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A Drink and Things: Sparkling Rosé Sangria August 05 2016, 0 Comments

Sparkling Rose Sangria with Aperol and Peaches

(Photo from Serious Eats)

Welcome to this week's installment of A Drink and Things. It's officially high summer now, which is why this week's drink is perfect! It's a mash-up of two summer favorites: sangria and the Aperol spritz and the whole thing is served over peaches. You can find the recipe over on Serious Eats

And now for some things:

Try this: I read recently that some models use lip balms on their cheeks to make them look extra glowy. 

Read this: Inspired by my new book, I wrote a piece about how potlucks might be what we all need in these divisive times. 

Make this: These cheesecake bars just happen to be gluten-free and they are out of this world good. 

Shop here: We're heading to Portland, Oregon, and Seattle next week and are so bummed we won't be around when this awesome cocktail shop is open!

 

 

 


    West Elm Pop-Up Tomorrow July 29 2016, 0 Comments

    We're taking a break from our Drinks and Things column this week to prepare for a pop-up tomorrow at West Elm in Philadelphia. Hope to see you there!


    A Drink and Things: Riesling Punch with Gin, Cucumber, and Lime July 22 2016, 0 Comments

    Riesling Punch with Lime and Cucumber from Modern Potluck
    Photo by Yossy Arefi, from Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter 2016)

    Welcome to this week's very special installment of A Drink and Things. It's very special because I've got some big news. I wrote a book! You might remember that, in a former life, I was an editor for Food & Wine magazine. I still write about food on the side, and two years ago, I began working on my first cookbook, Modern Potluck. Next Tuesday, the book will be out in the world and I'm thrilled!

    And now, onto our regularly scheduled programming. 

    A Drink!
    No surprise, but the drink this week comes from my new book. It's the best summer cocktail to make for a crowd because it doesn't require ANY citrus squeezing. All you have to do is mix some wine with gin, simple syrup, sliced cucumbers, and limes, and you are good to go. You can find the recipe below. 

    Some Things!
    I've been following this story about how Black Lives Matter supporters and Wichita, Kansas, police officers held a barbecue. Maybe potlucks can save the world?
    The Neurotic Eater's Grocery List is both amazing and overwhelming. 
    Have you ever wondered what the key to deliciousness is? 

    The Recipe!

    Riesling Punch with Gin, Cucumber, and Lime

    This pitcher drink is immensely refreshing and easy to make, with no citrus squeezing required. For a crowd, you can easily double or triple the quantities and serve it in a punch bowl or one of those multi-gallon drink canisters. Recipe from Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016).

    Serves 4 to 6
    1 (750-ML) bottle dry Riesling
    ¼ cup gin
    ¼ cup simple syrup (see Note)
    1 lime, thinly sliced
    1 small cucumber (2 to 3 ounces), thinly sliced
    1. In a large pitcher, combine the wine, gin, simple syrup, and sliced lime and cucumber. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour. Add 1 cup of ice cubes and serve in ice-filled glasses.

      Note: To make simple syrup, combine ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water in a pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for 1 month.

      POTLUCK PREP. The Riesling, gin, and simple syrup can be combined and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Add the lime and cucumber within 4 hours of serving.

    A Drink and Things: Vermouth and Soda July 15 2016, 0 Comments

    It's another sad week here in the world. The horrible attack in Nice yesterday hit home for me, as I was in the south of France on Bastille Day last year. My heart and thoughts are with the city and the victims. 

    A Drink

    It is HOT here in the Northeast, with the kind of humidity that steams up the windows and creates a halo of wispy hair around my head. To help keep cool, I'm sharing a cocktail that's low alcohol and refreshing. Dare I say it's also hydrating? You can get the recipe below. 

    And Things

    I finally stopped buying cheap sunglasses from the pharmacy and sprung for a pair of Warby Parkers. The name of the color of the frames sold me instantly: Himalayan Salt. 

    In other news in things pink, I'm declaring this the rosé of the season

    Love Hemingway? Me, too. I'm dying to read this book. 

    The Recipe

    Vermouth and Soda with Lemon
    Makes 1 drink

    2 ounces sweet vermouth
    1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
    4 ounces soda water
    Ice

    In a collins-type glass, mix together the vermouth and lemon juice. Fill the glass with ice and top with soda. Enjoy.  


    A Drink and Things: Pamplemousse July 08 2016, 0 Comments

    I make lip balm. I write about cocktails. I clearly like to keep life light. And yet, it's another sad week here in the US, with the tragic murders of two black men by police officers, and the killings of five police officers at a Dallas protest. It's sickening and heart- wrenching. 

    I read an article about quiche that made me feel calm for a moment, but otherwise, I overwhelmed myself with news articles and analysis trying to understand why. Why does this keep happening? 

    This clip from Trevor Noah is a must-watch.  

    Otherwise, all I've got for you is a drink. With lemon juice, grapefruit juice and gin, this cocktail is both sour and bitter, just like this week. The only sweetness comes from elderflower liqueur, which you can now buy in small bottles. 

    I wish you all a peaceful, restorative weekend. 

    Pamplemousse Cocktail

    Adapted from Food & Wine

    1 ounce London dry gin
    1/2 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
    1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
    1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
    Ice
    1 large basil leaf, for garnish

    In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, elderflower liqueur, grapefruit juice and lemon juice. Add the ice and shake well. Pour through a fine strainer into a chilled coupe and garnish with the basil leaf.


    A Drink and Things: Mexican Spritz July 01 2016, 0 Comments

    A Drink:

    I found myself with a bottle of Aperol and a bottle of tequila (as one does) and wondered, what the heck could I ever make with these? Julie Reiner's excellent book, The Craft Cocktail Party, had the answer in the form of what she calls a Mexican Spritz. You can find the recipe below. 

    And Things: 

    - Have you seen this new site all about cocktails? We're hooked. And we especially appreciate this article about making 3-gallon cocktails for parties. 

    - Speaking of parties, this piece about summer entertaining for your Myers-Briggs personality type gave us a chuckle. 

    - Like a magic trick, this butterfly pea flower turns drinks blue naturally; when you add citrus juice, it slowly goes from indigo to violet. 

    - A friend of Stewart & Claire was quoted in this article about why younger, wealthier people are moving back into cities. 

    - Did you know that koji, a type of rice mold, is responsible for many delicious Asian ingredients, including miso and soy sauce? It's also one of the latest obsessions for chefs and hard-core cooks. Read about how one chef went to the Japan to learn to make koji. Which reminds me, I need to stir my own homemade miso!

    The Recipe

    Mexican Spritz

    From The Craft Cocktail Party by Julie Reiner

    1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila
    1 1/2 ounces Aperol
    3/4 ounce lime juice
    1/2 ounce simple syrup
    Ice
    1 1/2 ounces club soda
    Lime wheel, for garnish

    In a shaker, combine the tequila, Aperol, lime juice and simple syrup. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with 1 1/2 ounces club soda and place a lime wheel in the drink to garnish. 

     


    A Drink and Things: Jade Palmer June 24 2016, 0 Comments

     

    Hi all! Welcome to this week's installment of A Drink and Things. First, some quick news: The Negroni lip balms are now (finally!) ready to ship. Hurray!

    Now, A Drink:

    For this first official week of summer, I wanted to share a recipe that's ultra refreshing and (gasp!) boozeless. A riff on the Arnold Palmer, it's a drink you can have poolside, beachside or even desk-side. Get the recipe below. 

    And finally, some things: 

    Listen: I loved this interview with Moby on the podcast, Happier. He shared his thoughts on wealth and fame; New York in the 90s; why he moved to LA; and his creative process. I now am intrigued by his memoir, Porcelain

    Read: These reviews of grandma candy made me laugh. And I totally agree about Circus Peanuts. Who ever thought those were a good idea?

    Go: Cape May, New Jersey, is my default beach. I've been going there for over a decade now, but never have I eaten as well as I did this weekend. For the first time, my family and I went to H&H Seafood and it's exactly what you want in the summer: Seafood, simply cooked, eaten dockside. Even better, you can bring your own wine. We also popped by Beach Plum Farm's new expanded shop and restaurant. I was blown away by the quality of the ingredients and the cooking. I love that you could sit out at picnic tables right alongside the gardens. 

    Buy (or covet!): Speaking of the beach, I've been obsessing over these towel blankets by The Beach People for over a year now. And now they have bags!)

    Try: I've been drinking a lot of Austrian rosé this summer, so I was thrilled to see them getting some love

    Hmmmm: I'll be watching how the results of this Brexit vote unfold over the next few months. For now, this is all I have to say

    Jade Palmer

    Makes 2 to 3 Drinks

    The classic iced tea/lemonade combo goes green, with lime juice, a Thai basil simple syrup, and, of course, green tea. The basil has an intriguing anise-like quality, but you can also make the syrup with good old Mediterranean basil or cilantro. This drink is boozeless (gasp!) but is delicious spiked with gin or vodka. 

    For the syrup

    3 tablespoons sugar

    3 tablespoons water

    1/4 cup Thai basil leaves

    For the drink

    3 green tea bags

    3/4 cup boiling water

    3/4 cup ice water

    1/4 cup fresh lime juice

    2 sprigs Thai basil

    1. Make the syrup: In a small saucepan, heat the sugar with the water, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the basil leaves; let cool. 

    2. Meanwhile, make the drink: In a large measuring cup, pour the boiling water over the tea bags and let stand for 4 minutes. Add the ice water and lime juice.

    3. Strain the syrup into the drink and stir. Serve in ice-filled glasses and garnish with basil springs. 

     


    a drink and things: rhubarb shandy June 17 2016, 0 Comments

    Normally, I like to keep these posts light, but this week was not normal. All week, I've been reeling from the shooting earlier this week in Orlando.  

    A Facebook friend recently posted something that resonated: 

    "I saw a piece recently about the six types of love the ancient Greeks recognized. One is Ludus, playful love. Most readily experienced when you dance. I imagine Pulse as where you go to experience Ludus, and Philia (the joy of long-term friendship), and Agape (a love of humanity not tied to one person), and yes, Eros. Can you imagine having all of that love in one place? When the world has told you all your life you can't have any of those kinds of love? And then to have that sanctuary violated."

    This story gave me (a little) hope for humanity. 

    And Anderson Cooper's tribute to the victims was moving and important. 

    In honor of the victims, those are all "the things" I have this week. 

    Now that I have you all weepy, it looks like you need a drink. 

    Rhubarb Shandy

    Makes 1 drink

    Made with a light, low-alcohol beer and some kind of juice or soda (often, lemonade), shandies are the ultimate day-time drinks. Rhubarb season started where I live in the mid-Atlantic about a month ago, but I can still find it at the market. Here, I use the stalks to make a sweet-tart pink syrup and add it to the beer. The syrup is equally delicious and refreshing with seltzer. 

    1/4 cup rhubarb syrup (see below) or more, to taste

    One 12-ounce light, crisp beer, such as pilsner or lager

    Ice (optional)

    Freeze a pint glass or other beer glass for 15 minutes if you have time. Pour the rhubarb syrup into a pint glass. Slowly pour the beer on top. Add more syrup and a few ice cubes, if desired, and enjoy!

    Rhubarb Syrup

    Makes about 2 cups

    1 pound rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces

    1/2 cup sugar

    2 cups water

    1 lemon

    In a medium, nonreactive saucepan, combine the rhubarb, sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Use a vegetable peeler to remove a few strips of lemon zest and add them to the syrup. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is very soft, about 10 minutes. Let cool to warm.

    Strain the syrup through a fine sieve into a measuring cup and let stand for 30 minutes if you want to eek out as much syrup as possible. Discard or reserve the rhubarb pulp for another use. Taste the syrup and add the juice from the lemon if you'd like it to be more tart. The syrup can be refrigerated for 1 to 2 weeks. 

     

     

     


    A Drink and Things: A Three Ingredient Cocktail June 10 2016, 0 Comments

    Hi all! It's been an exciting week here at Stewart & Claire. Our Negroni lip balm pre-sale went live on Monday. And our Summer lip balm is now available as well! 

    And now, let's get on to this installment of "A Drink and Things."

     First up, A Drink:

    The above cocktail is called the Adonis. It has a mere three ingredients (four, if you count the ice), and making it is a good excuse to use up the sweet vermouth I made you buy last week. Check out the recipe below. 

    And things: 

    It was my daughter's birthday this week, so I made this chocolate cake. It's dead easy and alway's good. 

    Speaking of my daughter, as a parent, I love this series about parenting around the world. Did you know that in Germany, preschools take three-year-olds on three-day trips (without parents!) to foster independence? Sign me up!

    After searching high and low for some great outdoor plates, we opted for these simple enamelware dishes

    Is anyone else excited by the fact that chef Zac Pelaccio is cooking southeast Asian food again? Time for a trip to Hudson, NY. 

    A friend recently started working for Sun Basket, a meal kit delivery service that focuses on fresh, sustainable, ethical ingredients from the West Coast. Now we can all cook like those smug Californians. ;)

    Have you heard about frosé? Are you yay or nay?

    Finally, the Recipe: 

    Adonis

    This low-alcohol aperitif is a classic, but this version comes from Komi restaurant in Washington, DC, and was published by Food & Wine magazine in 2010. 

    1 1/2 ounces fino sherry
    1 ounce sweet vermouth
    2 dashes orange bitters
    Ice

    In a cocktail shaker, combine fino sherry, sweet vermouth and orange bitters. Add ice and stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


    A Drink and Things: Negroni Spritz! June 03 2016, 0 Comments

    So, guess what? Next week is Negroni Week and we are thrilled to soon re-introduce last year's super popular Negroni lip balm and add it to our permanent collection. We will have it available for pre-order starting on Monday, and for each Negroni lip balm pre-sold, we will donate $1 to the Grameen Foundation

    To celebrate this re-introduction, we're launching a weekly series called "A Drink and Things" and will include a drink recipe we're loving as well as links to inspiring articles and covetable products. 

    If you like this series, sign up for our newsletter because we'll be popping it over to inboxes as well. 

    First up: A Drink. This week's cocktail comes from a new little compendium called Spritz by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Parizeau. What I thought was a ridiculously narrow topic for a book turned out to be quite intriguing. A spritz is defined as a bitter, bubbly, low alcohol drinks, but the writers argue it's also "a mantra, an attitude, and a state of being." Inspired by Negroni Week, I thought I'd share a lighter take on the Negroni created at Bar Basso in Milan. It's perfect for lightweights or those who want to drink cocktails all night. Get the recipe below. 

    Negroni Sbagliato

    From Spritz by Talia Baichhi and Leslie Pariseau

    1 ounce Campari

    1 ounce sweet vermouth

    3 ounces Prosecco

    1 orange half-wheel

    Fill a glass with ice. Add the Campari, sweet vermouth and Prosecco. Garnish with the orange and enjoy!

    -----------------

    Now that your cozy with your drink: Things

    Covetable

    Definitely, definitely this Spritz book. It's a small volume with a smooth matte cover and compelling art deco illustrations. Plus, 50 classic and modern cocktail recipes!

    We gave these literary-inspired notebooks from Obvious State as holiday gifts last year. Now we want their prints, bags and cards. Such a great brand. 

    Inspiring Reads (and Listens): 

    Ann Lamott's poignant essay about finding time to do things you love

    Tim Ferris's (2 hour long!) interview with Derek Sivers still has me thinking 10 days after I heard it.

    Labels are boring and unsexy but a real necessity for almost any product-based business. This start-up is working eliminating label waste by getting rid of the need for back paper. Fingers crossed their stuff becomes more widely available soon. 

    Yum 

    Extra Crispy is a new site by some smart food writers all about breakfast. And their looking for a bacon critic. True story. 

    Finally made it through the Saveur France issue. Sigh. A must for francophiles.  

    Love a seven-layer salad? Try my updated version.

     


    What's Your Lip Balm Personality? April 07 2016, 0 Comments

    If you really want to know which Stewart & Claire lip balm is right for you, take our new quiz!

    why i love our old fashioned lip balm February 18 2016, 0 Comments

    The Old Fashioned lip balm, was inspired, plain and simply, by bourbon. Back in my childless days, bourbon on the rocks was my night cap; bourbon and soda was my wedding drink. It was tough to create a balm that smelled exactly like the glorious liquor, but one that smelled like a bourbon-based cocktail, well, that, I could do.

    After 23 tries, I crafted a balm scented with a blend of cedar, bitter orange, black pepper, vanilla and cinnamon. It's reminiscent of a cocktail, for sure, but also a grandfather's pipe or other things you might call old fashioned. This balm is our bestseller by far. It's become our signature product and our absolute customer favorite. 

    Oh and for the sticklers out there: Before you think we serve our Old Fashioneds in a coupe—as if! The drink in the photo is actually a Brooklyn, another one of our favorite whiskey cocktails. 

    If you're intrigued, try our Old Fashioned lip balm.