cocktails

Parenting? It takes energy. Dedication. And some days? No matter how hard we work? We’re more than ready for the day to end. And some days? Kicking back at the end is all about celebrating what went right.

One of the ways I love to do this is making up my own mixed drinks. Here are the recipes I’ve had fun concocting. I am no bartender. I have no training. This is all about tossing together a little of this and a splash of that. Enjoy the recipes and the evenings (but please, not all at once!)
And if this page isn’t for you, I want to acknowledge that. The parent who is recovering. Or is in the process of recovery. Or who is thinking it might be the best path. Or for whom not drinking is a personal choice for any reason. For you, it isn’t about fun, or relaxing, or laughter. It is real work, every day. Day after day. I see you. And I honor you. And I respect this page isn’t for you. xoxo.

A couple of mixing notes:

Simple syrup really is that. Simple. Put a pot on the stove, heat 1 cup of water, dissolve 1 cup of sugar. Remove from heat. Chill. Can be stored in the frig for a couple of weeks.

Sweet & sour syrup. Just a variation on the above. Put a pot on the stove, heat 1 cup of water, dissolve 1 cup of sugar. Add ½ cup of lemon juice, ½ cup of lime juice. Remove from heat. Chill. Can be stored in the frig for a couple of weeks.

The ‘parts’ I refer to below really is up to you and your measuring device. A traditional jigger has two sides, one measures 1 oz., the other 1.5 oz. It all depends on how big a drink you want to make…

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RECENT COCKTAIL POSTS

the Wide Awake

The Wide Awake comes to you in celebration of a book being published! Wide Awake. Every Week. is a year of meditations and A-ha moments, and I was lucky to be one of the contributing authors. EEP! It really is exciting, and you can browse & buy it right here. And in its honor? A cocktail, of course. Why so many drinks in the picture? Because just like writing, some drinks take multiple drafts to get it just right.

  • 1.5 oz. lemon or plain vodka (a jigger)
  • 1.5 oz. lemonade
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice (fresh squeezed or from the plastic lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons raspberry jam (seriously!)

Wisk together.

To create a rim for your glass: Pour a bit of lemon juice onto a plate, and sugar onto another. Roll the rim of the glass in the juice, then twist it in the sugar.

Add ice to your glass, pour in the Wide Awake.  For a lighter drink, add either tonic or carbonated water to taste. Drop in a few raspberries when seasonal. Et voila!

Candy Cane Vodka

first, all I can say is YUM. seriously, yum. Next, this was one of those classic moments when you think you are doing something original, then you google it to see it is already a thing. However! Mine is a bit different. All the others call for you to grind / blend / practically puree your candy canes before adding them to the vodka. Let me tell you, there is no need. Alcohol dissolves sugars just fine thank-you-very-much. So bless science, be lazy, and totally skip that step. (however, if you do want a crushed candy cane rim for your glass, you will need to pulverize at least one. Or buy a bag of pre-crushed. yes, they sell it).

  • 750 ml bottle of vodka
  • 15 6″ candy canes

unwrap candy canes. Place them in any container (it is fun to watch the process in a glass jar, but that is just me). Pour vodka over the top. Watch. Wait. A few hours later, voila! (if you want it all to go faster, then by all means, grind the canes up into small particles first).

Serve either over ice or mixed with tonic water–usually a 1:4 or 1:3 ratio, depending on your personal spirit strength preference. If you want a crushed candy cane rim, rub the rim with a lime wedge, then roll on a plate of crushed canes. Merry Merry!

the george

So named, because it was created around the time Mr. Clooney said “I do.” The rest of us needed a drink–to toast the happy couple, of course. Or to drown our sorrows…

  • 2 oz. brandy
  • 1 oz. cardamaro
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • soda water

Drop a handful of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour all ingredients (except the soda) over the ice. Lid on. Shake away. Pour into your glass. Add soda water to taste. Garnish? Why not. Slice a fig in half, spear with a piece of rosemary, float it all on top. Cheers!

The Summer MoDa

Named in honor of the women of our Mother-Daughter group, we gathered on what was the hottest night of the summer. And when it hits the triple digits in the PNW, we all tend to melt. So we needed something cool and refreshing after a hot day of parenting. Here was my heat-wave brain storm:

  • 1 part raspberry vodka
  • 1 part simple syrup
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • raspberries
  • raspberry sorbet

Pour just a little sugar in a saucer. Take your glass and rub the rim with a slice of lemon. Twist it in the sugar. Drop a handful of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour all ingredients over the ice. Lid on. shake away. Then drop a few frozen (or fresh!) raspberries in the bottom of your glass.

At this point, you have a couple of options. You can go ahead and generously fill your glass–as we did with dinner… or…you can fill it leaving plenty of room for…a generous scoop of raspberry sorbet. hellllo, dessert. Drinking it as the sorbet melted right in? heavenly.

Serenity. Now.

This one is dedicated to my brother Alex and his fabulous wife Erica. We gather with kids, parents & grandparents each summer for a week on the shores of Lake Chelan. And while some might call it a ‘vacation’, it sometimes feels more like a ‘trip’. Because even if we are away from our homes, we don’t get to escape our parenting lives. Which means we often look at one another and say ‘serenity. now’. This drink was a total hail mary. I’d come prepared to share the fabulous lavender cosmo from Ramblin’ Jacks…but it turned out we could find exactly none of what we needed to make it. So Alex bought a little of this and a bit of that, and what resulted was leagues away from what I had wanted…but we still hit serenity.

  • 2 parts orange vodka
  • splash of grand marnier (about 1/4 of the vodka)
  • 1-2 parts cranberry juice (to taste)
  • muddled lime

Muddle your lime slices. Add in ice & your liquids. shake. pour. if you want a bit of bubbles, add either tonic water or seltzer.

The Cherry Lemonade

  • 1 part cherry vodka
  • 1 part simple syrup
  • 1 part lemon juice

Kelli and I created this one on the fly- with only minutes to spare before a weekend escape. Sometimes spontaneity + the ingredients on hand = downright deliciousness. Wish we’d taken a picture of it from the train…maybe next time.

To create a sugar rim for your glass: pour just a little sugar in a saucer. Take your glass and rub the rim with a slice of lemon. Twist it in the sugar. Drop a handful of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour all ingredients over the ice. Lid on. shake away. Pour into your sugar rimmed glass & enjoy.

Simple syrup really is that. Simple. Put a pot on the stove, heat 1 cup of water, dissolve 1 cup of sugar. Remove from heat. Chill. Can be stored in the frig for a couple of weeks.

Mojito (finally!)

I tried making a mojito a couple of summers ago and finally gave up. In short, they were disgusting. This summer I decided to try once more. The difference? Growing my own mint & finding a fabulous light rum — Pacific Rum.

  • 1 large part light rum
  • 1 small part simple syrup
  • 1 small part lime juice
  • 10 mint leaves
  • lime wedge

muddle the lime wedge and mint leaves. add rum, simple syrup, and lime juice over ice. shake. strain into your glass, or pour in- depending on whether or not you want the look of the lime & mint leaves. Drink as is, or add soda water. Ahhh, summer.

 A couple of mixing notes:

Simple syrup really is that. Simple. Put a pot on the stove, heat 1 cup of water, dissolve 1 cup of sugar. Remove from heat. Chill. Can be stored in the frig for a couple of weeks.

The ‘parts’ I refer to really are up to you and your measuring device. A traditional jigger has two sides, one measures 1 oz., the other 1.5 oz. It all depends on how big a drink you want to make…

The Writer’s Block

This drink comes with its own irony. I had promised Stacee her own drink, and for a year I sipped here, and tasted there, and finally found one I wanted to make. It is based off a cocktail I tried in Tacoma called the coconut martini. And here’s what I have so far. It’s coming along…but there is still a little something missing…if you try it and have inspiration, please let me know…

  • 1.5 oz lemon (or vanilla) vodka
  • 0.5 oz coconut rum
  • 1.5 oz coconut milk
  • 1.0 oz pineapple juice

Drop a handful of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour all ingredients over the ice. Lid on. shake away. Pour into your glass. Well???