Hi Hart Beat! Sorry for my delay in this post. Life has been happening fast since the summer/spring weather hit New York (!!) and I’ve been spending my non working hours away from the computer. Plus, Pedro and I headed up to my hometown of Stockbridge, MA over the weekend to celebrate his 30th birthday. Big. Deal.
My parents still live in the house I grew up in and I feel super lucky that I have a beautiful Berkshire County house to escape to any weekend I need to. To get from Stockbridge to Brooklyn is only a three hour drive or a two hour train ride. Since we went up this weekend with the two pups, Pedro and I drove up Thursday night. We were able to both take off work Friday and Monday so had an extended time in the country. Ugg, I miss it so much up there.
This weekend we did some of my favorite things to do in the area like hiking, drinking cocktails and coffee, and exploring Great Barrington and Hudson, two towns really close to Stockbridge. Here are some photos that I took over the weekend with where they were shot just in case you’re planning a weekend getaway out of the city anytime soon.
Great Barrington, MA // Drinks at Allium
Great Barrington, MA // Rubi’s Cafe
Great Barrington, MA // Hiking Monument Mountain
Hudson, NY // Historic District
Bandit the pup at my parents house
Melo the wild animal also at my parents house
You warm, Hart Beat? If you’re living anywhere near the East Coast right now then you’re being dowsed in a heavy slam of snow. Right now outside our Brooklyn apartment we already have one foot! Pedro and I both braved the weather this afternoon (he went into the city and I visited Marina in Park Slope for pie and coffee) but now we are snug as two bugs in a rug in our cozy apartment. What’s keeping us alive? You might ask. The answer is simple. The answer is Hudson.
Early in the Fall Pedro and I visited Hudson, NY for the day and both of decided it was the best place to escape NYC for the day. Tonight, he and I are both realizing that “Hudson” branded products are keeping us sane. (That, my bean boots and a kitchen stocked with Annie’s Mac & Cheese and Genius Chicken.) Between the two of us we have Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey, a Hudson scented candle from Hawkins New York, and Hudson Standard Bitters. Why are these things keeping us alive? Two words, drinks and candles. What more could you want on a snow day?
P.S. This playlist is killing it right now.
Hey Hart Beat! A few weeks ago (okay, more like a couple of months ago) my office had one of our reoccurring Cocktail Competitions. The way the competition works is a kind of drink is chosen (we’ve done vodka, tequila, and wine since I’ve been there), then three people volunteer and make a cocktail that includes that one ingredient. This last go around beer was our drink and I signed my name right up.
Why, you ask, Hart Beat? The answer comes from my favorite days spent in Madrid when one of my favorite drinks was a Clara. The Clara, like a caña or tinto de verano, is so commun that it’s not on a menu but can always be ordered at a Spanish bar. I loved ordering them in the warm summer nights when sitting outside in the plazas.
Since the drink is SO. SIMPLE. I didn’t tell anyone when I was making it at work so that no one could watch me doing it. Once I served it and I was told to announce the ingredients I did, but then also added a “special ingredient.” Before I tell you the secret, here is the recipe I used to make Clara.
- 1 part beer (the Spanish beer Mahou is the best but it’s hard to find so I use Imperial instead)
- 2 parts lemon soda (this is the kind I used) *** Also, make sure there’s no lime in your soda! It’s hard to find straight lemon soda in the U.S. which I use the Italian kind)
- Lemon wedges (to decorate the top)
Annnnnnnd, that’s it. Seriously. You just pour the beer and soda together and mix them. Then when you serve it you add the lemon wedge for a bit of flare. And the secret ingredient? There i none! The secret ingredient is just the idea of a secret. Once you tell someone there’s something hidden they automatically love the idea of that. Cheers, Hart Beat 🍻🍻🍻
Photos by me.
I’m going to stop you right there, Hart Beat and say, no this post is not about my love for Rosé. You have heard plenty about that and will hear plenty more. Don’t you worry. Today’s post is about the other drink that I always order from pretty much any bar I go to, an Old Fashioned.
Before I go on to explain the brilliance behind this drink, here’s a little history into my drinks of choice throughout my life
- Freshman year of college: Sketchy Smirnoff from a plastic handle bought off the boys on my hall and chased by leftover birthday cake. Classy.
- Sophomore year of college: Vodka cranberry. Because I am a girl.
- Semester in Spain: Tinto de verano and entire bottles of rum. Good times, Hart Beat. Good. Times.
- Senior year of college: Gin buckets. And the headaches that resulted after the gin buckets.
- First year in New York: Microbrews. Oh Williamsburg, you and your microbrews.
- Second year in New York: Stelllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Because budgeting is a thing.
- Third year in New York: Old Fashioned’s with some rosé on the side.
I know my drink of choice history is a little harrowing (gin buckets are not for the faint of heart) but I promise you that the classic Old Fashioned is a wonderful place to land and will serve you well over the years.
An Old Fashioned is basically rye or bourbon whiskey with some bitters, simple syrups and an orange rind thrown in there. Funny story, on one of Pedro and my first dates I ordered an Old Fashioned and when he asked me what was in it, I had no answer. Now I know, Pedro! It’s whiskey and bitters!
The reason that I love an Old Fashioned is because it’s not particularly sweet drink but it still has enough taste to not be 100% whiskey. The drink is usually served in a short and stout glass with one huge ice cube to keep the drink cold. I’m not gonna lie Hart Beat, this is a classy cocktail.
The other thing I love about an Old Fashioned is that it’s different. I don’t know many people who order it and I like that it’s something different BUT common enough that any bartender worth their salt can make one. What do you think, Hart Beat? You ever order an Old Fashioned?
Top photo via @deathandconyc. Second photo via The Drink Blog.
Happy hump day, Hart Beat! We did it. We’re officially half way through the week. To celebrate let’s talk about one of my favorite summer drinks.
Last year I confessed my love for the pink wine Rosé and this year I’ll share another little secret with you. I like…. chilled red wine. I know right! Sacrilegious! When I first started drinking wine I really loved white because of the crisp cool taste and red because of the fullness of the taste. I didn’t know that you could have the best of both worlds until I studied abroad in Spain and realized over there that it’s par for the course to keep a bottle or two of Rioja red wine chilled.
Every time I go into a wine store I always ask them what red wine I can buy and keep cool. I know it’s a wine store that I’m going to like if they don’t look at me like I’m terribly insane and, instead, points me in the direction of the Spanish reds. If you’re in Greenpoint, Brooklyn then my highest recommendation goes to Dandelion Wine. Those guys know what’s up.
Of course, if this idea feels too weird for you, you can always grab a glass of tinto de verano and call it a day.
Source for top photo unknown on tumblr and source for bottom photo.