Bee’s Knees Cocktail

Note: Miko Abouaf and Ian Spink of the micro-distillery Audemus Spirits in France will be my guests today on Instagram Live Apéro Hour. They’ll be joining me live from their distillery in the Cognac region to show us how they distills their fabulous Pink Pepper gin, as well as how to mix up a Bee’s Knees Cocktail with it, and their fig leaf-based Covert liqueur….

Note: Miko Abouaf and Ian Spink of the micro-distillery Audemus Spirits in France will be my guests today on Instagram Live Apéro Hour. They’ll be joining me live from their distillery in the Cognac region to show us how they distills their fabulous Pink Pepper gin, as well as how to mix up a Bee’s Knees Cocktail with it, and their fig leaf-based Covert liqueur. Join us today at 6pm CET (Noon ET, 9am PT) on Instagram. To watch, head to my profile on my IG profile page at that time and when the circle around my profile pic says “Live” click on it to tune in. More info, as well as how to watch in replay later if you miss it, is here.

When doing research for Drinking French, I was on the prowl to find a substitute to Amer Picon, the classic apéritif from France that’s not available in the U.S. While I found some alternatives that were available in America (which I listed in the book) my very favorite was Sepia Amer, made by Audemus Spirits in France. (h/t to Josh of Paris Wine Company for the intro.)

As someone who ran out of organic crunchy peanut butter recently, and can’t watch Schitt’s Creek, I share your pain at not being about to get something you want where you live. But if you come to France, or live in a country that does carry their spirits, such as France, the United Kingdom, Australia, and others, I recommend you pick up a bottle or two.

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May Daisy cocktail

Note: I’ll be making this May Daisy cocktail today on my IG Live Apéro Hour. Join me at 6pm CET, Noon ET, and 9am PT. Go to my Instagram profile at that time and click on my profile picture when there is a red circle around it, which means I am live. You can also watch it in replay on my IGTV channel. More information…

Note: I’ll be making this May Daisy cocktail today on my IG Live Apéro Hour. Join me at 6pm CET, Noon ET, and 9am PT. Go to my Instagram profile at that time and click on my profile picture when there is a red circle around it, which means I am live. You can also watch it in replay on my IGTV channel. More information about how to tune in, and watch live, as well as in replay, here.

And before we know it, it’s May. After this lockdown is over, which is planned to unfold in France on Monday, I realize I’m going to have to go back and rewrite all the posts I wrote during the last few months as in the future, people will read them and wonder what the heck I am talking about when I say “lockdown,” “confinement,” and “shelter in place.”

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Vieux Carre cocktail

This post was originally published in 2013, which I updated and revised. It’s part of an online “L’heure d’apéro” or Happy Hour that I’ve been doing on Instagram Live on my IGTV channel most evenings at 6pm Paris time (which currently is 1pm ET, 10am PT) where I’m making a favorite cocktail live in my kitchen and responding to reader’s comments while I mix and…

This post was originally published in 2013, which I updated and revised. It’s part of an online “L’heure d’apéro” or Happy Hour that I’ve been doing on Instagram Live on my IGTV channel most evenings at 6pm Paris time (which currently is 1pm ET, 10am PT) where I’m making a favorite cocktail live in my kitchen and responding to reader’s comments while I mix and shake. (The videos get archived on my Instagram page in my Stories, which are available to watch up to 24 hours afterward, and in my Feed, which are there indefinitely.

In the live videos I’m also talking about French spirits, a few of which are used in this cocktail, the Vieux Carré. I’ve brought this cocktail post up to the top here on the blog, and I’ll be bringing others up others, as well as sharing other types of recipes that I hope you’ll find helpful during this time when many of us are housebound. (Tonight, March 26th, I’ll be making the Jasmin Cocktail if you want to tune in. Thanks! – David

A Vieux Carré is supposed to have Peychaud’s bitters in it. It was at the tippy top of my shopping list when I wanted to make this cocktail. I had the rye whiskey in spades, as well as the other ingredients, but the bitters eluded me.

But I went to four liquor stores that specialize in cocktail liquors and spirits in Paris and three didn’t have it. And the fourth was inexplicably closed for some sort of fermeture exceptionnelle. There was no sign, no nothing, so I don’t know. I peered through the darkened windows to see if they had the bitters on any of the shelves but couldn’t get a glimpse of the bitters selection, so went home empty-handed.

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French Manhattan

Someone told me that “cocktails” is one of the most used search terms right now on the internet. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the right place at the right time. Other times, I feel as if things might go the other way. Right now, I feel a little bit of both. When my planned book tour was nearing the start date, the news cycle…

Someone told me that “cocktails” is one of the most used search terms right now on the internet. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the right place at the right time. Other times, I feel as if things might go the other way. Right now, I feel a little bit of both. When my planned book tour was nearing the start date, the news cycle shifted and when it looked as if it didn’t seem like the right time to get on a lot of airplanes and invite people to join me at large gatherings to share food and drink, I hit the pause button.

So here I am, and there you are. Thankfully the internet can keep us connected. I don’t know if people are searching for Chocolate Chip Kitchen Sink Cookies, but I’ve got tons of cookie dough on hand from developing and retesting the recipe five times in the last ten days. In nineteen years of baking between two countries, I’ve never had any issues with French butter versus butter elsewhere, but that seemed to be the culprit.

Fortunately, liquor is a different story and what we get here is what you get everywhere else. But unlike all the butter, oats, chocolate, and eggs I used working on that recipe to get it right so it worked for everyone, after writing Drinking French, I’ve still got plenty of alcohol on hand, so there’s zero possibility of running out.

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Quick Mincemeat recipe

The word Mincemeat doesn’t quite inspire the same rapture that it does in England, most likely due to the name. Meat isn’t something normally associated with dessert in many places (although I had an interesting chocolate and beef pastry in Sicily), but traditional mincemeat is indeed, a wonderful addition to holiday desserts. To make it, one must get suet from a butcher, which posed a…

The word Mincemeat doesn’t quite inspire the same rapture that it does in England, most likely due to the name. Meat isn’t something normally associated with dessert in many places (although I had an interesting chocolate and beef pastry in Sicily), but traditional mincemeat is indeed, a wonderful addition to holiday desserts. To make it, one must get suet from a butcher, which posed a challenge for me the first time I made it in France. When I mentioned I needed beef fat to make a dessert to a boucher in Paris, from the look on his face, he wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to make with it. Or, I guess I should say, he wasn’t exactly convinced I was in my right mind. (Which wouldn’t be the first time that happened to me here.)

Not everyone wants to make traditional mincemeat, which is a bit of a chore, but there’s another way to get the wonderful flavors of candied peel, spices, dried fruit, and brandy, in your desserts, and that’s to make quick mincemeat.

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Apple Blackberry Slab Pie

Summer has just started and temperatures have been hovering close to 100ºF (37ºC). It’s been hard to stay cool but I’ve learned that temperatures are lower first thing in the morning, so I wake up earlier and get some tasks out of the way before the full blast of heat begins to slowly roast me, and my kitchen. The other thing that’s hitting us at…

Summer has just started and temperatures have been hovering close to 100ºF (37ºC). It’s been hard to stay cool but I’ve learned that temperatures are lower first thing in the morning, so I wake up earlier and get some tasks out of the way before the full blast of heat begins to slowly roast me, and my kitchen.

The other thing that’s hitting us at full blast is the deluge of summer fruits. There are so many nectarines, peaches, cherries, and strawberries at the market that I don’t know what to do with them all. And melons and plums are just around the corner, too. So it was odd that I found myself with a windfall of apples.

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