Tag Cocktails

Champagne Tennis

We spent the afternoon with cousin Jill sipping Belvedere cocktails and playing Nerf tennis in Moët’s spaceport headquarters. Her company sponsors the US Open so they built a miniature tennis court in front of the bar, just big enough that you don’t have to put your drink down to play.

Bannack was pretty good at swinging the racket like an ax and yanking at the net but preferred running the ball back to the server to return it so I out-scored him pretty early in the match.

Does this photo make my nose look big?

Before heading back on the train to Brooklyn we all got wide slices of pie at a little hole in the wall in Chelsea. We were just a few doors down from The Leo House, the small nun-run hotel that our family used to stay in for our first few visits to New York with the Carroll College plays.

Seeing the front door triggered memories of eleven year old me eating cold porridge from the early morning breakfast buffet, talking with my mom in the drizzly shabby back garden and asking the elevator operator for a lift to the sixth floor please.

“Are you sure?” He asks me from his worn out stool.

Suddenly unsure, I nod, “Uh huh.”

He closed accordion elevator grate and pushed the brass handle  forward starting our slow and silent climb to the top floor. I took one step out of the elevator and knew immediately that I didn’t belong. The nuns lived on the sixth floor. I met one in the hallway and without a word she returned me to the elevator. I can’t remember if the operator apologized to her or not but it was an awkward ride down to whatever floor I was supposed to be on.

The Real Green River

Last night Aunt Colleen brought home this seasonal Chicago treat and suggested Grandma Rosie and I might like to make little dinner cocktails with it. They were the perfect drink to toast St. Patrick’s Day eve.


I had my first bottle of Green River at the old Bear Trap Hot Springs in Montana, outside of Bozeman. As I remember it, Bear Trap’s dingy back-bar was lined with the most exotic pops and beers in existence. My dad spotted a bottle of Green River, ordered a round for my sister and I and told us of the age-old and firmly Ozian tradition of dying the Chicago River in honor of St. Patrick, who is well known for hating all other colors of river.

My dad also told us the literally unbelievable true fact (see also: metaphorical middle finger) that the dye goes into the river a vibrant orange:

If you were watching this for the first time you would think this is a mistake or a bad joke. You see the dye is orange and its initial color on the surface of the river is orange and you would think to yourself what heathen would do something like this. After a moment or two you then see the true color magically appear.

Source: GreenChicagoRiver.com

I didn’t see the river go green this year. They dump the dye on parade day, which was this past Saturday. My excuses are boring though. I was apartment hunting, it was cold and I was reluctant to follow the tottering pub crawlers. But getting to taste just holding the bottle more than made up for missing the other real green river.

Sláinte to you, wherever you end up tonight!

Ye Olde Allegra Party Teame

Marcy, Carey and I all have new jobs now, but at Allegra we were the FUN Committee. Party planning came easily to us then, but getting together for a drink seemed a near impossibility until last night.

Marcy’s father hosted us in his impressive, hand-built bar—complete with leaded glass, a corner booth and a mechanical slot machine! A true mixologist, he made the best Manhattans and Old Fashions I’ve ever tasted. Fortunately, Marcy offered to drive me there and back, so I was able to confirm my positive impression with a second round of each.

Thanks Carey and Marcy for doing all the planning and set up. It was just like when we were the FUN Committee!

Ginger Candied Martini

from Davar Ardalan/NPR

from Davar Ardalan/NPR

The martinis my dad made for us at Christmas were inspired by a recipe he heard on NPR. For the curious, here it is

  • 1 ounce fresh-squeezed ginger juice
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • 3 ounces Grey Goose vodka
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce Rose’s lime juice

You can find the original story on the NPR website.

A Closeknit Christmas Celebration

After an afternoon of visiting with McK’s parents, looking after the house sitting, and sharing a sublime Christmas dinner—it was great Mom!—we all warmed up to conversation and cocktails.

After dinner cocktails with Jeep and the Caseys.

After-dinner cocktails with McK, Jeep, and the Caseys.

Dad made several rounds of ginger martinis, a perfrect after dinner drink.

Dad made several rounds of ginger martinis, a perfrect after dinner drink.

Little Bannack faught sleep to keep up with us all.

Little Bannack faught sleep to keep up with us all.


McK posted herself in front of the fire for most of the night.

McK posted herself in front of the fire for most of the night.