The Old Sage is the Official Unofficial Cocktail of Thanksgiving

the old sage thanksgiving cocktailGenocide and centuries of oppression aside, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There’s no religion, no gifts I have to pretend to like, and we get to eat ALL THE FOOD. But food is way less fun without drinks to go along with it, hence my signature Thanksgiving cocktail, The Old Sage.

Of course, thanks to a certain caffeinated beverage, made wildly popular by a certain Seattle-based coffee chain, pumpkin spice is widely considered the flavor of Thanksgiving. But for those of us who appreciate the holiday for its more savory and substantial offerings, we know that sage is the true taste — and scent — of the season. And it’s the inspiration for this perfectly balanced Thanksgiving cocktail.

the old sage thanksgiving cocktail

The Old Sage has a hint and scent of sage, thanks to a super-easy sage simple syrup that gets mixed with Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, lemon juice, and Peychaud’s Bitters.

It’s good. Like, get-Grandma-wasted-on-Thanksgiving good. I’m even going to go out on a limb and say it’s the best Thanksgiving cocktail in the world. In fact, it may be the only Thanksgiving cocktail in the world, but that’s probably not true at all.

Anyway, you can make the syrup at any point now. It will keep in the fridge and you’re going to have enough to do next week.

THE OLD SAGE

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces Old Overholt Rye Whiskey
2 ounces lemon juice
1 ½ ounces sage simple syrup
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Lemon slice for garnish
Sage leaf or sprig for garnish

DIRECTIONS

To make the sage simple syrup, combine 1 cup white granulated sugar, 1 cup water, and ½ cup of loosely-packed fresh sage leaves in a saucepan over high heat. Mix well, and as soon as the mixture reaches a boil, remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Strain out the sage leaves and store the syrup in a bottle or jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

To assemble the cocktail, add the Old Overholt, lemon juice, sage simple syrup, and bitters to a cocktail shaker or wide-mouth mason jar with ice. Shake the shit out of it, then strain into a double rocks glass filled with a handful of ice cubes or one large cube. Garnish with the lemon and sage, and enjoy!

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This Easy Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce is Not For the Kids

grand marnier cranberry sauce recipeIt will probably not surprise you to learn that at my house, the alcohol flows freely on Thanksgiving. And when I say freely, I mean that shit sometimes runneth over into the food. In this case, it’s my micro-famous Grand Marnier cranberry sauce. (It’s appeared on the Internet a few times. That qualifies as micro-famous, right?)

grand marnier cranberry sauce recipe

For this super-simple recipe, fresh cranberries, sugar, and a touch of lime get a generous shot of Grand Marnier, an orange-flavored cognac liqueur. The sweetness and slight acidity of the Grand Marnier — which is added toward the end so it doesn’t completely cook out — is the perfect complement for tart cranberries.

It doesn’t get more fucking festive than that, now does it?

Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce

Yield: About 1 Pint

INGREDIENTS

12 ounces fresh cranberries
¼ cup water
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ cup Grand Marnier
Lime zest

DIRECTIONS

Add the cranberries, water, and sugar to a saucepan over medium heat, stir, and let it cook until the cranberries are soft, and bright-red foam has formed, about 15 minutes. Mash the cranberries with a wooden spoon (which will be stained red forever, fucking deal with it), reduce the heat to low, then add the lime juice and Grand Marnier. Mix well and let it simmer until it has reduced to a sauce-like texture, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime zest.

grand marnier cranberry sauce recipe

This Grand Marnier cranberry sauce can be made ahead of time, stored in a mason jar with a lid (or similar sized air-tight container), and refrigerated for a week or two, so make that shit well ahead of time so it’s one fucking less thing you have to worry about when you’re rushing around the day before Thanksgiving. Also, you can plop it right out of the jar into a log just like you can with the cans so don’t you worry about that.

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Fell In Love With a Chair: Article’s Matrix Yarrow Gold

posted in: Home Decor, Sponsored

gold velvet chair article matrix yarrowRemember that scene early in Wayne’s World when Wayne saw a guitar he wanted and said, “She will be mine. Oh yes, she will be mine?” And he said it again when he saw Cassandra for the first time? Well, maybe you don’t remember it because you’re not quickly approaching your 20-year high school reunion (and maybe it seems a little icky in 2018 retrospect), but that’s exactly how I felt about this gold velvet chair from Article when I spotted it online a few months ago.

gold velvet chair article matrix yarrowOriginally, I was poking around Article’s site eyeballing their sectionals. I’d been considering tan leather to replace our ancient and “well loved” microfiber workhorse, but when I saw that Article had added a gold velvet fabric option for a few of its pieces, I immediately redesigned the whole setup in my head: dark sectional, gold chair. Boom, boom, BOOM!

I know what you’re thinking. And yes, I agree. Obviously a gold velvet couch would be nice, too. But the Yarrow Gold isn’t currently available on any of Article’s sectionals, and we definitely need a sectional. But the bigger issue was the fact that I have a toddler, two rowdy mutts who shed all over the damn place, and a very sweet but messy husband who likes to eat barbecue on the couch while watching basketball on TV. So no, a gold velvet couch wasn’t in the cards. For now, I’m thrilled to be done with microfiber, but still very realistic about my velvet acquisitions. (And I’m already eyeballing my next one.)

gold velvet chair article matrix yarrowgold velvet chair article matrix yarrowAnyway, in case you couldn’t tell, I’m obsessed with gold velvet anything. Obsessed. Always have been, always will be. Add it to a sleek chair with a deep seat and sexy lines, and I’m done for. Take all my money already! (Somehow, though, I managed to convince the good people at Article to send me one.)

Also, it just so happens to PERFECTLY match the throw pillow covers I had made with this gorgeous vintage barkcloth I found at a flea market a few years ago.

gold velvet chair article matrix yarrow

gold velvet chair article matrix yarrow

gold velvet chair article matrix yarrowAfter living with it for a month, I’m shocked at how well this thing has held up. Everything gets a lot of wear and tear in this house, and the chair still looks just like it was delivered yesterday. Maybe it’s time to rethink that whole velvet couch thing after all…

This post is in partnership with Article, who provided me with the chair. (Though, to be honest with YOU, I totally would have bought it anyway and probably just put it on my credit card and told my husband I had a promo code or something. Because I’m horrible like that and really, really ridiculously obsessed with gold velvet.)

ARTICLE: Matrix Chair in Yarrow Gold

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Caramel Apple Radler

It’s fall y’all! Which just means the weather finally caught up with the calendar and at long last I can open my sunroof (but only at night because while I get that the sun is the source of all life on earth, it’s just too damn bright and I hate it). It also means it’s time to make all the fall drinks — at least until winter rolls in probably a few short days from now. And since spring and fall hardly exist anymore, I really went for excessive seasonality and basically recreated a caramel apple in a cup. But with booze (whiskey) and the most fall beer to ever fall beer. You’re welcome.

I’d say this drink is way outside my comfort zone, but you’ll recognize my go-tos: Old Overholt rye and Angostura bitters. Still, it’s sweeter than most of my recipes and I should probably be embarrassed to tell you it features store-bought syrup — but I know you’re relieved you don’t have to make anything on the stove (this time). Caramel syrups are fairly easy to find, and I picked up a bottle of Torani from the coffee section of my grocery store (and if you really can’t find it, maybe your favorite local coffee shop will give you a pump of theirs). I’m pretty sure too much of it will give you THE BEETUS, so it’s a good thing this cocktail calls for only a tablespoon, which is just enough to give you the essence of caramel. The sweetness is balanced by Boulevard’s delicious new seasonal beer, Tart Apple Radler, and of course, the bitters.

Caramel Apple Radler

INGREDIENTS

1.5 ounces whiskey (I used Old Overholt rye)
1 tablespoon caramel syrup
6 ounces Boulevard Tart Apple Radler
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters

DIRECTIONS

Add all ingredients to a Collins, pint, or other beer glass with a handful of ice. Stir and enjoy!

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Rum, Spice, and Everything Nice

posted in: Cocktails

rum and chai tea cocktailSometimes a bottle of booze just appears on my front porch. I mean, usually I get an email from a publicist, or a text, or whatever, letting me know it’s coming. But a few weeks ago, my friend Brandon left a whole case of assorted bottles for me. And since I’ve been in non-stop house mode lately, I just got around to having a look inside. The first bottle I grabbed was rum, and even though I’m not a rum drinker (thanks, 19-year-old self who overdid the rum and Diet Cokes) I was intrigued.

I’ll tell you this: One way to get a whiskey woman excited about rum is to give me a bottle of the latter that’s been aged in a bourbon cask (or an ex-bourbon cask for three years and an ex-sherry cask for seven, to be nerdy!), like the Premise from Foursquare Rum Distillery I’d been gifted. Another way to get me excited about rum is to make a rum that tastes really damn good — and this is really damn good stuff.

Since it was in the 50s for the first time all season, and I was feeling all cozy and festive, I just kinda did what I’d do if it had been a bottle of bourbon: I went dark and spicy. After experimenting with a few seasonal flavors, I landed on allspice dram, chai tea, and bitters. The result is a four-ingredient, fall-AF lowball that’s cozy AND boozy. It’s basically Pumpkin Spice Latte’s cold, tan, drunk cousin.

And if you don’t have a bottle of allspice dram lying around (or, you know, standing upright on your bar like a goddamn civilized human being) just go ahead and pick up one to get you through the holiday season. In fact, consider it required reading for my classy-ass booze class this year. You’ll thank me later — especially if you’re into pumpkin spice; you know allspice is one of the five spices in pumpkin spice mix, right?

Everything Nice

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces double-strength* chai tea, chilled
2 ounces barrel-aged rum
½ ounce allspice dram
2 dashes Angostura bitters

DIRECTIONS

Add all of the ingredients to a mixing glass with a handful of ice. Stir well and strain into a lowball glass with one large ice cube or a handful of normal-people ice cubes. Enjoy.

*8 ounces of tea brewed with two bags instead of one, or one bag per 4 ounces. Or, math. And a note: I have tried a few different brands of chai tea bags, and at this point, for cocktail mixing, I can only recommend the Bigelow Spiced Chai Tea. You should be able to find it at most grocery stores.

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