We still have snow, but the temp is in the 50’s and the thaw is on in earnest. It looks like the biggest danger is going snowblind, but I have shades, so no worries. They have already called off school for tomorrow, but hopefully by then the last of the ice pack will be gone. I am not taking any chances though, so I am sticking with a pseudo tropical theme. Won’t you join me now as we stand and make Three Milks.
This one comes to us all the way from Houston, Texas and the mind of Gregory Perez at the Monkey’s Tail. If you did not figure it out from the name, this is an homage to the amazing Tres Leche cake from Nicaragua, with a tip of the hat to Cuban Rum cakes. I grew up with these delicacies in Miami and they have a sweet spot in my heart. The drink itself is super simple to make, but you need a couple of ingredients ahead of time. These prebatched ingredients are often referred to as “business”. So jump back in the wayback machine and go back to last night and get ready to give ‘em the business.
The first of our prebatches is the Tres Leche blend. Mix 6 ounces of whole milk, 4 ounces of evaporated milk and 5 ounces of sweetened condensed milk and pop that in the fridge. Next we are making a strawberry pineapple syrup. In a sauce pan heat up 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar, till blended. Stir in 2 cups of pineapple juice and 1 cup of diced strawberries. Bring that up to almost a boil before turning down to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When it is ready, strain into a metal bowl and shock it with an ice bath. I am not sure that this strictly necessary, but that what the recipe said, so that’s what we did. Transfer to an airtight container, pop in the fridge and get a good night’s sleep.
To make the drink grab your tins and pop in 2 ounces of Tres Leche blend, 1 1/4 ounces of strawberry pineapple syrup and 1 1/2 ounces of rum, I went with Havana Club Especial. Add 5-6 artisanal ice cubes and give it a good shake to “Mama’s Chant” by Nil Lara. I love to hear that one live, it always turns into this wonderful jam thing and nothing says Miami like drinking rum and dancing while listening to Nil sing this one at Churchill’s Pub, another bar you should definitely check out. When your tins are well chilled pour it, ice and all, in to something pretty. This technique is called a dirty dump and I don’t use it that often. I usually prefer to strain over some new ice. Grate a little fresh nutmeg over the drink, garnish with a strawberry fan and a pineapple bow on a pick.
Oh, it is sweet and it’s wonderful. Even though there is no coconut in this, I get a bit of that on the back of my tongue. It is reminiscent of Tres Leche cake, but definitely stands on its own. That rum comes charging through all that sugar to make its presence known, in a good way. I am thinking we should start adding rum to our cakes. Or at least adding it to the icing. This drink is definitely an after dinner dessert sort of thing, but it works for that. Absolutely.
If I were staying on topic for the week, I would have totally done this one in a snow filled goblet, the flavor would have played very nicely as a frappe. The fact is, I am tired of snow and ice and trying to get along with it. I am happy to see the grass peeking back through the sea of white and I look forward to getting out and going to work tomorrow. I’m pretty sure that the last time we had snow on the ground for over a week around here was during that freak spring break blizzard back in college. I did not like it then and I am not a fan now. The good news is, we will soon be back to our regularly scheduled grey days of drizzle, which I can deal with, besides, spring is right around the corner. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.