Archive for Boozy

Lavender French 75

It was all going so well… vaccines are being rolled out, progress is being made…

And then infection rates soared to the highest they’ve been ever. Ever.

Here in BC, that’s lead to a partial lockdown. In addition to all the restrictions we had before, we’re also now not allowed to eat in restaurants. Restaurants are allowed to do take out, or if they have a patio, they’re allowed to keep that open, but no in-house dining.

Lavender French 75

It’s been a tough week. We’ve all been living such restricted lives this past year, some of us (depending on where you live) more than others. For me, going out once a week or so with a friend for a nice happy hour or a dinner was the last thing that really brought me joy and a sense of normalcy in my life. And now that’s gone… at least for three weeks.

So here we are, living alone again, in our own places, just trying to stay safe and cope the best way we can.

I’m grateful that we’re not on full lockdown here, so at least I can get out and go for walks, and that helps. But I’m basically not seeing any friends or eating out at all, other than takeout.

It felt like this turn of events needed one thing: booze.

Okay, I’m joking. Kinda. But also, what else is there to do? I cannot do another zoom call. I’ve watched everything on Netflix and Prime. The new season of Top Chef is here just in the nick of time.

So here is a pretty, simple and easy-to-make cocktail. Bonus, it contains lavender, which has calming effects on the nervous system. You could techincally use any gin in this Lavender French 75, but I like to use the Empress 1908 Gin that’s blue in the bottle, and then turns a beautiul shade of lavender when you add lemon juice to it. It’s locally distilled in Sydney, BC, at Victoria Distillers.

This is a twist on a classic cocktail called the French 75, which dates back 100 years. Still good.

Lavender French 75

Ingredients 

  • 1 oz Empress 1908 gin
  • 1/2 oz lavender simple syrup (see below)
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 2-3 oz prosecco or sparkling white wine

Method

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, place 1 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons lavender flowers. Bring up to a boil, swirling to mix. Once it comes to a boil and the sugar is all dissolved, turn off the heat, and place the syrup aside to cool completely. Once cool, strain into a bottle or a mason jar.
  2. To make the cocktail: in a shaker with ice, place the gin, simple syrup and lemon juice. Shake to chill (don’t go too crazy, gin is delicate!), and then strain into a pretty coupe glass or champagne flute. Top with prosecco, garnish with a lavender sprig or a lemon twist and serve.

Citrus Caramel Apple Cider

It’s December, and that means it’s the season for twinkly lights, yummy food, gatherings and good drinks.

Obviously, a bunch of those things will not be happening this year, but I’d argue that this year, more than ever, we need some extra cheer.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this in your neighbourhood, but it seems like people are putting up Christmas lights and decorating earlier than ever. I get it. We all need some cheer, and more than that, something to look forward to.

Parties (unless they’re virtual) will be a thing of the past this year, but I’m hopeful I’ll be able to at least eat Christmas dinner with a small group of family. I’ve also booked a staycation on the Island for Michael and I, though we both know it’s very possible that may be cancelled.

Citrus Caramel Apple Cider

We are badly in need of Christmas cheer, and I have just the thing.

I recently attended a virtual workshop put on by Simply Bare Organics, where we made three different cider recipes. This one was my favourite, and Michael really loved it, too.

It’s a citrusy mulled cider with a sweet kick.

You could, by the way, make this more adult by adding booze. I would consider rum, bourbon, or something orangey like Grand Marnier to play off of the citrus notes in the cider.

It makes for a very pretty drink when you use a transparent glass to serve (I am loving these new double-walled glasses I recently bought), and drizzle the inside of the glass with the caramel before you pour in the cider.

For this recipe, we just melted down regular caramels over a double boiler, but you could also use a bottled caramel sauce or you could even make you own. You just want the consistency to be thick enough that it sticks to the walls of the glass, at least for a while, before dissolving.

One last thing: this would make a great virtual Christmas activity to do with family or friends. Just buy multiple ingredients, then put together boxes, one for each household, and drop them off. Then book a zoom date when all of you can make the cider and enjoy it together virtually.

Citrus Caramel Apple Cider

recipe courtesy of Travis Peterson for Simply Bare Organics

Makes one serving

Ingredients

  • 12 oz apple cider (I love Taves)
  • 4 oz orange juice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, split
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • caramel to drizzle

Method:

  1. In a medium pot over medium heat, place the cider, sugar, orange juice, lemon and spices. Bring up to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  3. An alternate way to do this is to put all the ingredients into a slow cooker (in this case, quadruple the recipe and make multiple servings), and allow to cook on low for about an hour.
  4. Melt the caramel over a double boiler, if using solid caramel. Drizzle the inside of a pretty glass with the caramel drizzle/sauce.
  5. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the cider into the glass.
  6. Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.

 

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