Today I am inspired to create 2 signature cocktails inspired by 2 women who are different, yet the same. My muses are Hadley Hemingway and Zelda Fitzgerald. Hadley and Zelda were contemporaries and acquaintances, but never friends. They had the same stomping grounds: Paris in the 1920s. Both women inspired their famous husbands, but I would not lessen them as women by using the old adage about “behind every good man” because they are every bit inspiring on their own.
Hadley’s cocktail is gin-based. Let’s face it, gin is the spirit that comes to mind for most when thinking about the 1920s and classic cocktails. It’s a spin on Gin & Jam (not Gin & Juice LOL)- simple and sweet like Mrs Hemingway Numero Uno, the schnapps a nod to The Hemingways best times on holiday in Austria, the lime for the less-than-sweet times that Hadley endured.
“We ate well and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.” ~ A Moveable Feast
As it happens with most things related to Zelda, her cocktail is a bit more complicated. Inspired by the Mint Julep, The Zelda packs a bourbon-based punch and a shot of Southern sweetness with peach simple syrup and a rim of brown sugar. The perfect cocktail for shimmying out of your stockings for a midnight splash in the city fountain!
“They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.” ~This Side of Paradise
Peach Simple Syrup
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 1 C water
- 2 C frozen peaches
- In a medium saucepan combine water, sugar, and peaches. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.
- Reduce heat and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove from heat and cover. Steep peaches in sugar syrup 30 minutes.
- Strain syrup to remove the peach bits and allow to cool thoroughly before use. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
For more on Hadley & Zelda, check out:
Z a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
The Paris Wife
My Pinterest board; Scott, Zelda, and Company
Shout out to my local purveyors of spirits S.D. Strong Distilling & Dark Horse Distillery
Ahoy maties! It’s been a few days since the first installment of this post and at this moment I’m tasting a little spiced rum in my office, at noon, on a Tuesday so that I can give you a proper update. Taking one for the team I am!
Day 3/5: All the spices have made their way to the bottom of the jar, and the rum is darker, but starting to look a little cloudy. Maybe I should’ve removed the ginger?
Day 4/5: Last day for the spices to steep with the rum before filtration…
When it came time for filtration, I used the same system I used when I filtered my Limoncello & Clemencello back in January.
Here’s a shot of my very complicated filtration system set up on my dining room table. Just a couple of mason jars and some cone-style coffee filters. I did end up changing out the coffee filter on each jar twice, because I was getting impatient at how slowly the filtration was going down.
Here’s a video of me filtering the rum. Rest assured, my scratchy voice has been been remedied by a few sips of the rum. 🙂 Follow my YouTube page & look for more videos from me in the future.
The rum has a nice depth of flavor. The star anise is the first note that I catch both on the nose & the palette, with the cinnamon and other spices behind it in the background and the vanilla giving it a soft warmth. I like that licorice taste (ouzo is one of my favorite spirits), but if you’re not into it, I would omit the star anise, or maybe use half a pod, or remove the pod a day or two into the steeping process.
In case you missed part one, including the recipe for Spiced Rum you can find it here.
To check out my other adventures in home booze-making check out my Limoncello/Clemencello series here:
This week I began another venture into homemade booze: spiced rum. I’ve been checking out a few different recipes since around Christmas-time and was surprised to find that spicing rum would only take 5 days vs. the month it took me to infuse the vodka to make Limoncello & Clemencello. I had about half the spices already on-hand, & ended up picking up a few extra goodies during my spice-run that you will surely see in a future blog…
Like these bad-boys… I have a few ideas brewing, what would you do with these?
I feel like my spiced rum needs a clever pirate name but I haven’t come up with one yet, so for now…
- 750ml white (clear) rum
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 cardamom pod
- 1 star anise pod
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp orange zest (freshly grated)
- 1/8″ slice of fresh ginger, peeled
- 3 black peppercorns
- Crush the cardamom & star anise pods, cloves, and peppercorns using a mortar & pestle, or the side of a knife.
- Put all ingredients except the rum in a 1 quart mason jar, and pour rum over to the fill line of the jar (750ml should fit in there perfectly).
The spices just need to be crushed enough to release their flavors. No need to completely pulverize. Here’s a shot of the view looking down into the jar before I poured in the rum.
- Screw the cover on the jar tightly and put in a cool, dry place.
- Shake daily for 5 days.
- At the end of 5 days, your rum should be spiced and ready to filter.
Day 1/5 after the daily shake. Most (but not all) of the spices are beginning to sink to the bottom of the jar. I’m actually pretty surprised that it’s the color of weak tea already (remember, this was CLEAR rum I started with).
Day 2/5: I am very glad that I used clear rum instead of dark rum so I can clearly see the changes that are happening. Not sure if it will make a huge difference in the end product. It’s already getting close to the right color…
It’s been a month since I zested a ton of citrus and started infusing 2 jars of vodka. I religiously shook the jars twice a week and documented the results as their contents got darker and darker. This morning an alarm went off on my phone- Limoncello/Clemencello Day! Joy!
I opened the jars and they smelled amazing! I used my endlessly useful nut milk bag (see my cheesemaking adventures for more on this) to strain out all the zest and wrung out the excess liquid.
Here’s the clemencello (L) and the limoncello (R) after they went through the nut milk bag, before filtering.
Next I made a simple syrup with 5C sugar and 3C water (enough for both limoncello & clemencello). My initial thought was that using the nut milk bag to strain out the zest would be enough & then decided it would benefit from some additional filtering and got out my coffee filters. I used cone filters which worked out beautifully because I was able to place it inside of the mason jar and hold it in place with one of the jar rings.
Here’s my superb, high-tech filtering system being set up.
Once filtering was complete (don’t skip this, it made a HUGE difference). I was ready to bottle my homemade booze and more importantly, taste it! The recipe, as I made it made one 750ml bottle (standard wine bottle) and 1 1/2 374ml (half size wine bottle) of each flavor. Shout out thank you to Jason for the bottles! 🙂 That was a bit less than I had anticipated, I guess due to all the filtering (& a certain amount of evaporation?).
I’m pretty happy with the results, both had a nice, sweet citrusy flavor. I was surprised to find that the lemon had a stronger flavor and a darker color, since the clementine peel was more oily than the lemon. I suppose that’s because lemons have a stronger flavor in general than clementines.
Here’s the whole series if you want to try this deliciousness for yourself. If you do, comment the blog or tweet me!
One more week to wait! The vodka is getting darker and the zest is nearly colorless at this point. I am excited to see what kind of big flavors I find when this thing is done. Thinking I may possibly use my nut milk bag when straining time comes. See? It’s uses are endless and I have not even used it to make nut milks (yet)! It’s almost time to find some bottles…
It’s the end of Week Two and I’m starting to get impatient. The zests are starting to look faded and whitish, and the vodka darker orange & yellow (especially the Clemencello). Now that I’ve begun this endeavor, I’m starting to think about related projects I can tackle (Blood Orangecello? Spiced Rum?). There’s also an unrelated, but equally cool project that I will be getting started on this week. 2 more weeks until the last step & taste-testing of my homemade booze!
My Instagram is open! Check out my various culinary adventures here
It’s the end of Week One and I’ve been religiously shaking my mason jars of infusing vodka each morning. 3 more weeks before I can make my water & sugar mixture and have some drinkable limoncello & clemencello. Needless to say, documenting my experience online has made me very popular with my friends, who like me, are eager to give it a taste. As shown above, both jars are beginning to change color: clemencello on the left, limoncello on the right. I think I need to start pinning some recipes to make with my finished product… Check out my boards on Pinterest here