Vegan MoFo

Vegan MoFo Day 18: Thirst

When it’s hot, I just want to lay under a fan and pass out. My tolerance for “hot” tops out around 80, really, so why the hell did I move to California? Anyway. I have a few hot weather cold drinks I rotate through in the summer.

Herb/fruit-infused fizzy water

Above: Pitcher of water with fresh herbs (mint, rosemary, lemon verbena) next to an iDrinkMate carbonation bottle.

Some people are into soda, or La Croix, or all the bottled stuff, and I get that–but it felt wasteful and expensive. My partner kindly picked up this iDrinkMate carbonator for us, which is basically the same as a SodaStream but it is allegedly more tolerant of working on juices etc. Which we have done! (Juice of one grapefruit straight into the bottle then water to the line is extremely refreshing.) But my go-to is herbal infusions, sometimes with lemon. Occasionally lime, but lemon doesn’t get as bitter, in my experience. Spearmint, peppermint, and rosemary are all amazing choices, but my favorite is lemon verbena.

Iced tea

Above: A glass of Moroccan mint green iced tea.

OK, so I like herbs in things, I guess, because my iced tea preferences veer in an herbal direction. Black iced tea is great, but I don’t like to overdo it on the caffeine on hot afternoons. Blends with hibiscus, lemongrass, and mint are lovely, but I have to admit that lately I’ve been loving mint green tea the most.

Cold brew coffee

Above: Pouring cold-brewed coffee from a French press into a jar through cheesecloth to filter out grinds.

God, I love coffee. I have a 20-oz. insulated mug that works great for hot or iced, but when the weather demands it, there’s nothing better than cold brew. I make it in my French press (which isn’t how I like to make hot coffee, for what it’s worth–I’m a pour over kinda person). For me, one batch lasts two days, so basically one day I set up a new batch, the next day I strain it. Every once in awhile I’ll add some nondairy milk, but usually it’s just black coffee on ice. Ahhhhh.

Vegan MoFo

Vegan MoFo Day 12: Qa’pla!

No, not gagh. I think that would require some molecular gastronomy magic and result in something I have no interest in actually eating, and that’s not how I roll.

But yeah, I like Star Trek. My favorite is Deep Space 9, because COMPLEXITY! I’m in the middle of a slow rewatch right now (BUG ME IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT!!!). And on Deep Space 9, everyone loves the supposedly Klingon coffee concoction raktajino, though you never see Klingons enjoying it.

A promotional photo of Gowron with text reading "I don't often drink coffee... but when I do, it's raktajino"
Above: Maybe Gowron’s marketing campaign worked.

But what the hell is raktajino? The internet has ideas. I started with this one, but made coffee my own way, which right now is cold-brew.

In addition to my usual 2/3 cup coarse coffee grounds, I added a bunch of spices (cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cayenne, nutmeg) and some cocoa powder. The resulting brew was absolute sludge, which I feel like a Klingon might appreciate.

Above: Straining cold brew raktajino through cheesecloth.

Then I poured it over ice, added a squeeze of agave nectar, and topped it off with oat milk.

It was good. Really good. Definitely would’ve been better with the tears of my enemies, but in the absence of any enemies (much less a way to collect the tears), but I’m pretty sure Kira and Dax would appreciate it.

A still of Major Kira Nerys sipping a raktajino with the caption "Qa'pla, motherfuckers"
Above: I love Major Kira.