My Grandparents – John and Marcella Mary – treasured their cocktail hour.
As children, we visited them in Florida a few times a year. Our days were spent slathered in Coppertone, playing “Marco Polo” in the pool, building elaborate sandcastles, or body-surfing in the waves on the beach. We took breaks to visit the hot-dog stand parked on the beach (the original food truck), or to wander across the street for Slurpees at the 7-11.
But as the sun started to set, I remember the elegant clinking of ice into glasses as cocktail hour began. Shirley Temples for us, Martinis for my grandfather, and Old-Fashioneds for my grandmother. This treasured ritual seemed so grown-up and formal to my 9 year-old self.
(The longer we stayed, the earlier the cocktail hour began. We had boundless energy. And they lived in a very small condo.)
I was always particularly intrigued by those Old-Fashioneds… with the orange slice and maraschino cherry and the caramel-colored bourbon, but at the time, I was quite content with my kiddie cocktail.
I have fallen hard for Old-Fashioneds lately – specifically the Apple Cider Old-Fashioned in the Fall issue of Sweet Paul Magazine. I’ve fiddled with the recipe all winter in an effort to make it my own, but I haven’t improved it… so decided it best to simply share the near-perfect original recipe – it even comes with a handy video. (Click on this link to reach their website!)
Actually, it’s cocktail hour now… time to pull out the bourbon and get the party started. (This extended snow-holiday has serious advantages.)
A toast to the grandparents this evening… Or Cin Cin, actually.
I share one of my faves: a photo from their visit to Venice in the early 1960s…