Pretty Pulpy

Turns out it’s pretty pulpy; if you let it sit, it’ll separate. But for making cocktails, you’re probably going to want to sieve it.

Hibiscus Tea

If you’re not getting as bright a color as you’d like, remember to acidify — a little lemon or lime juice should set you right.

The Flying Hibiscus

If I ever open up that cafe / bookstore / flower shop / art gallery / textile arts shop / bar (it’s not going to happen, I have books to write, but y’know, a girl can dream), I’d have to offer this cocktail. I even gave it a fun name. Put a bird on it!


The Flying Hibiscus

2 oz. hibiscus tea (boil a few handfuls of hibiscus flowers in 8 oz. water to make hibiscus tea)
juice of 1/2 a lime
1-2 T rose syrup (to taste), or honey

1 oz. vodka (optional)

1. Make hibiscus tea. Combine 2 oz. tea with lime juice and rose syrup (or honey). You can enjoy it just as it is — a little tangy, a little sweet, beautifully floral.

2. Stir in vodka for the alcoholic version. Garnish with hibiscus flower and enjoy!

I Think It’s Okay

I really shouldn’t start on the cocktail party cookbook recipes until I finish up the vegan cookbook ones — but since this cocktail is also vegan, and I can potentially include it, I think it’s okay. (There’s going to have to be a bit of a winnowing, though — I have more recipes than I have room for in the book…) I had just enough blooms on my hibiscus tree to pull this off.

Our First Stretch Goal

Morning, folks! I’m here with your Vegan Serendib Kickstarter update — and stretch goals!

We’ve blown through our $2500 goal, and are currently sitting very nicely at $4287 with two more weeks to go. More funds will let us do more stuff, so here’s the first stretch goal — if we make it to $5000, I’m going to release:

• Serendib Cocktail Party Sampler eBook (aiming for Oct. release, so you have it in plenty of time for the holiday season)

I’m planning to include a baker’s dozen of tropical recipes, including savory bites, sweet bites, and some fun drinks (both alcoholic and non).

As many of us are able to re-enter the party-throwing phase, maybe a little Sri Lankan inspiration will be helpful! (And if you’re still sheltering in place, you might want a little cocktail inspiration for yourself…)

You’ll be able to select the vegan or non-vegan version of the book, and all Kickstarter backers will receive a copy. It’ll also be available for purchase, of course, so a cute little holiday gift for yourself or someone you love?

Interested? Head on over to the Kickstarter and pledge, and/or tell your friends. Likes / comments / shares always appreciated for visiblity!…/vegan-serendib-a-sri…

Beet Juice with Coconut Milk and Lime

I admit, vegetable juice drinks are new to me; I was a little suspicious when I first went to taste beet juice. I thought it might be very, well, beet-y.

But in fact, when you add cardamom, sugar, coconut, and most importantly, lime, the end result is a sweet & tangy drink packed full of nutrient goodness. This would be gorgeous in a pitcher on a brunch board, or served poolside.

1 large beet, peeled and cubed small
1 t. ground cardamom
1/4 – 1/2 c. sugar (to taste)
2 c. coconut milk
2 c. water

3 T lime juice

1. Combine ingredients in a blender; serve chilled.

Moru Thanni / Spiced Yogurt Drink

Note — you can, of course, make this with regular yogurt, which would be standard in Sri Lanka, but I’m working on a vegan cookbook, so…


Moru Thanni / Spiced Yogurt Drink

(15 minutes, serves 4)

On a hot day, this a wholesome way to cool down!

1 c. vegan yogurt (use your favorite; I like Culina, which is coconut milk based, but versions based on cashews would also work for this)
1/2 t. asafoetida powder / hing (optional)
1/2 – 2 t. salt (to taste)
3-4 c. water (to your desired drinking consistency)
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
1 green chili, chopped fine
1 t. coriander leaves, chopped fine
1 t. vegetable oil
1 t. black mustard seeds

1-2 T lime juice (to taste)

1. In a large pouring container, mix yogurt with asafoetida powder (if using) and salt.

2. Add 2-4 c. water, stirring to combine, to your desired drinking consistency.

3. Add chopped onion, green chili, and coriander to the beverage.

4. In a small pan on high, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, remove from heat and add to the beverage, stirring to combine.

5. Add lime juice and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve cold as a refreshing beverage; it can also be served as an accompaniment to a rice meal, and in that instance, would be poured over the rice.

NOTE: To turn this into a refreshing cocktail, feel free to add a shot or two of arrack to the glass!

Now, this is normally a nice, refreshing wholesome beverage — but if you really wanted to kick it up a notch, you could add a shot or two of arrack, turning it into a yogurt cocktail. 🙂

One More Hour

One more hour, my local peeps, for this event. (Me pictured wearing one of Madhurima’s fabulous earrings; you can’t have this pair, but she has other delightful options…)

I have to say the main thing that’s sold this time are confections (esp. the sweet samplers) and cakes — the redbud cakes have been selling like hotcakes. Maybe because they’re delicious? Not that people can tell that when they’re wrapped in plastic wrap, but they look delicious, and they ARE delicious. Also curry powder, several. Plus a scarf and a set of greeting cards and an alicorne soap for someone’s little girl, and a constellation pendant w/ necklace.

It’s interesting how differently things sell at different kinds of events — in December, lots of people wanted soaps for little $5 stocking stuffers. I thought they’d be big for Mother’s Day, but I guess not?

Still, it’s a beautiful day, and I’m enjoying myself on my porch (grateful for the shade) with my elderflower rose lemonade (which is kind of ridiculously floral in concept, but also tasty).

Redbud Sour (With Float Option)

So you’ve simmered down some delicious edible redbuds in a sugar syrup, and you have plenty of pretty pink redbud syrup on hand. After a long day of spring gardening, here’s a lovely floral relaxer. Scoop of ice cream optional, but a nice addition.

1½ – 2 oz vodka (I used Ketel One’s Grapefruit Rose vodka)
1 oz lemon or lime juice
2 oz redbud syrup
Lemon slices and redbud flowers to garnish

Scoop of vanilla bean ice cream

1. In a cocktail glass, combine vodka, lemon or lime juice, and syrup; stir to combine.

2. Garnish with slice of lemon and redbud flowers, and if you like, add a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!

Redbud syrup: