Broken Hearts, Crushed Mint, and Other Things (Or Cowboy Hoof Cocktails)

I had a mini breakthrough on my recent heartbreak. I was able to put some of the experience — and my buried feelings about it — into words. Granted, they’re words forever hidden in a journal, but they represent progress for me nonetheless.

(I’m super remedial when it comes to my heart.)

There’s a chance I’ll mine those words at some point for more inspiration, but for now I’m grateful I was able to do something, however small, with my feelings.

In other news, I came across an intriguing cocktail recipe today and thought I’d give it a try.

It’s called the Cowboy Hoof.

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I channel my inner cowboy at times.

#whenintexas

That’s why the name caught my eye.

As if the name weren’t enough, the ingredients sent me over the edge: mint AND gin?

Yes, please.

I’ve been known to sip Sapphire like it’s the sweet nectar of life, and I eat fresh mint garnish instead of the desserts it adorns, so this cocktail spoke to my soul and stuff.

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The drink is MUCH prettier than my pic.

(I’m probably more remedial about photography than I am about my feelings.)

ANYWAY, ignore the basic pic, and just make yourself one.

Cowboy Hoof
12 mint leaves, plus one to garnish
2 tsp simple syrup
3 ounces of gin

Muddle the mint and simple syrup. Add ice and gin. Shake in a cocktail shaker. Pour cocktail through a strainer. Add mint to garnish.

Sip.

Smile.

Repeat.

Oh, and just in case you want to hear the song that ultimately unlocked my feelings, it’s a Bearson remix of James Bay’s Let it Go. The juxtaposition of the chipper, yet haunting beats with the painful lyrics perfectly summarize my feelings. I’m trying to shake it off and move on while simultaneously attempting to acknowledge that it hurt.

So come on let it go
Just let it be
Why don’t you be you
And I’ll be me

Everything’s that’s broke
Leave it to the breeze
Let the ashes fall
Forget about me

Moscow Mules and Mind Erasers (Or It’s Inauguration Day)

Today is Inauguration day. While it would be perfectly understandable for me to cry in my closet while drinking Moscow Mules, I’ve decided to do four loads of laundry instead. America may be on fire, but I WILL have clean sheets and undies, dammit.

I briefly contemplated taking down my Christmas twinkle lights, and fully wallowing in misery today, but I decided it was better to keep a little happiness in my home, all things considered.

Speaking of happiness, it was my friend Tim’s birthday on Wednesday.

This is Tim:

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He hates Christmas carols and steals my hats.

But I love him anyway.

Since it was his birthday I decided to make him a present.

Wanna see?

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OK, maybe “made” is a strong word.

All I did was bash some Heath bars with a rolling pin and mix them into a carton of coffee ice cream, but you would have thought I had handed over the keys to a Maybach by his reaction.

See, Haagen Daas discontinued his favorite ice cream flavor: Coffee with Heath Bar, so I made him his own batch. (I did work at Dairy Queen in high school, after all.)

He kept hugging me. A lot.

He also liked his card.

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He likes Sierra Nevada and verbal abuse.

So I customized his card, accordingly.

He also likes Zippies.

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He’s not the only one.

Some wonderful soul at the Saloon invented them. Or something.

They’re basically mind erasers with Chambord instead of Kahlua.

If you need a few to forget what just happened in Washington, the recipe is below.

Zippie

1 oz of Chambord
3 oz Vodka
Splash of soda

Pour Chambord in the bottom of a tumbler. Add vodka. Top off with a splash of soda water. Insert two short straws and suck down the sweetness.

You won’t be sorry.

Or maybe you will, but at least you won’t really remember… and for the next four years that won’t be such a bad thing.

It’s Dark and Stormy Up in Here (Or At Least in My Glass)

Sorry for the freak out on Friday. Whoa, that was unpleasant. (Thank you all for the encouragement. Sincerely. It really means a lot!)

Anyway, I’m fixin’ to tell you about the elephants soon, but first? We should talk about my love of Fever Tree Ginger Beer.

I adore ginger. Adore. It. I could almost live on it – particularly the pickled kind. I have been known to fight my friend Melissa for the last shred of pickled ginger on a sushi plate. We are obsessed. Like have to order extra obsessed.

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This is Melissa and me with our Long Lost Danielle in the middle. We need Danielle back in LA, like immediately.

So anyway, the other night I ordered a marvelous meat sandwich from the deli up the street and mixed myself a Dark and Stormy with some Fever Tree for a divine pairing that was sort of like au jus and rum nirvana. (For real.)

If you’re not familiar with Dark and Stormies, you should be. They’re a feisty, fabulous, little rum cocktail with a good gingery bite. I think the key to making the perfect Dark and Stormy is using the right ginger beer. Bars often make them with Bundaberg’s and that’s a’ight, but not tremendous. The drink is vastly superior when it’s made with Fever Tree. Trust me.

Fever Tree is amazing, and it even has bits of ginger floating in the bottle. (Heaven!)

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Check out this bottle of feisty goodness!

Technically, the recipe looks something like this:

Dark and Stormy

2 oz dark rum
8 oz ginger beer
lime wedge

But mostly I just pour it all in my glass haphazardly, add some fresh squeezed lime juice, and then sip it with a huge grin on my face.

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Gingery rummy goodness in a glass. Pirates would be proud of me.

Fever Tree can be tricky to find, but you can buy it here.

Now I’m off to the Thai Town Rotary Club Meeting to discuss a fire station fundraiser. I don’t know how I get myself into these things*….

 *Actually I do. Here’s how: last spring, my gorgeous British friend rather sweetly and not so subtly informed an entire fire station that I was a good cook and I’d be happy to make them pasta with spicy Italian sausage. This was overheard by the Rotary Club President, blah, blah, blah, etc., you get it. Suzie was trying to set me up with 14 firemen and now I’m planning a fundraiser. Or something. 

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Suzie is sexy with legs that do not end. She and I exceed at causing trouble together.

Beat the Heat with a Little Help from Ann Arbor (Or How to Make Dominick’s Constant Buzz)

My Mason jar full of Constant Buzz offers a taste of college — only now I have a palm tree backdrop — and a much lower tolerance for alcohol.

11 years ago today, my dad and I rolled into LA after a harrowing cross country trip that involved a three day delay in Ann Arbor (something about trailer hitch?), a tire blow out in Oklahoma City repaired by a guy bearing a striking resemblance to Jerry Garcia, and me crying in a Dairy Queen in Texas. (Don’t ask.)

It’s hard to believe it has been 11 years. In some ways I’m the same kid who once camped out on a futon in Westwood. In others, I hardly know her.

In honor of the college town (and the life) I left behind, it seems fitting that today I am posting the recipe for Dominick’s Constant Buzz.

See, Dominick’s is an Ann Arbor institution — kinda like Zingerman’s — only nothing like it at all. Zingerman’s is a high-end deli famous for its amazing bread and a Reuben that will change your life. Dominick’s is clear on the other side of campus (not far from the Big House) and is synonymous with day drinking. Sure, they serve food, but it’s not the reason anyone heads to Dominick’s. (I mean, what college kid can’t make their own quesadilla?)

Most people go to sit at the picnic tables on the patio and sip strong drinks from Mason jars while watching drunk B-school boys push each other into the fountain. I’m not sure what that’s all about, but it’s probably some sort of mating ritual — like when deer go all crazy and try to kill each other with their horns.

Imagine these deer are two business school boys named Ryan, and you sort of get the picture. Photo Courtesy of Informed Farmers.

Dominick’s is only open March through November, which absolutely adds to its allure. Those long, cold, football-less months are agonizing, and the reopening of Dominick’s every spring means platform sandals and patio seating are back — and the countdown to college football has officially started.

The sangria and the mystery concoction called Constant Buzz are the cocktail catalysts that kick start epic evenings for many Ann Arbor coeds. (They also explain why packs of future stock brokers set fire to their furniture on nearby Hill Street sidewalks. Incidentally, this penchant for drunken destruction by future Wall Street kids may also explain the state of the US economy….)

At this point in your Constant Buzz consumption, setting fire to your own furniture might actually sound like fun. Don’t say I didn’t warn you….

So, anyway…

I loved Dominick’s, and 11 years ago, I held my going away party there.

Since I’m sort of homesick, and I’m getting all amped up for football season, I was motivated to make myself a batch of Constant Buzz this weekend. Plus it has been so crazy hot in Hollywood lately that I don’t want to do anything except float in my pool and sip on something cool.

Bear in mind, I haven’t had the drink in a while, so this is a rough approximation based on (an urban legend of the ingredients) and memory. If anyone has tweaks – or the inside scoop on the real recipe, hook a Wolverine up.

Bottoms Up!

Constant Buzz

1 C fresh strawberries
2 T sugar
1 T fresh squeezed lime juice
1 C frozen pineapple
1.5 oz tequila
1.5 oz vodka
1.5 oz white rum
1.5 oz gin
1 oz triple sec
1 C crushed ice, optional

Puree the strawberries in the blender. Add sugar and lime juice and allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. Add the alcohol and frozen pineapple and puree the mixture. You can make it ahead of time and return it to the freezer if you wish. The alcohol will prevent it from freezing and will yield a nice, slushy consistency. I generally go this route and skip the cup of crushed ice, but it’s totally your call. If you do add the crushed ice, make sure you mix it thoroughly.

OK, that’s it for me for now.

I’m off to watch that traitor Ryan Mallett air it out on Monday Night football. Just remember, Mallett, you’re the back up to a REAL Michigan man….

(But really, no hard feelings, Mallett, I would have transferred as well. The Rodriguez era was awful for us all.)