Redesign, etc.

If stuff starts looking odd around here, it’ll probably be because I’m in the middle of redesigning this site. I want to switch to a three-column layout so that the blogroll and categories are easier to access; I plan to redesign the logo (I just now noticed how much it cribs from the Imbibe logo); and I have other cosmetic changes in mind.

But that’s going to mean testing design elements out on the live site, so if things shift about or just look weird, give me a couple of hours and I’ll straighten it out.


One down

logo for Imbibe magazineHappy birthday, Imbibe magazine! It’s been a great first year, and here’s a toast to many more. Issue 7 hit my mailbox yesterday, and I must confess that since it arrived the same day as this issue of Esquire, I didn’t open Imbibe first.

(Even my wife saw Halle and said, “Wwwwow!”)

But I closeted my hormones, stirred up martinis, grabbed a cigar, and repaired out back to enjoy the warm weather and browse Imbibe.
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MxMo Quatorze: Champagne

mxmo14-champagneFor this month’s Mixology Monday, I decided to try something new–the Plum Royale.

I came to this with a melange of inspiration:

  • Anita’s post on the Rosemary Five got me thinking about pairing fruit and spice in a champagne drink.
  • A day after I read her post, I had a Gin Royale at brunch and decided to riff on that.
  • Finally, Jen brought home some beautiful black plums.

Plum Royale

photograph by Jennifer Hess

So with three ingredients already in mind–gin, champagne, and plum–I had to find my spice.

In Googling around to find inspiration, I came across an article about Plymouth gin that discussed, among other things, the botanicals in Plymouth–angelica root, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, lemon peel, orange peel, orris root, and juniper berries. Hm, cardamom. Turns out that cardamom and plums are a popular pairing, so I chose to go that way.

I made up a variation on this Cardamom Lime Syrup, sans lime this time. I also made a plum puree. The puree, gin, and syrup formed the basis for the drink, which I topped with champagne.


Plum Royale (a.k.a. the Eve Plum)

makes two drinks

  • 4 oz. Plymouth gin
  • 2 oz. plum puree
  • 1 oz. cardamom syrup
  • Mint sprig, for garnish

Technique: Shake over ice and divide between two champagne flutes. Top with champagne and garnish with a sprig of mint. (The mint is more for presentation than for flavor, so feel free to leave it out.)

In which I flip for rye whiskey

Among the many booze blogs in my feed reader is Lauren Clark’s Drink Boston. I’m a real softie for Boston, for reasons too numerous and personal to detail here, so I love reading Lauren’s blog and traveling vicariously through the cocktailian haunts of that fine city.

I especially enjoyed her most recent post, which starts with this money quote: “You hard boil your Easter eggs. We separate and shake ours.” — Misty Kalkofen

Upon reading that, I knew what I was doing for Easter cocktails.

We had the food down–a small ham from Vermont’s Tamarack Hollow Farm, scalloped potatoes, and roasted asparagus. Jen has the full rundown, if you’re interested.

I needed a good cocktail, though, and I was at a loss until I saw Lauren’s post, at which point the idea of shaking up my eggs just seemed too perfect to pass up. A comment on that entry, about the rye flip, seemed to point the way to exactly what we wanted.

So in honor of spring, the Rye Flip.

Rye Flip

  • 1 egg
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • 2 oz. Sazerac rye whiskey
  • Nutmeg, for garnish

Technique: Shake over ice. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Grate nutmeg over top of drink.