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August 07, 2019

APPLE BLOSSOM MOSCOW MULE

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   This post was made possible courtesy of Moscow Muled. All opinions and ideas expressed are my own.

Apple Blossom Moscow Mule
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Apple flavored Moscow mule is a refreshing must try cocktail. Sweetened apple juice, zingy vodka, citrusy lemon, and spicy ginger beer come together to make a delicious drink to leisurely enjoy.

Can you believe that apple picking season is at our doorstep? For many of us who live in Massachusetts, it's  one of the highlights of the late summer/early fall season. My husband and I used to take our kids apple picking when they were young. Our favorite farm offered hayrides from the main building to the apple orchards, which was always almost as fun as the apple picking. Those were precious times.


These days you are more likely to find me enjoying apple drinks of the spiked kind with my children, who are now in their 20's. And when my son and his friends told me they would not change a single thing about this Moscow mule, I knew it was a keeper!

In this Moscow mule, you will taste the crispness and kick of the apple vodka; the sweetness of apple juice; the freshness of citrusy lemon; and the warmth and spiciness of ginger beer. This drink goes down so well served on ice. And when it's presented in beautiful mugs, it's a total win!!

These gorgeous copper mugs are made of 100% high-grade copper. Each is hand hammered, providing beautiful texture and character. The handles are welded to the mug to safeguard against leaks.


Apple Blossom Moscow Mule

Moscow Muled is focused on providing quality and safe products to their customers. Acidic drinks react with copper and causes it to leach into the beverage, which may be harmful to your health over time. Their copper mugs are lined with food-safe nickel, forming a protective barrier so you can enjoy your drinks safely!


What as a Moscow Mule?

A classic Moscow Mule is made with vodka, ginger beer and lime juice. It is traditionally served in a copper mug which helps maintain the cold temperature. From this, a plethora of Moscow mule variations was born



Is Ginger Beer The Same As Ginger Ale?

Not exactly. Ginger beer is a spicier more intense version of ginger ale, a carbonated soft drink. A traditionally made true ginger beer is an alcoholic drink that is brewed and fermented. Carbonation is less than that of ginger ale and is provided by the fermentation process. Modern day manufactured ginger beer is typically carbonated. And with an alcohol content of about 0.5%, it is classified as non-alcoholic. It is slightly sweet, gingery, robust, and spicy.
 
This Moscow mule is sweet in comparison to the traditional counterpart due to the addition of sweetened apple juice. I wouldn't call it an apple flavored simple syrup as it does not have enough sugar-to-liquid ratio to be considered one. It has just enough sweetness to balance the warm, spicy and tart flavors of the cocktail. 



I also swapped out the lime for lemon. Although the drink is delicious with the former, the lemon offers a slightly mellower level of tartness which I find pleasing. Try it both ways and see which you prefer!

I hope you make and enjoy my twist on Moscow mule! Until next time, have a fabulous rest of your week!!

Warning: Do not serve to anyone under 21 years of age.



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APPLE BLOSSOM MOSCOW MULE 

Apple Blossom Moscow Mule


INGREDIENTS:


3 ounces apple vodka
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 ounces sweetened apple juice (see below)
4 ounces ginger beer
apple slice and lemon slice for garnish
Sprig of mint for garnish

Sweetened Apple Juice:
6 ounces apple juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar



INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat apple juice and sugar in  a small pan on medium heat until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and chill prior to making drink. 

Fill a copper mug with ice. Pour in vodka, sweetened apple juice, lemon juice, and ginger beer. Stir. Garnish with apple, lime, and mint. 

Makes one serving.



Recipe Notes
  1. The batch of sweetened apple juice yields enough for 3 drinks. Keep excess refrigerated for later use. Increase or decrease amount using a 3:1 ratio of apple juice to sugar.



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July 24, 2019

SMALL BATCH OLIVE OIL ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

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Make use of surplus summer zucchini with these small batch zucchini muffins. Made with olive oil, they are incredibly moist and tender.  

Small Batch Olive Oil Zucchini Muffins
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Are you like me? Sometimes I want to make a treat but don't want a boatload left over to tempt me for days on end. And sometimes I don't want to bother with giving them away. That's when small batch baking comes in handy. Yes, excess baked goods can be frozen to enjoy at a later time, but fresh is always best. When they are as easy to make as these muffins, I don't mind whipping up a batch as needed.

July 08, 2019

CLAM SHACK CLAM CAKES

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To fully appreciate the New England experience, you need to experience clam cakes. These clam filled fried puffs, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, are quintessential New England and a must try.

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This clam cake recipe was one of my oldest posts on the blog. It was published on December 27, 2013. The clam cakes are so good that I think they are worthy of a repost. I have updated the content and pictures since the original publication.

These nuggets of yumminess are dear to my heart has they are my recreation of a childhood family favorite. I lived in Massachusetts most of my life. Growing up, my family used to frequent this hole-in-the wall clam shack on one of the beaches of Cape Cod. The counter was run by a crusty older lady who seriously lacked customer service skills. It was not unusual to hear her yell at patrons. Because the clam cakes were so good, customers seemed to be willing to put up with her crankiness. (In fact, I think the soup Nazi on Seinfeld might be related to her. Hee hee!)



Those clam cakes were heavenly! They are puffy dough-y balls of goodness—hot and crispy on the outside; tender and with a taste of the sea on the inside. Perfect oceanside food!

I played around with numerous variations and declared success when I created the recipe you see below. It has all the boxes checked: deep golden brown color, crispy exterior, tender interior, and slightly chewy chopped clams.

Clam Shack Clam Cakes

My secret ingredient for making these awesome clam cakes is instant nonfat dry milk. Although there is only a small amount used, it is an essential ingredient. Omitting is not recommended. It serves several purposes: to help keep the dough tender; to provide color (browning); and to a lesser extend in this recipe, add flavor.

Why not just use regular milk? I like to fully maximize the flavor of clams and therefore use clam juice exclusively for the liquid component. Adding regular milk would dilute the flavor of the clam juice. With that being said, if you don't want to use powdered milk, swap out 1/4 cup of the clam juice for regular milk.

How To Produce Tender Clam Cakes?

Do not overmix the dough. It creates gluten which results in a dense, tough end product. Mix the batter until everything is just combined. As mentioned above, powdered milk also enhances tenderness.


How to Keep The Clam Cakes Crispy?

Once fried, drain on layers of paper towels or a cooling rack. Do not place directly of a flat cold surface. This will promote condensation at the point of contact and creates sogginess. For maximum crispiness, the clam cakes are best eaten immediately. They will lose crispiness once stored. To restore crispiness, a quick refry will provide the best result. Reheating for a few minutes in the oven will also bring back some crispiness.





How To Serve?

Many New Englanders like to dip or drizzle the clam cakes with malt vinegar. Tartar sauce is also delicious condiment. If you’re a hot and spicy fan, hot sauce is also an option. As for me, I think these clam cakes are perfect plain!

Clam Shack Clam Cakes

Summertime means seafood time! There is plenty of it to be found here in New England. You can also find clam cakes at many seafood establishments along the coast. If you are a seafood fan, I hope you whip yourself up a batch of these tasty clam cakes!

Making that batter is super quick and easy and requires only one bowl. Fry time? I think you will like that too. This recipe yields 12. At about 4 minutes per batch, they take very little time to cook!



Shop online at Amazon for supplies recommended for this recipe! Any commission made on purchases makes these posts possible and helps support my blogging addiction. 



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CLAM SHACK CLAM CAKES

Clam Shack Clam Cakes


INGREDIENTS:

2 (6.5 oz.) cans chopped clam
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
5 tsp. non fat dried milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 rounded tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 rounded tsp. sugar
Oil for frying


INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oil in a deep fryer or skillet to 360 degrees F.

Drain clams, reserving liquid. Add 3/4 cup of clam juice to dry. Set aside

Whisk together the remaining eight ingredients. Blend in clams and clam juice until just combined. The batter should the consistency of thick pancake batter. Add more clam juice, one tablespoon at a time, if the batter is dry.

Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop batter into hot oil and cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, turning halfway through. Do not crowd pan. Drain on paper towels. Yields 12-14 clam cakes.



Recipe Notes:


  1. If there isn't enough clam juice once drained, use milk to make up the difference or bottled clam juice if available.
  2. If you don't have dry milk, swap out 1/4 cup of the clam juice for 1/4 cup of regular milk.




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