Thursday, December 8, 2011

Infused Boose: Walnut and Coffee #NellysBigDay

Logo by Heather
When my friend Nelly posted on Twitter that she had just - and I mean JUST - gotten engaged, I've got to say I teared up a bit. She took photos of the ring and posted them right away, the first one a little blurry because she was still shaking with excitement.

It was like I was her best friend, sitting at a nearby table, witnessing the event. I mean, how often do you get to be right there when someone says the big "yes"? It's usually something you hear about afterwards, but we were all there with her.

I mean, you could hear her all across the twittervers: "I said YESSSSSSSSS!"

Crazy thing is that I've never met Nelly in real life. I've never talked to her on the phone. I only know her on Twitter, Facebook, and our blogs. But there I was looking at a blurry, shaking hand and smiling at her excitement that was so obvious from her tweets, and getting just a little teary at her happiness.

And then I though, oh, bummer, I wish I could give her a hug or clink a glass with her. All of us "girls" who know Nelly online must have had the same thoughts, because the next thing you know, there's a virtual wedding shower in the works hosted by Sanjeeta kk at Lite Bite, and we're all whispering behind Nelly's back and making plans.

And of course, little scamp that Nelly is, she sets her wedding date for almost immediately. But that's okay. When you're having a virtual wedding shower, you don't have to hire a caterer or rent a hall. We're online friends, having an online shower. Join us on Twitter with the hashtag #NellysBigDay and check out all the other blogs in the links way down below this post.

And since we didn't have time to hire that virtual caterer, we're all bringing potluck dishes to this virtual wedding shower. I decided to bring drinks. Not just off-the-shelf stuff, though - home made infused booze. I sure hope Nelly likes walnut and coffee!

And hey, how about some gifts for Nelly? Every blogger wants more followers, fans and friends, so follow Nelly on Twitter, go visit her blog, and say "hi" to her on Facebook. Tell her I sent you. It's the best gift I can wrap up for her online.

Nelly, dear, I'm sure you will have a delightful wedding, and a wonderful married life. Enjoy every minute of it! Some people will tell you that marriage is hard. I'm here to tell you that it is an amazing adventure.

For my readers, I've got some recipes!

The coffee liqueur I made a few weeks ago was so amazing that I decided to make another batch. But of course I couldn't make it exactly the same way, could I? Nah, that would be too easy.

I pondered what I could add to the new coffee liqueur that would make it more interesting. Walnuts sound good, right? A walnut-coffee liqueur?

It was a great idea until I started pouring things into jars. That's when I realized that I didn't have a big enough jar to make what I planned. So I went to Plan B. I decided to make the two components separately and combine them when they were done.

In the end, that was a brilliant idea. The coffee liqueur was better than the last one I made, and the walnut was pretty amazing all on its own. Now that they're safely tucked away in two separate bottles, I can combine them in any ratio I like - or use them separately.

Coffee Liqueur v2.0

2 cups rum
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup ground coffee

Combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to dissolve the sugar. It's fine if it doesn't all dissolve at once.

Store in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. Shake it at least once a day for a week or two.

Strain though a fine sieve to remove the grounds, then strain through a coffee filter to remove the fine bits. Transfer to a clean container for storage.

Walnut Liqueur

2 cups vodka
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cups raw walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to dissolve the sugar. It's fine if it doesn't all dissolve at once.

Store in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. Shake it at least once a day for a week or two.

Strain though a fine sieve to remove the nuts, then strain through a coffee filter to remove the fine bits. This took a lot longer to strain than the coffee mixture. You might need to use several new filters as they clog up and stop draining.

If you want a very clear liquid, you might need to strain a second time. Transfer to a clean container for storage.
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