Tag: Cocktail

The Glass Slipper

Disney dinner | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Disney dinner | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Disney dinner | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

I have attempted to start this blog post a few times now. It’s proving a bit challenging, for a few reasons I think. First: do you, dear reader, really want to hear me go on and on about one of my best friends? Maybe you will think it’s sappy, or maybe you don’t really care. And that’s ok. Who am I to judge? Second: it’s really hard to nail down all of the things you love about a person. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, what with all the BIG LIFE STUFF happening around here. My badass, fearless, stunning, hilarious people are making moves, and it kicks ass.

Two of those people got married three weeks ago. Mac & Carmelle were friends of Jonah’s when he and I started dating, and so I ended up spending a lot of time with them. After a couple years, we moved in together (there was never really a question that we would), and we ended up living together for four years. Living with friends is always dangerous, but I wasn’t extremely close with these two when we moved in. I had enjoyed some long talks with Mac, because that’s what he does, but I’ll be honest: I was nervous about living with Carmelle. The woman knows what she wants and how she wants it, and often times two headstrong people living in the same house doesn’t go well. She instituted the chore wheel – perhaps the best invention – and always let me know when I hadn’t cleaned the stove well enough. But I found out she also was down to bake a cake together or listen to some pop hits from the 2000s. She always knew all the words to every song Jonah and I performed, and I would often hear her listening to our latest cover on repeat in her room. We moved into a bigger house and added a couple roommates, we continued to grow closer, and I realized that, without knowing when it really happened, she had become one of my closest friends. It wasn’t surprising, really. She is an incredible listener, she laughs easily, and she isn’t afraid to make fun of herself (or you, for that matter). She always invites you to share her meal, her shoes, even her tequila. It was from Carmelle that I learned a lot about having staples in your fridge at all times from which you can make a full meal, and that it’s ok to just eat the cookie dough instead of baking the cookies. In addition to storing about 80% of our belongings when Jonah and I left the country last year, we lived with Mac & Carmelle for about a month and a half before we departed, and we lived with them again for a month when we returned. There was no question that we would. Instead Carmelle told us our room was ready when we were ready to come home. It is unspeakably challenging to go from seeing everyone every single day of your life to not at all, and saying farewell to them was certainly the most challenging of our goodbyes.

Continue reading “The Glass Slipper”

Just a Sip… (What I’ve been drinking lately)

Lately, I feel like there have been quite a few occasions surrounding, well, drinks. In the summertime, it’s easy to settle in on the deck with a cold beer, but the cold weather seems to bring out some more interesting, unique cocktails, or a glass of that red wine you’ve been saving in the basement for the past few months. (Yes, there is a bottle of red I’d been saving for my birthday, and yes, it was opened over the weekend.) So let me tell you a bit about what I’ve been drinking lately.

Brunch for Dinner with ZICO Chilled Juice Blends

Brunch for Dinner with ZICO Chilled Juice Blends from Just a Sip... (What I've been drinking lately)// Serious Crust
Brunch for Dinner with ZICO Chilled Juice Blends from Just a Sip... (What I've been drinking lately) // Serious Crust

To celebrate the launch of their new line of chilled juices, ZICO Coconut Water threw a “Brunch-for-Dinner” fête. These juices are a perfect blend of the hydrating benefits of ZICO’s coconut water with the taste of your favorite fruit juice. Noshing on brunchy bites like fruit and yogurt, flapjacks with apricot chutney, and breakfast sandwiches, the evening was a lovely celebration of both healthy and delicious. Because why not have the best of both worlds? As for cocktails, the Sunset in Paradice was on the sweeter side, made with gin, sake, ZICO Chilled pineapple mango juice blend, bitters, and a lime cordial. The Spicy Orange was my favorite – a little spicy from the ginger, not too fruity or sweet, and bubbly from the champagne. You can find the recipe at the bottom of this post.

The Heathman Restaurant and Bar’s New Fall Cocktails

The Heathman Restaurant and Bar's New Fall Cocktails from Just a Sip... (What I've been drinking lately) // Serious Crust

The Heathman Restaurant and Bar's New Fall Cocktails from Just a Sip... (What I've been drinking lately) // Serious Crust
The Heathman Restaurant and Bar's New Fall Cocktails from Just a Sip... (What I've been drinking lately) // Serious Crust

If you find yourself in downtown Portland, looking for cocktails after a show at the Schnitz or a long day at the office, might I recommend The Heathman Restaurant and Bar? They just launched their new fall cocktails, and let me tell you, they are stellar.

Collaborating with Kathy Casey of Liquid Kitchen, the new drinks are refreshing, wintery, fun, and most of all, awfully tasty. Combine them with a few bites from Chef Michael Stanton, and you’ll be a happy camper. Trust me. My favorite might have been the new 50 Shades of Gin beverage (inspired by the book set at the Heathman) with gin, fresh tangerine, pomegranate juice, lemon, and fresh thyme. Or the Orchard Old Fashioned, an old fashioned featuring clear creek pear brandy and apple bitters. It’s hard to decide.

Winter Warmers in NE Portland

Hot Buttered Rum at The Box Social from Just a Sip... (What I've been drinking lately) // Serious Crust

A couple of my favorite spots in my neighborhood, The Waypost (when I’m feeling like going somewhere relaxed and homey, where the bartenders are incredibly friendly and you can often find great music) and Box Social (where I go when I’m feeling a little fancier, or am out past midnight), have released their own fall drinks. When I go to The Waypost this time of year, you can pretty much expect to find me with a glass of their pumpkin infused bourbon. But the other night they had run out, so I let Antonio talk me into their cider toddy instead, and man oh man was it good – gingery, spiced, and just all around cozy. The Box Social, the last stop on my birthday celebration train, made it hard for me to decide on a nightcap. Do I go for the hot toddy, the mulled wine, or a delicious bourbon cocktail? No, I went for dessert in a glass: a hot buttered rum. I haven’t had a hot buttered rum in a long time – my mom used to make them around Christmas from a mix she bought at Williams Sonoma – but the one they made me at Box Social convinced me that they should rival hot toddies as far as winter warming drinks go.

Wine Tasting Class at WineUp on Williams

Wine Tasting Class at WineUp on Williams from Just a Sip... (What I've been drinking lately) // Serious Crust

We’ve lived in our house for over a year now, which means we’ve been walking by WineUp on Williams for, well, a whole year. Why we’ve never gone in is beyond me. Jonah bought me a groupon for a wine tasting class there, which finally got us in the door, and now I have a feeling we’ll be there a lot. The place is owned by a fellow named Wayne, who is chatty and friendly, and will not accept any excuses for why you aren’t drinking more wine. He is crazy knowledgeable, the staff is very kind, and their wine selection is great. After class ended (it was an hour an a half, tasting 5-6 wines, chatting with fellow classmates, and noshing on bread and cheese), we sidled up to the bar for some more. If the class isn’t so much your thing (they happen every two weeks) consider just stopping in for a glass of wine and music (on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights). I recommend sitting at the bar and getting to know the folks who run this lovely spot.

So there’s a little taste of what I’ve been sipping. Have you had any must try (or must make) cocktails lately? Opened a bottle of wine you love? What are you planning on drinking with your Thanksgiving dinner? Whatever is your fancy these days, I hope it keeps you nice and warm!

ZICO Spicy Orange Cocktail

Makes 1 cocktail


Ginger Syrup

3T grated ginger
½ cup sugar
½ cup water

Cocktail Assembly

2oz ZICO Chilled Orange Juice Blend
1oz Vodka
¼oz ginger syrup (recipe below)
1oz Champagne
1 dash Old Fashioned bitters


Ginger Syrup

Bring mixture to a boil to dissolve sugar, strain, chill. Makes about 1 cup.

Cocktail Assembly

Combine vodka, syrup, coconut water, and bitters in a shaker. Shake with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass. Top with champagne.

Rhubarb Bourbon Sour

Rhubarb Bourbon Sour // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Sometimes you have a week that is hard, but also totally reviving. The beginning of last week was tough, but things quickly got better: good food was made and fun was had and cocktails were made. And an old friend from college came to visit, which always is exciting and soothing at the same time. Isn’t it nice when people who knew you when (“when” being just a few years ago in this case, but still) can kind of ground you and make everything seem ok? That happened. It was nice.

But before she came to visit, and before there was weekend and all that, there was this cocktail. I had finished the actual rhubarb from the dessert I made for Passover, but I had a bunch of this sour syrup left over. And I had bought a bottle of Bulleit bourbon. So, you know, rhubarb bourbon sour time it is. With a little research and a little improv, Jonah and I whipped up this drink. If you don’t have sour rhubarb syrup laying around, you can make it pretty easily by following a rhubarb simple syrup recipe like this one or this one, but I would cut the sugar so that the tang of the rhubarb can really shine.

Rhubarb Bourbon Sour

Makes 1 cocktail


1 shot (1.5 oz) bourbon
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp powdered sugar (or half a shot of simple syrup) – Note: if you are making rhubarb simple syrup from one of the recipes above, you can nix this sweetener part, or add it to taste.
1/2 shot rhubarb syrup
1 egg white


Combine all ingredients in a shaker without ice, shake for about 10 seconds. Add ice, shake thoroughly. Pour into glass. Sip and enjoy. Yeah, it’s that easy.

The Rattlesnake: a cocktail

The Rattlesnake // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Sometimes, when you’re spending all day cooking, it’s important to spoil yourself with a cocktail break. And sometimes you are given an all access pass to someone’s liquor cabinet, and you have lots of cocktail blogs to choose from (There Will Be BourbonSpirited Alchemy5 o’clock cocktails…), and you finally pick one called the Rattlesnake, and whip up a batch for all the chefs in the kitchen. Just sometimes.

This cocktail is creamy and light, tasting kind of like a grown up lemon curd/lemon meringue drink. Adapted from There Will Be Bourbon, the recipe below makes enough for 6 drinks. When I’m making that amount, I like to use a trusty tupperware with a good seal instead of a shaker… it means you have to do less work by making all the drinks in one batch.

The Rattlesnake

Makes 6 cocktails


9 oz. bourbon
5 Tbl freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbl sambuca (the recipe called for absinthe, but you can use any anise-liqueur)
2 Tbl powdered sugar (or simple syrup, if you’ve got some around)
3 egg whites


Combine all of the ingredients in a tupperware (or cocktail shaker, if you’re only making 1 or 2) with ice. Shake it up! Until the egg whites get nice and frothy. If you want more froth, you can add more egg whites. I wasn’t initially going to add any but when I tasted it without them, it was VERY bourbon-y. So I added half as many as the original recipe called for (which is 1 per drink). I never really realized what egg white did to a drink other than create that frothy foam, but it really mellowed out the flavors. Add bits of whatever you like until it tastes how you want. Strain into glasses filled with ice. If you’re feeling fancy, you can garnish with a lemon peel, or a sprig of mint or rosemary.