Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Years’ Resolution

This year I vow to make more cocktails.

I love a great cocktail but I don’t really know much about them. I did go to bartending school once for kicks but never really made any. Yes, we have our small repertoire of pretty good drinks (our favorite is The Back Forty, which I can tell you how to make but then I’d have to kill you so...) but mostly we drink beer* or red wine**. Honestly, I didn’t know much about beer or wine (or cheeses), or much of anything, until I met JustAwesome five years ago. She knows quite a bit about beer (even started a brewing collective once upon a time), but the other things just developed as things do...

We started at Saxelby Cheesmongers and Anne suggested, we tried and loved it, Anne suggested something else, we tried and loved it again. And so it grew. And then we tried this olive oil and that olive oil. And so it grew. And as I began to taste, I began to read more. I read about this new chef and that new product. And so it goes...

For wine, we just picked a good local shop, which had nice employees and good picks for under $20 and ordered a mixed (red) case. And we drank. And drank. And drank. And then we ordered another and another. And so it grew. And now I can go to a restaurant and pick out something that I’d like. I’m not intimidated. Do I know anything about wine? No, not really, but I’m definitely in a different place than I was 5 years ago. And so it goes...

We found a bartender (Michael C from Savoy) and he introduced us to bourbons and Meyer lemons and the freshest of freshest ingredients. And we drank. And then we tried cocktails at different places and found more bartenders (none as wonderful as Michael C) and drank more drinks. And so it goes...

I sometimes say I never tasted or smelled or saw color before I met JustAwesome. This embarrasses her, but it’s true. I really began to taste. She does have an amazing palate—she can really pull out ingredients from a particular dish—which helps (and also embarrasses her) but really she taught me to slow down and pay attention. This is our slow food movement. Discovering and enjoying new things with each other. And stopping to taste. Really taste in. It is a fun hobby.

So, where to begin? We downloaded a copy of The PDT Cocktail Book onto the iPad and we’re ready to jump in... Let the games begin!!!

L’Chaim! And a Happy New Year to you all!

*I think beer deserves the same respect that people give wine, damn it!

**We tend to drink the Italian & French ones, assuming that those come by boat, rather than Californian, which would presumably come by train. True? I don’t know. But they’re less expensive so that’s how we do it at the Feral Casa.


  1. I love it! For the record, I believe that beer is an even more personal choice than wine, and that a person's beer will tell you much. But I do miss cocktails...and I had started drinking them again over the past few months. Of course, I stuck to my old standards (gin and grapefruit or bourbon and ice). You may be inspiring me to branch out. Let me know what you're drinking!

  2. Some friends in Montreal introduced us to a great way to make a gin and tonic. You need good gin and Schweppes is the best tonic water you can buy. They started with lots of freshly squeezed lime juice. They even bought us a hand-help citrus squeezer. Then the gin, ice and tonic with a twist of lime.

  3. I think that’s the key to EVERYTHING, CC Noyes. Fresh, simple ingredients.