Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Drinks

Limoncello

Beverages, DrinksTove Balle-PedersenComment
Limoncello.

Limoncello.

Limoncello is an Italian liqueur made from hard alcohol, lemon zest and sugar. It’s like bringing the sent of the lemon zest into a drink. Could you imaging anything better? - Not really, right? My first encounter with limoncello was with a store bought version. And I was really disappointed. The synthetic lemon flavor were really off-putting.

Fast-forward 5-8 years. Our lemon tree was booming with fruits. I wanted to give homemade limoncello a try. Trying to preserve the fantastic lemon flavor, without getting the bitterness. Especially the latter have been the pittfall for others, or so I was told. So I was a bit nervous when it was time to taste my own batch. I tasted the lemon-infused vodka, and it was strong, very STRONG. Tasting the final result, finally calmed me. I had been able to create what limoncello should taste like. A sweet lemon taste, without the bitterness. And served over a lot of ice, it was just perfect.

You can serve the lemoncello over ice, mixed with sparkling water or in cocktails. Or you can pour it over ice cream or in this delicious Limoncello/Liquorice Tiramisu.

Makes 8 x 475 ml bottles.

Ingredients:

  • 25 organic lemons

  • 1.75 liter 100 proof vodka (I used a blue Smirnoff)

  • 1300 g sugar

  • 1.75 liter water

Directions:

Wash the lemons with a brush and hot water to remove any reside of pesticides or wax, pat the lemons dry.

Steeping the lemon zest.

Steeping the lemon zest.

Peel the lemons with a sharp knife or a potato peeler. Be careful to only get the yellow zest, cutting away any of the white part, otherwise the limocello gets too bitter. Place the lemon zest in a large, glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour the vodka over the lemon peel, tighten the lid of the jar. Give the jar a gentle swirl, to make sure you get the best extraction of flavors.  Store in a cool, dark place for 15-40 days, swirling the jar daily. I’m not sure if the swirling is totally necessary, but I did it anyway. The longer the mixture rests, the better the end taste will be. I had mine in a cool hallway closet.

When the now lemon-infused vodka is ready, strain out the bulk of the lemon peel, set aside.  Bring sugar and water to a boil in a large pan over high heat.  When boiling, remove pan from heat and stir in the lemon peel. Let the mixture sit and cool to room temperature. Strain out and discard the lemon peel.  Carefully mix the syrup with the lemon-infused vodka, and filter the entire mixture through a funnel into clean bottles. I have a fine mesh strainer for my funnel, so I won’t get any small lemon particles in my limoncello.

As soon as the limoncello is chilled, it is ready to drink. The flavor and texture will be best ice-cold. I store my limoncello in the freezer, but it freezes solid. I guess the alcohol content is too low to stay liquid.

Serve the limoncello over ice, perfect for sipping on a hot day.

Enjoy!


December 1st.

Christmas, Drinks, Holiday, BeveragesTove Balle-PedersenComment

Somehow December always creeps up on me, somehow I get surprised that Christmas comes right after all the festivity at Thanksgiving. This Year I hosted my first Thanksgiving dinner, so my Christmas preparations was somewhat delayed. 

I do intend to post 12 christmasy posts, for the 12 Days of Christmas. It will be a mix of food, sweets, cakes and cookies. So please stay tuned.

I start with a re-post of a hot mulled cider, mostly because I'm down with a cold, and the best thing to drink are warm drinks. And I really love hot mulled cider. 

I have never had it in Denmark, but it should be a Christmas stable as the mulled wine is.

Hot mulled cider, this lovely drink was all new to me 6 years ago. I thought that mulled wine aka glögg/gløgg/glühwein was a German/scandinavian thing. And adding warm spices to a non-alcholic drink, that was new to me, I'm sad to say. 😳

First time I had it was at a William-Sonoma store, and boy they got me hooked on that stuff. I love this when when winter approaches, and you need at hot strong drink to keep you warm. 

It has become a tradition to make hot mulled cider when we are having ebelskiver the weeks up to christmas. And to bee honest, I have the cider simmering on my stove almost every day. This fills my house with the sweet smell of christmas and it makes me very happy. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts good apple cider 
  • 1 orange, zest of half
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 5-10 whole cloves
  • 5-10 whole allspice berries
  • 1-2 star anis 
  • 3 green cardamom capsules

You could also buy a mulling spice mix, but I prefer mixing my own.

Directions:

Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan and heat the cider to a simmer. Turn down the heat, and let the spices steep in the cider for 5-10 minutes. Reheat the cider. Pour the cider through a sift into cups and serve immediately.

 

The Danish Version:

Varm Krydret Cider

Ingredienser:

  • 2 liter god æblecider 
  • ½ appelsin, skallen fra
  • 2 kanelstænger
  • 5-10 hele nelliker
  • 5-10 hele allehånde
  • 1-2 stjerneanis 
  • 3 grønne kardemomme

Fremgangsmåde:

Kom alle ingredienserne i en gryde og varm det op til kogepunktet. Skru ned for varmen og lad krydderierne trække i cideren i 5-10 minutter. Varm cideren op og si krydderierne fra. Server cideren med det samme.

Peppermint "Snaps"

Christmas, DrinksTove Balle-PedersenComment
Peppermint "Snaps"

Peppermint "Snaps"

December 7th - Third day of Christmas.

Danes do like to drink, they love their christmas lunch parties, having a lot of food and a lot of beer and snaps. But frankly, most danes do NOT enjoy snaps, but this sweeter shot might be more enjoyable. AND the drink is so pretty and pink - what not to like??

I have been dissolving many different kinds of hard candy in vodka during the years. Making different shots, for parties. Nowadays this is a rare occasion, because I rarely have hard liquor. 

Making almost 1 bottle.

Ingredients:

  • 500 ml vodka
  • 40 small peppermint candy canes

Directions:

Dissolve the candy canes in the vodka, shaking the bottle now and again.

Serve the peppermint "snaps" at lunch or use it for shots at parties.

Enjoy!

Please drink responsibly. And please no under-ages drinking. 

Apple Pie-tini

Drinks, Holiday, ThanksgivingTove Balle-PedersenComment
Apple Pie-tini

Apple Pie-tini

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers in the US (and Americans in general).

As a somewhat newly arrived Dane in the US, Thanksgiving is a Holiday we just have to pass to get to the December celebration. I have never been too fond of turkey. Well, I had a very good roasted turkey at a Thanksgiving celebration at my dorm in Denmark. We had an American exchange student (Andy) living there, and we all went all in on making a big Thanksgiving celebration with him. And as for most dinners with young people at a dorm, it turned in to a great Party. This party is still my fondest Thanksgiving memory.

I hope you all are enjoying the holiday.

Makes 2 drinks

Ingredients:

Drink:

  • 90 ml vanilla vodka

  • 90 ml apple cider, unfiltered

  • 25 ml lemon juice

  • 1-2 tablespoons honey

Decoration:

  • 1 apple, in slices sprinkled with lemon juice

  • 2 cinnamon stick

Rim:

  • lemon juice

  • baker's sugar (extra fine sugar)

  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Cut up the apple and sprinkle the slices with lemon juice to prevent them turning brown.Mix sugar and cinnamon on a shallow plate. Make sure not to have any lumps of sugar. Pour some lemon juice in another shallow plate. Dip the rims of the glasses in the lemon juice, shake them to remove any excess juice. Dip the rim of the glasses in the sugar mixture, making sure to cover all of the rim.

Mix the ingredients for the drink in a shaker with ice. Pour the drink into the glasses and decorate with apple slices and cinnamon sticks.

Enjoy!

Red Velvet Latte

Brunch, Breakfast, Desserts, DrinksTove Balle-PedersenComment
Red Velvet Latte

Red Velvet Latte

The first time I tasted a red velvet latte was at Bitter+Sweet, a small but very good cafe in Cupertino. My friends and I keep going back to this place, because the coffee is that good. So if you're ever in the neighborhood, do stop by, you won't regret it.

I have been wanting to create the same latte at home, and finally I found the right mix to create the same perfect red velvet latte. I could do some reverse engineering and figure out what goes into the red velvet mix, but for now I'm happy with buying it. Sometimes you need an easy way out.

Ingredients:

Directions

Heat the cup with some really hot water.

Whisk the red velvet mix with some steamed milk in the heated cup. Add the espresso shot(s) to the mix. Finally add more steamed milk and some milk foam.

Enjoy!