Sharing the kitchen
For me, the best gatherings happen in the kitchen—food preparation in full swing, maybe a little snack or something to sip on, all the while chatting with friends or family. The meal comes together at a leisurely place, but the time spent preparing and enjoying it together is the event itself. These are the cooking moments that I hang some of my best food memories around.
One of my favorite “cooking as the event” moments happened in Paris with my sister. Since when does an evening cooking dinner in a tiny rented kitchen upstage an afternoon wandering the avenues of Paris, right? It was years ago, but I still remember the deep pleasure of shopping for our dinner items at the market, deciding what suited our mood for the evening, then negotiating with the market vendor on the exact specimens, according to our estimated meal time. Hauling our supplies up flights and flights of stairs to our apartment, deciding to while away the chilly evening hours in the kitchen. At some point, the hot steam coming from the pots bubbling on the stove fills up the tiny space forces us to throw open the window to the narrow courtyard that our building wraps around. Outside we hear the clatter and bustle of dinner coming together for everyone else in our building and we feel at ease.
Of course, not every meal is a magical Parisian memory. Most often, I enjoy the company of friends and family in my own kitchen where we partake in the age-old ritual of preparing and sharing a meal. It’s likely not a fancy meal, but nourishing and prepared with care—the very acts of chopping and dicing friendship at its best. And in these dark days of winter, it is something to look forward to. So in that celebratory spirit, I created this cocktail to share.
Meyer lemons are a seasonal favorite of mine—but hording fresh fruit is only advisable when there is a good use for it in sight. This cocktail proves to be a delicious way to highlight the sweet and pronounced flavor of the lemon.
3 oz. Meyer lemon juice
3 oz. gin
4 dashes grapefruit bitters
Scant 2 teaspoons rosemary simple syrup, recipe follows
Sparkling wine or cava, to finish
Combine all ingredients and shake over ice. Pour into two small glasses, add ice and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a slice of Meyer lemon.
Makes 1 cup
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh rosemary sprigs
peel of one Meyer lemon
Combine water and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for about 5 minutes, until all of the sugar is dissolved. Add in the rosemary and lemon peel and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat and let steep for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove peel and rosemary and store in the fridge.