Wow, it's been quite a while since I blogged, but I've been super busy with finishing the "Tails of the Merman" videos, then preparing for the Hukilau. Just as I finish those projects, I find out that today is Mixology Monday with a Bourbon theme. It must be fate. I've always wanted to participate in MxMo, but I either missed it, was too busy, or didn't have a good idea. Now is the perfect time for my MxMo debut.
Last year at this time my friend Chip brewed up a batch of hibiscus liqueur. It tastes great with an interesting play of sweet and tart. After enjoying it neat and on the rocks, of course our conversation turned to how to incorporate it into a cocktail. I figured Chip and the Modern Hobbit would gravitate toward rum, so I started mixing it with Bourbon and the original Hawaiian Fashioned was born. I blogged it almost exactly one year ago. It takes the classic Old Fashioned as it's inspiration and adds a Hawaiian twist:
2oz Quality Bourbon
1/2oz Hibiscus Liqueur
1/2oz Fresh Orange Juice
Shake the ingredients with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass filled with cracked ice. The cracked ice really opens up the flavors.
And making hibiscus liqueur is very simple. You should be able to get dried hibiscus flowers at most Latin markets. I also found some on amazon for a very reasonable price. Place between 1/8 and 1/4 cup dried hibiscus and 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring the water to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Steep for about 30 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, let cool a littlle add 1 cup white rum, and stir.
For this Hukilau, we participated in a home bar tour for members of the Fraternal Order of Moai. This was separate from the Hukilau, but with many members in town, we seized the opportunity. So, I had to come up with a cocktail that I could quickly and easily serve to approximately 30 people all at once. Our house is tiny and almost ensured that many folks would have to be outside in the brutal south Florida afternoon heat, so I wanted a frozen drink, but I didn't want to deal with running several blenders in order to get drinks in everyone's hands at the right time. I remembered my friend Greg telling me about a frozen whiskey sour recipe his family made where you mixed it up ahead of time and stuck it in the freezer and it didn't freeze solid, but instead came out slushy. Aha!
I searched around for frozen whiskey sour recipes and found several common elements. They often involved brewing tea, which is pretty much the first step in making hibiscus liqueur. They usually had a frozen juice concentrate (orange, lemonade, limeade, or combination). And of course sugar and bourbon. Here's what I decided to do:
8 cups water
1/4 cup dried hibiscus
1 cup sugar
1 can orange juice concentrate
4 cups bourbon
Bring water and hibiscus to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Steep for at least 30 minutes. Strain well. Put sugar and orange juice concentrate into a large plastic pitcher and pour the still warm hibiscus tea into the pitcher and stir until the sugar and concentrate have dissolved. Stir in the bourbon and freeze for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
The result is a deep pink slush that I love and I think our guests liked very much as well. And it really worked in this situation of serving a large group something frozen quickly. I did make 3 batches. The first two batches filled the 30some odd cups you see in the picture below and the third batch was gone before the group left for the next stop on the tour. BTW there was another drink option (for another blog post in the future), so it must have been at least ok for all the rummys. Hopefully someone took a close-up pic that I can add in the near future.
Please let me know if you make this yourself and how you like it.