celebration · drinks

Celebrating Like an Adult

Yesterday was my birthday.  The big 3-1.  I was sort of dreading it.  Not in a “woe is me, I’m getting older” sort of way, but rather a “Man, 31 means I have to start acting a lot more like an adult” way.  

Last year for my 30th birthday I threw myself a little party.  My friends came over mid-day.  We drank lots of champagne and had a blast.  I’m pretty sure, though I can’t confirm, that I did a cartwheel in the middle of my apartment.  We chambonged the afternoon away, and the next day was rough…like, real rough.  But it was okay, because 30 is an appropriate age to act like a bit of a fool.  You’re an adult, but you still know how to have fun, and you don’t have to take yourself too seriously.  

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My birthday bash last year, chambongs included

However, adding on that extra digit made my 30th birthday feel so juvenile.  As my date of birth started to creep up and my family asked me how I wanted to celebrate, I felt like I had a very adult decision to make.  No longer was it appropriate to bong glasses of champagne and attempt gymnastics in my home.  No no, now there was a real threat of breaking something (like a bone, or a piece of furniture that wasn’t purchased from IKEA), or never ever recovering from my hangover.  

Instead I opted for dinner with with my family and friends.  Trust me, there was still plenty of champagne consumed, but mostly we just ate until we were stuffed to the brim.  We went to a traditional Turkish restaurant and filled up on baba ganoush, lamb, and baklava.  It was a pretty perfect way to ring in another year; good food, good company, and instead of reaching for a gatorade and Advil the next day, my 31 year old self was reaching for the Tums.  That, my friends, is called growing up.

cocktails · drinks · Uncategorized

Boozy Baking – Dark & Stormy

The saying goes: April Showers Bring May Flowers…well, May is going to be blooming because it is definitely showering around here.  When the weather is like this, I think there is only one drink that feels appropriate:  A Dark and Stormy.

The Dark and Stormy is a simple cocktail made up of only three ingredients, but it packs a big punch!  The drink consists of lime juice, ginger beer, and dark rum.  You float each layer on top of the next, ending with the rum to create a stormy atmosphere in a glass.  The lime is tart, the ginger beer is spicy and the rum serves up sweet molasses notes for the perfect spring cocktail. dark and stormy

Dark and Stormy: 

In a highball glass (that’s the long skinny one) add the lime juice, add ice, then begin to layer ginger beer and finally, the rum.  Garnish with a lime twist or wedge.  Cheers!

In my constant quest to combine the two things I love the most: booze and baked goods, the Dark and Stormy seemed like the perfect marriage.  Ginger has a natural place in the dessert world, and rum has the right balance of sweetness to glaze a cake perfectly.  I went back to my favorite bundt cake for this month’s Boozy Baking installment.  I made a ginger and lime bundt cake with a rum glaze.  I candied lime on the top for a delicious and bright bit of decoration.  Here’s the recipe below!

Ingredients for cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for pan)
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime zest
  • ⅓ cup minced candied ginger (it’s really important that the ginger is minced very well, otherwise it will sink to the bottom of the cake)
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda DS Ingredients
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup greek yogurt (fat is your friend, in this case)

Ingredients for the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ⅓ cup Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
  • ⅓ cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cake Preparations:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour bundt pan
  • In an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until white and fluffy
  • Whisk together flour, lime zest, ginger, salt and baking soda
  • To creamed butter mixture, add eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition
  • Alternately add flour mixture in 3, and greek yogurt in 2.  Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  • Spoon mixture into prepared pan, create a level surface
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Wait at least 15 minutes before turning out cake onto cooling rack.  Once cake has cooled completely, pour over glaze.  

Glaze Preparations:

  • Melt butter in small sauce pan
  • Add rum, lime juice and sugar
  • Stirring constantly bring glaze to a simmer to thicken slightly

DS bundt

Candied lime is optional, and sort of a pain in the ass to do, but it definitely makes for a pretty topping.  Here’s instructions on how to do it, because nobody does it better than Martha.  Cheers and Ciao!

 

cocktails · drinks · Uncategorized · wine

Wishful Spring Drinking

The calendar tells me that it’s spring.  However, here in Ohio, “spring” could mean a myriad of things.  It could mean rain, it could mean 80 degrees, it could even mean snow.  When I was younger I used to spend spring break in Florida, we’d get home, pull into the driveway and see that our tulips had bloomed… and then died of frost.  Unfortunately adulthood ensures that I never get to celebrate spring break, so I have to endure the seasons’ “awkward phase” where it doesn’t know what the hell it wants to do.  But, I know what I want to do…I want to sit on a god damn patio and drink a god damn cocktail.  So, until the weather makes up its mind and decides to be sunny and 70 degrees, I will just be over here wishing for spring and the delightful drinks that come with it.  Here are my favorite things to sip on:

Rosé

Rosé season is my favorite time of year.  Seriously, I don’t care a single bit about Christmas or my birthday…all I care about is the newest batches of rosé are being bottled and I get to drink them.   But also, because I’m basic, I like a good wine spritzer.  Spritzers are great drinks for warm weather (and compliment a hangover perfectly!)  So combine these two delightful things and you’ve got yourself a rosé spritzer.  True to form, I’ve gussied it up a bit:

6 oz. Dry Rosé (not white zinfandel, I’m serious…throw that away immediately)

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This little penguin is used to cold weather…much like Ohioans

 

2 oz.  Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic

Squeeze of fresh lime

Serve over ice

The elderflower tonic adds nice bubbles, a little touch of sweetness and lovely floral note to your wine.  Once rosé season really kicks off, I’ll be listing off my favorites for the year, but in the meantime I poured myself a glass of Italian rosé, known as Chiaretto.

Beer

I’m not a huge beer drinker, more often than not I’ll opt for a cocktail or a glass of wine, but if I’m out at a very casual restaurant enjoying “bar food,” beer is my drink of choice.  I recently tried Rhinegeist’s Bubbles Cider and I have become obsessed.  Highlighted with flavors of peach and cranberry, this cider drinks sweet, almost like a sangria.  But it’s got a crisp tartness that I love.  One sip of this and you’ll be feeling that Spring in your step, guaranteed.

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Cocktail

Something about those first few warm days of spring makes me want to sit out on a patio, and sip on something fancy.  My sister Natalie created this cocktail that sings of spring and is definitely worthy of a long night on a patio, and a basket of chips and salsa.  We call it a “Cosmopolita” because it’s all the cosmo fixings, but with tequila in place of vodka.  Because tequila is delicious and vodka is boring.

2 oz. silver tequila

½ oz. Triple Sec or other orange liqueur

½ oz. Lime juice

¼ oz. simple syrup

1 oz. cranberry

More than an ounce of cranberry and your drink turns red instead of pink, and I’m not sure if you’ve sensed a theme here…but apparently in spring I only drink pink.
So, now I hope you’re all very thirsty and ready to sit outside with a glass of wine…and possibly a parka.  Ciao!