Friday, June 15, 2007

From the mailbag

I just got a question from one of my readers through the nifty little Meebo box on the right hand side of the page. Since they left the page before I could respond, here's my reply.

I am looking for rock candy syrup for a mai tai recipe. Can I use grenadine?

The Jester Sez: Nope. Grenadine and rock candy syrup are completely separate ingredients; grenadine is (or at least is supposed to be) pomegranate flavor, rock candy syrup is a neutral flavor. Rock Candy syrup is more commonly known as simple syrup, which is available for sale at most liquor stores. Don't bother buying it, as it's incredibly easy to make at home. To make rock candy syrup, mix 1 pound of sugar (a little more than 2 cups) and a cup of water and heat either in the microwave or on the stove until the solution is completely clear. Store it in a bottle in the fridge. It keeps indefinitely. I don't know when grenadine found its way into the Mai Tai; I have a theory that a bartender somewhere used creme de noyaux (a pink almond liqueur) as a substitution for orgeat, and someone who watched him thought the red liquid was grenadine. However it happened, grenadine should not go in a Mai Tai.

If you ever have any questions, whether about cooking something you see here, local restaurants, or food in general, meebo me! If I'm not around, you can always leave a message. Hint: If you want to catch me live, I'm usually on late at night.