Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Florida Winner, Slow Food USA Speakeasy Ark Of Taste Cocktail Comp. Updated

Slow Food USA is having a Speakeasy Ark Of Taste Cocktail Competition this year. In April, participants from all over the country submitted cocktail recipes. Asian American, Irene Jade, of Delray Beach, was one of the winners with a mango cocktail. 
Irene Jade with her Mango By The Sea Cocktail, Delray Beach, Fla.
Copyright 2014 by Damian Fitzsimmons owner of Brave Man Media
The competition is open to 21-year old or over amateur and professional mixologists, and has one main requirement—that all the drinks include at least product from the Ark of Taste.

Jade, an avid gardener, Locavore, cheese maker, and co-chair of the Slow Food Glades To Coast, is using Shrub in her Mango By The Sea cocktail.

This type of Shrub is not one you’d find in a garden but instead it is an old timey, before refrigeration, method of preserving fruit in syrup made with sugar and vinegar.

Pascale’s, Delray Beach Jam Company, created Jade’s Shrub from ginger and Florida mango.

“The mango is from her backyard. And the mango nectar was saved from her hot sauce,” said Jade about Pascale.

The Florida Distillery in Central Florida made the cane vodka.

“Cane Vodka really embodies Slow Food. It is made in small batches with South Florida grown cane and bottles that are made in the USA,” said Jade.

Mother nature made the ginger and Florida Key Lime juice.

“I really wanted to use ingredients local to the South Florida area,” said Jade with a smile that could light up a room.

Her passion for sourcing local came early from her mother who grew most of what her family ate and made everything from scratch.

“I want people to support local Florida agriculture,” said Jade.

Mango By The Sea Cocktail recipe

1 oz. Florida Premium Cane Vodka

2.5 Tbsp. Pascale's Mango Ginger Shrub Ark Product
3 Tbsp. fresh Florida mango nectar

1.5 oz. fresh Florida key lime juice

0.25 tsp. fresh finely grated ginger

Combine all ingredients above, stir and add ice. Or place in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake, pour. Garnish with fresh Florida key lime zest.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mysore Black Raspberry Growth, Loxahatchee, Fla.,

Loxahatchee, Fla.--When you think raspberry fields you think of somewhere cold. But that's not the case with the Mysore black raspberries variety. They can grow in south Florida heat according to a friend of mine. She's been growing hers for three years and this season's crop has been better than most.

South Florida grown mysore variety black raspberries,
Loxahatchee, Fla.
Copyright 2014 by Ettasue
"I cut them way back last year," said Ettasue, with a warm smile, "And they grew back with a vengeance." What this meant to her is they grew from a small bush no larger than 1 foot long x 3 feet tall x 1 foot wide in 2013 to a bush that extends the length of her back paddock (approximately 30 feet) and stands six feet tall.

South Florida grown black raspberries growing the length of a
15 foot plus long fence, Loxahatchee, Fla.
Copyright 2014 by Ettasue
She started out growing the black raspberries for her own consumption but this year that changed. In the first month she got close to 1000 berries from her bush. She ate them raw and made them into pies, muffins, and pancakes. She also gave them away to friends as gifts.

South Florida grown black raspberries, Loxahatchee, Fla.
Copyright 2014 by Ettasue.
"From buds to fruit it grows everyday for months," said Ettasue, adding she gets berries all the way into July some years.

She bought the Mysore variety black raspberry (Rubus nevus) bush at a plant sale in Brevard County three years ago.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Florida Mixology Fun At Kai Kai Farm, Indiantown, Fla.

Indiantown, Fla.--There's an unofficial mixology club attending Kai Kai Farm Dinners. Mixology is the art of creating exotic cocktails. And in the case of the group at Kai Kai Farm's Almost Summer BBQ, they used Florida ingredients in their beverages.

Lisa Grasso showing her support for farmers at Kai Kai Farm's Almost
Summer BBQ, Indiantown, Fla.
Copyright 2014 by Helen A Lockey
"It all started at the last Kai Kai dinner," said Lisa Grasso one of the original participants," We saw that it was BYOB last time and decided to come up with mixed drinks." They had five participants at the last dinner. "Now we have 16, so this time each couple brought a drink," said Grasso.

Lisa Grasso's Florida Watermelon Margarita drink at Kai Kai Farm's Almost
Summer BBQ, Indiantown, Fla.
Copyright 2014 by Helen A Lockey
She brought a Florida watermelon Margarita that had a fabulous sweet yet non-cloying flavor. Grasso, who grew up on a farm in Central Florida and married Stephen, a fourth generation farmer, really believes in supporting other farmers.

Monica's Juniper Berry Sunshine Crush made with Florida strawberries,
Florida cucumbers, Florida hot peepers and other ingredients
 at Kai Kai Farm's Almost Summer BBQ, Indiantown, Fla
Copyright 2014 by Helen A Lockey
And what better way to support other farmers than by attending their events and bringing Florida ingredient infused drinks to the ones that are BYOB. "We all like to eat and we all like to drink. So it just happened that we brought drinks," said Grasso.

Monica's Moscow Mule made with Florida Fresh mint, limes, vodka,
ginger beer and other ingredients, at Kai Kai Farm's Almost Summer BBQ,
Copyright 2014 by Helen A Lockey
Monica, another member of the group, brought two drinks: Moscow Mule and Juniper Berry Sunshine Crush made with Florida grown strawberries, cucumbers, and chili peppers.

If you get a chance to go to one of Kai Kai Farm's dinners, say hello to this lively group of farm supporters and amateur mixologists. If you smile enough they might give you a taste of one of their delicious libations.

For more information on Kai Kai Farm you can go to www.kaikaifarm.com