Tag Archives: drinks

Day 208: Andrew

A while back I went to a barbecue – you may recall my thank you note on Day 195 to Brian and Lisa for being such gracious hosts. I took them a bottle of Bluecoat Gin – I recalled that Brian doesn’t drink much beer any more but thought that he liked gin. Actually, at some point that evening I realized I think he drinks vodka martinis instead – so I kind of screwed up. But not really right? You can’t go wrong with a bottle of nice gin.

When I bought it I noticed that it came with a $3 rebate. Nobody sends those things in right? Well, I did. And look what I got in response.

My $3 rebate along with a handwritten note from the President and Founder of Philadelphia Distilling.

My $3 rebate along with a handwritten note from the President and Founder of Philadelphia Distilling.

Pretty cool. It’s like he knew I was a fan of nice stationery, handwritten notes and quality spirits. If he wants to send me some spirits to try, I’m game! I could host a little get-together here at my place and feature all of Philadelphia Distilling’s spirits. Now we’re thinking.

Anyway, I decided that their President deserved one of the Year of Letters.

Day 208


Mmmm, a Blackberry Bramble.

Mmmm, a Blackberry Bramble.

I received your handwritten note and $3 in the mail today in response to my purchase of your Bluecoat gin. Thank you! I gave your bottle as a gift – so I have not tried it yet but look forward to making a Bluecoat Blackberry Bramble or Last Word with it. Anyway, very classy to send me a note. Keep on sending them – you’ll win the hearts (and livers) of discerning fans of fine spirits everywhere.


Day 194: Megan

Barren Hill cocktail at McClellan's Retreat

Barren Hill cocktail at McClellan’s Retreat

At some point I became interested in mixing cocktails. For some of the more interesting ones, it seems I’m always missing one ingredient. Often times it is a tincture, bitters or syrup that has to be prepared ahead of time. So despite my interest in crafting my own cocktails, it’s nice sometimes to go some place that has all the ingredients – not to mention the expertise to make them!

Day 194bAround the corner from my house is McClellan’s Retreat. They opened up last fall where Veritas used to be. I hesitated posting this letter here because people will start to flock to this favorite spot of mine and then there will be no room for me at the bar. I guess that would be a good thing though – both in terms of the bar doing well enough to stay in business and for me not sitting at the bar as often as I may now.

Anyway, Megan is the manager and head bartender there. If you stop by, tell her I sent you. And definitely order the Barren Hill, it’s my favorite. But I caught part of a conversation one day about the pistachio syrup – the fact that possibly they’ve lost the recipe and when this batch runs out, it’s gone forever. So you better go sooner than later.

Day 194-2

Dear Megan,

It was good to see you this past weekend – it had been way too long since I had stopped in. It’s not healthy (staying away that is) and I promise not to do it again.

People talk about climate change, pandemics, ISIS… but what keeps me up at night is pistachio syrup. What will become of the Barren Hill if you run out??? Speaking of which, I was in on Sunday and Chris made me one – it was pretty delicious. You’ve got some competition!

Thanks for being my neighborhood bar.


Day 110: Matt and Erin

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can think of few ways to spend free time better than with good friends. Last Saturday evening I visited with Matt and Erin, great friends and terrific hosts who enjoy tasty food and boozy concoctions as much as I do, so an evening with them centers around their dining room table which is boiling over with homemade salty and savory treats with the likes of homemade butter and delicate Italian truffles. Their charming Woodley Park apartment feels more like 1950s France than modern-day Washington, DC.

Erin pushes food while Matt, who usually doesn’t last more than a few hours before the need for sleep wins him over, stays awake by making cocktails and assuring that everyone is good on drinks.

saffronThey had just returned from a trip to Greece and brought me a thoughtful little gift of red saffron – which I’ve never had. Saffron is a curious spice. I’ll never forget the first time I went shopping for it. I couldn’t find it and asked a store employee for help only to be told, “Oh, saffron, we keep that in the safe of course. It’s worth like a $2,000 a pound.”

I appreciate their thoughtfulness and look forward to having them over and making them something delicious with it.

Day 110

Matt and Erin,

Thank you so much for having me over on Saturday. As always, it was a lot of fun. And thank you for the Greek red saffron – that was completely unnecessary but very thoughtful and much appreciated. I’ll have to have you over and make something with it. I’m thinking this would add a delicious touch to fusilli pasta with zucchini and pine nuts.

Day 110-3See you soon


P.S. Matt, all my respect to you for staying up as late as you did – that may be a new personal best!