For now, I bounce from coast to coast, but I plan to die in Providence. I was student at the Rhode Island School of Design more than a decade ago, and the magic of that jewel-box of a city still pulls on my heartstrings. It’s the Victorian homes, industrial buildings, the charmingly gruff New England personalities, and concentration of Italian American markets that have kept me coming back. The town is divided by the Providence river, separating the posh, College Hill area to its east, and the grittier, fast-developing downtown, Olneyville, Federal Hill, and Atwells to the west. Most tourists will cling to the picturesque, colonial Benefit street, with its gas lamps and pristine mansions, but that’s only a tiny sliver of what the city has to offer. This place has chutzpah. It’s the blue collar dive bar and the Ivy League, it’s Mayflower meets crust punk. What other city’s most beloved mayor was a convicted felon and the face of a popular line of packaged red sauce? R.I.P Buddy Cianci…..
…. For smaller grassroots galleries, World’s Fair Gallery is a tiny storefront next to the Columbus Theater that mounts thoughtful shows with local artists. It’s run by the owners of Little Bitte cocktails, a craft cocktail company that often pops up around town.
This Turmeric and Gin Cocktail Is Like Sipping Liquid Sunshine
Turmeric, honey, and grapefruit add a sweet, earthy flavor to Little Miss Sunshine, which uses a botanical gin as its base spirit.
I crave sunshine in the winter. No matter how many hikes in the woods, walks on the beach, trips to the park, prances through the snow – I still want that placating light and heat of the sun… How does one truly sip in the sun during winter, despite the grey skies and winter blues? Fresh citrus and turmeric help immensely, and Little Miss Sunshine, our latest cocktail concoction, is an homage to the sun when we need her most.
It’s no coincidence that the Latin name for grapefruit is citrus x paradisi, or rather,
citrus = paradise, delivered as it is in a lovely yellow-orange rind. Broiling grapefruit is an exciting way to add a bit of caramelized sweetness to the fruit. I coat the flesh with a teaspoon of honey (instead of sugar) for added floral notes and broil it until I see a bit of char for visual drama and smoky notes, about 5–8 minutes depending on your oven.
Little Miss Sunshine deserves an aromatic, woodsy gin like St. George Terroir, which is infused with Douglas fir, bay laurel, wok-roasted coriander, and a hint of citrus. Solo, Terroir feels like sipping in a verdant forest, then discovering a sunny clearing full of wildflowers. Yes, this gin is that botanical. I round it out with turmeric-honey syrup for another dash of spicy, earthy sweetness…
Some years we ascend to the mountains of Vermont with friends and family, some years we flock to the Big City for a bit of sparkle, and some years we whisk off to far away lands with sandy beaches. What will this year bring? Stay tuned for our signature New Years cocktail recipe that is about to be the hit of the party.
Every November, during the calm before the storm of the holidays, I start scheming the cocktail recipes that will carry me through the season from party to party and cheers to cheers. I make a list of all of the beautiful treasures of the fall harvest for inspiration – the sweet-savory juice of fresh beets and carrots that shine in a sour; the pineapple sage that I’ve packed into raw honey to make syrup; and the seemingly bottomless basket of apples that I will savor into the new year with countless pies, spiced old-fashioneds and compotes.
I’m a huge fan of sparkling cocktails for the holidays. They’re light and effervescent and evoke a certain twinkle in the eye and glow of the cheeks. In addition to bubbles, spritzes can include a base spirit, a cordial, fresh juice, or any combination of the three.
My favorite sparkling cocktail right now is The Orchard Spritz. The base is Thomas Tew dark rum (made by Newport Distilling Co.), with its amber notes of vanilla, caramel, oak, and just enough pepper to drive a bit of heat into the bones. St.George spiced pear liqueur adds some sweetness along with hints of cinnamon and clove. I also include fresh lemon juice, which animates the cordial with a lively zest. Rhody Coyote cider adds….
“A good berry picker moves with her hands, not her feet.” The words have been emblazoned into my mind from years of driving up the dirt road to the berry patch at Macomber Farm. I can still see Mr. Macomber whizzing down the path on his clunky mountain bike, all wheels and spokes, a cloud of dust trailing behind him to meet me by the fence and the “Pick UR Own” sign. Strewn on the picnic table, an inviting stack of green paper baskets would be waiting to be filled to the brim with the ripe berries of the moment.
Even today, as I approach a different farmer, questions dart through my mind: Will he have any strawberries left? Are the raspberries ripe yet? When do the blueberries usually come in, again? How many berries is too many to eat in the field? Damn it, did I leave my sun hat in the car? Yes, I am sure I did…
My favorite mezcal cocktail is the Raspberry Frezcal. I know it sounds Seussian, but it’s the name that’s stuck, summer after summer, when the fresh berries come in. Frezcal is like the older sister of frosé (yes, that’s frozen blended rose) that only leaves the house in kitten heels – vibrant, pink, frothy, and a bit of an ice queen. I love Raspberry Frezcal….