Happy Hour: Harvest Moon

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Earlier this week we climbed to the rooftop of our building to savor some last hints of warm weather, and to stir up the Harvest Moon cocktail. The name seems appropriate for this time of year, and the recipe comes from one of our favorite cocktail books. The bar itself may be a little overwhelmed by tourists (and wait lines) at this point, but they still make some of the best drinks in the city and the book is full of really interesting options.

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The Harvest Moon includes one of my favorite cocktail ingredients, Green Chartreuse. While it’s a splurge to stock on your bar, I love the grassy tang and the bottle will last quite a while.

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Harvest Moon Cocktail

1.5 oz. Rye Whiskey (we used Rittenhouse Rye whiskey)
1 oz. Lillet Blanc
.5 oz Laird’s Apple Brandy (also used here)
.25 oz Green Chartreuse
3 dashes Abbott’s Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with an orange twist

Happy Hour: Apple Manhattan

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With all of the fuss surrounding pumpkin spice this and that, I’m going to admit…I’m not a fan. I can handle a few sips of a Pumpkin Spice Latte before the falsely sweet flavor becomes jarring. Instead I prefer pumpkin bread, apple muffins, and treats that embrace the real flavors of the season.

With that in mind the boy came up with a delicious seasonal sip for our dinner gathering last weekend. Based off of a traditional Manhattan cocktail, we switched out bourbon for Apple Jack. Ok, maybe it’s not exactly natural, but the combination of Apple Jack with cinnamon and a touch of maple syrup gives you the warm and cozy feeling we’re all looking for during this time of year.

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Apple Manhattan
2 oz. Apple Jack
1 bar spoon of Maple Syrup
A small dash of cinnamon
Two squirts of Apple Cider Bitters (we keep these ones on the bar.)
Stir in a chilled rocks glass and serve over ice.

Happy Hour: Shall We Spritz?

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After our wedding, my husband and I spent nine incredible days honeymooning in Europe. We spent the first four nights in Rome and the second four nights in Santorini. Rome was far more relaxed, walkable, and enchanting than I had imagined, while Santorini was more rugged and ripe for adventure than I had pictured. A perfect ying and yang of a vacation, and exactly what we needed.

Rome was our perfect first stop since we were exhausted coming off of our wedding weekend. We settled into our adorable hotel in Piazza de Fiori and set off on extensive walking tours all day before recharging at the hotel in the late afternoon. Sometimes we napped. Often we snacked and sipped wine on the rooftop garden. But, always we spritzed. We cleaned up for dinner and snagged ourselves a table on the piazza for an apertivo of aperol spritz. By night number two we were even picking up a small bowl of free snacks and claiming ourselves as unidentified Mediterraneans thanks to our new tan and the local trinket salesman chatting us up in Italian.

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Throughout the trip my husband would turn to me and say, “How are we going to keep this vacation feeling at home?” Our first step in retaining a post honeymoon glow upon our return was to spritz on our rooftop patio. Around 6pm, after wrapping class, errands, and whatever else the day entailed we would head to the rooftop with our iPod and spritz ingredients. Charlie would join us to hang around the table for snacks and lick the dirt off the ground (so bizarre). One evening my brother was hanging at the apartment, and as the clock clicked over I turned to my guy, “Shall we spritz?” My brother looked slightly confused and a little uncomfortable, “Umm I can leave…” After a quick clarification, we spritzed as three, and later that night my brother secured his first New York apartment complete with seven roommates and endless Chinese food. So when the question is shall we spritz, the answer is always always yes.

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Aperol Spritz
This is our take on the Italian classic, tweaked for our taste.
2 oz. Aperol
2 oz. Prosecco
1 oz. seltzer
Stir in a tall Collins or highball glass. Top with additional Prosecco (why not?) and an orange slice.

An NYC Guide

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When my now husband (!) and I were planning our wedding this summer, we put together a list of some of our favorite New York spots/restaurants for our out of town guests. There were a lot of out-of-towners, and having experienced a few expensive and unpleasant mistakes in this crazy town, I wanted to help my guests avoid a similar fate. It seems like a shame for this list, which lived on our wedding website, to fade away, so I gave it a second home in the upper menu. As it happened, the list is entirely restaurant based, but who knows this may change in the future. Also, we really like Italian food. Enjoy!

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In the Kitchen Recipe #4: Cocktail Hour

This week my mom is wrapping up packing, and my sister is preparing for beach week, so it’s up to me to come up with our recipe. Don’t judge- but we’re turning to cocktail hour! The boy is somewhat of a cocktail connoisseur with a very well stocked bar, so I have been able to try some delicious and interesting cocktails recently. With this weekend hosting two celebratory occasions, what better reason to break out a shaker!

Derby Day
Traditionally, Churchill Down attendees spend the day sipping on sweet Mint Juleps. This drink is an acquired taste and can be quite sugar, and bourbon, heavy. While in Louisville for a wedding last month, we stopped by The Seelbach Hotel to try The Seelbach Cocktail. Still bourbon based, this historical cocktail has a balance of bitters, bourbon, and bubbles.  I consider it a great alternative to work into your Derby Day offerings.

3/4 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Triple Sec
7 dashes Angostura Bitters
7 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
4 oz chilled Champagne

Build the cocktail in the above order in a champagne flute, and garnish with an orange peel.

Cinco de Mayo
Saturday also happens to be Cinco de Mayo! Recently the trend has been to add agave syrup to the traditional margarita. However, I find this to be too sweet and prefer the traditional ingredients without any added sweetness.

1 1/2 oz Tequila
1/2 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Lime Juice

Throw it all in a shaker with ice, shake shake shake, and serve in a rocks glass with a lightly salted rim.

Whichever holiday you’re celebrating this weekend (or both), have a fantastic time!