Happy Hour

Happy (Birthday) Hour

We hosted our buddy Angela’s bday party a couple of weekends ago, and her only request was that I create a signature drink for the night–and could it be hot pink (as long as it tasted good and wasn’t too ‘college girl’)? Since her go-to is vodka and soda, I decided to keep it simple, and with the help of some internet magic, The Angela Cocktail was a great success. I probably made close to 30 drinks, and not one person complained about his/her hot pink glitter-lips. Here’s the recipe:

The Angela

Rim the glass edge in lemon juice and then edible tinker dust. Shake liquor and lemon juice with ice; strain into glass. Add a smidge of cocktail glitter; stir and witness the magic. Top with club soda and enjoy.

The Angela
Happy Hour

Happy (Birthday) Hour

I created this drink last Thursday, in honor of my aunt’s birthday on 4/11. When I lived in Wisconsin with her and my uncle, we worked hard all day and played hard after, and we loved creating drinks and naming them (like my uncle Tim’s vodka and cran-raspberry mix, which Wendy and I named the ‘Mr. Barbie’). So to celebrate my aunt, here is a springy drink recipe:

The Wendy

  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil (be sure to use food-grade)
  • juice of half a Meyer lemon
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • 1.5+ oz Tanqueray Rangpur gin
  • club, seltzer, or sparkling water

Shake lavender, lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin with ice. Strain into glass and top with seltzer. Enjoy!

The Wendy ingredients
Happy Hour


It’s been springy down here in SC for a few weeks now, and the pink trees started blooming mid-February. We just hit the six-month mark of Southern Living, and I didn’t miss winter for second. It was like we had a fall, a real fall, that graciously extended into an early spring. There is yellow pine pollen everywhere, leaving lemon chalk lines along the road after it rains. I found a drink at Boulder Locavore to embody this specific rite of spring, but I think I’ll change the name a little to make it work for the region:

Carolina Pine Whiskey Cooler

Fill a tall Collins glass (12-14 ounces) with ice. Pour in the pine syrup, rye, and stir. Fill with ginger beer. Get fun, woodsy straws here. Happy Spring from Flowertown in the Pines, SC!

from Boulder Locavore
Happy Hour

February Friday

As per usual, the first month of the year flew by. And what a month it was: full of snowstorm after snowstorm up north and in the Midwest, #myKonMari pictures on Instagram of beautifully-folded drawers and organized closets (did no one do any of the other categories??), and an enormous, happy onslaught of birthday cards and other mailbox surprises from a secret thing Jim did for my 40th birthday this past Sunday. We got to see a dozen relatives and friends in a 12-day whirlwind of houseguests and travelers passing through on their way to warmer climates. Before that, I flew to Indianapolis for a few days to help my uncle with a small organizing project and got to spend time with my aunt and Nanny for a bit, but the main event in Indy was consuming good food and libations. Uncle Chet (or U.C. as I like to call him) enjoys cooking, so we turned on the French cooking station on Pandora while he whipped up a delicious homemade curry and we took turns mixing just about the best, simplest, and strongest gin drink out there: The Bee’s Knees. Here is the recipe:

The Bee’s Knees

Add ingredients into shaker with ice and shake; strain into small cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon slice. Pinkies up!

*Honey Syrup (makes 8 oz or 240 ml)

  • 1 cup (340 g) honey
  • 4 oz (120 ml) water

Combine the honey and water in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat until well combined. Let cool and store in a sealed container in the fridge for 1 to 2 months.

For my 40th, my uncle sent me the same shaker set he had, a professional Boston cocktail shaker with every tool you could possibly need and several you didn’t know you had to have. I broke it in to make Bee’s Knees for myself and good friend Kelly who was staying with us last week. This drink tastes like lemon water ice and goes down waaaay more easily. We used a local organic gin (which she promptly renamed ‘NippleTitty’ after just a few sips), organic lemons, and the leftover honey syrup from the last drink we tried. What kind of secret-fantasy-bartender was I before owning these fancy tools? I think I finally feel like a grown-up. Mercy buckets, U.C.! 😉

Kelly, Julian, my dad (Gerry), me, and Jim by Charleston Harbor on 1/25/19