Crisp fall air and leaves turning shades of red and burnished orange, the crackle of them under your feet as you walk down the street with hands snuggled deep inside your pockets. Autumn is by far my favorite season. The temperatures begin to cool down at night, calling for an extra blanket or a down comforter. This is something I miss now that I live south of the Mason Dixon line. It’s only been 3 and a half years, but I doubt I’ll ever really get used to the lack of (distinguishable) seasons.
This post is sponsored by Four Roses Bourbon. The content and opinions are mine and not shared by the sponsor.
It’s Opening Day and what better way to celebrate than with a little bourbon? Four Roses Bourbon wants to help you celebrate Opening Day with a Bourbon Cocktail and the idea was to incorporate ball park food. I love a good hot dog as much as the next girl… but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to combine a hot dog and bourbon.
So, I started thinking about what I love about bourbon and it’s the caramelly smokiness that gets me. An old-fashioned is my drink of choice, so I am *quite* familiar with bourbon. Ahem. Which leads me to the question “what do I eat at ball games that I can combine with bourbon?”. Answer: Caramel Corn. The flavors are already there and I wanted to come up with a drink that would enhance the flavor profile of the bourbon without masking it.
The Girl and I love baseball and lucky for us, the Grapefruit League is here. We take road trips all over Florida to watch Spring Training games and now Opening Day is finally here! Growing up in Ohio, the Cleveland Indians have always been my team. I know you are only supposed to have ONE favorite team, but I must divulge this bit of info: I lived in NYC for 17 years, how could I not root for the Mets? I’ve been to more Mets games in the old stadium than all the other games combined! (Don’t even talk to me about the Yankees…) We take it pretty seriously, as you can see.
On to the recipe! There are only 2 elements to this libation, making it pretty easy to whip up if you are having a few people over. You can easily double or triple the simple syrup recipe, put it into a nice little pitcher, set out your bottle of Four Roses and your guests can help themselves! The Bourbon and the Buttered Caramel Simple Syrup. That’s it! (BOOM… Mic Drop)
- 6 ounces (4 shots) Four Roses Bourbon
- 1/2 TB unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 4 TB light brown sugar
- 4 TB water
- granulated sugar for rim of glass / caramel corn for garnish
- Combine butter, vanilla, sugar & water in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and let it continue to simmer for 5 - 8 minutes, until sugar has completely dissolved and syrup has thickened just slightly.
- Pour 3 ounces (2 shots) of bourbon in a glass and add syrup to taste. Stir to combine. Garnish if desired.
- Suggestion: start with 1 tablespoon of syrup, you can always add more to taste.
- A word on ice: I use a muffin tin to make large ice cubes for my drinks. They are the perfect size for the glasses I have and they don't water down the drinks as quickly as smaller cubes.
- Because there is a smidge of butter in the syrup- if you add ice, the drink will get a bit cloudy. There's nothing wrong with your drink, it's just the butter getting cold.
- I had some simple syrup left over and I also had leftover ham from Easter... Throw a splash of bourbon into the syrup, and glaze the ham with that magical concoction!
- You're Welcome.
A few days ago I had the good fortune to spend time with family members I haven’t seen in awhile and met some new ones for the first time. Those of us that live far away from the rest of our clans aren’t able to be a part of each others daily life, so the chance to gather in one place for a few hours is extra special.
We had a lovely afternoon sharing food and stories, laughing and catching up with each other. At times we are all so busy in the day-to-day that we fail to take a few minutes to just say “hi” to people we care about.
It was a chance for all of us to do just that and make a few more connections on Facebook, of course!
Connecting over food is a common experience for everyone on every continent, of every color and every religion. It is good for us to acknowledge the commonality that ties us all together instead of focusing on the differences that fracture us. Food is definitely one of those common denominators It is an integral part of almost every celebration from birthdays to weddings, holidays, family gatherings, get-togethers with friends, etc.
Sometimes we get caught up in the everyday, letting other things go by the wayside. Our days become filled with the same routine: go to work, make dinner, wash dishes, wash clothes, clean the house, go grocery shopping, run errands, etc.
Life just seems to get in the way of having, well…. a life.
Often times, we don’t mean to let important things get pushed to the back burner and when we make time for them, we realize just how much they mean to us.
My visit with Sonali & Tracey was just that. It had been 6 years since the three of us had all been together, even though we are in touch with each other we hadn’t had actual face time. When we sat down and realized it had been that long, I think we were all a bit shocked.
The three of us had met in Culinary school and had become fast friends. We would pore over food journals and magazines as if they were salacious material in front of adolescent boys. We would laugh & refer to it (lovingly) as “food porn”, a term I still use with frequency I might add…