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Razwick's Official Optimism Juice, Version 1

It's official, it's sweet, and guaranteed to improve your outlook on WoW, giant hordes of orcs, and probably everything, ever, because this is gonna be awesome.

BLOG POSTINGS > Experimenting

Razwick's Official Optimism Juice, Version 1

by Razwick

So, please note that this is definitely something I'm going to continue trying until I run out of gin and/or have the perfectly optimistic cocktail that I'm aiming for. For now though, this is pretty darn good, and it'll get you guys off my back about sharing the secret to unbounded, unrealistic, and probably annoying levels of optimism!

Note: The secret is mostly alcohol, but this could definitely be tasty sans booze, so if you want to try this without getting somewhat sloshed, that's an option, let me know how it goes if you do.

Alright, so what you're going to need (for one glass):

Strawberries, you're probably going to want a whole pint of them so you've got some wiggle room.
(for summery warmth, sweetness, and a deep sense of satisfaction)
A slice of lime
(for a burst of energy and undertones of mischief)
1/2 tbsp Sugar
(to ward off the souring effects of negativity and that internet brand of complaining, you know the one)
1oz. Gin or white rum
(to conceal any doubts you may have about your new positivity and help keep that smile on your face)
.5oz (or just a splash) Triple Sec (technically optional, but I feel that it's fairly important for getting the flavour just right)
(for just a bit of spice and that warm feeling of gently fruit flavoured liquor)
About 1/2 cup of ice water or club soda, less if you're making this on ice.
(to keep you bubbly, bright eyed, keep opinions fresh and open minded, and to keep you refreshed in times when you might otherwise feel susceptible to negative outlooks!)

So first off, we're going to roast some strawberries! Keep in mind, this step is totally optional, but it'll make the flavour of the strawberries deeper and richer. Also, I haven't tried this with non-roasted strawberries yet, but that will be something I try whenever version 2 of this recipe happens.

Roasting strawberries hadn't even occurred to me before I decided to do some research for this, but it's really simple. First, hull and chop your strawberries, spread the pieces evenly over a cookie sheet (keep a few whole, fresh strawberries for a garnish if you'd like). You're going to want to extract the juices from the strawberries to make a nice thick syrup that will mix right in and make the drink nice and berry flavoured, so spread 1/8th - 1/4 of a cup of sugar evenly(ish) over the strawberries. I used about 1/8th of a cup here, so if you end up using more, it's possible that you'll want to add less sugar when preparing the actual cocktail. Pop the pan in the oven at around 375 degrees for about 25-35 minutes, depending on how mushy you want the end result to be. I put mine in for 35 minutes and they basically dissolve in your mouth, it's rather pleasant. There should also be a nice layer of sweet and extremely tasty syrup on the bottom of the pan, so scoop that and the berries into a bowl or other container for storage. Don't forget to eat some while you're putting it away, you're missing out if you don't try some of this fresh!

Alright, so now that you've got the prep work out of the way, it's time to get optimistic!

I made this in a short glass, and because the flavour gets pretty screwed up if you add too much water/club soda, you're going to want to fill the glass mostly with ice if you're using a large glass. Or just play around with the amount of ingredients, up to you.

First you're going to spoon about 4 spoonfuls of the roasted strawberries into the glass, making sure you get lots of that nice syrup along with the chunks of fruit. I didn't get a precise measurement on this one, and it was a bit different every time I made the drink, but it should fill approximately this much of the glass:

Next, sprinkle your spoonful of sugar over the berries, l went with half a tablespoon but this measurement is pretty subjective. If you're going to add ice to the glass, I would do it at this point, instead of doing it first like you would with the majority of cocktails. After, cut/grab your slice of lime (I cut mine in quarters) and squeeze the juice into the glass.

Now, if you're making the alcoholic version of this, pour in your shot of gin and your splash/half shot of triple sec. Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar and mix the flavours. Now, add your water or club soda and give it another quick, small stir. If you're using club soda, you're going to just want to give it just a spin or two and make sure everything is mixed before you add the soda, because the sugar will make it fizz heavily. Garnish with the squeezed lime slice or a fresh strawberry, and serve!

Et Voila!

It didn't end up looking quite the way I'd imagined, though I think with firmer, fresh strawberries it would look 'cleaner'. I quite liked the idea of the club soda because fizz seems to add that extra dash of excitement to the overall optimism of the drink, so I'd go with that if you're feeling fun or making several for friends. Also, if you use the club soda, the longer you let the drink sit, the more it will taste like strawberries, as the bubbles tend to help the strawberries on their journey to disintegration. If you're looking to be a more subdued variety of optimistic, go with the ice water option, I found it to be just a bit thicker that way, and it was pleasant in it's own way.

It seems a bit odd, and you don't see a whole lot of cocktails made with strawberries, but I think the end result is quite pleasant. You end up with a light, fruity and refreshing drink at the start, and end the experience with strawberries that have been soaked just right in gin, and still have an extremely satisfying crunch from the seeds.

For version two I will be attempting several things, I will try making this with fresh strawberries. Note that if you try this before I get around to it, you're still going to want to leave the berries sitting in sugar for a while so you've got some syrup to work with.
I will also try adding a bit of crushed fresh basil to the bottom of the glass, though I'm worried that it will complicated the flavours too much.
I'm also going to try out making a pitcher to make sure that the amount of ingredients transfers well into a larger batch.
And I'm going to try making this with rum, I have little doubt that it will work, but I want to play around with it and see how it compares to the gin version.
I will consider making it with other fruits as well, I'm thinking blackberries and raspberries, but strawberries will always be present in the official version!

So guys, how's the universe lookin' today? Are your Queue posts getting a little grumpy? Feeling tempted to shake your fists at Blizzard? About to hit send on that angry tweet you hammered out just now? Try out some Optimism Juice and let the happy feelings flow! Let me know what you guys think!

Update/Addendum: With the recent news that flying will in fact be coming to Warlords of Draenor, you might not need this boost of optimism, but I'm here to tell you that it's also a great celebration cocktail! Drink up!

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