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The Prettiest Drinky Drink

Hello, gorgeous!

I am a HUGE fan of simple, delicious, amazing cocktails. By which I mean to say, how few ingredients can we get away with and still fill our cups with an elixir that even the Gods couldn’t resist?

How about you? If you’re in that club, have I got a recipe for you! I found it when I was casting about for a cocktail to serve with Sausage Cheddar Balls (not even kidding) before a dinner of barbecue ribs and slaw with my Fella and our friend Denise Minard (yes, it was scrumptious… yes, she will vouch for that… and yes, I will post about it in future so you can give it a whirl!).

I found this recipe on the Mix That Drink website, and it seemed to fit all the usual requirements. Plus, it’s gin based (which they love and I don’t, really, but a good hostess must make the occasional concession!) AND, really the best part of all, I could use the transformational Empress Gin to make it drop dead gorgeous. Full stop on that — if you haven’t experienced the most beautiful gin on the planet, go out and get thee a bottle right now and mix it with anything acidic and prepare your jaw for dropping. It’s made with butterfly pea blossom, so changes color as acid is added…and if you layer the ingredients properly, there’s more than one color change! Try this: gin + limoncello = green + lemon juice = pink. YAY!

At any rate, it was a smash hit and summery and lovely and so I thought I’d share it here with you. You can find the recipe on my Pinterest quaffs board and I’ve even designed a little pdf you can download if you’d like something pretty to show your guests when you make it…. because you will.


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When One Doesn’t Feel Like COOKING, Exactly…

Lovely picnic to enjoy after a long day of work
Indoor picnic for two

I’m a fan of keeping a larder stocked with lots of things that make certain moments easier. Moments like ‘honey, some friends and I are on our way and everyone is famished’ or like ‘what a day, who’s cooking, oh shit it’s me’. You know those moments, or at least I’d like to think that I’m not the ONLY one with those moments. And in the spirit of sharing our superest and handiest secrets so we can all live our best lives, here’s an example of what one might do in just such a moment.

This is a dinner I threw together one bleak night after my fella and I had experienced a fairly long day. A day so long that we didn’t even want to go out and have someone else cook (!) and I couldn’t bring myself to do absolutely nothing, because doing even just a little something in the kitchen always makes me feel better. And so I turned to some tasty bits that are usually lurking in the back of the fridge and pantry to make a little something out of nothing.

First, I made a batch of tuna and chickpea salad (for which there really is no recipe, but does have lots of lemon juice and zest; chopped onion, parsley, celery and celery leaves; a bit of mustard; a good glug of olive oil and a generous amount of salt and black pepper), which you can see at the center of the board and lettuce leaves for dolloping it into and wrapping around for munching.

To the left is a dish of the most delightful Thousand Islands Dressing (recipe courtesy of Saveur) that our fridge is never without (we use it for dipping things into and spreading onto things and are always amazed at how delicious it is on EVERYTHING) and a variety of fresh veggies sprinkled around it for dunking.

To the far right is a tiny dish of the most potent Fromage Fort (from the incredible Jacques Pépin via Food and Wine, whose father made it originally by tossing bits and bobs of leftover cheese into a crock he kept in the cellar, covering them with a bit of wine and a few cloves or garlic and smooshing it around every now and again until it was spreadable). It is a truly magical recipe, as one can use any kind and amount of cheese, and it turns out differently and DELICIOUSLY each and every time. I’ve made at least a hundred batches of the stuff and I can vouch!

Thrown in some stone ground crackers, a dish of Truffled Marcona Almonds from the Trader Joe’s and a little pile of whatever charcuterie happens to be on hand, and you have yourself a perfect little picnic. We threw a blanket on the floor and opened a bottle of wine and enjoyed it tremendously.

And when you next have one of THOSE moments, I heartily encourage you to do the same!

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