raveling through the word wide web one day looking for the perfect Horchata recipe I stumbled upon a lovely lady who has a Thai cooking blog called “She Simmers”, on it she has the recipe for corn milk, hers is tempered with the flavors of honey and cinnamon for a Thai style soft drink not that far off the mark from the Mexican beverage I was hunting for.
Being someone who has low tolerance to anything milk related, (don’t get me wrong, I love all dairy it however is not very kind to me, possibly something to do with the fact maybe that I guzzled too many pints of farm fresh milk as a wee one and somehow my body has said ‘I think you’ve had enough for this life time’) anyway, my lack of tolerance has led me to trying all sorts of non-dairy alternatives, almond, coconut, hazelnut, soy, rice, hemp, I am proud to say been there, done that way before it became trendy. So finding a recipe for corn milk peeked my interest, especially since 1) Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching and corn is its vehement symbol of giving and the harvest, and how seasonally appropriate 2) Eggnog season is not far behind. In my ever so slightly twisted mind I also enjoy taking something naff or cheesy and giving it a bit of a fluffing so to speak.
Naff cocktail number one would be the Alexander, spirit usually Brandy, coffee liqueur and cream spiced with a shake of the old nutmeg. In second place would be the White Russian, ask any modern bartender these days to make you one and they’ll give you a look of complete disgust, I think possibly corn milk could be the Superhero savior to these two sad damsels in distress.
First off I paid a visit to my local market and picked up about 6 ears of white corn, don’t think you can get away with using canned corn, it wont do the job, too sweet and insipid for one , cooked for two, you need it raw and to be able to control the amount of sweetness that goes into this lush mix. One corn cob usually yields about one cup of milk which includes the addition of 1/2 a cup of water per cob, but I’m jumping ahead. Place the corn cob vertically end down into a shallow bowl, run a sharp knife down the cob and shear off those lovely pearls of corn.
When all kernels have been harvested dump into a blender or food processor w/ 3 cups of filtered water and wazz it for about 30 seconds.
Next place a chinoise strainer over a bowl or pitcher and strain the contents so that the corn milk and solids are separated.
The solids can be saved so the lovely She Simmers says and used for corn bread, corn muffins etc, mine go into the compost bin to continue the circle of life. The milk is all I’m interested in since this is a site about all things libatious. Now here’s the thing, the milk needs to then be filtered again through a coffee filter to get rid of a slightly chalky after taste, I contemplated cooking it to get rid of that green finish but then lost the lovely freshness of the corn. Store the milk in an air tight container, a mason jar for instance it will keep in the fridge for 2 days or so.
Now its up to you what you want to do with your milk, mine is going to have a party or two with a couple of new friends.
Brandy Alexander (inspired by, for you purists)
1 oz good quality brandy, Germain-Robin or Pierre Ferrand
1 oz Applejack
3/4 oz creme de cacao, such as the new one from Tempus Fugit or coffee liqueur like good old Kaluah
4 drops Miracle Mile chocolate Chilli bitters
2 oz fresh corn milk
throw all of your ingredients into your boston shaker w/ a handful of ice cubes, shake for about 40 seconds or until a nice frost develops on your shaker tin, using your metal strainer strain contents into a chilled coupe or martini glass, your choice either a dust of cocoa powder or fresh nutmeg finishes the top.
The Snowball ( inspired by my mum back in the 70′s)
Add one egg white to above mixture, dry shake first to emulsify the protein in the egg (dry shake means without ice), then add your ice and shake till cold, strain into a coupe glass and top w/ a little prosecco as your garnish.
Eggnog ( makes a batch enough for 6 or 2 depending on your friends)
6 large farm eggs yolks and whites separated
1 1/2 cups powdered or confectioner’s sugar
1/2 bottle of good quality bourbon, buffalo trace is my choice
1 cup brandy
4 oz all spice or pimento dram
2 cups of corn milk
nutmeg for garnish
(optional ISI creamer gun)
whip egg yolks and sugar together until sugar is incorporated, add corn milk, alcohol and all spice dram. Whisk and taste, sweeten if needed. In small bowl whisk egg whites until you have them at soft peak stage, fold them gently into the egg nog mix. At this stage you need to chill for about an hour. Once ready to serve ladle into glasses and grate fresh nutmeg on top.
If you’re feeling adventurous, invest in an ISI gun and some nitrous oxide gas capsules, don’t confuse them with Co2 capsules which are grey, the ones you need for whipping cream are pale purple in color. Pour your eggnog mix into your ISI gun, screw on the top, charge with the gas and give a good shake to the gun, dispensing your mix from the ISI will give it a light and fluffy quality. Top off with the nutmeg.
Exhibit # 2 Popcorn Bourbon
Incredibly simple, take a bag of microwave popcorn and nuke it per instructions on baggie. Let it cool slightly and then add about half the bag of popped corn to a screw top jar filled with approx half bottle of bourbon or scotch whiskey ( you could also try vodka if thats your poison, it works just as well) screw on the lid and give a good shake, leave it in a dark corner for a day shaking every so often and then strain off the liquid though a metal chinoise strainer, Bob’s your uncle, Fannie’s your aunt you have popcorn bourbon (scotch, vodka etc)
I used it in a version of a whiskey sour:
2 oz popcorn bourbon
1 oz lime juice
1 oz fresh egg white
1 oz simple syrup ( 1:1 ratio sugar to hot water)
few drops angostura bitters
pinch of salt
Throw all of your ingredients into your boston shaker, dry shake without ice for about 15 seconds to emulsify the egg white, add ice and give another shake till your shaker tin is nice and cold. Strain into your chilled martini or coupe glass and top with couple of drops of angostura bitters
Next up…..brown butter banana washed rum