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yummy yumyum - when you don't know what to do... — LiveJournal
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yummy yumyum
I just made my first batch of sekanjabin. It's a popular drink in the SCA, from a recipe by the legendary Duke Cariadoc of the Bow. I'm going to take some to the Colonial Spinning Bee tomorrow. One of the women is bring switchel and another vinegar-based 19th century drink; I thought I'd bring the 10th century version.

It's easy as anything: 4 cups of sugar, 2.5 cups of water, bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of red wine vinegar and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add flavoring stuff. Cariadoc's recipe called for a handful of fresh mint. I divided my batch and added a torn handful of mint to one part and a good cup of freshly crushed raspberries to the other. Then you let it cool. I actually decanted mine into these pretty glass bottles I got at Pier One before it was totally cool, but I don't think it hurt it any.

The flavor is just wow. I think what really makes it special is that the mint and the raspberries weren't cooked into the syrup, so the freshness really transmits. The raspberry syrup tastes totally different than, say, raspberry jam -- it tastes like fresh berries, and not at all like vinegar. And yet there is a little hint of vinegary zip, which I think brings out the fresh flavors instead of letting them get overwhelmed by the sugar.

I can't wait to share this with my parents! It's just the sort of thing I think they'd love. Mom's diabetic, and so can't have too much sugar, but there's no way this could be made with Splenda, Thing is, though, you need so little syrup in the water to get a nice flavor that I don't think it would make a huge impact on her diet. Ooh -- maybe I could make some for the wedding! That'd be yummy, and non-alcoholic, so the site can't get mad at us. And you can make it or not, just by adding syrup to water, and the syrup itself doesn't need refrigeration!

Yummy yumyum. I think I've found my summer drink.

i feel: bouncy bouncy

12 trips or shoot the rapids
emmacrew From: emmacrew Date: May 15th, 2004 09:37 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Sounds yum! You might want to fix up the link, it's got some extraneous stuff in it.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 15th, 2004 09:52 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Crappity crap. Semagic keeps doing that to me... or maybe it's MSN 8.0. Grumble.

(It's VERY yum!)
emmacrew From: emmacrew Date: May 15th, 2004 09:56 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Are you using white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar? I bet changing that could go well with different flavors. Or, hm, cider vinegar would coordinate well with some things also... Hm hm.

I'm of course thinking "mix with fizzy water." ;-)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 15th, 2004 11:55 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Red wine... didn't I say that? I meant to. I am planning in experimenting with different vinegars. I'm actually thinking of using apple cider vinegar and steeping thinly sliced apples in it -- might even take the mortar and pestle to them.

And fizzy water! YUMMY!!!!! Almost like homemade soda!
sandthistle From: sandthistle Date: May 15th, 2004 09:41 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Sounds totally yummy! We're going to have to try it. :) Hope it works for your Mom!
redsquirrel From: redsquirrel Date: May 15th, 2004 09:51 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Mom's diabetic, and so can't have too much sugar, but there's no way this could be made with Splenda

Oddly enough, I was in a Middle Eastern bakery/grocery the other day and what should catch my eye on the shelf but a jar labeled "sugar-free syrup."

I went "huh?" and looked at the ingredients, because both my parents are diabetics (I'm probably doomed). It's made from sugar alcohols (malitol, sorbitol, etc.) which don't affect the blood sugar as much as sugar. Although, since they're not well digested, they can have embarrassing side effects if you eat too much. But, as you said, you need very little syrup to get the flavor.

Anyway, you might see if you could find such a thing and try it out. Let me know if you want me to stop in and get the info off the label, or perhaps send you a jar for help in finding it if you're interested. It's not even a detour for me - the place is right on my way to school. :-)


PS If you think about it, give Ernie a hug from me -- I haven't seen him in years!
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 15th, 2004 09:56 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Sure will! (hug Ernie, that is...)

I wonder if it'd taste the same with the sugar-free syrup, since the sugars are cooked in the simple syrup. The grocery store here has an interesting variety of foods (BIG Latino community); I'll have to see if they have it.
chite From: chite Date: May 16th, 2004 12:53 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Just a note that sugar alcohols can cause some severe gastro-intestinal distress in some people. Might not be the best thing for the wedding. (This is why you don't see soda made with sugar alcohols... usually only things that get eaten in serious moderation, like hard candies)

chibent From: chibent Date: May 17th, 2004 08:40 pm (UTC) (base camp)

This sounded very intriguing, so I made some today. Used mint in one batch and frozen mixed berries in the other (intended to use oranges, but they'd gone bad). I kept thinking, "I'm going to drink vinegar?" ^_^ But it did turn out yummy!

I used 3/4 c balsamic and 1/4 cup apple cider - the only vinegars I had on hand - and it turned out well. Didn't have fresh mint. Used dried spearmint, meaning I have to strain before drinking, but that's okay.

Thank you for posting this! Now I've got to poke around in the miscellany and try more recipes.

tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 17th, 2004 10:27 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Yeah, I ran everything through a sieve when I put it in bottles. I want some cheesecloth, though, because the sieve didn't strain out all the raspberry seeds.

I want to make lemon and strawberry flavored, and Mom wants some for the wedding, so we should have plenty of different flavors for people to try.

I'm a little surprised that the balsamic vinegar turned out so well; I would have thought that it would be too strongly flavored to be cancelled out by the sugar. Goes to show what I know. I should try reducing the recipe so I can try different vinegars. to see how they taste different.

Next experiment, the small mead at the top of the page I linked to. I need some 2-liter soda bottles, though.
chibent From: chibent Date: May 18th, 2004 12:22 am (UTC) (base camp)

That was my worry with the balsamic, too, so I only used about 3/4 cup of that and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. (Maybe it was closer to 2/3 and 1/3. I just used 'em both and filled up a 1-cup measure.)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 18th, 2004 12:51 am (UTC) (base camp)
Well, whatever works! It's good to know about improvs like this -- I usually make sure I have all the appropriate ingredients on hand before starting but sometimes I slip.
12 trips or shoot the rapids