homemade bitters

Cocktails with Bitters

There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of fantastic companies making bitters right now. And since I am known as a person who likes to make fancy cocktails, I have been gifted dozens of bottles of all kinds of bitters, in addition to flavors that I bought on my own. So why would I ever need (or want) to make bitters? Making bitters at home requires purchasing obscure ingredients from boutique herb shops in Seattle, special bottles for dispensing, they take weeks

The Winter Fizz Cocktail

When the Outdoors Forces You Inside

Learning to be comfortable in different weather conditions is one of the benefits of spending a lot of time outside. Weather isn’t always ideal: hail, while one of my favorite things to watch and listen to, can be quite painful when you are out on a trail run. Wind can be exhausting and frustrating. Lightning can be terrifying if you are in the wrong place, like a ridge. But there aren’t many conditions that keep me from venturing out at

Bee on a hollyhock

Honey, Honey

Last night the backyard hummed when I took the dogs out, and bees were everywhere. We have two neighbors with hives, so I assumed that something was happening hive-wise, and the bees did eventually calm down and fly away. We have a jar of our friend’s honey, and with a yard full of flowers I am sure that this honey is the taste of our yard and neighborhood. In honor of the neighbor bees, how about a couple of honey

mosquitoes, courtesy of the Field Book of Insects

The Mighty Mosquito

If you are a fan of gin and tonics, you might want to read this book. It’s a very entertaining history of tonic water, which has quinine as a main ingredient, which was used to treat malaria, which is spread by mosquitoes. “Malaria is not the mosquito’s fault, but mosquitoes suck anyway.” I happened to be reading it in the tent last weekend, with a line of fresh mosquito bites on my forehead, exactly following the bottom edge of my

The kiwi fizz cocktail

Special Edition: Kiwi Gin Fizz

Many years ago, when I was I an art teacher, I had the very best student who quickly became a friend. She was super motivated to make art, was a buddhist, and lived in a beautiful house in the East Bay hills surrounded by an incredible garden. I remember leaving her house loaded down with bags of lemons and persimmons. Kiwis were picked and then lived in a dark room off the garage for a mysterious ripening period. I wasn’t gifted many kiwis, but they always seemed very special.

3 Cocktails to Welcome Meteorological Spring (It’s a real thing!)

As you may know, out here in the West we have had quite an exceptional winter. Someone told me Tahoe has had 53 feet of snow! I was in Santa Cruz, California last week and saw trees down, rivers where there used to be trails, and crumbling mountainsides. Here in Utah the story is lots of snow, almost everywhere, all the time. Winter is lovely and all that, but I can’t wait for the return of song birds, flowers, sunshine,

What About Wyoming?

What do you think of when you think about Wyoming? Yellowstone, the Tetons, Jackson Hole, maybe the Wind Rivers? All of those exist in the western half of the state. I don’t know for sure, but I imagine the eastern side of Wyoming is nothing but a flat, icy blast of desolation. But what about the rest of that western half? Mountain biking (and camping) on Teton Pass is huge amounts of fun. The Tetons, Yellowstone and Wind Rivers are

Gin Cocktail Recipes

Gin! It’s made from juniper berries! No other plant is more iconic to the West than the juniper bush (except possibly the tumbleweed). From the deserts to the mountains its twisted, bushy and spiky green shape provides a bit of shade for your dogs and a promise of a tasty cocktail when you return to home base. It pairs incredibly well with citrus (to keep away scurvy) and is a very good friend to have in your cabinet. As with our whiskey cocktail

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