We’re doing something different today! Lots of different things, actually. Recently I was invited to participate in a monthly blogger challenge by Our Growing Edge; each month a different blogger comes up with a challenge to participate in. I’m always looking to connect with other bloggers so I was really excited to partake! The hosts this month are Christine and Kath from Garden Eats and the challenge was to explore something new to you with food, be it a new restaurant or a new recipe.
I decided to use a different ingredient in the kitchen and it didn’t take me long to decide on one. Recently a friend and I went out for supper and she ordered a Winter martini that included a Chinese 5 Spice Syrup. I was instantly intrigued as I hadn’t ever used Chinese 5 Spice and had only ever heard of it used in a savory way. Armed with that inspiration I set off to first make my own Chinese 5 Spice Syrup and then to use it in a holiday cocktail. Simple syrup is easy to make, and I simply doctored mine up with the spice, along with some vanilla bean paste. I really wanted it to be spicy and sweet and I loved the way it tasted. Next, I decided to make a float with my favorite seasonal soda and a little splash of whiskey! The drink was delicious and it looked so pretty; perfect to sip on in these days before Christmas and beyond. I also think the Chinese 5 Spice Syrup would be great stirred into coffee or tea or drizzled on ice cream. It’s not too late to make a batch and put it into a pretty little jar; this would be a super unique gift for any foodie!
Or you can just keep it all and make yourself a bunch of these floats. I won’t tell.
Chinese 5 Spice Syrup
Makes about a cup
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
- 2 tsp. Chinese 5 Spice
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan on the stovetop. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat and let it cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Spiked & Spicy Cranberry Vanilla Float
Makes one float
- ½ ounce Chinese 5 Spice Syrup
- ½ ounce whiskey
- 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
- 1 can cranberry ginger ale
Fill a one ounce shot glass half full with the syrup, then fill the rest with whiskey. Scoop the ice cream into a tall glass. Drizzle the syrup/whiskey mixture over the ice cream. Pour the cranberry ginger ale over the ice cream. Stir and serve with a straw! Add more soda if desired.