Hot Buttered Rum

I made my first Hot Buttered Rum this evening. How could I not try it out, especially after locating the recipe for the world's best hot buttered rum? It sounded like everything a winter drink should be: warm, booze-filled (sorry… infused with distilled spirits), sweet, and buttery. It sounded fantastic. You know what? It is fantastic. The making is terribly simple. Take a stick of softened butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar (I used dark), 1/4 cup agave nectar (a sweetener. You could probably use honey in a pinch, though that will throw off the flavor. Some sort of syrup, even a simple syrup, would work just as well), about half a tsp of cinnamon, 1/8 tsp each of nutmeg, allspice, and clove, a shot of rum, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine (I used a fork). Take a spoonful or two of the batter, put it in a coffee cup, add a shot or so of rum, and fill the rest with hot water. Drink. Enjoy. Mmmm. I used Cruzan Light rum for my rum, as it was a good quality rum, and Lance J. Mayhew, who published the recipe that I found, suggests Bacardi 8. The important thing is to use a good rum. (Remember: cold reduces molecular motion, and that includes activating taste receptors. Hot increases molecular motion, so a bad rum will taste worse when heated.)

Brewing your own root beer

One of my favorite things to do is to make things that people don't normally think to make. If you only know of something as a bottle or a can in a grocery store, then it's entirely likely that you need to try making it at home at least once, to see what it really tastes like. One of the things I'd like to make is some root beer. Not particularly because I've always wanted to make my own root beer, but mostly because a) non-industrialized root beer is really quite tasty, and b) RS Brewing's blog, the Champagne of Blogs has a detailed step-by-step of how to make your own root beer. Woo! The great thing about this setup is that it does not involve a pre-made syrup, but rather has you make your own flavored water and carbonate it. The downside is that it does not involve yeast for the carbonation, so it's not entirely traditional. If you read down into the comments, you can see where some people suggest that yeast would be okay. Of course, it's a short step from this to making any kind of soda/cola/pop/whatever you want. Perhaps some tasty citrus-flavored concoction. Mmmm. via Make.