Recipe: Sudanese Cinnamon Tea

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Under the pulsing noonday sun, Tea Ladies line the streets of Sudan. They soak up what little shade they can find. Water simmers over charcoal stoves. They swirl a mishmash of ingredients through the steam, into the pot. You can pick your combination. Will it be mint? Or what about ginger? The most popular option for many patrons is cinnamon tea, a blend of black tea steeped with cinnamon sticks. Many patrons like to hold a sugar cube between the teeth while drinking to sweeten the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Sangria

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About five years ago Sangria was my go-to drink. A sweet, chilled glass served as my weekend wind-down and my mid-week pick-me-up. I sipped the ruby red goodness with friends... and it brought us joy, whether we were laughing or crying. Sangria became such a standby, I even served it at our engagement party in 2007. P.S. Look how glamorous (and eerie) our engagement photo was (Thanks to my amazing friend Rebekah Shannon!) ... this feels like a lifetime ago... and I suppose it is, … [Read more...]

Recipe: South African Amarula Coffee

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There's nothing like a drunk elephant to get my attention. Whoa, whoa, whoa. It' s a little early for that kind of talk. Let me back up a moment. Amarula Coffee is a South African favorite - a breezy concoction that includes your favorite coffee, some brown sugar (the sweetener of choice in South Africa), a shot or two of Amarula, and whipped cream. It's very much like an Irish Coffee. Why? The Amarula. You can find this creamy concoction at most liquor stores in the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cocoa Tea

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When I told Ava that the fine people of Saint Lucia like to wake up in the morning and drink Cocoa Tea, she squinted her eyes, titled her head, and said "what mama?" "It's like hot cocoa," I smiled, "but richer, and seasoned with cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg." Her eyes instantly popped open in recognition and the corners of her lips curled impishly. I showed her my mound of chocolate chips and added that in Saint Lucia they use cocoa sticks and balls to make their Cocoa Tea, but we'd … [Read more...]

Recipe: Killer Bee Cocktail with Black Pepper & Nutmeg

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I can't even begin to take credit for this drink. My dear friend Marina wanted to contribute something to our potluck-style dinner but even after I gave her the easy out by suggesting our Caribbean Rum Punch, she insisted on creating something new and unique to Saint Kitts and Nevis. Her research and uncovered this gem of a sipper... the Killer Bee Cocktail. With a name like that, it has to be good. According to her research: The Killer Bee cocktail is by far the most popular beverage on … [Read more...]

Recipe: Russian Tea

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If you want to try something uniquely Russian (at least, I'd never heard of it until this week), try a cup of nice, black tea with a spoonful of fruit jam stirred in. Tea is the national drink of Russia, while the jam is a happy bonus. If you're serving to more than one, be sure to brew the tea extra strong. According to Wikipedia: A notable feature of Russian tea culture is the two-step brewing process. Firstly, tea concentrate (Russian: заварка) is prepared: a quantity of dry tea … [Read more...]

Recipe: Tapioca & Jello Sipper | Sago at Gulaman

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It's Friday. We all need a little love. A quick fix to carry us into the weekend, Filipino-style. Also, we're on our way to October, which means we're on our way to Halloween... The answer? <gulp> Sago at Gulaman, a.k.a. Tapioca and Jello Sipper. This drink hardly even needs a recipe. First step, make some jello. For brownie points, make agar agar "jelly." Agar agar is seaweed based and sets up at room temperature. Very cool. You can find it on the international aisle of Whole … [Read more...]

Recipe: Pakistani Coffee with Cinnamon & Cardamom

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I'm not a sadist by any means, but I will take any chance I can get to make my sweet Mr Picky drink coffee. For years now, he has claimed to hate the stuff. I maintain that coffee simmered gently with milk and spices is not the same as the sludge served at the local gas station. I've tried making him Nauru's "Recycled" Iced Coffee (no luck), Arabian Cardamom Coffee (no luck), and even an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, complete with popcorn (he exhibited mild curiosity but only ate the popcorn). … [Read more...]