Mulled Wine

Friday, November 27, 2015

It's nearly December, and the holiday season is in full swing. John and I strongly believe that hosts should get a chance to eat, drink and socialize, so we're big fans of beautiful punches that keep you from spending the whole night tending bar. This mulled wine recipe is perfect for whatever holiday celebrations are coming your way, and will keep you warm no matter the weather!

Mulled wine
(for a crowd)

20 whole cloves
2 tangerines, clementines, or small oranges
2 bottles red wine
3 cups apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
2 green cardamom pods, cracked
2 cups tawny Port
Optional: 8 Lady apples
8 cinnamon sticks 

Press 10 cloves into each small citrus; place in a large pot with wine, apple cider, Lady apples, 2 cinnamon sticks, and cardamom pods. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat; cook gently for 20 minutes. Stir in port, then divide among glasses. Garnish with mulled Lady apple and/or cinnamon sticks.

Notes: Though Lady apples won't make or break this libation, they make such a darling addition to this recipe that I can't imagine leaving them out (provided you have the perfect glasses to show them off in). You can brew this up to 2 hours in advance, and rewarm as your guests arrive–cheers, and happy holidays!

Image by Ditte Isager, recipe from Bon Appétit.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."

-W.T. Purkiser

Image by Elisabeth Messina.

Cozy Up

Friday, November 20, 2015

I haven't completely embraced the shrub, but I put my toe in the water with this tangerine and chamomile cocktail and wasn't sorry. Plus, this libation can be batched, making it easy to share an after-work drink!

Cozy Up for Two
4 oz chamomile-tangerine syrup
3 oz white balsamic vinegar
4 oz gin
Cava or sparkling wine 
Combine ingredients in a swing-top bottle or mason jar. Gently swirl to combine, and refrigerate for up to 4 days. To serve, top 2 3/4 oz tangerine-chamomile shrub with cava in a coupe glass.

Notes: To make the chamomile-tangerine syrup, combine 1 cup of sugar and 3/4 cup of water in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer and stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Take off the heat and add 4 chamomile tea bags, zest of 2 tangerines, and 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed tangerine juice. Steep tea for 6 minutes, then cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for up to 30 days–cheers!

Image and recipe from Stir and Strain.

Fall Monty

Friday, November 13, 2015

Another Applejack cocktail, the Fall Monty is perfect for a crowd!

Fall Monty

15 oz amontillado sherry
5 oz applejack
5 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 oz cinnamon syrup
5 lemons
3/4 cup of sugar
10 oz strong tea–preferably Roobis
1 bottle Spanish cider

  Peel the lemons, carefully avoiding the pith; add peels to sugar in a large bowl and gently muddle. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. Add the tea and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add sherry, applejack, lemon juice, and cinnamon syrup; discard lemon peels and stir to combine. Pour into a punch bowl, and chill. Immediately before serving, add cider. Garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick and apple slices.

Notes: To make cinnamon syrup, add 2 parts sugar to 1 part water in a pot over medium-low heat. Add handful of crushed cinnamon sticks and heat until sugar is dissolved. Allow to sit for a minimum of 8 hours, then remove cinnamon. Bottle and store in the refrigerator; add a small amount of vodka to stabilize the syrup. And cinnamon syrup isn't just for fall cocktails–though it's definitely divine in them; use it on pancakes or French toast, sweeten your tea, or add a little kick to mulled cider or wine. Cheers!

Image by Daniel Krieger, recipe from PUNCH.

Apple Crisp

Friday, November 6, 2015

A simple fall cocktail that's perfect whatever the weather.

Apple Crisp 
1 1/2 oz applejack
1 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sparkling cider
Crab apple, for garnish

Combine Applejack, Cointreau, and lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Shake for 5-10 seconds, then strain over ice into a tall glass. Top with sparkling cider and garnish with half a crab apple.

Notes: Laird's isn't the only company that makes applejack, but they've been doing it the longest. Applejack was hugely important to the American colonial economy, and even served as payment for New Jersey road builders! These days though, it's the perfect spirit for fall–cheers!

Image by Svend Lindbaek.

The Retro Bar Cart

Thursday, November 5, 2015

There's one thing my mother-in-law and I are always on the hunt for: the perfect bar cart. It must be well-proportioned, the right shade of brass, and hold enough bottles to make it a practical. Anyone who's gotten a peek at our liquor cabinet understands this particular dilemma.

When I spotted the Mid-Century Brass Bar Cart at Chairish, I was hooked–the classic oval cart fashioned out of solid brass and mirror glass was a dream! And though the price tag might be a bit steep for a graduate student's budget, I've pulled together some accessories that will make any place feel like your favorite retro watering hole–starting with that amazing pineapple tumbler from W&P Designs! As far as I'm concerned, every bar needs a really lovely rum, plenty of chilled coupe glasses for daiquiris, and vintage cocktail books, as much for inspiration as for the recipes themselves. 

Tell me, what does your bar need?

A New Place

Monday, November 2, 2015

 Well, not surprisingly, I have not been the most diligent blogger in recent weeks (months). Chalk it up to adjusting to a new city, a new state, and an entirely different day-to-day. Also trying to read hundreds of pages every week. But in many ways, I feel like we're finding our stride. We can drive to the grocery store without directions, and nod knowingly when someone mentions a major thoroughfare. We have established our routines, and I am not completely paralyzed by fear every time I begin an assignment or write an email. I can find a University building–with the help of a map!

But we're adjusting to this place in fits and spurts, and I'll admit that John's far better at this than I. I miss our old apartment, and its gorgeous light. I miss knowing where to find the best croissants (Tartine, bien sûr!) even if I rarely dragged myself across town to get them. I miss the chais and the juices and the salads and the produce. Oh, the produce! And I miss my teams–our closest friends, my professional pals, and a city full of reasonably like-minded people who share the knowledge of a place. I wouldn't say we've quite found that yet. But I'm certain that, in time, we will. And in the meantime, I feel really lucky to have John as my partner in every sense of the word.

But tell me, how are you? How has fall been treating you?

The Poisoned Apple

Friday, October 30, 2015

Whether you're hosting a Halloween party or handing out candy, Saturday will likely call for a cocktail. Dry ice chips make this drink eye-catching, but it's what lurks beneath–a combination of tequila and apple cider–that'll really set the tone for your evening!

The Poisoned Apple

2 oz apple cider
1 oz pomegranate juice
2 oz tequila 
dry ice

Combine apple cider, pomegranate juice, and tequila in a shaker with ice; shake for 5-10 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with several small chips of dry ice just before serving.

Cheers, and happy Halloween!

Purity of the Turf

Friday, September 18, 2015

Big Ten football may not be terribly popular amongst doctoral musicology students (with one notable exception in our program, at least), but hardly anyone is anti-gin. Here's hoping this zippy cocktail will help earn us some new friends in Michigan!

Purity of the Turf

1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz Dolin dry vermouth
1/2 oz rhubarb syrup
2 dashes orange bitters

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice; stir until chilled. Strain over ice into an old-fashioned glass; garnish with an orange peel.

Notes: This cocktail is a rhubard-infused take on a classic Martinez (which I especially like with tequila) is fresh and spirited. To make rhubard syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan with 4 parts chopped rhubarb. Simmer until deep pink, then let cool and strain.

Image by Daniel Krieger.

To Autumn

Monday, September 14, 2015

  Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
        Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
    Conspiring with him how to load and bless
        With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
    To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
        And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
            To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
        And still more, later flowers for the bees,
        Until they think warm days will never cease,
            For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
    Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
        Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
    Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
        Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
    Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
        Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
            Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
    And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
        Steady thy laden head across a brook;
        Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
            Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
    Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
        Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
    While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
        And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
    Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
        Among the river sallows, borne aloft
            Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
    And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
        Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
        The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
           And gathering swallows twitter in the skies. 

John Keats (1795-1821) 

Image by Elisa Bricker.

Back to School

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hello from Michigan!

We've arrived, unpacked our boxes, and survived the crush of emotions, frustrations and weight-lifting that moving demands. I made it through theory and ear training placement exams, and am registered for classes, which start today. We're still very much fish out of water, but at least now we know where the Brita pitcher is, so to speak. And with September arrived and school now in session, I can't help but dream of bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils, shiny back-to-school loafers and football games in the crisp autumn air.

Tell me, what have you been up to?

We're Moving!

Monday, August 10, 2015

It's been in the works for a while, but I'm finally ready to share our big news–we're moving to Michigan!

Why would an East Coaster and her Texan leave San Francisco and relocate to the Midwest, you might ask? Since graduating with my Masters a few years ago, I've wanted to study musicology. In fact, in my first job interview, I was asked what I planned to be doing five years from then; I confidently replied that I would be enrolled in a doctoral program studying musicology. This February will mark five years from that conversation, and I'm so thrilled to say that I'm exactly where I'd hoped I would be.

For some time, John and I have felt ready to leave San Francisco, but now that we're just a few weeks from our departure date, we have mixed emotions about saying goodbye to the city where we've lived since college. We'll miss the incredible California produce and our favorite local shops. We'll be sad to say farewell to San Francisco City Hall where we tied the knot five years ago, and to the community we've built in the years since. It will break our hearts to wave goodbye to the dear friends we've made here. But despite how difficult it will be to leave, I feel so lucky to be pursuing my passion, and to have a partner who supports me in that.

I don't know quite what's in store for the future of A Crimson Kiss, but I would imagine the next few weeks will be radio silent as we trek, unpack and settle in. This will always be a place where I come to find inspiration, so while you might not see a daily post, I can promise you haven't seen the last of the loveliness in this space!

So it's onto a new adventure, a new state, a new job, a new beginning!

Photo of South Manitou Island, MI by Weber Photography

Dark & Stormy

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Dark & Stormy is a classic cocktail requiring minimal effort for a lovely, low-key afternoon.

Dark & Stormy

2 oz dark rum
4 oz ginger beer
1/2-1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice (optional)
lime wheel, for garnish

Combine rum, ginger beer and lime juice in a Collins glass with ice; garnish with lime wheel.

Notes: The trick to a truly transcendent Dark & Stormy is the right balance between the rich rum and spicy ginger beer. Gosling's Black Seal and Barritt's Ginger Beer, both from Bermuda, are the classic pairing (and in fact, Gosling's is the rum of record for this drink), but a funky dark rum and peppy ginger beer will marry beautifully as long as you're careful with your proportions. The lime isn't traditional, but it sure is tasty as far as I'm concerned. Cheers!

Image by Daniel Krieger.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

This week I'm loving taking advantage of everything San Francisco has to offer in the month of August (rosé, avocado toast, stone fruit, oh my!), a fantastic dinner with new friends, and lots of beautiful bits from around the internet. Some of my favorites are below!

Image by Jodi Miller, navy and white suite by Brown Linen Design.

A Beautiful Morning

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

 I don't often post engagement shoots, but these images by Eric Kelley were simply too gorgeous not to share. Here's hoping we all have a few mornings this beautiful.

P.S. A peek at their classic Southern celebration.

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