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Can you believe it? We are just days away from the year coming to a close and a fresh new one beginning. Such a great time to create a clean slate! Begin anew! And mix things up a little! I thought this New Year’s post should follow suit!
While I love, love, LOVE creating sparkling cocktails for a New Year’s celebration, and I’ve made a few in the past for this here blog, we all know that when the clock strikes midnight, most people turn to the bubbly stuff all on its own. This year I decided to focus on those bottles that will be the most bang for your buck – those that look festive and taste special, but won’t break the bank, especially if you want to get multiple bottles for you and your guests.
My picks range from the number one selling Prosecco in Italy priced around $15, to an award-winning Blanc de Blanc Champagne priced under $50, to a Spanish Cava made in the traditional Champagne style that you won’t believe is under $15.
The sparkling wine category has grown steadily year after year, especially in the U.S. almost primarily due to the Prosecco trend. It has nearly eclipsed Champagne in recent years. Clever marketing and the lower price point has been key, of course. And while there has been a glut of questionable quality Proseccos that have flooded the market, there are still many brands that have been able to rival Champagne in taste.
Out of the five featured sparklers featured here, I’ve included two Proseccos. They are both from the same producer – Valdo, crafted in the heart of Prosecco–Valdobbiadene, are both made from 100% Glera grapes, and are priced similarly – around $15. But each one has a slightly different appeal. The Valdo Brut Prosecco DOC is the number one Prosecco consumed in Italy and it is pretty clear why. It goes down incredibly easy; It is slightly drier and has a touch higher alcohol content than the Valdo Oro Puro Prosecco DOCG – the fruitier and toastier of the two. The Oro Puro is aged a bit longer in the bottle and delivers a more complex profile than its modest price might suggest. The fat, elegant shape of the bottle also gives it a little more gravitas than the Brut. Spring for both and serve the Brut with food and then graduate to the Oro Puro to toast afterwards.
If you want to go French but would like to explore something other than traditional Champagne, a good quality Crémant may be just what you’re looking for. It is made using a second fermentation method like Champagne, but is not from the Champagne region. There is more freedom in terms of what grapes to use for Crémant, but they still adhere to fairly strict guidelines during production. The “Côté Mas” Crémant de Limoux Brut St. Hilaire from Languedoc in southwest France is the kind of bottle that Champagne producers don’t want you to know about. In fact, the Limoux appellation has been producing sparkling wines even longer than the Champagne region, having produced the first sparkling wine on record. The Côté Mas has silkier and more delicate bubbles than a traditional Champagne. Citrus, honey and stone fruit come through reflecting the dominant grapes of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. This delicious sparkler is just under $15 a bottle and your guests will never be the wiser.
Spanish Cava has long been known as the poor man’s Champagne substitute. (Prosecco has since taken that title but they somehow have made it sexier!) While Cava production has increased over the years, it still does not get the love it deserves. This is by far the most bang for your buck that you’re going to get. The Paul Cheneau line, produced in the Penedès region, takes a lot of influence from the French style and is made in a classic Champagne method but using Spanish grape varietals. The result is a lively and fresh, almost floral quality. The lengthy age comes through in a silky mouthfeel and a nice round finish. At about $14 a bottle this may be one of the best deals in the bunch.
Of course a list of sparklers to ring in the new year would not be complete without mentioning a Champers. Almost all Champagnes are made with a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, but Blanc de Blancs are made entirely from white grapes. It may not be traditional exactly, but it happens to be my Champagne of choice!
Because Blanc de Blanc is made with only white grapes, it tends to be a little more austere and crisp and have a little more minerality than most other Champagnes. But André Jacquart goes in a different direction. It is lush and rich, heavier than you’d think when just using 100% Chardonnay grapes. The minerality is still there and it even has a touch of green apple but the depth of flavor and complexity in this Blanc de Blanc belies its single grape. Consistently rated in the top percentage of wines in the world, the $50 per bottle price tag seems like a steal.
Whatever you pick to toast the new year, I hope you get your hands on some if not all of these bottles at some point. With these prices, you can do your own taste test and see which ones are your faves. Because there is always an excuse to pop open a bottle of bubbly!
Listen to Episode 28: Talking Champagne with NoMad Los Angeles Wine Director Ryan Bailey”
For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast I spoke with wine prodigy Ryan Bailey at his home base in downtown LA’s beautiful new NoMad Los Angeles. As Wine Director, Ryan oversees the classically inspired wine program that is roughly 1000 selections and features Champagne as a focus. We delve into Ryan’s early interest in wine, his experience in Michelin starred restaurants at a very young age, and we do a deep dive into Champagne and all things bubbly.
Our featured cocktail for this episode includes sparkling wine AND one of Ryan’s favorite spirits – RUM! The Old Cuban, created by New York City’s Pegu Club owner Audrey Saunders is also one of my favorites.
Old Cuban – served up in a coupe glass
1½ oz. aged rum
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
6-8 mint leaves
2 oz. dry sparkling wine (try a quality dry Champagne in this!)
Muddle the lime juice, syrup and mint in a shaker. Add the rum, bitters and ice and shake until well chilled.Double-strain into a chilled coupe glass, top with bubbles and garnish with mint leaves.
Portrait of Ryan Bailey provided by Chef’s Roll
Old Cuban cocktail pic from Honestly Yum
As Memorial Day weekend quickly approaches and summer starts to tease, I can’t help but get a little giddy about one of my most favorite times of year; That’s right, it’s Spritz Season! While I’m partial to a well made spritz any time of year, there’s nearly nothing as refreshing during the warmer months than this low alcohol, bittersweet sparkler. However, I maaaay have tried something recently that rivals my beloved spritz (just don’t tell my Italian side!) in the light, refreshing, low alcohol and sparkling department – TRULY, Spiked & Sparking, a sparkling water that just hit shelves less than two months ago, has just a hint of fruit (that tastes like real actual fruit!), and is then SPIKED for good measure! By adding a small amount of alcohol made from cane sugar (5% ABV), TRULY takes sparkling water and buzzes it up just enough…
The past couple of years have introduced us to the hard seltzer segment – an entirely new alcohol niche we didn’t even know we needed! This trend is building on the major growth and popularity of carbonated bottled water in the U.S., which has apparently doubled since 2012, and the overall interest in lower calorie alternatives to wine, beer and cocktails. This is NOT just a flavored malt beverage ala the dreaded Zima (still sold in Japan!) from the 90s; In fact, TRULY is gluten free – for those that are avoiding the stuff. It may only be 100 calories and they avoid using artificial flavors and colors but, most importantly, the product actually tastes good.
Of course, women are the target audience for this new segment, but I’m just relieved that the TRULY packaging is as clean and tasteful as the product. There isn’t a lady in a dress on the label and it’s not covered in pink rhinestones (no offense to pink rhinestones, I’m down with bling, just not when I’m being “marketed” to as a lady consumer.) They’ve rolled out with three flavors: Grapefruit & Pomelo, Colima Lime and Pomegranate. Each one has just a subtle hint of the flavors featured on their labels. My favorite was the Colima Lime, tasting like a burst of effervescence with a squeeze of fresh lime.
I tested all three flavors out with friends a few weekends back, and I’m happy to report that the dudes were equally as into it as the ladies. It’s nice to lighten things up every now and then, and TRULY is a nice refreshing alternative to a beer or higher alcohol sparkling wine.
So, as you all prepare for the long weekend and get ready to hunker down for the next couple of days, look out for this new spiked and sparkling sipper to add to your provisions. TRULY is available in about 20 major markets throughout the U.S. at the moment, but they’re already seeing growth. To find out where you can buy it, visit their site.
TRULY Spiked & Sparkling products provided for this post. As usual, all opinions are my own.
Oh, hello darlings, I didn’t see you there…
Now that I officially live in La La Land, I’m pretttttty Hollywood. I mean, I lounge around all day in my velvet robe and sip on fresh citrus and bubbly cocktails without a care in the world.
My meals are mainly variations of avocado toast and the occasional fish taco…if I’m eating at all! And palm trees, crazy beautiful sunsets and 70+ degree weather in February is like…”whatevs” now. It’s pretty zen out here, you guys.
LOL, JK, I’m still an impatient New Yorker who eats! (that stuff about the avocado toast is pretty true, actually. I’m ODing on the stuff).
And the palm trees, warm days and sunsets are blowing my mind on the regular. You mean, it’s like this every day? ERRR DAY?! I’m trying not to flood my Instagram feed with just that!
But, moving is harrrrd. And moving across the country, getting a bronchial infection and then trying to set up shop in a foreign, albeit very sunshine-y place, is NOT conducive to updating a cocktail blog. You might have noticed that I’ve been absent here since first announcing the move because…LIFE. But, now that I’m nearly a month in, I may not have gone full Hollywood, but I am starting to get acclimated, and I’m loving so much of it. Including the fresh citrus everywhere!
One thing I have noticed since I’ve been out here is how you can really feel the awards season in this town. The excitement building for the Academy Awards, the grandaddy of them all, is palpable here. (Mainly because the city shuts off major thoroughfares through town about a week before the show even airs. LA traffic, gah!) Since the Oscars are this Sunday and many of you are either hosting or going to viewing parties, I thought you might like to have a festive (and delicious) cocktail in your arsenal to serve for the night.
Inspired by one of the easiest and most popular of all of my recipes, The Limoncello Drop Cocktail, this sparkling version is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
In fact, I even tested this sparkling version out on a group of dinner guests a couple of weekends back (with Sobieski Vodka), and I can safely proclaim, it was a hit!
Even if your favorites don’t win this year (or weren’t even nominated), if you make this sparkling ray of sunshine in a glass, you’ll have a winner of a cocktail at least!
The Sparkling Limoncello Drop
3/4 oz Vodka
3/4 oz Limoncello
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1/2-1 oz Sparkling Wine
superfine sugar and lemon wedge to rim glass
To sugar the rim of your cocktail glass, take a freshly cut lemon wedge and slice the middle. Slip the wedge over the rim of the glass where you’ve cut the lemon, and sweep around the entire top of the glass until it is well coated. Gently dip the glass upside down into a saucer filled with sugar until just the tip of the glass is coated.
Shake all ingredients except sparkling wine over ice until the outside tin is frosted over. Strain into a well chilled, sugar-rimmed cocktail glass, leaving room for the sparkling. Top with sparkling wine. Add a lemon twist.
All photos of Prairie Rose taken by the very talented Shannon Carpenter of THIS APERTURE. A Spring Session Discount is currently running on the site. Book by March 15th and receive 25% off your print order.
Listen to Episode 34: Amaro Liqueur with Brad Thomas Parsons
Amaro, the Italian bitter liqueur, has been used as a digestive in Italy and produced for hundreds of years, and has had a resurgence due to the craft cocktail revival. And yet, outside of Italy and this niche-y industry, the Amaro category is still fairly unknown, and often misunderstood. To be fair, the category can be confusing to even seasoned spirits experts. James Beard award winning author and spirits & bitters expert Brad Thomas Parsons to the rescue!
In our deep dive into all things Amaro in this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, we discuss what exactly makes an Italian bitter liqueur an Amaro, and whether or not Campari, Fernet Branca or Jagermeister fall under that umbrella.
This week’s featured cocktail recipe is the Negroni Sbagliato from BT Parson’s book – Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. lightly sparkling wine
Garnish: orange slice or peel
Combine vermouth and Campari in an ice-filled rocks glass. Top with sparkling wine, stir to combine and garnish.
Author and cocktail photos: Ed Anderson
Vermouth is having a moment. That’s what I’ve been saying for the last four years, but I’m reallllly feeling it right now. I mean, in Italy its moment started in 1757 in Turin with Casa Cinzano, and it never really let up! It’s just taken a bit longer for us to catch up in the States…
One of the reasons we’ve been slow to catch on is because we never really knew how to drink vermouth. Besides adding it as a required ingredient to a Manhattan or a Martini – people still didn’t know what its purpose was (bone dry Martini, anyone?) – vermouth was never a vital part of our drinking culture here. The modern cocktail revival then put a major spotlight on the Negroni – which is a third sweet vermouth…and people in the U.S. started to pay attention. But the real tragedy about vermouth that keeps people from using it regularly is that many of us still don’t know how to store it! Instead of collecting dust on your home bar or hidden away on some back shelf somewhere, vermouth MUST BE REFRIGERATED. I will never stop saying this in all caps. Until every one refrigerates their vermouth, that is. Think of it as wine. Because…it is! Well, it starts out as either red or white wine and then is “aromatized” with herbs and spices, and then fortified by adding a neutral spirit which increases its alcohol content and its shelf life. But because all vermouth must be made up of at least 75% wine, it is still prone to oxidization. Keep it cold, people.
Now that we know how to keep vermouth, let’s talk about how to use it…
I love wine and herbaceous things and Italian stuff, so I’m sort of a sucker for Italian vermouth and Cinzano is the OG. I was asked to create a cocktail for their upcoming Respect the Drink campaign, and was given a choice to use one of their Aperitif Classics. I love working with sweet vermouth in a cocktail, so the spicy, botanical forward Rosso was my pick. Dry or sweet vermouth is a wonderful addition to a drink for its depth of flavor. It can also be used as a primary ingredient in a low alcohol cocktail, which is what I’ve created in the Cinzano Rosso Spritz. Have I also mentioned that I love a spritz?!
Cinzano Rosso Spritz
2 oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
3-4 oz Sparkling Wine
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
Splash Soda Water
Garnish: Grapefruit Peel
Build drink in an ice-filled glass. Garnish.
Besides loving their vermouth, I’ve always adored the imagery in old Cinzano ads. This photoshoot was actually inspired by some of the graphics in Cinzano advertising over the years.
I also looked to its current logo. So clean, so graphic, so Italiano!
Try picking up a bottle of Cinzano Italian vermouth and play around with what you can make with it. Or just whip up the Cinzano Rosso Spritz. It’s a simple one and…questo cocktail è così buono!
This post was sponsored (and powered!) by Cinzano
I love the whole idea of Spring being a time of rebirth and renewal. There’s no better time to shake off the winter cobwebs and refresh your whole jam. I always feel especially inspired this time of year. Those ideas that may be lying dormant during the winter months finally have a chance to come out of hibernation..
It is often the little things that provoke inspiration – like tasting the first in-season spring peas, or enjoying sunshine on your bare shoulders after months of covering up. I had two different experiences recently that inspired this fresh, spring cocktail pictured here.
I recently indulged in a facial with Melissa Lekus Skincare Consulting here in Los Angeles, and was reminded that I need more of that in my life. Melissa, my new SKIN LIFE COACH, slathered the most heavenly combo of ingredients onto my face and neck – like strawberry enzymes, honey, citrus, cooling aloe serum and cucumber toner. Don’t tell me that’s not a recipe for a delicious cocktail!
Not only did it leave me glowing for days and feeling like I got a total life reboot, but I (of course!) came away wanting to create something yummy from that experience.
A week after that dream facial, I came across another inspiring moment; I tried California made spirit Chareau for the first time. This aloe liqueur is made from an eu de vie created from California grapes; Cucumbers, spearmint, muskmelon and citrus – all harvested in the southern California area – make up the main ingredients. And then fresh aloe vera juice is added at the end to create such a delicious and unusual and fresh tasting spirit. It is like tasting California in a glass. It is also like a little spa visit in a glass.
The mint and cucumber really shine through this liqueur, while the aloe creates a silky texture that gives it some heft. I knew this had to be part of my cocktail inspired by my luscious facial! It all came together for the Sparkle & Glow…
In conclusion, my recommendation for a Spring life refresh is to treat yourself to a luxurious (but also VERY reasonably priced) facial from Melissa Lekus Skincare Consulting, get yourself a bottle of the gorgeous Chareau (available nationwide), and make yourself this spa inspired cocktail. You’ll be sparkling and glowing in no time!
Sparkle & Glow
2 oz Chareau Aloe Liqueur
4 cucumber slices (1 for garnish)
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 TBS strawberry preserves
3-4 oz sparkling wine
In a shaker tin, add strawberry preserves, cucumber slices and lemon juice. Muddle all ingredients well. Add Chareau and ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a large coupe glass and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with single cucumber.
Do this booze blogger a solid and vote here, please!
Since moving to Los Angeles from New York City, my relationship to the seasons has become…complicated. I still crave all of the things you would during the colder months – cozy fires inside, hot cider, crunchy leaves underfoot. But because this place is so head trippy with its perfectly warm sunshine-filled days EVERY DAY, you often forget what time of the year it really is. The upside is that I get to indulge in cozy fires outside all year-long, when it’s chilly at night, a casual poncho can still do the trick, and most importantly, sparkling wine can be sipped ALL year round.
Well, I suppose it did when I lived on the east coast too. But I just feel like I drink it so much more out here.
Valdo Prosecco has easily become one of my go-to bottles of bubbly. It’s priced well, extremely effervescent and dry with a toasty finish. There’s a reason it’s the number one selling Prosecco sold in Italy. It’s classic and tastes much more expensive than it is.
When wine importer, Esprit Du Vin announced that they were having a cocktail contest on Instagram called #WhatsInYourValdo, with the winner getting a trip for two to Venice, I couldn’t help but throw my hat in the ring!
I’m still getting used to the lack of extreme season changes, but I wanted this drink to be inspired by the slightly cooler months in Los Angeles! While pineapple and tequila feel like vacation, which is very much LA, ginger always makes me think of fall and winter. Topping this mixture with a crisp, dry Prosecco like Valdo keeps the sweetness at bay and makes it extra festive! The contest ends today, but if you haven’t already voted for your favorite booze blogger 😉 here’s your chance!
Pineapple Ginger Sparkler
1 ounce Pineapple Juice
1 ounce Blanco Tequila
1/2 ounce Ginger Liqueur
3 ounces Valdo Prosecco.
Shake juice, tequila and liqueur over ice until well chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Top with bubbly!
Despite how it may appear on social media, the freelance life – writing about booze and such – is not all glamour and day drinking and sleeping until noon…
As much as I’d LOVE to loll around in my velvet robe and sip on freshly squeezed OJ until I can muster the energy to face the world, a good amount of time involves being stuck inside, sitting slack-jawed in front of a hot laptop in the yoga pants I threw on because they were the closest thing to the bed. And then realizing by 2pm it might be a good idea to brush my teeth. It’s not pretty. And since moving to California and freelancing full-time, I’m still working out how to do it.
Taking a break or carving out time for yourself when you work for yourself is a constant challenge. But sometimes that’s JUST what you need to recharge, re-energize and recalibrate in order to shake up that sad routine! Sometimes you just need to get away from it all and change your environment for a few days.
My lovely friend, Georgette – journalist, spirits writer, published author…and fellow freelance captive – had the most delightful plan to head out-of-town for a few days to do just that. Cue…girls’ trip to Palm Springs!
And what is a girls’ trip away with two booze nerds without a signature cocktail? This was not a detox vacay, okaaaay. I brought along one of my new favorite discoveries, an exquisite new gin liqueur called Pomp & Whimsy that launched just this past January right here in downtown Los Angeles.
It is made by infusing classically distilled gin with a liqueur made up of 16 different botanicals, some of which include juniper, coriander, angelica, grapefruit, as well as bitter orange, cucumber, lychee, raspberry, lavender and jasmine pearls. The resulting spirit is a fruity and floral perfume of flavors, a sort of lower alcohol hybrid of London dry gin and St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur. It’s wonderful as an aperitif with sparkling wine or seltzer, or, as we found out while indulging in our poolside villa, in a Pomp & Whimsy inspired Vesper.
The Vesper, introduced in 1953 in the very first James Bond book, Casino Royale, is traditionally made with gin, vodka and the dry vermouth, Lillet Blanc. By using the Pomp & Whimsy Gin Liqueur in the place of a dry gin, the overall cocktail was slightly sweeter and more floral than a classic Vesper. The slight bitterness from the vermouth and higher alcohol and dryness from the vodka made for a perfectly balanced cocktail in the end. This version had a bit of a lychee martini quality to it. And I wasn’t mad at that.
We fell in love with this drink as well as the restored 1930s historic hotel we stayed at in Palm Springs, La Serena Villas. So, it was only appropriate to name it after this enchanting spot in the heart of downtown, flanked by the San Jacinto Mountains and towering palms trees.
Here’s to spontaneous girls’ trips and girly drinks that even James Bond would love!
La Serena Vesper
2 oz Pomp & Whimsy Gin Liqueur
1 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with edible flowers.
A few weeks back I was asked to design a couple of signature cocktails for two intimate dinners hosted by the innovative wedding registry site Zola.com in the luxurious Parachute Hotel in Venice Beach.
Because the theme of these dinners was inspired by LOOOOOVE, and with names like Honeymoon in Havana and La La Love, I thought these cocktails would be perfect to share right before Valentine’s Day to get y’alll in the mood…
For our first dinner with wedding industry insiders, we made a vodka based gimlet with hibiscus syrup and elderflower liqueur and a ginger-y take on a mojito.
For the Garden Party Gimlet, we used Our/Los Angeles Vodka as its base and made a hibiscus syrup to give it an especially vibrant fuchsia hue. The addition of St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur added warm floral notes, and in keeping with the flowery theme, we topped this all off with edible blossoms.
Garden Party Gimlet
2 oz Our/Los Angeles Vodka
1 oz St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz Hibiscus Syrup*
1/2 oz Lime Juice
Garnish: Assorted Edible Flowers
Shake all ingredients until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with edible flowers.
The Honeymoon in Havana cocktail was inspired by the ever popular mojito.
Because we designed these cocktails with a wedding in mind, we wanted to elevate the traditional mojito recipe by swapping out sugar as the sweetener with BBAF fave Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur and using sparkling wine in place of club soda.
You’ll need a light, clean rum like Don Q Cristal for the base of this drink and fresh lime and mint are key!
Honeymoon in Havana
2 oz Don Q Cristal Rum
1 oz Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur
1/2 oz Lime Juice
3 Mint Leaves
1/2 oz Sparkling Wine
In a small Collins glass muddle lime juice and 2 mint leaves. Add ice, rum, ginger liqueur and sparkling wine. Stir with straw and garnish with mint.
For the second intimate Zola dinner, we created cocktails for recently engaged bloggers and social media influencers.
These were both simple but delicious cocktails with some added flourishes like edible glitter and orchid garnishes.
The Stars in the Garden, while fairly simple – with pink grapefruit juice, St-Germain and sparkling wine, was an instant hit.
Besides going down a little too easy, it literally sparkled! Edible glitter was added to make the drink shimmer, and floating edible stars were placed ever so delicately on top with tweezers!
Stars in the Garden
2 oz Pink Grapefruit Juice
1 oz St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
3 oz Sparkling Wine
Garnish: Edible Glitter, Edible Stars
In an ice-filled shaker add 1/2 tsp edible glitter, pink grapefruit juice and St-Germain. Shake until well chilled and strain into a coupe glass. Top off with sparkling wine and place about 2 dozen tiny edible stars on top.
The La La Love is probably the most Valentines-y cocktail of the bunch. With this drink we brought back Our/Los Angeles Vodka, hibiscus syrup and edible flowers.
We used fresh squeezed meyer lemon juice (plucked from a friend’s tree just the day before!) and topped this all off with club soda. This is like a refreshing boozy hibiscus lemonade. Also perfect for a summer wedding!
But it’s the orchid garnish that really sexes this drink right up. When looking for edible flowers for this event, I was surprised by how many grocery stores actually carry an assortment of edible blossoms in their produce department. Apparently, these can also be very good in salad greens!
La La Love
2 oz Our/Los Angeles Vodka
1/2 oz Hibiscus Syrup*
1/2 oz Meyer Lemon Juice
Garnish: Edible Orchid
In an ice-filled shaker add vodka, syrup and lemon juice and shake until chilled. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass and top with soda. Stir with straw and garnish with orchid.
* Hibiscus Syrup
1 cup of sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
Tbsp lime zest
Pinch of salt to taste
Combine sugar, water and hibiscus over med-high heat in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring until all sugar is dissolved. With the heat off, let steep for another 20 minutes. Add lime zest and pinch of salt. Double strain through wire mesh and let cool. Will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
Unmarked photos by Katie Gibbs Photo, all others by Bit by a Fox.