Do you ever make cocktails at home? I’ve been mixing up gin and tonics for years – requires a LOT of skill, like opening a bottle of tonic water, pouring that and some gin over ice, squeezing in a lime, and stirring. So maybe it’s not really all that skilled after all.
But I only started attempting anything beyond that about a year and a half ago when, inspired by a tequila-based cocktail I had enjoyed at Tres (back then, Tres Agaves), I decided to put a fresh twist on the processed sweetener (grapefruit soda) by substituting juice from a freshly squeezed-by-me grapefruit and club soda. My version of La Paloma set in motion an exploration of cocktails that hasn’t stopped since.
From sparkling vodka elderflower lemonade and apple brandy limeade to a gin-based version of a dark ‘n stormy (or, depending on how you look at it, a ginger beer/ale version of a gin and tonic) and creamy candy cane cocktail, you might think me a purveyor of purely clear liquors.
The cucumber infusion that wound up as my bride’s specialty cocktail and the lemon peel and vodka infusion that became limoncello after a few months would do nothing to convince you otherwise.
However, in real life, I dabble in the brown stuff more often than the clear.
On Saturday, I spoke on a BlogHer Food Conference panel about the resurgence and modernization of vintage recipes. During the panel, I gave a longer-than-it-should-have-been-because-my-hands-were-shaking-and-ohmygosh-how-do-I-answer-questions-while-simultaneously-keeping-track-of-what-I’m-mixing demo on how to make two versions of the timeless (and my favorite) Manhattan cocktail.
I learned that: (more…)
Someone’s jumping up a year in age this weekend. And neener neener neener: it’s not me!
I’ve already checked that off my to-do list for 2012, as I do every year about 3 weeks before Jay follows suit.
And every year, during those 3 weeks, I enjoy constantly asking Jay what it feels like to be with an older woman. Sometimes he even humors me with a response other than eye-rolling.
Have you ever enjoyed a dark ‘n’ stormy? I only discovered the dark rum, ginger beer and lime cocktail about a year ago, slurping up quite a few while watching a friend compete in windsurfing races last spring and summer.
Not being a huge fan of rum, I was a bit skeptical at first, but the ginger and lime components won me over.
I love the refreshing tang of lime and the spicy zing of ginger – perfect for either a warm summer’s day or a frigidly windy but confusingly sunny spring afternoon, and we get plenty of the latter in San Francisco.
But now that I’ve thought to swap out the rum for my much more beloved gin, I don’t think I’ll be returning to the original. Nor to my other warm weather go-to, a standard gin and tonic. (more…)
I admit it. I finally succumbed to the infusing-vodka-with-candy madness that’s been going around. I’m not proud, but it was too easy not to do it. There were a few stray candy canes, some lonely vodka and a clean glass jar hanging around, begging for attention.
I justified it by arguing – in my head, of course – that I wouldn’t have gotten around to eating those last few candy canes anyway; the vodka would have sat untouched for another 6 months; the jar needed to serve a practical function or else get tossed into the recycling bin; and a candy cane vodka would really just be peppermint vodka, which wasn’t too bizarre (ahem, candy corn vodka), and had to taste great in some sort of cocktail.
And it did taste fantastic in this one. Like a grownup peppermint milkshake of sorts. Except then I had to go and name it a “snowtini,” which sounds so frou-frou I’m not sure I’d ever order it off a cocktail menu. (more…)
Once upon my I-vehemently-disagree-with-everything-my-mom-says -and-does teenage years, I thought I found a message from a kindred spirit in “Break Stuff,” a song Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit had channeled all his short man syndrome anger into.
About half my lifetime later, I am fortunate to have a wonderfully close relationship with my mother. But this week, a particularly trying set of phone and email negotiations with a very conflict- (rather than compromise-) oriented outside attorney made “one of those days” turn into one of those weeks.
By the time Wednesday rolled around, I was ready for a Friday night cocktail, but instead, I found serenity in preparing a vodka infusion that I could look forward to enjoying come Friday.