Chicha Morada Popsicles (made with Peruvian Purple Corn)

Chicha morada is a non-fermented purple corn drink from Peru. It is said that this particular corn is packed with antioxidants. But for me it’s not about its nutritional value, that’s just a plus. For me, it reminds me of my childhood. Just the smell of it while it is cooking brings me back to Peru. This is and will always be my favorite drink. If you go to Peru, the chicha morada will taste a bit different at each restaurant. Some add more cloves or cinnamon. Some add more sugar or less lime juice. So you can always adapt it to your palate. If you make it to drink it though, keep it refrigerated for 3 to max 4 days. You can also spike it with Pisco or rum to make it into a punch. A good chicha morada will have a deep purple color, so it will not be a translucent liquid. You can buy the purple corn at stores that sell Latin American products or online.

This recipe makes about 12 popsicles or about 2 littles of Chicha Morada.

Ingredients:

500g Purple Corn

Rind and core of one pineapple

4 cinnamon sticks

4 cloves

2 apples cut into quarters

4 liters of boiling water

Sugar to taste (I add about 1/2 cup of sugar)

Juice of 2 to 3 limes (or to taste)

 

Place the purple corn in a large pot with the pineapple rind and core, the cinnamon sticks, cloves, apples and 2 liters of boiling water. Let it simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes. You can also partially cover it with a lid because it does splatter if it gets too hot. Otherwise just lower the heat a bit. After the 45 minutes have passed and the liquid has reduced, add the remaining 2 litters of boiling water. Let it simmer for an extra 45 minutes. You know it’s done when the corn kernels sort of crack and you can see the flesh of the corn.

Sift the liquid and discard of the solids. Be careful not to splatter the liquid over your clothes.

Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Since the liquid is hot, it will dissolve quicker. Transfer it to a pitcher and let it cool at room temperature. Once the chicha morada is cold, add the lime juice to taste. Mix well and then pour it into each popsicle mold. Insert the sticks and freeze overnight.

The next day, carefully remove them from the mold by rinsing them over hot water. Enjoy!

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Rhubarb & Citrus Mocktail

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The weather has been crazy lately. Friends were visiting from abroad and I had already told them how temperamental the weather can be here, so they came prepared. On Thursday and Friday, we had summer-like temperatures, and on Saturday and Sunday it was felt more like winter. Funny to see the pictures we took, because you would think they are from two different visits by the change of clothing. It was so nice to show them around Amsterdam and this trip ended up being extra special for them since they got engaged.

Going back to this recipe, this is a very refreshing drink. And of course you can add some liquor if you want, but it doesn’t need it. You’ll have enough rhubarb simple syrup to make about 3 batches.

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This recipe makes about 1.5 liters.

Ingredients:

For the rhubarb simple syrup:

3 large rhubarb stalks, roughly chopped

1 cup of sugar

1 ½ cups of boiling water

For the mocktail:

Juice of 4 oranges

Juice of 3 ruby red grapefruit

¼ cup of the rhubarb simple syrup, cold

Bunch of mint

750ml of sparkling water, cold

15 ice cubes

Edible flowers (optional)

 

Start by making the rhubarb simple syrup. Place the rhubarb, boiling water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Let it cook for about 25 minutes until the rhubarb is very soft and the liquid is syrupy. Then strain the syrup using a fine mesh sieve. Allow it to cool down.

Once the rhubarb simple syrup has cooled down, start juicing the citrus. Pour the grapefruit and orange juice into a pitcher. Add ¼ cup of the simple syrup, mint, sparkling water and ice. Stir. Top each glass with some edible flowers if you want.

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Elderflower & Grapefruit Gin Tonic Sorbet

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I know it’s not sorbet weather yet but since I was testing the New Magimix Gelato expert, I thought of making my drink of choice at the moment into a sorbet. It is fresh and not overly sweet. The sweetness of the elderflower cordial balances the tartness of the grapefruit. This is great if you have a dinner party and don’t feel like baking a dessert.

This recipe makes about 1 litter of sorbet.

Ingredients:

100ml of water

150grs of granulated sugar

100ml of gin

500ml of tonic water

1 shot of elderflower cordial

Juice and zest of 1 large grapefruit (I used ruby red)

Decoration:

Edible flowers

Grapefruit slices

 

Place the water, sugar and grapefruit zest in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook while stirring until the sugar dissolves. Then transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature. Then place it in the fridge until it is cold.

Once the syrup is cold, pass it through a sieve and discard of the zest. Then add the elderflower cordial, tonic water, gin and the grapefruit juice. Mix well. Pour it into your ice cream machine and let it churn according to its instructions. I used the manual mode on the Magimix Gelato Expert, you can see my review by clicking here. It took about 40 minutes of churning and it was firm enough to be scooped right away.

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You can serve it with edible flowers and grapefruit slices. If you are not going to eat it right away, just store it in an air tight container in the freezer.

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Hendrick’s Glühwein

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Christmas markets are now everywhere around the city and they usually have at least one stand selling mulled wine. The lovely smell of spices always draws me in, but I prefer to make it at home since it’s so easy to make and you can adjust it to your liking. This time I added a shot of gin per serving to kick it up a notch. A good way to keep warm if you ask me.

This recipe makes 5 servings.

Ingredients:

75cl of red wine

2 cups of apple-elderberry juice

2 star anise

3 cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

1 orange, thinly sliced

1/3 cup of sugar

Juice of 1 mandarin

Juice of ½ a grapefruit

5 shots of Hendrick’s Gin

Extras for serving:

Cinnamon sticks

Star anise

Candied orange slices

 

Place all of the ingredients except for the gin in a medium saucepan. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Then divide it among 5 glasses and pour a shot of gin into each one. You can decorate each glass with a cinnamon stick, a star anise and a candied orange slice.

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Blackberry Whiskey Sour

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I’m not really a whiskey neat kind of person.  But if it’s in a cocktail, I could drink many. I think one of the reasons I really like whiskey sour is because it reminds me so much of Pisco sour. And being from Peru, you pretty much learn how to drink with Pisco sours. You can use fresh blackberries, but to make it extra cold I used frozen ones.

This recipe is for one serving.

Ingredients:

2 shots of whiskey

1 shot of lime juice

1 shot of simple syrup

10 frozen blackberries

5 cubes of ice

½ egg white

 

Place all of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.  Pass it through a sieve and pour it into a glass. If you want, you can garnish it with a lime twist.

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Pisco Sour

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This is Peru’s national drink. Pisco is to Peru as Tequila is to Mexico. Nowadays I don’t drink very often, but I always have a soft spot for Pisco sours.  Reminds me of the times I would go out to eat seafood with my family back in Peru.  Fresh seafood, summer, pisco sours! There are different variations of this drink. The recipe below is the original. Other versions include passion fruit, elderberry and one where the Pisco is infused with coca leaves (No, this will not get you high!).  Because I don’t drink very often, this hits me like a brick so I always make sure I have eaten before I drink one of these. After all it has an alcohol content of about 42%. The day I prepared this drink, I also made some crab cakes to go along with it. I will be posting the recipe for the crab cakes later this week. This recipe makes 2 servings.

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Ingredients:

4 shots of Peruvian Pisco

2 shots of lime juice

2 shots of simple syrup

12 ice cubes

1 egg white

Angostura bitters

 

You can make the simple syrup at home; just add equal parts of sugar and water to a sauce pan. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Allow it to cool down and then it is ready to use.  Just for this recipe I made 1 cup of water with one cup of sugar.

Place all of the ingredients except for the bitters in a blender. Blend until smooth. One quick tip, place the egg white last, once it is in contact with the lime juice blend it straight away, you don’t want it to curdle. The egg white is what gives this cocktail its foam.

Serve straight away and top with one or two drops of bitters.

 

 

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