Category Archives: cocktails

No rest for the weary

We have had one heck of a winter in the Northeast this year.  Boston just broke its all-time snow record for the last 20 years over the weekend, and further out where we live it has been a banner year:

This was the first storm
This was the first storm

Of course, all that snow has to go somewhere, which in our case was a big pile next to the deck:

Mount Cocktail
Mount Cocktail

That’s a pre-Prohibition drink perched up on our hastily-assembled ice bar called Satan’s Whiskers.  Here’s the recipe:

1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
1/2 oz. orange juice
Dash orange bitters

Old McDonald likes to stir the cocktail rather than shake it with ice.  Your mileage may vary.

Speaking of Old McDonald, he’s got a new hobby, and oh lucky me, it involves more boiling!  The new farming hobby is……wait for it…..maple sugaring.  We did the first part the weekend of March 13:

Drilling The tapEmpty single bagEmpty double bagsOf course, you drill the taps and set the bags, and then you get some warm days and this happens:

Full single bagSemi-full double bags40 gallons worth of that, as it happens, in just about 2 weeks.  40 gallons of sap is equivalent to about one gallon of syrup, or so we have read.  But to get to that syrup, first you have to boil it:

Boiling photo 1And boil it…..

Boiling photo 2And by the second weekend, you will decide that you should also have a propane burner to assist in the boiling, and to help your wife this summer, when she cans vegetables:

Boiling photo 3We are currently at about 2 gallons of not-quite syrup, waiting for its final boil.  It’s sitting in the fridge, because we ran out of time and daylight last weekend, and intend to follow up tomorrow, just in time to have it ready for Easter.  Of course, the homemade maple syrup needs a label:

Cocktail_Farmers_LogoI cannot even tell you how excited I am we’ve got a logo now, courtesy of Old McDonald and Adobe Illustrator.  I am going to get a coffee mug out of this entire endeavor if it kills me.

Cocktails and Chias

Ah, shoulder season.  Where we grow nothing more strenuous than a Christmas tree chia:

Looks more like a bush than a tree, but trust me, the planter is tree-shaped.

For Christmas, our friend Ju-day gave us a bottle of Ginger vodka, and we have been enjoying this cocktail, courtesy of a website called The Nibble:

Candied Ginger Martini

2 oz. Sky Ginger-infused vodka
1/2 oz. orange juice
1/2 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz honey or agave nectar
Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Pour into glases and garnish with candied ginger, if available.

The seed catalogs continue to pile up.  One of the new ones contains a section on insects that you can buy and have shipped to your home.  This is a money-making scheme I can get behind.  One of the insects the catalog sells is lady bugs.  As they are currently congregating in corners of my home, I could round them up and send them off to people who are lacking ladybugs.  (Who are these people?  They are everywhere in New England.)  I would also be willing to provide this free service for spiders, wasps, stink bugs and Japanese beetles, bane of my existance.  Somehow I don’t think the market for those bugs is very strong.


In addition to our success with tomatoes this year we also claim success with the pumpkins.  Moving them to the back-40 field and essentially ignoring them seems to have done the trick.  We harvested 23 Jack-Be-Littles:

Seven Orange Smoothies:

The orange smoothie is the one in the front

And two Howdens.  One of which rotted before I could photograph it, and I’m not sure where the other one went in the big pile on the porch.  The Lumina vines were eaten by bugs.  So no Luminas, but that’s okay.  We’ll try again next year.  We did decide that we needed bigger pumpkins for carving later this month, so while we were in New York we purchased we purchased five Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins for carving from an Amish farmstand and added them to our own haul.   They came out even better than last year:

In celebration of pumpkins, nothing says fall like a pumpkin spice martini.  We discovered these last year, when we purchased a bottle of Hiram Walker’s Pumpkin Spice liqueur for Halloween and tried to figure out what to do with it.  The result was the martinis.  The liqueur is only available in the fall, so once we used it up last year, no more pumpkin spice martinis.  Imagine my excitement when J brought it home this year. Fall has officially begun!

Pumpkin Spice Martini:

1 oz vanilla vodka
1 oz Bailey’s
1 1/2 oz pumpkin spice liqueur
dash of cinnamon and nutmeg

Combine the vodka, Bailey’s and pumpkin spice liqueur in a shaker with ice.  Pour evenly between two martini glasses, and sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top.