Sazerac Cocktail

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I have something a little different for you on this post. Video! I’ve been holding back on putting together a video and I’m not sure why, but anyways, I made this video and had so much fun! There are about a million things I would like to do over, but I really needed to see it through, from beginning to end. I find that if I get stuck or fixated on too many “not good enough” self critiques that the project never ends. And then there is no final file. And nothing to share. It’s hard to grow if you don’t move on. So I just made my way through Adobe Premiere Pro and edited all my spills and sloppy pouring. And I made it, messes and all. It feels good. I’m surprised how much I like making videos. For years I used to make Flash animated banner ads in the corporate world and some of it was fun, but it wasn’t something I would do outside of work. But Premiere feels so different, in a way that I look forward to working with the software, and also exploring more of what my camera and lenses can do with video, as well as what I can do creatively as a photographer. I look forward to more! Recipe below. BTW this is a great cocktail and comes together quite easily! Enjoy.

Sazerac Cocktail

  • 2 ounces of Rye

  • 4-6 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters 

  • 1 bar spoon simple syrup (using Demerara sugar will add more depth to color)

  • Absinthe or Herbsaint (Herbsaint is a bit less in price and basically the same thing)

  • Lemon peel

 Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup Demerara sugar

  • 1 cup water

Make the simple syrup ahead so it has a chance to cool and chill. Add sugar and water to a pot and bring to a boil, simmer for a couple minutes, stir a bit, until sugar is completely dissolved, set aside to cool, when cool transfer to air tight container and refrigerate.

Chill a rocks glass in the freezer. Fill a mixing glass half way with ice. Add Rye, bitters and simple syrup then stir. Add a splash of absinthe to the chilled rocks glass, to rinse let it coat the interior of the glass and (gasp!) discard the rest. Strain the cocktail into the chilled glass. Squeeze the lemon peel over the cocktail and run along the rim of the glass. You can add the lemon peel to the drink, or fold over the rim as garnish, but traditionally it’s just throw away. Serve and enjoy.

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Cheers! A Cocktail Roundup

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Happy New Year! Well almost. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite cocktails from the blog so if you’re looking for anything special to make drink-wise you might want to try one of these. Surprisingly I don’t have any cocktails that are made with sparkling wine, but really that’s good on its own anyways. 

Man this year has flown by, full of highs and lows and some career questioning “Where the fuck am I going with all of this?” moments. Just like most people I suppose we always need to adapt to the changes around us and the changes within ourselves. Animals migrate for a reason. Not that I plan on migrating anywhere but it’s more about adaptability and knowing where you need to focus. Have I found that? Yes, no and sort of. I’m just terrible at marketing myself. It makes me feel so yucky. It’s like a job interview on steroids. But the reality is people have absolutely nothing to lose by trying. I read an article recently in the NYTimes by a comedian Emily Winter, “I Got Rejected 101 Times”, and it was comforting to know how hard it can be to get that lucky break, a gig, a job, a performance. Anyways it inspired me to get out of my comfort zone a bit and see what might happen. I mailed out some postcards last spring to market my food photography and nothing happened and I got so discouraged, lol, but that is life and I just have to try more and do more. That is all. It’s not really complicated. I did get a couple food photography gigs near the end of the year, unrelated to the postcard mailers, so this year has left me on somewhat of a high note. 

I wish you all a great new year, the joy of discovering new food and experiences, and the persistence to make things happen! 

Cheers!

Cherry Bourbon Cocktail

Mulled Wine

Autumn Smash Cocktail

Manhattan Cocktail

Cucumber Infused Vodka

Scofflaw

Tamarind Whiskey Sour

Watermelon Cocktail

Bloody Mary

Quick Pickled Green Beans + Bloody Mary

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Hi Folks. Hope everyone is having a great summer. I’m getting back to some quick pickling again. Not too long ago we bought a big bag of green beans, for potato salad and whatever else. But we couldn’t eat that many that fast so I decided to pickle what we had left. And I’m glad I did, they’re really good, makes a great garnish for a Bloody Mary so I posted that recipe as well. 

The ratio of green beans to liquid from the original recipe didn’t work out well, so I’ve made some notes in the recipe below that might be helpful. But don’t feel that you have to get everything super exact. After my second and third attempt I just started tossing a few things in here and there, adding the hot water and vinegar, it all works out, mostly, ha ha. I’m looking forward to trying this with other vegetables. One vegetable I’ve had pickled that I didn’t like was celery. The texture was too weird and it was hard to eat because it was so rubbery. I’ve had some excellent pickled mushrooms which I never thought I would like, but I do very much and plan on trying out some recipes. 

Initially I just photographed a plate of the pickled green beans, but it didn’t look very impressive, lol, then I remembered how good they were in a Bloody Mary so I whisked that together and I think the cocktail gives the green beans more visual appeal and context for photo styling purposes. 

Anything can look good!

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Quick Pickled Green Beans

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 cups white vinegar 
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds 
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (1 for each jar)
  • A handful of fresh dill weed (and flowering dill seed if available)

Place the beans in canning jars (about 3 or 4 jars). Distribute the mustard seeds, crushed red pepper and dill among the jars evenly. Add a garlic clove to each jar. (I do it this way because when I worked from the original recipe, which was adding all these things to the pot, it was more difficult to distribute evenly in several containers)

In a pot, heat the vinegar and water to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the salt and sugar. Whisk until the salt and sugar dissolve.

Pour the liquid over the green beans. Add water to top off if needed (I ended up heating more vinegar and water because the ratios were way off, 1 lb of green beans is a lot!). Let cool, and then cover and place in the refrigerator. Allow the beans to pickle 24 hours before using. Pickled green beans will keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

(Adapted from The Food Network)

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Bloody Mary

  • 6 ounces tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish 
  • A few drops worcestershire sauce
  • A few drops hot sauce
  • Fresh lemon and juice
  • 1.5 ounce vodka

In a glass whisk together tomato juice, horseradish, worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, squeeze in juice of about a 1/4 lemon, stir and taste. (adjust as needed, I like 1 teaspoon horseradish but Jeff likes 1/2 teaspoon) It’s all about preferred taste, but this is what I like.  Add ice, garnish with lemon wedge and pickled green beans! Makes 1 drink.

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New Year’s Cherry Bourbon Cocktail

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I was poking around our bookcase the other day and came across the book Imbibe! which I’ve never read, and still haven’t. But it did get me googling the author’s name David Wondrich, which brought me to Imbibe Magazine’s website (what a great site!) There are so many cocktail recipes it’s hard to pick one. I chose “The Dewberry Hotel’s Panic Button” definitely not for it’s name (although it's not hard to imagine a cocktail being named as such in 2017) but that it contained bourbon and two liqueurs that I’ve been wanting to try out for a long time. Amaro Averna, an Italian digestif, and Heering Cherry liqueur. I made the drink exact to the recipe, but it didn’t look like the drink in the article, however it tastes really good. Jeff thought it was sweet, but I didn’t find it too sweet, lots of earthy flavors with a taste of cherry that’s not overwhelming. I recommend using a large ice cube since they melt much slower than traditional ice cubes, here I used Tovolo Sphere ice molds, we have similar size large cube trays but these seemed to work nice for this style glass, plus they look like snow balls. Oh and just about the best maraschino cherries I’ve ever tasted are Bada Bing Cherries. Wishing you all well for the new year! Goodbye 2017, you were a really weird year. Cheers to 2018!

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New Year’s Cherry Bourbon Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 ounce Bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce Amaro Averna
  • 1/2 ounce Campari
  • 1/2 ounce Heering cherry liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Large ice cubes or spheres
  • Maraschino cherries

Shake all the ingredients with ice to chill, then strain into a glass holding a single large ball or cube of ice. Garnish with cherry.

Recipe adapted from Imbibe Magazine

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Watermelon Cocktail

I love summer and I love the heat, but it has been a bit crazy these past few days here in Portland with temps reaching 105°. This Watermelon Cocktail is perfect for these warm evenings, it’s so refreshing and one of the nice things about this cocktail is that you don’t need to add simple syrup because of the sweetness of the watermelon. One thing I want to mention is that the flavors (watermelon, lime and mint) seemed to get better as it rested, it might be a good idea to add the lime juice and mint to the watermelon juice before refrigerating it. I made it right in the glass but I could see this being made ahead of time so all you would have to do is add the vodka. I chose vodka because that’s what we had on hand, but I think this would work great with rum as well. Enjoy and stay cool folks!

Watermelon Cocktail

  • 4 oz Watermelon Juice
  • 1 shot of vodka
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • a few mint leaves
  • Makes one cocktail

Cut up the watermelon into chunks and place in blender a few chunks at a time and blend high speed until liquified, then continue to add the rest until you’re done. Pour Watermelon juice into a container and refrigerate.

Tear the mint leaves a bit and Muddle them in a rocks glass with the lime juice. Add the vodka and watermelon juice and stir well, add ice and enjoy.