Apr 17, 2014

the tipsy televisualist: The (Hanni)Blooming Rose

So...in case you haven't heard me talk non-stop of late about how Hannibal is the best show on television, let me say it once again: Hannibal is the best show on television.  To the point where I attempted to throw a brunch/viewing/pool party - which, I know, you're thinking Hannibal + food = EW!, but trust me - that sadly had to be delayed.  However, my neighbors ended up coming over the next day for a GoT-viewing fest that got, well, a bit cray. So, in the spirit of #honoreverypart , I decided to make use of the leftover fruit and wine.  While dicing up strawberries and sloppily pouring wine, I found that my kitchen was beginning to resemble a crime scene.  Which led to one of those flashes of inspiration - hey, why not create a Hannibal-themed cocktail, esp. because 'The Bee's Knees' factored into Cleo's 'Takiawase' recap?

So. I give you, The Blooming Rose.  Or the (Hanni)Blooming Rose, if you prefer.  Which, while I don't necessarily approve of #hannibloom , I do certainly understand why it is happening. Alana has her reasons.  

[I can't quite figure out how to do accent marks on this new macbook yet, but one is supposed to be there. As in, rose, the wine between red and white.] 

You will need the following:

  • A large carafe, that holds between 2 and 3 liters of liquid.
  • 2 cartons - usually one pound per carton - of Strawberries.
  • 1.5 L of red wine. So, two normal bottles. Or a magnum/large bottle/box.
  • Sugar Cubes. 
  • Peychaud's Bitters.
  • Orange Bitters. [I used Fee's Bros., though there's a variety available.]
  • Ginger Ale.
  • Adorable Fox Basket from Target. [Optional.]
Let's take a look at our set-up, shall we?:

Some notes before we get to step one:

First, a note on the wine.  While Dr. Lecter would probably devour me for using BOXED wine, it makes absolutely NO SENSE to break one's budget for any wine that one is using for Sangria-ish purposes. Think about it - are you really going to make a Mimosa by cutting Dom with OJ?  Of course not.  I went with Target's Vitner's Red (a) there's a Target within stumbling distance of my house, so 'hey, let's go get wine!!!' after [SPOILER EVENT] on GoT seemed like a good idea at the time and (b) I think the Target-brand wine is pretty decent, for what it costs.  If you want to be apropos and break out a Chianti, do so. And you could make this incredible fava bean-containing braised chicken dish.

Next, sugar cubes are a MUST for cocktail crafting.  I always have some in the bar. Some recipes may call for a (tea)spoonful of sugar , but it's a HELL of a lot easier to just rely on cubes.  Plus, it's more fun to watch cubes dissolve. 

Finally, if you do not already have bitters on-hand, you might as well pick up Angostura bitters along with the Peychaud's and the orange.  Those three bitters are used in an infinite variety of cocktails, so they're handy.

Now, to the actual recipe part:
  • Dice and de-stem your strawberries and place them in the carafe.
  • Pour the wine in the carafe, completely covering the strawberries.  Not enough?  ADD MOAR WINE.
  • Soak a sugar cube in Peychaud's. Soak another in the orange bitters. Toss them both into the carafe and shake until they dissolve.
  • Place the carafe of the boozy strawberry mixture in the fridge and leave it there overnight, if possible.  At least let them soak for a good 6-8 hours.

[Since Fuller did 'Mockingbird Lane' and we're crafting a pop-culture-themed cocktail, I thought displaying @TimFederle 's awesome book would be apt.]

Grab a champagne flute and toss a Peychaud's-soaked sugar cube into it. Muddle it, pour a dash of Ginger Ale to dissolve it or simply leave as is. Fill the flute up halfway with the strawberry-infused wine. Top off with Ginger Ale. Garnish with boozy berries, as desired.

[Sidenote: I initially decided to go with Ginger Ale rather than topping with champagne or citrus-y sparkling water simply because it is the secret ingredient in one of my favorite sangria recipes. Since, I've tried it with Lemon Perrier instead, which makes a delicious yet significantly lighter variation.]

We have a beverage that, like Hannibloom itself, is complex.

A Peychaud's-soaked sugar cube may look pretty in pink or simple and sweet.

But, like Alana and Hannibal coming together, what happens when pink meets blood-red results in the sum of the parts being far more intriguing.

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