Orange Blossom Daiquiri
Oh, you ought to know me by now, if I can put it in a bottle and wear it, I will try putting it in a bottle, or a baking tin, or a cup of cream and drink it or eat it too.
Remember last year, sometime late spring, early summer, when I went on about that bartender friend who was helping me out putting together fragrant cocktails? Yeah, well, that guy flaked out on me. Turns out he wasn't much of a mixologist and really only learned the craft to get the ladies. Mm-hmm. At any rate, he did leave me with some fabulous cocktail ideas, and I've been drinking up one of those ideas for the past couple of weeks, y'know, to make sure it's good and all.
So here's what I did, and in retrospect, you'd really be wanting to try this cocktail if you're willing to go through what I did to get from point A to point B (or is it Z? -- no matter).
First, go pick or buy five fat juicy oranges and slice them thinly, then quarter the slices so you've got all these little round bottomed triangle orange wedge things, toss them all in a big pot, add 6 cups of water and the juice from two lemons, plus a bit of the lemon rind, say about 2 teaspoons or so, just as if you were making marmalade. You following so far? Good. Boil the crap out of it. For about 45 minutes until you start thinking maybe there isn't going to be any water left, then shut it off and forget it until the next day. Cover the pot in case you're worried hungry bugs might trek in for a nibble. It's best to do this just before bedtime so you're not tempted to speed up the process as you'd be making a big mistake. Besides, you'll just be too tired to take a good whack at it, so let it be. Next day in the morning sometime, dump in 3 pounds (yes, pounds) of sugar, stir it down and cover the pot until later in the evening. Sterilize about three (and I could be wrong on this) 16-ounce (that's a pound too) wide-mouth canning jars. Once they've boiled about 5 minutes, shut off the heat and toss in the lids and seals to float on top, or sink, or whatever they want to do. Let that sit until you're ready to go on to the next step. Next step, at about the 24-hour mark from the time you started all this, turn the heat on the orange pot and get it to boil, then turn down the heat, pop in a candy thermometer and wait for the orange sludge to reach 220 degrees Fahrenheit (this could take a while depending on your pot and your patience level). Stir every so often, keep an eye on it so it doesn't boil over, and get those canning jars out of the water so they can dry out a bit. Now if you're lucky and you live in the right climate, run out and pick about a cup of fresh orange blossoms off your sweet orange tree. Negative that? Okay, run to your perfume materials' stash and pick up a bottle of your best orange blossom absolute and have it at the ready for the next part. Once the orange syrup has reached 220 and stayed at that temperature for about a minute, pull the pot off the heat and let it cool for about five minutes, then add in about 5 to 7 drops of orange blossom absolute and stir in well. If you have the flowers, drop those in and add about 2 drops of the orange blossom absolute. Using sterilized tools (I suppose I should have said to toss in a metal ladle and tongs into that boiling water, eh? -- well, go on, do it now) scoop the orange syrup, orangey bits, flowers and all, and ladle it into the canning jars. This is going to be super duper hot, so take your time and don't worry if you're making a mess. Your grandma will clean it up. Fill the jars to about 1/4 inch from the top, using a clean damp paper towel, wipe the mouth of the jar and screw on the lid/seal tightly. Once the jars can be handled, give them a quick wipe down with a damp rag and put them into the boiling water pot and bring it back to a boil. Try not to let the jars smack into one another. That could be tragic. Boil for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and go eat a burrito or something before bed. Next morning, pull the jars out of the now cold water bath, wipe off the jars, stick a label on them (Orange Blossom Syrup) and date then (these will last about a year unopened).
Later on that day (never thought it'd take you three days to make a decent cocktail, did you?), perhaps after dinner, or after lunch, whatever, who am I to judge, grab a pretty little cocktail glass and pour about a half a shot of rum into it, a teaspoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of lime juice, and three teaspoons of the Orange Blossom Syrup, a squirt of water (technically a squirt is about an eighth of a cup), stir it gently with a spoon, then fill the glass with ice. Drink up. Another way to do this is in a blender if you want the real daiquiri experience. My blender broke on my last margarita, so I supplied the alternate recipe.
There you have it. Oh, how does it smell? Like orange blossoms and rum, tropical and warm.