Monday, August 12, 2013

Jam 'n Booze

Whenever I go to the Ottawa Farmers' Market, I make a point of swinging by Michaelsdolce to chat with Michael Sunderland and check out his latest jams.  On a visit in July, he was showcasing his new Yellow Plum & Star Anise - a hit with me, and then his Spiced Cherry Jam.

Although the Spiced Cherry Jam was delicious, the juicy cherries made this first batch just a bit too runny.  Michael said he was going to be changing his next batch up a bit to solve that.

Ever the optimist, I happily will look for a way to turn a food problem into a feature.Not ever thinking this good taste was ever lost, I suggested using the 'jam juice' as a cocktail starter.

Next thing I know, Michael has pressed his sample jar of Spiced Cherry Jam into my hand with the challenge to hit the cocktail lab.

We recently had visited Dillon's Small Batch Distillers in Beamsville and picked up a bottle of their vodka and gin.  Both start with local Niagara grapes as their base.

Our drink mix test was put to a panel of esteemed judges and Dillon's vodka proved to be the best match for Spiced Cherry Jam.

Michael isn't new to 'jamming' his cocktails.  He will be joining Ottawa bartender, Jeff Taylor to make non-alcohol cocktails for the Savour Ottawa's Harvest Table lunch coming up August 18 at Brewer Park beside the Ottawa Farmers' Market.  Read more about it from Laura Robin at The Ottawa Citizen. Recipes included!

Many of us prefer not to use thickeners when making our fruit jams.  If juicy fruit gets the better of your batch, just remember Jam 'n Booze.  It's the Year of the Cocktail, after all.

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