Pleasant Perspectives (Mostly)

I picked my first garden bouquet for the office vase. It’s the only flower vase in the house due to a flower-unfriendly feline, although at this point she’s getting too old to get at the highest shelves, so maybe we can allow a few more vases this year. Forget-me-nots and rosemary in bloom, two of…

Read More

Comfort Zones

I’d be the first to admit that my knowledge of tequilas is mainly limited to the stuff I did in shot form back in college in the tradition of salt on the hand and lick (to kill the taste), toss back the shot (grimace), bite the lime (to kill the taste). I haven’t spent much…

Read More

The Spoils of the Day

Sometimes the constant presence of natural beauty can lead to a certain forgetfulness of the visual bounty all around. We’ve lived near Lake Geneva for a long time, and while I revel in the views of mountain and lake, I don’t always appreciate just how lovely the area can be. Fortunately, friend, writer and local…

Read More

Maui Mixology

I’m not sure what I was expecting from the poolside cocktail mixing class at the Hotel Wailea on Maui – the reinforcement of a few basics, maybe a couple of exotic ingredients in a familiar drink. We’d signed up the day before for the mixology class, but by the time it rolled around at 11…

Read More

Simple, Slow, Good

We harvested the last of the mirabelles today under heavy skies and to the sound of rolling thunder, the first raindrops already falling as we packed away the ladder and hurried inside with the last couple of kilos of yellow plums. There’s something so simple and satisfying about making old-fashioned jams and cordials, a word…

Read More

Redcurrant Cordial

I’d had a romantic vision in my mind about making redcurrant cordial, something more in keeping with the  word ‘cordial’. What I hadn’t anticipated was the 7 kilos (15 pounds) of redcurrants my single bush would yield under not very thorough picking. The simple recipe (see below) became a more complicated logistical matter of our…

Read More

The Taste of Shape

There’s no denying that the utensils we use, the presentation we choose and the serving methods employed affect how we experience what crosses our palate. That’s as true for lemon tart as it is for champagne. Champagne glasses, like those for many other beverages, have undergone a transformation over the centuries. From the mugs or…

Read More

Pantry Bubbly

There are a few staples people always like to have around the house. Whether it’s rice, or eggs, or beer, or bread, if it’s not in the pantry, the pantry is lacking – even if full of other things. It should come as no surprise that one of these items in our household is champagne (well,…

Read More

Whisky Women, Champagne Widows

ChampagneWhisky.com wouldn’t be ChampagneWhisky if it weren’t for women in whisky and champagne. And not just the one sitting here behind the keyboard writing this post. I’m just going to put up a couple of excerpts today, in honor of International Women’s Day 2014, which has been celebrated for a century on March 8. “In…

Read More