Strawberries are in season. It’s time to add them to salads, desserts, breads and beverages. This Strawberry Shrub Gin Cocktail has the makings of a tasty mocktail with just the shrub base. Add to gin or a favorite spirit for a delightful seasonal cocktail to start your outdoor entertaining. Continue reading →
I want to break my dependence on single serving beverages. I get thirsty when I’m running errands so I grab an iced tea at the store. Aluminum cans and glass bottles are more readily recyclable than plastics, which I try to avoid, but I’m still contributing small containers to the huge pool of Things That Must Be Recycled. Most iced tea brands use plastic packaging; many recent articles inform us that only a small fraction of plastics are actually recycled and repurposed. Continue reading →
Pear Whiskey Sour is what I’m making this holiday season to make my spirits bright. I am toasting the upcoming year. We have just endured a year that cannot be repeated, right? I am hopeful and wanting the world to recover all that has been lost. Some things may not come back to full speed, like raucous bar behavior. Restaurant patrons, those who enjoy conversation that does not need to be shouted, will likely agree. Homemade cocktails suit me just fine for now, unless takeout is an option. Continue reading →
Homemade cocktail mixers are the most handy items taking up valued space in your fridge, ever chilled and at the ready for adding to spirits, fizzy beverages or enjoyed over ice as a solo drink. Continue reading →
Torn between having a nice hot cup of tea, because it’s winter, and a refreshing cold beverage, because it’s 60-something degrees for days on end, I decided to celebrate both drinks with a cocktail using fragrant jasmine tea, pomegranate juice and gin, shaken over ice. Continue reading →
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 →
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.
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.
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.
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.