Do Yourself A Favor — Read This Before Cocktail Hour

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By Elizabeth Speth

This won’t take long.

I was at the grocery store today, wandering listlessly through the produce aisle.  I saw masses of dusky purple winter grapes.  On sale.

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My first thought:  Make jewelry out of them.  They are that beautiful.

My second, more practical thought:  Cocktails.

I adopted a bunch — the sweetest, darkest, most mysterious and sexy cluster in the whole store — and brought it home. I chilled it within an inch of its life, and I coaxed every gorgeous, ripe, ruby orb off the stem (they did not require much convincing) and plopped them into the blender.

I added a thick, amber rope of local honey.  Made by rosemary- and lavender-obsessed bees in my neighborhood.  Pouring, it flirted shamelessly with the afternoon sun coming through the French doors in the kitchen.  Fair enough, I thought, dazzled by the slow-flowing chemistry between sweet and light.  It’s cocktail hour.  There can be some flirting.

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I poured in enough vodka to cover the grapes and the honey.  I am protective that way.

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I flicked on the blender and whirled it around.  It made a joyous pink froth with purple flecks of tannic confetti.

At this point, I was confronted with a choice.  I could strain the vodka grape juice and remove the pulverized skins.  It would have made my cocktail clear, pristine — prettier.

I didn’t.  I think those little bits of skin are the cocktail equivalent of caviar.  I poured it into a champagne glass until the glass was half full.   (I’m an optimist!)

I filled the glass the rest of the way with (very) cold champagne.

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And then I shared it with you.  Immediately.  This is me, virtually pouring you a drink.  A lovely one.  You’ve likely had a tedious week.  You deserve it.

Happy Friday.

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4 thoughts on “Do Yourself A Favor — Read This Before Cocktail Hour

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