The Real Deal

We were sitting at the Sooke Harbour House overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca of Vancouver Island, British Colombia, sipping a martini made from local ingredients: Sheringham Gin, Tugwell Creek Solstice Metheglin, Bittered Sling Lem Marakesh. I recognized very few of the words. I’m more of a whisky person, but I’m coming around to…

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Dessert Day

I am not a dessert addict, and while I like cocktails, the sugar in them doesn’t always like me. But sometimes you need to break the rules. We were in need of an all-day distraction, so we decided to explore the Ballard district of Seattle, Washington. Most restaurants provide alcohol beverages in some form or…

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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…

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New Arrivals

The first snow of winter, marching towards us across the Jura. The sun was shining in a final burst before a major storm that was due to hit overnight, and I had to go for a final autumn run in the last bits of warmth, even as I could see winter’s approach. No images here…

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Autumn Palette

Completing my regular running loop these days takes forever. Why? Because it’s so breathtakingly beautiful. I have to stop every now and then just to take it all in.   The bourbon-sweet scent of fallen leaves and late crops, the soft snik-snik-snik of leaves falling on other leaves, falling to the ground like a gentle…

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Sipping Glaciers

Travel in the 21st century means you can fly to the other side of the world for a few short days with little more than a toothbrush and a change of clothes. Which is what I did last week when I flew from Geneva, Switzerland to Palmer, Alaska. It took me four blissfully uneventful but…

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A Whisky Woman and a Spring Cordial

I finally bottled a batch of elderflower cordial yesterday, after letting the brew steep for a couple of days and then rest in the fridge until I got around to cooking it up. One of the bottles I used – I’d actually saved it for use as a cordial bottle – reminded me of a…

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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…

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Fragrant Whiskey Infusion

The plan was to go to a bar here in Denver that, from its name at least, promised to have a good selection of whiskies. And indeed, the Whiskey Bar on Larimer Street had a big selection of whiskies and a strong theme of whiskey throughout. It was also just a little bit loud for…

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Blended Pumpkin Comfort

  The weather over the last week has turned decidedly seasonal-appropriate, with a dusting of snow on the Jura range and wind that is anything but gentle. The bird feeders are out, the garden is tucked in against the cold, and it was time for some comfort food. Pumpkin soup, fortified with Gruyère cheese. Usually…

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