August 20, 2012

for good cheer

I finally got it together and seized the day by making cocktail cherries while this summer fruit is at the height of being in season. This is a project I have been wanting to tackle for a couple years now and the timing always eludes me. These cherries are the perfect partner to that classic of classics, The Manhattan. I originally wanted to brandy them but was out of Brandy and instead of running out just to fetch more I grabbed some spiced rum that was sitting on the shelf and went from there.

I left the cherries intact and cooked up some simple syrup while plucking the stems from a jarful of these juicy beauties. The syrup consisted of 1 cup of raw cane sugar cooked down and boiled in 1 cup of water. Once it starts to thicken up the slightest bit, take it off of the heat. Over a jar stuffed with cherries, I poured the rum  3/4 of the way, added a few drops of the Caribbean Buster's Bitters and a just dash of cinnamon & nutmeg. The last step... topping the goods off with the simple syrup then pop on the lid and refrigerate. They are ready for cocktails within 3-5 days and will get better with a bit of aging. Bottoms up!

August 13, 2012

wisdom of years

Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind. It is not a matter of red cheeks, red lips and supple knees. It is a temper of the will; a quality of the imagination; a vigor of the emotions; it is a freshness of the deep springs of life. Youth means a tempermental predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over a life of ease. This often exists in a man of fifty, more than in a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despairthese are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust. Whether seventy or sixteen, there is in every beings heart a love of wonder; the sweet amazement at the stars and starlike things and thoughts; the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing childlike appetite for what comes next, and the joy in the game of life. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair. In the central place of your heart there is a wireless station. So long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, grandeur, courage, and power from the earth, from men and from the Infiniteso long are you young. When the wires are all down and the central places of your heart are covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then are you grown old, indeed!
Samuel Ullman

August 9, 2012

gatsby in the garden

The Young Friends of The Philadelphia Museum of Art have just announced the details of their annual Gatsby in the Garden party. This is something I would love to attend. Just thinking about the music, art, fine fashions and fancy cocktails has my head spinning. I couldn't help but think back to this dreamy "Garden Party" editorial that appeared in the February 1992 issue of Harper's Bazaar shot by Patrick Demarchelier.
See here for more party details.

Garden Party
Harper's Bazaar US February 1992

Garden Party

Photographer: Patrick Demarchelier
Models: Shalom Harlow, Susan Holmes, Tajana Patitz, Shiraz Tal

August 7, 2012

essence of summer

In 1958 Brigitte Bardot acquired a little slice of heaven on the coast of St. Tropez. She christened this seaside hideaway, La Madrague and spent much of her time there throughout the 1960's and 70's enjoying the breezy, bohemian refuge. I am continually inspired by her home there. It seemed to inspire her too and recharge her spirit. Whenever I come across pictures of her in the vicinity of this magical abode she is resplendent, whether frolicking with her dogs, boating with lovers, entertaining friends or quietly soaking up the sun. I want to capture her sunny contentedness, relaxed homeyness, that splendid summertime je nais sais quoi. I want to find my own little Madrague.