Tom Collins

Friday, August 11, 2023

My cocktail of choice this summer? A classic Tom Collins. I've written it off in years past, but boozy sparkling lemonade has been hitting the spot at the end of these too-hot days.

Tom Collins

2 oz gin
1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
soda water

Combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 10–15 seconds, then strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with soda water.

While the "Tom" in Tom Collins refers to Old Tom gin, you can use whatever brand and style you like in this libation. I've been loving Percy's New England Dry Gin (named for our pup), but then I'm a bit biased! You can also make this cocktail even simpler by picking up a canned sparkling lemonade (I like San Pellegrino and Fever Tree) and simply adding your gin of choice. Cheers!

Image by Mark Weinberger.

Dorothy and John

Monday, December 26, 2022

A wedding in a winter wonderland? Maybe I've forgotten about how cold it can be, but I'm absolutely bewitched by this snow-covered celebration! Dorothy and John were married at the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole, WY; in an nod to the striking winter landscape, their invitation suite by Carrot & Stick Press featured a single aspen branch. The bride wore an architectural Angel Sanchez gown paired with an Anya Hindmarch rabbit fur coat and silver Hunter wellies, while her maid of honor and flower girls wore dresses in shades of slate. Flower Hardware's Cecelia Heffernan composed bouquets of white and green ranunculus, dusty miller, silver berzilia, and ornithogalum, then filled low vases with garden roses, white tulips and dahlias. After an intimate ceremony, guests warmed up at dinner and delighted in a dessert buffet featuring berry and lemon tarts and a buttercream wedding cake. 

Muletide Cocktail

Friday, December 18, 2020


A festive riff on a spicy Mezcal Mule? Don't mind if I do! 


Muletide Cocktail

 1 1⁄2 oz mezcal (Miracle uses Del Maguey Vida)
3⁄4 oz Amontillado sherry
3⁄4 oz ginger syrup
1⁄2 oz fresh lemon juice
1⁄2 oz allspice liqueur

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 10–15 seconds, then strain into a rocks glass over a single large ice cube. Twist a lemon peel over the cocktail to extract the oils, then discard.


Notes: A medium-dry sherry, Amontillado is one of our favorite fortified wines. Lustau's is affordable and easy to find, but a good liquor store will also carry St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram, aka Christmas in a Bottle and a critical Tiki ingredient. Although you can buy good ginger syrup, it's also a snap to make at home. Roughly peel several pieces of ginger, then finely grate before pressing through a cheesecloth to extract as much liquid as possible (or just juice them). Measure, then slowly add double the volume of granulated sugar to liquid, whisking together to dissolve the sugar before using.

Recipe by Joann Spiegel  of  Miracle , Photo by  Eric Medsker.

A Thanksgiving Tipple

Friday, November 15, 2019

If you're a planner like me, I'll bet you've already started drafting your Thanksgiving menu. I have a spreadsheet I dust off each year so I can revisit favorites and swap in new recipes—like this Calvados cocktail!

Jacques Rose

2 oz Calvados
1/2 oz grenadine
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 oz demerara syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 10–15 seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.

A riff on the classic Jack Rose cocktail made with American apple brandy, this recipe swaps in the French version for a little upgrade—just the sort of thing that's perfect for Thanksgiving. Do your Calvados a favor though and make sure you spring for the good grenadine (we're partial to Small Hand Foods) or try making your own. Cheers!

Image by Emma Janzen for Imbibe. 


Friday, November 1, 2019

Shoes in repose are stunning, but this gorgeous action shot by Jamie Beck is simply divine! Tell me, what's your favorite pair of dancing shoes? P.S. I'm visiting with Chelsea of Buckets and Bunches where we're drooling over more gorgeous shoes, and sharing a scone with Nikki at Perpetually Engaged today; I'd love if you came to visit!


Saturday, September 21, 2019

 “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” 

Albert Camus 

Autumn Mimosa

Friday, September 20, 2019

I'm off to Paris and then St Petersburg today, and I could think of no better way to celebrate the trip than with a mimosa! This tipple, flavored with burnt orange and vanilla, embraces a fall palette to match the cozy sweaters and shiny loafers I can't wait to wear to the archives!

Autumn Mimosa

3 1/2 oz Lillet
1 3/4 oz burnt orange and vanilla bean syrup
3 drops orange blossom water
sparkling wine

Combine Lillet, orange and vanilla syrup and orange blossom water in a small carafe and stir. Pour Champagne into four flutes and top with Lillet mixture to taste. Garnish with orange twist.

Notes: Burnt orange and vanilla bean syrup is available from The Simple Syrup Co., but you can also make your own by infusing a rich 1:1 syrup with orange peels and a vanilla bean pod until gently caramelized, or simply adding a bit of vanilla to your simple syrup. Cheers!

Image by John Laurie.

The Jungle Bird

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

 I won't say that summer's almost over, but with Labor Day weekend fast approaching and Back to School shopping in full swing, it certainly feels like the season is coming to a close. To celebrate the end of August and the end of a busy summer, I plan on pouring these Campari-and-rum cocktails at our regular Saturday night supper—and maybe at our Labor Day BBQ, too!

The Jungle Bird

1 1/2 oz dark or blackstrap rum 
3/4 oz Campari
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz syrup
1 1/2 oz pineapple juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 10–15 seconds, then strain over ice into a tiki mug or rocks glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and orange slice. 

Straight from the 1970s, Beachbum Berry's Intoxica traces the Jungle Bird to the Aviary Bar in the Kuala Lumpur Hilton. It's one of only a handful of tiki concoctions that calls for Campari as an ingredient, giving the rich tipple a lovely bitter edge that'll turn Negroni drinkers into tiki fans with a single sip. Cheers!

The Art of Marriage

Thursday, February 14, 2019

"The Art of Marriage" by Wilferd A. Peterson

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.

In the art of marriage, the little things are the big things...

It is never being too old to hold hands. 

It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.

It is at no time taking each other for granted.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.

It is standing together facing the world.

It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice,
but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude 
in thoughtful ways.

It is not looking for perfection in each other.

It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding, and a sense of humor.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which to grow.

It is finding room for things of the spirit.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is establishing a relationship in which independence is equal, dependence is mutual and
obligation is reciprocal.

It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.

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 any 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.


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