Black Jack Cocktail

October 9, 2019

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Since the weather seems very danged determined to keep rolling out those summer temps, I thought I’d tell you about a nice refreshing cocktail that we have been enjoying – The Black Jack. It is made with a delicious blackberry shrub, a little glug of lemon and orange juice, and Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey served with a splash of tonic water over crushed ice. The perfect thing to cool you down while you’re waiting for the season to change!

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So what is a shrub? It is not that small ornamental bush out in the yard. Well, technically it is I suppose. The Shrub that I’m referring to is a concentrated syrup which is made by combining fruit, sugar and vinegar. Just between me and you, when I first read about shrubs all I could think about was the Knights Who Say “Ni” of Monty Python fame. In Monty Python’s “The Holy Grail” these knights will not let King Arthur pass unless he brings them a shrubbery as toll. But I suppose I digress…

So shrubs (the drink) have their roots (yeah, I know I said roots, but I am still talking about the drink, not the plant) in England where vinegar was traditionally used to preserve fruit. This practice then arrived in Colonial America with the settlers. Sailors would take shrubs along with them on sea voyages. These fruity elixirs, being full of vitamin C, helped to protect them from scurvy. In no time folks started mixing that vinegary fruit juice with spirits. Pirates were undoubtedly mixing it with rum. (When in doubt, always blame pirates).  But then, for some reason shrubs fell out of fashion in the 1800s. Lucky for us, shrubs have recently made a big comeback on the cocktail scene.

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Several years ago I planted a blackberry bramble in our yard. His name is Chester and this year he grew quite a lot of blackberries. Not enough to make any preserves, or a pie or anything like that, but it was enough to make several batches of blackberry shrub. It is quite easy to make and in addition to mixing it into a cocktail, it can also be used as a glaze in cooking or to liven up a salad dressing. While I did use Jack Daniels for this creation, I must admit mixing the blackberry shrub with some vodka and a splash of tonic is also quite nice. Of course you can also just mix it with plain ole tonic water, without adding any alcohol at all, though I’m not sure why you’d want to do such a thing.   I assure you, the Husband and I have been mixing up the high-test adult beverage versions of this drink. It is deee-lish! On any given night , you might be able to find us out sitting on the porch, toasting to each others health and the much wished for yet slow to arrive Fall temperatures with a  hardy heartfelt “Ni!”

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Black Jack Cocktail

  • Servings: 1 cocktail
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe adapted from: Today Show

Ingredients:

For the Blackberry Shrub:

  • 4 cups blackberries
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

For the Cocktail:

  • 1 1/2 ounces Jack Daniels
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 ounce blackberry shrub
  • Fever Tree Refreshingly light Tonic Water
  • crushed ice
  • fresh mint for garnish

Directions:

Prepare the shrub: Place blackberries  in a nonmetal bowl. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt. Stir well and cover with plastic wrap. Place mixture in the refrigerator and let it sit for 2 days.

Transfer the berry mixture to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Allow it to cook for 10 minutes or so, skimming away any foam that should form.

Strain the berry mixture through a fine-meshed sieve, pressing any remaining berries against the sieve to extract as much juice as possible. Discard any remaining solids. Store shrub in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. This makes approximately 1 quart of concentrate.

For the Cocktail: Combine the Jack Daniels, lemon & orange juices along with the blackberry shrub in an ice filled cocktail shaker. Shake it up until it is chilled and thoroughly combined. Strain over cocktail glasses filled with crushed ice. Fill glass 1/2 way and then top with tonic water. Garnish with fresh mint if desired.

Enjoy!

Black Jack Cocktail brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links for Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Black Jack Cocktail:

Cuisinart Set of 3 Fine Mesh Strainers

Oxo Steel Double Jigger

24 oz. Cocktail Shaker

Fever-Tree Naturally Light Tonic Water

La Rochere Napoleon Bee Tumblers

 


Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Mousse with Candied Bacon

July 3, 2014

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I know, I know….4th of July desserts are supposed to be all patriotic…all red white and blue and festooned with flags. With all the fresh strawberries and blueberries around this time of year, that is pretty easy. I mean I’ve done some fun some Independence Day classics in years past. There was my Strawberry, Blueberry and White Chocolate Mousse Tart for instance, so fresh and delicious and practically whistling Yankee Doodle Dandy!

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I started to go along that route again. But then I came across this recipe for Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Mousse with Candied Bacon and new I had found the dessert that folks attending my 4th of July festivities would be most excited by. Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey is the highest selling American Whiskey in the World and has been distilled in good ole Lynchburg, Tennessee since 1866. Pretty good pedigree I’d say and definitely beloved among my crowd. So what could be better than the combination of the smooth smoky sweetness of that lovely elixer with rich, dark chocolate and heavy cream? But I won’t stop there, I will just continue… whipping it all up until it becomes a silky fluffy mousse which will then be topped with candied bacon! Have mercy!

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Let me tell you, folks will love these decadent little treats! A little bit of this dreamy concoction goes a long way, so I will serve mine in little chocolate dessert cups. I think it would also be fantastic if you were to serve it in rustic mason jars – but not the full pint size…Good Lord! Look more to a small 1/4 pint size or go with the whole whiskey theme and serve it in a shot glass. You can’t go wrong with this luscious indulgence. Get folks in just the right mood to celebrate Independence Day and whip up a tray of these boozy treats today!

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Jack Daniel's Whiskey Mousse with Candied Bacon

  • Servings: 4 Cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

source: Sweet Society

Ingredients:

For the Whiskey Mousse:

  • 4 oz (113g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) coffee
  • 2 Tablespoons (28g) Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
  • 2 eggs (100g) separated
  • 4 Tablespoons (50g) granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup (120g) heavy whipping cream plus a bit extra to whip up as a topping if you choose
For the Candied Bacon:
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar

For Serving:

Directions:
 Fill a saucepan with an inch or so of water and bring to a simmer.

Use a double boiler, or place a heatproof bowl over the simmering water (making sure the bowl does not touch the water) and melt the chocolate, butter, and coffee together.
Remove from heat and stir in whiskey. Set this bowl aside.In a separate heatproof bowl, whisk the two egg yolks with 2 tbsp of sugar over the pan of simmering water.You will continue to whisk this mixture until it becomes foamy (cooking it just slightly).When foamy, whisk the egg-yolk mixture into the chocolate bowl. Set aside.With a stand mixer, or hand mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt, gradually adding 2 tbsp of sugar, until stiff peaks form.Fold the stiff egg whites gently into the chocolate/egg yolk mixture.Lastly, whip up the heavy cream until soft peaks form and then fold this into the chocolate mixture from the previous step.Pipe or spoon whiskey mousse into chocolate dessert cups, 4 oz. mason jars or shot glasses. Place into refrigerator to set while you are preparing candied bacon.
Line a plate with a sheet of parchment paper. In frying pan or on griddle, cook bacon until nearly done. Drain as much bacon grease from the pan as possible. Sprinkle brown sugar over bacon and let it cook until it melts and begins to bubble up. Remove bacon to parchment lined plate and let cool completely. Chop candied bacon into bite sized pieces.
When ready to serve, top whiskey mousse cups with a bit of whipped cream and candied bacon.
Enjoy!
Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Mousse brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 


Jack Daniel’s Caramel Apple Pie

December 1, 2011

Jack and I have been at it again! I just can’t seem to stay away from Mr. Daniels. Especially when it comes to baking! This time I saw a recipe for a Southern Comfort Caramel Apple Pie at Pink Parley’s site. It looked fantastic and seemed to be getting rave reviews. I decided I just had to make it for Thanksgiving, but it needed to be with Jack Daniels rather than Southern Comfort. Nothing against Southern Comfort, I’m sure it is great. However, Jack and I have an established relationship and all seems to be better when he makes an appearance. So off I went!

To be honest, I really am not a big pie fan in general. I like apple pies, since apple is a favourite fruit. I like pecan pies. But it pretty much stops there. Blueberry pie? Peach pie? Cherry pie? I just have to say “Errr…Thanks, but no.” My husband on the other hand, loves fruit desserts as I may have mentioned. I knew this pie with not only a fruity filling but also a good helping of bourbon could not go wrong.

I had never actually made an apple pie before. I have done rustic tarts and the like, but this was my first pie. I must say, I’m very happy my first attempt was such a great success. This pie is every bit as delicious as the various rave reviews had declared. The apples had a lovely firm texture. The cinnamony caramel bourbon sauce in which they rested was to die for! And if that wasn’t enough, then there is the topping. It is a streusel sort of topping usually found on fruit crisps or crumbles. Gives the pie a nice buttery, crunchy finish. Fantastic pie altogether. You really must give it a try!

Jack Daniels Caramel Apple Pie

recipe slightly adapted (I switch Southern Comfort for Jack Daniels) from Pink Parsley. Full original recipe found on 20-Something Cupcakes.

Basic Pie Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup (10-2/3 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

In your food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Add butter to flour mixture and pulse several times until mixture looks crumbly, with bits of dough the size of peas. Add 4 tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing a few times after each addition. After final addition, dough should begin to clump together in a ball. Gently mold dough into a disk, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Transfer unwrapped dough to a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 1/8-inch-thick circle large enough to cover bottom and sides of a 9-inch-diameter deep-dish pie pan; do not use a regular (shallow) pan. Transfer dough to pie pan, crimping edges with your fingers or a fork. Prick bottom with a fork.

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (5-1/3 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast until a rich brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Coarsely chop nuts and set aside.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process sugars, cinnamon, salt, and flour for about 1 minute. Cut butter into small pieces and add to sugar-flour mixture. Pulse 10 to 15 times until mixture is crumbly. Remove from processor and stir in pecans. Refrigerate topping, covered, until ready to use.

Apple Filling:

  • 5 to 6 medium-sized tart apples, such as Braeburn, Cortland, or Winesap ( I used 3 granny smith/3 honey crisp)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Jack Daniels bourbon
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Peel, core, and cut apples into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When butter starts to foam, add apples and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes. In a small bowl stir together cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle on apples, and stir to combine. Simmer apples over medium-low heat for about 1 minute longer. Remove apples from skillet with a slotted spoon, leaving as much of butter-sugar mixture in skillet as possible. Transfer apples to a baking sheet and arrange in a single layer until ready to use. (If heaped in a pile, they will become soggy.)

Pour Jack Daniels into butter-sugar mixture in skillet. Simmer mixture over medium heat until alcohol burns off, at least 5 minutes (sniff mixture at close range; if it burns your nostrils, the vapors are still burning off). Add cream and continue simmering until mixture is quite thick but still pourable, 5 to 10 minutes. Return apples to skillet and stir to coat.

Pour apples and cream mixture into unbaked piecrust (do not fill to more than 1/2 inch below top of crust) and sprinkle evenly with topping. Place pie pan on baking sheet to guard against a caramel filling bubble over. Bake until filling is bubbling and topping is brown, 50 to 60 minutes.

Enjoy!


Boozy Peanut Butter & Banana Pound Cake with a Peanut Butter Nutella Glaze

October 14, 2011

So the other day I had a real hankering for something with peanut butter and bananas. Then I saw the bottle of Jack Daniels sitting there and decided bourbon would have to be involved in the dish as well. I don’t know why it is that I want to put Jack Daniels in everything. I think I’m borderline obsessed with the stuff! What’s even stranger is that I never drink Jack Daniels in any type of cocktail form. In fact, I only drink it straight after the most harrowing of days. 🙂 Yet I want to put it in everything I bake. Go figure…. Perhaps I lived in Tennessee in a previous life…

The man himself!

Well, I had come across a recipe that called for all of the desired ingredients. It was listed on a blog from which I had never attempted to make any dishes and which due to the following outcome, shall remain nameless. I must admit, I was a bit sceptical about said recipe because it did not call for any eggs. Hmmm…. And it seemed a bit short on flour. Hmmm…. But I soldiered on and popped the ill-fated concoction in the oven. The cloud of doubt grew ever darker as I peeked in the oven to check on its progress ( ie. lack of progress). With growing apprehension, I went to one of my favourite blogs, Buns in My Oven, because I knew Karly had published a recipe for a fantastic looking Peanut Butter & Banana Pound cake not too long ago. I checked her ingredients…yup…5 eggs and over double the amount of sugar and flour. Oh no! Why did I ever stray! But what could I do but sit with a horrible sinking feeling, hoping for the best, yet fearing the worst. Sadly, my perseverance merely resulted in  a terribly disappointing blob emerging from the oven. Utter failure! I hate it when that happens. But I proceeded to pick myself up ( after uttering a string of expletives which I wouldn’t even think of replicating here ) and began to mix up the recipe for Peanut Butter & Banana Pound Cake with a Peanut Butter Nutella Glaze from Buns in My Oven, but with the addition of some lovely Jack Daniels. It was obvious from the get-go that this was much more like it. I felt my spirits lifting and knew I would be redeemed in this cake.

Sure enough… This cake is stunning!

I bet it’s even awesome without the Jack. You could leave it out if you were taking it to a church pot-luck or a children’s party or some other such teetotalling thing. But it just makes me feel better knowing Jack’s in there.

Boozy Peanut Butter & Banana Pound Cake with a Peanut Butter Nutella Glaze

Recipe slightly adapted ( I added the Jack Daniels 🙂 ) from Buns In My Oven

ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter (I used JIF), divided
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 3 Tablespoons Jack Daniels (or your preferred Bourbon)
  • 1 cup Nutella, divided
  • 2 tablespoons milk or water (optional – or you could use some more Bourbon – as you seen fit)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and 3/4 cup of the peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the sugar, mixing until light and airy, around 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Stir in the vanilla.

Add the flour and salt to the mixer, all at once, and mix just until incorporated. Mix in the mashed banana on low. Add the Jack Daniels and mix until incorporated.

Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan. Drop heaping spoonfuls of Nutella over the top of the batter, about 1/2 a cup. Using a butter knife, swirl the Nutella all throughout the cake to get a marbled look.

Bake the cake for 60 – 75 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a tester comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Heat remaining Nutella and peanut butter in the microwave in 10 second intervals to soften it up enough to drizzle. If desired, mix in a little milk or water or even some more bourbon, depending on the day you’ve had, to thin out the glaze until it reaches the desired consistency.

Drizzle on top of the bundt cake.

Enjoy!


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