juniper-infused french 75

juniper-infused french 75 // brooklyn supperFor a while now, I’ve felt like the TV boyfriend checking his phone on a date –– like I’m not really present here. For one thing, moving to Virginia has changed me. I used to be positive that I wanted to live the homesteading life out here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge, but I’m slowly realizing this city girl might not be cut out for all that. There have also been some pretty major changes in routine –– no coffee shop around the corner for a latte before I start working and no chance of running down the block to pick up some thyme for the sauce I have bubbling on the stove. I’m bad at planning ahead.

juniper-infused french 75 // brooklyn supperAlso, having a two year-old is kind of hard. Our youngest isn’t just along for the ride anymore. She has her own wants that compete with our oldest daughter’s and things can get rough. And she takes off her socks and shoes just before we need to walk out the door. Those kind of things. Two year-old things.

But I’m not here to complain about the lack of good coffee shops in walking distance or my two year-old’s two year-oldness. I’m here to say that as I look at 2014, I’m excited. I know my town better and my day-to-day is easier to organize. My youngest daughter is starting pre-school (!!!). With the prospect of time to reflect on the horizon, facing 2014, I’m feeling incredibly optimistic. I’m crazy excited to have a little time to myself, and I’m looking forward to looking at my kitchen and my blog and everything afresh.

As always, I’m ready for the clear light of January to illuminate all the dusty corners of my life. And I have one resolution –– to be brave and do some good for the community that has welcomed my bedraggled self more than once (This is actually the second time I’ve moved from New York City to Charlottesville, but that’s a story for another day.). Whatever you resolve, be good to yourself.

juniper-infused french 75 // brooklyn supper

juniper-infused french 75 // brooklyn supperSo today, let’s send off this crazy, topsy-turvy year in style. The French 75 is named for a gun, but even the most dogged pacifists will like this woodsy spin on the classic, potent sip. Our French 75 has gin, sure, but also a subtle piney fragrance from a juniper- and rosemary-infused simple syrup. Add lots of fresh lemon juice and an affordable glug of Prosecco (I’ll absolutely allow Champagne for the purists), and you my friend, have a great cocktail. At once nostalgic and fresh, old and new, this is the drink.

Brian and I wish you and yours a bright and happy New Year’s Eve, and a really fantastic year ahead. I say it every year, but I think this is the one.

juniper-infused french 75 // brooklyn supper

Juiniper-Infused French 75

for the juniper berry simple syrup

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons juniper berries
3 inch rosemary sprig

Heat the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the sugar has dissolved, add the juniper berries and rosemary. Stir until things get steamy. Off the heat, and allow the mixture to steep for 15 minutes or so.

Strain into a glass jar. Mixture should keep well, covered in the fridge, for a month.

for the French 75
makes two drinks

2 ounces gin
2 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice (about one large lemon), zest strips reserved
3 tablespoons juniper-infused simple syrup
Prosecco or Champagne

Combine the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in an ice-filled shaker, and shake for a minute or so. Strain into Champagne flutes. Top off with Prosecco or Champagne, and finish with a thin strip of lemon zest.

Cheers!

Comments

  1. says

    Love the phrase about the clear light of January – I need some of that light. Here’s to a happy 2014 to you and your family. I look forward to seeing more of you beautiful photographs, wise words and delicious recipes this year.

  2. Alix says

    Where is the wooden serving/cutting board from that’s pictured in your photos? I have been looking for one like that for some time!

  3. says

    You are the source of all things yummy! The man had one of these on New Year’s Eve in Maui. No juniper berries in that version but there will be when I make them this weekend back at home!

  4. says

    Hello dear – I loved the honesty of this post. I’m at a crux in life – wondering if I’m ready to leave this city of mine (not far, but still) and reading your post definitely makes me appreciate those little things. The coffeeshop around the corner, the park, the ability to grab dinner with a friend on a whim. Perhaps these things are all more important than lack of a parking spot :) But, I am sure that we all thrive where we are planted. I hope this year brings new adventures, discovery and creativity. Much love to you and your beautiful family!

  5. says

    Elizabeth, I hear you loud and clear. I remember so well when my second baby was 2. Of course I loved her madly, but I was tired, bone tired and I was desperate for time to myself. (Plus moving away from the city can be lonely and isolating with a needy little one at home.)

    I hope 2014 brings you the breathing room and inspiration you deserve!

    xoxo
    E

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