Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

Long Island Ice Tea – variant

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Our summer high cocktail has evolved, so as it reflects the qualities of the alcohol we we like best. The basic recipe (for 3 people, evening), in order of importance:

  • 3 jiggers of smoky Leyenda Tlacuache Organic Mezcal (Tequila)
    • This “tequilla” is noted for its smoky flavour and fits well into our palate that enjoys a good Scotch. See picture below.
  • 2.5 jiggers of Gin – recommend Star of Bombay London Dry Gin
    • There are many Gins out there, but we (I) believe this Gin’s structure, with some emphasis on citrus, is the proper compliment.
  • 2.5 maximum jiggers of Cointreau.
    • I will use 2 to 2.5 jiggers, the larger quantity if I want a more of an orange hit, but more frequently, I use just 2 jiggers.
    • Triple Sec is the common call out, but I prefer the orange structure of Cointreau.
  • 2 jiggers of Bacardi White Rum.
    • Of the many fine rums, there are, I find this works best with the Mezcal.
  • 2 jiggers of Grey Goose Vodka, alternative is Absolut
    • Vodka has subtle tones, but Vodka does have tones ! Acknowledging this, I find the french Grey Goose made from wheat, compliments the previous ingredients
  • 2 jigger of homemade basic syrup
  • Fresh squeeze Orange Juice to taste (0.5-1.5 jiggers)
    • Traditional receipes call for lemon, but I prefer an Orange Tea.
  • 3 jiggers maximum of Cola, more often just 2.
    • I prefer to use a Cola syrup (from 3/4 out of Montreal), and as cola can dominant, I recommend being conservative when you add it.

Reflecting these proportions, once you have mixed the cocktail, you have:

  • 15+ jiggers (24+ ounces) of cocktail to serve, with a punch of ~12 jiggers (18+ ounces) of alcohol. As it is smooth, it is easy too over consume, so please be careful and drink it slowly at the end of the day, from your patio, watching the sun set.

The mixing instructions and instructions:

  • In the morning mix all alcohol and syrup together, and then refrigerate. We keep it in a cleaned reused Monkey Shoulder bottle.
  • Just before serving, add Orange and Cola.
  • Serve in double insulated small cocktail glasses full of ice. Enjoy sitting on your deck chair, at the end of a fine day.
Image for Leyenda Tlacuache Organic Mezcal from LCBO



Written by raspberryfisher

2020/07/19 at 21:57

Posted in Weekend Cooking

Minestrone Soup

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milestrone 2-1


  • Bacon – six+ strips, thinly cross-cut
  • Onion, one, diced
  • Olive Oil,
  • Rosemary, fresh, 10 cm (4″) long
  • Parsley, fresh 1/4 cup with no stems and lightly shredded
  • Basil, fresh 1/4 cup, lightly shredded
  • Garlic, 2 Cloves smashed , then diced
  • Green Cabbage, 1/2 thinly sliced
  • Swiss Chard, chopped
  • Chicken or Vegetable Stock, 6-10 cups
  • Carrot, thinly sliced
  • Tomato, can of diced Tomato, if not fresh
  • Pinto Beans, can and washed
  • Orzo, 3/4 cup


  1. In a large dutch oven, under medium heat cook the bacon to release its oil
  2. Add in Onions to soften and adsorb the bacon oil and then reduce to medium-low
  3. If necessary, add olive oil (I usually do). Put on the lid.
  4. Patience: let the onion soften, so they “merge” with the bacon.
    1. For me, this is often 10-20 minutes.
    2. Watch over, add oil if necessary and stir once or twice.
  5. Layer in herbs and garlic.
  6. Patience again, let time and medium low heat do its magic.
  7. Lift out most of the solids, but ensure the base of the pot has the well flavoured oil.
  8. Lay down the cabbage onto the oiled pot bottom.
  9. ย Lay on top, the Swiss Chard.
  10. Add the onion herb solids on top. Place lid back on.
  11. Patience again, under medium low heat sweat the cabbage,
    1. For me, this is often 20 minutes
    2. Watch over, and occasionally mix.
  12. Patience again.
  13. Add in stock, tomato and beans.
    1. The orzo will adsorb a lot of stock later, so do not be afraid to use a lot of stock.
  14. Raise the heat to medium, keep pot lid on.
  15. As soup is getting close to boil, reduce heat to medium.
  16. As soup is in boil, reduce heat to low and maintain a simmer.
  17. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  18. Check if you want to add salt.
    1. If you do add salt, wait another 5 minutes after you have add the salt, before you go to the next step.
  19. Add in Orzo and ensure the pot is still at simmer 5 minutes after.
  20. Ready after 10 minutes in a simmering pot.Good for 2 days.

Last: This website is meant to be a non-commercial site, providing a record of “things”, I or others close to me may want to come back to. Sadly, if you search for this blog via Google, many commercial sites will be pushed in front.

Google’s “Did you mean” can also interfere.

Currently, the best way to do a targeted search within this blog is to add in the phrases

site:wordpress.com raspberryfisher

for example, toy find this recipe near the top of Google’s search:

site:wordpress.com raspberryfisher minestrone soup


Written by raspberryfisher

2020/04/22 at 00:38

Posted in Weekend Cooking

Tagged with


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Usually, when I think or write about a muddler, I am referring to a favourite fishing fly, but not in this blog posting.

So here come the change in direction, I have many fishing flies and many other interests. This last fall, we also did some clean-up of the forest around the house – removing some tall trees – pine, spruce, maple and black cherry – which has been milled to substantial fine lumber.

Thus, I am trying to shift my spare time to working with wood and return to art – photography and painting.

As I work on the lathe, I create 3 muddlers out of maple for mixing cocktails, and the one below is a fine muddler, with the top shape like a thistle.


It is simple and to my eye eloquent, which is good, as I need to work on my skills.

And was the cocktail of the month?ย  The Blood Orange Old Fashion, with the ingredients being:

  • 1 tsp of Sugar
  • 5 dashes of aromatic bitters
  • 3/4 teaspoon juice from a Blood Orange
  • 1 jigger of water, lightly gassed
  • just shy of 2 jiggers of Woodford Reserve Bourbon
  • garnish with skin off the Blood Orange

    We experimented with the ingredients, and the runner up to the Bourbon, was a blended scotch – Monkey Shoulder.

the Covid-19 Update

  • I am fortunate, our company focusing on telecom has not seen a lost of business, though measures are being taken to preserve cash. So I am employed, and in fact very busy.

    As I was already working form home, when I was not travelling, there has been little impact, other than adjusting pay (salary and pension reduction) and the halting of travel. So I will say, I have been fortunate.

  • As of this writing, all family members – close in and extended – are healthy.
  • The negative impacts are associated with fishing – our trip to the Bahamas has been delayed to May and I expected to be cancelled.ย  And though, I have almost always practice my preference for social-physical distancing when I fish, the current quarantine rules would make fishing illegal and subject me to a very expensive fine.

    So I am practicing my casting on the lawn, and thinking about how to make really long furled leaders for my spey rods.


Written by raspberryfisher

2020/04/12 at 01:44

Posted in Life in the back, Wood Projects

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Cullen Skink – wilson’s variant

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A nice cold weather soup.


Apologize for the informal measurements, but I think this is a chowder to make to your desire, and what is available and the strength of the smoked herring (kippers).

  • Under low heat, saute finely diced onion in butter – 4-6 Tbsp – for 10+ minutes in a dutch oven.
  • Add milk – 1.2 l and
  • Add potatoes – 1.2 kg
  • and bring to simmer until potatoes are soft
  • under a low heat, with cover on.
  • Monitor and ensure you are not burning the milk.
  • Rough mash and add salt.
  • Add in kippers – smoked herring – 2-4 fillets
  • Add in salmon – 2-4 fillets
  • Add in 1/3 cup of your favourite cooking scotch
    • For me, this is McClellands Islay, smoky but not too acidic.
    • Our favorite drinking scotch is a blend – Monkey Shoulder – but this is kept for just sipping.
  • When fish is cook, add cream – 2/3 Cup.
  • Keep on low heat, but once soup is warm – 180F – it is ready too serve.
    Serve with a toasted baquette.

What you have is blend of a chowder and potato soup.


Written by raspberryfisher

2020/03/02 at 03:28

Posted in Weekend Cooking

Old Fashion Cheesecake – Bourbon & Bitters

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When you think of an Old Fashion Cheesecake or “Google” it, you will probably not come across a cheesecake fashion after the cocktail, the Old Fashion.

This recipe reflects my experimentation and efforts, and here is my brief summary.ย  I apologize for some brevity.ย  As I have been making cheesecakes for nearly 40 years now, some steps are quickly describe.

The crust in a 9″ Spring-form Pan

  • 2 Cups Graham crushed crackers
  • ~4 Tbsp of melted butter
  • 1 Fresh Orange (will also be used for the batter and glaze)
  • Use microplane to create a fine zest from the one Orange.
  • Mix well the graham cracker crumbs with the fine zest.
    • Try to avoid any “clumping”, but mixing well.
  • Dampen with melted butter.ย  The less butter you use, the better.
  • Press into the pan.
  • Do not use sugar.
  • Let the pan sit on the counter.

The batter

  • 1.5 lbs of Cream Cheeseย  – at room temperature
    • For me, this is 3 blocks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 2/3 c of Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 Cup of your strongest favourite bourbon
    • Our household favourite is Woodford Reserve Distillers Select, but I will also use a small batch from Knob Creek or Elisa Craig.
  • 1 Tbsp of Orange juice, from a real fresh Orange.
  • 2 Dashes of Bitters. My default is Angostura
  • 4 Tbps of melted Butter
  • 3/4 Cups of Heavy Sour Cream
    This will yield a moist cake, and we find the bitters intensifies and the bourbon softens, when it bakes.
  • Preheat the Oven at 350F
  • Beat cheese and sugar together.
  • Beat in one egg at a time, until all 4 eggs are in.
  • Lightly mix bourbon, orange juice and bitters in a separate bowl.
  • Add bourbon-juice-bitters and butter mix to the batter and blend well.
  • Gently blend in sour cream.
  • Pour into the Pan
  • Bake for 45 minutes
  • At 45 minutes, turn off the oven and cool in the oven.
  • Let the cheesecake to room temperature, and then chill in the “fridge”.

The glaze

  • 1 Can of Mandarin Orange Segments in Syrup
    • Keep 1/2c of the syrup
    • Optional keep orange segment
  • 1 Tbsp of refined Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp of Butter
  • 1 tsp of Lemon Juice, I strongly prefer a fresh Meyer Lemon
  • 1 tsp of Bourbon
  • Drain the oranges and keep 1/2 cup of syrup
  • If desired, artfully arrange whole segments on the cheesecake top.
  • In small saucepan, dry mix sugar and cornstarch.
  • Add syrup into the saucepan under medium heat.
  • Stir until the liquid comes to a rapid boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium and continue with a “smooth” stir for 3 minutes, while the glaze boils.
  • Turn off heat.
  • Add butter.
  • Add juice and bourbon.
  • Stir until butter has melted and thoroughly mixed.
  • Let the glaze cool, but before it sets, pour over the cheesecake.
  • Place in fridge.
  • Ready to eat in 4 hours.


Written by raspberryfisher

2020/03/02 at 02:15

Posted in Weekend Cooking

Bead Eye

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I have had to create some more eyes and did some experiments, which I note here, and refined my technique.:

  • Beads: For my small eyes, I am using 10/0 Seed Beads and 8/0 for larger.
  • Monofilament is RIO Hard Mono Saltwater – 0/021″, 20#/
  • The tips are painted with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – Black being the default.
    I did experiment with Copic ink and Steadtler markers, but the inks would bleed from the solvents associated with the final coating.
  • Using a wax candle, not a lighter to lightly touch and burn the tip. Easier on the fingers after you do 30 sets of eyes and greater control when moving the monofilament to the flame.
  • Final coating is Solarez Bone Cure

flats fiend polar DSC5554







Written by raspberryfisher

2020/02/02 at 04:23

Posted in Fly-Tying, Saltwater

mantis shrimp for bonefish

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The Usual, for constant stripping over the grass

mantis shrimp-1

and Veveraka’s Mantis

mantis v-1



Written by raspberryfisher

2020/01/29 at 04:27

the simple shrimp

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Inspired from Cayman’s Fish-Bones for Turtle Grass Bonefish flats.

simple shrimp-1



Written by raspberryfisher

2020/01/28 at 04:21

Posted in Fly-Tying, Saltwater

Spawning Shrimp

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This is the pattern that I caught my first Bonefish on, so it is my “confidence fly”, while Judy’s goto is the Polar Charlie.

Now, Judy and I have been thinking about fishing some turtle grass flats – such as those in Belize, but unlike the Bahamas, I should have some flies toned accordingly and with a weed guard (deflector). So I have tied up a set, for this future destination.

spawning shrimp group-1

So I dyed some rabbit, from tan to green.

The fly is simply created into two “segments”,

  • Size 6 Hook
  • Rubber legs
  • Short Krystal Flash or micro Flashbou
  • Rabbit Tuft
  • Egg Sack – seal, ice dubbing, et cetera
  • Bead-Chain Eyes
  • Rabbit Body.

spawning shrimp sbs 1-1

Then the rabbit wing with a weed guard, I will often add black accents to the weed guard.

spawning shrimp sbs 1-1-2

Some close-us of the other flies.

spawning shrimp sbs 1-1-4

.spawning shrimp sbs 1-1-5

.spawning shrimp sbs 1-1-6

.spawning shrimp sbs 1-1-7


Written by raspberryfisher

2020/01/27 at 04:13

Posted in Bahamas, Fly-Tying, Saltwater

Tagged with

Hot Legs Crazy Charlie

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with a mix of fox tail – arctic, marble and red

hot legs charlie-1


Written by raspberryfisher

2020/01/26 at 04:35