I’m always excited to get to know Portland local businesses and their product. I recently met and created cocktails with RAFT Syrups founders; two lovely ladies (Sook Goh & Roslynn Tellvik) who have developed a product, of which I’m already a huge fan. I mean, who doesn’t love natural soda syrups that will bring your soda water or cocktail to the next level?
You know my favorite was a bourbon-based cocktail. I hope you get a chance to enjoy this recipe by RAFT Syrups!
Fig Bourbon Cocktail
2 oz. bourbon
1 fresh fig, cut in half
1 TBS RAFT Lemon Ginger syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
1 oz. sparkling water
In a cocktail shaker muddle fig and RAFT Lemon Ginger syrup into a paste. Fill shaker about halfway with ice cubes. Add bourbon and lemon juice. Shake for about 30 seconds. Strain into a cocktail coupe or other pretty glass. Top with sparkling water and garnish with a fig slice. If you’re feeling smoky, try RAFT Smoked Tea Vanilla in place of RAFT Lemon Ginger (One 5 oz. serving).
The flavors currently available are Hibiscus Lavender, Smoked Tea Vanilla, and Lemon Ginger. Bottles are normally 12.7 oz and available for about $19 each (although they also have a fun size for their giftpack that are 3.4oz–$29 for pack of 3). The syrups are created by a slow brewing process and once opened, it’s suggested you refrigerate them. They have a shelf life of up to a year and are relatively low sugar! Each tablespoon contains about 12g of sugar and 50 calories. What about a good Mojito/Nojito? Little known fact–a Mojito was my very first alcoholic beverage ever. I know, I’m also surprised. Adding the Hibiscus Syrup really creates a new profile I really love.
1.5 oz. of silver rum (omit to make a nojito)
2 TBS RAFT Hibiscus Lavender syrup
2 lime wedges
10 mint leaves + 1 mint sprig to garnish
Add about 1/2 cup crushed ice to a 16 oz. glass. Squeeze lime wedges into the glass and drop them in. Add mint leaves. Muddle. Add about 1/2 cup more crushed ice to glass. Pour in rum. Top with sparkling water. Stir in RAFT Hibiscus Lavender and garnish with a sprig of mint (one 16 oz. serving).
Buy Local: PDX
If you’re looking to find some of the RAFT Syrups for yourself, you’re in luck! You can now purchase them through Hollywood Beverage (where I found it below!), Beam & Anchor, 1856, Hop & Vine, The Meadow, and New Deal Distillery. Looking for RAFT Syrups in Seattle? They’re carried in the north as well! Check out Capco (West Seattle), Pacific Food Importers (SoDo), Sugar Pill (Capitol Hill), and Wine World (University District). Everywhere else? You can order ONLINE here. Make sure to sign up for their weekly recipe email and you will get 15% off your first order.
For more recipes, information, and ideas, check out RAFT Syrups’ site HERE.
Fall is here–fall is here! It’s time to go on long walks in the leaves, pick pumpkins, and bake with apples! We spent this last weekend just south of Portland near Salem at a few different apple orchards, and I have to say–it’s the closest I’ve been to feeling like I’m back home. We finally had success in finding some fresh apple donuts (pumpkin donuts too–YUM), and we came home with cider! Out here much of the apple cider is mass produced by a company based out of Hood River named Ryan’s. It’s quite different from the farms I went to at home that pressed their own cider daily. While, I have pressing my own cider on my bucket list, I was thrilled just to FIND good cider this year.
My favorite part of fall you ask!? All of it.
I should note though that I especially love apples. While my favorite variety is mostly based on what project it’s for, my go to for processing (for both taste and color) are Jonathan apples. I want to share a how-to that made me never want any other applesauce ever. It’s so easy–you will just laugh your way all the way to the freezer!
How To: Easy Applesauce
- 5lb Jonathan apples (or other tart apples)
- (optional) 2-3 T lemon juice (or to taste)
- Slotted spoon
- Large pot
- Large bowl
- Widemouth quart jars
- Apple corer
Core the apples and cut them in half. Add them to a large pot of hot water and boil until they are soft, and the skins begin to separate (about 8-10 minutes of a rapid boil). Prep your foodmill by putting on the smallest grate and placing over a large bowl. Using a slotted spoon, move apples to your foodmill, running them through in a clockwise motion, working both the pulp through. You will note the skins will run up the side of the mill, so not much of the skin will actually be processed. Once all the apples have been processed, add in the lemon juice and stir to combine.
Transfer applesauce to quart jars, cool, and freeze. Recipe makes about 3 quarts.
That’s it!! It’s that easy! We love Jonathan apples best for applesauce, but I know of people who use a variety–so go crazy! Start with what you know and play. Your applesauce will keep for a year in the freezer. If you have trouble finding Jonathan apples, as we have in the past, look for tart or cooking apples–don’t be afraid to experiment with small batches! There are many ways to make this recipe successfully
Easy applesauce really is where it’s at. What do you love to make in the fall?
No plans this evening in PDX? Perhaps you should dine out for a great cause with some of Portland’s top chefs.
St. Jude Hospital Autumn Harvest Dinner
St. Jude Hospital is hosting its inaugural Autumn Harvest Dinner this evening at The Nines Hotel downtown; The event begins at 6pm and will conclude at 10pm. Proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Participating chefs include:
Aaron Barnett, St. Jack | Jason French, Ned Ludd
Gregory Gourdet, Departure | Josh McFadden, Ava Gene’s
Sarah Schafer, Irving Street Kitchen
Find out more information on the event from Oregon Live and purchase tickets here.