Ramos Gin Fizz

I get excited about little things.

Little things that, to me, are actually big ol’ things. Like finding a park near my new pad that has countless sprinklers spraying from about 3 p.m. to dusk. Making incredible batches of iced jasmine tea. Rediscovering The Shins. Or learning that even the smartest minds in the world are just as curious about outer space as we are.

Despite being a big kid, I want to play in those sprinklers. I want to have singalongs with The Shins and The Doobie Brothers. I want to taste flavors that remind me of my childhood home, like the jasmine scent of the upholstery at my dad’s old theatre.

It’s the itty bitty things that keep me from pressing snooze, and the curiosity in me that leads me to a bottle of orange blossom water that makes Ramos Gin Fizzes absolutely perfect for what might be one of the last few remaining beautiful summer evenings left in Boston.

Nectarines and peaches might be in season, but citrus will never be out of style. Especially in a zinger of a cocktail.

The beautiful thing about a Ramos fizz is that it doesn’t require mulling, crazy contraptions or outrageous flavor combinations. Just all of the ingredients, in a shaker, frothed with the power of your wrists and poured, quite generously, over a few ice cubes.

It’s perspiring. And my pupils may or may not be dilating just looking at it.

Ramos Gin Fizz.

makes 2 buzzworthy beverages

6 ounces gin
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 ounces fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 ounces heavy cream or milk of your choice (I used 2%)
2 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon orange blossom water
club soda, to taste

In a large shaker, combine all of the ingredients except the ice and club soda and shake vigorously for at least a minute. Add several ice cubes and shake for another 30 seconds. Pour into two glasses over a few cubes of ice and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with thinly sliced lemon and lime.


Sweet Tea Bourbon

There’s a problem with today’s fashion trends.

They don’t cater to people with goofy bodies. Has this always been a thing? Because I can’t count how many times I’ve taken a spectacularly lacy dress or billowing shirt and gasped in horror at the Frumpy McFrumpster in the mirror. What’s with cinched waistlines? Why are skirts so short?

And how about the platform heels? Let me tell you something, shoe designers. Ladies who wear a size 10 1/2 shoe are not petit. They have to be at least 5’9″ and goodness knows are awkward enough trying to balance on their own two feet, let alone with an extra 5 inches.

I bump into things. All the time.

So as I sigh for the umpteenth time after realizing, yet again, that straight-lined suits simply don’t work on curves, it hits me: I am my own fashionista. I will forever wear my $2 old man cardigan. I will never stop believing that one day, twelve patterns at once is a good idea. That barefoot will be the new boot.

And that whiskey will always be in season.

Sweet Tea Bourbon.

1/4 cup brewed black tea (1 tablespoon loose leaf per 5 cups hot water or 2 bags per 5 cups)
4 ounces Bourbon
1 teaspoon raw sugar or honey
a few sprigs of mint
fresh lemon juice, to taste

While the tea is still hot, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Tear up a few mint leaves and add to infuse while the liquid cools. Once warm to the touch, measure 1/4 cup tea and pour inside two cocktail glasses or mason jars. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and ice before stirring vigorously.

Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Makes two well-deserved drinks.

Massaman Fashioned

After my fingers and toes go numb, my sweatpants shrink to calf-high in the wash, my tan lines are no longer lines, and I can’t remember the last time I wore shorts, I start to make lists.

Those “Ideal Life” sorts of lists.  With the outdoor bathtub and beer-brewing goals.  Learning crochet and getting more tattoos goals.  Seeing the Northern Lights sorts of things.

And after making that list, wholly convinced that life could truly be more than perfect with or without the funds to feed my fantasies, I grab that flannel blanket that’s already covering another pair of familiar legs, stir this delicious cocktail, and press play to start that documentary about turtles in the Caribbean.

Pizza ovens and farms can wait.

Massaman Fashioned.

For the simple syrup:
1 teaspoon mace powder
6 cardamom pods
15 whole cloves
2 chunks of nutmeg
2 tablespoons coriander
3 cinnamon sticks
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups water

For the alcohol:
2oz Bourbon
1oz ginger beer
dash of Angostura Bitters

orange zest to garnish

In a small pot, toast all of the spices on low heat for a couple of minutes.  Add the sugar and water and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, take off the heat and let steep for at least 2 hours.  Strain out the spices once steeped.

For the drink, stir the Bourbon and 2 tablespoons of the Massaman syrup over ice until thoroughly chilled.  Add a dash of Angostura bitters and top with ginger beer.  Garnish with orange zest.