I recently went to Portland, Oregon for my brother's wedding and to visit my family. I brought back a suitcase of foods that are usually common for me, but rare in Hungary. Most of what I brought back was everyday cheap pantry items like molasses and nori, and Tamari (OK, not so common, but it IS cheap and very available). One of the sought after items, something that wasn't found until the night before getting on the plane back to Hungary, was Double Bubble. Thanks to my mom's efforts and her driving to something like twelve different stores I have some good 'ol fashioned American bubble gum. I remember getting big buckets of it from the store as a kid. She has since notified me that Albertson's down the street, which of course she checked, started carrying it a couple of days ago.
Double Bubble cut in half in a jar. photo by Franny Finstrom
Sometimes I just scour the internet for new ideas and inspiration and during one of those hunts I found a recipe and video for bubblegum cocktails. Those of you who read this blog will remember my limoncello post and know the magic of soaking something is vodka. Some of my friends to the north, in Budapest, turned that magic to jellybeans. Well it was high time that I put some vodka to bubblegum to see what would happen.
Bubblegum immediately after vodka was added. photo by Franny Finstrom
This was left for 24 hours being shaken up every 6 hours or so. It was then filtered and left in the pantry to await the transformation to cocktail. The smell was incredible! The strongest bubblegum flavor to ever waft from a jar I've known.
Filtered bubblegum infusion. photo by Franny Finstrom
Once shaken with some sweet & sour and some egg this vodka is turned into a classy drink.
Bazooka Bubblegum Cocktail
by Eben Freeman, of Tailor Restaurant in New York City
16 pieces bubblegum, preferably Double Bubble, cut in half 2 cups (16 ounces) vodka 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) freshly squeezed lemon juice (from ½ lemon) 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) freshly squeezed lime juice (from ½ lime) 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) simple syrup 1/2 egg white* or 1 tablespoon pasteurized liquid egg whites (optional) 1 cup ice
*The egg white in this recipe is not cooked. If there is a problem with salmonella in your area omit the egg white or use pasteurized egg whites.
In a large airtight container, combine bubblegum and vodka. Seal and allow to infuse, stirring every 6 hours, for 24 hours. Pour vodka through fine mesh strainer, discarding bubble gum.
In cocktail shaker, stir together 2 ounces bubblegum-infused vodka, lemon juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and egg white if using. Add ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
In Hungary pigs are so popular that it is good luck to eat a whole one for good luck on New Year's Day. No, not Wilbur! Nope. Not Wilbur indeed. This one is made from walnuts and wafer cookies and glued together with caramel. This kind of confection is called grillázs in Hungarian and it is tasty.
This guy is decked out for the new year with 2010 on one side...
And Buék on the other. Buék is short for "Boldog Új Évet!" which means Happy New Year. This is one festive pig, but is it delicious?
Yes! Caramelized walnuts and wafers with some frosting on top is in fact delicious and fun all at the same time.