I’ve been working on an egg project, so it’s only fitting that I added an egg cocktail to my repertoire. I’ve never made a proper Clover Club with the egg white foam on top before and it was time I tried! I can’t believe I waited so long!
The Clover Club
2oz gin 0.5oz lemon juice 0.5oz raspberry syrup 1 egg white (or 3T of egg whites from a carton) fresh raspberries for garnish
First, make your raspberry syrup. In a pot, add one cup of sugar and a half cup of water. Heat until sugar is fully dissolved. Reduce heat and add a half cup (or more for a stronger raspberry flavor) of fresh raspberries. Smash your raspberries as they heat up. Remove from heat and let your mixture stand for a few minutes before straining out the seeds with a fine mesh strainer. Chill before using.
To make the cocktail, add your ingredients to an empty cocktail shaker and dry shake (without ice) for about 20 seconds to fluff up the egg whites. Then, pause to add ice. Shake until fully chilled (>15 seconds) and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with three fresh raspberries. Enjoy while painstakingly covering hallowed out eggs with Japanese papers.
The Olympics are flying by like a bobsled on a fresh track, so I thought I’d make another cocktail to drink while I watch the wildly unfair women’s figure skating events this week. This is a variation of a gin rickey, with the addition of lychee liqueur. It’s refreshing, like the monobob.
2oz gin 1oz lychee liqueur 0.75oz lime juice (freshly squeezed!) club soda
Add gin, lychee liqueur, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to chill and combine and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a lime wheel and lychee fruit. Enjoy from your warm, comfy couch while you watch amazing athletes competing in the freezing cold.
The Winter Olympics are here! We haven’t missed hosting an Olympics party since London (though I didn’t blog about last summer’s outdoor affair) so we are back at it again on Friday for the Opening Ceremonies. We ordering Chinese food and it wouldn’t be a party without a signature cocktail!
I wanted our drink to be gold and glittery so I ordered edible cocktail glitter from Brew Glitter. (It’s a shockingly tiny jar for $10, but a little goes a long way! Each jar is supposed to provide enough glitter for 20+ cocktails.)
It’s very hard to capture the glitteriness in a photograph, but I promise, in person it’s gorgeous!
Going for Gold
2oz gin 0.5oz dry curaçao or triple sec 0.5oz fresh lemon juice tiny pinch of cocktail glitter
Add everything to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled. Strain into a coupe and enjoy while watching the Parade of Nations or bobsledding.
Last week, Naoto made a Pegu Club and…it was not my favorite. We’ve made Pegu Clubs before and I love them so I was confused. I asked him what he had used and among the usual ingredients was…Marie Brizard’s curaçao. The recipe did call for curaçao, but poor Marie has been sitting in the back of the liquor cabinet for awhile now because she is my least favorite orange liqueur. I can’t remember why we bought her, but I know that we will choose almost any other curaçao, orange liqueur, or triple sec instead of Marie.
We made another Pegu Club, this time with Pierre Ferrand, one of my favorite cocktail ingredients. Pierre Ferrand is dry curaçao and added a little bit of complexity to the Pegu Club. Pierre is not too sweet and has a unique orange flavor.
So, last week, I made it my goal to test out all of our triple secs and curaçao to see which one is the best in the Pegu Club. (I knew it was going to be Pierre Ferrand.) I reported my results on Twitter over the course of ten days. It wasn’t a super scientific test, but it was fun trying new ingredients. In order of preference, my results are below:
Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao Cointreau North Shore Distillery’s Beehive Curaçao (limited edition) Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur Bols Triple Sec Marie Brizard Curaçao
For all of the test cocktails, I used Costco gin, and the same amount of lime juice, bitters, and orange liqueur. The Pierre Ferrand made a complex and delicious cocktail that wasn’t too sweet. Cointreau was slightly sweeter and brighter. (Honestly, I will probably choose Cointreau in the summer…it was really refreshing.) The North Shore was good, but it was even better when I added a teaspoon of simple syrup. Normally, I love Solerno and it was fine, but I don’t think the Pegu Club is the best use for this bottle. And the Bols was fine, but obviously not as good as Cointreau. (It never stood a chance!) And you already know how I feel about Marie. If you’d like to make you own, here’s the recipe:
2oz gin 0.75oz triple sec or curaçao 0.5oz fresh lime juice 1 dash of Angostura bitters 1 dash of orange bitters
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled and pour into a coupe (or a frosty martini glass in my case since my coupes are still mostly packed away) and enjoy the fruits of your cocktail labors.
Naoto has spoiled me the entire pandemic by pouring my Manhattan into a frosty cocktail glass. This spring, as we’ve branched back into other cocktails (mostly involving gin,) we have continued to serve things up in a frosty glass. Most of my vintage cocktail glasses are tucked away until we remodel the kitchen. And they are too delicate for the freezer. So we’ve been using our Libbey workhorses–we have twelve of these, which are perfect for larger parties and for keeping a few in the freezer at all times.
Even when he’s not home and I’m mixing for myself while I water the garden, I’ve been treating myself to a frosty glass. I’ve been on a Jasmine kick since June. Jasmine cocktails are so crisp and tart and slightly bitter…perfectly refreshing on a hot evening. The original recipe calls for Campari, but I prefer the slightly more subtle Cappelletti. Both are delicious, so use what you have.
0.75oz fresh lemon juice
0.25oz Cappelletti (or Campari)
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled. Strain into a frosty glass (or a coupe if you want to be proper.) Serve as a reward for putting the hose away without swearing.
Last month, I heard this story on NPR about “Beers with Beshear,” a happy hour centered around Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s daily Covid-19 briefings. So I decided to modify it for my own governor’s briefings and call it “Spritzers with Pritzker” or since it’s Twitter #spritzerswithPritzker.
On March 26, at 2:30pm, I whipped up a Campari Spritz for the Governor’s briefing. Every day since then, I’ve made some sort of Spritz cocktail (both alcoholic and spirit-free.) It’s given me something light to do every day, something to look forward to. It’s been nice to have a little routine that is forcing me to look at recipes and make something every day. Spritzes are perfect afternoon drinks because they typically have a low alcohol content and are apertifs, before-meal drinks that stimulate the appetite.
Yesterday, much to my shock, the governor gave me a shout-out at the beginning of his briefing! I couldn’t believe it! Because of a mix-up last summer where a local politician thought I was Adam (because my handle is @adamihasegawa,) I had my bio name written out as Adam I. Hasegawa, so the governor and everyone else thought I was a guy. (Since then, I’ve changed my name to #spritzerswithPritzker to stop the confusion.) But I came clean to WTTW when they interviewed me for this article. It’s been a fun couple of days chatting about cocktails and laughing a lot.
So the pressure is on to keep up my project! I decided to create a page here on the site where I can share all the recipes all in one place and for those who aren’t on Twitter or Instagram and may want to join in. (The intro part is pretty much just this post repeated.) I highly recommend a little afternoon break, whether it’s a cup of tea, or a cocktail, or some fancy water. These are trying times and we need to take care of ourselves and of each other.
This weekend was less than productive, but I did catch up on some letters so at least there’s that. I also spent some time organizing my stationery for National Card & Letter Writing Month in April. I love changing my Classiky box with each season. I pasted my stay at home to do list into my Travelers Notebook so maybe I’ll take it more seriously now. I’m hoping to at least plant some seeds and get started on the bedroom this week. And I’m thinking fondue sounds fun for the weekend. I’m trying to decide if traditional or a beer cheddar is the way to go…so many decisions.Did I tell you I finally opened a PO box? If you’ve ever wanted to write, my public address is:
PO Box 6693
River Forest IL 60305
Naoto has been checking the box for me once a week when he drops off my vintage postage for hand cancellation. Feel free to write! In other news, we had a Facetime happy hour with our friends in New Jersey and a Zoom happy hour with our local friends over the weekend. And we didn’t hold a formal book club this month, but a bunch of us got together on Zoom to chat and check in. I also celebrated my dad’s birthday with him over Zoom. If you haven’t used Facetime or Zoom (or whatever video conferencing method is your favorite) to meet up with friends or family, I highly recommend it! It’s not the same as in person, but it’s pretty darn good.
How are you holding up? Is your state or country practicing social distancing, or is this whole thing foreign to you? Any tips on getting through a day at home?
Every year we explore Sangenjaya more and more and find all sorts of great little gems in our hotel neighborhood. We always talk about staying someplace else but I really just love going back to the same spot and since we’re still finding things we love there, why not?
This time we found this cute little Italian spot and it was one of the best meals of our trip. (I know I say that a lot…but seriously, the food in Japan is almost always amazing.)For starters, we got these cinnamon coated fava beans that were delicious and weird and just a tiny bit sweet. And we got a salad with chicken and yuzu dressing…it’s hard to ever say no to yuzu. We were really intrigued by these Italian gyoza on the menu. They were filled with regular gyoza fillings (cabbage, pork, garlic, ginger) but were topped with fresh tomato sauce and Parmesan. When we ordered them, I thought they’d have a different filling, something more…Italian? But they were really good and we want to recreate something similar at home. Another dish we want to perfect at home is butter shoyu pasta…this one had cremini mushrooms and chives on top…it’s umami heaven. If we ever find a good recipe, I’ll share it here. And of course we ordered margharita pizza…Japan really does a charred crust so well.
Neither of us remember what cocktails we had to start…we really need to be better about writing our little food diaries down since it’s something we enjoy so much on our travels. But my second drink was this filllllled to the brim glass of sparkling wine and it was delightful. We also had tiramisu for dessert and failed to capture it, but it was the perfect end to another perfect meal in Tokyo.
We celebrated Naoto’s birthday in Japan on January 5th. I found this local craft cocktail bar, Bar Lariat, in “our neighborhood” near our usual hotel and I insisted we try it. Five years ago, we went to Mixology near Tokyo Station and we had a great time…all the time not knowing that this tiny gem of a bar was within walking distance of our hotel! There is no menu. You just let the bartender know what kind of drink you’re in the mood for and he creates something for you. I will admit that this kind of stressed me out. I didn’t want to drink something terrible…but it turns out, the bartender is a great listener and he hit it out of the ballpark all night! With our first cocktail, we were given this little amuse-bouche, cheese and a dried apricot. To start, Naoto ordered something like a Moscow Mule. And I requested something bright and gin based. The bartender muddled a ginko with gin and some other mixers and I was handed a refreshing, delicious cocktail. When Naoto told me a ginko would be part of my drink, I was scared. Have you ever smelled a ginko tree? It’s not good! But the fruit was really delicious! Kind of sweet and orangey? For his second drink, Naoto had a vodka and kumquat. I finished the night with a yuzu cocktail. Everything about this drink, and especially the delicate chilled glass, was perfection. I felt so fancy drinking here! Naoto had a coffee liquor drink for dessert. We definitely want to go back on our next visit. The bar only has ten seats and it’s dark and cozy inside. The owner, Masahiro-San, is an expert in his craft and he really creates a relaxing ambiance in his shop. Thanks to him, we ended Naoto’s birthday on a high note!
Last weekend was our annual book club Christmas tea and it was delightful, as usual. We had four kinds of sandwiches (egg salad, shrimp salad, roast beef with provolone, and cilantro chicken salad,) two kinds of scones (cranberry-orange and bacon cheddar,) Christmas cake, grape salad, and Christmas punch. I love a good tea sandwich so I ate way too many and also floated away from all the tea. Stasia brought corsages for everyone so it felt especially fancy. I think corsages are under-utilized and I’m going to demand one for every birthday from now on. We read PG Wodehouse which was enjoyable, but I read it all in a couple days so I was sort of Wodehoused out by the end. The writing is really charming though so hopefully I’ll be ready to tackle a short story here and there in the future. We always have party poppers with crowns, mustaches, and jokes. Reading the jokes and guessing the riddles is always my favorite part of the day. Three cheers for good book discussions in 2019!