Winter Daiquiri

Friday, December 14, 2018

My father and I were having a conversation the other week about our favorite cocktails, and I declared my love for nearly sour made with lime, be it a margarita, a gimlet, or a daiquiri. The only problem with these kinds of cocktails is that it can be a bit difficult to justify drinking them in the dead of winter—which is why I was so delighted to find a wintry spin on my favorite tipple!

Winter Daiquiri 

2 oz aged rum
3/4 oz spiced syrup
3/4 oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 10–15 seconds, then strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a star anise.

Notes: A healthy pour of funky, aged rum and some spiced syrup are all that's needed to take this cocktail into the new year. To make the syrup, combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water in a small sauce pan. Add 1 cinnamon stick, 4 allspice pods, 2 cloves, and 1 star anise. Heat until the sugar has dissolved, then let it stand for 30 minutes. Strain and store in the fridge. Cheers!

Image by Daniel Krieger for PUNCH

It's Coming on Christmas

Saturday, December 8, 2018

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace

I heard this favorite Joni tune the other day and thought of how perfectly it captures the beauty of the holiday season. It's been a quiet fall devoted to work on my dissertation and our 1942 bungalow, but our spirited Springer Percy makes sure I don't stay cooped up inside all day. We're curling up with a cup of cocoa today before strolling through our little town to pick up some garlands and a wreath, which will make the whole house smell marvelous. Then it's time to wrap the last of our holiday gifts and watch the Great British Baking Show's holiday special—I truly can't imagine a more perfect way to spend a Saturday.

I hope your holiday season is full of family, all of your favorite festivities, and the cheeriest Netflix specials!

Image by KT Merry.

Sage Greyhound

Friday, September 21, 2018

This in-between season as summer transitions to fall is probably my favorite time of year. It's still warm enough to have dinner on the patio, but cool enough that you might want a sweater. This herbaceous greyhound is the cocktail equivalent of shorts and a fisherman's sweater—just perfect.

Sage Greyhound

2 oz vodka
4 oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 oz sage syrup

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 10–15 seconds, then strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and sage leaf.

Notes: To make the sage syrup, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup granulated sugar with 10–20 sage leaves, roughly chopped in a saucepan. Heat under sugar is dissolved, then let cool. Strain syrup and use immediately or store in the fridge with a dash of vodka to lengthen its shelf life.


Image via Williams Sonoma.

(Paperless) Post

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

I adore books, I pour over handwritten letters in archives, and I send my own notes to friends, on personalized stationery no less. But I'm also aware of the huge environmental impact of producing and sending paper, and a lover of good design no matter where it might be found. And that's where Paperless Post shines.

After a friend of mine sent her save the dates through Paperless Post's online service and matching printed wedding invitations through their collaboration with Paper Source, my longtime resistance to digital invites suddenly melted away. Every piece, whether online or in person, looked (and felt) beautiful, and perfectly coordinated. And the event management features, including digital RSVPs and messages, plus matching wedding websites, made some of the toughest, most nitty gritty stuff of wedding planning a snap. There's no wondering if your invitation got lost in the mail, or if their reply card was short a stamp; you can skip the post office and easily track your Paperless Post invites online. Plus, with cards from some of my favorite designers including Rifle Paper, Mr. Boddington's Studio, Oscar de la Renta, Crane & Co., and John Derian, there's a style for every couple. 

I've long loved Paperless Post for birthday cards, holiday party invites, and smaller celebrations, but I'm totally sold on their wedding offerings, too. With so many beautiful designs, the hardest part might be picking a favorite.

Making Marriage Modern

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

I've been thinking a lot about marriage lately. About what it means to be a wife or a bride in a world where marriage rates are dropping. About why husbands of women who chose to keep their last names are more likely to be perceived as feminine, and why half of US adults believe a woman should be required by law to take her husband's name after marriage. About where all these narratives about marriage have gotten us, and how we might move forward productively.

Lots of the weddings I've been to recently have a dating app to thank for bringing together the happy couple. A gal pal split the cost of her engagement ring—along with a few more gorgeous baubles to stack—with her groom. A high school buddy of mine was proposed to be his amazing girlfriend, and few months later, he returned the favor with an engagement ring that matches his. It may not surprise you that I've been celebrating so many nontraditional partnerings—after all, John and I were hitched for five years before we had a wedding. But there's still lots of judgement about these kinds of choices, which makes it tough for couples who want to write their own marriage rule book.

I love a beaming bride in a white dress and her handsome groom at the end of the aisle. But I also love midday ceremonies at City Hall, a bride in a killer pantsuit, grooms in matching getups, folks defining what marriage means to them—and staying single if that's what best for you. When we lose the judgement and simply support modern, empowering relationships in every form, our communities grow stronger and our world becomes a more beautiful place. That's why I'm sharing this guide from Blue Nile about blending old traditions with new ones, and making marriage modern.

Cheers to contributing to all your relationships in a meaningful way, and writing your own rule book for happiness.

Ring photo by Josh Gruetzmacher.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

 Hello, spring! I was so delighted to throw open all the windows today that I thought I might do the same with this lovely little corner of the internet. So much has changed since we last caught up. We bought our first home, and are loving its 1940s charm. We recently adopted a dog, Percy, who puts smiles on our faces even when we're walking him in the cold, dark Michigan mornings. And I am sprinting to one significant finish line in my doctoral program, so the kitchen table is covered in books and notepads and I always seem to be drinking a cup of tea. I still miss San Francisco, but I've never felt more at home.

Tell me, what have you been up to lately? Engagements, babies, books? I want to hear everything.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

To putting 2017 in our rear view mirrors and welcoming the new year with open arms. Hope that wherever you're ringing in 2018 that your evening is full of laughter, love, and lots of bubbly!

Image by Grace & Blush.

The Longest Day

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy Summer Solstice! To celebrate the longest day of the year, I can think of nothing more delicious than this sherry cobbler full of beautiful berries—and a little mezcal!

The Longest Day

1 1/2 oz sherry
1 oz reposado tequila
1/2 mezcal
2 blackberries
2 raspberries
1 strawberry
1 orange wheel

 Gentle muddle berries and orange wheel in a shaker, then add other ingredients with ice and shake. Strain half into a Collins glass over crushed ice and stir. Add more crushed ice and strain the remaining liquid over the top. Top with berries and an orange wheel to garnish.

Notes: Adapted slightly from an even more complex cocktail recipe, feel free to play with your spirits, swapping the reposado tequila for an añejo, going equal parts sherry and mezcal, or including a bit of sweetness if the berries aren't doing the trick. But whatever you do, raise a glass to the first official day of summer—cheers!

Image by Daniel Krieger for PUNCH.


Friday, June 2, 2017

 Cheers to Negroni Week! In honor of this classic cocktail, here's my favorite recipe.


1 1/2 oz gin
1 oz sweet vermouth
3/4 oz Campari

Stir gin, vermouth, and Campari in an ice-filled mixing glass until very cold, about 30 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Image by Peden & Munk.

Golden Ananas

Friday, May 26, 2017

Happy Memorial Day weekend! In honor of the start of summer, I'm raising a glass—or more specifically, a hollowed-out pineapple—filled with this tropical cocktail.

Golden Ananas

3/4 oz mezcal
3/4 oz aged rum
1 oz fino sherry
1 oz pineapple juice
1/4 oz cinnamon syrup

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 10–15 seconds, then strain into a highball glass or tropical fruit over crushed ice.

Notes: Spicy, sweet and sophisticated, these are my favorite kinds of tiki cocktails. Created by Lynnette Marrero of Llama Inn, the cinnamon syrup is a slightly fussy but positively essential ingredient. To make, combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water and a cinnamon stick. Let it stand for as long as you can (ideally overnight, but at least an hour), then strain and store in the fridge. Cheers!

Image by Lizzie Munro for PUNCH.

Picking the Perfect Venue

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

One of my very dearest friends just recently got engaged and I'm thrilled to be helping her scout photographers and select floral arrangements for her upcoming wedding. She wants to tie the knot in October, so we're hustling a little—but one thing that's made the planning process much easier? The future Mr and Mrs are certain about their venue: an aunt and uncle's beautiful Southern California home. 

But say you're not so sure. What's in a venue, anyway? Most magazines will tell you that choosing your venue(s) is essential to the planning process. After all, how will you know whether you can invite 30 people or 300? What sort of dress will suit the space? Will your dream of a big band and a black and white ballroom floor go in the barn you've booked? While I rarely take advice I read in magazines, this bit of guidance is super useful. But if you don't have a dreamy family estate you've already got your heart set on, how on earth do you choose where to tie the knot? 
First things first, I'd check out Wedding Wire's Venue Quiz, which will help you find the perfect space to suit your style and recommend venues in your area that fit the bill! New York, Chicago and Los Angeles brides, I've got your Wedding Wire Venue Guides right here, but no matter where you're planning to say "I do," Wedding Wire will help you find the place. Happy planning, brides-to-be! 

Image by Joseba Sandoval.


Friday, April 21, 2017

I love an innovative cocktail (citric acid instead of citrus! strawberry-thyme shrub!) as much, or admittedly perhaps more, than the next guy. But the best bartenders I know are the ones who can shake up an impeccable classic cocktail. A well-made Gimlet (especially with John's recently released Spring Gin) is one of those classics I can't get enough of lately.


2 oz gin
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 oz lime cordial

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 10–15 seconds, then strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lime wheel. 

 Notes: You can use Rose's Lime Cordial, but the homemade stuff is easy to make and so much more delicious. Simply combine several ounces of 1:1 simple syrup with the zest of 3 or 4 limes and let sit for 15–20 minutes, or until cool. Strain before using; the cordial will keep for several weeks, especially if you add a dash of vodka.

Any gin (or vodka, though I'm a gimlet purist) you like will do here, but lighter, less juniper-heavy gins might be loveliest in such a limey libation. Cheers to spring!

Image by Leslie Pariseau.

Embrace Spring

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Image by Ali Harper, bouquet by Ron Barrett.

Pineapple Milk

Friday, March 24, 2017

I haven't been around much lately, and one of the things that's been occupying my our time has been the Ann Arbor Distilling Company. John's taken the helm and is having the time of his life. For me, that means tasting gin recipes, weighing in on label designs, and enjoying cocktails by the incredible team behind the bar. Not so bad, huh? We haven't made a brandy yet, so this tiki-inspired sipper is strictly an at home indulgence—join me in one, will you?

Pineapple Milk

1 1/2 oz Brandy de Jerez
3/4 oz half and half
3/4 oz pineapple juice
1/2 oz aged rum
1/2 oz rich cane syrup
1/2 oz hazelnut cordial
1 dash cherry bitters
1 dash aromatic bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 10–15 seconds, then double strain into a punch or deep-bowled wine glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg.

Sounds heavenly, doesn't it? If you can't get your hands on some Brandy de Jerez, another brandy or cognac will do just fine. Frangelico is a popular hazelnut liqueur, but you can also make your own if you're feeling crafty. And if you feel like taking the at-home adaptation up a notch, infuse your syrup with a vanilla bean or two—cheers!

Image via BlackTail.

Written Word

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Crazy for this modern handwritten suite in classic black and white.

Suite by Written Word Calligraphy.

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