Tag Archives: drinks

Happy Hour: Michelada Experiment

The thought ofIMG_20150609_183440 beer cocktails never appealed to me, as for whatever reason mixing anything in beer just sounded bad.  Even to me, who loves to experiment and try new things.

But . . . recently I heard about an Ancho Chile Stout.  I love spicy, and I love dark beer.  Unfortunately, it’s a seasonal thing and was not available even for special order by that time *sigh*.

So, I resolved that it was finally time to start brewing my own just so I could try it and other experiments.  I’ve gotten as far as purchasing a Mr. Beer kit on clearance just to get a batch down my belt before I invest in my home brewery.

Meanwhile, I find an entry for “Mexican beer” when I’m browsing through our newly purchased Pati’s Mexican Table cookbook.

It’s for a Michelada.  Beer, lime juice, hot sauce, something salty, along with a salt lined glass.

OK, so that no longer sounds bad.  Especially since all we have is a variety of the light colored Mexican beers (Sol, Corona, etc), and I’m trying to save money and not buy the spendier specialty brew 6 packs anyway.  Worth a try.

And it was worth it!  For me, it’s actually a refreshing drink and the taste combination is delicious.  I just have to be careful and not have too many.

I’ve since looked up several Michelada recipes–and most are specific and say any deviation would be gross.  However, I find that my Michelada experience is based on taste and how much salt and spice flavor I want at the time.  It’s more like a Thai recipe–you have a guideline for the different flavor types you will use, but adjust it all to taste and it’s never EXACTLY the same.

Pati’s site has a Michelada recipe, which is more of a guide, and she calls the spicy version the playful version, although looking online Michelada’s are normally spicy.  If you need a “real” recipe that tells you exactly what to use and how much, you’ll need to do your own searching.

My Michelada Experiment

The Ingredients:

IMG_20150609_183202Light colored mexican beer (we usually have Corona Extra around, but your favorite will work.  I haven’t tried it with a dark like Negro Modelo, but feel free to experiment)

Hot sauce (start with your favorite Mexican hot sauce–for me Cholula is it.  I tried sricha and frank’s, neither worked for me)

Something salty (I use Maggi sauce, which Pati turned me on to– you can try Worcestershire sauce, Soy sauce, or just add a pinch of salt)

Optional:  Juice from a freshly squeezed lime (I skip this as it doesn’t add to the flavor for me)

Optional:  Rim the glass with salt, like a margarita (I skip this as well since the drink is salty enough)

I pour 1/4 of the beer into a frozen mug, add the other ingredients to taste (you will want the taste to be on the strong side at this point).  Stir well.

Add the rest of the beer slowly.  If it develops a large head, then just wait a minute for it to go down, then stir again.

Do a final taste test, add more of any ingredient you want stronger, and ENJOY!

Have you made a MIchelada and have your favorite take on it?  Please share!


Happy Hour: Rhubarb Collins!

Just in time for the weekend, and as promised—my improved Rhubarb Collins!!

As I mentioned in my last post for Rhubarb Lemonade (which you can probably add vodka to for a nice cocktail), my attempt at the Epicurious Rhubarb Collins recipe was a disaster. All I could taste was gin, so if that’s the case, why not just drink the gin straight up instead of bothering to make a cocktail?

So, I reduced the gin and now I have a Rhubarb Collins that I like just as much as my Tom Collins.  I’m also not a big fan of carbonated waters, so I’m weird and use regular filtered water and it tasted just fine in my altered version.  I used regular water each time I’ve made the Rhubarb Collins, so I doubt that was the issue with gin overpowering the taste originally.

I also like to use the BIG side (i.e. 1 1/2 oz) of my jigger, so if you prefer to use 1 oz instead, then the ratio is 2:1:2 (2 parts syrup, 1 part gin, 2 parts water).  It won’t hurt to add an extra splash or two of gin in this recipe, either.  I’m sure I’ll be doing that on occassion.

The Existential Farm Grrl’s Rhubarb Collins

3 oz Rhubarb Syrup (recipe is here at the bottom of the page)

1 1/2 oz Gin (feel free to add an extra splash or two)**

2 to 4 oz of water or club soda (club soda is traditional)

1.  Put everything in a cocktail shaker (or mason jar in a lid), shake well.  Pour into a glass with ice (optional if you’re weird like me), and Enjoy!

Alternate mixing method for those without a cocktail shaker or jars with lids:  put everything in your empty glass, stir well, then add ice if so desired.


**I use London Dry Gin since you can get fairly inexpensive versions of it.  If you have a Costco membership and don’t want to pay high end prices, the Kirkland gin is recommended and it really is better than the cheapest stuff you find at the grocer or liquor stores and it’s reasonably priced.

It’s Hot: Time for Rhubarb Lemonade

The Rhubarb Patch

Last month, we had a delightful surprise when we were at our income property to mow the lawn–there was a healthy rhubarb patch in the back yard!  See all the leaves?  That’s the remaining rhubarb plants after I had 2 harvests, so we will have a plentiful supply all summer. I also pulled up one of the whole plants by accident that I proceeded to transplant at my house.  When rhubarb starts are planted, they cannot be harvested for 3 seasons, so now that I have a full plant I’ll be able to harvest this next year.

I love the tartness of rhubarb, so I like pretty much anything with rhubarb, doesn’t have to be sweet.  My partner, on the other hand, likes SWEET.  Last week, I made what I personally thought was the perfect rhubarb crisp from Martha Stewart (recipe here), but it was too tart for her.  I thought the sweet/tart combo was spot on.

Last Saturday’s Rhubarb Harvest

I knew all along that it’s not the rhubarb alone my partner loves–her professed love of rhubarb came from strawberry, rhubarb pie (which I’m going to make after I get some tapioca that the filling in Smitten Kitchen’s filling needs–an apparently common ingredient I never use).

My Rhubarb Simple Syrup

I decided that besides the occasional dessert (which we really don’t need a lot of), I was going to try drinks.

Saturday, I made an excellent rhubarb simple syrup that I found on Epicurious.  It’s actually for a Rhubarb Collins (recipe is here).  I assumed since I love a good Tom Collins that I would love this.  Wrong.  I loved the rhubarb syrup,  it has the sweetness a simple syrup is supposed to have with the added rhubarb flavor (and none of the rhubarb tartness).  However, the gin overpowered the rhubarb taste in the Collins recipe–my second drink I used a 1:1 ratio for the rhubarb syrup and gin and skipped the lemon juice, still too ginny and not enough rhubarb flavor.  This weekend I’ll give it one more go, cut down the amount of gin itself and see how that goes.  If I have any success, I’ll post my Rhubarb Collins later.

Since I needed other drinks to use this syrup in, yesterday I thought homemade rhubarb lemonade would be a great refresher.  I already had the rhubarb part, so I just needed a fresh, single serving lemonade to test it out (luckily I bought a bag of lemons at Costco over the weekend, which is unusual for me).

After a google search and a peak at some of the results, I decided to try the recipe I found on The Live in Kitchen (recipe here).  The combination was perfect!  I still had the refreshment of lemonade on a hot day with the added taste of rhubarb.  My partner even had a sip and liked it–although next time she’ll want a little more of the rhubarb syrup in hers.


For the rhubarb simple syrup (make this well ahead of time, it will need to cool!):

 3/4 cup fresh or frozen rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2 -inch pieces

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup water

For the lemonade (don’t try to substitute your own favorite pre-made lemonade here unless you want an overly sweet drink) :

3 Tablespoons of rhubarb simple syrup

1 cup of water

3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 1/2 small lemons do the trick).

  1. To make the rhubarb syrup: combine the rhubarb simple syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until slightly thickened and bright pink in color, about 20 minutes. Let the syrup cool then pour through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl (or canning jar, which is what I did).  Lightly press the rhubarb to release remaining juices.  “Discard” the rhubarb left in the sieve (compost it, use in another recipe, or eat it with ice cream–it’s actually very tender and yummy).   You can store the syrup in the fridge for a week.
  2. To make the lemonade:  in a large measuring cup (or large glass, if your serving glass is big enough to mix in), stir together the 3 lemonade ingredients (rhubarb syrup, water, and lemon juice).
  3. Serve in a glass with ice and enjoy!

The recipe can be doubled, tripled, or increased to whatever you need!  If your family or guests want a different sweetness and/or rhubarb-to-lemon ratio, make a big batch of the lemonade, minus the syrup, then stir in the rhubarb syrup to taste after each glass is poured.