Sunday, August 14, 2011

Grasping at Straws

This has not been the best summer. I admit it, I've been struggling to put a good face on things but when you find yourself listening to Queen's Innuendo for motivation you aren't in the best place.

You need a Shirley Temple.

Ok, maybe you don't, but I do. I don't know what it is about this drink that wraps me up in footie pajamas and says, "It's ok, you can have fun now.", but it never fails to make me feel better about the world. Of course, as a grown up I can play with it in ways that wouldn't have been suitable when I was eight. Also, as a grown up, I can decide how many cherries it gets. This may be the best part, especially when you use cherries you have done up yourself. Or, if you have had a really bad set of weeks, you can do something like what I did. You can get really crazy and take someone else's inspiration and really customize your drink. Like, for example, making a cherry cheesecake shirley temple float.

Put rum cherries in the bottom of your glass(about a dozen, depending on how your day was.) Top with rum from the cherries, and some cherry syrup. Add cheesecake ice cream. If you think cheesecake tastes like ick, you can use vanilla or almond ice cream. Pour ginger ale over the top. You may need another cherry. Or more rum.

And footie pajamas.

Cherry Syrup

750 g of cherries, pitted (I used Ayers Creek's amazing montmorency cherries)
150 g sugar
50 g water
a dash of bitters
a squeeze of lime juice
a pinch of salt

Put everything together in a pot and bring to a gentle boil. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine strainer into a bowl pressing all of the syrup out of the fruit. The syrup will thicken slightly when cool, but you can reduce the strained syrup to intensify its flavor and thicken it if you want (you risk scorching it, so use caution!). Cool and store in a covered container in the fridge. I have no idea how long it will keep because I use it too quickly.

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