Happy Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Mojito

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

When Vu and I visited Puerto Rico last month, we took a rum tour at the Bacardi Distillery.  It was surprisingly not cheesy but quite enjoyable.  The tour started with a short video of the famous rum’s origin dating back to 1862 and how the company has evolved over the years. Then the guide took us to a replica of Bacardi’s first distillery in Cuba and indulged our olfactory bulbs with the various rums that the company produces.  I was amazed at the different notes that the rums carry depending on how long they had been aged and what they were infused (ie berries, apple, etc) with.  Imagine wine tasting, but with rum.  And of course, we weren’t allowed to take pictures so I don’t have anything to share with you.  

We were ushered to another room, a recreation of the original VIP bar in Cuba where the Bacardi family and their close friends frequented.  At the VIP room, a bartender demonstrated how the cuba libre (rum and coke), daiquiri, and mojito are mixed.  The tour concluded with everyone's favorite part, or at least my and Vu's, free cocktails at the Bacardi bar.  It was an entertaining experience and left us with a newfound appreciation for Bacardi rum, or just rum in general.   

Today, I’m recreating that awesome mojito, which has become one of my favorite cocktails.  A mojito is a Cuban highball, simply made with only 5 ingredients but so refreshing.  Don't be surprised if you indulge in a few.  Here goes!       

Mojito (one serving) 

6 mint leaves
1 oz of lime juice (about 2 medium size limes)
1 oz of white rum or light rum
5 oz of club soda
2 tbsps sugar
Crushed ice
Extra lime wedges and mint sprigs for garnish

1. Muddle mint leaves with sugar and lime juice in a tall glass.
2. Stir in club soda and rum. 
3. Add crushed ice, and garnish with a lime wedge and mint sprig.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

My London Fog

Thursday, February 7, 2013

After coming back from Puerto Rico, I had to work the graveyard shift for six nights and it was hard to stay up! I hit a wall at about 3 in the morning.  My eyelids refused to open and a fog enveloped my head.  I admire people who could adapt to the nocturnal work life and withstand the body's circadian rhymths. 

Since I’m not a coffee drinker and quite sensitive to large amount of caffeine, I brought along my favorite drink, the London Fog, to help fight off sleep deprivation. 

I was first introduced to the London Fog, or Earl Grey tea latte, during an outing at Le Marche St.George in Vancouver.  It seems that the London Fog originated in Vancouver, but its creator remains unknown.  Nevertheless, it has become one of my favorite hot beverages. 

The London Fog tea latte consists of Earl Grey tea, steamed milk, and vanilla syrup.  Earl Grey is a popular black tea flavored with oil of Bergamot, a fragrant citrus grown in southern Italy. I like my tea a bit more sweet so I deviated from the usual recipe and added an extra teaspoon of honey. 

I can’t credit the London Fog entirely for helping me survive that stretch of night shifts, but it certainly helped ease some of that painful sleep deprivation.  Even when I’m back to my regular work schedule, I still have craving for a cup of London Fog.

London Fog Tea Latte

2 tsps Earl Grey loose leaf tea or 1 teabag
6 oz hot water
2 oz of steamed whole milk
2 tbsps vanilla syrup
1 tsp honey

1. Pour hot water in a kettle and heat until boiling.
2. Place two teaspoons of Earl Grey tea in a cup and pour in 6 oz of hot water.  Let it steep for 3 minutes then strain the tea into another cup.
3. Steam milk or heat milk in a microwave and whisk until frothy.
4. Stir in 2 oz of frothy milk, 2 tablespoons of vanilla syrup, and 1 teaspoon of honey into the tea cup.  Enjoy!