Other than the holidays, I really don’t find and make many mixed drinks (recipes such as these anyway). And typically that is only limited to around Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I had found one other recipe that sounded interesting so I decided to give it a try for New Years. You can read the full recipe here. It requires making Oleo-Saccharum, which is basically squeezing the oils from the zest of lemons and oranges, ahead of time. The “recipe” if you will, is linked in the main recipe or you can access it separately here.
The first picture, of the yellow-ish liquid, is the Oleo-Saccharum. It was interesting as you let the zest sit with some sugar for about a day and it draws out the oils. You then squeeze the zest to make sure you get it all out. It can be done up to a week in advance which is about what I did as I used the juice from the lemons and oranges I had zested for the drink I made at Christmas. It recommends using a vegetable peeler for the zesting to get nice big strips. I tried that and it worked very well. The overall recipe calls for a half cup of this Oleo-Saccharum. I didn’t quite get that much when I made it although I don’t know if the recipe was supposed to make a half cup. It didn’t say. I used a mesh strainer and a wooden spoon to get the oils out. Using a cheesecloth and really squeezing it would have gotten more out. After it sat for about a week I did notice that some of the sugar had separated out. Again, not sure if it was or wasn’t supposed to do that but I put it all in the drink.
For the drink overall…..it did not turn out the best. Now, that may have been my fault. The biggest issue was the nutmeg. It did say to “strain” it before serving which I did not but what do you strain it through? The mesh strainers I have, while small, still seemed like they would let the nutmeg through. Again, having some cheesecloth might have helped a lot.
In the end, it was like drinking nutmeg. That was by far the dominant flavor and I had a nice sludge of nutmeg at the bottom of the glass and the pitcher I had mixed it in. I can’t say that I would try this again, but I would definitely work out a way to strain the nutmeg. Or cut back on how much goes in it. One and a half teaspoons seemed like an awful lot. And they suggested more for serving. No thanks. I like nutmeg in things but this was over the top.