• alcoholic,  infused syrups

    Rosemary + Gin Cocktail

    What time is it? It’s cocktail o’clock, of course! So bring on the Rosemary + Grapefruit Gin Cocktail! Why this combo?  Because I love gin. Aaaaand my rosemary bush needs a trimming. If you read my post on Rosemary Not-So-Simple Syrup, you may have wondered where I was going with that. Well, my fellow imbibers, here we are. I introduce to you the Rosemary + Grapefruit Gin Cocktail. I recommend you use freshly squeezed juice. Do not misunderstand me–I totally get that sometimes we need shortcuts. And there are plenty of good store-bought options. But if you’re up to it and you have the time, squeeze the citrus yourself.  Ripe…

  • infused syrups

    Rosemary Not-So-Simple Syrup 

    “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember.” Ophelia, Hamlet, Act IV, scene V. Rosemary. Even the most delicate brush against this woody evergreen releases a waft of fragrance. Similar to pine and eucalyptus, it is intensely aromatic, nay potent. So potent that it purportedly increases our memory. Substantiated or not, its tenacious oil refuses to be ignored.  Rosemary’s first culinary uses trace back 2,500 years ago.  The ancient Greeks believed it helped improve memory + concentration + digestion + circulation. It is even alluded to in the Bible.  So how does rosemary’s potency translate into a sweet syrup? Beautifully, I must say, and in various + sundry ways.   Other…

  • alcoholic,  tincture

    Spicy Pineapple + Jalapeño Margarita

    Occasionally, at the end of the work week, I gather my tribe for a postmortem rendezvous. Our primary focus, of course, is to ruminate the meaning of life. And during our meetings we may imbibe elixirs that make us sound brilliant (at least we think so). After all, we have had a lot of epistemological practice. Some might even say we are PROFESSIONAL philosophers. Today I reveal a brilliant revelation: why wait till the end of the week to drink solve the world’s problems? Doesn’t the world need our sagacity every day? So I share with you the most momentous decision you can make any day of the week: to…

  • alcoholic,  infused syrups

    Dirty Dalmatian

    Have you ever laid your lips on a cocktail, and your first thought is, “Uh-oh”?  As in, “Uh-oh, this concoction has some kick to it!” or “Uh-oh, I may end up drinking quite a few of these!” or “Uh-oh, these Dirty Dalmatians won’t last very long around here!” Meet your new best friend—the Dirty Dalmatian. This Dirty Dalmatian is a complementary amalgamation of Black Peppercorn Not-So-Simple Syrup and fresh Ruby Red grapefruit juice. When you sip it, you feel a rush of warmth in your throat swilled away by cold + refreshing + tangy acid. I call it a Dirty Dalmatian because the peppers have commingled with the syrup for…

  • infused syrups

    Black Peppercorn Not-So-Simple Syrup 

    Hey, hot stuff! Wanna add some more moxie to your life? I’ve got just what the doctor ordered: Black Peppercorn Not-So-Simple Syrup. Unlock your culinary creativity with flavored syrups. They will change the face of whatever you are serving. Use Black Peppercorn Not-So-Simple Syrup in or on strawberries, peaches, tea, hot chocolate, ice cream, lamb, bacon, yogurt, and cocktails (duh)—anything that needs a little kick in the pants. For this syrup I used Tellicherry peppercorns. Tellicherry peppercorns are more robust than ordinary black peppercorns as they have been left on the vine longer. Tellicherry present citrusy, woodsy notes; toasting them intensifies their flavor even more. As with any recipe to…

  • infused syrups,  non-alcoholic

    Lavender Not-So-Simple Syrup

    Lavender Syrup adds such a beautiful bouquet to anything. Lavender infusions make me giddy. So many years ago I took a Saturday cooking class from one of the finest men in Augusta—Chef Heinz Sowinski—and his lavender-infused chilled cherry soup changed my life.  I have been a big fan of all things lavender ever since. I use lavender syrup to enhance dozens of things–Greek yogurt, water, tea, cocktails, fruit…the list goes on. Enhanced syrups add complexity and an element of surprise! (Try this Blueberry + Creme + Lavender Frose-Merlotse) I prefer making syrup from fresh lavender. I use unopened buds that have not flowered completely that I grow on my patio.…

  • alcoholic,  frozen

    Blueberries + Creme + Lavender Frosé-Merlotsé

    Today I added a bullet to my professional resume: how to Photoshop my dogs out of blogging pictures. I was chopping vegetables for a salad when they came a runnin’. It happens to these Pavlovian creatures every time they hear me at work on the cutting board. For them, chopping sounds = treats.  It could be carrots, apples, ____ (insert crunchy vegetable or fruit here)–it makes no difference. Chow hounds, I tell ya! But healthy snackers, nonetheless. (Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t know how to Photoshop. I have to lure them outside with peanut butter treats so I can snap some shots without their interloping.) Today it wasn’t…

  • alcoholic,  frozen,  gluten free,  vegetarian

    Raspberry + Thyme Frosé

    This frosé screams SUMMER! It is just what these hot summer nights beg for. You know something else it screams? THE BEST WAY TO ADULT IS TO FROSE! This boozy, fruity slushee is light, refreshing, and for grown-ups only. I am on the fence about calling it frosé, though. I chose to use Merlot over rosé because it has more body and can hold up to the infusion of thyme. Instead of frosé, shouldn’t it be called Merlotsé? Raspberry + Thyme Merlotsé. Let me think about it… So about the thyme…At first I made regular raspberry frosé, and it was delicious. But I thought a hint of peppery thyme might…

  • alcoholic,  joie de vivre

    Limoncello

    As a self-proclaimed connoisseur and purveyor of all things delicious, I was more than on board when Angela proposed a trip last to the Côte d’ Azur and Riviera (aka the tour de limoncello). I could talk you to all day about eating nearly a metric tonne of pasta and cheese, but I must share our story of limoncello. We drank ALL the lee-mohn-CHAY-loh. You see, while we were there, Europe was experiencing a treacherous heat-wave. We were compelled to stay cool by drinking limoncello. It became a matter of life or death. At each stop on our continental trek, we sought out limoncello. We would specifically ask for the…

  • be merry,  drink,  joie de vivre

    Arnold Palmer & John Daly Sippers

    It’s Masters week here in Augusta. Golf fanatics are landing here by the droves to follow those little white balls on their journeys across 18 holes at the Augusta National Golf Course. The Augusta National is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. The property is on a former nursery.  The flora abounds, each hole taking its name from a signature plant. The grass underfoot has a certain spring to it. The long shadows of the loblolly pines offer respite on sunny days. The jays chirp out their gleeful songs. This tournament is much more than just the game of golf–it is a feeling. A magical…