Miruvor Recipe

Well, this is fun. As I started to blog this recipe, I realized that I probably need an “Elvish” category. 馃檪 I nested it under my Ethnic Foods category, LOL!

Anyway. A couple months ago, I started work on a recipe for as-legit-as-possible Miruvor. I’d seen recipes out there for cocktails called Miruvor, but nothing that seemed really canon. So…

Miruvor (or Miruv贸r毛) is an elvish drink, from Tolkien’s writings. “Miruvor” was mentioned in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as “Cordial of Imladris”. Made by the Rivendell elves, its purpose in the stories is to revive those who drink it… sort of an elvish energy drink.

“As soon as Frodo had swallowed a little of the warm and fragrant liquor he felt a new strength of heart, and the heavy drowsiness left his limbs. The others also revived and found fresh hope and vigor.” – Fellowship of the Ring

Elrond gave it to Gandalf, who shared it with the Fellowship – in small doses – explaining it to be precious.

Miruvor was based, in-world, on Miruv贸r毛 – a drink created and imbibed by the Valar, in Valinor. Miruv贸r毛 was made from flowers grown in Yavanna’s gardens, and has been referred to as “A kind of nectar” by Tolkien, and as a sweet mead by Galadriel. So, enough information to use and build on, but still fairly vague.

While my *serious* Miruvor is indeed a mead recipe, next week’s “One Last Party” seemed like an ideal occasion to break out a bottle of Miruvor… but my brewing batch will not be ready for several more months. I decided to do a “quick” version: liqueur, rather than mead. So… Miruvor, rather than Miruv贸r毛. As with the in-world beverages, my Miruvor will similarly be inspired by my upcoming Miruv贸r毛 馃檪

So, as I do not personally have access to flowers from Yavanna’s gardens in Valinor – and because pretty much no information was ever created in terms of the actual FLAVOUR of said flowers, I had to get imaginative. In my mind, it would be a light floral flavour, almost fruity. I didn’t picture it as anything heavy, like rose or lavender, for instance.

In running through my knowledge of edible flowers that were also readily accessible, and deciding whether any were suitable as what I was picturing, it hit me: ELDERFLOWERS. Not only is their flavour pretty much exactly what I was picturing, the name is perfect. Elder flowers… Eldar flowers!

Ok, yeah, Rivendell elves aren’t technically “Eldar” elves, but Elrond WAS captured and raised by Maedhros and Maglor, who WERE Noldor, and therefore “Eldar”, so … Whatever, it’s headcanon now. Elderflowers = elvish.

For this recipe, I decided to use elderflower syrup, as it’s available year round and just a few clicks away on Amazon. You can use IKEA’s Elderflower syrup for a budget version, but I find the D’Arbo White Elderflower Syrup to be vastly superior in taste. Plus, you know… it’s SUPPOSED to be a precious drink, go ahead and spend the extra money to get the really good stuff!

Miruvor

500 ml Elderflower syrup (IKEA or D’Arbo)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
Peel of 1/2 lemon
peel of 1 orange
1 vanilla bean, split
Pinch salt
2-3 cups (500-750 ml) GOOD vodka

In a large pot, combine Elderflower syrup, honey, water, citrus peels, vanilla bean, and salt, whisking until well combined. Bring JUST to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Stir about 2 cups of vodka into the cooled syrup mixture, and taste. Continue adding vodka, to taste, until desired flavour / alcohol level is reached.

Strain through fine cheesecloth or a coffee filter, discarding peels. Funnel into clean wine or liqueur bottles.

After bottling, you should let it age for about a week in a cool place before drinking it 鈥 IF you have that kind of patience! Aging results in a smoother, more mellow flavor.

Butter Tart Liqueur!

A while back, I was craving butter tarts .

That’s nothing new, I’m a Canadian away from home – I’m always craving something that I either can’t get at all, or will have to make myself.

What was new is that I was drinking at the time, (Ok, THAT part isn’t new!)… and got it in my head that “Butter tart” would make a lovely flavour for a liqueur or cocktail. I immediately set about working through some ideas, deciding which way would be best to go.

In the end, doing a custom infused spirit and then turning it into a liqueur made the most sense.

This takes very little in the way of ingredients or effort, and the result will make any butter tart fan – or general Sweet Tooth – very happy!

Also: there is time to make this as a Christmas gift!

Buttertart Liqueur

1 cup dark raisins
2 vanilla beans
3 cups decent quality vodka
2 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water

Place raisins in a large, clean jar.

Slice vanilla beans lengthwise, scoop the seeds out. Add beans and seeds to the jar, top with vodka, and shake well. Store in a cool, dark place for about 4-7 days, shaking daily.

After a few days, taste. If the flavour is good and strong (it’ll likely be!), strain out raisins and vanilla, discard.* If you want more flavour, allow it to sit for another week or so, shaking daily.

Combine brown sugar, maple syrup, and water in a pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat, allow to cool.

Combine infused vodka with maple-brown sugar syrup, stirring or shaking well to combine. Bottle in clean wine or liqueur bottles.

After bottling, you should let it age for about a week in a cool place before drinking it 鈥 IF you have that kind of patience! Aging results in a smoother, more mellow flavor.

* Saving a few vodka raisins to place in the liqueur bottle makes for a cute presentation idea.

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!

High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes will be included.

The Kickstarter for “More Than Poutine is live, here. Please consider backing, and sharing the campaign with your friends!

Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!

Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be 鈥渏ust as good as the normal version!鈥, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a 鈥渘ormal鈥 recipe, and swapping in a simulated 鈥渁ll purpose鈥 gluten-free flour鈥 whether store bought, or a homemade version. 鈥淏eyond Flour鈥 takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an 鈥渁ll purpose鈥 mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients 鈥 skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal 鈥 not just a 鈥渞easonable facsimile鈥. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good 鈥 or better! 鈥 than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers鈥ithout the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you鈥檝e cooked from 鈥淏eyond Flour鈥, you already know that these fantasies can be reality 鈥 it鈥檚 all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Creamy Nutella Liqueur

First up, let’s get the legalities dealt with – This post is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or requested by the makers of Nutella or Guylian.

While Nutella seems to be a fairly new and exotic addition to local grocery stores, it was something I grew up with back home in Winnipeg. Nutella on toast was pretty much all we did with it… I’m kinda shocked that my mother never played around with it more, now that I think about it.

Anyway, yes. Nutella is awesome, and something I probably don’t need to spend a whole lot of time extolling the virtues of.

Recently, my husband bought me some Guylian chocolates – the Belgian chocolate seashells. Again, something far more common back home, than here. Nostalgia hit, I remembered once trying a Guylian brand of liqueur based on those chocolates, and decided to make a chocolate hazelnut creme liqueur myself. My mind went straight to Nutella as an ingredient, and … well, here we are.

Not only is this recipe ridiculously easy to make, it’s insanely delicious. I mean really, can you think of anything better than liquified, drinkable Nutella?

I think not.

With the holidays coming up, know that this would make an excellent hostess gift – Just make it a few days ahead of time, so it has time to mellow a little. Also, be sure to use a good vodka – cheaper stuff will give this an unpleasant burning taste, and really take away from the smooth luxuriousness of it.

Enjoy!

Nutella Creme Liqueur

3/4 cup Nutella (room temperature)
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup Heavy whipping cream
2+ cups Vodka

In a medium saucepan, whisk together Nutella, sugar, and vanilla extract. Cook over medium heat, slowly adding whipping cream. Gently whisk until everything has combined into a smooth, creamy mixture.

Continue heating, whisking frequently, until it starts to simmer. Remove from heat, allow to cool down to almost room temperature.

Once mixture has cooled, whisk in vodka until well combined. Taste, add more vodka if you so desire.

Keep in fridge for up to three weeks.

Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!

Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

Boozy Fun with Fresh Citrus Fruit

It’s a great time of year to purchase citrus fruits. Not only are most of them in season at the moment, but they provide a nice contrast to winter. Bright sunny colors and flavors go a long way to offset the “blah” outside.

Once you’ve squeezed some lemon on your meal, zested some orange into your dessert, or put lime in your Coke…then what?

Well, how about homemade “Sour Mix”? Citrus sugar? Citrus SALT? Citrus infused spirits / liqueur? Cocktails!

Yes, there is a lot of boozy fun to be had with fresh citrus fruits!

(more…)

Homemade Iced Tea Liqueur Recipe

Remember back in September 9th鈥檚 post about homemade blueberry liqueur, I said I was gonna post a whole series on making liqueurs, with the aim of getting it all done in time for holiday gift giving?

I got a little sidetracked. Whoops. In my defense, there鈥檚 been SO much going on here in the way of repairs. Getting my husband to photograph anything … well, it鈥檚 got to be a lower priority, what with winter coming!

So, let鈥檚 go with something super easy – iced tea liqueur!

You鈥檝e probably seen a bunch of iced tea liqueurs on the market in the past two years: Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka, Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, Burnett’s Sweet Tea Vodka, Sweet Carolina Sweet Tea Vodka, Barton Long Island Iced Tea Liqueur, etc. 2009 marked the real explosion of 鈥淪weet tea鈥 flavored liqueurs on liquor store shelves.

For what mass produced offerings, they鈥檙e not bad. Expensive for what they are, but they get the job done.

Homemade sweet iced tea liqueurs not only taste a million times better, they allow you to have a lot of control over the flavors, and are only a fraction of the cost of the retail versions. Also, they are so ridiculously easy to make, I鈥檓 almost embarrassed to post a recipe!

While the infusion time needed for this liqueur is much, much shorter than any of the others, it really benefits from aging. If you鈥檙e looking to do a batch for holiday gifts, you鈥檒l want to start it soonish.

Iced Tea Liqueur.

(more…)

Homemade Blueberry Liqueur

This time of year, I’m torn.

One one hand… I really hate the commercialization of certain holidays, and how THAT results in stuff like Halloween displays in Menards… in August. Christmas displays in September. It gets earlier and earlier every year. Also, really… The holiday season stresses me out. It means doing my grocery shopping at 5 am, to avoid the crowds and horrible bell-ringer-induced headaches. People body checking each other in order to get the perfect gift or the last box of cocoa on the shelf. Just.. yeah. I digress…

On the other hand, I love giving handmade gifts. There’s something really satisfying about putting the finishing touches on the presentation of your own handiwork, and seeing the joy on the recipients’ face. It’s something personal small-batch, unique, and… not pulled off a shelf at the last minute. You know. Special.

Thing is, a lot of hand made gifts require planning ahead. It does no one any good for me to give Christmas gift ideas in December, when they take 3 months to make. As my friend Karen pointed out yesterday, she always gets a laugh when newspapers publish recipes for making your own corned beef ON St Patty’s Day.

So.. I’m sorry. I know it’s the beginning of September, and I hate thinking “Holiday” this early just as much as anyone. In the interest of helping you give some awesome gifts this year, however, I’m going to write a few blog entries on homemade holiday gifts. Now.

Some will take only a couple weeks to make, others may take a couple months of wait time. Many are ingredient dependent, and best to start NOW. What’s the point of posting a recipe for fresh blueberry liqueur in mid December, for instance? Also, most liqueurs taste better (smoother) with a bit of aging,

So, let’s talk liqueur making. (more…)

Homemade Kiwi Liqueur Recipe


Back when we were shooting for The Spirited Baker, most of the shots were “bake and eat”. One shot, however, gave us something to look forward to in the future!

The first chapter of the book deals with how to infuse spirits, as well as to make various syrups, bartender mixes, etc – grenadine, sour mix, lime cordial syrup. When shooting the divider shot for that chapter, we infused FIVE LITERS of vodka with various flavors. We made coffee vodka.. strawberry, jalapeno, earl grey with lemon, and more. Not only did it make for a great photo, it left us anticipating the tasty finished products that would come.

This weekend, we made liqueurs from all of our infused vodka, and had some friends over to sample. I’d love to share the recipe for one of the biggest hits – Homemade Kiwi Liqueur. This is a very smooth, drinkable liqueur with great flavor.

In addition to the 100+ dessert recipes, kiwi is just one of the many liqueurs you can learn to make from buying The Spirited Baker, due out on August 31. Preorders still available, hint hint!

&nbsp

Photo courtesy M. Porter Photography

(more…)