Texas BBQ Pork Ribs, Thai Side Dishes and a Nicaraguan Cocktail
I had heard so much about Austin, Texas that I was excited to get a chance to visit there. For me, the best way to get to know the town was by attending my 6th International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) conference. Many local culinary experts organized fun excursions in and around Austin.
I also spent two days with my dear friend and her family who moved to Round Rock, Texas a year ago. The weather was just perfect this week. No doubt the sun and warm people had something to do with it. It was 90°F with very little humidity; the Texas sun was hot and satisfying.
The second night at my friend’s the plan was to have Texas BBQ ribs. I volunteered to do Thai side dishes and Nicaraguan cocktails. I have had a longing for El Macua—a national cocktail of Nicaragua—since my return from Granada a few weeks ago and it was in my mind to do a fusion cocktail with Texas grapefruit. After the side trip to visit Round Rock’s historic Old Town, we went to several grocery stores and a liquor store and we got what we wanted. Most importantly, we found Nicaraguan rum—Flor de Caña, guava juice and Red Ruby Texas grape fruit juice. Perfect.
The dinner was scrumptious and the ribs were tender and delicious. The Thai side dishes were interesting and the best, as you can imagine, was El Macua. Leaving the cold Seattle weather behind and with a vague memory of Granada, I sat with my friend in the backyard enjoying the warm air and the beautiful ruby sunset. With El Macua in our hands, we enjoyed laughing and catching up, between sips, on the past year. Cheers to the moment.
When I was in Granada, Nicaragua in early May of this year, I had a chance to have El Macua. It is easy to love as it is essentially a tropical fruit juice cocktail. The bartender at the Hotel Plaza Colon combined two ounces each of orange juice, guava juice and white rum over ice in a highball glass and decorated it with sliced oranges. The original drink, however, calls for ½ portion of lemon juice to 1 portion each of white rum and guava juice, with sugar to taste.
For fun I wanted to try Ruby Red Texas grape fruit juice in place of the lemon juice, then I used the original ratios according to my notes from my trip. My friend and I started with 1 portion each of rum, grapefruit juice and guava over ice, then we would stir and sip. In my recipe below I use Thai palm sugar simple syrup to balance the sour of the grapefruit juice; the amount to use depends on the brands of juices you get. If you want your drink to be more sweet, add guava juice, but if you want it a little sour, add more grapefruit juice. It was a very pleasant summer cocktail and it goes very well with Thai cuisine. Cheers!
มาเก๊า ค็อกเทล1 cup crushed ice in a highball glass 2 ounces white Nicaraguan rum such as Flor de Caña 2 ounces guava juice 2 ounces Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice 1 to 2 ounces palm sugar simple syrup (see note) 1 grapefruit slice for garnish
Pour rum, guava juice, grapefruit juice and palm sugar over ice in a highball glass. Stir. Garnish with grapefruit slice and serve.
Makes one serving in a highball glass or share with a friend in two martini glasses.
To make palm sugar simple syrup, place a disc of palm sugar (about 4 tablespoons) and about ¼ cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Cool and chill. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week. Yield: ¼ cup.© 2011 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen I Love Thai cooking Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area. Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com . Related articles
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