Monday, April 18, 2011

Do-It-Yourself on a Whole 'Nother Level

Bon Appetit (May, 2011) went into a diatribe about Bad, Nasty Sodas! No! No! Put down that 64 oz. soft drink and make your own! To which many in the audience might respond, "As if!"

Using "simple syrup" (1 cup sugar to 1 cup water, boiled until syrupy) and steeping various herbs, spices and fruits in it and adding club soda to the finished product, you will: save money and save sugar calories.

In theory this is dandy. Here's the reality for Spicy Ginger:

1 cup sugar
2 cups water
4 teas. crushed chili flakes
1/4 tsp. kosher salt - Salt in a drink? Damn! I thought that was a gargle!
2 three-in. pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped. (This is no day at the beach to do ...)
12 lime wedges

Combine the sugar, water, chili flakes, salt and ginger in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Take the pan off of the heat, let it cool and strain the syrup into a jar and refrigerate.

To serve, fill highball glasses with ice cubes, add 2 T syrup and top off with club soda. Makes 12 servings with 74 calories and 17 grams of sugar each.

This sounds a lot more enticing: put 2 teas. of your favorite hot sauce in a saucer, stir in 2 teas. fresh lime juice. Take an ice-cold mug, dip it in the hot sauce, then into a saucer of coarse sea salt and fill to the top with a Pacifico or Tecate -- hell, a Miller Genuine Draft even! Drink with gusto and sneer quietly at the sugar water afficionados. They call it a Micheladas, but it's a Poor Man's Bloody Mary to me. Let's have another!

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