By the way, it's not all about the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol--I'm a proper cook. My home was the hub for family and friends year-round pre-C19. Though I was traveling quite a bit for both work and pleasure prior to the lockdown, I managed to hold themed-dinners for 15-20 every month, along with cooking and baking (and, delivering said food!) a few times a month for family, friends and neighbours. The recipe for my Guittard chocolate red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting was picked up by an Editor for Southern Living a few years back. And, a foodie app featured my soy-free vegetarian Pad Thai dish in 2018. I've also had the pleasure of creating a high-end signature cocktail for a swanky restaurant just outside of NYC...so, you're in good hands. And yeah, my hands also give dayum-good back massages.
The word "unicorn" clearly has my picture next to it in the dictionary, lol....
All joking aside, we're in this absolutely mad situation together by staying apart--but, we still need to socialize! In the last two days alone, I've had video chats with friends who are literally around the world, including Ireland, Portugal, Canada, UK, and the States. So while you may not be able to meet friends out for a drink, you can still toast together to good health and a bright future with my latest libation, an antioxidant-filled cocktail I'm calling:
What you'll need:
-good bourbon or whiskey (you can sub tequila, gin or vodka, but I don't know why you would...)
-4 ounces of room temp green tea, sweetened with honey
-1 small orange
-pinch of cinnamon
-4-5 ice cubes
-sugar in the raw
Unlike James Bond, I prefer to stir things up. But "shaken" works, too. Start with your green tea and honey in an 8 ounce glass. You can also sub Honest T brand's "Honey Green Tea" for less than 50 calories of pre-made organic goodness. Or, use your favorite green tea--I like Rishi matcha green tea and use about half a teaspoon of raw unfiltered honey.
Making the tea from scratch? I recommend dissolving your dash of cinnamon in the tea while still hot. You can add it to a chilled pre-made cold brew, too. Once you've added the cinnamon to the green tea and honey mixture, use 4-5 drops of the orange bitters, a finger of bourbon and a finger of the orange liqueur. Then, halve your orange. Cut a slice or wedge from one half and reserve it for the garnish. Hand-squeeze the juice from both halves into the glass. Add ice cubes and shake or stir.
For the garnish:
Pour a tablespoon of raw sugar in a bowl. Take the orange slice or wedge and dip it into the sugar, coating both sides. Use a pairing knife to make a slit in the middle of the orange slice or wedge (while keeping the rind intact) so it can sit on the rim of your glass. Add your garnish to the side of your glass and drop some of the moistened sugar (from dipping your wedge) on the rind. If you want to get really fancy, before making your cocktail, you can sugar the rim of your glass by first pouring sugar in the raw in the bottom of a cereal bowl. Use the orange wedge to wet the entire rim of your serving glass then turn it upside down in the cereal bowl...et voila: Sugared rim!
Add an optional Grand Marnier "floater" if you're feeling extra feisty--and, I usually am. ;)
Once you add the garnish to your glass, sit down with your iPad or laptop and dial up a friend to toast with. You have nothing to feel guilty about with this low-cal, healthy cocktail that boosts your immune system while taking the edge off of quarantine. Between the green tea, honey, cinnamon, and fresh-squeezed OJ, you can protect your physical health while maintaining social wellness, too.
To make it non-alcoholic: Take a slice of frozen peach and a chunk of frozen mango; pulverize into a puree in the blender after adding a tablespoon of warm water. Add that to the green tea mixture, along with 1-2 fingers of orange-flavored seltzer and you're good-to-go, minus the buzz and without sacrificing a "lick" of flavor. Speaking of licks....
Food for Thought
The search/struggle for the soulmate is real! Y'all are coming out in force to talk to me about love, sex and relationships...and I feel that. Big time.
I'm using the downtime to align my spirit with my heart AND my head. I know what (and who) I want--and that's half the battle. For this Leo with her Venus rising on the Cancer/Leo cusp, LOVE is literally my soul-song (born under a Scorpio moon, too--so sex is really, really, really important and super intense with the right partner).
Love has always been a priority; it makes me sad to reflect on how hard it's been to come by over the course of my life. People can be selfish, inconsiderate and downright unkind. Like, WTF is up with ghosting??? I mean, yeah, if you're 12, maybe...but if you're over 30, have the guts to say "no" if it's no--or, "yes" if it's yes. If it's a "maybe," say that! You can't expect a worthy person to sit around and wait on you. Acknowledging an attempt to reach out is crucial in all relationships--but we don't always know how to handle a situation and decide that saying nothing is better than closing the door altogether. Except, ghosters tend to forget: Silence is an answer. The problem with using it to communicate is that, only you know what you're trying to say....
When it comes to love, all we can do as individuals is be as honest and straightforward as possible. If you meet your "one," don't hesitate! TELL THEM how you feel!!! If they ghost you instead of loving you back, at least you know you put yourself out there. Communicating your feelings in a clear, direct way means you're stable and healthy--and those are very attractive traits indeed. In this day and age, a person who prioritizes love and intimacy is a real catch. The right person will be smart enough to see that...eventually.
Remember, we all get the benefit of taking a beat in our quest for love and long-term companionship during quarantine. It's tempting to (emotionally) turn away from someone who's maybe taking a bit of a longer beat than expected, but a person who rejects you may, at first, only do so out of fear and insecurity. I know I've been there a time or two. Compassion, not judgement, is how we show real love. And, how we identify it in someone else, too.
We have nothing but time on our hands these days--so there's no need to rush if you sense the real deal is within reach. If fear is driving your beloved's decisions, you may have to be a bit more flexible and apply patience to reap the ultimate benefits. Remember, nothing proves stability and loyalty better than simply being there, no matter what.
Be patient (and kind) with yourself and others and love will rule! If not in another's heart, at least in your own.
Until next time, stay safe--
*Btw, that's a little corner of my kitchen in the pic; I literally designed and built it myself, like my fireplace. Having a comfortable abode is part of what maintains my inner peace. Oh, and the fruit bowl in the background? It's pottery from Ireland--my home-away-from-home. I miss it every day and look forward to seeing my family and friends who live there in the not-so-distant future:
"Is ceol mo chroi thu...." <3