Homemade Angostura Sugar Cubes & The Champagne Cocktail

Homemade Angostura Sugar Cubes

Hey guys! I hope everyone that celebrated Christmas this week had a fantastic one. This was the first year that I did not spend Christmas eve and day at my parents’ home. (I had to push the trip back to this weekend due to some scheduling issues.) It was a little strange, but we managed to have a fine little holiday here, complete with beef Wellington and hot buttered rum. And that time not spent traveling meant I could do a little New Year’s Eve planning on Thursday!

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A Better Method: Cold-Process Infused Simple Syrups

A Better Method: Cold-Process Infused Simple Syrups

Whoopsie, I disappeared for a little bit there! It seems that a weekend of baking and peddling treats makes me not want to think about food for a good stretch of time. But now that I’m back, I’d like to talk to you about something I started experimenting with a couple months ago. Something that kind of revolutionized my approach to creating simple syrup infusions.

It all started back in July, when I began making this shrub. I’d combined the fruit and sugar, let it sit, then macerated and covered it, as per ushe. As I walked by the plastic wrap–covered bowl a couple hours later, I looked at it and thought, “huh, it looks like a lot of that sugar has dissolved into syrup already.”

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Fennel-Apple-Rhubarb Shrub & The Summer Breeze

Fennel-Apple-Rhubarb Shrub

So just in case any of you were worried that last year’s shrub-stravaganza was a fleeting obsession, allow me to assure you that it was, so most definitely, not. I’ve been branching out in weird directions this summer, and the results have been mixed thus far. (There’s currently a cantaloupe + champagne vinegar shrub steeping in my pantry that smells……funky. Like musky melon funky. And a fig + balsamic shrub sounded amazing in theory, but the actual execution would have best involved me living in a place where I can get fresh, ripe figs, not strange unripe ones shipped from god knows where. I still have hopes for both of these, but not high ones.) This fennel-apple-rhubarb shrub, however, is a different story.

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Smoky Cardamom-Coconut Cuba Libre

Smoky Cardamom-Coconut Cuba Libre

Ah, the Cuba Libre. Better known to many as the rum & coke. Has anyone else felt somewhat “above” this drink, or was it just me? My skepticism was most likely due to the fact that it was the preferred beverage of many a douche on the UAlbany campus during my years there — providing those fine young gents with a special combination of caffeine and liquor that let them really get their drink on, as loudly and late into the night as possible. (Seriously, you can only hear “yo bro gimme five captain ’n’ cokes” at a seedy college bar so many times before any thought or mention of rum + coke is met with Pavlovian eye rolling.)

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Guest Post : A Trio of Summer Beverages

A Trio of Summer Beverages

Hey everyone! I am super duper excited to be sharing a guest post over at The Vanilla Bean Blog today. I adore Sarah’s space, and having the chance to occupy it (coupled with the recent unseasonably gross heat wave) inspired some ambitious drink-themed planning. The result was three pretty ridiculously delish drinks. (Also, I shoot with a white background, and I LOVE it. Madness!) So head on over to The Vanilla Bean Blog and check them out. Also, Sarah will be taking a little break this summer, so be on the lookout for lots of other awesome guest posts!

Happy Summer of Fun to Sarah and her family!

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