Brazilian Crush

Authentic Brazilian crush is made with cachaca. Until last night, I didn’t know what cachaça was. When Speedy said he would substitute rum because we don’t have cachaca, he told me it was a spirit made from sugar cane and I wondered if it is similar to the local tuba which is also made from sugar cane. How much different our Brazilian crush tasted because of the substitution, I do not know. But we liked it so I suppose that means we’ll try and get cachaça next time.

Place the orange slices, lime juice, and grenadine in a shaker, muddle for a few seconds, add the cachaça (or rum), shake, and pour into a glass through a strainer. Add ice and garnish with fresh mint leaves. If you’re not familiar with grenadine, it is a red syrup commonly used as a cocktail drink mixer (see Silom Sunrise) but which I have also used for cooking (see my braised chicken with rosemary, grenadine, and lime juice.

Grenadine is traditionally made from pomegranate juice although commercial grenadine may contain other fruit juices. If you have access to fresh pomegranates, you can easily make grenadine at home. Bottled grenadine is more convenient for us because fresh pomegranates are rare and pricey here in the Philippines.

Cinnamon–flavored French toast

There are several variations for making French toast. First of all, the amount of sugar depends entirely on you. You can even omit the sugar altogether. Beat the egg lightly. Add milk, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.

Melt the butter or margarine on a non-stick pan. Initially, melt just enough to coat the surface. Dip slices of bread in the egg-milk mixture, making sure that both sides are coated. Place them gently in the pan. Toast the bread until the underside is golden brown. Flip them over and brown the other side. Toast the bread in batches, adding butter or margarine with each batch.