Tonight's Negroni #22: Back to where you once belonged and forward to where you've never been

FYI: This is an archive of my Tonight's Negroni email newsletter.

Hey everybody! How the heck are ya? Did you have nice month off? I sure did.

In fact, I did a bit of traveling. It was my brother-in-law's 40th birthday, so my Special Lady Friend and I flew first to the Phoenix, AZ airport (gross) and then to the Long Beach, CA airport (astoundingly cute). We've become aficionados of quaint airports recently. The BiL used to live in Los Feliz (pronounced FEE-lez, inexplicably), and we enjoyed arriving via the Burbank airport. LGB has BUR beat, I have to say -- most of it is outdoors!

Going to Long Beach was an odd homecoming for me. It's where my mom & dad lived when I was born. I was technically born in a neighboring town, but I've always claimed LBC as the birthplace people would actually recognize. As such it was weirdly exciting to visit for the first time in approximately 40 years. (Yes, I am old!)

I have to say, it lived up to all the expectations I would have denied having and then some.

After my mom escaped California with pre-toddler me, I grew up along the Gulf coast for Florida. That meant being a towhead blond with a mahogany tan (Hello, dermatologists!) and mostly not wearing shoes even when scooting around our apartment complex parking lot on my skateboard. I still have scars on the bottoms of my feet.

Then we moved to a fairly rural area in Eastern Tennessee, where I grew into a teenager. Because I "weren't from around here" I was always a bit of a foreigner there. As I grew older I actually fostered that. I was a reasonably-abled drawer (hardly and artist, though), so I'd always draw a beach scene on my new notebooks with a surfboard, palm tree and sunset. I thought it was gorgeous.

The thing is, my beach play in Florida involved things like skim boarding, boogie boarding, and body surfing (I was pretty killer!), but never once an actual surf board. Yet I would actually buy a surf magazine occasionally. I still love watching surf movies, in fact.

So, when I found myself on the Huntington Beach pier looking down at the frighteningly tanned punks with day-glo blond hair doing some pretty badass surfing, I was definitely wistful. Like that coulda been me back in the day or something. Mostly I just stood there and thought wow this is awesome.

While it definitely didn't feel like HOME, it felt like a place I liked to be. A lot.

Not quite home

Self-Promotion Time!

Hey, so some friends (one friend in particular, along with other people I've met a few times) are starting a Colorado-based food magazine. Like made out of paper and everything.

The really weird part is I've been asked to participate. I'm even listed on the IndieGoGo campaign as "Beverage Writer", so ... Neat!

Anyway, it's a cool thing and I'm excited to be involved. If you were feeling magnanimous, you could chip in to the campaign and maybe someday I will actually BE a Beverage Writer. Like on paper and everything!

Who knows?

The Green Knight

This is a drink I made up a a couple years ago when a fell in love with a super botanical gin from California. I posted on my blog then, but I'm reposting it here because it's basically alchemy and I thought you'd enjoy the magic.

  • 2 oz St. George Terroir gin
  • ½ oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
  • ¼ oz Crème de Violette
  • ¼ oz Punt e Mes sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes lavender bitters
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • Fresh Thai basil

  • Combine the gin, white vermouth, crème de violette (I just use Rothman & Winter, it has good color and decent flavor) and pause to note the lovely purple color.

  • After a dramatic pause, add the sweet vermouth (you could sub Carpano Antica or Martini Gran Lusso, but don't go lighter than that) and be AMAZED when adding a dark, reddish liquid to a purply liquid TURNS IT GREEN!!!!!
  • After you're over the shock, add the bitters and stir with ice until cold.
  • Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a basil sprig that you have clapped between your hands to release just a bit of oil.

It's green!