Today is the Mad Farmer and Miss Mercy’s 10th Anniversary. To some people who’ve been married 43 years (you know who you are) that might not be as big as deal as some anniversaries but to us it’s pretty darn important!
Someone who Miss Mercy works with asked “how many of those were good ones”? We know it was meant as a joke but for some couples it’s a sad, but valid, question. For the two of us we both answered “All of them” and that is absolutely true.
It’s amazing to the Mad Farmer (that moniker was given to him by Miss Mercy, either referring to how the Farmer sometimes drives her crazy, or hopefully, it might refer to the Farmer’s tendency towards Chaos Gardening – only Miss M knows for sure) how with the right person the relationship is so easy and fulfilling that ten years flies by and you can’t wait for the next day to see how that is going to turn out.
That’s not to say that sprinkled through out the years there haven’t been an occasional day with friction – but they are typically the Farmer’s fault for communicating poorly and Miss Mercy is big on grace, so that’s a fantastic bonus.
It’s been a great 10 years and I know that personally, the Farmer is looking forward to many decades more.
The Mad Farmer (your humble narrator) and Miss Mercy (the Better Half) have decided to reboot, jump-start, move forward, confuse ourselves… Oh, Wait, what just happened? Oh, it’s new, it’s fresh, it’s TSL Homestead! This is our journey towards a better life. One day at a time, one small step every day towards freedom and a better, more independent, life.
We’ll be posting about Gardening, Flower Growing, Permaculture, Traveling and just everything going on at the Urban Homestead. Join us, have a blast, ask any questions you like – we’ll find the answer, point you to a place you can find it or maybe we’ll all just learn together.
The Mad Farmer and Miss Mercy explore another Tequila based cocktail recipe. The earliest mention of this cocktails appears to be in the Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide from 1946. Hard to tell if that is actually the first mention or if Trader Vic’s invented it. Any way you slice it, it’s pretty tasty, so try it out.
El Diablo 1½ oz. reposado tequila ½ oz. crème de cassis ½ oz. fresh lime juice 2–3 oz. ginger beer Tools: shaker, strainer, fine strainer Glass: highball Garnish: lime wedge and fresh blackberry or candied ginger (optional)
Combine all ingredients, except ginger beer, and shake. Fine-strain into an ice-filled Collins glass, top with ginger beer and garnish.
The Mad Farmer and Miss Mercy found there are several different recipes for Tequila Sunrise. The oldest Miss Mercy found was supposedly invented by the Arizona Biltmore hotel in the 1930’s. The Biltmore version does not include Orange Juice and does include a Black Current Liqueur called “crème de cassis“.
Your humble hosts found the original Biltmore recipe to be a bit lighter and a bit more interesting than the more common recipe, but both are a fine drink on a hot summer day.
Garnish: Lime Wedge Instructions: Fill a tall glass with cracked ice. Add the tequila, crème de cassis and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Fill with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedge. Fill to top with ice and blend. For kid friendly drinks just remove rum.
The Mad Farmer and Miss Mercy are a little behind for June so we are putting up a “two-for-one” with our June Cocktail, The Beachcomber and a “Bonus Track” for the ever popular Boat Drinks (Jimmy Buffett inspired, of course)!
The possible inventor of the the Beachcomber was ‘Donn Beach‘, a restaurant owner and generally considered the “founding father” of the Tiki culture. Donn was born Ernest Raymond Beaumont Grant (1907-1989) and opened the “Don’s Beachcomber” Tiki bar in Hollywood in 1930’s. Miss Mercy wasn’t able to confirm that Donn was the actual inventor of the Beachcomber rum drink, but since he invented many rum based cocktails it’s not unlikely.
There is also a possibility that Victor Bergeron (founder of Trader Vic’s), a competitor of Donn’s based on the East Coast, actually created the Beachcomber cocktail. The Beachcomber did appear in Victor’s book, the 1947 Bartender’s Guide.
No matter who invented the drink it’s refreshing and perfectly suited to a hot summer day. The Tiny Homestead is using the recipe we found on the Cointreau.com website. The recipe is simple:
0.75 OZ COINTREAU
1.75 OZ WHITE RUM
0.5 OZ FRESH LIME JUICE
2 DASHES MARASCHINO LIQUEUR
Shake in a cocktail mixer with ice and pour into a coup glass and garnish with a lime slice if desired. Very tasty!
One thing that also happens in June is the Mad Farmer’s birthday and Father’s Day. Two holidays that cry out for a summer drink containing rum!
Many years ago, when the Mad Farmer was a much younger pup his family and friends threw a Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville theme Birthday Party.
Shark fins on the fence, cardboard palm trees and a full blown Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville Corona party pack on display everywhere.
A call was made in secret to the Margaritaville Bar in Key West (long distance charges were a thing – look it up kiddies) and the recipe for a bar favorite, Boat Drinks, was acquired. Only problem was the recipe was for six gallons – a bit more than necessary for the size of the surprise gathering. Adjustments were made but the first few years the drinks were pretty strong and the rum was noticeable. After years of tinkering with the recipe the Mad Farmer finally found the perfect mix (you can even make popsicles out of it)!
In Blender mix:
1 can Bacardi Pina Colada Mix
½ can Frozen Orange Juice
1 can of Pineapple Juice (Organic, Del Monte, anything you like)
The origins of the Manhattan are lost in time. The Democrat newspaper remarked in 1882 that, “It is but a short time ago that a mixture of whiskey, vermouth and bitters came into vogue”. The Mad Farmer and Miss Mercy aren’t sure when the Manhattan originated, but we are happy that it did.
Researching this cocktail Miss Mercy discovered several things: First, it’s the oldest history we have for a cocktail so far – reaching back at least to the 1880’s. Second, Vermouth comes in two flavors, Sweet (any red vermouth) and Dry (any non-red vermouth). Third, there are various liquors you can use to make the drink –
In the last podcast Miss Mercy and the Mad Farmer tried the Amaretto Sour with more natural ingredients. That was way better than using the store-bought mix but we thought we could still do better. This week, for the last attempt of the month, we decided to attempt the “Best Amaretto Sour in the World”. This recipe has been created by Jeffery Morganthaller who is apparently a bartender.
In the interest of full disclosure neither Miss Mercy nor the Mad Farmer personally know Jeffery Morganthaller and, we haven’t tried all the recipes for Amaretto Sour that exist, so we’re not actually sure if this is the best or not. The good news is you don’t have to know someone to try out their recipe for cocktails! We did, we aren’t sad, and we hope you follow along…
In the last podcast Miss Mercy and the Mad Farmer explored the standard version of the Amaretto Sour and we really didn’t find it to our liking. Over the last several years we have been making a real effort at eating healthier food. Ingesting fewer artificial flavors, cutting as much high fructose corn syrup, processed sugar, growing as much food for ourselves as we can and cutting out as much processed food as possible.
What does this have to do with cocktails you ask? Great Question! The answer is, so far almost everything! Every time we replace a processed ingredient, like store-bought grenadine, with a homemade version the taste is night and day. Replacing canned cherries packed in syrup with organic maraschino cherries you can tell the difference. Changing out a packaged sour mix that tastes like something I would be ashamed to feed to a pet with a natural sour mix of hand squeezed lemons makes a world of difference.
Last week we made an Amaretto Sour with a packaged mix, it was hideous. This week we tried a recipe from MixthatDrink.com with all natural ingredients and it was worth having. One of the few recipes we’ve tried so far that says mix the ingredients then pour into a glass with ice. Take a listen, try it out. We think you will like this one. And tune in later this month when we try a more complex mix that is touted as the best in the world!
Miss Mercy and the Mad Farmer are still on their quest to find the perfect cocktail. There are thousands, so it might take us a while, especially since we are only trying one recipe per month. The journey is part of the fun and we are having a good time researching the history, learning how to make the ingredients we can and searching for other ingredients we have never heard of before. I doubt we will ever become professional mixologists but we are having a good time while we are learning!
This month’s choice is the Amaretto Sour. The Amaretto Sour is a fairly recent recipe, dating only back to the 1970’s as near as Miss Mercy could find. It’s a fairly simple cocktail but there are some variations. The first recipe we are trying is a classic Amaretto and Sour Mix. We used the suggested recipe on the back of a bottle of “On the House” sour cocktail mix we have had lounging about in the fridge for some time.
For the Amaretto we used Disaronno. It’s apparently a very popular Amaretto and we had a very enlightening time at a local liquor store talking with a clerk about the ins and outs of a number of different liquors and mixers. There was a super interesting discussion about rye whiskeys which I ‘m sure we will cover in a future podcast at some point.
This week we cover the “classic” Amaretto Sour recipe. Later this month we will be trying a more complex variation using homemade Simple Syrup and some other ingredients.
So give it a listen and let us know about your experience with Amaretto Sours by leaving a post in the comments section.