Hey, it’s almost officially Memorial Day weekend! Which, for most people means three consecutive days off of work, grilled everything, and lots of drinking. While I totally endorse all that shit, let’s not forget this is a holiday meant to honor those who have died serving our country so we can all sit around stuffing our fucking faces, getting hammered, and acting like all-around jackasses. So, if you’re going to get drunk this weekend, that’s awesome. Just at least pour one out for the people we’re supposed to be memorializing. Maybe just don’t pour out this particular grilled lemonade cocktail. Pour out, like, warm Miller Lite or something.
Okay, so now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to this grilled lemonade cocktail. Yes, it would be tricky to grill an entire cocktail. But it’s pretty easy to grill at least one element of it — in this case, the lemons — especially once you have the grill going. You just cut the lemons in half, dip them in some sugar, and put them over the fire until they have a nice char. Then, you mix the juice with whiskey and simple syrup. The end. (Oh, but speaking of grilling, here’s a thing I wrote for Bon Appetit about grilled eggs.)
Aside from just being fucking cool, this really is one of my favorite cocktails. It’s tart, it’s sweet, and it’s boozy. Plus, it’s super easy to scale. Because it calls for two parts grilled lemon juice, two parts whiskey, and one part simple syrup, you can make just one, or you can whip up a huge batch for a cookout. And because it’s so simple, it’s great for mixing ahead of time and taking to a party. In fact, it tastes better after the flavors have had some time to hang out together for a while in the fridge.
I’ve made this with regular lemons and Meyer lemons, and they’re both great. But if you have Meyer lemons, use those. They’re a little sweeter than regular lemons, which never hurts a citrus-based cocktail. You can plan to get about 1/4 cup juice out of each grilled Meyer lemon, but don’t count on that exact measurement.
Grilled Lemonade Cocktail
Cut the lemons in half. Dip each half in sugar and grill the halves, fruit side down, over high heat until the sugar has charred on the lemons, about 2 to 4 minutes. When the lemons have cooled, juice each one.
To make the cocktail, mix two parts grilled lemon juice with two parts whiskey and one part simple syrup. Stir well and serve over ice. That’s fucking it. BOOM. You’re welcome.
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Oh, hi. It’s been nearly a month since I gave you my very first digital download, a printable May calendar, so now it’s time to get your printable June 2017 calendar, available at the bottom of this post as a free digital download.
Because the theme of everything in the fucking world right now is “put a monstera on it,” I put a monstera on it. And as much as I love color, I’m no stranger to the busted-ass printer so I’ve created a slightly different black-and-white version as well. As I mentioned last month, if you’re into coloring and have a stash of colored pencils or fine-point markers, you can fancy it up yourself.
I really do need to get around to setting up a newsletter so I can force you all to pretend to like me before I give you free shit. But until that happens, the only thing I ask in return is that you follow me on Instagram already. That’s not so hard, now is it?
And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram. (We’re on the honor system here. Don’t be a dick.)
Spring is almost over. I mean, in like a month, but I’m going to miss it because I really fucking hate summer with its under-boob sweat, asshole mosquitoes, and blazing death sun. And while we still have a few weeks until the official switch, it is almost Memorial Day —which doesn’t technically mark the change of seasons, but it’s definitely when people start wearing flip flops like they’re actual shoes or something.
Anyway, I’m going to enjoy spring while I still can which means — yes — more rhubarb! This time, I put it in a sparkling pink lemonade. But it’s not, like, that fucking corn-syrup lemonade you buy in the store. It’s fresh-squeezed lemon juice and club soda. The sweetness comes from rhubarb syrup. Remember that stuff? I posted the recipe here. And here. And here. AND here. But I’ll post it again down below because I’m a fucking nice person who understands that you’re busy and you probably don’t have all damn day to click all over the internet.
In addition to making the lemonade sweet, the rhubarb syrup makes it pink. And I hear that’s all the rage these days. Of course, this drink is not super sweet, because that’s not my jam. If you’re not into sassy little tart drinks, you can always add more rhubarb syrup.
This is also one of the rare drinks I make with vodka. It just seemed appropriate, and as far as booze other than whiskey and gin go, vodka isn’t too offensive. (But next week, you’re totally getting a super-cool whiskey lemonade.)
Sparkling Pink Lemonade
2 ounces vodka
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1.5 ounces rhubarb syrup
Mint sprig for garnish
Add the vodka, lemon juice, and rhubarb syrup to an old-fashioned or stemless wine glass. Mix well then add a handful of ice. Top off with club soda, garnish with a mint sprig, and enjoy.
Yield: 2 cups
5-6 cups rhubarb, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Add the rhubarb, sugar, and water to a medium-size pot over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and add the vinegar, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir, then let the mixture simmer for at least 30 minutes, or up to an hour. The longer it simmers the more syrupy it will become.
Strain into a bottle or mason jar and let it cool to room temperature, then seal and refrigerate. This will keep in the fridge for weeks.
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Look, I’m a mom. And you know what I don’t want for Mother’s Day? Fucking flowers. Maybe I’m a weirdo, but here’s how I see it: Not only are flowers expensive — and always way overpriced on holidays like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day — they’re definitely going to die and probably going to give me a headache because I’m allergic to pretty much everything. And you know who will have to clean up the pollen and fallen petals and water that smells like dead Swamp Thing in a week? Me. I’d rather have a sturdy plant.
Except what I really want for Mother’s Day is to be transported back to the bathtub in the Four Seasons my husband and I stayed in a few years ago (only because we had a friend who worked there and he gave us the broken, haunted-ass room at a discount). The tub was, like, six feet long and it didn’t hurt my neck and there was a fucking TV embedded in the bathroom mirror (because apparently when you’re rich, you live in the future). I want to be in that bathtub, all alone, all day. But I don’t really want to be alone, because I want Olivia Pope and her Gladiators (or something equally mindless) on that TV and I also want someone (who won’t talk to me or ask me for anything) to bring me cocktails. And probably a big glass of ice water with lemon in between each drink because when I sleep all alone in my imaginary Four Seasons king-size bed with clean sheets and freshly shaved legs I want to enjoy my 12-hour slumber and not wake up all hot and sweaty and half drunk/half hungover in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep. Because that is the fucking worst — at least when you have a very young child.
But I’m a realist. I’m probably not getting my own room at the Four Seasons (though, let’s be honest, I’d take a night alone at a god-damn Motel 6 at this point) and my husband has yet to make any brunch reservations (which is probably a good thing). If I’m lucky, I might get an hour alone on Mother’s Day to wander aimlessly in a TJ Maxx or West Elm, and after my kid goes to bed I’ll likely sneak a soak in my small, shitty tub surrounded by rubber duckies and hope that my wonderful spouse has the good sense to use the downstairs bathroom should he need to relieve himself during my me time.
Still, even though the conditions are less than ideal, you can bet your flower-loving ass I’m going to drink cocktails in the bathtub on Sunday. Specifically the Mother’s Little Helper, a refreshing gin-based drink. It’s sort of like getting flowers because it’s made with St. Germain elderflower liqueur (which is flowery as fuck, but in a good way) and Hendrick’s gin (known for its cucumber and flowery notes). But it’s so much better than flowers. Especially when consumed in solitude.
Of course, it would be just as good during brunch with your lovely family, even if there are actual overpriced flowers involved.
Mother’s Little Helper
2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
1 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Lime wheel (or a fucking flower) for garnish
Add the gin, elderflower liqueur, lime juice, and simple syrup to an old fashioned or stemless wine glass. Stir well, then add a handful of ice. Top it off with club soda and garnish with whatever pretty little thing you want to put on it.
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Sunday I hosted my second Crafts + Cocktails event at Urban Provisions in Kansas City’s East Bottoms. This one was officially the Mother’s Day edition — but really just an excuse to drink and get crafty — and we made ridiculously cute earrings and sipped on Ginger and Juice.
Unlike my first event, which was ticketed, for this one we set up six crafting stations and let people come and go as they pleased. Thank the sweet baby Flying Spaghetti Monster it worked out perfectly and everyone was able to get their craft — and cocktail — on. Even better, I didn’t have to hard-boil 420 fucking eggs like I did for the last event.
And of course, I hopped in and made a pair for our lovely hostess, Savannah, who owns Urban Provisions.
I mean, I felt like I owed her something after she came up with this fucking amazing gift wrap. Yep, that’s a real air plant on there.
Follow me on Instagram to learn about upcoming events (which, someday, will also happen outside of Kansas City).