Category Archives: Non-Booze

Sweet Sweet Heat

Ok … wrap your head around this: ghost pepper simple syrup.  Sounds weird as s**t, right?  Well, as it turns out … it’s pretty freaking awesome.

I had a few of my writers (and some +1s) over Sunday for a cocktail before we went to gorge on Endless Appetizers and had decided to make Blueberry Lavender Mojitos (from Market-Fresh Mixology).  Well … since I’m a goofball, I thought my homemade lavender gin was actually lavender syrup*, so they ended up being gin mojitos (if that’s a thing).  To make things even more fun, we tossed some Torani Sweet Heat syrup into the cocktails.  (Recipe below.)

We each tried the syrup on its own first (both as a contest to see who would drink the most and to actually taste it … obvi) and it has some serious kick to it.  Unlike most spicy flavors, this spice sticks in the back of your throat instead of burning your tongue.  (Ghost peppers are said to be 125x hotter than jalapeños.)

I’m excited to try this syrup in more of my cocktails.  While I usually hate margaritas, spicy margaritas are OK in my book, so I’m half considering smuggling some of this into the next Tex-Mex restaurant  I visit.  (No, Mr. Manager … this flask doesn’t have alcohol in it.  Why?)

Buy Torani Sweet Heat online or at a retailer.  (Call ahead to check since it’s one of their more unique flavors.)

BLUEBERRY LAVENDER GHOST PEPPER (GIN) MOJITOS
12 mint leaves
2oz lavender gin
juice of 1/2 lime
15 blueberries
club soda
1/4oz Torani Sweet Heat Ghost Pepper syrup

Muddle the mint leaves, lime juice, blueberries, and gin in a tall glass.  (Don’t over-muddle.)  Add pepper syrup and stir.  Add ice, top with club soda, and stir carefully with a bar spoon.

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Here are some other recipes that Torani suggests for Sweet Heat:

HANDCRAFTED SWEET HEAT LIMEADE
½oz Torani Sweet Heat syrup
1¼oz fresh lime juice
8oz soda water
Ice
(Add a shot of vodka for a little more fun)

HANDCRAFTED HOT LEMONADE
1½oz Torani Sweet Heat syrup
1oz simple syrup
1¼oz fresh lemon juice
8oz water
Ice
(Add a flavored vodka for a little more fun)

*For Christmas I made some of my friends infused liquors.  To make lavender gin, I had to make lavender syrup.  So yeah …

***Torani sent me a bottle of Sweet Heat syrup to try out.***

JAMBA JUICE’S NEW FRESHLY SQUEEZED JUICE LINE

Written by Enrico DeLeon III
With the big juice craze gaining more and more steam amongst all our super healthy friends, Jamba Juice‘s new line of fresh juices could not have come at a better time!  JJ rolled out the new menu at select locations only* to test them out, and us DFW-ians are lucky enough to have a chance to taste them!
When first hearing about this new line, it made me happy to hear that someone in the smoothie world was finally breaking into a real line of juices (not just one or two or simply just wheat grass shots).Jamba Juice’s expanded juice platform incorporates high-nutrient super foods like kale, beets, cucumbers, apples, oranges and chia seeds. They offer great tasting beverages which increase your fruit and vegetable intake without taking awhole lot out of your pocket.I recommend trying their “Tropical Greens” juice. Although it has all of their Supergreens (organic baby spinach, organic baby kale, and organic red and green chard), the blend of ice, fresh apples, pineapples and chia seeds gives you a great tasting beverage with nature’s sweetness from the fruit complimented by the freshest flavors of the greens. Don’t be scared to try this amazing beverage just because you may not like all the greens… you’ll definitely be surprised! Besides, if it’s good enough for Popeye the Sailor Man, it’s damn sure good enough for you!  (It might even win you a hottie like Olive Oil.)

The following stores in the Dallas area will have fresh-squeezed juice:

  • Southlake – 222 State St, Southlake, TX 76092
  • Sundance Square – 400 Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
  • Frankford – 18204 Preston Rd, Dallas, TX  75252
  • Shops at Legacy – 5700 Legacy Dr, Plano, TX 75024
  • Greenville – 5923 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206
  • Northwest Highway – 8421 Westchester Dr, Dallas, TX 75225
  • Las Colinas – 6440 N MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX 75039
  • Watauga – 8450 Denton Hwy, Watauga, TX 76148
  • Hulen – 4801 Overton Ridge Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76132
  • Spring Creek – 1201 E Spring Creek Pkwy, Plano, TX 75074
  • Flower Mound – 3180 FM 407, Highland Village, TX 75077
  • Camp Wisdom – 3040 Camp Wisdom Rd, Grand Prairie, TX 75052
***Rico was given a gift card by Jamba Juice to try out some of their new options.***

LYFT Energy Stir Sticks

written by William Merkel

I drink a lot of energy drinks. (Like … a lot. I may or may not have written this review with a Monster in front of me and a Monster box on my head.) So I was the natural choice to review LYFT Energy Stir Sticks.

The idea behind LYFT is simple. Put powdered caffeine in a stick that can be stirred into any drink imaginable to give it an extra little kick of energy. But this isn’t just your regular “run-of-the-mill” caffeine that can be found in sodas, no sir. This is “clean caffeine”. It has zero calories, and is made from green coffee bean extract with vitamins A and B complex.

Depending on what drink you stir LYFT in to, the taste will vary. Their website gives some examples such as orange juice, water, soda (which already has caffeine save for a few root beers, caffeine free, etc), mixed drinks, or how I personally tried it, on the rocks.

Now, I may have chosen a bit of a strong drink to put it in … I used Mount Gay Barbados Rum and followed the directions on the stick: remove label, stir for 10 seconds. The claim is caffeine equivalent to one tall coffee, but not being a coffee drinker, I cannot attest to that fact. It did, however, give the rum a subtle, slightly sweeter taste which was unexpected. As for an energy boost, I did not feel anything. (Again, I drink multiple energy drinks each day, so I wasn’t surprised.)

Since there were two sticks in the package I decided to have another go. I used the second stick in a bottle of Seven Water and, in this, it did have a noticeably different taste. It was sweater, and a bit cleaner aftertaste. A lot different that my experience with rum, and it did give a little caffeine buzz, but still nothing too drastic.

Personally I think LYFT would be best enjoyed in water or a juice, something other than an alcoholic beverage which would overpower the the amount of caffeine in the stick. I can definitely see myself buying a couple more of these to put in juices or maybe coconut water to mix up my morning routine.

PURE LYFT ENERGY STIR STICKS
www.purelyft.com
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