October 2, 2013
Can I be honest with you, reader? I think I might have overdone it a bit last week.
I was shooting at some of my favorite bars in Paris. Which meant, of course, that I was drinking a lot of cocktails. How could I not? Expertly mixed by charming barkeeps with far more sophisticated palates than mine, bourbon and rye and gin was coursing through my veins nightly.
Still, there is something to be said for a simple, seasonal drink that you can make at home without the assistance of an expert — and this one is sneaking it at juuust the very end of peach season.
With a little egg white for that foamy cap, and some basil for fresh herbiness, this cocktail begs to be paired with a hearty brunch.
September 2, 2013
I keep reading things all over the internet about it being the end of summer. Well, from where I sit, with broken air conditioning that is blowing ineffectually into my still-sweltering apartment, and a weather forecast that says it’s going to be in the upper 80′s-lower 90′s all week, it still feels like we’re smack dab in the middle of summer to me.
Now that we’re agreed that we still have weeks of summer left to go, let’s discuss how we’ll be cooling down. I suggest this watermelon-and-champagne concoction that could alternatively be called a spritzer or a sparkling cocktail, but I’ve decided to call an agua fresca mimosa. Fizzy and pink and cold cold cold, I would drink this every day if I could without being overly boozed up at the workplace.
November 2, 2012
You guys. It’s hot chocolate season, and now that I’ve made it this way, I don’t think I can ever go back to powdered cocoa again.
I first had this style of hot chocolate when I visited Paris last Christmas. Tim and I shared a waffle and a cup of the thickest hot chocolate I had ever had, dipping the waffle pieces in the chocolate and generally being deliriously happy.
(Sorry for the blurry pictures. Part camera wobble, part steam.)
This treat is more lot warm, thick ganache than the cocoa I’m used to back home. It’s thick enough that you can dip a piece of baguette in it, and the chocolate doesn’t completely soak into the bread. Crazy good as an afternoon snack.
September 28, 2012
I was under the impression that there were no Pumpkin Spice Lattes at the Starbuckses here in Paris since my friends seemed to already be enjoying them back home and I hadn’t seen them advertised at all in the city. It makes sense, since the French aversion to cinnamon is well-documented, and there’s no pumpkin pie tradition here like there is in the States and Canada. Oh sure, there are lots of huge, knobbly pumpkins around at the markets, but I don’t think anyone’s using them in sweets.
Despite my best friend being a froth slave under the little green mermaid, I’ve never been a huge fan of Starbucks. Honestly, I prefer to make my own French press or pour-over coffee, and there are better places to go for $4 espresso drinks. But I could never resist Pumpkin Spice Latte season. I remember when my office friends and I would make special trips for an afternoon pick-me-up of extra-sweet, pumpkin spicy goodness. Every once in a while one of us would bring a four-cup caddy to work first thing in the morning to share with our little clan, and it was the best possible way to start off a day at our windowless, flourescent-lit desks.
I had already made this syrup and enjoyed many many coffees spiked with the stuff before I found out that France will, indeed, get Pumpkin Spice Lattes after all, but not until October. Now that I’ve made the homemade version, though, I don’t think I’ll even need to get the original from the mermaid. I like that I can customize exactly how sweet my drink is without having to make one of those dreaded extra-specific coffee orders, and it’s lovely to wake up in the morning and have a little treat like this without having to get out of my pajamas.