Christmas Spirits

20 12 2012

I spent an afternoon infusing spirits a couple weeks ago with my friend Laurel and just bottled up some of the goods. Mmmmm…



Laaaaaaaaaaaaa! La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la la La LA laaaaaaaa…

9 07 2012

Sometimes it’s best to admit you have a problem. So here goes…I am obsessed with pitchers. Large ones, small ones, round ones, glass ones, ceramic ones, ones that play ball.

So when I fell in love with a ridiculously hip and pricey pitcher at a shop in the neighborhood, I refused to pick it up. I walked by it in the window for months. I would NOT buy that pitcher. I wouldn’t touch it. I could resist. Really. But then the hubby wanted to go in that store. And when I told him about the pitcher he said “do you want to get it?” And when I said it was too expensive, he picked it up (!), looked at the bottom, and said it was still ok.


Why do I love him so? I can hear him sing every time I look at him. Plus – I love all big gray wrinkly animals, especially whales.

And most especially, Willy:


And Pimms!

5 09 2011

Which also remind me of my fun time at the river.

Here with equal parts limeade and ginger ale:

In the adorable juice glasses the hubby and I found at our new favorite second hand store, Stuff.

Drinking tomatoes

24 07 2011

The hubby and I went out for a dinner date on Friday at a semi-fancy place we like quite a bit called Range. We had all sorts of delicious food but the stand out was actually a cocktail called the Sungold Zinger. Made with 209 gin, sungold tomatoes, agave, and lemon, I knew we could recreate this amazing taste of summer at home:

The first “sample” batch (shown above) was pretty damn close to the original with just a bit too much gin. Not too much for me, of course, but one of the beauties of this beverage is that even non martini style drinkers, and I dare say non gin drinkers, will have a hard time not slurping this puppy down so fast you’ll wonder how you ended up asleep on the couch at 9pm on a Saturday.

The perfected Tomato Martini recipe:

  • 1 1/2 oz gin (not a London dry style – I used Hendricks; I also think that Old World Spirits, Q, or, of course, 209 would work well)
  • 1 oz pureed and strained sungold tomatoes
  • just shy of 1/2 oz light agave syrup
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon

I will be drinking lots of these.

To make the strained tomato puree, btw, I blendered the crap out of a couple clamshells worth of sungold tomatoes (and a few regular old red cherry toms I had on the counter) and then strained them though a metal mesh strainer, stirring them with a spoon to get the most liquid out before setting aside the remaining mush to spread on toast with liberal amounts of salt and maybe some ricotta cheese.

And to go with the next round of Tomato Martinis that I’ll be enjoying in the sunny backyard this afternoon with friends, the hubby has been busy at work this morning repeating this genius.

As my father always used to say: “I wonder what the poor people are doing tonight!”

Do you know what time it is?

16 06 2011

Martini time.

California Style

10 05 2011

This weekend, the lovely Moonpie took me to Old World Spirits down in Belmont for a tasting and cocktail lesson with the owner of the distillery. It was super fun – bike riding, taking the train, enjoying the sunshine, laughing a lot…and drinking!  We tried both of their absinthes (traditional and blue), their walnut liquor, an eux de vie, and their “California gin” Blade. Of course I loved the gin – citrusy and balanced, it makes a great martini. At the tasting they made the martini with absolutely no vermouth and using orange and lemon zest instead of the more traditional twist. It was tasty and refreshing, but I prefer it with a bit of Dolin dry. And that zest? A pain in the ass to drink around.

Next time I’ll stick with a twist.

Old World Spirits is open to the public for tastings on the last Friday of the month.


18 03 2011

I am a strong believer in having different brands of booze for different applications. Want a martini with a twist? I recommend Hendricks. But a gin and tonic must be made with Tanqueray (and not that sweet Tanqueray 10 business). How about a Manhattan? I absolutely must have Vya vermouth and Luxardo cherries if I am even going to bother. I mean…others will do…in a bar setting or whathaveyou. But if I’m making it at home? The bar must be stocked.

One of my new favorite gins is perfect in any citrusy based cocktail. An Aviation, or even the delicious Salty Dog, which I’ve been enjoying quite a bit lately:

Cut up a lime and rub a wedge around the rim of your highball glass. Roll the edge of the glass in a coarse salt (I use sea salt). Add 2 oz Quintessential gin (only recently made available to the common consumer like you and me), top off with fresh grapefruit juice, and squeeze the rest of your lime wedge in to the drink.