Spice & Ice Virtual Cocktail Party

Written by Heather Jones   
Tuesday, 02 March 2010

ImageI recently had the opportunity to attend a phenomenal food writers conference in New York City where I listened to a panel on wine & spirits writing that featured cookbook author Kara Newman. Although I was remiss in introducing myself to Ms. Newman I did have an opportunity to check out her recently released book Spice & Ice and was thrilled to hear that she was going to be holding a “Virtual Cocktail Party”. 

The party commences on Wednesday, March 3rd with several bloggers and food writers recalling their experiences making one of the fun drinks from Kara’s book.  My real life cocktail for the virtual party included an entire brunch centering on the Red Dawn cocktail (see recipe below). 

This drink is not your mother’s Bloody Mary, all of the cocktails in Kara's book focus on the “spice” element, spicy savory flavors instead of sweet and this one is no exception.  The Red Dawn cocktail gives you the familiar flavor profile that you love in a Bloody Mary and it's frightfully easy to make. One ingredient that pulls it all together is Harissa.  Harissa is a Moroccan chili paste whose components easily replace the traditional tabasco, lemon juice, worcestershire, and celery salt combination that is normally found in a Bloody Mary. 

But please do not take my word for it.  You’ve got to try this drink for yourself. 

I've also listed a few brunch recipes below that are the perfect compliment to the Red Dawn.

Red Dawn

Spice & Ice by Kara Newman, Chronicle Books 2009.

Yield: 1 drink

While this makes a fabulous brunch drink (hence the name), and it’s less work than a traditional Bloody Mary, enjoy this harissa-spiked libation any time of day. Harissa is a Tunisian hot sauce or paste made with smoked chile peppers, garlic, olive oil, and spices like cumin or coriander. (Get harissa in a tube for longest shelf life). Masochist alert: double the amount of harissa if you dare!

2 ounces Citron-infused vodka
4 ounces Tomato juice
1/2 teaspoon Harissa
Lemon wedge, for garnish

Combine first three ingredients in a glass filled with ice, and garnish with lemon wedge.


Brunch recipes that pair well with the Red Dawn


Savory French Toast

(Martha Stewart Living, April, 2001)

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Crab Eggs Benedict

(Sunset, December, 2006)

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Disclosure: Samples of products discussed in this post may have been provided to Project Foodie by publicists and/or manufacturers.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 01 March 2010 )
peggy (Author) 2010-03-02 01:49:29

Yum! Is it Sunday morning yet?
Kara Newman (Unregistered) 2010-03-02 06:51:37

Heather, what a fabulous photo, and I love the pairings too.

Mind if I ask - what's in the spice rim? Great idea to add that...I may have to try it soon.
Heather (Unregistered) 2010-03-02 07:13:02

Peggy - Sunday Mornings are a lot better with one of these in your hand.

Kara - The rim is just a little Kosher Salt and Black Pepper.
The Diva on a Diet (Unregistered) 2010-03-03 15:28:03

Great post and picture! I popped over from Kara's blog and, as I said there, I've been dying to try this drink since I first took a spin through her book.

I'll take mine with some of that savory french toast your offering ... yum!
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