Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cheers To The 44th Chief!

On this feel good day, I’m reminded of these words from our new President when he addressed the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston as the junior Senator from Illinois.

"I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on earth is my story even possible."

And then today:

"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord..Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested...that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon...we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."

Before President Obama's many challenges begin in earnest, I wanted an appropriate way to salute our new President. What better way than with a made-to-order custom cocktail?!! I thought back to his Hawaiian childhood and I remembered our visit to Hawaii a few years ago and my nightly cocktail called a Lava Flow – a super-tropical version of a Piña Colada.

Some of the recipes have coconut rum, like Malibu, but somehow that didn't seem very presidential, so I went with light rum instead. The fruit purée is usually strawberries. I’ve adding some blueberries to boost the antioxidant level for our health conscious President.

I’ve also strained the purée, so the Secret Service or official food tasters don’t have to worry about anything untoward getting caught in the Barely-Baby-Boomer-in-Chief’s teeth. Plus I like a bit of crushed ice in a drink like this, which has the added benefit of diluting the alcohol and calories (somewhat) for an obviously fit president.

(In Hawaii, the cocktail glass is rimmed with Li Hing powder - a sweet and salty plum powder. My packet was 4 years old, so I opted for colored sugar.)

There are two different ways of assembling this drink. In one, the fruit purée is spooned into the bottom of the glass and the rest of the cocktail is poured over; in the other, the fruit purée is added on the top and is supposed to represent flowing lava.

I have to say that I didn’t feel that either one particularly resembled a lava flow like my beautiful cocktails on Oahu did. But, gosh, were they good! I also went one step further in splendid deliciousness and added a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Okay, not the healthiest move, but today is a red banner day that deserves an extra special glorious cocktail to mark its significance.

Inauguration Lava Flow Cocktail (serves one President)

2 tablespoons red sugar in a saucer

1/4 cup light rum

1/4 cup pineapple juice

1/4 cup coconut cream

1 banana

1/2 cup crushed ice

1/2 cup strawberries and blueberries, mixed

Wet rim of glass with water. Dip and twist in sugar. Repeat until you have a nice rim of sugar on the glass.

Place rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream, banana and crushed ice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepared glass; or pitcher if the fruit purée is going on the bottom of the glass.

In the same blender (with the rum mixture poured out), purée the strawberries and blueberries together. Strain through sieve.

Version one: Carefully pour fruit purée in bottom of prepared glass. Pour rest of cocktail over. Garnish with umbrella-ed pineapple slice and clementine sections.

Version two: Pour rum mixture in bottom of prepared glass. Carefully spoon in fruit purée. Garnish.

Cheers…To The Chief!


DebCarol said...

Cheers! .... and may we all have a happy, healthy and prosperous 4 years ahead. (love those paper umbrellas)

Sue said...

Thanks Deb. It was a great day.

Emily said...

What a beautiful cocktail! I saw the picture and instantly wanted one. I'll have to remember this.