Friday, May 23, 2014

There and back.

A lot has happened over my three month (or so) hiatus. A major relationship that largely defined my 20s came to a close. It was a difficult decision but the instant feeling of lightness it brought made me realize that it was the right decision, and how much I had been internalizing. Closing that chapter brought on a renewed commitment to listen to my gut, and less to give in to my tendency toward guilt.

I needed a little break. Now I’m back! Also, I just finally got internet again!

If you are reading this, you probably already know what I’ve been up to, of late. Hello friends! And I literally mean hello, friends - and not in the Internet community sense – but you my every day friends, who are almost exclusively my readership. (You guys are the best.)

I’ve said goodbye to a few things lately. Some I will miss more than others.

This neighborhood, with both so many fond childhood memories, as well as so many more memories made over the past year:

Simon. So photogenic. My Instagram feed will miss you. You are an asshole, but so handsome on camera:

This sweet house:

I hope to someday feel for somebody in the way I fall so hard for places.

I traveled down to South America for a spell. Wandered the streets and nooks and crannies of Santiago feeling my feelings, mostly of heartache. In part because I never had a truly good Pisco Sour.

Went on to Valparaíso, perhaps the most highly talked up city in Chile. Hiked through the incredible street art with my four new best friends:

Because all prior planning ended with Valpa, I followed my cute Swiss travel buddy to Buenos Aires. It felt like the whole world existed in that city. Also, the town was my culinary soul mate.

Finally, I spent four days straight drunk on red wine and teetering around the streets of Mendoza and Maipu via crappy old bikes. Popped back over the Andes for one last night in Santiago before returning home.

And now? With summer just around the corner I’m back to my day job and vermouth cocktails. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cocchi Vermouth di Torino apéritif

I have a serious case of the Februaries. Can't shake 'em. I have ordered Indian take-out for dinner two of the past few nights. Three nights out of the past week if that statistic makes the case for restraint. And believe me, it did take restraint.  To my credit, I once branched out and ordered a new (to me) dish. I guess what I am trying to say is that I am not completely in a rut. But it is February. 

Did I mention it's also Monday?

Now seems like as good a time as any to introduce you to my favorite aperitif, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino. Have you tried it? This red vermouth follows the regional tradition of fortifying Moscato wine. Initially sweet and subtle, the finish is slightly bitter and earthy. I like the add a few dashes of Angostura bitters for a deeper, more complex flavor. Fragrant lemon peel rounds out the aperitif. It's as simple as that. 

Cocchi Vermouth di Torino apéritif
4 dashes Angostura bitters
2 ounces Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
lemon peel to garnish

Combine Angostura bitters and Cocchi Vermouth di Torino over ice. Stir until chilled. Serve over ice in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a generous lemon peel. Orange peel would also be nice.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Beer Cocktail Roundup

What do you know, the Seahawks have finally made it back to the Superbowl. While I can't pretend to feign an interest in football, all the buzz has done wonders for my social metrics at my day job. It also feeds into my unbridled love of all things Seattle. 

Time to let loose my affinity for beer cocktails! And bean dip. All seven layers of it.

Beer is a beautiful component in many a cocktail. Similar to bubbles such as prosecco, the beer add a festive effervescence to the glass. The hops bring really great citrus and bitter notes. Below I have compiled three of my favorite cocktails featuring beer. Try one - or all - of them out game day. Go Hawks!

Campari & IPA Sprtizer
1 ounce Campari

3 ounces IPA beer (quarter bottle)
lemon slice to garnish

Fill glass with ice. Pour Campari over ice, then slowly top off with beer. Twist lemon slice over the glass, rub around the rim, and drop into the glass to serve. Try swapping grapefruit for the lemon for more complex flavor.

1 ounce tequila
2-6 jalapeno slices
4 small sprigs cilantro
1/2 ounce Amaro Ciociaro
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ounce IPA
lime section to garnish

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the tequila with 1-3 slices jalapeno peppers and 2 sprigs cilantro. Add the Amaro Ciociaro and lime juice, and shake. Serve over ice in a highball glass. Layer in remaining jalapeno and cilantro with ice. Top with IPA.

Beer Margaritas
1 1/2 ounces tequila
Barspoon Licor 43
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
lime wedge to garnish

Shake all ingredients (excluding garnish) over ice. Serve over ice in a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a lime wedge. Or check out this recipe for quick and dirty pitcher of beer margarita.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

hot toddy with bourbon and bitters

Though there is no one correct way to make a hot toddy, I have always secretly considered myself a purest. Bourbon, lemon, honey and hot water. It was only a matter of time before some tantalizing bitters would woo me and set me straight. 

Grand Classico Bitters. What a name! Of Swiss origin, Grand Classico strikes a pleasant balance between sweet and bitter. It offers a similar flavor profile to Campari, albeit less distinctive. 

In a hot toddy, the herbal undertone of the Grand Classico stand in for the tea often used in the drink. The sweet notes play nice with the complex flavors of a good honey, and compliment the smokiness of the bourbon. 

Grand Classico Hot Toddy
1 ounce Grand Classico bitters
1/2 ounce bourbon
juice of half a lemon
barspoon honey, or more to taste
boiling water

Combine Grand Classico, bourbon, juice of half a lemon and honey to taste in your favorite mug. Pour in boiling water, stirring to combine. 

Now go and curl up on the couch with this guy.