fog and toast

This isn’t a post about fog. Or about toast. It’s a post about a cocktail with a silly name.


Fog and Toast is a tiki drink. It’s fruity, tropical and goes down way too easy—I’m fairly certain those are the sole requirements of a tiki drink. Jordan threw it together on Sunday while we were prepping dinner and after we’d each had a rattlesnake. Inspired by some leftover passionfruit puree in the fridge from these popsicles, he improvised. It was ridiculously good. Almost too good.

Since this drink was a Jordan original, we had to come up with a name. Ever wonder why cocktails have such funny names? It’s because the bartenders have usually had several before they’ve decided it’s good enough to merit naming. Our contenders: Caught in the Rain, Gay Passion (no doubt influenced by our rum brand), Daqui-fury, Summer Lovin’, and lastly Fog and Toast (The Sunset).

Fog and Toast was the winner, despite having very little relevance to the actual beverage, and actually referring to the unofficial motto of San Francisco’s Sunset neighborhood I’d come up with earlier that day. This is just how (alcohol-fueled) inspiration goes.

Fog and Toast
1 oz fresh lime juice
scant 1/2 oz passionfruit puree, find it at latino markets in the freezer section
1/2 oz agave
1 1/2 oz dark rum, we use Mount Gay Dark Rum
dash of orange bitters

Shake with ice. Strain and serve in a chilled glass with a twist of lime. Try not to drink it too fast.




new old fashioned


I’m having trouble collecting my thoughts about the end of 2014 and the start of 2015. It seems healthy to start the year off with a little reflection, but instead of taking a few moments to think about what I’ve learned this past year, my brain is instead obsessing with how I’m going to tetris the generous gifts we received from our families into our tiny apartment. Not to mention, all ten seasons of Friends are now on Netflix, and I got a crock pot for Christmas that begs experimentation, I just had to make these cookies yesterday, go see this striking art exhibit today, and then go buy four pounds of sushi rice. I confuse myself by how I can simultaneously have enough focus to spend eight hours dip-dying two hundred tiny pieces of paper (wedding!), but cannot bring myself to sit down for an hour to write.

So instead of thoughts on life and learning and new years, I’ve got a cocktail for you. We make it often (I use it as an excuse to eat maraschino cherries), and we also made it on New Year’s Eve. It’s delicious. Serve it to your friends.

New Old Fashioned
2 oz of bourbon or rye
1 bar spoonful of muscovado rich syrup (from our favorite food podcast, Spilled Milk)
1 dash angostura bitters
a maraschino cherry and an orange peel for garnish (get Luxardo Cherries, they’re more expensive but so worth it)

Make the rich syrup. Combine 2 parts muscovado sugar with 1 part water in a small saucepan. Heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. You could also use brown sugar – they have similar flavors. Store rich syrup in a jar in the fridge.

In a cocktail shaker, combine the bourbon/rye with the rich syrup and a dash of bitters. Stir with ice for 20 to 30 seconds and strain into a cocktail class. Garnish with a cherry and an orange peel. Use your potato peeler to peel of a generous amount of orange zest.

Wishing you love, happiness and good vibes for 2015!



jordan’s margarita

We eat a decent amount of vaguely Mexican food at our house—quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, burritos. I say ‘vaguely’ because what I usually throw together is so gringa, it verges on embarrassing. But let’s get real, whatever vehicle I can use to get pepperjack and sour cream into my mouth, I’m down with it.

Guacamole, my ancho chili black beans (recipe: can of black beans + onion + ancho chili powder + salt, simmered 20 minutes) and cabbage slaw (recipe: cabbage + lime juice + sour cream + salt, tossed) commonly make an appearance, and if we’re lucky, so do Jordan’s margaritas.

Jordan’s been perfecting his margarita recipe for quite a while now, and this one packs a decent punch. None of that citric acid / corn syrup bullshit goes down around here, just the perfect union of lime and tequila. I’m feeling pretty good by the time I’m warming up tortillas.


Jordan’s Margarita, serves two
1 1/2 – 2 oz fresh lime juice (depending on how sour your limes are)
1 1/2 oz tequila
1 oz mezcal (use more tequila if you don’t have mezcal, but it does add a nice smokiness to the drink)
3/4 oz agave nectar

Combine ingredients in a shaker and stir with ice. Strain into two glasses with ice. Salt the rim if you’re feeling fancy, but we usually don’t bother. That lime wedge garnish, also totally optional.



Ps. Look at that bowl of pico de gallo! Our CSA is still somehow sending us tomatoes (global warming, impressive storage techniques?), and Jordan threw some salsa together. Those knife skills! Good thing I’m tying that one down.

Pps. I’m going to Taipei, Taiwan on Wednesday for work! My plan is to eat all the things and take many, many photos. Jordan’s dad’s Canon AE-1 is coming out of retirement for the occasion. More upon my return!


pimm’s cup popsicles


This is a perfect popsicle for summer. Light, refreshing, just slightly boozy, it is everything you want to eat/drink on a late summer afternoon. Trust us, it is hard to only have one. (Famous last words). Now if only it was a bit warmer than 60° in SF.

Maybe you’re curious. What exactly is a Pimm’s Cup? Well, I’m glad you asked. Pimm’s originally made a variety of liquors numbering one though six, each based on a different spirit. Sadly, all fell out of production aside from No. 1. Pimm’s No. 1 is based on gin and apparently was deemed worthy of keeping around. It can be served over ice or mixed with soda and variety of chopped fruits. Pimm’s Cups (Pimm’s No. 1 + soda + fruit) are now a popular drink at snazzy British events like Wimbledon and polo matches. They are also extremely popular with not-British, non-polo-playing me.

I like everything about a Pimm’s Cup. Citrusy, slightly spicy, just a hint bitter, with cucumber notes that aren’t shy—it is a perfect cocktail. I’d dare to say it has universal appeal, especially in the summer. Which is precisely why I thought it should be turned into a popsicle. And here we are.


Pimm’s Cup Popsicles
4 strawberries, cut into quarters
8 – 10 slices of cucumber
2 sprigs of mint
3/4 cup Pimm’s No 1
1-12 oz bottle ginger beer
1-12 oz bottle lemon soda

pimms-popsicles-1 pimms-popsicles-2 pimms-popsicles-3

Cut the strawberries and cucumbers into slices. Pour 3/4 cup Pimm’s No. 1 into a glass measuring cup. Add cucumber, strawberries and mint. Cover and let this mixture steep in your fridge for a day or two. This will allow the cucumber, mint and berry flavors to infuse into the Pimm’s.


Pour the Pimm’s mixture through a strainer into a large glass measuring cup. Add 1/2 bottle ginger soda and 1/2 bottle lemon soda to the Pimm’s. Taste. If it’s a little boozy for your taste, add some more soda. Pour into your popsicle mold and freeze four hours or overnight.

At this point I should admit that this might not have been one of my best laid plans. Carbonation + popsicle mold = small popsicle explosion in my freezer. When I opened my freezer I felt instant dismay, but then I tasted some of the frozen Pimm’s Cup bursting out the top of my popsicle mold. GOOD GOLLY. Delicious. So, throw a cookie sheet or plate under your popsicle mold and be happy with slightly unattractive popsicles. It’s worth it.


If you’re of the mind that one should avoid popsicle mold overflow, I do think this would make an awesome granita. Pimm’s Cup slushy anyone? Simply pour the whole mixture into a large, shallow tupperware, large enough to leave an inch or two of space from the top rim. After two hours, take a spoon and scrape it along the top and sides to break the ice crystals forming. Put it back in the freezer for another hour or two. Scrap again. Back in the freezer for a bit, scrape again, until you’ve got a slushy-like consistency or until you can’t take waiting for your frozen cocktail any longer.


And, because it wouldn’t be popsicle week if I didn’t share some of the pops invented by the rest of the rad food blogosphere that Billy rounded up, here are some I most certainly will make when San Francisco gets her Indian Summer in October …

Coffee-Dulce de Leche Frozen Yogurt Pops from Piece of Cake for Jordan who loves dulce de leche almost as much as he loves bacon.

Peach Julepsicles from Southern Souffle because frozen bourbon on a stick! What could be better?

Chocolate-Covered Toasted Coconut Pops from An Edible Mosaic and/or Chocolate-Dipped Coconut + Rum Popsicles from Hungry Girl Por Vida because our obsession with Trader Joe’s Coconut Water Fruit Floes has put us on a permanent coconut kick.

Green Smoothie Detox Pops from Top with Cinnamon for after all these other pops.

If you want to see the entire round up and fill your freezer full of frozen goodness, visit Wit & Vinegar. It is worth the trip.



berry aperitif

The weather last Saturday in San Francisco was perfection. It was 80 degrees without a cloud in the sky, and we really only get three days a year just like it. We’d planned to have some friends over for dinner and so Jordan and I devised a summery feast to match the lovely weather, including this delightful cocktail. However, this feasting could only happen after some quality beach time with the Willow Pillow. Right here, photographic proof that our dog has adapted smoothly to the California lifestyle—she will even fall asleep in the sand, surrounded by enthusiastic (albeit pale) beach-goers.

Like I said, perfection.

This recipe is adapted from David Tanis’ book The Heart of the Artichoke. It is actually an Italian digestif, typically made with grappa and served along with your check in restaurants. We decided to make it with gin, having no familiarity with grappa, and served it before the meal.

Berry Aperitif, adapted from The Heart of the Artichoke by David Tanis
1 cup mixed berries (We used blackberries and raspberries)
2 T sugar
2 cups gin

Put the berries in a large measuring cup. Sprinkle them with sugar and mush them sightly with your hands. Add the gin. Let refrigerate for several hours. Serve cold in small glasses, making sure to get a spoonful of berries in each glass.  I also think this would be great mixed into other cocktails or topped off with club soda.

Happy Spring!



southside rickey

We’ve been having incredible weather here in San Francisco —highs in the 70s!— and it feels like summer.  This drink is delightful and refreshing and certainly fitting for a summer day, or an unseasonably warm winter one.

Southside Rickey
1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz lime juice (lemon will also do in a pinch)
2 dashes of Peychaud’s Aeromatic Bitters
spring of mint
club soda

Combine gin, simple syrup, lime juice and bitters. Stir. Add mint and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled glass and top off with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a few leaves of mint. Enjoy!



ginger mint gimlet

This cocktail is a favorite of our friend Robin. It is refreshing and summery – perfect for a warm San Francisco evening. A little gin, lime, mint and ginger sure make my apartment less stuffy! I’m guessing it’s also hot where you are, so go home, open your windows or sit on your porch and give this fine beverage a try.

Ginger Mint Gimlet, also know as Jessi’s Special
2 oz gin
2 limes, juiced
2 sprigs of mint, leaves removed from their stems
2 oz ginger beer or ginger ale

Shake the gin, lime juice and mint over vigorously ice. Strain into a glass and top off with ginger beer. Welcome Summer!



whiskey sour

A bar in our neighborhood makes great whiskey sours. They make them with a dash of egg white, which gives the drink a wonderfully frothy top. According to our good friends at Wikipedia, the egg white makes the drink a boston sour. But, according to our friends at, the boston sour also includes cherry.  I’m very into the egg white, but not so into the maraschino cherries. So here we have my hybrid whiskey-boston sour modeled after the fabulous whiskey sour at Mr. Lew’s.

Whiskey Sour
1 1/2 oz burbon whiskey, we like Maker’s Mark
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 lemon, juiced
1 t egg white

In a shaker combine the ingredients. Shake vigorously to emulsify. Add ice. Shake again. Strain and serve.