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Malta Drink Is Way Sweet, But So Is Writing/Blogging!

Cuban Malta

I’m having a good week. For the most part, anyway.

I was up until 5 this morning, tossing and turning, thinking about what I’d get into today since my photographer is in DC (thus, no food shots for cookbook this month), I’ve turned in all my writing assignments for the week, cooked an extravagant Father’s Day private dinner for a super power couple, did two resto reviews and even started writing some new songs. (themes of politics and Girl playa’s, maybe?)

Damn, what next?

I still have about 65 recipes to cook for my book, so cooking those would be a good thing, right? But I’m so not motivated to cook huge dishes for myself. Plus I’m on a beach bod diet meaning I can’t realistically eat all that.

Ergo, easy things are very appealing.

You know, the shake, mix and drink type recipes. I found inspiration in an email from the Cook’s Warehouse where I teach monthly classes, asking to revise July’s menu so as to accommodate their liquor license restrictions. I replaced a mango mojito for a deliciously refreshing summer drink that has a secret ingredient. I’m putting it in the book, so I’m sorry I can’t share here, BUT I will impart sweetness with another drink that’s soothing and a great substitute for caffeine addicts. (Isn’t caffeine scientifically found to be good for minimizing cellulite?)

I hate to admit, but most Latin cultures don’t consider healthy eating or implement *green* practices in home cooking and even mass production of foods. Take Goya for instance. A pioneer in packaged foods akin to all Latin countries, this powerhouse has some good a** food (especially the beans if you like canned stuff). One of them being Malta, a really dark beverage made from barley, hops and yeast. It’s 100% non-alcoholic so don’t worry about getting tipsy. While it’s great for drinking straight over ice, it’s much better the way I grew up drinking it at home. This ones secret ingredient: *Sweetened Condensed Milk*. 100% of it! Crushed ice and you’re good to sip.

Do you mind calories that will go straight to your hips or belly, with no regard for beach months approaching? If so, get your can and bottle opener, a spoon, a large glass and crushed ice. A good thirst would be fitting.

Pour, mix, top with ice and drink away.

Calorie count: 400.

(Hatuey is a Cuban brand of Malta that is very good. Pic from Wikipedia.)

If you’re having a tough time relating it with something you’re familiar with, think Thai Iced Tea. Malta’s a bit more pungent but the taste is comparable. I’m not willing to sacrifice my 10 daily shots of Cuban espresso bearing only 40 calories for this here, but on a day of running 5 miles, I won’t give a rats ass.

Drink up!

Cuban Malta Drink


A surprise phone call two weeks ago made me very happy! A national food trade magazine was doing a feature on Latin food for their June issue and some magic way, they found me! After a 25-minute phone interview, the writer bid me a nice thank you and a week a later, voila, I receive in the mail a hard copy of Sunbelt Magazine with a nice 2 page spread on yours truly! They even gave a huge shout out on the Emeril appearance, which by the way I heard from the production office. My epi is fully edited and looks *stellar* (well that was my adj.)–per my new casting friend AW (thanks dude–u rock so hard–can’t wait to meet you in person).

Oh yeah, this chick is geeked out! Click here for a snapshot of the piece in Sunbelt (or go to Press at the top and click on the Sunbelt image). Guess what!?! Two more coming in July by two other outlets. Things are getting caliente!


I just (well, two months ago) got picked up by two publications in Atlanta to do exclusive food writing! Not that I have time to sit at my desk a la Carrie Bradshaw and just stare at my iMac while I think about my lost love, but…“The Piedmont Review” covers lifestyles of ATL’s A-listers (you know what that means) and “Atlanta’s Finest Dining” covers all things food and drink. I’ve already done my first few restaurant reviews. Nothing new to me, but a bit different since they’re monthly pubs where I’ll have features in every issue. My next assignment is to review this book, which I got today in the mail!:

Bistros and Brasseries
Recipes and Reflections on Classic Cafe Cooking
By John W. Fischer and Lou Jones
The Culinary Institute of America
So stay tuned for yummy recipes I flag and cook from the book. I’m excited and can’t wait to share with you guys. And, lastly, the story on my trip to Barbados in Dec. was finally published in the travel mag I write for! Looks damn good and they even refer to me as “Queen of the Night.” My editor thinks he’s so slick. I know what he wants! Check out the June/July issue of Odyssey Couleur at your local Barnes~N~Nobles! Not sure when the Trinidad/Tobago piece is set for publication.


Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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Don't forget to check out my debut cookbook!

  • 1- 16 oz. Malta
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • Crushed ice
  • dash of vanilla extract


In large chilled glass, pour malta, add condensed milk and vanilla. Stir well. Top with crushed ice. Serves 1-2.

1,754 thoughts on “Malta Drink Is Way Sweet, But So Is Writing/Blogging!

  1. Hmm, if I’m gonna consume the calories it might be nice to have a little booze in there 🙂 but regardless it looks good & its so hot right now a refreshing drink would be nice.

    CONGRATS on your good news!!

  2. All terrific news!Im so happy for you. I didnt know about the cookbook. I heard about this Malta. They were talking about it on top chef. Next time I’m in the latin aisle, I will pick up a bottle. Im beyond swimsuit redemption this year anyway.

  3. you know, i pass this MALTA in my store every freaking day and always wondered what it was. this drink looks AMAZING. in fact, it looks exactly like this greek iced coffee the greek place up the street serves. let’s hope starbucks doesn’t get wind of this! they’ll cheapen the whole thing!! i’m saving this recipe for sure!

    go you w/ the writing deals! if you need any help recipe-testing… i’m available. 😉

  4. Great news Bren!

    As far as the drink goes, I dunno. I’m with Sharon in this, if I’m making it, it has to be spiked. Tipsy-ness isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    Actually, I’ve never tried Malta; have seen it, but I thought that it was just another thing one puts on fish. Silly me…

  5. Wow, that’s a whole lot of good news! Congrats! Also, yay for more malta love–under-appreciated, very healthy stuff

  6. Sharon:hmm. i’ll try it with some alchi and let you know what it comes to! Deal?

    Courtney: Yes pick it up and try it. I’ve drank it all my life and even cook with it! I have some malta recipes to share as well. And yes, I’m writing a cookbook. It’s so much work!

    Amy: ooh make it and tell me what you think… it’s sooo sooo good but i try to only drink it early in the day since it’s so high in cals.

    Donald: fish? really?

    Jenn: Thanks for this and the post on ur site! 🙂

    Mike: Thanks! I’m tired but excited. very very healthy. didn’t you know!!??! 🙂

  7. That looks *so* good. We have a barley drink here as well called “orzo” (the word for barley in Italian) and I can definitely see that it’d be fantastic with sweetened condensed milk…now if only I could find that here! I usually just make it with milk and add sugar, but your way sounds so much more, I don’t know, romantic?

    Five miles a day?! I’m molto impressed 😉

  8. Alavao Cubana! Encontraste mi malta favorito de hatuey. no lo puedo creer. Sigue la rumba con lo que estas haciendo. Me encanta!

  9. B-
    You write for Odyssey Couleur? We officially have one degree of separation – Nick is my best friend’s brother. I have known him for years!

  10. Yeah Malta Con Leche Condensada rocks, though it will make you fat fast and probably put you at risk of diabetes haha, but I love it.

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