xoFood: IKEA Hacks For Your Cocktails!

Hand me a bottle of lingonberry concentrate, and I don’t see juice; I see cocktails.

Apr 10, 2014 at 6:00pm | Leave a comment

Hacking isn’t just for mainframes anymore.
 
You gotta hack your LIFE, man. 
 
The youth of today probably thinks Hackers is a documentary about carrying bagels around in CD spindles and using toilet paper rolls to organize your overwhelming supply of electrical cords and wrapping paper. I would rather look at piles of ugly cords than toilet paper rolls, but maybe that's just me.
 
And let’s not forget the IKEA hacks.  I enjoy these more than most hacks, but am too lazy to try and execute them. So when I go to IKEA, I usually just buy pieces with the intent of using them as is, instead of adding marbled contact paper or gold leaf or turning it on its side because I’m not that creative, OKAY?
 
When I look at a kind of ugly table, I don’t see potential (like this blogger does); I just see a kind of ugly table.
 
But hand me a bottle of lingonberry concentrate, and I don’t see juice; I see cocktails.
 
So when I found myself at IKEA last weekend (we needed a new entertainment system because ours was literally from 1998 and our TV wouldn't fit inside of it) I not only gorged myself on possibly-horse-meatballs, I also gathered bar supplies.
 
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I urge you not to hate on the paste.

 
And crab paste. I bought some crab paste too.
 
After wandering around the IKEA food market for fifteen minutes (I think, it could have been seven hours; time stands still in IKEA) I had gathered four different beverages with which to create my hacktails.
 
Hacktail 1: Rum and Swedish Festive Drink
 
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Look at those festive, mouthless bunnies.

 
I had never tasted the Swedish Festive Drink before, but I really liked the label. Even though the bunnies are missing either a nose or a mouth, I think they are adorable. 
 
The drink itself was almost like a cola, but a little maltier. It hinted at liquorice, but never quite got there. It was VERY syrupy; my teeth started to ache immediately.
 
In a past life, I was all about the rum and diet cokes. Until two terribly unfortunate instances (and learning that the world of alcohol has so much more to offer than spiced rum), I drank them almost exclusively.
 
Since Swedish Festive Drink is almost cola like, I decided to make an almost rum and coke. I added a bit of Cointreau to round out the flavors. I thought the citrus would lighten up some of the liquorice flavor I was tasting (or imagining).
 
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She's a little plain, but very tasty.

 
You will need:
 
  • 1.5 oz. of white rum (in the tradition of the Cuba Libre)
  • 0.5 oz. of Cointreau
  • Swedish Festive Drink
  • Bitters (if you like)
 
Fill a low ball with ice. Add your liquor and stir. Top with Swedish festive drink.
 
I added some of my homemade bitters, and I really liked the result. I think it was the vanilla or sarsaparilla that did it for me.
 
Hacktail 2: Bloody Rose
 
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High in lycopene!

 
Until last night, I had no idea what rosehips tasted like. I assumed they would be floral and vaguely citrusy.
 
NOPE. This drink tasted like sweet tomatoes. And maybe it was the added pectin, but it totally had the mouth feel of tomato juice. So why not add some horseradish and random garnishes and call it a “bloody rose?”
 
I made a small version because I didn’t have a huge bottle of juice and I wasn’t sure how well it was going to work. It worked pretty well, so if you want a large Bloody Rose I would just double everything.
 
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Garnish with pickles, cheese or BBQ ribs!

 
You will need:
 
  • 2 oz. of vodka
  • 2 oz. of Rosehip drink DRYCK NYPON
  • 1 oz. pickle brine (I used my homemade brine)
  • A healthy squirt of Sriracha
  • 1/8 t of prepared horseradish
  • A couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce
 
Add everything into an ice-filled shaker and shake. Strain into a glass (rimmed with celery salt if you’re into that kind of thing; I am not). Garnish with a skewer of delicious savory items. I went with salami, martini olives, and pickles because that’s what was in my fridge.
 
Hacktail 3:  Sparkling Lingonberry Cosmo
 
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You can also dilute 4x for a non-alcoholic treat.

 
No trip to IKEA is complete without a plate of meatballs and a cup of lingonberry drink. It is a meal that I could eat almost every week (I don’t like repetitive meals). You can buy the concentrate (there are bottles throughout the store) and make your own at home but you can ALSO use it to make the best cosmo I've ever had.
 
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<3 balls of meat.

 
You will need:
 
  • 2 oz. of vodka
  • 0.75 oz. (eyeball it) of lingonberry concentrate
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • Soda water to top
 
Combine the first three ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and mix it all up. Strain into a martini glass if you plan to take a photo, or just a regular glass if you don’t like martini glasses. Top with seltzer. Garnish with lemon peel.
 
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Hacktail 4: Gin Pear Spritzer
 
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DECEPTIVELY CLEAN AND FRESH LABELING

 
I expected this sparkling pear drink to be bright, clean, and fresh. In fact, I had planned to use it as the sparkling component of Hacktail 3, but there would have been way too much going on if I had executed that plan.
 
Because it wasn't bright or fresh; it was much more complex. It tasted more like a caramelized or baked pear with a lot of spicy flavor, so I decided it was best to keep this cocktail very simple.
 
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TIIIIIIIINY BUBBLES

 
All you really need to do is add an ounce of gin to a champagne flute and top with your sparkling pear spritzer. The botanicals in the gin compliment the spiciness of the pear beverage quite well, I think.
 
And of course you can up the gin if you wish.
 
I always up the gin.
 
Who here likes IKEA? Do you like the meatballs? Have you tried crab paste? Which Hacktail should I pair with it?