Japanese Teas After Matcha

The vast majority of tea consumed in Japan is, and historically has been, green tea. But there are many different options that fall under the “green” category, varying based on qualities like the time of harvest, how much sun the leaves have seen, how the tea is processed, and what parts of the plant are used in the final product.

SENCHA: The most commonly consumed tea in Japan, sencha consists of green tea leaves that have been grown in full sunlight. Meaning simmered tea, sencha is delicate, mild, and slightly floral. It should be brewed for 2 minutes in simmering water (160 to 170° F).

GYOKURO: This high-end tea is made from first-flush green tea leaves grown partially in the shade. Sweet and mild, it should be brewed for about 3 minutes in relatively cool water (120 to 140° F).

BANCHA: This lower grade of sencha is harvested later in the year, and can include some stems in with the leaves. Its flavor is more robust and astringent than delicate sencha. It should be brewed for 1 to 3 minutes in simmering water (160 to 170° F).

HOJICHA: A reddish-brown tea made by roasting bancha in a clay pot over charcoal (most Japanese teas are steamed), hojicha is a roasty, nutty, mellow tea, low in caffeine, typically served during or after an evening meal. It should be brewed for about 1 minute in simmering water (160 to 170° F).

GENMAICHA: Genmaicha refers to any combination of dried green tea and toasted genmai rice grains, the latter of which provides the beverage with a nutty depth to offset the tea’s natural astringency. It can be made with sencha, bancha, or gyokuro tea and sold premixed or created on your own at home. Brew it for 1 minute in water at a steep simmer (185° F).

KUKICHA: Also known as twig tea, this blend of tea leaves, stems, and twigs is available as both a green tea and in roasted, oxidized form. Creamy and mild, it should be brewed for 3 minutes in simmering water (160 to 170° F).

MUGICHA: Not technically a tea at all, mugicha is made from roasted barley. This caffeine-free beverage is traditionally served cold as a summer drink in Japan; outside of Japan, it’s popular as a coffee substitute. Brewing conditions needn’t be as fussy for mugicha as for green teas, but plan to steep it for about 2 minutes in simmering water (160 to 170° F).

Sources: Kyotofu

Detox Juice

I’m not one of those that goes on juice detoxes — although this juice could almost persuade me otherwise!

1 medium-sized beet, scrubbed well

1–2 carrots

1 small apple, cored and chopped

1/2 cup chopped pineapple

juice of ½ lemon

14 mint leaves

½ inch knob of fresh ginger

Mix all the ingredients in a juicer or blender and serve.

If you use a blender for this recipe, rather than a juicer, you will get a much thicker juice, due to the fibrous pulp from the fruit and veg being retained. You can add a little water to the recipe to thin it, or run the juice through a fine mesh sieve.

Edna Lewis on Coffee

“The smell of coffee cooking was a reason for growing up, because children were never allowed to have it and nothing haunted the nostrils all the way out to the barn as did the aroma of boiling coffee. The decision about coffee was clear and definite and a cook’s ability to make good coffee was one of her highest accomplishments. Mother made real good coffee but some mornings my father would saddle the horse and ride more than a mile up the road to have his second cup with his cousin Sally, who made the best coffee ever.”

~ Edna Lewis (1916-2006),  Renowned African-American chef, teacher, and author who helped refine the American view of Southern cooking. From “The Taste Of Country Cooking”

#FavoriteQuotes #CulinaryHero #EdnaLewis

Sazerac

In 1838, Antoine Amedie Peychaud, owner of a New Orleans apothecary, treated his friends to brandy toddies of his own recipe, including his “Peychaud’s Bitters,” made from a secret family recipe. The toddies were made using a double-ended egg cup as a measuring cup or jigger, then known as a “coquetier” from which the word “cocktail” was derived.

By 1850, the Sazerac Cocktail, made with Sazerac French brandy and Peychaud’s Bitters, was immensely popular, and became the first branded cocktail. In 1873, the recipe for the Sazerac Cocktail was altered to replace the French brandy with American Rye whiskey, and a dash of absinthe was added.

In March 2008, Louisiana state senator Edwin R. Murray (D-New Orleans) filed Senate Bill 6 designating the Sazerac as Louisiana’s official state cocktail. The bill was defeated on April 8, 2008. After further debate, on June 23, 2008, the Louisiana Legislature agreed to proclaim the Sazerac as New Orleans’ official cocktail.

⅛ Teaspoon herbsaint or pernod liqueur
2 ounces rye whiskey
1 teaspoon simple syrup
3 or 4 dashes peychaud’s bitters
1 strip lemon peel

Pour the Herbsaint or Pernod into a small, chilled old-fashioned glass and swirl it along the sides of the glass before discarding the excess liquid, if desired.

Combine the rye, simple syrup, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake well to combine.

Moisten the edge of the glass with the lemon peel. Strain the cocktail into the glass, and drop in the peel.

Simple Planter’s Punch

This tropical drink hails from Cuba.

1 (750-Ml) Bottle Dark Rum
1 (6-Ounce) Can Frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate
1 (6-Ounce) Can Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
2 Ounces Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1½ Ounces Grenadine
4 Cups Water

Garnishes: Orange Slice and Maraschino Cherry, sometimes the addition of fresh mint.

Combine all ingredients except the garnishes in a large container; stir well.

Chill until ready to serve, then ladle or pour into ice-filled cocktail glasses. Add the garnishes.

Mint Julep

2 sprigs fresh mint
1 teaspoon sugar
A few drops of water
2 jiggers bourbon whiskey
Ice, finely crushed

Put the sprigs of fresh mint in the bottom of a glass. Add the sugar and a few drops of water. Using a wooden muddler, thoroughly bruise the mint with the sugar and water.

Pour in 1 jigger bourbon whiskey. Pack the glass to the brim with finely crushed ice. Add the remaining 1 jigger whiskey and let it trickle down to the bottom of the glass. Put a sprig of fresh mint in the top of the glass and serve.

Milk Punch

3 Quarts Half-And-Half
1 Bottle (750-Ml) Of Bourbon
¼ Cup Vanilla Extract
2 Cups Powdered Sugar

Garnish: Grated Nutmeg

Combine all ingredients except the nutmeg in a gallon-size container. Cover and freeze until the mixture is slightly frozen.
Use an ice pick to make the mixture slightly slushy. Pour into a punch bowl or chilled pitcher. Add more powdered sugar, if desired. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Pour into small cocktail glasses or wine goblets (not over ice). Garnish each drink with an additional pinch of nutmeg.

Serve very cold.

The Hurricane

1½ Cups Pineapple Juice
1¼ Cups Orange Juice
1 Cup Pomegranate Juice
½ Cup Grenadine
½ Cup Simple Syrup
½ Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime, Plus More To Taste
1¼ Cups Light Rum
1½ Ounces Dark Rum
2 Ounces Triple Sec

Garnishes: Orange And Lemon Slices, Maraschino Cherries With Stems

Combine all ingredients except for the garnishes in a large pitcher and stir well. Serve in 16-ounce glasses over lots of cubed ice, adorned with the garnishes.

Chatham Artillery Punch

Based upon a recipe in “Savannah Style – A cookbook by the junior league of Savannah.”

It is said that the concoction possesses more of a kick than the two brass cannons presented to Savannah by George Washington. It was first devised in the 1850’s to honor a rival military organization. The Republican Blues, and since then has laid to rest, at least temporarily many an unknown soldier and countless known Ones.

Serves 200

  • 2 gallons tea (green tea – l pound tea to 2 gallons water. Soak overnight in tin bucket and strain.)
  • Juice of 3 dozen lemons
  • 5 pounds brown sugar
  • 2 gallons Catawba wine
  • 2 gallons Santa Cruz rum
  • I gallon Hennessy (3 – Star) brandy
  • I gallon dry gin
  • I gallon rye whiskey 
  • 2 quarts cherries
  • 2 quarts pineapple cubes
  • 10 quarts champagne

Mix the tea with lemon juice, preferably in a cedar tub, then add brown sugar and liquors. Let this mixture “set” for at least I week, or preferably 2 weeks, in covered container.

After “setting” period and when ready to serve, pour over cake of ice. Never chill in refrigerator or used crushed ice. When this is done, add cherries, pineapple cubes and champagne. pouring in slowly and mixing with circular motion. The punch is now ready to serve.