Well, it’s finally Friday. I hear that other parts of the country are already freezing their ta-ta’s off. But here in Southern California, Mother Nature just realized that she completely forgot to give us some warm weather during June, July and August. Acting like a divorced parent trying to make amends to their children, she decided to make up for her ignoring us and has completely overdone it with the temperatures. 95 degrees in November? Really?
Regardless of what the thermometer says, it is Fall. And with Fall comes the heartier recipes in the kitchen, but don’t forget the Fall drinks at the bar. Just like you have fun using those ingredients to make hearty comforting fare for the dinner table, you can have just as much fun making Fall drinks. And who says drinks aren’t comfort food?
Heartier liquors generally include those brown spirits that the uninitiated tend to shy away from. I find that most people who don’t enjoy whiskey or bourbon drinks have either had a really bad tasting brand or have never tried them but a friend, who knows this guy, who heard from his cousin about how some whiskey/bourbon drink got them so drunk they almost died. News flash…it’s not just the whiskey and bourbon drinks that can do that.
You may recall, that this past summer, I was concocting all kinds of infused spirits – like the blueberry vodka and strawberry ginger gin for some new twists on classic gin and martini recipes. Well, I haven’t stopped with my infusing; quite the contrary. At the moment, a good size section of my kitchen looks like the Nutty Professor’s lab. I’ve got more bourbon infusions, some gin and another mystery spirit infusing away – just waiting to be included in a new and tasty cocktail. (Or maybe one of those classic cocktails turned on its ear.)
But back to this infused bourbon. I’ve been really enjoying the different types of bourbon lately in those classic bourbon drinks: The Manhattan and The Old Fashioned. But I really wanted to change up the flavor a bit. While vodka and gin are relatively easy spirits to infuse (vodka especially), bourbon has a lot more flavor already apparent in it. The flavor profile ranges from sweet to smokey with other elements like leather, oak and vanilla in varying amounts of noticeability. So these things need to be taken into account when selecting what to infuse into the liquor.
Being that I love peach crumble ok, peach anything, I decided to do an infused bourbon with peaches to make a peach martini. (Yes, it can still be called a peach martini even though it’s made with bourbon.) Since it’s bourbon based, it won’t be one of those icky sweet martini recipes that seem to be everywhere, but a nice comforting peach martini (just like a fresh from the oven peach crumble a la mode…only a few degrees cooler). I grabbed some end of season fruit because it still has flavor, just not as much as the peak season peaches do. (Frozen and thawed peaches would work just as well in this application.) Then, to bump up some of the spice flavors already present in the spirit I added more vanilla and cinnamon.
To further solidify this peach martini cocktail for the annals of Fall drinks (well, and for future ‘must make’ martini recipes) I added a touch of half and half. This gives it that rich and creamy mouth feel without the thickness that heavy cream can have. A sprinkle of nutmeg and garnish of cinnamon stick makes you feel like you’ve just had a glass of peach crumble…in the middle of Fall. If my prediction is correct, this peach bourbon martini should fall in line nicely with some of those classic creamy martini recipes that have been around, seemingly, forever.
My grandmother had a saying, that lot’s of grandmother’s say, never go to bed angry at each other. Being an adult, and having been married longer than a month, that saying is easier said than done.
Does it ever seem like you can never win an argument with your partner? She zigs…he zags and never the two shall meet? Well, that has now been proven as a scientific fact. So here is how you win an argument with your significant other. Remember though, you should only use your powers for good (that was part of my swearing in ceremony for the women’s hall of fame – LOL).
A new study shows that when men see angry faces, their brains are unable to understand how the other person is feeling. To really spell it out (because this isn’t saying your guy is dumb):
when men experience acute stress, such as an argument, they have less ability to read the other person’s facial expression and respond in an empathic way.
But women have the opposite reaction:
under stress women have an increased ability to interpret another person’s experience; in other words, to have empathy and understanding.
Score one for the guys. They don’t shut down and get quiet during an argument because they’re neanderthals after all – but that whole leaving the toilet seat up is caveman primal at it’s finest. So when you argue with one another, each of your brains is telling you to behave completely opposite of your partner.
So the next time you find yourself in an argument with your guy, take a deep breath and count to 10. Try and turn the argument into a discussion. You can still make your point, but if his brain doesn’t see the anger in your face it won’t leave him hanging with nothing to say and you have a better chance at resolution.
Infused Peach Bourbon Recipe
Makes 2 1/2 Cups
- 2 1/2 Cups Bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
- 1 Whole Vanilla Bean (cut in half – not split)
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 2 Whole Peaches (peeled/pitted and cut into large chunks)
In a large airtight jar add the first 4 ingredients.
Seal the jar and shake well to distribute and dissolve the brown sugar.
Add the peach chunks to the mixture and re-seal.
Let sit for 1 week. Occasionally shake the jar to keep everything distributed evenly.
Remove peaches and cinnamon stick (optional: can also remove vanilla bean and use it’s contents for baking).
Strain the infused bourbon through a double layer of cheesecloth. (I put the vanilla bean halves back into the jar with the bourbon)
Store in an airtight container.
Peach Bourbon Martini Recipe
- 2 Ounces Peach Bourbon
- 1 Ounce Half and Half
- 1 Teaspoon Honey
- Ground Nutmeg (for topping)
- Cinnamon Stick (for garnish)
Fill a shaker with ice.
Add the bourbon, half and half and honey to the shaker. Shake really well to chill the ingredients and blend in the honey.
Strain and pour into a martini glass.
Sprinkle nutmeg on top of martini and garnish with a cinnamon stick.