Happy Friday, I took the week to enjoy my kids who are home on Spring Break. It always goes faster than one would hope, but we’ve had lots of fun together. And really, if I’m to be completely honest, all this together-time means that Mommy needs a drink…(Am I right ladies?) Luckily, it’s time for our weekly Cocktail O’Clock feature!
Today’s recipe comes from author Ann Mah. She and I were sorority sisters at UCLA (just a few years ago…ahem). Since then, she has married a diplomat, written for various publications (like the New York Times and Conde Naste), written a novel called Kitchen Chinese, and she muses about food and life on her fantastic blog. Her second book, cleverly called Mastering The Art of French Eating, is set to be released this September.
After living abroad for quite some time (in PARIS–nobody’s jealous here), she and her husband have returned to the states, at least for the time being. Happily we were reunited this summer, along with another sorority sister and her adorable children, in Cape Cod. We did have a wonderful afternoon and evening together, however, next time I think I’ll visit her at her pied-à-terre in Paris–for I’d like to master the art of French eating as well.
One my favorite parts about our wedding were the flowing bottles of Mumm Cuvée Napa Valley, which comes from one of the loveliest wineries I’ve ever visited. But if I could do it all over again, I think I’d also propose a special cocktail to mark the occasion. And I have just the one in mind.
It starts with chili vodka, or chili-infused vodka (recipe below), which packs a deep and gentle burn. Mix it with ice, lemonade and club soda, and you have a tart and refreshing drink, with a persistent, pleasant under note of heat. Kind of like marriage itself? Hm, let’s not read too much into this recipe.
These cocktails, which my husband has named the Calcutter, would be lovely on a summer evening, accompanied by a flip through your wedding photo album.
So many of my friends have love stories associated with their cocktails. I love that, don’t you? Cheers!
- 1 700ml bottle of vodka (I used Absolut)
- 4-5 chilies (depending on their strength)
- 2 ounces chili-infused vodka
- 3 ounces lemonade
- club soda
- lemon slices
- Make the infused vodka. Slice the peppers lengthwise and pop them in the vodka bottle. Allow to infuse at room temperature for two days, gently agitating the bottle every evening (if you remember). After two days, taste the vodka — it should have a deep, gentle burn. If it’s not adequately spicy, allow to infuse for a few another day or so. If it is hot enough, remove the chilies. The heat index will depend on the strength of your peppers. I used 4-5 green finger chilies, but if using habaneros or jalapeños, proceed with caution.
- After the vodka is sufficiently infused, pour the vodka and lemonade in a tumbler filled with 3 large lumps of ice. Add club soda to almost the brim and garnish with a slice of lemon.