My Perfect Old Fashioned

Ok, I’ve been thinking about this for you. Ready?…

Old Fashioned

10 great ways to spend your time:

  1. Watching the Food Network on the treadmill. (Seriously, you get some great recipe ideas with the added benefit of being a boss.)
  2. Trolling
  3. Wandering around a city – new or old
  4. Making a pitcher of cocktails for your friends, because they’ll love you, duh. (The 712 CocktailThe Gin Sour, or The Cinnamon Cidercane would be a great place to start.)
  5. Planning a road trip
  6. Re-watching all of the old Arrested Development
  7. Perusing thrift stores
  8. Lounging on the roof with wine and cheese (Once a week? Twice? No one’s judging.)
  9. Going to a free salsa/swing dancing night and resultingly either embracing how ridiculous you are or flaunting your sweet new moves ;)
  10. Spending an entire week perfecting an Old Fashioned

Definitely time well-spent.

I’ve done all of those pretty recently, but I need someone to keep me accountable for #4, #7, and #9 soon. Any takers?  #10 happened last week in LA with my family. Man, I love my family. Do other families do this? I mean if the first Old Fashioned wasn’t quite right, we have to make a second…obviously. And the second was good but could’ve used a little more bitters, soooo… And then I honestly just wanted to become pro behind the bar, so my family lovingly endured another few Old Fashioneds throughout the course of the week. And I think we came away with something pretty great here.

Easy Cocktail

Here’s what I did:

Old Fashioned

In a tumbler, stir together:
-1 oz. simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water boiled, cooled)
-4 dashes of angostura bitters (ends up being about 6 drops)
-3 oz. (2 shots) of good bourbon

Drop in:
-2 jarred sour cherries (like Morello, or another tart preserved cherry. *Just DON’T use maraschino…unless you’re that one person who likes them and can’t give it up for some weird reason.)
-a few cubes of ice

Obviously this is all to your liking – if you like it a little sweeter, try more simple syrup. Try more or less bitters (I happen to think 4 dashes is great, but some people like 2 and my mom likes 5). Try different kinds of bitters. Try it with an orange twist. Try it in a box. Try it with a fox. Just don’t dye it green ;)

*French phrase for fun:

Je ne les aime pas, moi, je m’appelle Sam.

I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Sweet Tea Mint Juleps

Controversial topic alert!…

 Sweet Tea Mint Juleps

How do y’all feel about country music? Yep, I’m finally broaching the subject here. I gather it’s usually a love it or hate it situation, but isn’t there a “tolerate it but wouldn’t listen to it on my own” crowd? I used to be in that last category until I started sharing a car with my mom when I was living in California. Sometimes we’d switch it up, but I know she prefers the country radio station, so that was on all. the. time. (Looooove you, Mom.)  Admittedly not my favorite thing at first – I didn’t do well with the super twangy, “beer and fishin” type songs (still don’t actually), but I did start to find some gems that I really enjoyed in the Keith Urban, The Band Perry, and Thompson Square genre. And then, slowly but surely I started listening to it on my own and discovering much much more.

I think I really love country music because it’s just honest, straight-shooting music that makes you feel good. Lots of ballads which are usually about love or heartbreak and songs just celebrating the countryside or summertime. It’s the perfect thing to listen to say when you’re enjoying a wonderfully refreshing cocktail out on the balcony as the sun sets…perhaps when you’re enjoying a Sweet Tea Mint Julep?  :)

E's roof

Don’t stop now! Keep reading…

FLAMING Cocktails! Caipirinhas!

Let’s make phenomenal cocktails. Not only delicious, but fun and FLAMING! Can I get an “AMEN SISTAH”?! Why this is awesome should go without saying. FIRE. We’re going to set our drinks on FIRE.


Summertime is simply glorious for cocktails namely because of all of the patios, balconies, pools, and hopefully beaches on which they will be consumed. You have the sun on your (sun-screened) face, a good friend to talk with, a magazine or book to read, some sweet jamz, an ice-cold cocktail in your hand, and not a worry in the world. (Try this Lemon Thyme cocktail or The 712 cocktail!)

Speaking of sweet jamz (no, that “z” was not a typo before – sorry I’m not sorry), if you haven’t heard “Brave” by Sara Bareilles, you need to turn up the volume and listen to it now! Or listen to it again. And again…


Don’t stop! Keep reading…

Cinnamon Cidercane Cocktail

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy. It hit a lot of places very hard (New York City is still out of power for goodness sake), but the fact of the matter is that DC proper was utterly unaffected. As a result, I got two slightly rainy and windy days off of work. I had almost forgotten the sweet excitement of a childhood snow day living on the east coast. (This sort of thing never happens in Southern California.)

So what does one do with two free play days?…make delicious fall cocktails, of course!

When everything was looking bleak, I called my parents who were staying in DC for a few days (admittedly not the best time for a visit), and when I mentioned to them the idea that Caitlyn and I had to stay in for a festive drink party, they were totally on board – one might even say encouraging :) Best parents. Ever.

Fun fact: liquor stores stay open on a hurricane day, but only for a limited time, so throw on any clothes that will withstand the weather, and get there before they close!!!

With Maker’s Mark in hand, the Cinnamon Cidercane was born. Some cider, a little consult from a cocktail enthusiast suggesting toasted cashews, some maple syrup, cinnamon, and bourbon, and you’re in business.

Don’t stop now! Keep reading…

A Little Something to Make Huge Sweeping Changes Less Scary

So I’m in the process of moving. Now that I officially got a job (yay!), it’s REAL. IT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENING! I’m very excited, but it’s also crazy! And my first major concern about the whole matter- a place to live?…nah. A second job to pay the rent?…meh. A one-way plane ticket?…(a close second). But my NUMBER ONE concern…do I bring all of my beautiful dijon Le Creuset cast iron cookware, my Cuisinart food processor, my Kitchen Aid?!!??!!

It’s obviously all stuff that I can’t reeeaaally live without, buuuuuuut they’re all BIG ticket items, and this is a pretty far move. I don’t really see myself packing all of that up in the two suitcases I’ll be bringing back with me…I would DIE. I’ll figure it out though.

And it’s rare I can’t fall asleep within a minute of my red head hitting the pillow, but these kinds of questions dancing in my head (sadly, not the same as sugar plums) have kept me up. But never fear, the Cocoa Cafe Delight is here to help sweeten and relax any evening!

I concocted this simple cocktail last week, and yum. It’s exactly what the ladies and I needed. It’s:

-2 parts strong coffee

-1 part milk

-1 part vodka (missing from the photo above, I know)

-1 part creme de cocoa

-2 spoonfuls of chocolate syrup

Stir with ice, and drizzle a little extra syrup on top for fun! :) Santé!

**My day in French:

J’ai eu l’entretien, obtenu le poste, et célébré avec un bon verre!

I had the interview, got the job, and celebrated with a nice drink!