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 by Julie Lindow

 Cocktails are a wonderful way to celebrate special occasions and the holidays. I don’t drink a lot so when I do, I want my cocktail to be an extraordinary experience. During the past few years, I have developed several cocktails to commemorate various occasions in my family and friend’s lives. Gary Meyer told me that Eat Drink Film readers love new recipes, so I thought that sharing these with all of you might be a welcome gift. These recipes are simple and can be made in large batches for holiday parties. I developed these cocktails without outside influence, but I would not be surprised if others have come up with similar recipes, so I don’t claim any ownership over these gems.

Bye Bye Black Cat

4 Cixous Black Cat.jpgThis recipe is my eulogy to our beloved black cat, Cixous (named after Helen Cixous the great French feminist writer). She passed away last February and my eyes still well up when I think about her. She was truly a writer’s cat. As I wrote, I would toss balls of crumpled paper to her. She would catch them in mid-air with her two front paws and then flop down and shred the paper to bits with her fangs. (Unfortunately, she showed the same ferocity to our house guests.) One day I could not find a pen that I had left on the coffee table. I looked under the sofa and found Cixous’ stash of about twenty-five pens. When I read on the sofa, she would curl up at my side and look at the book on my lap with me. There is a big hole in my heart but drinking a Bye Bye Black cat is a pleasant way to celebrate our bittersweet kitty.

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-2 ounces Bruto Americano

-¾ ounce cassis, or to taste, depending on whether you lean toward the sweet or bitter side

-Add to shaker with ice and shake vigorously

-Pour into chilled dainty glasses, about two-thirds full

-Top with bubbly!

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The Librarian

A dear friend graduated from librarian school so I made up this cocktail to celebrate her hard won achievement. It has evolved to become a celebration of all librarians, particularly my dear friends Monica and Laura. This drink has a sharp focus on the pear with an enlightening fresh perspective. What would we do without you!?!

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-1 ounce Saint Germain

-1 ounce pear brandy

-Top with bubbly!

-Add to shaker with ice and shake vigorously

-Pour into chilled dainty glasses

-Garnish with a wedge of lime

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Sunset on Lake Erie

My parents, Dianne and Jim, spent the first few years of their 55-year marriage (wow!) sailing on Lake Erie. One of my earliest memories is of being in the middle of the lake with no land in sight. We floated about next to the boat and looked out over the silver and pink water. The sun was setting and suddenly everything became orange and pink light.

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My mom loves Manhattans and oranges, and my dad loves ginger, so here is a drink that weds them together.

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-2 ounces Maker’s Mark Whisky

-1 ounce ginger liquor (add to taste because some ginger liquors are sweeter than others—I recommend this West Coast artisanal option: Spiritopia Ginger Liqueur.

-Orange bitters to taste, a few dashes

-A squeeze of orange juice, half an orange for two drinks

-Add to shaker with ice and shake vigorously

-Pour into chilled dainty glasses

-Garnish with an orange wedge or twist

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Mz. Bad Manhattan

Some of you may remember Ms. Mary Brown who worked for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and was instrumental in convincing San Francisco to add bike lanes. I met Mary at her previous job at the Foundation for Deep Ecology and International Forum on Globalization. Two Marys worked in our office; Mary Good came in early every day, was cheerful, and wore pink pigtails and rainbow socks; Mary Brown came in late every day, was grumpy, and had hair matted from her bike helmet and clothes askew. Hence the nickname, Mz. Bad, which she embraced proudly.

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Mz. Bad had an unusually large capacity for love—fifteen or so of her best friends and family were with her when she passed away from cancer. It was simultaneously one of the saddest and most love-filled days of my life. A few weeks before her passing, I told Mary that I was making up a cocktail to honor her and that I would drink it every year in her memory. I brought it to her house and we toasted with thimble glasses. She giggled and said that she fully approved of this cocktail as a way to honor her. The Mz. Bad Manhattan is strong and warm with the grace of Mary.


-2 ounces brandy

-1 ounce black cherry or blackberry juice

-A few dashes of Angostura bitters

-Add to shaker with ice and shake vigorously

-Pour into chilled dainty glasses

-Garnish with a brandied cherry

-For a lighter version, top with bubbly!

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Sleepy Toddy

This one I stumbled upon one night when I was down with a horrid bug. The combination was a delightful and comforting surprise. The Sleepytime tea and the Jameson Whiskey pair magically and will carry you off to dreamland.

-Make a cup of hot Celestial Seasoning Sleepytime tea

-Add 1/2 shot of Jameson Whiskey

-Add honey to taste

If you don’t have Jameson, Four Roses will make due.

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The Editor

As an editor and writer, this is my new favorite. Just the other day, I imagined this one in my mind but when I tried it, I was blown away by how the flavors played off each other.  The cinnamon is subtle and instead of tasting like cinnamon, it takes on a tea-like floral flavor. It is perfect for cold season. Drinking it will edit your body back into a healthful state.

-2 ounces of FRESH lemon juice

-1 ounce of brandy

-About 1.5 tablespoons Agave syrup, or until the mixture is sweetened to your taste

-A tiny pinch of ground cinnamon


-Pour into a dainty glass

-Serve at room temperature

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If you try these recipes and create your own twists on them, please let me know.


LinkedIn: Julie Lindow, Writer and Editor

Happy holidays to one and all!!!

14 JulieLindowHolidays.jpgJulie Lindow (aka Jules Lind) is a writer and editor. She is currently working on a series of detective novels set in 1940s San Francisco. Living in and creating a continuum from past to present makes for many a foggy evening walking through time, up and down hills, from libraries, to downtown, to the grand Pacific Ocean. As editor of Left in the Dark: Portraits of San Francisco Movie Theatres she wishes she were spending more time in San Francisco’s historic movie houses, what is left of them, but there has been a lot of work to do lately.    Check out her website.

Julie has written for EatDrinkFilms about Orson’s Belly, Greece,  Secret Horrors at the Castro Theater and Stookey’s Club Moderne.



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