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Peg Callihan, placesandplatypie.com

Once again my sweet tooth answers the call

The desert in Big Bend Country can still be remarkably cold in the spring. Temperatures below freezing from late afternoon one day until late morning the next. Beautiful hoar frost covering everything.

desert in Big Bend Country

What do we do with no electrical hook-up or cell towers nearby? Test cocktails recipes, of course! While an enviable and creative thing to do, it is not without a down side. For three days straight, while the wind howled and the temperatures hovered in the 30s, we mixed, sipped and took aspirin to allay any side effects that might occur as we tested and perfected –

The Pomtini

The Pomtini

With two fresh pomegranates, a 1.75 liter bottle of Pomegranate Vodka, a fifth of Pom Raspberry Sorbet Vodka, a quart of Pom Juice, and a couple of limes we set to work. The Pomegranate Vodka was too sweet even for me, so we kept having to add straight vodka to cut the taste, (Not as much fun as it sounds like…) In the end, this is what we came up with. First, we froze scoops of tart-sweet Pom arils in an ice tray.

  • 1 part pomegranate raspberry sorbet vodka (much less sweet)
  • 3/4 part Pom Juice
  • 1/4 part Patron Orange Liquor
  • 1/2 key lime to rim the glass
  • Frozen pom arils in bottom of each glass to keep the drink icy cold without diluting

It turns out this sweet tart drink, that was meant to be a cocktail is actually a marvelous nightcap. Picture us sitting at the dinette, the camper rocking in the wind, reading on our iPads and sipping our drinks. They put us right to sleep.

The Ginger Snap

We first created and started drinking these the summer we volunteered at the Green Lake Fish Hatchery in Maine. It is really a drink to share after a long day of feeding fish, hiking and photographing insects in the hot sun with our friend, Fred Yost (fish biologist)1.

The Ginger Snap

Since the Snap contains ginger, it is really quite good for the digestion, especially after eating too much trail mix. We were confronted with the following ingredients when we came up with this comfort food version of a cocktail: Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur, a bit of vodka and milk. Hmmm… oh yes, and Reddi whip. Here it is.

  • 1 part vodka
  • 1 part milk
  • 1 part Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur
  • Frozen Candied Ginger ( we stocked up after our first attempt.)
  • Grated fresh ginger to taste
  • Reddi Whip

Mix the three liquids together, and shake throughly. Chill for several hours,
then pour over two slices of frozen candied ginger. Top with a squirt of Reddi
Whip and some grated ginger. Drink, enjoy and pretend, since it contains
both milk and ginger, that it’s good for you.

Frank & Albert’s Bar2 in the beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright Arizona Biltmore
Hotel is where we first savored this refreshing drink. While the hotel
depends on kumquats grown on the grounds for the fruit, we have found
that almost any citrus fruit will work well. We enjoyed these so much while
sitting at the beautiful bar that we decided to figure out how to make them.
And while the Biltmore calls them Mohitos, they really are something else…
something wonderful!

The QuasiMojitoThe QuasiMojito

In a tall glass muddle two kumquats, or 1/4 orange – even a small key lime or any combination thereof, with-

  • 1 shot good rum
  • 1 shot Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • Add ice fill and fill the glass
    with a good ginger beer. We like Gosling.

Stir a bit and drink ‘er down
We were able to figure this

one out one sunny afternoon
sitting under a tree in the

Delta of the Sacramento River.


1 We used to have a “showtime” where we hooked up our cameras and
shared our photographs over the TV.

2 Frank Lloyd Wright and protégé Albert Chase McArthur

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