FIRE WATCH WITH ME

HERE IN THE PNW, WE'VE BEEN LIVING UNDER HAZY WILDFIRE SKIES FOR THE BETTER PART OF THE SEASON. THIS REFRESHINGLY BRIGHT LATE SUMMER SIPPER CUTS RIGHT THROUGH THE AFTERNOON SMOG, BUT IT'S NOT JUST THE HOOCH. THIS TANGY, JUICY SHRUB COULD WAKE THE DEAD.  IT'S BEST ENJOYED WHILE WATCHING A SMOKY SUNSET FROM THE HAMMOCK. YOU'LL WANT TO TAKE IT NICE AND SLOW WITH THIS ONE.

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BLACKBERRIES ARE STILL HANGING AROUND FOR THE LAST PART OF THE SEASON. THEY PAIR BEAUTIFULLY WITH RIPE STONE FRUIT. YOU CAN EASILY MAKE THIS AFTER A QUICK URBAN FORAGE OR HEAD OVER TO A FARMER'S MARKET TO GET THE GOODS.

WHILE MANY OF OUR DRINKS CAN BE MADE AHEAD FOR LONGER BACKPACKING TRIPS, THIS IS A "FRONT COUNTRY" RECIPE. YOU CAN MAKE IT OUTDOORS IN THE FIELD, BUT YOU'LL NEED TO HAVE ACCESS TO ICE. OUR SUGGESTION? PACK YOUR INGREDIENTS IN A COOLER AND MAKE THIS ON A FALL CAMPING TRIP TO DRINK AROUND THE FIRE.

FIRE WATCH WITH ME

THE SHRUB:

THIS RECIPE WILL EASILY LAST SEVERAL WEEKS IN THE FRIDGE. IN FACT, THE FIRST FEW WEEKS WILL RESULT IN A BRIGHT, VINEGAR FORWARD BEVERAGE. IF YOU LET IT MELLOW FOR A MONTH, IT WILL BE MUCH SMOOTHER AND THE BLACKBERRIES WILL TRULY SHINE. CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE.

INGREDIENTS:

2 CUPS BLACKBERRIES

2 RIPE PEACHES, CUBED

1 CUP APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

1 CUP RED WINE VINEGAR

2 CUPS SUGAR

DIRECTIONS:

IN A MEDIUM BOWL, MASH BLACKBERRIES UNTIL JUICY.

ADD SUGAR, STIRRING UNTIL YOU'VE ACHIEVED A NICE SLURRY.

PUREE PEACHES AND ADD TO BLACKBERRY MIXTURE.

ALLOW MIXTURE TO MACERATE IN THE FRIDGE FOR AT LEAST 48 HOURS. STIR PERIODICALLY.

AFTER THE MIXTURE IS SYRUPY, STRAIN THE FRUIT SOLIDS, PRESSING MIXTURE THROUGH A FINE STRAINER WITH THE BACK OF A SPOON.

SET ASIDE THE FRUIT SOLIDS (DON'T THROW THESE AWAY, MAKE YOURSELF SOME COMPOTE)

POUR SYRUP MIXTURE INTO A LARGE, CLEAN GLASS JAR AND TOP WITH VINEGAR.

SHAKE AND STORE IN THE FRIDGE FOR UP TO TWO MONTHS.

 

THE COCKTAIL:

SERVES TWO

WE LIKE OUR DRINKS SPIRIT FORWARD AND TEND TO OMIT THE SWEET STUFF. FEEL FREE TO ADD AGAVE OR HONEY SIMPLE SYRUP IF IT'S A BIT TO TART FOR YOUR TASTE.

INGREDIENTS:

4OZ MEZCAL

3OZ BLACKBERRY PEACH SHRUB

1.5 OZ FRESH LIME JUICE

1/2 OZ AGAVE OR HONEY SIMPLE SYRUP (OPTIONAL)

2 TSP CHILI POWDER

1/4 CUP MEDIUM COARSE SEA SALT

ICE

DIRECTIONS:

MIX CHILI POWDER AND SALT IN A SMALL DISH.

RUB A LIME WEDGE AROUND HALF OF THE RIM AND ACROSS THE FRONT OF THE GLASS.

ROLL THE TOP OF THE GLASS IN SALT MIXTURE AND SET ASIDE TO HARDEN.

ONCE SET, FILL WITH ICE.

FILL A SHAKER WITH ICE AND ADD REMAINING INGREDIENTS.

SHAKE. STRAIN. SIP.

SKÅL!