I will admit it – I have a lot of bottles in my bar, but probably 80% of the time when I want to make a drink, I can’t be bothered to recall a complicated cocktail recipe, and I’m certainly not going to thumb through my many cocktail books to find something I can make with what I have on hand. Often its just me, or myself and one other person, and I (we) just want something quick, easy and tasty without much fuss. That’s the idea behind this new feature – something you can make with just two ingredients, that takes about three seconds, but is still imbibe-worthy. Read More
Phew, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? As it turns out, recovering from surgery is harder than it looks. Crutches, too. Luckily, it’s given me a chance to reset a bit, including taking a break from imbibing much at all (after all, alcohol and crutches don’t mix well). I thought, for my (re) debut post, then, I’d give you something that’s equally delicious with or without the booze, and which oozes with the mellow brightness of spring sun.
Vin d’Orange, or The Best Stuff I’ve Ever Made (and I’ve made a lot)
I first started seeing (or started noticing) house-made Vin d’Orange on bar menus in the past few months at places like Penrose and Pizzaiolo here in Oakland and, being a fan of anything slightly bitter, slightly sweet, fragrant and low alcohol, immediately became obsessed. Imagine my unfettered delight when I discovered just how easy it is to make at home, and more happily, that it was smack in the middle of the short-lived Seville orange season, the key ingredient in this incredibly fragrant and refreshing aperitif.
What to drink when you’re down for the count
The first time I fell – and I mean really fell – I was eighteen and volunteering rebuilding hiking trails at a state park in Tennessee. It was a mid-summer evening, sweltering and humid, and we were racing down the trail to throw ourselves in the river and wash away the day’s work. I didn’t see a root protruding into the trail, and suddenly I was on the ground, my ankle immediately swollen to the size of a softball. Thanks to my exceptional capacity for loud bellowing, which, incidentally, only activates when I’m injured, within a few seconds everyone else in a three mile radius knew that I’d fallen, too.
Aquavit, or what to drink in a viking burial mound
When I was in college, I spent a semester in Denmark studying architecture. Part of our education was to pile into those tourist busses with the grey and maroon carpeted seats and be driven around to endless architecturally significant landmarks, where we’d tumble out, sketch furiously for 40 minutes, then pile back on to the bus. Often these were day trips, requiring us to get there before daybreak, returning home long after dark with notebooks full of our visual education. A few times though we’d take longer trips, driving off the island of Sealand and onto the peninsula (which involved driving the bus onto a ferry, which we all thought was super cool), or even further afield to places like Berlin and Amsterdam, endlessly exposed to the richness of the built, European world.