Ramos Gin Fizz

About a year ago I started researching all things Mardi Gras; recipes, cocktails, history, and more. See I was hosting a Mardi Gras dinner party and I don’t mess around when it comes to parties… or cocktails.

Everyone has heard of a Sazerac, and no one actually wants to drink a Hurricane so the search was on for a cocktail that originated in NOLA, was sophisticated yet fun, and interesting enough to start the night off or take us all the way through.

Originally called the ‘New Orleans Fizz’, it became so popular after being served at the Imperial Cabinet Bar in 1888 that the name changed to honor it’s originator – Henry C. Ramos. Mr. Ramos eventually opened up another bar – The Stag, where his drink’s reputation blew up. Rumor has it that 20 bartenders had to be working on this cocktail alone per night. After shaking up a handful of these over the year I can actually see why it would take 20, 25, 30 bartenders to keep up with the Mardi Gras demand. This cocktail is good, but it requires a lot of shaking to really do the fizz justice.

Now, Mr. Ramos held his cocktail recipe close lipped and the verdict is still out if he ever did end up sharing the secret. So either he let it slip after one too many fizzes, or someone came darn close to replicating the concoction because the Ramos Gin Fizz has been solidified as an iconic NOLA and quite honestly one of my favorite cocktails of all time.

Gin haters, relax. You can’t even taste the juniper berries in this drink. It’s a light, refreshing, easy to drink-but-you-better-keep-track-of-how-many-you’re-drinking kind of cocktails.

Ramos Gin Fizz | Makes one cocktail

2 oz. Gin (I use Hendricks or Tanqueray)
1 dash orange blossom water
1 large egg white
1 tbsp half-half
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp simple syrup
1 cup of ice cubes
Sparkling water

Add all the ingredients to a shaker, minus the ice and sparkling water, and shake hard. And shake some more. (This is called dry shaking and a super important step to do!) Open the shaker and add ice just about above the liquid line. Shake and then shake some more. Maybe a little more just for a good faith effort. Strain into a highball glass. Pour a tad of sparkling water into the shaker and swirl to get the cocktail residue and slowly pour the sparking water into the highball glass.

Mardi Gras is next week so rest your arms up and celebrate by whipping up this delicious drink. After all, Mardi Gras is about being a little over the top!

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Holiday Cheer

Before I start sharing the deets of this festive little cocktail, I want to say a quick thank you to everyone who reached out about my post below. It’s amazing to me that people I haven’t spoke to in years reached out and shared their journey – it really meant a lot.

Ok! Now back to our regularly scheduled programming… holiday cocktails!

The week before Thanksgiving I started testing out cocktails and it’s kind of a two-birds-one-stone situation since Thanksgiving and December holidays are so close. The Blackberry pear smash won Thanksgiving (recipe coming soon!) but this little cranberry peppercorn number might slide into first for our Christmas cocktail. 

I have been so intrigued to make a cocktail using pink peppercorns. Pink peppercorns are a dried berry of the shrub Schinus molle, commonly known as the Peruvian peppertree but they don’t have as harsh of a “pepper” taste as say black peppercorns. Turns out, pink peppercorns aren’t even peppers at all! It’s lighter, brighter, and a little pop of spice. 

To begin I made a cranberry “compote” using sugar, fresh cranberries, peppercorns and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat and let it simmer down into more of a thick liquid consistency. Remove from heat, and cool. Add 1.5 oz. of the mixture, 2 oz. of Gin (or you can substitute with Vodka) shake, pour and top with your favorite sparkling water!

It’s surprisingly a refreshing, light drink which is a great alternative to everyone’s favorite – spiked nog. Which I didn’t try to make my own, but I’m tempted this season to give it a shot!

 Pink Peppercorn Cranberry Cheer

                                                                    Gin based | makes one cocktail 

  • 1.5 oz of Cranberry Compote Mixture
  • 2 oz  of Gin (I used Hendricks)
  • Top with sparkling water

 

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Pamplemousse & Herbe de Sauge

Are you confused? Don’t worry the title isn’t in english, pamplemousse is just a fancy shmancy name for a Grapefruit, and sage (yes sage) is declicious in cocktails. And by the way, grapefruits are in season from November to May so it’s the most perfect time of the year to whip up a cocktail with pink or red fresh grapefruit juice! There’s something about the Rye Whiskey and the tartness of the grapefruit that makes this cocktail so winter-esq and great for dinner parties, cocktail exchanges or just curling up by your perfectly decorated tree! (But don’t worry, if you’ve found this recipe outside of those months, it’ll still be delicious and you can swap out the Rye for Gin!)

Pamplemousse & Herbe de Sauge | Yields 2 cocktails

  • 2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. fresh red or pink grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • ¼ oz. agave or simple syrup (you can also make a brown sugar syrup)
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 1 fresh sage leaf

 

Cocktail Garnish Tip: When using herbs, smack or roll in your palm to release the oils and flavor more vividly from the herb.

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Holiday Cards

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This holiday season is just a little extra special. For one, it’s the first year that J and I are actually together on Christmas day. (Neither of us wanted to give up being with our families in years past so we’d celebrate together before or after) And it’s the first year that we can start to create our own little traditions together. We came up with one for Thanksgiving that we both immediately agreed on- blackberry cobbler. It’s actually a double whammy because not only do we want to make it for every Thanksgiving, it was one of the desserts that we served at our wedding so it’ll remind us of November 5th too!

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This Christmas we’ll see what we come up with. We’ve tossed around some ideas, and have a few things planned. I know growing up we had a few traditions that I wouldn’t mind continuing, like mimosas and cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, so we’ll see what the verdict is! One of things that I’m definitely going to continue is sending Holiday cards to all our loved ones. This year my sister told me about Paper Culture before I made my decision and I’m so glad she did! For every order Paper Culture plants a tree! The designs are modern, fun, and you have tons to choose between. And unlike a lot of places, there isn’t a large difference in foil printing vs. matte colors. My order arrived in time for us to address and send out our holiday cheer!

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S’More Holiday Cheer

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Tis the season for lots of yummy treats. From cheesy appetizers to frosted cookies and pies, it’s hard to resist! I have two holiday get-togethers this weekend that came with the request for us to bring some sort of dessert. Immediately I knew I wanted to make these fun little S’More Bites for one of the parties. And I was so relieved that I wasn’t going to be spending countless hours trolling Pinterest. (It gets overwhelming!) These S’more Bites are super easy to prep, quick to cook, and always a crowd pleaser! Plus they’re a great little pop-in-your-mouth-between-laughs kind of dessert. No fork, spoon, or campfire needed for these s’mores!

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Yield: 24+ cups  |  Prep Time: maybe 20 minutes  |  Cook Time: 7 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup of graham cracker crumbs (finely chopped)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 chocolate bars, divided*
12 large marshmallows

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix together graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and melted butter in a bowl. Spoon crumb mixture into each cup or cupcake liner. Press crumbs to form bottom layer. Bake 4-5 minutes, or until edges are bubbling. While graham cracker base is baking, break your chocolate bars into rectangles and depending on the size of your cupcake pan, cut in half. Remove pan from oven; place one piece of chocolate into each cup.
Cut marshmallows in half and place one marshmallow half, cut-side down, into each cup. Return to oven for an additional 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows look fluffy. Cool for about 10-15 minutes and enjoy!

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*I mixed up my chocolate bar choices this year. Instead of milk chocolate, I used a dark chocolate bar and a Symphony bar with almonds and toffee chips in it. You’re welcome to be traditional or adventurous, it’ll be delicious whatever your choice! (Also, you can drizzle chocolate over the marshmallow if you want extra chocolate!!)

And for all of you bakers out there William-Sonoma just kicked off their Friends & Family sale! (code: FRIENDS) Get up to 20% off cookware and tools to help make your holiday cooking and baking just a tad bit easier! And for those of you who don’t like baking, lucky for you too! All Holiday candy at William-Sonoma is 25% off! I am definitely swinging by to pick up these adorable gingerbread men to hang on mugs and these to stir my spiked eggnog! Can’t resist!

Shop My Favorite William Sonoma Holiday: 

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D.C. Winter Wishlist

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Winter is here. Snow is in this week’s forecast. I’m definitely a Fall and Summer lover… to me, winter is too long and spring too rainy, so do I resent it or just embrace it!? In the spirit of the holiday season, I’m thinking finding all the good in winter – like the joy when I see the boxwood wreath on my front door welcoming me home, and the pine scented candle that I burn every chance I get. And since we’re living in the Capitol Hill I’ve curated a list of things for J and I to do this season…

  1. Take a walk to the Capitol to view the Christmas Tree (which was lit Dec. 6) and then over to Union Station to view the 30 foot tree donated by the Embassy of Norway
  2. Finally make it to Shaw’s Christmas Bar for some festive libations this year regardless of how long the line may be
  3. We’ve actually crossed this off our list so I’m suggesting it to you all since it’s adorable – make the trek out to Lucketts and visit The Old Luckett’s Store. It’s about an hour outside of the city, but will put you in the holiday spirit faster than Santa can scarf down a cookie!
  4. Send out our first holiday card as Mr. & Mrs. – Paper Culture plants a tree with every order!
  5. Whip up a round of this yummy looking Campfire Cocktail treat (picture above)
  6. Make my favorite meal from France, beef bourguignon
  7. Finish reading Blood Defense by Marcia Clark
  8. Start reading Harry Potter & The Cursed Child
  9. Attend some holiday gatherings with these fresh baked cookies in hand
  10. Spend an entire Sunday in my PJs

 

Some Favorite Pajamas:

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And we’re back…

So funny story. Wedding planning pretty much took over my life. I was doing pretty good there for awhile but then it went in high gear. There’s no other way of explaining it, and when I did have a little break from planning, I finally got around to updating and renewing my domain via my host site. So here’s where the not so funny part comes in… in the process of renewing this lil ol blog of mine I completely lost ALL of my blog. Every. Single. Post. that I have ever written. Just gone. Shame on me for not back it up, but also what the heck GoDaddy! Ugh. Wasn’t so funny at the time, but I had too much going on to do anything about it. (Mind you this was also right around the time where we found out our wedding venue was not going to be built so it was venue search take 2, we had to re-ordering wedding invites because of the venue switch, and the list went on.)  So in between huffs and eye rolls (and maybe a few panic tears) I let my blog go on the back burner. Actually, more like the neighbor’s back burner because I just couldn’t tackle it. Fast forward to today. The wedding is over, the planning is done, and I have the wedding blues. I am dying to have something (other then my full-time job) to do so I’m going to look at this positively- new last name, new blog, new content for the almost new year.

So here we are the first day of December. A full 25 days until the coziest holiday of them all!
I thought I’d start off by linking some fun little stocking stuffers for Him & Her!

For Her…

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Shop It Here:

For Him…

Stocking Stuffer Men
Shop It Here:

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