The Extra Mile: A tale of fruit, heat, and booze

The Extra Mile

This week, I am restless. Our Spring began with nearly a foot of fresh snow on the ground, and I spent the past several days glaring at the dreary, dull-white landscape outside my desk window, feeling rather unenthused about everything. (Don’t worry, I promise my entire post isn’t this grumpy. It gets better, and there’s booze!)

For me, yesterday was the first day of Spring. I say this because it was the first day this year that I opted to walk rather than drive to the UPS drop box near my house. When I say near, I mean three blocks away. And when I say three blocks, I mean three Burlington blocks, which is maybe the equivalent of one block in NYC. It’s less than a mile walk, total. I hate winter. And having to put band-aids on my feet every time I want to walk downtown so I don’t get boot blisters-turned-calluses.

broiled grapefruit

I am a huge believer in the catharsis of spring cleaning. Under no circumstances would anyone in their right mind label me a neat freak. I am, if anything, a pack rat with an unusual system of organized chaos. You can find evidence of my “collecting” obsessions in every corner of my room. From the shelves piled high with books to the antique bottles decorating the windows to the several dozen scarves cluttering my coat rack. And while I am content to let magazines pile up and shoes be stored in heaps under my bed for 99% of the year, this is usually the time when I freak out and set to work on creating a neater, saner space.

juiced grapefruit

This task does not come easy this year, however, as I am really beginning to feel just how much I have outgrown my space in this apartment. Props are piled in the corners of my room. Skirts and tights spill out of drawers that will no longer close. A couple weeks ago, I found a shirt hanging up in my closet WITHOUT A HANGER. Just smushed between a ton of other shirts. I yearn for space, indoors and out. And less people. No college kids stumbling along the sidewalk under my window at 3:00am. No girl that was definitely not going to pick up after her dog in front of my house until I made rather severe eye contact with her as I walked up my steps, then milled around on my porch for a moment pretending to go through my mail.

Still, there are definitely many conveniences that city life affords me. Like when I decide that I’m going to make three different kinds of carbonated bottled cocktails for the open practice that Johnny’s band is hosting, only to discover halfway through the first batch (and two hours before the show) that my CO2 cartridge is definitely empty, and I need to get a new one STAT. Then, being able to run downtown and back (in my car, obv) in less than 15 minutes kind of rules.

juiced grapefruit

It was from that batch of carbonated cocktails that this drink was born. I was playing around with creating a more citrusy, punch-like version of the Blinker, and what I ended up with was a Blinker and Ward Eight hybrid. My original concoction used rye, orange juice, lemon juice, and (sadly) the last of my raspberry-lemon shrub. Despite the fact that the shrub was gone, I wasn’t quite ready to let this drink go, because it’s just SO good. And when I saw this broiled grapefruit cocktail last weekend, I got really excited, and started thinking about all of the other cocktail-friendly fruits that might be improved by some oven time. And with the raspberry shrub now absent from my drink collection, my mind quickly turned to berries.

roasted raspberry syrup

I’ll be honest with you guys. If I’d taken more pictures of the raspberries, the roasted raspberry syrup would have its own post. This stuff is stupid good. It belongs in and on everything. I groaned at the thought of paying $10 for two pints of fresh raspberries so I could make this, and I’m totally ready to go out and spend another $10 to make more, because it’s already gone, and it’s that worth it.

I also opted to give the broiled grapefruit juice a try in this drink, and it worked quite well. (I just stuck my grapefruit in a 550° oven instead of in the actual broiler, because my broiler likes to do this thing where it sets stuff on fire……) The broiling does mellow out the grapefruit a bit, but fresh lemon juice does a good job of bringing some tang to the party. I also added a spoonful of apple cider vinegar to the mix, to make up for the vinegary tang that the shrub added in the original. I really loved this drink when it was carbonated, but not everyone has the ability to do this at home. As a substitute, a splash of seltzer will work just fine. I used both coffee pecan and bergamot bitters in this drink. (Thank you to the awesome Alanna for making and sending me the latter!) I realize these aren’t readily available to everyone, though. I recommend at least using some citrus bitters, and ideally some bitters with a little bit of a deeper, more complex taste to even out the rest of the citrus.

(I’m also kind of proud that I actually managed to name this drink after deliberating over it for days. I think it’s pretty fitting, considering the oven time that goes into making the ingredients extra delicious, and the fact that this drink was originally created because I’m a crazy person that likes to go all out for anything and everything.)

The Extra Mile

Roasted Raspberry Syrup

makes: 1 cup of syrup

  • 2 pints of fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup of sugar

Preheat oven to 400°. Arrange raspberries in a baking dish, then toss with 1/3 of the cup of sugar, reserving the other 2/3. Roast raspberries for around 17 minutes, or until they start to smell delicious and look quite soft and liquidy.

Remove from oven and let cool for a couple minutes, then mash the raspberries with a fork or potato masher to break them up even more. Stir in the remaining sugar until dissolved.

Strain raspberries through a sieve to remove the seeds and larger chunks, then again through a sieve lined with cheesecloth to remove the finer bits. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Broiled Grapefruit Juice

makes: around 2/3 cup of juice

  • 1 grapefruit, sliced in half
  • brown sugar

Preheat broiler in your oven. Arrange grapefruit halves on a broiler pan or baking sheet (depending on how your oven works) and sprinkle with brown sugar. Broil for 5–10 minutes, or until a crust begins to form on the top of the grapefruit. Remove from the oven and let cool, then juice.

The Extra Mile

makes: 1 drink

  • 2 1/4 oz. rye
  • 3/4 oz. broiled grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. roasted raspberry syrup
  • barspoon of apple cider vinegar (just under 1 1/2 tsp)
  • dash of coffee pecan bitters
  • dash of bergamot bitters
  • soda water

Combine all ingredients except the seltzer in a cocktail shaker and shake. Strain into a glass over ice, and top with soda water.

The Extra Mile


  1. says

    I do the EXACT same thing with the space under my bed. I always forget about all the pairs of shoes that are trapped underneath it in the middle of no man’s land until one of the planks of our ikea bed becomes dislodged and we have to lift up the mattress to fix it. It’s kind of awesome because it feels like I just got a bunch of new shoes, when really I’m just finding the pairs I’ve always had but just haven’t worn in 6 months.

    And wow. This drink sounds sooooooo good lady! I love love love roasted raspberries, one of my favorite summertime treats are raspberry custard bars, when the berries roast with the custard something just magical happens. Also, I really want to get a soda stream after reading this, being able to carbonate whatever you want would be fantastic!!!! Do you have a soda stream or a different kind of carbonator? Would you recommend the one you have?

    • says

      Hehe! That’s totally what my closet feels like too. Sometimes I’ll start really digging through things and find dresses that I haven’t worn in months, that I completely forgot I owned. It is almost like getting new things! (When I tell Johnny I need a bigger closet and he tells me that my closet is already pretty big, I look at him like he’s crazy. When I tell him that, ideally, I want a closet that’s at least half the size of my living room, he looks at me like I’m crazy!)

      I fell in love with roasting berries last summer, especially strawberries + raspberries + rhubarb. YUM. I was pretty sure the roasted raspberry syrup would be a great idea, and I still couldn’t believe how amazing it was when I first tasted it.

      I have a soda stream, and I love it! (I do gripe sometimes about the fact that the price of the refill cartridges [just over $16] is a little ridiculous, especially considering that people can take the CO2 cartridges for paintball guns to sporting goods stores and get them refilled for about $5. But hey, it’s still a lot easier and cheaper than buying bottles of seltzer.) The guidelines for the machine say that you’re *technically* not supposed to carbonate anything besides water in them, since some people have tried to carbonate other things and wound up making the bottles explode. However, there was this really awesome hack in Bon Appetit a couple issues back that involved running a piece of food grade tubing from the CO2 nozzle (which only comes down far enough to barely submerge in the liquid when it’s up to the fill line) down to the bottom of the bottle. It works so well, and it’s not nearly as terrifying as trying to carbonate non-water stuff without the tubing. (The liquid at the top of the bottle would get so foamy and agitated. I could totally see how people could make those bottles explode if they weren’t careful!)

      • Katherine says

        Hi I popped over from the Bojon Gourmet’s blog to wander around yours. Just a heads up – if you take your Soda Stream cartridges back to Bed Bath + Beyond and use one of their coupons ($5 off is best) then you only pay $10 :) And yes, I have 2 cartridges so I *theoretically* never run out.

        Off to the liquor store to research bitters – I know mine has quite an assortment as I was just eying them the other day wondering what one does with all these flavors. Now I know.

        I’ll make a batch of these to accompany my own spring cleaning (quickly, before it’s summer).

  2. says

    Make a trip to this side of the world, to sunny CA :) As for the closet space and the prop collections that never seams to be enough and occupying almost every corner of my home, I can totally understand your problem. I told my husband we have to look for a bigger apt :D

    • says

      Don’t I wish! :D My friend/co-worked moved out to San Diego in December, and he’s loving it. I’d complain to him about the snow and cold here, and his only complaints to me were along the lines of, “Yeah……I kind of got a sunburn the other day. That wasn’t great.”

      The price of city living in Vermont almost seems criminal, and I bet things are even steeper out in CA! I have seen so many gorgeous VT farmhouses for rent for ridiculously cheap (one of which was on the National Register of Historic Places with a garage and a two-story barn and adjacent to a farm with fields that you could plant in if you wanted to……*sigh*), but they’re in the middle of nowhere. Maybe some day! :)

  3. says

    so this is a loverly post about alcohol, spring cleaning & fizzy drinks, and i am fixated on the dog poop in front of your dwelling. i’m so indignant over this. i think this kind of behavior of dog owners is abhorrent and warrants them public flogging … or at the very least a stern talking-to. (and, maybe some poop butter thrown on their property, see how they like that… i’m just saying!)

    dw is obsessed with our soda machine, i think we have 3 CO2 cartridges to ensure that we never run out, ever. for wedding cake last year i reduced a lot of raspberries down and it didn’t occur to me to use the juice in a drink… genius.

    • says

      OMG, right?! Thank you!! I totally had to stop myself from harping on the dog poo in the post, but SERIOUSLY. Our yard comes right up to the sidewalk, and it seems to be a favorite dog business spot. Our porch kind of visually obstructs the yard if you’re walking down the sidewalk away from town, and there have been several times when I’ve been working in one of the planter boxes towards the back of the yard, and I’ll see a dog come up and start sniffing around my flowers in the garden near the sidewalk. The owner will walk up, not see me at first, let the dog do its business, then look up and catch sight of me glaring at both of them. It’s not that hard to clean up after your dog, and it’s not that hard to direct your dog to pee on a tree instead of someone’s flowers. Ugh!!

      I keep telling myself to buy a second cartridge, because running out of CO2 is THE WORST! It’s funny how much less water I drink when the sodastream is out of commission. (It’s kind of bad. I really should be better about drinking water in general. But that’s why I got the soda machine!)

  4. says

    I just want to live in a house. My own house, where I don’t have to get angry that the stupid girls upstairs never shovel the damn snow or take out the garbage and they leave their cigarette butts everywhere. At least they were smart enough to get rid of the dog they had…they left it at home all day and it barked and barked, and you know they never picked up the poop in the yard. We’re desperately trying to find a house on the coast, and the search is impossible! We may continue to be apartment dwellers, but then we need to find a place with kitchen large enough to hold all of our stuff! I can’t buy props for photos; we already have no room for them.

    Carey. This drink. Whoa. Roasted berries are the best! I like that you added vinegar to give the drink a shrubby taste :) I haven’t been able to train my palate to like grapefruit, but I would buy one to make this drink. Also, I’ve been out of rye whiskey for a while now, and it’s driving me a bit bonkers. And coffee pecan bitters?! I had no idea that was even a thing! I love your creativity; it’s so inspiring!

    • says

      Oh man, neighbors. We’re so lucky to have perfect downstairs neighbors now. The previous tenants were super nice, but we had a bit of a dog issue with them. They decided to get a dog (which was an older, sweet chocolate lab mix) the summer before they moved out, and they would also dogsit this other terror of a dog fairly often. When they were gone at work during the day, they’d tie the dogs up on the front porch and leave them out there all day. Their dog was fine for the most part, but when the terror dog was here, they’d both bark non-stop at EVERYONE (and we live on a very busy foot traffic street). I’d see pedestrians and women with baby strollers walking in the bike lane because they didn’t want to walk in front of the house. Someone left them a nasty note on our front door, and the mailman even had to talk to them once. It was ridiculous. I hope you guys find a beautiful coast house! With no neighbors and all the prop space a gal could want. LIVE MY DREAM FOR ME! :D

      God, do I love rye. I’ll be out of whiskey or bourbon for weeks and weeks, but I freak out when the rye bottle is approaching empty. Also, if you aren’t a grapefruit person, I totally recommend subbing in orange. (I am actually really curious what the juice of broiled oranges would taste like in this drink, because I bet it would be AWESOME.) If you try a broiled orange version, definitely let me know what you think! :)

  5. Laura says

    This reply has nothing to do with anything other than the dog poop. I have a 60-lb pittie girl, and we have had her for a year, and she has NEVER peed OR pooped in anyone’s yard. We take her to potty in our backyard before walking her, and there’s never been an issue. We had two incidents where I was in a rush and didn’t take her before we walked, but even then she was directed to the middle of the road to poop, and I promptly scurried home, put her away, and ran back and cleaned up the poop. Lol. We were close enough to the house that it warranted doing so. I have never taken her on a walk of decent length when she has not pooped beforehand. My neighbors’ yappy-type dogs poop in other people’s yards, and I am just waiting for the day when a dog-less neighbor accuses me of letting mine be the one from whence came the poop. I sense war. Lol. (There’s a TOTAL size difference between a miniature Yorkie’s poops and a 60-lb pit poop. And trust me, I can tell when my neighbor lets their Great Dane poop in my yard, too, for the same logic.)

    That was quite the diatribe. I expect your bill in the mail for this poop-therapy.

    Also, I have a SodaStream.


    • says

      Hehe! Serious props to you for being such an awesome dog owner! I grew up in the middle of the woods where our dogs ran around and did whatever they wanted, wherever they wanted and I still understand the importance of cleaning up after a dog when you’re sharing a city space with others — why does it not seem to be common knowledge? Also, little yappy dogs leaving poo in other people’s yards totally makes me think of the little dog in The ’Burbs. :)

  6. Laura says

    Also also, I really hope your page doesn’t get hit now by the millions of creepers that use poop as a Google search term. What a waste of a good rye recipe.

  7. says

    You know, I’m always reluctant to cook fruit as delicate as raspberries–for one thing, I tend to eat them all before I even get home, more often than not–so I’ve definitely never tried roasting them, but you have convinced me to give it a try! And combined with grapefruit–WELL. Well, well, well. Let’s just say that I think we may be headed for a fancy cocktail weekend. :)

    • says

      I totally understand that reluctance. I finally decided to try roasting strawberries last summer, and I couldn’t believe the magical things that happened to them in the oven. Since then, I’ve put many fruits in the oven, and the results have been awesome! It’s different from the bright taste of fresh fruit, for sure, but it’s also crazy good. :)

    • says

      Thanks, Joe! I’m a rye-lover, so I definitely advocate the purchase. :) I personally recommend Bulleit. Russell’s is also excellent, although it will run you close to $40, while Bulleit comes in just under $30. Rittenhouse is quite good as well and very reasonably priced (under $25), but it’s a bit spicier than the others, and might not be quite what you’re looking for if you aren’t a rye fan.

  8. says

    Oh, these photos are so stunning. And that raspberry syrup! I can’t wait to make some. Our backyard fence is lined with raspberry bushes, so as soon as the $&#!!!@ snow melts I’ll be making batches of this. xo

    • says

      Thanks, Sarah! I am super jealous of your backyard raspberry bushes. :) There are a number of blackberry and raspberry bushes scattered along my parents’ driveway (which is really more like a 1000 ft dirt road carved into a steep hillside). Picking berries was a favorite activity of mine when I was little. And still is now that I’m an adult. Sometimes I will house-sit for them if they go away during the summer, and I make it my mission to go out every morning and pick newly ripened berries, before the birds get to them!

  9. says

    Soo, raspberries and grapefruit are two of my favorite fruits, and this is definitely going on the won’t-be-summer-without-it list. There is a local distillery about 2 miles away from us that had a fantastic rye that we love, and it’s even better because it’s local and organic!

    And about the dog poop… I have a confession to make: I am not a dog-owner and never have been, so when it comes to protocol I’m completely ignorant. I was house/dog-sitting for a friend and was very carefully preparing food for the pup, taking him on walks, etc. However, I didn’t realize how complicated it was to manage your pets feces, so the first day we went out and Tucker dropped a deuce, I suddenly realized that we were 1) 2 miles away from the house with no baggie or paper 2) it would be dark in a strange neighborhood by the time I went home then came back to clean it up 3) it happened in someone else’s yard and 4) that it probably wasn’t a very nice gift to leave in the grass, even if it would just wash away in the next rainstorm. So, I left it. No one was home, but to this day I am leaden with guilt and remorse. On behalf of the universe and victims of poopage everywhere, will you forgive me and release my soul from eternal damnation??

    • says

      Hehe! I soooo know that feeling of “Oh no……this is bad, but it’s happening and there’s nothing I can do about it. Please let this acknowledgment and the overwhelming guilt that I feel absolve me!” :D The girl in front of my house actually had a plastic bag and everything! She had her back to me as I was walking up the sidewalk, and I watched her take out the bag, lean over on the snowbank to look at the poo, then look up in front of her and towards the other side of the street to see if anyone was watching, and then she put the bag back in her pocket and stepped back from the snowbank. That was when she look over her shoulder and saw me glaring at her, and then she just milled around really awkwardly, and slowly took the bag out of her pocket, then finally resigned herself to the fact that she had to pick up the poo once I didn’t go inside immediately. It was quite funny, and I felt a little triumphant. :)

      And I am SO jealous of your local rye distillery! Which one is it? We have Whistlepig here in VT, but it’s actually produced in Canada and then bottled in Vermont (although I hear they’re working on moving production down here as well). It’s super delicious, but it costs several pretty pennies.

      • says

        Oooh that’s bad. Totally get why you gave her the stink eye! =)

        It’s called Catoctin Creek Distillery ( It’s new, founded in 2009, but it’s the first legal distillery in VA since the prohibition. Right now they distill whiskey and brandy, and only do a couple different spirits at a time. Their Roundstone Rye is fantastic; it’s aged 2 years (I think) in Minnesota oak, and has a great warmth and finish. The Mosby Spirits is their un-aged whiskey, and for an un-aged whiskey, is incredibly drinkable with a really smooth, almost vanilla aroma. The Roundstone runs about $38 a bottle, which isn’t too bad seeing that they are a pretty small/local production right now. I’m looking on their website and it says they have some stuff in stores in NY… if you ever venture over there from VT and see it, you should try it out!

        • says

          Awesome! Thank you, Tia! I’m in NY pretty often since my parents live there (actually going down there this weekend…huzzah!), so I’ll be checking at my fav liquor store in Oneonta to see if they’ve got it. :D

  10. says

    Carey! I feel like it’s been ages since we’ve talked, although I suppose we’ve never actually “talked” per se, just exchanged random thoughts across this weird medium that is the Internet. It’s funny how well you can feel you know someone just by checking in on them a couple times a week (and seeing really cute photos of their cats—yay for Instagram!).

    Anyway, I could really go for one of these right now. I mean, I totally would, but when you describe it as a drink that a crazy person who likes to go all out for anything and everything would make, I realize I’m too pooped (currently) and lazy (always) to even begin thinking about making anything that involves broiling, roasting, AND gathering hard-to-find ingredients (bergamot AND coffee pecan bitters?!) Will you come over and make it for me? I could pay you. Oh, I’ve meant to ask: have you ever considered bartending or have you ever bartended before? Although ‘bartending’ is such a catch-all word. You’re more a mixologist, I think, especially because they are definitely the kind of people who would go the extra mile in pursuit of a better drink. I actually just met a bartender/master mixologist who fits that description, and I now have a mini-crush on him because he is SO VERY passionate about his craft, you know?

    Gosh, I’m kind of rambling, aren’t I? I think I should go to bed now. Til next time!

    • says

      Hehe! It’s funny, when I set up that Instagram account and starting thinking of people to follow, I realized that half of my friends at this point are food blog friends. :D

      The weird ingredients are definitely one of the bummers of drink development for me. I’ll throw in a couple dashes of bitters that just totally make a drink sing, and then I’ll tell everyone about it and be like, “This makes it THE BEST……but I made it myself. You can do that too……in three-ish weeks……with some stuff you probably don’t have on hand.” That’s why I need to start selling my shrubs and bitters, like I planned to do several months ago! (I was definitely underestimating the power of my own laziness back in December when I first got the idea.)

      I would love to try bartending at a place with a great bar program, especially because I know there’s just SO much I need to learn. It’s pretty difficult to branch out and experiment in your home bar, unless you have a bazillion dollars and a giant liquor cabinet. (And mine is totally at max capacity at the moment.) Maybe some day! :)

  11. says

    Hi Carey! I’m stunned that it has taken me this long to stumble upon your gorgeous site! Love your voice and aesthetic, so glad to “meet” you and follow along from here. xoxo

    • says

      Hi Kelsey!! Omgosh, your site is a huge inspiration to me — between your voice and the gorgeous images — and your kind words totally made my day. :) Glad you found me!

  12. says

    YUM! I forwarded this recipe to my friend Calvaleigh, a fabulous mixologiste who isn’t afraid to go the extra mile, and she made it for me last night. She had everything except the coffee pecan bitters (which she’s now making!) All I can say is, wow! The flavors hit you one after another: raspberry, grapefruit, rye, bergamot. The blend is incredible. It seems like the roasting and broiling of the fruit helps to mellow and warm their flavors, which makes them blend better with the rye; I don’t think it would be as delicious without taking these extra steps. Brilliant recipe, Carey! And so exquisitely captured. Yum.

    • says

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed it! I definitely think the oven time helps replicate the drink I originally created, since the shrub turns into a combo of perfectly blended, mellowed flavors. And I’m so glad she’s making the coffee pecan bitters, because I think they do wonders for this drink! It can be a little bit bright/punchy/spicy between all of the other ingredients, and having some subtle, nutty/coffee notes brings it back down to earth a bit.


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