It’s been one heck of a winter, huh? Spring has officially sprung (though I personally think March is still firmly winter), and parts of the country are still seeing snow showers and downright chilly temperatures. And nothing is better on a cold night than a roaring fireplace, a warm Corgi on your lap and a tasty, tasty cocktail.
Well, I have two out of the three at least. Sadly my new apartment did not come with a fireplace. New apartment, you ask? Why, yes! In January, an apartment in the neighborhood we have been scoping out for at least a year dropped out of the clear blue sky and fell on our heads. We weren’t planning to move until next year at the earliest, but it was an offer we couldn’t refuse. So now we call Cobble Hill home and I’ve got a whole new kitchen to navigate. Fun fact: the oven door does not fully open because it hits the refrigerator. So far this hasn’t been a problem. There also wasn’t room in the new kitchen for my much loved baker’s rack that stored nearly everything in our old place, so we had to get creative. And where do New Yorkers go when they want to get creative?
i had determined that I wanted some sort of bar in the new place. I was tired of hiding all our liquor in a cabinet and besides, cabinet space was at a premium in the new joint. So we braved the crowds in Red Hook and picked up this little number.
The top shelf of the dresser holds our stemless wine glasses, beer sampler glasses, beer coozies, coasters, a lemon juicer and various other bar-related items. But the bottom two drawers… oh, those drawers hold all my baking accoutrements. I am amazed at how much stuff that dresser holds. It’s been a godsend in the new apartment.
But on to the liquor!
Once we got the new apartment in some semblance of arranged, we invited our friends Jon and Lori over for cocktails. A while back, I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of “Winter Cocktails” by Maria Del Mar Sacasa to review.
There are a lot of fantastic classic and not-so-classic drink recipes contained in this book. I chose to go with something old and something new.
And What a Tart.
The Old-Fashioned is a classic combination of bourbon (or rye whiskey), bitters, sugar, orange and cherry. It’s a strong drink, but surprisingly drinkable. It’s a great standby recipe to have on hand as it tends to be a crowd pleaser, at least among people who drink those darker liquors.
The What a Tart is a little more adventurous. It combines applejack, apple cider, lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger, cardamom and mace. I ended up buying a spiced apple cider as it was all I could find in the market I was in, so I skipped adding the cardamom and mace. This is an incredible delightful little drink that is a little too drinkable. It’s a great punch of apple flavor that I could see perfectly working in all seasons. The fruity flavors make it light and refreshing, while the spices give it just a touch of warmth. It’s honestly like drinking apple pie and apple pie knows no season as far as I’m concerned.
“Winter Cocktails” also features a few food recipes for desserts, garnishes (marshmallows!) and appetizers, and the drinks range from simple White Russians to complicated mulled drinks. There are hot and cold drinks alike, something to suit every drinker at your party. It’s also a beautifully photographed book and it comes with a ribbon bookmark to highlight your favorite recipe. I’ve already spilled applejack on my favorite recipe, so now I can use the ribbon to mark another!
Don’t let this last little bit of chilly weather get you down. Pick up a few ingredients and whip up a delicious drink that’ll get you through till April.