I feel like I slacked off a little bit on Hasegawa Happy Hours in February and I need to raise the bar back up to January standards. The big excuse: Naoto was dry for the month of February, so I didn’t feel a lot of motivation. But Hasegawa Happy Hours are supposed to be more about companionship and trying new homemade snacks and appetizers (along with the cocktails!), so…I guess there is no excuse.
The first week, Naoto was starting to get sick, so I made him lemon tea and I made myself a Winter Solstice. (I’m sharing the recipe below because the North Shore Distillery changes up their cocktails with the seasons and I’m afraid it won’t be around if you are interested in making it. All credit goes to North Shore for this one!)
1 1/2 oz Sol Chamomile Citrus Vodka
1/2 oz Spiced Honey Syrup*
6 oz lemon tea (I used a bit more tea…for a lightweight cocktail)
Add Sol and honey syrup to a mug, top with hot tea. Stir, and garnish with a slice of fresh lemon. (I used an orange because that’s all we had.)
*Spiced Honey Syrup (also from North Shore Distillery)
1 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ginger
dash of allspice
Heat all of the ingredients in a saucepan, stirring often. Once honey is dissolved, remove from heat. Allow to cool completely before using. Store remaining syrup in a jar in the refrigerator.
The Winter Solstice was warm and cozy…the spices in the honey syrup were the the perfect complement to the citrus vodka. In a winter that seems to be never-ending, it’s nice to have a hot cocktail to comfort the snow away.The next week, I was in San Francisco eating with friends at Annabelle’s. I had a Brooklyn Cocktail. The next week, I was experimenting with the Colony (recipe coming this week!) and Naoto was happily drinking oolong tea. And, for the final February HHH, I made Naoto take me to Amelia’s (one of our favorite restaurants in Forest Park) for dinner and drinks because I knew it was the last time I could count on him to be the designated driver. Amelia’s makes a really tasty Bloody Double Rye Manhattan that uses Leopold’s Michigan Tart Cherry Liqueur…it’s my favorite. They also make amazing roast chicken…it’s a win win.
So, I have two Hasegawa Happy Hours to plan before we leave for Japan. And while we are in Japan, I think every night will be Hasegawa Happy Hour…hopefully I will have some good cocktails and snacks to share next month!
Have you been drinking anything interesting lately?