As you well know, Leah Houghtaling is the mad scientist behind our most of our crazy concoctions. How does she come up with such great recipes? Typically, the brain storm - and it is a storm - starts with the phrase, "I've got an idea!" Leah then marches feverishly around the kitchen throwing different spices, fruits or vegetables into alchohol-filled ball jars labeled with masking tape. Experiments in varying stages of development litter both the lounge and home kitchens. The photo above is one of her latest spice tinctures which is kicking back in our living room. You can see our baby basil plants and germinating arugula waiting in the background for the last frost to come and go.
Of Leah's prize-winning Metaxa cocktail, Imbibe Magazine writes, "This pretty and creative cocktail is packed with flavor, and though it's light enough to drink in warm-weather months, it's also a perfect winter/holiday cocktail."
You can read about the other winning Metaxa cocktails in Imbibe's blog. Thanks, Imbibe!
1 1/2 oz. Metaxa 7-Star brandy
1 1/2 oz. coffee-fig elixir (recipe below)
Tools: shaker, strainer
Shake Metaxa and coffee-fig elixir (below) in an ice-filled shaker. Strain into chilled glass. Slit grape and place on rim for garnish.
Coffee-fig elixir1 cup high-quality fresh-roasted, hot-brewed coffee (Houghtaling uses Gimme! Ethiopian)
1 cup dried whole mission figs with stems removed
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup water
Simmer figs, fresh-brewed coffee and cloves over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Mash figs with back of spoon after simmering. Add brown sugar and water. Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat. Allow to cool then strain crushed figs out with a sieve and store.