March 20, 2012
Even a cocktail can be local and seasonal. Especially if it has lovely ruby red grapefruit juice in it along with a super smooth locally distilled vodka, in this case Savvy, out of Austin. The recipe: grapefruit juice and vodka in a two to one ratio. A splash of grenadine. Stir. Pour over ice. Superb.
Playlist included Look at Miss Ohio, covered by Miranda Lambert.
December 29, 2011
What’s New Year’s Eve without a sparkly cocktail? Although I know folks are firmly on either side of the fence about them. ‘Tis the season, I say.
Just about everyone loves a little (or perhaps a lot, God love ’em) bubbly this time of year. Give your glasses of sparkling wine, Cava, Prosecco, Asti, Crémant, Champagne (the choices really are almost endless, really), a little extra glee with a splash of Middle West Spirits‘ OYO Stone Fruit. This year’s seasonal vodka is kissed with sweetness from Montmorency cherries, peaches, apricots and loveliness. I think it pairs deliciously with an Asti (which deserves another look; it’s not what it used to be) and is perhaps even better garnished with a homemade maraschino.
Cheers to another great year!
OYO Stone Fruit Sparkler, makes one
1.5 oz Stone Fruit Vodka, chilled
1 dash orange bitters (Fee Brothers are good)
5 oz sparkling wine
In a champagne saucer or flute, combine the vodka, bitters and top with the sparkling wine. Imbibe.
Playlist included Shampain, by Marina and the Diamonds.
August 31, 2011
All summer long, as things have grown I’ve picked them. And put them in alcohol. Rhubarb, blueberries, apricots, cherries, peaches. Tonight I enjoyed a fabulous cherry mint julep.
Simple, classic. And like the fastest pony at the Derby, always a winner.
Southerners: people partial to front porches, magnolias, fresh peaches, cool breezes, fast horses and mint juleps.
PK’s Cherry Mint Julep, Makes 1
2 sprigs fresh mint
heaping t. powdered sugar or sugar in the raw
2 shots Cherry bourbon, plus a bit more to top off the drink (I like Knob Creek with dark red cherries steeped for about a month)
In a cocktail shaker muddle the mint leaves from one sprig along with the sugar and a few tiny pieces of crushed ice. Fill shaker with ice, pour in bourbon. Shake well to chill thoroughly. Pour over more crushed ice in a silver mint julep cup (I prefer mine with a bit of tarnish, for character and a casual feel) or in a short cocktail glass. Garnish with remaining mint sprig. Top off with additional bourbon if desired.
Playlist included the cover of Islands in the Stream, by Yim Yames of My Morning Jacket and Neko Case.
August 14, 2011
Several years ago, before Cherub was born, I bought my mother a fig tree. For years she had longed for a tree like the one that grew in the backyard of the little house in Austin where she raised her two little girls. She always loved feeding me peeled figs when I was tiny and just beginning to enjoy my first tastes of real food. This was something she hoped to recreate with soon-to-be-born grandbabies. She needed a tree in the ground early, she told me, so the harvest would be ready when I got around to having one.
Ahh, how she forgot what a harvest she would have from just one, abundant tree. Now in its prime, at peak season, she picks five and six pounds of figs a day from that little tree.
The babies, that so recently mashed just-picked and peeled figs between soft pink gums, now grab branches and haul themselves up to climb to the places Demeter can’t reach. And she has lots and lots of figs.
I still love them.
When she visited, she brought me a couple of bottles of fig syrup. Because to make a moderate amount of syrup you need lots and lots of fruit.
I am more than a little grown up now, and I enjoy figs in all sorts of ways. Most recently in the form of a fig margarita. This margarita would be equally enchanting with fruit syrups of any kind (raspberry, certainly strawberry, peach). Just give some thought to what spices on the rim might marry best with the fruit you choose. This cocktail is all about celebrating a bounty in unexpected way.
Aggie Lane Margarita, makes one
For the rim:
1/2 t brown sugar
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July 10, 2011
I couldn’t let cherry season pass with a cocktail of some sort. And this one is so surprising and light: low in alcohol high in gorgeous cherry flavor. It’s an ancient recipe out of Mary Randolph’s The Virginia House-wife originally published back in 1838. And it’s perfect for sipping on the screened porch on hot afternoons.
I had a copious amount of a couple of types of cherries that were languishing with their pits still firmly inside. I didn’t feel like pitting them. I’ve been pitting them for days: for a few quick moments
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June 15, 2011
Mama said there’d be days like this. And when there are, you might consider adding a bit of lemon balm to your evening cocktail. It’s been used since the middle ages to reduce stress and anxiety, and promote sleep. Plus with a lovely lemony scent, and pretty toothed leaves, it makes a gorgeous garnish. Sometimes, I’m all about the pretty.
This evening’s local cocktail was a sweet combination of the juneberries (a.k.a, sugarplums) from our generous next door neighbor muddled with the lemon balm that so generously reseeded itself along the patio edges. After a tough day (read: extra loud, bossy Cherub), this is exactly the cocktail I want in my hand.
Sugar Plum Soother, makes one
Small handful of juneberries
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June 4, 2011
Get some food people together and you can come up with some pretty tasty ideas.
At dinner recently, my friend Bethia pointed out how flowery Kate‘s sage plant was and plucked a few of the purple blossoms for us to pop in our mouths. Our eyes widened and we were immediately smitten with the surprisingly honeysuckle-y sage-iness of the teensy lavender-colored blooms. Enterprising Kate made up a quick batch of sage flower syrup and kindly gifted me a batch. I love that girl.
I used some this afternoon in some red wine sangria.
My sage plant in the background with the last of the flowers on it. Note the syrup and the triple sec in the bottom of the pitcher. Make sure to give it a good stir.
Sage Flower Sangria, serves me and Hades…
1 bottle of red wine (inexpensive Rioja, Beaujolais and Lambrusco are all good kinds)
Small handful of strawberries, halved (Worthington farmer’s market has them in now)
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