 3 oz simple syrup • 3 oz lemon juice • splash soda (6 oz)
Add first 5 ingredients to an ice-filled thermos. Shake hard and serve in cups. Top with soda and garnish with a sprig of thyme. If soda is inconvenient, drink will still be great without it.

the sage plum (single) 1 1/2 oz proof whisky • 1 sliced ripe plum • 4-5 sage leaves •  1 oz simple syrup • 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
Muddle plum slices and sage leaves in the bottom of a shaker. Add proof whisky, simple syrup and lemon juice. Shake hard and strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with a sage leaf.


the sage plums (thermos) 9 oz proof whisky • 6 sliced ripe plums • 20 sage leaves •  6 oz simple syrup • 2 oz fresh lemon juice
Muddle plum slices and sage leaves in a bowl or in food processor. Add proof whisky, simple syrup and lemon juice. Shake and strain into ice filled thermos. Serve in cups and garnish with a sage leaf.

Here are the two very simple herb-recipes that we chose to make for our walk. The thyme in both the bread and cheese will really bring out the herbs in our drinks.

Herb and lemon goat cheese spread 5 oz (about 3/4 cup) soft fresh goat cheese, room temperature • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel • 1 garlic clove, minced • 5 teaspoons olive oil • 16 French-bread baguette slices, toasted
Place goat cheese in small bowl. Mix thyme, lemon peel and garlic in another small bowl; season with ground black pepper. Mix half of thyme mixture into goat cheese. Add olive oil to remaining half of thyme mixture. Form cheese into 2 1/2-inch round; flatten slightly. Place in center of plate. Spoon oil-thyme mixture over top of cheese. Surround cheese with baguette slices and serve. (bon appétit, 1999)


Garlic herb bread twists 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary • 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (2 oz), divided • 1/4 cup olive oil • 3 garlic cloves, minced • 2 pounds pizza dough (can use store-bought) • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 400°F with racks in upper and lower thirds. Lightly oil 2 large (17- by 13-inch) baking sheets.  Stir together rosemary, thyme, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Stir together oil, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in another bowl. Divide dough in half. Keeping half of dough covered with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth), gently roll out other half into a 15-by 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. (Use your hands to pull corners. If dough is very elastic, cover with towel and let rest about 3 minutes.) Sprinkle one half of dough (crosswise) with half of herb mixture, then fold dough in half crosswise and roll lightly to form a roughly 10- by 8-inch rectangle. Cut lengthwise into 9 strips (less than 1 inch wide) with a pizza wheel or a sharp heavy knife. Keeping remaining strips covered with a kitchen towel, twist each strip from both ends and place on baking sheet, arranging twists 1 inch apart. Brush with 1 tablespoon garlic oil and let stand while forming remaining bread twists. Roll out and form more bread twists with remaining dough and herb mixture, then arrange on other sheet. Brush with 1 tablespoon garlic oil and let stand 5 minutes. Bake bread twists, switching position of sheets halfway through, until golden, 20 to 25 minutes total. Meanwhile, stir together parsley and remaining 3/4 cup cheese in a shallow baking pan. Immediately after baking, brush bread twists with remaining garlic oil, then roll in parsley and cheese until coated. Serve warm or at room temperature. (gourmet, 2009)


Happy Thanksgiving from proof!

Thanksgiving Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Sunny and a high of 25 degrees
Sunday: Sunny and a high of 24 degrees
Monday: Sunny and a high of 22 degrees

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