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drinks

Cool as a Tamarind...

Cool as a Tamarind...

Tamarind is a common spice you see in Indian and Asian cuisine, especially those closer to the Equinox. In the right amount, it lends a subtle sourness that instantly makes your mouth water and want to eat more. I took that more-ish tanginess and balanced with sweetened syrup, soothing lemon balm and refreshing citrus to make this Summer Cooler that would be great with a barbeque, sitting under the shade of a tree reading a book or just served from a big pitcher whilst sitting on the porch/stoop and seeing the world pass by....

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Summer to Fall - Poptail Crush

Summer to Fall - Poptail Crush

Here is how I see it. All Summer you want things cold and frozen. There popsicles are perfect for them. Then, sets Fall, when it is not quite cold enough for hot toddys and certainly not warm for a brain freeze. Now, it is time for Poptails!

A poptail by my definition is a drink where the shaved ice pops form the base flavor of the drink. The fruit combinations are heady in of themselves and the already frozen concoctions draw out the flavor through the course of the drink. Unlike muddled fruit, they don't settle to the bottom but rise up effervescently as you sip along.

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Cocktail: Naughty Royaltea with DIY Earl Grey Gin

Cocktail: Naughty Royaltea with DIY Earl Grey Gin

Recently, when I was pondering about this topic of making time, it struck me that alcohol has been a time tested resource for unwinding and collaboration offering that un-prejudiced social lubricant. Looking back, I realised that tea for the privileged, whether be it the czars of Russia, Lords of Britain or the billionaires of UES, seems to have been less about the leaf tea and more (always) about spirits, from champagne to vodka to everything in between. 

It seemed rather a no-brainer that my next tea concept had to have alcohol. But, I didn't want it to be just another cocktail hour. I had to have a connection with the tea itself. When a friend suggested tea flavored gin, the concept stuck with force!

So, I started with home infused Earl Grey Gin and finished with my favorite 5 pm cocktail with soda and lots of lime!

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Budget Cold Brew

Budget Cold Brew

It's the mid-month of Summer and I think it is time I shared my oft tested and perfected recipe for making cold brew at home and with no more special equipment that a French press that I think most people have at home.

It began as shock registered at the price of cold brew in coffee shops. On average, it costs about $4.50 with tip for about a cup measure of coffee concentrate mixed with water and milk. $4.50!!! I balked. But, it was hot and I was really in need of a caffeine fix and grudging bought one. Even as I sat there sipping the drink and feeling it's thirst quenching effects, my mind raced and wondered. Is there a way to get access to this cheaper?

First, I decided to invest a bit and scout a few more coffee shops to taste the different offerings. So, I tried the major ones around; from Blue Bottle to Counter Culture to Konditori to Venticinque and my own local roastery and favorite Kos Kaffe. They all tasted different, in part due to the beans, but, as I found, largely from the process.

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Share your creations tagging @ashafsk on Instagram and hashtag #MadeFromFSK