The Monarch: A Brown-Sugar Bourbon Cocktail with Thyme and Lemon

Pouring a cocktail through a strainer into a coupe glass

Inspired by the sweet nectar of summer flowers, we created a cocktail in partnership with Heritage Distilling’s Brown Sugar Bourbon, which has notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, to which we added fresh thyme, lemon and elderflower liqueur. It’s tart, herbal, and beautifully smooth and luscious and very drinkable. After all, don’t we all deserve a little sweetness in our lives?

The French Tart – Grapefruit and Rosemary Cocktail

The French Tart - Grapefruit and Rosemary Cocktail

One of my favorite words of all time is the French word for grapefruit: Pamplemousse.

Say it! Pamplemousse. It’s hilarious, right? It sounds like it should be Liberace’s favorite color. “Why yes, we had the whole living room done in pamplemousse and mauve. It’s divine.”

I also love that it’s a pretty effective insult in French, meaning an annoying, pesky, person who is immature. And of course, it also means boobies. So many uses!

Of course the best use for un pamplemousse, as it is for most citrus in my opinion, is to juice that thang and mix it with some spirits. In this case vodka and elderflower liqueur.

The French Tart - Grapefruit and Rosemary CocktailThe French Tart - Grapefruit and Rosemary Cocktail

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Roll in the Hay: A Valentine’s Day Cocktail with Vodka, Grapefruit, Thyme and Rosé Champagne

Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktail

February, as a rule, is a hard month to love. January, at least, has the benefit of being a FRESH NEW START to the year; we can, if we’re lucky, coast on hopes, and dreams, and the sugar high from Christmas, all the way through to the 31st. And then, the next morning, we wake, mentally done with winter and ready to see the sun again, keeping our eyes closed for a few blissful seconds of ignorance before opening them to find … February. Ugh.

It’s no coincidence that Groundhog Day is right at the beginning of February. If summer is a season of Sundays, February is a month of Februaries. TS Eliot had it wrong: April would only be the cruelest month if it arrived at your door dressed as a spring maiden only to rip off its mask and yell “surprise! April Fool, motherfucker! It’s February again!”.

But it’s not all bad. If you can make it exactly halfway through, to the month’s hump-day, so to speak, you’ll hit Valentine’s Day. (Any sensible editor would absolutely forbid me from using the phrase “hump-day”, but fortunately, this blog doesn’t have one.). We’re not teddy bears and roses kind of people, but we do like a colorful drink with zesty flavors. So that’s what we wanted to blog this year: a good, tasty Valentine’s Day cocktail that you can share with a loved one, or just make for yourself. (Because YOU, my blog-reading friend, are a loved one. Yes you are, and don’t you ever forget it.)

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Strawberry-Basil Martini

Cocktail with strawberries

Strawberry-Basil Martini

It’s berry season, everyone! Sound the trumpets! Blow your kazoo! Get your strawberry costumes cleaned and pressed! 

After a long, cold winter, spring always feels like a greatest hits album of produce, with one favorite coming into season right after another. Asparagus, boom! Ramps, double boom! Green garlic! Morels! Peas! And then, when we’re all warmed up … berries

Just look at this shot of our haul from the Beacon Farmer’s Market last week. I mean, seriously, things are looking up.

Ramps, watermelon radishes, young leeks and pea shoots
Ramps, watermelon radishes, young leeks and pea shoots.

While the berries we’re growing won’t be ready for another week or two, fantastic berries are popping up at the grocery store and farmers market right now and there’s so many things we want to make with them! 

Seriously, you should see my recipe wish-list. It’s one berry dish after another, but this time we decided to kick off the season with a cocktail made with fresh strawberry syrup: a Strawberry-Basil Martini.

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Cranberry Sauce Whisky Cocktail

Cranberry Sauce Whisky Cocktail

A delicious, festive cocktail that makes excellent use of leftover cranberry sauce. A shot of bourbon adds spicy depth, along with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a splash of ginger beer. 

We all know that one of the very best parts of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. In fact, after cooking for days, cleaning the house for guests and finding a place for sixteen people to sit in our tiny living room, I’m usually so tired that I barely eat on Thursday night (except for dessert because I’d have to be fully dead to refuse a slice of Maple Cheesecake).

Luckily we always have enough of most everything for a repeat Friday night, made even more special by the fact that we can stay in our pajamas and be as messy as we please. But even after leftover night and multiple sandwiches, we often still have at least one tupperware filled with homemade cranberry sauce left.

What to do? As is the answer to so many of life’s questions: drink it.

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