I decided my blood alcohol could use a boost. To kick off the positive thinking, you understand. So I went to the liquor cabinet and began to build a tall, cold concoction.
The idea hit before the first sip, and it was so good I nearly dropped my drink. I came to my senses just in time; I hate getting down on my hands and knees
with a soda straw to keep from wasting good rum to clean up the mess.
The idea? I had all the makings of a great new jelly: Singapore Sling Pepper Jelly! Well, almost everything. I was out of gin. I prefer rum in my slings in any case, so that wasn’t a show-stopper.
I reset the kitchen quickly and got the Ninja powered up. In went a couple pounds of pitted cherries, some cherry juice, and nearly a pound of fresh pineapple. Oh, and 8-10 habaneros. No sense in making it a mild Sling! A few vigorous pulses and the fruit was ready.
The canner took a while to get hot, even on high. That’s a lot of water! I got the jars into the oven to warm and put some flats into their warming bath. I measured out the sugar and stevia, pectin and spices. I used lemon juice as the acid source, naturally. Nobody makes a Singapore Sling with apple cider vinegar! (Unless they’re really desperate. Speaking theoretically, of course.) Finally, the rum. A generous 3/4 cup. Sadly, that was all I had left.
With everything in readiness, I put the fruit mix into the jelly pot and got going. In just a matter of minutes the jelly was boiling along nicely. I quickly tested the gel, though by now I knew it would come out perfectly. I’ve learned to put in a bit more pectin whenever using alcohol in the recipe. The gel point was spang on.
Filling the jars is always interesting when there’s alcohol in the jelly. You learn not to breathe too deeply as you ladle in the fruity jam. Also, you have to leave a bit more headspace in the jars. I’m using half-pints, so I left a headspace more appropriate to a pint jar. Why? Alcohol’s volatility, of course. Put a tiny headspace on there and you can get interesting effects. Such as blowing the flats clean off the jars in the canner. (Take it from a pro, that’s not a pretty sight. And the wasted rum! Oh the humanity.) Or not getting a good seal when they come out.
I got eight beautiful half-pints of tasty jelly. With a bit left over for breakfast. I couldn’t wait that long, though, with the toaster sitting right there looking lonely.
I wonder what other great drink-flavored jellies I can come up with? Hmmm; I need to refer to the World’s Quickest Bar Guide for more ideas…
Enjoy the (Drink as Jelly) Heat!
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