Arctic weather is upon us again with winter weather advisories, snow plows, boots to the knees, layers like that of an onion, and wind that cuts through most of them to give the flesh underneath a sudden layer of goose bumps. Spring even through just a few months away seems desperately out of reach at this moment and we have been needing a little reminder of things to come. Eric came home from work Friday night, his arms laden with groceries for dinner fixings (mahi mahi fish tacos), a bottle of tequila, and a bunch of flowers for me. He said they were to bring some life into the house, a glimpse of things to come, he said it would be a while before we would have our own flowers blooming. They were a sweet thought and a reminder of things to come shortly, the sunshine, warm weather, single layers, crocus buds, daffodils, gardens, flip-flops, and bare feet.
As Eric started to prepare the mahi mahi steak for the grill, I set about making us a cocktail. Eric was thinking margaritas, but as it often seems to be we did not have all the ingredients. I had run out of regular sugar only having a supply of vanilla sugar that I use for baking, and to sweeten coffee or tea. To make the vanilla sugar I use the nearly spent vanilla bean after Eric has made a batch of cream brûlée. Even with a good scrape of the back of a knife there are always leftover bits of vanilla specks remaining. I take 4 cups of sugar along with both halves of the vanilla bean, and place it in a locking container, shaking vigorously and then ever so often to release all the caviar into the sugar. Leave this for a few months and your patience will be rewarded with a subtle vanilla sugar.
For the drink, I made a simple syrup with the vanilla sugar and then combined it with just three other ingredients for this amazing little cocktail, I am calling it the Vanilla Tequila Sour. It has a nice little back flavor of sweet sugar spiced with vanilla, and a sourness from lime juice. It actually works really well together with the tequila and was a festive little drink that transported us to the tropics, even in sub-Arctic temps. It also complimented the fresh fish tacos, served with red onions, serrano and habenaro chilies, sliced crisp radishes, and homemade guacamole, giving us a little taste of the islands in our corner of Ohio. I just wish we had those island temps right about now. Oh well for now I have this little gem of a cocktail to warm me up!
- For the Syrup
- ½ cup vanilla sugar
- ½ cup water
- For the Drink
- ⅓ cup simple syrup
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup tequila
- ¾ cup filtered water
- lime slice to garnish
- salt or sugar for rim
- Make simple syrup with ½ cup vanilla sugar and ½ cup water.
- Stir to combine and over low flame on stove top stir just until sugar is throughly dissolved. Allow to cool.
- On small saucer place desired salt or sugar for rimming glasses. Prepare glasses, dipping rims in the simple syrup and then either salt or sugar.
- Mix ⅓ cup simple syrup, ¼ cup fresh lime juice, ¼ cup tequila, and ¾ cup water in cocktail shaker with desired ice.
- Using strainer pour into prepared glasses.
- Garnish with a slice of lime. Enjoy!