#blogcrawl How to Create Ladies’ Night at the Boozy Bears Spa

I’m not sure whether this is Pinterest-worthy or a candidate for PinterestSuperFail, but I had fun with the self-imposed challenge of @CairnRodrigues!" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23blogcrawl&src=typd" target="_blank">#blogcrawl: To invent a new drink, imbibe it, write a short story while tipsy, then share the recipe (with obligatory pics, of course!) with all my social media peeps. The original idea, of course, was simply to have a “happy hour” on Twitter, then go blog drunk. Laugh about the results, later.

But if I’m going to run around Social Media with a lampshade on my head, I’m going to do it in classic, overachiever style. I already have plans in the works for a #blogcrawl Recipe Book.

But what to make? Truth is, I don’t drink much – and I’m not very creative when I do. I’ll resort to single malt simply because I can’t remember the name of the last creatively interesting drink I enjoyed. Scotch is simple. Martinis used to be simple. “Just hit me in the brain with some Bacardi 151, neat, so I stop caring how boring my drink choices are.” And why is it that places having sixty-two different Martinis on the drink menu always come so fast to take your drink order? I never get past #32, and I’m still wary of Lychee fruit.

But I had time (two whole days, in fact) to come up with my own “signature drink” to debut. The original idea was inspired by these Strawberry Margarita Jell-O Shots. Aren’t they adorable? I’ve never actually had a Jell-O shot, and the truth is, I’m not a big fan of Jell-O. Especially the classic flavors, like green, yellow, and red. They conjure up images of shredded carrots and crimes against canned fruit cocktail. I considered the paint-by-numbers approach, but I don’t like tequila so I decided to create something completely new and original.

Suddenly, an image of tiny little Gummi bears frolicking in Jell-O shot “hot tubs” popped into my brain. I pictured them with little paper umbrellas. But what to use for the hot tubs? I had a huge bowl full of small Granny Smith apples, so that seemed an obvious choice. I began to build a cocktail around apples and rum. I cored some apples, stuck them into a container filled with light rum, and stuck it in the freezer. I wasn’t quite sure what the plan was, but I was sure that was a good start. A few hours later, we got back from dinner and I learned that rum and freezing does not prevent apples from turning brown.

I was pretty sure those were some damned good apples, but they now lacked visual appeal.

I woke up Saturday morning with a new plan: plums. Last week, Costco had huge boxes of gorgeous plums. At 6:00AM, I was online, mentally trying various combinations of ingredients that would both taste good and give a good buzz. Plum wine and sake, most likely, but that didn’t pique the creative side of my brain. A search for “flavors that go well with plum” yielded a link to Nouveau Raw and sent me down the rabbit hole of “flavor profiles.” I decided that almonds and honey sounded good. Especially for bears, frolicking in plums. I wondered if almond Jell-O would be gross, so I Googled it and found Summer Asian Desserts: Almond Jello. I’m pretty sure I’ve had that at Chinese and Thai buffets, and it’s not entirely gross (but there we go with the canned fruit cocktail again!).

With Cairn advising me – practically begging me – to ditch the almond extract and use something more subtle and natural, I adapted the recipe and went out to shop for the ingredients. Wouldn’t you know it? No one in town seems to have fresh plums this weekend! Best laid plans… I went home with a few overripe organic peaches and apricots, and a couple of barely ripe organic pears. I was determined to stick to the plan, because the more I thought about the subtle almond, milk, and honey flavors, the more I liked the idea. My husband found better, fresher apricots at Costco – and added his vote in favor of them.

The more I thought about this lovely concoction, the less I was liking the Gummi bears. Size-wise, they were just about perfect. But I wanted something more in keeping with this “flavor profile” and I began to toy with the idea of marzipan bears. I found a good tutorial from Odense on how to make a marzipan bear, and I started to think this plan might actually work. Never mind that I wanted a whole bunch of bears and didn’t want to use an entire tube of marzipan to make one…

So, here’s the final recipe:

Ingredients:

  • apricots
  • 1 packet Knox gelatin
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. cold almond milk (orginal, unsweetened)
  • 1 c. honey whiskey or bourbon
  • 2 shots Amaretto
  • 1/2 c. water
  • Odense marzipan (one package yields about six bears)
  • Food coloring gel or paste
  • Egg white powder (didn’t end up needing it, but in case a bear’s head falls off, you could use this, mixed with water, as “edible glue” or you could just moisten the marzipan with a dab of water)

Ingredients for Ladies' Night at the Boozy Bear Spa

Directions:

  1. Wash, cut, and empty fruit halves with a melon baller, reserving the innards and being careful not to poke holes in the skin of the fruit. Set into container (Pyrex lasagna pan will do).
  2. Bring water to a boil. When it is ready, pour into a mixing bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it.
  3. Let sit for a minute, then stir the mixture until all the gelatin is dissolved (no lumps!). Hint: set the bowl over low heat to keep it hot enough to melt all the gelatin.
  4. Add honey. Stir until dissolved.
  5. Add cold almond milk, whiskey, and Amaretto.
  6. Carefully ladle liquid mixture into apricot halves (I’m pretty sure peach halves, plum halves, and the bottom half of pears would also be awesome).
  7. Refrigerate until firm (will not be hard, like Jigglers).
  8. Cover a cutting board with parchment paper, grab your marzipan and food coloring, watch how to make a marzipan bear, and channel your inner six year old.

2013_05_25_15_25_55_ProShotThe roses were a nice touch, I thought. That’s actually when it became “Ladies’ Night,” and not just Weekend with the Boozy Bears. Notice how much redder their noses are than the nice one made by the Odense marzipan lady? That’s because they helped me test out my recipe a time or three.

It takes longer than it ought to to make one of these little guys, and I’m pretty sure I handled more bear balls than any normal woman should. Please, nobody mention the disturbing resemblance a few of these guys bear to, well…that other famous Internet bear. I tried.

Also, I couldn’t find any little paper umbrellas, so I made them out of lemon rinds. And colored part of the Jell-O blue, thinking that might better simulate water. Couldn’t bring myself to do that to the apricots; the natural caramel-colored Jell-O shots seemed more appealing, there.

Anyway…

WP_20130525_003The final result was, in the words of Chris Ford, “festive and frightening at the same time.” Bonus: I used the rum-soaked, frozen apples and innards from all the apricots and other “test fruits” to make what I dubbed “WTF Fruit Punch.” So named because I told everyone, “Don’t ask me for the recipe – I don’t know WTF is in it!” In addition to light rum, there was a little splash of Amaretto. Just use your imagination, because after a glass or two, you won’t care WTF is in it, either.

Fun, festive, and weird as this was, I think the drink (sans Jell-O, cast, and crew) is quite good:

Almond Milk & Honey Whiskey

  • 1/2 honey
  • 1/2 Amaretto
  • 1 honey whiskey/bourbon
  • 1 chilled almond milk

Shake and serve, with or without ice, preferably with little marzipan bears on the side.

Writing prompt: Create a “signature drink” for the next #blogcrawl. What’s the backstory?

Now that we’ve got the creative juices flowing, try drinking one or two of these, then write for thirty minutes. Share the results and tag it #blogcrawl, then leave a link in the comments and I’ll update the post with yours (provided it’s not rated above an R – this is a somewhat family-friendly blog, after all!)

 

 

HollyJahangiri

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at http://amazon.com/author/hollyjahangiri. For more information on her children's books, please visit http://jahangiri.us/books.
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15 thoughts on “#blogcrawl How to Create Ladies’ Night at the Boozy Bears Spa”

  1. Now that sounds like a lot of fun. I might just join you on one of those one day. Right now my todo list keeps me “mostly) sober.

    And those bears are adorable!

      1. 😀 I meant sober as in “I have a ton of stuff to get done”, not as in “not drinking”. When I do drink, in the weekends, I still have to get the paintings done.

      2. Hey, I had to create art, here, too. 🙂 Of course, I got to nibble the bears’ little heads off, afterwards. And I’m still waiting for Cairn to share her recipe for whiskey-clove soaked pineapple whatever it was (I’m pretty sure I could just stop at “whiskey soaked pineapple,” get the gist, and be happy…)

        Watch for the next one. The more, the merrier!

  2. Why does this remind me of Gilligan’s Isle?

    15 men on a dead man’s chest!
    Holly gave them rum, and they went to their rest!
    Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum!

    15 men on a dead man’s chest!
    They saw the teddy bears and they ran from this test….
    Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum!

    15 men on a dead man’s chest!
    Eat a plum with jello booze, that might be the best!
    Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum!

    Well, I better go. Apparently you need a license to re-write song lyrics, and mine is not poetic!

    15 men on a dead man’s chest!
    I am not a spammer, I hope I’m just a guest!
    Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum!

      1. No, where is it?
        You do realize that if I was a spammer:
        1) I would not tell you.
        2) I would make a great sandwich with a little lettuce and mustard.
        3) Oh, Hella! I probably am!

      2. Pete, if you were an automated spammer, you COULD NOT tell me. That’s the point. If you can say you’re a spammer, that’s the first step towards recovery. Say it with me, “Hi, readers. I’m Pete, and I’m a spammer…”

        Except that you’re not. And it’s okay to pretend to be drunk, but some people have NO sense of humor when it comes to spammers, so for your own safety, I suggest you not even pretend.
        HollyJahangiri recently posted…#blogcrawl Prompt: Lucky UnderwearMy Profile

  3. Now you say: Pete, if you were an automated spammer, you COULD NOT tell me.

    I dunno. Those darned spammers are getting pretty smart now a days. Some are almost as bright as some of our dimmer politicians. Although who the HECK would call an automated spammer PETE? Perpetual Electronic Time Eraser? Nah, wrong acronym. Semi-Accurate, but wrong!

    RE you say: That’s the point. If you can say you’re a spammer, that’s the first step towards recovery.

    BY GOLLY! You mean I am being actually invited to join Holly’s 1066* Step Programme for not being a spammer? or a Net denizen, or whatever they are called! HOT DAMMM!
    * http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQ8A5gRe_Dw
    I]m addicted to the song, the singer, and the number. You need to create a programmed for THAT. I can get you about 3 customers! Not as much business as in spamming, true…

    Say it with me, “Hi, readers. I’m Pete, and I’m a spammer…”

    OK: “Hi, readers. I’m Pete, and I’m a spammer…” I’ve been a spammer for about 5 years now. I’m addicted to it, and hope to make a full recovery. Do I have to go through the “Bless me Father for I have spammed” bit?

    RE: Except that you’re not.
    Oh WHEW! For a minute you actually had me convinced I was a spammer. Have you evver considered a career in Life Insurance? Used car Sales? Politics? Wal-Mart door greeter? (Why is Mr J rolling around on the floor laughing?)

    RE you say: And it’s okay to pretend to be drunk, but some people have NO sense of humor when it comes to spammers, so for your own safety, I suggest you not even pretend.

    WELL! There goes my well-practiced Foster Brooks imitation. Too bad I am mostly a teetotaler. Well, OK I have the odd glass of beer with pizza, the odd glass of wine with supper. I had a brandy about 5 years ago. I think I need another. I’m very fuel efficient!
    Mr J: “Gads, Holly! Do you think the 2 of us can handle a drunk ex-spammer?”
    H Herself: I don’t wanna get involved!

    Well hang in there! I gotta box to tick. I always seen to forget, and the computer gets mad at me. Computers do that a lot! I wonder why?

  4. Saw/read the boa. Left comments.
    Thinking about starting a new Men’s group:
    The League of Boa Wearing Gentlemen!

    You might want to look up “tips net”, and send them the Bear recipe. Sure! Wreck what’s left of my reputation! Go ahead and tell them I sent you!

    Again, saying I am not a spammer? If only you knew of my addition to Klick, Kam, Spam, in sandwiches, and fried. That and baloney. But my bother calls it “tube steak”. So I am full of tube steak. NOT Baloney!

  5. Gosh Holly, that’s really very creative. For someone that doesn’t drink much you did an excellent job. You had me at Amaretto…

    Bet they were good so thank for sharing this recipe. If I get brave I might try them. The bears are just adorable.

    ~Adrienne

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