Classic Hot Chocolate

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 quart (1 liter) milk
  • 1 Madagascar vanilla bean, split
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon (3.5 grams) black peppercorns (whole)
  • 2 bars (3.5 ounces/100 grams each) Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa, hopped
METHOD:
  1. Heat the milk with the spices in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches boiling point, but do not let the milk boil.
  2. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and let rest for 25 minutes to release the spices’ aroma.
  4. Strain the liquid and reheat before serving.
YIELD:
4 – 6 servings
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Doogh

This drink is called “doogh” in Farsi and “ayran” in Turkish.

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup whole-milk yogurt
1 tsp chopped fresh mint or a dash of dried mint flakes, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups club soda or spring water, chilled

DIRECTIONS:
1. Pour yogurt, mint, salt, and pepper into a pitcher. Stir well.
2. Add club soda or spring water gradually, stirring constantly. Add 3 or 4 ice cubes and mix again.
3. Serve chilled.

Sharbat-e-Albaloo (Sour Cherry Summer Drink)

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This drink is amazing in the summertime.

INGREDIENTS:
3 pounds fresh or frozen pitted sour cherries (about 3 cups of sour-cherry juice)
8 cups sugar
4 tablespoons lime juice
5 cups water

DIRECTIONS:
1. Squeeze the cherries or process them in a juicer.
2. Bring the sugar, lime juice, and water to a boil in a laminated pan. Add the cherry juice and boil for 10 – 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the syrup thickens.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.
4. Pour syrup into a clean, dry bottle, and cork tightly.
5. In a pitcher, mix 1 part syrup, 3 parts water, and lots of ice cubes. Stir and serve.

VARIATION:
Another way to make this syrup is to bring the sugar and water to a boil, tie the sour cherries with the pits in cheesecloth, and add the cloth to the sugar and water. Boil for 25 minutes. Squeeze and remove the cheesecloth and add 1/4 tsp vanilla extract to the syrup. Allow to cool, pour the syrup into a clean, dry bottle, and cork tightly. Server as in Step5 above.

Lemongrass Iced Tea

INGREDIENTS:
4 – 5 stalks of lemongrass
1 gallon water
1 cup sugar
2 limes, juiced

DIRECTIONS:
Crush the stalks of lemongrass to release the essence.
Boil them in 1 gallon of water. The water should turn brown.
Remove the stalks. Add sugar to the water.
Let the drink cool to room temperature.
Strain the water.
Add the juice of two fresh limes.
Leave in the refrigerator overnight.