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Spring is my favorite season. The plants come back to life, the birds start building nests and the days get longer and longer. And, as the weather starts to warm, I’m able to spend more and more time outside. Since moving to Seattle, I’ve been waiting for the advent of spring to start exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest by hiking and road-tripping and picnicking my way through town and beyond. And friends, that time is now!
My first time in Mexico, I had a margarita epiphany. Behind every bar and atop every oilcloth-covered table were bowls of bright green, gumball-sized limes that seemed so delicate compared to our big ol’ American limes. I soon learned that these miniature, slightly sweeter iterations were key limes—as opposed to the Persian limes that are ubiquitous here—and they were utterly delicious. Of course I had indulged in a key lime pie or two in my day, but it wasn’t until I returned from that vacation that I started incorporating key limes into my go-to recipes.
Let’s talk about my sweet tooth. She will not be denied. She demands vanilla syrup in my morning lattes, she requires I keep my fridge stocked with a variety of sweets, from grapes and apples to pints of ice cream, and about once a year she compels me to whip up (and I do mean whip) a batch of soft, fluffy homemade marshmallows. Since the last time I made marshmallows was these red, white and blue marbled ones for the Fourth of July last summer, I was just about due.
I don’t really care for Guinness and I think Jameson is gross, so every year on St. Patrick’s Day I struggle to find something festive and delicious to drink. Enter the pousse-café. Basically a fancy name for a layered cocktail, the pousse-café began as an elegant digestif, one that could be savored layer by layer after a long, filling meal.
As long as you know the specific gravity of your liquids (heaviest goes on the bottom), you can stack them to your heart’s content, which is exactly what I did with this St. Patrick’s Day pousse-café. Vanilla vodka yields to Irish cream and a layer of vibrant créme de menthe provides the final flavor, leaving a lingering freshness on your palate.
• green crème de menthe
• Baileys Irish Cream
• vanilla vodka, I used Stoli Vanil
1. Gather your ingredients. I used 1.5 oz of each liquor, but you can adjust depending on the size of your glass or how thick you’d like the striations to be. You’ll need to use relatively small, narrow glasses to achieve this affect without using a ton of booze.
2. Pour the crème de menthe into the bottom of your glass.
3. Take a bar spoon (or a regular spoon if you don’t have one), flip it upside down and place it up against the inside of the glass. Very slowly, pour the Baileys onto the back of the spoon, so it runs softly down the side of the glass and onto the crème de menthe without disturbing the surface tension.
4. Rinse the spoon then repeat with the vodka.
Here’s the thing: I think celery is totally gross. I tolerate it only in soups, when the flavor has been so completely leached out of it that it becomes basically tasteless. And even then, I purposefully avoid the pieces of celery left at the bottom of the bowl as I’m slurping up the last bit of broth. This distaste for celery, especially in its raw form, means that traditional ants on a log are completely off the table for me (and let’s not even get into my distaste for raisins).