16 August 2011, written by jocelin
I’ve been into dark liquor lately and was intrigued when I came across this cocktail recipe in Andrea Reusing’s wonderful book Cooking in the Moment. She’s got a plethora of seasonal, farm-to-table recipes and lovely stories about life in North Carolina.
This is basically a Manhattan, composed of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. But Reusing replaces the typical Maraschino cherries with homemade pickled sour cherries. The deep maroon of the juice and the garnish make this drink particularly appealing.
The Homeward Angel
For Pickled Sour Cherries
makes 1 quart
1 1/4 cups rice vinegar
a few small slices of fresh ginger
15 black peppercorns
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 cups pitted fresh sour cherries (about 1 lb)
For the Cocktails
4 oz rye whiskey
1 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz orange bitters
2 splashes of cherry pickling liquid
4 Pickled Sour Cherries
1. Make the cherries the day before: In a small nonreactive saucepan, combine the vinegar, ginger, peppercorns, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water, and bring to a boil. Put the cherries in a large heatproof jar and pour the hot vinegar mixture over them, covering them completely. When they are cooled, cover and refrigerate. Let sit for at least a day.
2. Make the drinks: Pour the rye, vermouth, bitters and pickling liquid over ice in a cocktail mixer. Shake well to chill. Either strain into a chilled martini glass, or pour over ice. Garnish with 2 sour cherries.
25 July 2011, written by jocelin
Herb-infused drinks are a big part of the recent renaissance in cocktail culture. This lemonade drink is über refreshing and simple to make (if you don’t mind squeezing a lot of lemons). The base is a simple syrup made with equal parts lemon juice and sugar, and infused with fresh sprigs of rosemary. Letting it steep overnight will add an extra punch of fresh rosemary flavor.
We went to a beautiful wedding in Malibu Canyon recently and the catering was done by The Paella Project. The food was delicious and it was such a treat to see the huge pans of paella bubbling over a wood-fire during the cocktail hour. I came away with several ideas for hors d’oeuvres. They had an ingenious way of passing caprese appetizers: halve a large cherry tomato, stuff it with burrata, and drizzle with pesto. They also made these mini fig crostini that I just had to copy.
Rosemary Lemonade with Vodka
makes 8 cocktails
1 cup fresh lemon juice (approximately 10 lemons)
1 cup sugar
3 8-inch rosemary sprigs
club soda, chilled
rosemary sprigs for garnish
1. Combine lemon juice, sugar and rosemary sprigs in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Then reduce heat and simmer for two minutes. Cool completely, about one hour. If you can, chill overnight with the rosemary sprigs. If not, remove the rosemary and continue.
2. Fill glasses with ice. Pour 2 oz of vodka in each glass. Pour 2 tblsp of simple syrup in each cocktail. Top off with soda water and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
Blue Cheese and Fig Crostini
rosemary raisin crackers (like Raincoast crisps)
creamy gorgonzola cheese
dried black mission figs, halved
fresh mint leaves
1. Spread each cracker with blue cheese. Top with a half of a fig and one mint leaf.
14 March 2010, written by jocelin
Our good friends from New York stayed with us recently. Before they arrived, they sent us a really interesting and practical gift to use during their visit; shatterproof, stemless wine glasses made by Govino. Originally created as a trade tool for wine shows, Govino glasses are made from food-safe plastic, with a sleek design and a handy little thumb grip. Govino glasses are reusable and recyclable. If you are in LA, you can find them at the exceptional boutique, Silverlake Wine. Otherwise, pick up a 4-pack for $11.95 at Govino online.
They are perfect for picnics, BBQ’s and outdoor concerts. And they are a thoughtful and elegant hostess gift. Thanks Greg and Jess! Cheers!