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Holiday happenings part 2 April 8, 2010

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Drinks.
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(go to part 1 here if you haven’t seen it already)

I’d already made two kinds of cookies – one set to illustrate Easter and one set to illustrate Passover – and decided to push on, decorating some eggs (eggs are used in both holidays, although the decorating of eggs is more closely associated with Easter), and then making a drink which was probably completely inappropriate for both holidays!

I had recently read about the chinese tea eggs so was excited to see this post over at the Barefoot Kitchen Witch for using the method used to prepare the tea eggs to make dyed eggs for Easter. To start with, I hardboiled my eggs, using these directions for the perfect hard boiled egg. Once they had cooked and cooled, I gently tapped them to crack the shells (the Barefoot Kitchen Witch says to roll them to crack them, but I found I had to tap them to at least start them off).

I prepared 4 small glasses of different food colouring and water. I made the colours quite dark as I figured it would take a bit to colour the insides of the eggs (rather than if I’d just been colouring the shells, for example). I put one egg in each glass.

I used blue and green food colouring (the type you can buy from the supermarket) and gold and black gel paste (mainly used for colouring icing – I got mine from Cake Deco) and I was interested to see if there would be any difference in the two dye types. Here’s the prerequisite mad scientist shot – I pretended I had a brain in a jar!

The original instructions said to leave the eggs soaking in their dyes overnight – but I was too impatient. Plus, I was intending to use the hardboiled eggs in a salad later in the day! In the end, I left the eggs for about 4 hours before I took them out.

Clockwise from the top we have the black dye, the gold, the green and the blue. I then carefully peeled all the eggs to reveal the result.

They were so pretty! I think my favourite was probably the black one, which had gone a dark purple/blue colour. I was also intrigued with the gold one – it was quite pale compared to the others but had gone an interesting bronze/antique-y colour. I thought that the green one could have spent more time in the dye (or maybe I’d added less dye than I should have to begin with) and the blue one was bright and festive. On all of them, I loved the random patterns provided by the cracked shells and the different line thicknesses.

When I did chop the eggs up later on for use in a salad, they were certainly colourful! It was somewhat disconcerting seeing bright blue eggs in among the other salad ingredients, but luckily they still tasted fine.

An inappropriate cocktail

Bolstered by my success with the cookies and the dyed eggs, I thought a celebratory drink was in order. What better way to celebrate but by creating a stupidly strong cocktail, sure to wreak havoc on Passover and Easter alike?! I tried to think of another ingredient common to both holidays. First I thought of doing something sweet – something with chocolate and honey, perhaps? As I’m not a huge fan of sweet milky drinks, I tried to think of something else. And then I hit on it. Carrots. I’d make a carrot cocktail in celebration of making eggs and cookies. As I had gin but no vodka, I used gin as my base spirit and decided to infuse it with the carrots to make carrot-flavoured gin. I grated up half a carrot and put it in a glass with about 120ml of gin.

I left it for about 3 hours and was rewarded with some very orange gin. I set about making the rest of the cocktail, although I was limited by the ingredients I had in my house. I had googled to see if anyone else had made a carrot cocktail, and found some information over at Alcademics and on Mark Sexauer’s Cocktail Blog. While both recipes sounded delicious, they included lots of things I didn’t have on hand.

I decided to press on and make a variation on the martini. To the carrot gin I added dry vermouth, cayenne pepper, normal pepper and lemon juice. I shook it up well with some ice and then strained into a martini glass. I garnished it with – what else? – a slice of carrot. Here is the result.

As you can see, the gin did indeed turn very very orange! I tentatively took a sip of the cocktail, as I really wasn’t sure it would be drinkable. To my surprise and delight, it was very drinkable, reminding me in part of a Bloody Mary (with a carrot base instead of tomato, and gin instead of vodka). The carrot gin was quite sweet, which was contrasted with the cayenne pepper (which gave it some heat) and the lemon (which provided a refreshing acidic touch). This was definitely more drinkable than I’d been expecting! Pass these around at your next Easter or Passover celebration and I can guarantee riotous results will occur!

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