Great Gatsby

Friday, January 23, 2015

Easy and bright, this vodka cocktail is perfect for weekend brunches and features one of my favorite boozy ingredients–Lillet Blanc. As lovely in cocktails as it is chilled or poured over frozen peach slices, it rounds and softens this Greyhound-inspired cocktail for an altogether charming weekend!

Great Gatsby 

1 oz vodka
1 oz Lillet Blanc
2 1/2 oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
cranberries for garnish

Half-fill a mixing glass with ice; add vodka, Lillet and grapefruit juice and stir until chilled. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and garnish with a few cranberries.

Notes: I don't normally chose vodka cocktails, but this simple sipper that highlights winter citrus has changed my opinion of the spirit for the better. 

Tell me, do you have a favorite (or least favorite) spirit? Is there is liquor you'd like to get to know better?

Image by Emma Jane Kepley.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jen and Andy

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A snowy elopement at a Colorado hot springs, beautifully captured by Benj Haisch


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

There's nothing quite like winter light to make a bit of metallic shimmer really sparkle!

Image by The More We See, silver slingbacks by Manolo Blahnik.

A Good Marriage

Monday, January 19, 2015

"There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage." 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last week was hellish, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit relieved to be puttering around the house this morning in my pjs. After spending most of Thursday night up and terribly sick, I spent Friday primarily housebound. Luckily I'd talked John into playing hokey, so we watched a movie, shared a pot of black tea at the surprisingly busy Outerlands and after a short nap, picked up some Indian food for a Friday night feast. David Attenborough's The Life of Birds was the perfect thing to lull us to sleep, likely long before many of our neighbors were enjoying the suppers.

After John's doting treatment of me on Friday, I returned the kindness with breakfast–two slices of Spanish tortilla with slices of avocado, along with a pot of French press coffee–in bed on Saturday. We curled up with another Life of Birds before I took him in to work, and then I headed home to put things in order. After finishing up a big project last week, I've been enjoying a slightly more relaxed weekend pace, and to-do lists less tightly packed! It felt meditative to Swiffer every inch of our hardwood floors and fold freshly washed towels, and I enjoyed every minute of it. After a dress fitting, I swung back by The Corner Store to pick up John. We curled up in bed with our laptops for the better part of the early evening before finally strolling down the street to a little Mexican restaurant for fajitas.

John had an early morning flight to DFW on Sunday, so we were up before the birds. It was still dark when I got home, and actually managed to fall back to sleep–something I haven't pulled off since college. I woke up as John was landing in Texas, and after a trip to my favorite grocery store for supplies, had a lovely late breakfast of avocado toast topped with a poached egg and roasted fingerling potatoes. I spent the afternoon reading, catching up with my Mama, designing notecards for John and me, and even getting my heart rate up with Mary Helen Bowers. It was a little strange having Sunday supper without my sweetheart (I made a simple risotto, just to use up the bottle of bubbles we opened Friday night before it went flat), but we got to relive my first year in San Francisco by having an evening phone date. I headed to bed early so I could get a jump on today–I'm thinking a good breakfast, a productive morning and a long afternoon with a book and a cup of tea!

Tell me, what are your plans for today? Will you be seeing Selma, perhaps, or did you get away for the long weekend?

El Pepe

Friday, January 16, 2015

I am pretty crazy for all things agave–I use the sweetener in my morning tea, love it in my margaritas and count tequila and its spicier, smokier counterpart, mezcal among my favorite spirits. This cocktail is a bit like a spiced margarita, with Génépy, Chartreuse's Alpine cousin, stepping in for Cointreau.

El Pepe

1 oz mezcal
1/2 oz Génépy
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz 1:1 simple syrup
2 basil leaves
1 slice fresno pepper
4 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice; shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Double strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice, and garnish with a basil leaf.

Notes: Génépy might be a bit tricky to find, though speciality liquor stores likely carry it. If you can't hunt down a bottle of the stuff, green Chartreuse will do in a pinch. As for mezcal, this recipe recommends Del Maguey's VIDA, and you couldn't pick a better bottle to start your collection–which will undoubtably grow as you start to explore Del Maguey's single village spirits. Cheers!

Image by Natalie Compton for PUNCH.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

This week I'm loving elegant letterpress invitations, crossing things off my list and finally finishing big projects! Here's hoping there are lots of happy updates soon, but in the meantime, I'm so glad to close the books on one project and start the next! 

On the wedding planning front, I feel like I've hit a particular decision making stride. Shoes? Check! Ceremony décor? Done! I was surprised at how challenging making decisions was early on for me, since I consider myself a pretty decisive person, but maybe there's something about the impending date (just over 3 months!) that's gotten me out of the morass of ivory shoe options and onto the next to-do!

Tell me, what are you working on right now? And am I the only bride that felt overwhelmed by all the options, only to get clear-headed as the planning progressed? I bet I'm not...

Anna and Perry

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

 Clean and graceful, classic and intimate–these are my favorite wedding planning words. So naturally I fell head over heels for Anna and Perry's Southern celebration, which embodies them all. Ginny Au orchestrated their winter wedding, from the perfectly minimalist letterpress invitations from Brown Paper Linen to the cozy dinner party atmosphere of their reception at Mountain Brook Club.

Anna chose J.Crew's "Nadia" gown, and her seamstress added a short-sleeved sheer top and fabric covered buttons. A Cathedral-length veil, flat nude sandals from J.Crew, drop earrings and a simple gold bangle completed her classic look. Bridesmaids were also outfitted in J.Crew, wearing silk chiffon "Heidi" gowns in graphite, and carried diminutive versions of Anna's green, ivory and blush bouquet of garden roses, sweet peas and parrot tulips by Cloth of Gold. Perry and his groomsmen looked handsome in navy suits from Mobley & Sons, and donned white and green boutonnieres for the perfect finishing touch.

After a traditional ceremony at the Highlands United Methodist Church, the newlyweds and their guests headed to the Mountain Brook Club. Dinner for 100 was served on long estate tables lit by flickering tapers in brass candlesticks. Piles of white and green blooms were nestled into garden-inspired pedestal arrangements, and a jazz band played softly while guests became friends. The evening ended with cake and Champagne, but the couple knew it was only the beginning of their happy life together.

Many thanks to photographer Mandy Busby, who generously shared Anna and Perry's wedding with me, and whose work capturing their celebration will always be as lovely as it is today. Tell me, what's your favorite detail or photograph from this fête?

A Crimson Kiss – Timeless Events and Classic Cocktails by Ana Degenaar : Blogger