Category Archive: Drinks

The Secret to Making Great Iced Coffee at Home

It’s been painfully hot and humid here this week.  I have lived in New England for over a decade now, but I grew up in the Midwest.  In fact, I lived there for 30 years.  So believe me, I know all about hot and humid summer days.  The weather here has been a little too reminiscent for my taste.  I’m ready for this heat wave to break and for New England to return to a more pleasant number on the thermometer.

When it’s this hot, I try to avoid doing anything that is sure to raise the temperature in our farmhouse.  I do make one exception:  the coffee maker.  I can live with cold salad for dinner.  I can do laundry at midnight when the temperature has fallen a few degrees.  I cannot, under any circumstances live without coffee.

True, the coffee maker doesn’t generate too much heat.  On days as hot as we have been experiencing, I’m not in any rush to drink something hot either.  Luckily, I mastered the art of making iced coffee at home several years ago.

Making a great iced coffee is easy.  You don’t need special equipment and the technique is simple.  If you take your coffee black, then you only need to chill the hot coffee and serve over ice.  If, like me, you prefer your coffee regular with cream and sugar, then you might need a little trial and error to perfect the amount of sweetener and milk that is just to your liking.  Trust me; it’s not a bad way to spend a very hot day.

Iced Coffee
8 Tablespoons coffee (I prefer whole beans that are ground just before brewing)
3 cups (24 ounces) cold water
ice
granulated sugar (start with 1/2 cup and adjust to your liking)
milk/cream if desired

First, we’ll start with the coffee.  Because your iced coffee will be served over ice, the brewed coffee needs to be brewed with different proportions than your usual cup of hot morning Joe.  That’s the secret to making perfect iced coffee at home.

While it seems like a simple adjustment, it’s the difference between a delicious cup of iced coffee and one that is watered down and tasteless.  Typically, a full Tablespoon of coffee is used for every six ounces of water.  In this case, we’ll reduce the liquid by half in order to allow for the ice that will be added to the final cup.

By reducing the water, we’ll have removed three full cups of liquid from our coffee.  That will allow us to add back the three cups in the form of ice and milk or cream without diluting the coffee.

Using the guidelines above, brew your double strength coffee.  If you don’t use sugar or cream in your coffee, you can chill the brewed coffee in the refrigerator for later use or drink immediately poured over a glass of ice.

If you prefer coffee with sugar and cream, the sugar should be added while the coffee is still hot.  This will allow the sugar to fully dissolve before the coffee has been chilled.  Add the sugar to the hot coffee and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely.

At this point, the sweetened coffee can be stored in the refrigerator to be enjoyed later.  If you wish to enjoy it immediately, add a cup of ice to the hot coffee in order to cool it down quickly.  Stir the mixture in order to cool it slightly before pouring over a glass of ice, leaving room for milk or cream to be added.  Add milk or cream to the glass and stir to fully incorporate.

If you are making a batch of iced coffee for a group and want to allow guests to sweeten their own glass of coffee, my vanilla bean simple syrup is perfect for sweetening the chilled coffee.  It’s also a wonderful way to add vanilla flavor to your iced coffee or iced tea.


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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/07/the-secret-to-great-iced-coffee-at-home/

Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup

This recipe is a staple in the 1840 Farm kitchen.  I always have it on hand in the refrigerator, waiting to be called into action.  With a small amount, I can add sweetness and incredible vanilla flavor to summer berries or cold drinks.

Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup is also my favorite way to sweeten cold drinks.  Using a simple syrup is the perfect way to sweeten and enhance iced coffee and iced tea in the summer without ending up with a pile of undissolved sugar in the bottom of your glass.

I like to use vanilla bean pods that have been used to make our homemade vanilla extract for this recipe.  After the pods have been used to make two batches of extract, they can be used to flavor this syrup or pastry creams and custards with excellent results.  I remove the pods from the cooled mixture but leave the vanilla bean specks in the syrup.  If you prefer a clear syrup, simply strain through a fine mesh strainer or piece of cheesecloth before storing it in the refrigerator.

Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean pod, split
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise using a sharp knife.  Using the dull edge of the knife, scrape along the length of the inside of the pod to remove the thousands of beans inside.  Transfer the beans and pods to a small pot with the sugar and water.  Place all ingredients in a small pot and stir to combine.

Place the pot over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Simmer over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, approximately 5 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.  Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.

Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer if you would like it to be clear and free of vanilla beans specks.  The syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.  I like to store mine in a clean, repurposed bottle with a pourer spout in the refrigerator.


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
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You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
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We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/07/vanilla-bean-simple-syrup/

The Summer Solstice Cocktail

When I am trying to develop a new recipe, I happily take inspiration wherever I can find it.  In the case of this cocktail, I happened to find it in three places.  Lucky for you, I’ve combined them into one delicious, refreshing cocktail recipe just in time for your Fourth of July celebration.http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3719/9065963801_04570a669f_z.jpg

The first inspiration was the arrival of summer last Friday.  Since then, we’ve seen temperatures well into the 90s with oppressive humidity.  Apparently, Mother Nature wants to drive the point home:  summer is here!

A recent trip to a local favorite, GiGi’s York Beach, provided additional inspiration.  On my last visit, I was treated to a delicious cocktail they call the “Shiso Good”. Good was an understatement.  The combination of vodka, house made shiso syrup, and fresh lemon was divine.  If you’re looking for a little inspiration, you can see more of the amazing food and drink from GiGi’s in our Local Food Photo Gallery

Not to be forgotten is a book that I am currently reading.  Bitters:  A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All is a fascinating read for someone like me who can’t seem to get enough of the stranger than fiction history of the food on our dinner plates and drinks in our cocktail glasses.  I’m not alone in liking this book.  It was selected as a James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner and also won The IACP Cookbook Award.

So, picture me at the end of a hot and humid day, exhausted from the farm’s daily chores.  I was craving a refreshing, cold drink and thought of the crisp Shiso Good and the fresh ginger-lime simple syrup that I had made from a recipe in Bitters.  The possibilities seemed like a winner to me.

My husband is the resident mixologist here at 1840 Farm.  I get wild ideas about combinations and concoctions which he politely listens to and then goes about the creative business of transforming inspiration into a perfectly balanced libation.  Occasionally, he needs a second attempt to perfect one of our house made cocktails, but he mastered this one on the first try.

One sip and I knew that this would be my summer drink of choice.  Mr. 1840 Farm agreed.  This recipe was perfect and ready to share with the world.

I hope that you will enjoy what we aptly named The Summer Solstice all summer long.  If you’re find yourself still searching for your summer drink of choice, don’t despair.  We’ve got a few more recipes in development.  Yes, it will be a struggle to taste test them before sharing the recipes with you here, but I’ll soldier on.  It’s amazing the things that I’ll do in the name of researchl!

Ginger-Lime Syrup
adapted from Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 ounces ginger root, peeled and sliced into coins
zest from 1/2 a lime

Place all ingredients in a small pot and stir to combine.  Place pot over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Simmer over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely.  Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to remove any solids.  The strained syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.  I like to store mine in a clean, repurposed bottle with a pourer spout in the refrigerator.

Summer Solstice Cocktail
makes one generous serving (and one happy farmer)

We have made a non-alcoholic version of this drink for the farm kids who both gave it a thumbs up.  Simply substitute lemonade or carbonated water for the vodka depending on your preference.

2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce lime juice
1 1/2 ounce ginger-lime syrup
4 ounces lemonade

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice.  Shake until well mixed.  Strain into a glass with fresh ice and serve.  At 1840 Farm, we like to serve the Summer Solstice in a wide mouth mason jar.


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form. In a few seconds, you’ll be the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/the-summer-solstice-cocktail/

Orange Genius

I have fond memories of my mother treating me to an Orange Julius as a child. During the hot summer months in the Midwest where I spent my childhood, they were a refreshing way to beat the heat. The fact that I was sharing the experience with my mom made it all the more memorable.

Now my children are old enough to enjoy the same experience. I knew that they would love the frothy drink with its orange and creamy flavors reminiscent of a creamsicle. With food allergies to accommodate, we chose to make our own version at home.

First, we needed to develop a recipe. Together, we gathered around the blender and tried several versions before deciding that this one was absolutely perfect. We’ve made this concoction at least a hundred times since then, and I still wouldn’t change a thing.

This frothy drink delivers just the right balance of citrus flavor and sweetness. Each sip reminds me of the treat that I enjoyed so much as a child. Sharing the experience with my children decades later makes it even sweeter.

I hope that you will enjoy sharing this treat with someone special in your life. I think that you will find that it is the perfect drink for summer. In fact, it’s so fantastic that your friends and family might call you an Orange Genius

Orange Genius
makes 4 servings

16 ounces orange juice
8 ounces milk
2 Tablespoons Carnation brand Original Malted Milk Powder
2 teaspoons Tang brand orange drink mix powder
4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 banana, frozen
1 cup ice
whipped cream to garnish

 

Add orange juice, milk, malt powder, Tang, and powdered sugar to the pitcher of your blender. Cover and blend briefly to combine.

 

Break the frozen banana into several pieces and add to the blender. Blend on a medium-high setting until smooth. (If a frozen banana is unavailable, substitute a room temperature banana and increase the quantity of ice in the next step to 1 1/2 cups.)

 

Add the ice to the blender pitcher. Cover and blend on high speed until smooth and frothy. Pour into glasses and garnish with whipped cream. Add a straw and enjoy!

 


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form. In a few seconds, you’ll be the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


This recipe was included in From the Farm Blog Hop #33

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/05/orange-genius-2/

Orange Genius

Summer is fast approaching and you might need a new recipe for a cold, refreshing drink.  I’m willing to bet that my recipe for Orange Genius on Foodie.com just might help make your summer a little sweeter.  The Orange Genius is a family favorite here at 1840 Farm made with our fresh, raw goat’s milk.

Give it a try and let me know if you agree that the Orange Genius is the perfect drink to enjoy this summer!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/06/orange-genius/