Cocktailing: The Greyhound

The Greyhound | Liz Takes the World

What up, late winter. You go on with your bad self and your delicious citrus. Let’s make you into a cocktail that we can enjoy in the SUNLIGHT now available to us after work.

Real talk: this drink happened because I sat on a bunch of grapefruit for a little too long. More like they sat on my dining room table too long. Sometimes I am a person that likes to look at pretty things rather than eat them. I’m sure you understand.

In about seven minutes you too can juice some grapefruits, strain the juice into a carafe, mix it with gin, and be on with life. Do it. Your day will be better.

The grapefruit aftermath

The Greyhound

2 oz gin

4 oz grapefruit juice

Greyhounds are traditionally made with vodka but I find the herbal-y complexity of gin much more appealing.

Combine the gin and grapefruit juice over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime, grapefruit, or nothing at all.

London After Hours

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Social Eating Club, London

My brother and I are proud gluttons. We joke about our permanent membership in the Clean Plate Club, a club our parents invented to get us to eat dinner (as if that were ever a struggle). If the option is more Serrano, 9 times out of 10 we’re going to order another round of finely shaven pork. We savor, we relish, we order a third round of drinks.

London was a playground. I’m used to traveling alone and typically don’t drink much when I’m on my own in unfamiliar cities. With a companion we can conquer the cocktail menu in half the time and have someone to talk to while we do it. Bartending happens to be Mike’s profession so I also tag along as research assistant. Who is doing something interesting? What concepts work and which ones fall flat? Which ones could improve with tweaks? And most importantly, what tastes delicious? We met many great bartenders and visited many great bars in London. It’s hard to pick favorites so I included links to all the places we went to at the bottom. You can’t go wrong with any of them. And when in doubt, befriend a bartender and ask them for their suggestions. It is a strategy that has yet to fail me.

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Sexy flower bento box, Artesian, London

White Lyan, London | via Purple PR

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Blind Pig, London

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ROKA, London

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Sager + Wilde, London

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ROKA, London

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Sager + Wilde, London

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Fuzzy sibs

We suggest: White Lyan | 69 Colebrooke Row | Artesian | ROKA | Sager + Wilde | Mission | Look Mum No Hands | On the Bap

Others We Tried: Happiness Forgets | Blind Pig

Out and About: Damn the Weather

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Damn the Weather, Seattle. Photo by Suzi Pratt via the Damn the Weather facebook page

Damn the Weather is my new favorite bar. There’s a lot to love: it’s a 17 minute walk from my office, the drinks are great, the menu rotates constantly, and the entire staff is delightful. Pioneer Square has been getting a lot of foodie buzz these last few months with several great, new places opening and Damn the Weather is a super sparkly jewel in that crown.

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Padron peppers, Damn the Weather, Seattle

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Zest and juice

Bryn Lumsden, the owner and subject of my aggressive friend dating, has a great Seattle pedigree and worked at Rob Roy for years before opening his own place. He recruited Eli Dahlin of Walrus and the Carpenter fame to run the excellent food program. Even some of my brothers old co-workers are slinging behind the bar. All the best people in one beautiful place. I’m about to move my cot in. I never want to leave.

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Fried chicken skins, Damn the Weather, Seattle

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Svenskarna, Damn the Weather, Seattle

The entire menu is super on point. There are dozens of truly great cocktail bars in this town. Heck, I can give you my top five by neighborhood and price point. Damn the Weather takes that creative and innovation standard and extends it to the kitchen. On my second trip, they had not one but two tuna specials based on tuna line caught that week on the Washington coast. Both were layered with fresh flavors that brought out the tender richness of the cuts of tuna in fantastically divergent ways. Siiri and I relished so deeply in the tuna belly tartare we were “forced” to order a second plate to get a photo. It’s that good.

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Tuna crudo, Damn the Weather, Seattle

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Tuna belly tartare, Damn the Weather, Seattle

Bryn is also very vocal about making his bar as approachable as possible. The very name, Damn the Weather, is a call to the fair denizens of the Emerald City to brave our wet, soggy weather and come have a drink at the bar. This summer has been glorious but this bar is built for the rain of November and the endless grey of February. The bar staff is killing it with tequila-, aquavit-, and gin-based coolers for summer. I can’t wait to see what they can do for me when we switch back to whiskey in the fall. The long oak bar calls out for something cozy from the kitchen that you eat while wearing your favorite sweater. It’s a bar for who Seattle truly is.

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A pair of vermouth specials, Damn the Weather, Seattle

Damn the Weather is open 4pm-2am seven glorious days a week in Pioneer Square. Non-Seattlites can follow their excellent instagram feed.

Cocktailing: Bourbon Slushies

Recipe: Bourbon Slush Punch from Smitten Kitchen

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Making summer better

Well folks, here’s your homework this weekend. Never fear it’s scary easy and insanely delicious. This summer has been a non-stop parade of everything amazing: sailing with my dad, working on my tan on Siiri’s rooftop deck, frolicking at the lake across the street from our house. I’m ready to embrace August like a warm, sweaty hug and never let summer go.

Kat and I have been hosting weekly Friday night BBQs lovingly dubbed Patio Friday. Originally conceived as a casual way to chill out with friends, they’ve also proven to be a great testing ground of all manner of booze experimenting. This blended punch is everything you think it’s going to be: cool, refreshing, really easy to drink, and a little cheeky.

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Prepping the slushie base

Did I mention it’s basically no work to bring together? We made a double batch (our first rodeo this is not) which meant about 10 minutes of squeezing fresh juice followed by two minutes of measuring and pouring iced tea and bourbon into a pitcher. That’s all your prep, folks. I had every intention of prepping the base the night before and was initially a little stressed when that didn’t happen. Not to fear, I assembled the base, did all the dishes, and retired to the patio before the first guest arrived. When you’re ready to drink you just blend the base with ice and serve.

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Such an attractive couple

I’m off to my ten year high school reunion this weekend. Facebook has taken much of the mystery and anticipation out these events. But no meet up would be complete without some amount of hand wringing. Pipers, see your beautiful faces Saturday! What are your plans for your late summer nights?

Cocktailing: Rhubarb Gin and Tonic

Soundtrack: Queen Bey playlist by the NYT Magazine

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Cheers!

It’s summer time in the city, kids! It’s been sunny and in the mid 70s for weeks now. The sun is setting after 9pm. It’s all bare legs and sunglasses all the time. Life is good.

The lime shortage forced Kat and I to tweak our approach to the G&T. Not being independently wealthy, stocking limes that may go half unused was not an option. We needed something that could bring depth to the drink without sharp citrus. Enter: rhubarb bitters.

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Rhubarb Gin and Tonic

This drink is simple and straightforward. You don’t even have to measure (but you can if you want, we don’t judge). This drink is ideal for low key weeknights and picnics in the park. The truly ambitious among us would make a thermos and bring it to an outdoor movie. I believe in your great choices. (Please invite me along.)

This weekend I’m torn between being outside as much as humanly possible, going to yoga, living life and watching all of the second season of Orange is the New Black. I’m not willing to place odds on what will win because I’m not ready to admit what kind of person I truly am. What big plans do you have?

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Rhubarb Gin and Tonic

Rhubarb Gin and Tonic

3 dashes rhubarb bitters

2 oz gin

Tonic water

Place several ice cubes in a high ball glass. Combine rhubarb bitters with gin and top with tonic water. Cheers!

Out and About: Aragona

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House made chip drizzled in honey, beef cheek “bikini” sandwich

My co-workers think I’m way cooler than I actually am. Which, granted, on the List of Terrible Problems isn’t high but I do feel some (weird, totally internal) pressure to sort of live up to the glory. Two sentences in and I come off looking like the world’s most vain (this song is totally about me).

Anyway, Aragona opened recently and I sweet talked Lindsay into trying it out with me. Their happy hour menu was even more extensive than we were lead to believe online (win!), the cocktail list is delicious (double win!), and everything was delicious (triple win!). Really the only downsides are the lack of view for being so close to the waterfront and the fact that tapas means you buy all the things. Cheap happy hour this is not. But who cares when you’re double-fisting meatballs and a beef cheek and goat cheese sandwich?

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Mushroom revuelto and serrano ham

Aragona is open for dinner Monday-Saturday and happy hour Monday-Friday at the south end of the Market.

Cocktailing: Liz’s Champagne Cocktail

Cocktail Week comes to a close with a delightfully festive drink for your end of the year celebration. Here’s a 2014 full of adventure and growth! Happy New Year!

You’ll need:

Champagne (or other sparkling wine)

Sugar cube

Rhubarb bitters (I use Fee Brothers)

Note: a tradition champagne cocktail uses Angostura bitters and makes a fine drink. I was gifted rhubarb bitters and found the tart bite appealing. You do your thing. I trust your judgement.

Place sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute. Splash 2-3 dashes of bitters directly onto the sugar cube and let soak for a moment; the sugar cube will begin to break down. Pop open chilled champagne and pour over sugar cube into glass. Make a toast and drink!

Curious about variations? Cooking Light has some fun idea ideas.

Cocktailing: Hot Toddy

Welcome to Monday. It’s another wonky holiday week. Let’s not get too stressed about things. Stress is for New Years Eve plans and how to accessorize when you need to factor in tights and a coat. The last minute run to Forever 21 can wait until tomorrow. Tonight, you need to sit on your couch and drink a toddy.

You’ll need:

2oz bourbon

3/4oz fresh lemon juice (make it right, use fresh!)

3/4oz honey syrup

Lemon wedge, whole cloves, cinnamon stick (for garnish)

In a sturdy mug combine the bourbon, lemon juice, and honey syrup. Top with 2-3oz (depending on how strong you like your drink) hot water. Stir lightly to combine. Garnish with a clove-studded lemon wedge and cinnamon stick. Cheers!

More of a gin fan? Shutterbean has you covered.

Cocktailing: Emilia’s Lion Tale

Today’s cocktail comes to us from my beautiful and talented friend, Emilia of Emilia Jane Photography in Chicago and New York. Emilia has great taste in everything and her cocktails are no exception. She made the best date for my trip to the Aviary to see my brother in all his glory. Take it away, Em!

My absolute favorite winter drink, meet the Lion’s Tale. I originally tried this drink at the Violet Hour, though I don’t think it’s ever been on the menu. It’s a classic cocktail with a whiskey base and St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram which is one of the most delicious, flavorful things in the world.

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Photo by Emilia Jane Photography. Used with permission.

Here’s what you need:

Whiskey (I use Weller 107 or Weller Reserve because it’s smoother, and I am not normally a huge whiskey fan)

St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram

One fresh lime. Yes, it does NEED to be fresh. Don’t squeeze lime juice from the bottle into this, you’d regret it.

Simple syrup (which is easy to make…but look at the cute bottle!)

Angostura bitters (available anywhere you get cocktail supplies)

You will also need a jigger to properly measure, a shaker, and strainer. And if you want to get fancy, the proper glass is a coupe.

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Photo by Emilia Jane Photography. Used with permission.

Please note, I have modified the recipe just a wee bit because I don’t LOVE whiskey and wanted the drink to be smoother. Start with 1 1/2 ounces of the Weller 107 or other whiskey of your choice, pour this into the shaker (original recipe calls for 2 oz).

Add 1/2 ounce of Allspice Dram (original recipe calls for 3/4 oz), then 1/2 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice, and 1/2 oz of simple syrup.

Add ice, put the top on the shaker, and shake hard for about 20 seconds. The bottom of the shaker will look and feel much colder as you can see above on the right.

From here, strain out the drink into a coupe or other glass of choice, add 2 dashes of Angosura bitters to the top, cheers with someone you love, and drink up!

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Photo by Emilia Jane Photography. Used with permission.