Make Your Own Sour Mix

“Sour mix”, also known as “Sweet and Sour mix” is a bartender’s shortcut used in recipes which would otherwise call for both lemon juice and sugar syrup. Today, most recipes call directly for sour mix.

After being disappointed with every commercial sour mix and powder we could find, Alan and I decided it was time to try to make our own. After many nights of experimentation we finally settled on this very simple recipe.

Combine in a 1 quart (1 liter) pitcher or bottle:

  • 18 oz Water
  • 12 oz RealLemon brand lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Mix well and use in your favorite drink recipe. Highly recommended for Long Island Ice Tea.

While you could certainly make this with fresh lemon juice, Alan and I have yet to put in the effort. Even with the bottled lemon juice this is already much better (and cheaper) than any of the commercial offerings.

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Rusty Nail

Fill rocks glass with

  • Crushed Ice

Add (in this order):

  • 1.5 oz Scotch
  • 1.5 oz Drambuie

If you add the Scotch first the drink won’t need much mixing since the Drambui is the heavier liquor and settles through, blending with the Scotch.

Many recipes call for more Scotch (2.25 oz Scotch, .75 oz Drambuie) but I prefer the sweeter half-and-half blend. Since Drambuie is in fact made from Scotch, blended with honey, herbs and spices, this drink is a Scotch lover’s dream!

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Maui Moka – My Favoritie Coffee Is Back!

Armeno Coffee RoastersA few weeks ago I emailed Armeno Coffee Roasters to ask if there was any chance of seeing my old favorite coffee Maui Kaanapali Moka again. This coffee had disappeared from the market a few years ago. All I knew was that the plantation had closed down.

I was thrilled when I got a prompt response from John Parks, one of the owners of Armeno, saying he’d called the new owner of the plantation and Armeno was going to get a sample of new Maui Moka to try out. The sample must have been good since last week Armeno sent out an anouncement that Maui Moka is back!

About the plantation

This coffee is grown on the Hawaiian island Maui on the Kaanapali estate. Full details on the grower and estate can be found at their website. Specifically they have this to say about the Maui Moka:

Moka (a.k.a. Mokka, Mocha, Maui Moka)

This by far was the most intriguing variety in the trials. Based on the outcome of the cupping results, Pioneer Mill eventually planted a third of their acreage to this variety. It is contrary to the belief that large beans mean a better cup. In the case of Moka, size does matter! It is hard to find a bean larger than a screen 14. The bean is round and is often mistaken for a peaberry. Upon closer examination one can notice the classic dicotyledonous flat side signifying two whole beans per cherry. The cup is smooth and wonderfully fused with different chocolate flavors and often times with good acidity.

In the cup

The bean is quite small compared to other coffees and the smell of the roasted coffee is divine. I could hardly wait to see if it would be as good in the cup as I remember.

Yesterday I finally brewed up a pot and I must say it’s as good as ever. The nose is rich and complex and the flavor outstanding. The coffee has a medium-full body with relatively low acidity and rich chocolate flavors. The coffee drinks equally well black or with cream and sugar. The aftertaste is pleasant and fades quickly compared to other coffees with this much body and flavor.

Armeno’s meticulous treatment of their coffee (which is carefully chosen, roasted to order in small batches and shipped immediately) shows through in all their coffees, and the Maui Moka is no exception. There is no burnt flavor or bitterness, just rich coffee goodness.

At $19.95 per pound this rare bean may not be for everyone, but if you’re a coffee lover who likes a richer cup I highly recommend the Maui Moka. The full, rich body sets it apart from Hawaiian Kona and other fine coffees and makes it my absolute favorite coffee.

If you’re interested in trying it you can order Maui Moka directly from Armeno’s website. While you’re there check out their other coffee varieties.

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