Friday, July 22, 2016
Despite my deep and abiding love for this classic cocktail, I realized I've never shared our recipe for the Daiquiri No. 2—and what better time could there be for a citrusy rum sipper than in the midst of this heatwave?
Daiquiri No. 2
2 oz rum
1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz syrup
1/2 oz Luxardo
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake for 10–15 seconds, then double strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a lime twist.
Notes: Luxardo, a maraschino cherry liqueur, is an old-school ingredient that'll look gorgeous on your bar cart and only run you about $30. Although I prefer to drink my daiquiris straight up, if you decide to add ice, make sure to use the biggest cubes you can find (or check out this recipe for a frozen daiquiri), as they'll dilute the drink more slowly. And if you find that rum and lime cocktails are all you can stand to make this weekend, you can also revisit Daiquiris No. 1 and 3 for a perfect summer trifecta—cheers!
Image by Peden & Munk.
Friday, July 15, 2016
It's been another long, tough week and I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a cheerful cocktail and the company of the people I love most. The strawberries at the farmer's market have been stunning lately, and I couldn't think of anything more perfect than tucking them into a favorite frosty cocktail perfect for a warm summer evening.
Frozen Strawberry Negroni
1 oz gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
3/4 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 oz syrup
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth; garnish with an orange slice and a strawberry.
Notes: If you love Negronis but feel ambivalent about strawberries, simply omit them and the oj–but don't forget the simple syrup, which gives blended drinks that slushy consistency. Though the recipe is for one cocktail, this libation is obviously great for a crowd. To batch it, multiple the ingredients by the size of your guest list and toast to warm days ahead–cheers!
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
One of my oldest, dearest friends got engaged over the Fourth of July weekend, and we're already hunting destination locations and talking save the dates. With all the pinning I've been doing, I thought I'd share some of my favorite tropical inspiration for the week ahead!
Friday, July 1, 2016
and if what calls itself a world should have
the luck to hear such singing(or glimpse such
sunlight as will leap higher than high
through gayer than gayest someone's heart at your each
nearness)everyone certainly would(my
most beautiful darling)believe in nothing but love
Celebrating six years of marriage today with the man who makes my heart leap.
Photo by Josh Gruetzmacher.
Saturday, June 11, 2016
With warm weather here to stay, I've been craving a good glass of iced tea–and this orangey sipper is the perfect late afternoon pick-me-up!
Orange Blossom Iced Tea
6 black tea bags
2–4 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon orange-flower water
2 oranges, sliced into rounds
Place tea bags and honey in a heatproof container; add 3 cups boiling water, stir to dissolve honey and let steep for 10–15 minutes. Remove tea bags, add orange-flower water, 1 sliced orange, 4 mint sprigs and 3 to 5 cups of chilled water, depending on the volume of your container and preferred strength. To serve, fill Collins glasses with ice and add strained tea. Garnish with orange slices and mint sprigs.
Notes: A word on orange-flower water: it's a potent ingredient, so make sure you measure carefully. While this tee-totaling sipper is designed for days that need to be productive, just add gin or vodka to make it a bit more fun–cheers!
Image by Marcus Nilsson.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
School's been out of session for more than a month, and while I'm still frequenting the library on a regular basis, I can't resist the occasional summer treat—a late afternoon stroll, a vanilla soft-serve with rainbow sprinkles, or a rosé slushy. My favorite recipe, which manages to strike the perfect balance between sweet and tart, is below!
1 bottle dry rosé
3 oz simple syrup
3 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freeze 1 bottle of rosé in an ice cube tray overnight (I highly recommend a silicone tray). Combine frozen cubes, syrup and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth.
Garnish with lemon twists or strawberry slices.
Image from W&P Design.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
As much as I love beautifully calligraphed invitations, I always feel a bit sad to receive mail addressed to someone that's not actually me, but rather Mrs. Husband. This is never, I am certain, done out of malice or thoughtlessness, simply custom and old-school etiquette. But, as APW CEO & Editor-in-Chief Meg Keene writes, etiquette is all about treating people with respect, and it’s not very polite to address people by things that are not their names. When I read her (edited) post below on A Practical Wedding this afternoon, I felt like I'd finally found some great modern guidelines for greeting your guests.
Addressing Wedding Invitations
Mrs., Ms., and Mx.
Figuring out the right way to use honorifics in our wonderfully progressive time can be a real pain. So feel free to skip them altogether, except for the older folks on your list who use them religiously. But if you do use honorifics, please put in the legwork required to use the right ones for the right people.
“Miss” and (the adorable) “Master” are appropriate terms of address for children.
Once a woman is grown, address her as “Ms.” if unmarried (just like you would address a man as “Mr.”).
Married women who don’t share their husbands’ last names have the honorific of “Ms.,” not “Mrs.”
Many married women who do share their husband’s last name also use the honorific “Ms."
“Dr.” is a term that some people use socially, and some don’t. You can use it or not, but if you use it, please use it for everyone who is a doctor.
Widows should be addressed in the same form that they preferred when their partners were living, unless they’ve decided to change their form of address. If that’s “Mrs. His-First His-Last,” that remains the same.
If you’re looking for a gender-neutral term for your gender queer friends, use Mx. Mx. is typically the gender-neutral title for anyone who is non-binary and/or does not wish to reveal their gender. The best way to Internet-stalk the right answer to this new-ish question is to check a person’s pronoun on Facebook. If they use “they”, go with Mx.
Include the Kids
If children are invited, list them on the envelope. (Or on the inner envelope if you have one.)
Handling Different Last Names
Traditionally people with different last names are listed on different lines, and women’s names go first. I’m kind of down with that, because while women make $0.79 on the man’s dollar, I’m scooping up any extra prizes you throw at me. But if that doesn’t work for you, skip it.
The Golden Rule of Envelopes
This one is the golden rule of wedding invitations. Maybe you’re not using honorifics, but you know that your grandmother likes to get her mail addressed to “Mrs. His-First His-Last,” even though her husband died years ago. She’s earned it, so address her invite that way. Once you’re married, you’re going to be dealing with trying to get people to address you in the form you prefer, so earn some points with the universe now.
Forgive Yourself in Advance
This is particularly true if you have a slew of friends who just got married and you can’t remember what names they’re now using. Try your best to figure out their current form of address (editor's note: Facebook and/or a quick text is particularly useful here), apologize when you make a mistake, and then let it go.
Original post excerpted from A Practical Wedding Planner.
Friday, April 1, 2016
Though Friday nights at our house used to mean Indian food, they're more likely to be Italian-themed evenings these days. We've been pairing pizza and pasta with our favorite three-ingredient low-alcohol cocktail, the Americano!
1 1/2 oz Campari
1 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
Fill a highball glass with ice, add Campari and sweet vermouth. Top with club soda and garnish with an orange wedge.
Notes: I adore Carpano Antica in this and any other cocktail that includes sweet vermouth, but Dolin Rouge is a sublime springtime substitution. Pair an Americano with some salty snacks and you'll have one fabulous Friday night–cheers, and happy April!
Image by James Ransom.
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Looking for a last-minute cocktail for your Sunday brunch? Look no further than this sophisticated take on the classic mimosa!
522 North Pinckney Cocktail
2 cups freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1/2 cup elderflower liqueur
1/4 cup Campari
Combine grapefruit juice, elderflower liqueur and Campari in a pitcher; cover and chill. To serve, divide grapefruit mixture evenly and top with sparkling wine. Serves 8.
Notes: Champagne flutes or fluted glasses are best for this sparkling sipper, as is an inexpensive Cava or California brut. If you're looking for a little more sweetness, a Prosecco will be perfect. Cheers!
Image by Christina Holmes.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
As you probably know (or might have guessed), I love a cocktail. Between the gorgeous glassware, the alchemy made possible by a shaker and the chance to spend time with my nearest and dearest while sipping one, I find the whole thing irresistible. So I was absolutely delighted when Stephanie at Borrowed & Blue asked me to share what I've learned over the years about signature cocktails and stocking your own home bar.
Our Q&A is below!
What's your drink of choice?
It depends on the season–and the bar–but I never regret ordering an Americano.
What makes a "good" cocktail?
Balance, high quality ingredients and freshly squeezed juice.
What are the four most essential items you stock your bar with?
Campari, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, a solid bourbon and Barbancourt rum.
What's the most versatile mixer?
Club soda–and if you have a soda machine, you always have it on hand!
The best brand of bitters?
Every bar needs just three kinds of bitters: Angostura, Peychaud's and orange (I like Fee Brothers).
What's your favorite spring cocktail?
A Royal Badminton Cup or a glass of rosé.
A margarita or a Campari-soda.
If you had to sum up San Francisco in a drink, what would it be and why?
My favorite thing about San Francisco is the city's diversity–I hope it could never be summed up in a single cocktail! That said, if I had to do some research I'd start at Smuggler's Cove or Bar Agricole.
What are some good resources for discovering new cocktail recipes?
How would a couple decide what kind of signature cocktail is right for their wedding?
Just like picking wine, I recommend that couples consider the food served at their reception as well as the season and time of day. After making a list of initial ideas, taste-test your top picks–ideally with your cocktail hour menu–before selecting your favorites.
What are your feelings on "his" and "hers" cocktails?
We served a Royal Badminton Cup and a Corpse Reviver No. 2, but skipped the "his" and "hers" designations since they were both gin-based and we wanted our guests to feel comfortable sampling both. Spirits have had gendered profiles for a long time, but I know plenty of women who love a whiskey–and men who order piña coladas. If there's a drink he loves but you won't touch, feel free it call it "his"; otherwise, just serve cocktails you're both eager to have on the big day and call them yours.
Any other advice for couples choosing the signature cocktails at their wedding?
Think practically about your guest to bartender ratio and choose cocktails that can be done well. Labor intensive libations like mojitos and mint juleps or spirituous cocktails that require a lot of stirring might leave most of your guests waiting.
Don't worry about pleasing everyone with your signature cocktail–make it an expression of yourselves and your guests will be delighted to drink to the happy couple. Cheers!
Friday, March 11, 2016
With all the beautiful photos of Cuban cityscapes I've been seeing lately and wonderfully warm weather this week, the Hotel Nacional Special, the signature cocktail from Havana's Hotel Nacional de Cuba, seemed like just the thing for a Friday evening.
Hotel Nacional Special
2 oz rum
1/4 oz apricot liqueur
1 oz pineapple juice
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Combines all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds; strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Notes: I wanted to let you all in on a little secret–simple syrup doesn't have to come from the store or be the result of any stove-top stirring. For this cocktail, I'd use a rich simple syrup; just microwave equal parts sugar and water until combined! Stick to white rather than aged rum or an agricole for this cocktail; Barbancourt is my personal favorite, but Bacardi will be just fine. And be sure to find a good-quality apricot liqueur, since it can make or break this cocktail. Cheers!
Image by Ann Street Studio.