If you’ve been lucky enough to spend time walking along the beach, odds are you’ve come across some interesting treasures. Sometimes it’s a precious shell, other times it’s a unique piece of seaglass worn by the rhythmic pounding of waves and recycled by the sea.
Sea glass is a beautiful product of both nature and man. Bottles, jars and other discarded glass sometimes find their way into the ocean. Although these objects start their journey as nothing more than ordinary glass, over seven to ten years of tumbling in the ocean surf, nature forms from this glass, what is known as sea glass.
Did you know? Technically speaking, there are types of water weathered glass; sea glass and beach glass. Sea glass is formed in bodies of saltwater whereas beach glass is formed in freshwater areas, like lakes, rivers, and streams. As a result, beach glass usually doesn’t have as frosty an appearance as sea glass, but it is still weathered, polished and highly desirable.
Part of the reason why sea glass is so alluring is because of the time it takes to create. Because sea glass has been broken down over time, the saltwater modifies the chemical composition of sea glass through a natural dehydration process, giving it a different appearance than manufactured tumbled glass. Authentic sea glass is not clear or shiny. It is also not perfectly shaped.
A quality piece of sea glass has smooth tactile edges. Its appearance is well frosted and weathered from the natural tossing and turning on shore. The more common colour of sea glass includes white, brown and green accounting for roughly 80-90% of sea glass found. These colours correspond with the glass pigmentation of milk, beer, soda and wine bottles. More scarce are deep aquas and light blues used for inkwells, electrical insulators and elixirs sold by traveling doctors in the 1890s. One of the rarest sea glass colours is red. This type of glass was expensive to make because it contained gold chloride, a costly additive needed for the scarlet hue.
I love wandering the wavy seashores and finding little fragments of sea glass. What began as a discarded piece of trash in the ocean has been broken down but the forces of nature and transformed into something far more significant – from trash to treasure! While it may take close to a decade for the ocean to take a lowly piece of glass and turn it into a gem-like creation, thankfully it doesn’t take nearly as long to make this delicious sea glass punch.
Prep Time: 50 minutes (30 minutes to create the candy sea glass and 20 minutes to cool the sea glass as well as create the punch beverage)
Servings: 1 person (increase the ratios in the recipe for more)
Begin by making the sea glass candy garnish.
Lightly coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside. In a saucepan stir together 1 cup of sugar, ½ cup of water and ¼ cup of corn syrup with a spatula until sugar is dissolved. Place the pot on a stove and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue heating the mixture until the temperature reaches 149°C (300°F) on a candy thermometer. When the mixture reaches the appropriate temperature remove the pot from the heat and quickly stir in ½ tsp of vanilla and 2-4 drops of green food colouring. The bubbles should recede. After the vanilla and food colouring have been combined in the mixture pour the candy concoction onto the sprayed baking sheet and allow to cool completely. Once cooled (20-30 minutes) place a piece of parchment paper over the hardened sugar and break into pieces with a meat tenderizer. We recommend striking once or twice at each end to keep the pieces large. Complete the garnish by sprinkling powdered sugar on the pieces of candy and rubbing it in with a paper towel to create the frosted look characteristic of sea glass.
While the sea glass candy is cooling gather the ingredients and start making your punch.
To make the sea glass punch combine 1 ½ tsp of blue Curaçao, 2 ounces of rum, ¼ cup of lime juice, 4 ounces of pineapple nectar, ¼ cup of club soda and a dash of nutmeg in a mixing pitcher. If you are making the recipe for more people you can easily double, triple or quadruple the quantities. Stir well to combine the flavours.
When ready to serve the sea glass punch drink, take your serving glass and coat the rim with liquid honey. Invert the glass onto a plate of brown sugar to coat the rim with what will look like “beach sand”. Loosely crush ice cubes into medium to small fragments and add them to the glass. Pour the sea glass punch over the crushed ice cubes filling the glass ¾ full. Finish your drink with an eloquent green sea glass candy shard for garnish.
Enjoy your sea glass punch and imagine the sand between your toes as you beach comb, looking for brilliant little pieces of weathered glass.
Did you enjoy this drink? Does this sea glass punch make you want to hit the beach and search out some colourful ocean treasures?
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