Category Archives: beverages

apple ginger cocktail

Apple Ginger Cocktail

november 6, 2019

apple ginger cocktail

When you live in a state that boasts of the world’s apple capital (Winchester, Virginia), you stock up on as many apples and apple products like fresh cider and apple butter as you can during the peak season. Hoping to craft a cocktail with apple essence, I roamed the aisles of the local liquor store and found not one, but several, brands of Virginia apple brandy. The friendly sales clerk schooled me in the difference between applejack (apple plus grain spirits with a lighter flavor profile) and apple brandy ( apple cider aged and possessing a rich depth). Woods Mill Distillery in Faber, Virginia, produces a fine smoky tasting apple brandy which was used for today’s autumn cocktail. Continue reading

raspberry peach shrub with 2 ounces shrub

Raspberry Peach Shrub

july 3, 2019

raspberry peach shrub with 2 ounces shrub

Some years back, a client gave me some pamphlets touting the benefits of pure apple cider vinegar. There were hundreds of uses listed and one could never remember them all; it was overwhelming . Household uses were listed with abandon. Although it seems a waste to use pure organic apple cider for cleaning (that’s what white vinegar is ideally suited to accomplish), I do use it for cooking and livening up both sweet and savory dishes. And I drink just a little bit each and every day.

Continue reading

Meyer Lemon Whiskey Cocktail

february 20, 2019

meyer lemon whiskey cocktail

Strolling the market aisles, there it is. That unmistakable perfume of Meyer lemons. A cross between lemons and mandarin oranges, these beauties are both tart and sweet, adding depth to any recipe calling for either lemons or oranges. They have a short season, and that’s a good thing, for prolonged exposure means wearying of their charms and taking them for granted.

Continue reading

cinnamon chile hot chocolate

Cinnamon Chile Hot Chocolate

december 13, 2018

cinnamon chile hot chocolate

Remember making hot chocolate from scratch the first time? I grew up on those little packets of hot cocoa mix and occasionally added flavor or texture, but to me that premade mix defined my hot chocolate experience. Until I really grew up, and started making this cozy winter beverage with chocolate and milk.

Continue reading

smoky tequila cider cocktail

Smoky Tequila Cider Cocktail

november 2, 2018

smoky tequila cider cocktail

 

A well-crafted cocktail (or mocktail) is a refreshing start to dinner. You can’t go wrong by following the seasons and employing ingredients that speak to whatever nature is serving up, so local apple cider is the star of this fall beverage.

Continue reading

Strawberry Tarragon Lime Cocktail

may 17, 2018

strawberry tarragon lime cocktail

And just like that, it’s summer. We may have a month to go by the calendar, but when the temperature climbs and air conditioners kick on ( with more than a little grumbling that it’s May, dangit, and why can’t we wait until June?), we long for great outdoor dining adventures. Pretty lights strung up between trees, the first fireflies of the season and a light breeze rustling the leafy trees. Yep, it’s time to dine and entertain on the deck, in the yard and on the screen porch.

Continue reading

Blood Orange Black Pepper Cocktail

february 28, 2018

blood orange black pepper cocktail

Blood orange season is mercifully brief. Don’t assume I dislike this deep red tart fruit, but its short run at the markets assures that I indulge while available and pine for its presence once it disappears from the market shelves. I like seasonality and I like to miss things and not take them for granted. Moro oranges are like that for me. I suppose I could purchase the juice in a jar, but then I would miss the opportunity to slice into ruby flesh and fill my kitchen with the unmistakeable aroma of winy blood orange. Continue reading

Lemon Ginger Cocktail

december 26, 2017

lemon ginger cocktail

 

Do you love ginger beer with its nose-tickling heat and sweet? You will love this cocktail. Tis the season for holiday entertaining and this cocktail pairs well with crunchy, creamy, salty, chewy nibbles of all kinds. Your guests will think you’ve been toiling for hours, but just a little prep ahead of  time makes for a last minute assembly of a stunning libation. Continue reading

Moonshine Melon Mint Cocktail

may 12, 2017

moonshine melon mint cocktail

 

Is it summer yet? The calendar may not agree with my assessment, but in Richmond summer appeared sometime in February, when we passed the 80 degree mark, and in April when we soared into the nineties. A stout refusal to turn on the air conditioning (in April!) got me thinking about ways to cool off in front of a fan on the back deck as I fired up the grill.

Continue reading

Apples and Oranges Cocktail

december 2, 2016

apples and oranges cocktail

 

 

Forget everything you ever heard or read about moonshine. Forget the still-in-the-woods scenario, the comical backwoods fellers trying to stay one step ahead of the revenuers (think Andy of Mayberry), the shadowy figures skulking around parking lots peddling their hootch.

Continue reading