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Three sherry-and-rum-based cocktails

Leaned hard in to sherry and rum this holiday season. These are a few cocktails I enjoyed the most.

Three are sherry-and-rum based: the Flor de Jerez, Shaken Egg Nog, and the Kingston Sheroni. I use the same Amontillado sherry and dark rum for all of them. Our “bar” area is not large, so economy is the name of the game.

I also included one other cocktail: the Unequal Negroni. Not rum or sherry-based, but we made it a bunch over the holidays so I wanted to write it down here for posterity.

The Flor de Jerez and Shaken Egg Nog are particularly useful holiday cocktails because they aren’t as strong as many others. Nice towards the end of a perhaps heavy-on-the-drink day when you’d like to still partake but not get in over your head.

Both of the above cocktails call for “rich sugar syrup”. To make this, combine 2 parts sugar with 1 part water. Heat until dissolved, then store in the fridge.

For the alcohols, don’t go for the cheapest you can find… it just isn’t as nice, I promise. You’ll try it and think, “This is ok but not great, what’s the point?” You don’t need to get top-shelf stuff, just maybe go for something other than Bacardi Black, you know?

If you aren’t sure which rum to go for, feel free to use your favorite search engine. OR, much better yet, peruse therumhowlerblog.com. Talk about dedication, you love to see it. FWIW, I’m currently using Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva since that was called for in the original Egg Nog recipe I tried. It’s perhaps a bit sweeter than many other rums, so maybe keep that in mind.

In terms of glassware, I’d love to have a bunch of fancy coupes and stuff, but don’t have the space. We use the the 20cl (6¾ oz) Duralex Picardie glasses for pretty much all cocktails. And water, and wine, and so on. So although I mention a coupe glass for the Flor de Jerez since that’s what is called for, know that I actually sling it in a more standard little cup and it still tastes great.


Flor de Jerez

Makes one 3½ oz drink.

  • 1½ oz Amontillado sherry
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz dark rum
  • ½ oz rich sugar syrup
  • ¼ oz apricot liquor*
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Lemon twist garnish

Combine all in a shaker with ice, and shake until very cold (about 15 seconds). Strain in to a chilled coupe and garnish with a lemon twist.

* I use Cointreau instead… I just always have it in for margaritas and have never got round to buying the apricot stuff! Though I’m sure it’s nice.


Shaken Egg Nog

This isn’t the real deal! But I prefer it, it isn’t as gloopy and it’s not a faff. Note: Do not make this unless you have whole nutmeg. It really isn’t the same with the pre-powdered stuff.

This is *heavily* inspired by Anders Erickson’s Egg Nog, just slightly different ratios. His recipe makes one 7 oz drink, which is just slightly more than I personally want for an Egg Nog serving and is a bit too big for our glasses. It’s also a bit eggier, which is not necessarily a bad thing but is not always what I want. I highly recommend trying his Egg Nog, and you should watch his YouTube channel if you’re interested in cocktails in general.

You don’t have to, but I *highly* recommend the extra step of double-straining this thing. You don’t want an errant snotty egg streak sneaking its way in to the glass…

Makes two 6 oz drinks.

  • 3 oz cream or non-dairy creamer*
  • 2½ oz dark rum
  • 1½ oz rich sugar syrup
  • ¾ oz Amontillado sherry
  • 1 large egg **
  • Whole nutmeg, grated garnish

Combine all of the wet ingredients in a shaker, and shake for about 20 seconds until very frothy. Add ice, then shake until cold for about 10 seconds. Double-strain into a chilled glass, then grate a whole nutmeg over the top.

* I quite like Oatly Barista for this.

** You could probably use aquafaba (chickpea water) instead. I haven’t tried it! But I imagine it would work alright. Just make sure it’s not salted. One large egg = roughly 2 fluid oz. Maybe try 1½ oz aquafaba and see if that works.


Kingston Sheroni

So the Kingston Negroni is a thing (equal parts overproof Jamaican rum, Campari, and sweet vermouth). And the Sheroni seems to be a thing (equal parts gin, Aperol, Amontillado sherry, and sweet vermouth). This is kind of a combination of the two? IDK, I tried it and like it.

Amontillado sherry is a bit less sweet than sweet vermouth generally. And likewise, dark rum is more sweet than overproof rum. Combining the two and omitting the sweet vermouth seems to balance things out a bit IMO.

Used a lemon twist instead of orange because this drink is slightly sweeter than a normal Negroni, and I like the more piercing scent of the lemon peel against that sweetness.

Makes one 3 oz drink.

  • 1 oz dark Jamaican rum
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Amontillado sherry
  • Lemon twist garnish

Combine all in a tumbler with ice and stir until very cold, about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass with fresh ice, and garnish with a lemon twist.


Unequal Negroni

I *know* that Negronis are supposed to be equal parts. But it always seems too syrupy to me. Hey, to each their own.

Makes one 3¼ oz drink.

  • 1½ oz gin
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • ¾ oz Campari
  • Orange twist garnish

Combine all in a tumbler with ice and stir until very cold, about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass with fresh ice, and garnish with an orange twist.

Published

New Kobo, more illness, intentions

  • I am LOVING my new Kobo Clara 2E. Just wild that all of Brooklyn Public Library’s e-books are at my fingertips at the click of a button. I just need to figure out how to get my old Walthamstow Library card set up too…
  • B seems to have become a whole new little person over the course of the week and a half we were visiting family. He has very particular ideas about which lights should be on, which drapes should be open, and whether or not fans are running. Cuddly stuff is, as ever, a favorite. He may or may not think his name is Stu? Two new teeth!
  • Grandpa came down with something in the wee hours of Christmas morning and we had to take him to the ER. He had to have surgery (first time ever, at 99yrs old!) which was scary, but his recuperation has been great. We got to see him before we left which was a relief, I wasn’t sure we would.
  • Never been much of a resolutions person, though I do constantly think about self and improvement. But two basic intentions for 2023 are to cook and read a bit more. Both are things I have always loved, but somehow felt very difficult or fell by the wayside. Reading was a long slow fall (getting a Kindle way back when was a MISTAKE), cooking’s decline was precipitous and very tied to B being born. Will enjoy doing more of both, have already read more books in the past week or so than I had in months.
  • Related to resolutions, see Virginia Woolf’s new year’s resolutions for 1931 shared by Gem. “To have none. Not to be tied.”
  • To read: The Performance Inequality Gap, 2023: When digital is society’s default, slow is exclusionary
  • Been watching a lot of In The Night Garden with B because of travel and since he hasn’t been feeling great. Maka Paka is the best character.
  • “I think we humans can feel we don’t exist if we live unwitnessed.” That phrase really resonated, from this article in Philippa Perry’s “agony aunt” Guardian column. Sharing photos online, gathering followers, collecting likes.
  • I have a cold, yet again. This one has lasted over two weeks, yet again. I think that in addition to all the normal baby stuff that people put on registries, they should add things like economy-sized jars of ibuprofen, NeilMed Sinus Rinse bottles (one for each parent) and a subscription to those saline packets, and roughly 10,000 hankies.

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Thanksgiving 2022 notes

Thanksgiving this year was verrrrry small. We had a few options to celebrate with friends / family, but ended up just sticking to the three of us at home. I’ve been sick for almost two weeks now and was not about to give this to someone else. 💀 Plus that meant we could move it to Friday, which was helpful since I was at least feeling a little better at that point.

Read more

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To read: 2015 essay from the lead of Twitter’s Engineering Effectiveness group

To read: “Let a 1,000 flowers bloom. Then rip 999 of them out by the roots.” by Peter Seibel

Peter Seibel was the lead of Twitter’s Engineering Effectiveness group. This 2015 essay is an extended version of a talk that he gave on the same subject. The TL;DR as he describes it: “as an industry we mostly don’t know how to do it and consequently massively under-invest in making our engineering orgs actually effective.” It’s a really interesting play-by-play of how the complexity and scale of Twitter as an app changed and grew over time.

Side note: With what’s going on at Twitter now, I’d bet my booty that the Engineering Effectiveness group is no longer of this world. Though perhaps that happened before Elon, who knows.

Shared by RS during one of our SuperHi Engineering chats.

Published

READING LIST from the Glasgow Women’s Library

Graphic designers Kaisa Lassinaro and Maeve Redmond have designed READING LIST, a series of t-shirts that reference books, which they have selected, from the Glasgow Women’s Library catalogue. All of these books (and many more!) are free to borrow from Glasgow Women’s Library.

So the Reading List t-shirts are really cool, but I would feel like an absolute phony buying one without having read the books. One of them I’m on top of, I have A Room of One’s Own on my nightstand. BW, sorry it has taken me approximately a million years to get round to reading it. But here’s the full list to work through, nonfiction and fiction (including a bit of speculative sci fi!), from oldest to most recent.

  • A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, 1929
  • Sisterhood Is Powerful Ed. Robin Morgan, 1970
  • The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark, 1970
  • Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy, 1976
  • The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd, 1977
  • Our Bodies Ourselves by Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, 1978
  • The Politics of Housework Ed. Ellen Malos, 1980
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker, 1982
  • Gender Trouble by Judith Butler, 1990
  • How To Be Both by Ali Smith, 2014

And how cool is the Glasgow Women’s Library? It’s “the only Accredited Museum in the UK dedicated to women’s lives, histories and achievements”. Neat.

Thx, SB, for sharing this with me.

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“BE SOMEONE ELSE !”

The most recent edition of Blackbird Spyplane really made me laugh, about how “being yourself” can be terrible advice, especially when it comes to style.

Why does this advice irk me? The easiest way to problematize “be yourself” is to recognize that, while it contains within it a valuable kernel of truth, so does the exact opposite advice, which is also way more interesting and, ultimately, way more useful when it comes to developing a personal style: BE SOMEONE ELSE !

Yes!

I’ve been in a real rut style-wise for a long time, most particularly since B was born. I just constantly feel wrong-footed. Most of my former reference points are out, either because they don’t make sense in NYC, don’t make sense in this time (Do I mean trend-wise? Well yes and no…), or don’t make sense on my current body.

Honestly, I just need to shed a lot, donate it all. Then find some new, relevant references, copy, and gradually rebuild. It’s just very tough to actually do any shopping nowadays.

Two things I’m glad I still have? The short, black double-breasted pea coat with wide lapels from Banana Republic that I’ve had since high school (The 00s! What goes around comes around!). Added another button to the lapel to make it button up to the neck, and had it re-lined with thicker fabric. And the thick leather olive cross-body bag of unknown provenance that I got from Absolute Vintage in London (RIP) in 2010.


Edit / side-note: Years of living in the UK left me incapable of figuring out how to wear a shirt. I’d guess that I was in a sweater 85–90% of the time. Outdoors and indoors (those drafts will getcha). Somehow for the 10–15% of the year that this wasn’t the case, it was basically boiling and required flimsy things only.

So this is a long way of saying: How does one wear a shirt and look good? Layering is anathema to folks living in NYC, at least in my experience, because the radiators are on so damn high. So this means I can wear actual, nice tops again. But how? I’ve been wearing a lot of boring tees and it is making me sad.