Appetizer, Drink, Life

The Tale of Two

“Ernest once told me that the word paradise was a Persian word that meant “walled garden.” I knew then that he understood how necessary the promises we made to each other were to our happiness. You couldn’t have real freedom unless you knew where the walls were and tended them. We could lean on the walls because they existed; they existed because we leaned on them.” 
The Paris Wife: A Novel, Paula McLain

I recently finished reading this beautiful novel about the romance between Hadley and Ernest Hemingway. I was swept up and carried away in the beginning of this book, as Hadley spun me through her tale of love. There were moments of beauty and moments of sadness. Above all, there were two strong willed people who were determined to find out what true love was….through it all.

As I read through this novel, I wondered what love felt like to Hadley. To love a writer as Hadley loved Hemingway. Here I am both in love and newly married- to a writer. I do not know how our story will end but I am savoring every second along the way. Learning to take time to savor, to appreciate and to adjust along the way. I suppose I was doing this beforehand too…as I was singing “Single Ladies” and having a dance party while making single lady pancakes. Now, I am swept away from the kitchen by Sweet Z to dance to Phil Collins. I savor these moments and memories.

For special events, both big and small, cocktails are just fun! I have been mixing up and experimenting with cocktails this summer. I told myself I could get away with it…for blog research, or wedding ideas or..well, must I keep inventing reasons to make cocktails? 

I present to you a tale of two cocktails. Each are different yet bring their own style and flavor to the table.

Blueberry Lavender Simple Syrup

 I grew up picking blueberries every summer with my family. It only seemed natural that one cocktail at our wedding incorporated blueberries. Sweet Z and I have continued that tradition of picking wild blueberries each summer. The cocktail pictured above used a blueberry lavender simple syrup, vodka, seltzer and a squeeze of lime juice. The cocktail was nice, but to our tastes, a little too floral. Round 2 brought a blueberry ginger simple syrup to the table along with the other ingredients.

Success! I had made 3 quarts of this cocktail ahead of time. When ready to serve, pour over a glass with ice and top with seltzer and add a lime for garnish! Easy!

Cincy BFF was happy! The blue color of blueberries was a theme throughout the wedding!

The second cocktail idea came from the idea of incorporating something familiar to Sweet Z from his childhood. Sweet tea came to mind.

Orange Mint Iced Tea

Why not infuse sweet tea with orange, mint and…

Bourbon! I know, I have a weakness for bourbon. Real talk. Remember the bourbon themed party I  had? Again I made 3 quarts of this – the only serving suggestion I have is to serve over a glass filled with ice, add some orange and mint for garnish! This recipe comes from Joy the Baker…also a lover of bourbon! I did not change a thing. I also made Joy’s chewy molasses chocolate chip cookies – simply because I wanted to give my guests something more, that I made with my own two hands, in my new kitchen. This was important to me.

Cheers friends…thanks for reading!!!

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