Strawberry Basil Margarita

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One of my new year’s resolutions this year was to have more dinner parties. And so, I have been working on that! To that end, here is a drink we served, taken from a cocktail book I received as a Christmas present.

Since I’m actually writing this article day of, it’s a little easier to find news. Mexico, the home of the margarita, is having some issues with the US. What’s new? Particularly because of the changing opinions (and laws?) on immigration, we’re seeing relations get a little bit frosty. If that’s a word you can use for two countries that border on a desert. Anyways, a meeting earlier today between Mexican officials and our new Secretary of State showed some animosity, but nothing that can’t be handled. Hopefully.

Strawberry Basil Margarita - Ingredients

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Chilled Cider Punch

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Today’s interlude is brought to you not by Jerry Thomas, but by the New Year’s Eve party I made this for. This is a (very tasty) recipe, modified in this particular occasion, from Saveur magazine, presented below. I’ve made this a few times now, though, and it’s always a hit. A little dangerous alcohol-wise, and addictive, but hey, it (was) New Year’s Eve. Might as well!

For those of you in the northeast, be warned! Your houses are about to be chilled again with a “one-two punch” (their words, not mine, so it’s okay) of more bad weather this weekend. It’s times like these I really miss being back home. Which is weird, I know, but it’s just how I am. Will hopefully be up in the snowy California mountains soon, which is almost as good. Anyways, wait out the storm with a hot cider and then you’ve got all three words in one blurb! I mean… a good drink. Both.

Chilled Cider Punch - Ingredients

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130. Porter Sangaree

130. Porter Sangaree - Hero

This is an alternate version of one we’ve already tested, the Ale Sangaree. This one is better.

Hopefully, the most important thing that will happen today in the news is the Super Bowl, this afternoon between the Patriots and the Falcons. Being from New England, my choice here is clear, and so I will be a porter of Pats spirit even here in LA — or let’s face it, most places — where people kind of hate them. At press time, the odds are 61% in favor of the Pats (according to FiveThirtyEight) so I’m okay with that. Have fun watching!

130. Porter Sangaree - Ingredients

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176. White Lion

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Okay, so I thought this was a wintry drink, due to where it was in the book, as well as its name. It is not. This also marks the last use of the raspberry syrup (may it rest in peace) that I made a while ago. A poor last use, in my opinion.

While I could probably find a lot of news about white people, or talk about the movie Lion which is getting a lot of Oscar buzz and is a movie I really want to see, instead I found this story first, so here goes. In Japan, two animal handlers were mauled by a lion from Shonan Animal Production, a company that owns animals for use in film and television. Unclear as of yet if this was provoked, or just lions being lions. After all, they are wild animals.

176. White Lion - Ingredients

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122. Mulled Wine

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JERRY WHAT ARE YOU DOING. This mulled wine does not have wine in it! I guess sherry is fortified wine but that’s a whole other kettle of fish. There’s a much more entertaining version of this recipe, 123, which is basically the same thing but an even larger batch and the recipe is written as a song. One day, we will make this. Be excited.

Here’s a piece of news worth mulling over (see what I did there): Cory Booker is now the first senator to testify against another senator in confirmation hearings. He is trying to prevent Jeff Sessions from being approved as Trump’s Attorney General. This probably won’t work, as the Republicans hold a majority (and apparently candidates hardly ever get rejected anyway), but as a show of defiance it probably works out.

122. Mulled Wine - Ingredients

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85. General Harrison’s Egg Nogg

85. General Harrison's Egg Nogg - Hero

I’m a little confused. I think the “General Harrison” in the title is referring to William Henry Harrison, who was a relatively famous General in the period prior to the writing of this cocktail book. However, he was also President of the United States, also prior to the writing of this book. So… shouldn’t this be “President Harrison’s Egg Nogg?” Or is there someone else? (I also found a general in the English Civil War but I doubt it was him.)

To be an useful purveyor of news, I’m going to focus on the General in this title, not Harrison (though I did find this entertaining and useless article). The biggest news is, of course, the revelation that Russia probably did act to influence the general election, and that Trump doesn’t really care and thinks it’s stupid (at the time of writing). Both things are, unfortunately, not hugely surprising. You may need a drink.

85. General Harrison's Egg Nogg - Ingredients

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Saloonbox Vermont Old Fashioned – News Flash

SaloonBox Vermont Old Fashioned - Hero

In August, I happened to win a one-month subscription to SaloonBox, which was awesome! I’d been interested in the service before, but wasn’t sure if the price point was justified. (Note: I’m still not quite sure if the price point is justified.) Either way, it was great to be able to try it out.

The service sends you, each month, everything you need to make two servings each of two different cocktails. In September, it was the Vermont Old Fashioned and the Ginger Piña (which I’ll discuss tomorrow).

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The box arrives packed full of an insane amount of padding, and various small-serving containers of whatever you’ll need, including the alcohol (there’s another service I’m intrigued by, Shaker and Spoon, that gives you the mixers/etc. but not the spirits).

The Vermont Old Fashioned was a pretty simple drink, basically an Old Fashioned with maple syrup (yum!) instead of simple syrup. I actually received extra maple syrup accidentally; they had packed two bottles of that and only one of the rye to mix in — it was supposed to be the other way around. Thankfully, their customer service was lightning quick and immediately sent me out another bottle of the rye.

On to the drink!

SaloonBox Vermont Old Fashioned - Ingredients

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