Cool Stuff – Drinks

Homemade Elderflower Syrup

The elderflowers are blooming. This is good on many levels. For one, flowers are just a prelude to berries. And berries are just a prelude to jelly. And elderflower jelly is something that my grandmother made as a child with her mother. I’m going to make some and bring it to Grandma Pellegrini. Now that the weather is warmer, Grandma P. can go outdoors. I paid her a visit and […]

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Dandelion Wine

I could show you this fully finished step-by-step recipe a few months from now, [scroll down, I’ve added the finished steps!] but what good would that be if you had to wait many months for dandelions to come back around? So instead, I’m going to give you the recipe and show you the step-by-step up to where I have it, so you can get picking in the fields and follow […]

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How to Make Wine

I have a friend named Nate. The first time I heard about him, I was told he was brewing beer in his bathtub. I was intrigued. Nate also makes wine. Nate is also a scientist. This lead me to believe that wine making is over my head. But it turns out it’s not really. I spent some time with him this Fall while he made a batch of wine for […]

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Chamomile Tea

Two days ago, I called my grandmother to ask her about her meatloaf. She has this way of making it that I’ve never been able to duplicate. But she didn’t answer. She usually answers, or if she can’t get to the phone fast enough, she always calls back. But she didn’t call back this time. Maybe she didn’t notice she had a message? Maybe she was out with a friend? […]

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Sweet Woodruff Wine

I’m in New York this week, which was perhaps serendipitous since it’s May Day, and with it, came a lesson in sweet woodruff from Grandma Pellegrini. Sweet woodruff, is also known as Master of the Woods. It is a perennial, with small white flowers that bloom in May and June and star-like leaves in circles of six or eight. On May 1st, the Germans use Sweet Woodruff to make May […]

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Homemade Tonic Water

I’m into liquids this week, what can I say? I’m not a big alcohol drinker as you know, seeing as it makes me rather pink in the face. However. I can appreciate alcohol produced on a truly craft level. For example, I’m mildly obsessed with this certain secret whiskey that I’m going to tell you about in my book soon. Furthermore, I was out for a friend’s birthday the other […]

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Eucalyptus Tea

Do you snore? Great! Thanks for stopping by! I’ve got just what you need. I was on the winding road to Tamales Bay the other day to eat oysters, and drink a cold beverage, and drink oysters, and the air smelled incredible. It was the eucalyptus trees. I opened every roof and window in the car. And sucked it in. Then I stopped and ate twelve more oysters. Life was […]

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Holiday Punch

But do you really need a holiday as an excuse to make a good punch? My brother has been making this for years. It’s quite good. He makes it strong but you can make a mild version. In addition to white wine and rum (not the expensive kind), you’ll need citrus. Which you let macerate in the rum and wine. Now frozen lemonade. And frozen limeade. A little ginger ale… […]

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