WHO SPIKED MY POPCORN? WHISKEY GINGER CARAMEL CORN

Transform regular popcorn into a gourmet delight in under 15 minutes with this ridiculously simple recipe for whiskey ginger caramel corn. This boozy, adult-version of the traditional movie theater snack is nothing like the stale bags of over-salted, overpriced gravel sold at the cinema. Plain air-popped corn is dressed in a generous coat of rich, buttery caramel infused with liquor and spice to create a complex, unexpected burst of flavors on the palate. (The alcohol in the whiskey is cooked off, leaving behind its malty, smoky essence.)

The combination of sweet and salt in a single mouthful is already a match made in heaven (think salted caramel, peanut butter and jelly). Toss a pinch of ginger for zing, and a splash of whiskey into the mix, and you’re left with a treat that is truly exalted and versatile. Not only does it make a unique tidbit and after-dinner dessert option, but also a gift option for you loved ones, packed in dainty sealed mason jars. Store in an airtight container for up to three weeks, although to be honest, you’ll be lucky if they last that long.

These crunchy golden clusters of goodness add a touch of sophistication to plain ol’ popcorn, and takes the banality right out of it.

Ingredients

  • 12 cups plain popped corn (with nothing added to it)
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey (Bourbon works wonderfully but any smoky dram will do just as well)

The Process

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray, and set aside. Also coat the largest bowl you can find with cooking spray, and place the popcorn in it. Set aside. In a saucepan, add the brown sugar, butter, honey, molasses, both dried and fresh ginger, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Allow the caramel to boil for five minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat; stir in the baking soda, at which point the mixture will froth. Stir in the vanilla and whiskey. Pour over the popcorn quickly, and mix well. Transfer the caramel-coated popcorn to the prepared baking sheet and spread out, working swiftly as the caramel tends to harden fast. Allow to set for an hour. (This is an almost impossible feat, so try to wait at least 20 minutes if not 60.)

Put on your favorite movie, kick back and enjoy!


Chocolate Chip and Whisky Muffins

Chocolate chip muffins are a delightful treat. When we say ‘muffin’, we are not referring to the quintessential English muffin, but the individual-sized little cake that is very similar in appearance to the popular cupcake we all love. If you add a bit of excellent whisky to your batch of baked goodies, your chocolate chip muffins are sure to become far more appetizing. You can snack on these at any time of the day, and also share them with your friends and neighbours. You should use Clontarf 1014 Irish whiskey which goes best with a bittersweet, fruity flavoured, dark chocolate chips or chunks. Clontarf is a bit smoky and a bit like scotch with an unbelievable smoothness. Here’s how to go about it.

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Herby Delight: Rosemary Peach Maple Leaf Cocktail

The sun has cast off its shroud of mist, the air is warm and the sugaring-off season is right around the corner! Come spring, the maple woods start waking up. The touch of May stirs up magic – goading a surge of rich, sweet maple sap - ready to be tapped from the trees and boiled down to a rich, sugary syrup. So, why not celebrate the arrival of spring with a classy cocktail that infuses the deep and woody sugariness of maple? Maple syrup blended with peach, rosemary and lemon juice makes for an intriguing mélange that’s worth sipping with friends while sitting on the porch and soaking up the sun. With ice, the hidden flavors exude a pleasing herbaceous whiff which is sure to excite your taste buds.

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The 12th Element

A very popular food blogging channel has recently come up with a brilliant idea of airing shows that have everything to do with food (and drinks, obviously), but also include restaurants or bar reviews occasionally. Primarily these shows are divided into episodes and each episode has one popular chef hosting it and crafting his or her special recipes. This means, not only are you getting to know a number of chefs and cuisines and little tricks of cooking, baking and mixing cocktails, but also learning absolutely unique recipes that you can’t simply find elsewhere. One such show is titled “Texas Transformation”. On the fourth episode of the first season, John Green makes The 12th Element, along with three other cocktails. Our guess is he simply named this cocktail after the famous 12 Whiskey, a lounge in Fort Worth, Texas, where the episode was shot.

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