Friday, August 2, 2019

Yoda's Boozy Dagoba Swamp Brew #FoodNFlix #StarWarsFood

Ever since Luke Skywalker met Yoda in The Enpire Strikes Back* I have loved that cryptic little Jedi master! He was just the right amount of grumpy mixed with wisdom.

And I clearly transferred that adoration to my kids. D loves Yoda, too. This was his costume for a preschool May the Fourth Be With You party.

...and he loved being the same size as Yoda at the Star Wars exhibit we attended in 2013. When I talked about what I could make that was Yoda-inspired, D remembered his Kaffir Lime Matcha Sugar Cookies that were just the right shade of green.

Just a reminder why you're being bombarded by Star Wars-inspired recipes...Kelley of Simply Inspired Meals is hosting a month of Star Wars recipes for Food'N'Flix. You can read her invitation here.

So, D wanted to make cookies again, but I wanted to go 'swampy' and opted to make a homemade Italian liqueur made with foraged bay leaves. You can make this in as little as two weeks, but I prefer to let it age another two after bottling, so four weeks total.

D complained that he and his brother couldn't partake in my boozy Dagoba Swamp brew, so he made another batch of green-hued cookies for the under-21 set in our household.

Bay leaf liqueur may sound strange, but its aroma and taste are remarkably similar to France’s Chartreuse, a liqueur made by Carthusian monks according to a centuries-old secret recipe. It makes me wonder if bay leaves are not one of the secret ingredients.

The only stumbling block would be: you need fresh bay leaves, not dried. Thankfully, I live on the central coast of California and bay laurels abound on every hiking trail from Santa Cruz to Big Sur. So, when I was out with my family, Jake caught a strong whiff of bay and plucked a small branch for me. But I have also seen fresh bay leaves in a clam shell at Whole Foods, so you don't have to forage.

  • Between 30 and 50 fresh young bay leaves plus stems (I just used enough to fill my jar) 
  • 2 C vodka (you can use other base alcohols, but I had vodka)
  • 2 C water
  • 2 C organic granulated sugar

Crinkle and crush the bay leaves in your hand to bring out some of their oils. Place them in a jar and cover with vodka. Let the leaves infuse for at least 1 week. After a week, the liquid will have turned a deep emerald green and the bay leaves themselves will have lost their color.

Make a simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. The syrup is ready as soon as the sugar dissolves completely and the syrup is crystal clear. Let cool to room temperature.

Strain the alcohol into the sugar syrup. Discard the bay leaves. Let stand for another week. You can drink it after that, but I prefer to pour into smaller bottles and letting it age for another 2 weeks.

Serve at room temperature.

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1 comment:

  1. Interesting cocktail for sure. I don't think I'm going to find any fresh bay leaves while hiking here in Michigan.


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