Lagniappe: Skål! To Ina!

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One of my favorites of her cookbooks!  I want all my cooking done ahead of time.

Skål! To Ina! I’m thinking about last week’s blog and my Swedish grandparents.  And I’m thinking again about the very funny Instagram video – done on April 1st – of Ina Garten fixing a Cosmopolitan.  If you haven’t watched it, join the almost 3 million Instagram-viewers who have enjoyed it.  I think a lot of us can really relate!

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Highly-rated Absolut Vodka comes from Southern Sweden

For today’s Lagniappe blog we want to give you the down-sized version of Ina’s enormous cocktail, as well as one which another favorite food writer/blogger, David Lebovitz, calls the “next generation” Cosmopolitan – with more sophistication” – the Jasmine cocktail.

I’m wondering why David Lebovitz considers the Jasmine Cocktail to be more sophisticated.  Would having cochineal in our cocktail add that extra-special touch?  The Jasmine forgoes cranberry juice and instead relies on a red apéritif for its color.  And the red coloring in the fancy apéritifs being made in the U.S. right now are colored with cochineal, though Italy-based Campari quit using it over a decade ago – at least for sale in the U.S.

We first got interested in cochineal after a trip to Oaxaca, where it’s still sometimes used as a dye for their lovely textiles.  Scientific American has a good analysis of these useful little insects and Wired has another “colorful” article about them.  And, thanks to David in Albuquerque– who found it online, here’s the perfect video, explaining it all.

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from the Houston Museum of Natural Science

Even though Campari and Bordiga (another fancy Italian Aperitif brand) have quit using cochineal for their U.S. sold products, St George Spirits’ Bruto Americano (recommended by David Lebovitz), Leopold Bros’ Apertivo – based in the great state of Colorado! – and our local Sonoma Prohibition Spirits’ Spritz are using this natural coloring.

But whether you pick cranberry juice, Campari, or a squished-bug-colored apéritif,  gin or vodka, or Cointreau or triple sec, one of these cocktails is sure to provide a terrific toast to the end of another day of self-isolation.  If you’re alone, be sure to join up with someone via FaceTime, Houseparty, or Zoom.  If you have a mate sheltering with you, double – or even triple 🙂 – the recipe!  Skål!

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Ina’s Cosmopolitan

Ina's Cosmopolitan

Using cranberry juice cocktail – which is sweetened – works fine, but we prefer to use unsweetened cranberry juice and add a bit of simple syrup, if sweetening is needed.  We also try to limit our cocktails to about 2 oz of liquor, rather than the 3 oz many recipes call for.

  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • about 2 tsp lime juice
  • 3/4 oz Cointreau (or triple sec)
  • 3/4 oz cranberry juice (I use unsweetened)

Add the vodka, lime juice, Cointreau, and cranberry juice to a cocktail shaker.

Fill the shaker halfway with ice. Shake for 15 to 20 seconds, then strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.


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The Jasmine Cocktail with cochineal 🙂  Nice color, right?

Jasmine Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz gin (or substitute vodka)
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz triple sec (or Cointreau)
  • 1/4 oz bitter red apéritif, such as Bruto Americano, or Campari
  • 1 wide strip lemon zest, optional

Add the gin, lemon juice, triple sec, and bitter apéritif to a cocktail shaker.

Fill the shaker halfway with ice. Shake for 15 to 20 seconds, then strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a strip of lemon zest, if desired.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.




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