Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cocktails and kittens

Last weekend was a whirlwind of activity. A friend's birthday was celebrated in style at Columbia Room, followed by what might have been the perfect dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl.
My new kitten arrived from Allentown, PA., along with her nearly identical sister, who I watched for the weekend while her new owner was at the beach.
I'll show you my weekend in photos instead of blathering on. All photos from the bar are unintentionally artsy as no flashes are allowed.

 We started with cucumber infused water and a cool towel. Our first cocktail was based on a turn of the century recipe- lemon bitters, gin and cane sugar punch- very refreshing.

 The second drink of the evening was a blackberry crumble, with bourbon, house made blackberry syrup, hand crushed ice, mint, and blackberries, finished with a dusting of powdered sugar. You can see part of our hostess, the lovely Katie, spanking the mint in the background.

 The finished product.

 For your third beverage, you can ask for something specific, or tell your host what flavors you like. I'm a huge gin snob and love a more bitter flavor. My ingredients are shown above (absinthe not shown).

 And my hand crafted cocktail- Oxley cold distilled gin, Americano (slightly bitter, herbed fortified wine), Cointreau, a bit of absinthe (which I normally hate) and a cherry, shaken with hand crushed ice and strained into a Josephine glass. Another thing to adore about Columbia Room? They make many of their ingredients and use lots of vintage glassware.

 Yes, I ate both chili dogs. With cheese, onions and hot sauce. And very little else the rest of the weekend. I've been eating at Ben's for a really long time (originally as a vegetarian eating veggie chili over fries after indie rock shows in the early 1990s) and it seems to somehow- impossibly- improve with every visit. Can't wait to go back!

Introducing Captain Vladimir Sparklypants, or Vlad for short. She weighed 2 lbs. a week ago and is as sweet as can be. Now between 7- 8 weeks old, and starting to investigate the house on her own. Monkey!

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