Tiki Log Cabin

Tiki Log CabinMy housemate has a lot of tea. One of our first purchases was an electric kettle with enough temperature selection buttons to support our respective oolong drinking habits. I had decided to make us drinks on this frigid-for-SoCal Thanksgiving Eve, and so I was rummaging through the box of tea for inspiration. I found one that smelled like fancy cinnamon-apple granola, and a star was born.

When asked to devise a name for the drink, my housemate spoke of log cabins and flannel. We talked about gender identity and cocktails. Is this a [insert mysogyny here] martini variant, or a humble tiki aspirant? Is flannel for treehuggers, lumberjacks, or lesbians? Is this log cabin in Portland, OR or Portland, ME? Do we live for the briny sea or the greenest of trees?

This drink is alarmingly smooth. The nose is inviting; the flavors are complex. Each sip warms and bolsters. (It ought to make a good toddy if one subs the fresh lime for a splash of Grand Marnier.) To get a sense of where this vodka infusion gets its tiki aspirations, consider that the tisane is labelled “for almond lovers” (evoking orgeat), and also contains cinnamon.

/Makes 2 drinks/
 1.5 tsp David's Tea Forever Nuts
 0.5 tsp black tea (David's Tea English Breakfast)
 4 oz vodka
 1 oz maple syrup
 1 oz fresh lime juice

Infuse the teas in the vodka, stirring occasionally, while preparing other ingredients in a shaker. Ten minutes is plenty. Combine, shake with ice, and strain.


Updated White Russian


This month’s Mixology Monday challenge, hosted by Tipicular Fixin’s [roundup post now up!], is to update a cocktail you enjoyed before you really got into cocktails, but would be, perhaps, ashamed to order now. I decided to take a stab at the White Russian. I think the White Russian is still a solid drink, but it’s pretty one-note. This is an attempt to add some more flavor complexity and improve the presentation while still keeping the alcoholic-iced-latte nature intact.

1.5 oz coffee vodka (see below)
1.0 oz sweet spiced milk (see below)
0.5 oz whole milk
1      egg white

Shake once without ice, shake again with ice and strain
Garnish with a grated coffee bean

Updated White RussianThe egg and milk provided a nice body and the bitter of the coffee balanced the sweetness nicely. I liked the cinnamon, but ended up adding a little non-spiced milk in the final version, as my first try was a little too cinnamon-forward. This ended up being classier than the original, and the coffee bean and cinnamon floating on the top gave visual appeal, but I think there’s room to add more flavor wow-factor.

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