Category Archives: Cocktails

Sparkling Cider Mocktail

The Man and I had a lovely drink at Paley’s Place a few nights ago called a “Cider Lane” that was non-alcoholic by design. I’m not drinking at the moment, due to alcohol napalming my blood vessels. And you know, there just aren’t enough mocktails in the world.

We’ll be bringing this to a NYE party this week where we will also be burning the man. Let me just say I cannot wait to bid adieu to 2014 by lighting something on fire in the street.

Here’s an approximation, our best guess, of the drink we had. We’ll call it a Cider Train instead of a Cider Lane since we actually don’t know what the recipe is for a Cider Lane. You could always add booze to this; I’m thinking vodka, gin, or rum would work well.

Cider Train

3.5 oz sparkling apple cider

.5 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

.5 tsp orange blossom or rose water (pure eau, no sugar)

dash of ground nutmeg and allspice

thinly sliced apple wedges for garnish

Put all that in a tumbler over ice and stir. Garnish with a few apple wedges.

sparkling cider mocktail

Yummy and festive.

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Filed under Cocktails, holiday recipes, SCD

Limoncello, Limecello

Still recovering this morning from El Puerco. Thought I would take a moment to write up the limoncello and limecello recipes because folks realllllllly seemed to like them and we kept trying to tell everyone how easy the ‘cellos are to make.

This recipe is from the AMAZING cookbook, Forgotten Skills of Cooking, by Darina Allen. Do yourself a favor and buy it right this minute. It’s awesome and well worth it. We cut this recipe in half, fyi, and found it was plenty for us. If you want to make a boatload, double everything.


12 lemons (or limes if you’re making limecello), washed and dried

2 cups vodka

1 1/2 c sugar

1 3/4 c water

Makes approximately one liter.

  1. Use a peeler to peel the lemons (or limes).
  2. Put the zest in a clean glass jar and pour the vodka over it. Seal it and put it in a cool, dark place for two days.
  3. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan over high heat. Stir and bring to a boil for two minutes. Cool and store until the vodka is ready.
  4. Remove the zest from the vodka using a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Mix the sugar with the vodka and store in a tightly sealed bottle in the fridge. It’s ready to drink now, technically, but is better within a week. And best drunk (grammar?) within a few months.
  5. To serve, pour over ice. Yummy!

We somehow forgot to take a picture of these beautiful ‘cellos. Instead, here’s a picture of the red, white, and blue cake and the crazy gal who made it (she’s so proud).


Filed under Cocktails, El Puerco de Julio, liqueurs

Cocktail Blast from the Past

The wonders of the Internet…you know, when people from your deep, dark past contact you out of the blue and shock you so hard you lose your breath? Yep, I just had one of those moments.

But it’s a HAPPY moment! (thank goodness…hoooooo, have I heard some sto-ries!) This person, we’ll call him George, completely blew my mind and actually sent along a fantastically fun photo to jog my memory (this was over twenty years ago, people!) I had a great laugh (with him, not at him). He really made me reminisce in the best possible way. I was so glad to hear about some very old pals and to know that they are alive and well in the world. Sigh…

Stargaze Greyhound, FMT Style

2 parts Absolut vodka

4-5 parts grapefruit juice


  1. Pour ingredients into a fabulous glass mug from the 1970s, the kind your mom still has at the back of her cupboard somewhere…or is maybe even still using actually.
  2. Crank up the Bronski Beat soundtrack and rock out a little bit whilst kicking back several of these. It’s Saturday night, baby!
  3. Lose track of time and space.
  4. Drink so many that you have to walk around your suburban neighborhood with your pals to keep the spins away, and maybe run through the park sprinklers and play a little game involving a certain pegasus/water fountain statue and a huge bottle of industrial strength dishwashing liquid.
  5. Maybe fall asleep at some point. Or not.
  6. Tiptoe over the sleeping body of your best friend and stagger downstairs at 6 a.m. to watch Charles Kurault’s Sunday Morning with your mom, who drinks coffee, watches TV, and does the crossword while humming a Willie Nelson tune. Feel that homey feeling.
  7. Eat several packages of Saltine crackers and later that day hang out at Lake Elizabeth with your pals, feeding the ducks.
  8. Come home and overhear your older sister CJ telling your mom about enormous clouds of bubbles floating across a certain main street.
  9. Twenty years later, remember all of this very fondly.

Thanks for the memories, George!

A very famous statue in my hometown
A very famous statue in my hometown featuring a pegasus being pelted by streams of water

Note from SE on the back of the above photo regarding a late-night prank on said statue (after too many greyhounds).
Note from SE on the back of the above photo regarding a late-night prank on the poor pegasus (after too many greyhounds)

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Filed under Cocktails, food memories, food writing

The Melon-Eye

When I was a kid, my parents would often take my older sisters, brother, and I back to their small hometown in California’s Central Valley. Think cotton fields, dust, unbelievable heat, drive-in movie theaters, strawberry soda, and the smell of alfalfa everywhere. One of my uncles, whom I’ll call Floyd Owens, was a real character. Think bolo tie, cowboy boots and hat, thin lips, Texas accent, and a major leg-puller of small, gullible children. He used to call me “Melon-eye”, which now sounds to me like an exotic Hawaiian cocktail, but at the time was one of those mildly annoying things about Uncle Floyd (when you’re twelve, “Melon-eye” just doesn’t sound cool somehow).

As I mentioned in my last post, my market had a sale on galia melons. I got to thinking about aguas frescas and how much I love them. Then the Craving started, and I knew it would have to be satisfied. Hence, I bring you, The Melon-Eye. Improvise as you wish. Methinks it cries out for vodka, but you probably have better ideas (which you naturally should let me know about).

The Melon-Eye

serves 2

  1. Select a galia melon. I typically push in the bottom gently with my thumb and smell it. If it smells like melon and my thumb can push in just a bit, it’s ripe.
  2. Cut up the melon, discarding the seeds and peel.
  3. Place the melon pieces into a blender or food processor, pulsing until blended.
  4. Strain through a colander or sieve.
  5. Add agave syrup to taste. I use 1-2 T per glass.
  6. Add ice and serve.

Like I said, this just screams cocktail! and next time I make it, I’ll probably add some vodka and maybe a sugar or salted rim. I mean, it is summer after all, and one must make the most of it.

The Melon Eye

The Melon-Eye


Filed under Cocktails, Cooking, family recipes, food, Food allergies, Glorious Food, gluten-free, Gluten-free vegan, Recipes

Holiday Cocktails

I need a drink! Dear readers, my apologies for the neglect. This time of year is just so chaotic, it’s ridiculous.

Remember way back in another galaxy when I made that quince moonshine? Well, I also made some apple moonshine, aka calvados from a big bushel of apples The Man brought home from the farm where he was working. It’s incredibly easy. And if you get on it right now, it’ll be ready for your big toast to 2009, which at this point seems like just hours away to me.

The recipe is on the post-it in the picture. Put all that stuff into your jar and shake it every day for a week. (Store it in a cupboard; you don’t need to refrigerate). Then, shake it once a week for a few weeks and you’re good to go. The apples will turn a bit dark; that’s natural, no worries. It tastes super good.


For Thanksgiving, The Man made up these fine cocktails. (Yes, he can cook too!)

Apple Pie

2 parts apple moonshine

3 parts 7Up/Sprite

Garnish with candied ginger and a cranberry.


With the quince moonshine, you can make this:

The Quince-Ginger

2 parts quince moonshine

3 parts ginger beer

Garnish as above.


The Apple Pie is on the left; the Quince-Ginger is on the right.


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Filed under Cocktails, Cooking, food, Food allergies, Glorious Food, Gluten-free vegan, liqueurs, quince, Recipes