belated cocktails

I mentioned that I would share the Game of Thrones season finale cocktails if they came out well and they did but then I forgot! Oops.

got cocktailsI decide beforehand to do one fire-themed cocktail and one ice-themed cocktail. Originally the ice one was going to involve sparkling wine but after spending the day making lemon cakes and lamb stew I wanted something lighter.

The fire cocktail is basically a cinnamon whiskey sour. It is approximately equal parts fresh lemon juice, Bärenjäger honey liqueur & Early Times Fire Eater hot cinnamon flavored whiskey (which comes in a fabulously circusy bottle) shaken over ice & served up. This came out rather splendidly, the whiskey really does have that hot cinnamon kick to it which seemed appropriately fire-themed even though the drink itself was cold.

The ice cocktail is vodka (distilled from honey!) with a splash of creme de violette topped with sparkling water & served, of course, over ice. I was going to use my giant round ice molds but I forgot to fill them. This one turned out a beautiful clear lavender color that doesn’t quite come across in the photo.

I am thinking I will make this a Game of Thrones tradition and make different fire&ice cocktails for next season’s premiere, too.


2 things i <3 right now

cocktails & pandemic

Thing 1:

When I had bronchitis and I was basically useless and after I’d watched Wreck-It Ralph four times I started watching episodes of TableTop on YouTube. I have not been much of a board game person beyond never finishing a single game of Monopoly as a child and an enduring fondness for Clue! but watching other people play newer games was oddly fascinating and entertaining (I think it would be even if you weren’t nursing a fever) and beyond that was a fantastic way to get a sense of the games themselves.

So when I could breathe again I went out and picked up a couple of games that I’d been intrigued by and now I am a little bit obsessed with Pandemic. I’ve never really played a cooperative board game before and really like it and it’s reminded me how much I like strategizing. And swearing at inanimate objects. Also I feel like it’s teaching me better geography.

This is pretty much Wil Wheaton‘s fault, but I have been fond of Wil ever since I watched Star Trek: TNG on a tiny black & white tv and had no idea how ugly Wesley’s sweaters were. True story.


Thing 2:

In keeping with the “things I couldn’t do when I was sick” theme, I am back to creative cocktailing and I’m playing with something I was introduced to via Julibox a few months ago: the wine-based cocktail.

Tonight’s experiment was a variation on a recipe they’d sent that I made a few creative substitutions for and ended up with a pinot noir/apple brandy/Licor 43 (which is, by the way, one of my new favorite things)/pomegranate juice/lemon concoction that was really quite lovely.

I’m getting better at creative substitutions. And fixing cocktails if they don’t quite come together on the first try. Also, it’s nice to have options for wine that are sangria-esque without being proper sangria.


Both of these things combined are doing wonders for keeping my brain awake and my inner editor distracted, which is precisely what I need right now.


I’ve been a little bit obsessed with cocktails lately. I’d always been more of a red wine person with the occasional gin & tonic and I knew I preferred Manhattans to Martinis but I hadn’t ventured very far into the often intimidating world of the cocktail.

I’ve been venturing for over a year now and I’m still pretty sure I haven’t gotten that far, but it’s been very fun and educational. I’ve found gorgeous speakeasy-esque bars and developed a thing for coupe glasses (if anyone knows where to find good ones let me know, I have a few I got from Pottery Barn that I love but they no longer have them, hrmph.) My favorite cocktail that I can actually manage at home with some decent flair is a Bee’s Knees, a prohibition era concoction of gin, lemon & honey. (I have made something of a sub-hobby out of trying them with different gins and different honeys.)

(It is worth noting that in a strange sort of way this is all book research. If the circus with all its chocolate mice and Midnight Dinners was a food book, the new one is most definitely a cocktail book.)

(This post has too many parentheticals already.)

This is the first of what will likely be a series of cocktail-related posts as I continue to research and explore. I may include favorite recipes as we go on, but I have something fun for today.

A few weeks ago I discovered (via Twitter, of course) Julibox, which is something like a cocktail of the month club where you get ingredients and instructions for different cocktails sent to your door in a box full of boozy wonderment.

So of course I pondered for all of a few hours before I signed up. I got my first box (collection #7) in mid March.

Everything arrived gorgeously wrapped in pretty paper with matching stickers and I am such a sucker for an aesthetically pleasingly wrapped package that I almost didn’t want to unwrap anything.
julibox wrappedBut I did, because cocktails.

julibox unwrapped

This month’s collection was elderflower liqueur themed which meant lots of St Germain which was happy making because I love St Germain. I suspect I love it even more because it comes in the most beautiful bottles.

There are fancy, incredibly easy to follow recipe cards:

julibox cardsIt includes 2 different cocktails and there’s enough to make 2 of each. (4 drinks total.) They email you beforehand to let you know what you’ll need that’s not in the box, which was lime, lemon & grapefruit for this box. (I always have limes & lemons on hand but I did have to go out and get the grapefruit.)

Both of the cocktails in this box were lovely, one was a spin on a Hemingway daiquiri and the other was a lovely fizzy pear vodka concoction, and of course both had St Germain. I’d give the very slight edge to the fizzy pear one just because it was more in line with my tastes but it was wonderful to try something with light rum that was different than the rum drinks I’ve had in the past. (I tend to be a gin girl, I’m thinking this will be a good exercise in trying things I might not order off cocktail menus or create from my own bar.)

julibox pear flower

I’m already looking forward to next month and I can’t wait to see what cocktail surprises are in store.