Cafe de Olla
- 2 cups of water in a pot
- 1 tablespoon dark roast coffee grounds
- 2 tablespoons grated or finely chopped piloncillo
- 1/2 stick of cinnamon
Chips & Hot Sauce
Hola! Como estas?! I hope very well, since it is a holiday and all! While it may not be one you're getting off of work (bummer), I am all about celebrating whenever you get the chance. I'll be eating tacos and drinking margaritas with my family tonight, but today I'm talking about 2 easy, everyday "recipes" that I enjoy all the time: Cafe de Olla and chips with hot sauce! These are both things that I ate during my vacation to Puerto Vallarta and started making at home afterwards because they were simple, yummy, and made me think of my hotel room on the beach (and all the great food we ate).
Cafe de Olla
Cafe de Olla, or "coffee from the pot", is named for the traditional clay vessels that the beverage was originally made in. The coffee grounds are boiled with cinnamon and piloncillo, which makes it a great beverage to have while in Mexico, but also easy to make at home. Piloncillo is the rawest form of sugar cane; it comes in a little cone shape and can be found in Mexican food stores in the baking aisle. You can also use brown sugar, but piloncillo has a richer, earthier flavor that gives Cafe de Olla its trademark warmth and deliciousness.
To make 2 servings you will need:
Heat your water; once it is at a rolling boil, lower to a simmer and add coffee, piloncillo, and cinnamon. Let simmer, uncovered, for five minutes and then turn off the heat. Give it a few stirs and then cover the pot and allow it to sit for another five minutes. Pour through a cheesecloth or fine strainer to serve.
This recipe is easy to size up and make for a large group, so it's a great option to serve at brunch! I love to have this with scrambled eggs and chorizo (but what I'd really love to have it with is bread pudding).
Chips & Hot Sauce
In Mexico, it's expected that you'll find potato or corn chips sold with a packet of hot sauce in the convenience stores. While in Puerto Vallarta, I got in quite a habit of consuming a bag with a cold beer during our siesta back at the hotel. Now, it's my go-to after work snack; it's easy to throw together while I'm preparing my real meal (though I'll admit I've just eaten chips and hot sauce for dinner on an embarrassing amount of occasions. I won't attempt to quantify.)
At it's most basic, it's simply chips, citrus, and hot sauce, but there is a lot of room to get fancy and personalize your favorite combination. I like enough lime juice to make the chips soggy (is that weird?), Cholula hot sauce, and a sprinkling of garlic salt over corn chips. My mom prefers baked potato chips instead; if I'm out of limes I'll use lemons, and I have some Tapatio hot sauce on hand as well.
It may be basic, but there's a reason why it's so popular (hint: because it's great).
Is anyone else celebrating this evening with some festive food and drinks? What are you making?
For May Day, a holiday heralding in the fullness of spring, Creme Yvette has to be the most perfect liqueur since it is made from a distillation of berries, cassis, orange peel, vanilla, and most importantly, the petals of parma violets. Creme Yvette was first produced in Connecticut around 1890, and became very popular throughout the world. However, the popularity of cocktails dwindled during prohibition and subsequently many once popular drinks that used Creme Yvette, like The Aviation, fell out of fashion (and the recipe lost for a time). Several brands ultimately went defunct for reasons like this, with Creme Yvette among them in 1969.
However, in late 2009 the brand was purchased by the owner of St. Germaine and was reproduced using new vendors (since the original providers had long since gone out of business as well). The outcome was a delightful liqueur, welcomed warmly back into the cocktail community, despite its more reddish hue (hence why your Blue Moon doesn't seem very blue!).
After reading this history, I just had to try it. At forty dollars a bottle, it's not an everyday kind of beverage, but I would definitely say its worth the investment. Its similar enough that you could use it in place of Chambord in a sparkling wine, but Creme Yvette's flavor profile is much richer and more complex (not to mention, almost double the proof).
Here are two ways to enjoy Creme Yvette!
How to Make a Blue Moon
1 1/2 ounces Dry Gin (I only had Hendrick's, so I used that)
3/4 ounce Creme Yvette
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
Glass: cocktail or coupe
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain.
This Blue Moon recipe is a variation of the version that was printed on the Creme Yvette bottle in the 1940s. Imagine how pretty it was when it was a little bit blue! But whatever the color, it tastes delightful!
How to Make a Bitter Bike
This petite drink is a perfect digestif, a little something to serve after dinner or dessert. Something like port or brandy is more traditional, but no one can deny that a Bitter Bike is a fine way to end an evening.
1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) St. Germaine
1/4 ounce (1/2 tablespoon) Creme Yvette
1/4 ounce (1/2 tablespoon) Angostura Bitters
For this cocktail, you will need a bent spoon so you can layer the alcohols. If you don't want to bend one of your good spoons, head to the local thrift shop and find a nice pliable one. A bent spoon is handy to have around for other drinks as well, like a black and tan!
Add the St. Germaine first, then add the layer of Creme Yvette by pouring it onto the spoon, which should be held just over the St. Germaine. The idea is that the liquid is gently added, so that it doesn't plop in and start mixing. Add the bitters the same way.
The elderflower sweetness of the St. Germaine is counterbalanced by the bold Angostura, while the Creme Yvette provides a floral, berry bite.
Let me know how you like these if you try them out. I think they're perfect for a special occasion...
(like, hmm, Mothers' Day perhaps? I think she's worth it!)
Love and cheers! Rachel