Monday, January 30, 2017

Nautical Gin Celery Gimlet

Nautical Gin embodies a spirit I can identify with - that of exploration and to never stop discovering. They searched the world to uncover exotic ingredients for this gin, one of which is a rare coastal ingredient called Pacific Kombu that delivers a subtle hint of sea salt. This special ingredient also the inspiration behind the name.  

This gin presents with aromas that are bright and floral - there's hints of juniper, rose, pepper and lemongrass. On the palate those juniper berries from Croatia lend exotic flavors of pepper and spice, while coriander seed from India delivers notes of citrus peel and sage. The Pacific Kombu is a sea vegetable / edible kelp imparting that subtle hint of sea salt and minerality, leaving you with a clean, smooth, refreshing finish. Overall, Nautical is a powerful yet elegant gin.

Nautical Gin is the perfect starting point for the classic lime based Gimlet cocktail. I thought the clean, refreshing and not overpowering vegetal taste of celery would harmonize with the gin as they embody similar qualities. To make celery juice I pureed two sticks of celery in a food processor and strained through a fine sieve. 

The addition of Green Chartreuse imparts a nice touch of sweetness and complimentary herbaceous notes. Then, there's the Brennivin - an unsweetened Icelandic schnapps or an aquavit - made from fermented grain and flavored with caraway. We discovered Brennivin while traveling in Iceland and seeing as how Nautical embodies that worldly, exploratory spirit, Brennivin felt like a natural pairing! Finally, this dynamic gimlet deserves a dash of Fee Brothers Celery Bitters.  

Nautical Celery Gimlet
1 1/2 oz Nautical Gin
1/4  oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Brennivin 
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz celery juice
1 dash Fee Brothers Celery bitters 
garnish: sea salt + lime wheel  

Once you've made the celery juice, simply shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a frosted glass. I tried a couple variations of glassware and found it more enjoyable to sip this gimlet from a dainty, delicate piece

What transpires is a bright, herbaceous, citrusy cocktail that awakens the palate with a contemplative and distinct taste. The more you sip and become accustomed to all the flavors it leaves a soothing finish that lingers thoughtfully on the palate. 

This cocktail was created in partnership with Nautical Gin and is entered into a cocktail contest the brand is hosting.

To vote for my cocktail please like it on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!!!  

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cancun + Riviera Maya

Behold some images from a dreamy, tropical, party filled Mexican getaway to the Yucatan Peninsula's Cancun and Riviera Maya for the wedding of dear friends! From Mexico City we flew to Cancun and spent two restful nights and a relaxing day at the Casa Magna Marriot (first five photos, above) before continuing south to the all-inclusive Generations Riviera Maya resort for four nights. (All the other photos, below)

This was my first time at an all inclusive resort. We lived it up; especially in that sparkling teal blue pool and along the beach on their plush cabanas. Tim and Erin's wedding celebrations were romantic, beautiful, breezy, stunning and unforgettable. Yes, they had a donkey at their welcome party and yes, they had tequila shots as place cards!! 

Monday, January 23, 2017


Standout eats and drinks: Boston, Newton, Watertown, Hingham | Nov + Dec 2016, Jan 2017

In order of appearance
Linguine alle Vongole @ Eataly
Hamachi Blood Orange Crudo @ Eataly
Aloha Weisse, Nightshift @ Branch Line (unpictured but really good here this month: White Anchovy Toast w/rotisserie tomato, Trumpet Mushrooms w/ sumac oil)
Smoked Sea Trout w meyer lemon, crispy brussels sprout leaves, radish @ Merchant
Sake / Spicy salmon hand roll @ Pabu
Happy Spoon - oyster, ponzu creme fraiche, uni, tobiko, ikura @ Pabu
Excellent, go-to sushi @ Super Fusion
Yakuza Old Fashioned (Nikka coffee grain whiskey, bitter caramel, angostura) @ Shōjō
Suckling Pig Bao w/ smoked bbq sauce, kimchi, pickled cucumbers @ Shōjō
Mexican Chocolate Stout @ Hopsters
Insalata: baby arugula, gorgonzola, San Daniel prosciutto, port soaked figs, wood grilled shrimp @ Alma Nove
The Commodity (tequila cabeza, strawberry infused campari, east india sherry, lemon) @ The Hawthorne
Asparagus, panchetta, poached egg pizza @ Brewers Fork

It's sort of crazy how many good food and drink pictures sit in the archives of my phone. I'm constantly snapping away and saving them for a rainy day. I hope you enjoy the mash up!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

RUKA Begins

I have been anticipating Ruka's opening for quite sometime - ever since I toured the connected Godfrey Hotel in its under construction state and attended the subsequent opening party, the huge empty space kept me in suspense!!

From the restaurant group that brought Lolita and Yvonnes, I was expecting big things and Ruka delivered; beginning with their 15 page cocktail book! Don't let it overwhelm you though, it's one cocktail per page and very inspired. And although I chose the least exciting presentation wise (above), I can assure you that comprehensive little book and the drinks that follow are seriously fun.
Ruka is an astonishing exploration in Peruvian-Asian culture, highlighting the Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian) and Chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) cuisines. These cuisines were brought to Peru by large immigrant populations, combining elegant Japanese cooking techniques like sashimi and makimono, as well the traditional Chinese recipes like fried rice and stir fry with native Peruvian ingredients - Amazonian fish, yucca, corn, aji peppers and nuevo latino seasonings such as chili powder, chimichuri and cilantro.

The space is designed to embody Peru's dramatic landscapes and vibrant cities - live edge wood tables, concrete columns with Inca symbols, a vivid wall to wall street art mural, suspended ropes inspired by Peruvian fabrics - guests will surely feel transported to another world and a stunning one at that. 

I was dazzled by Ruka's vibrant, creative cuisine - the octopus lomo soltado in particular was a standout dish. In order of appearance:

Crunchy Salmon Tacos ($18) salmon ceviche, avocado, roasted tomatillo salsa, pickled radish
Hamachi Amarillo ($17) baby corn + avocado roll, hamachi, tomatillo salsa, jalapeno-corn sauce
Old Hill ($14) Knob Creek 9 year, carribean rums, Nikka Japanese Whiskey, black sugar, bitters, coffee oil
Crispy Rock Shrimp ($18) asian pear + avocado roll, soy paper, aji amarillo mayo, florida rock shrimp
Junmai Gingo, Tensei ($7) song of the sea: coastal, seaweed, lemon zest, crinshaw melon
Octopus Lomo Soltado ($17) peppers, onions, ginger-soy, black rice, shoe string fries
White Nest While Ale ($9) Hitachino, Japan

*large Space photo credit to Melissa Ostrow. 

505 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111