Tag Archives: bourbon

manhattan | a first-time visit, a classic cocktail + an eponymous book

It’s been nearly three weeks since our visit to New York City, and I can still hear the bustling sounds in my head. It was my very first visit, and it proved quite the adventure-filled, three-day escape. Steve and I had already made plans to see our friend Andy’s art show in Chelsea at the end of September, but the stars truly aligned when the dates for the Saveur Blog Awards ceremony were announced. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. We immediately booked our tickets, plotted an easy departure from the restaurant’s responsibilities, and started researching places to stay and see and dine.

I had ideas of what New York would feel like, but experiencing it, firsthand, blew my mind. I’m still processing all that we packed in. Instead of staying at a swank hotel in the city, we opted for a cozy Airbnb in the Prospect Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn. I’ll share the details of our digs and dines in an upcoming post, along with all of the activities we enjoyed with the fellow blog award nominees and the Saveur team. For now, I’ll post a few captures from the first day we were there. A day filled with walking the streets of Brooklyn over to Manhattan, the best way to see the city, in my opinion.

And you know I can’t resist the chance to share with you a few riffs on the city’s most famous classic cocktail, the Manhattan. If you’re thirsty for a good story, read on. Heck, if you’re just plain thirsty, read on. I’ve got you covered here.

manhattan | a visit, a cocktail + a book | holly & flora manhattan | a visit, a cocktail + a book | holly & flora manhattan | a visit, a cocktail + a book | holly & flora

There’s nothing like experiencing the city on foot and by subway. Even after walking a couple of blocks from our neighborhood, we felt the pulse of city drawing us in. I quickly realized that there’s really not a leisurely pace; you have to jump into the groove and ride it. That, or get out of the way.

We started our exploration in the Prospect Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn. A few blocks into our walk, we scouted a couple of pizza joints and grabbed a few slices. I paired mine with a red Gatorade, because travel dehydration. What’s the actual flavor profile of “red drink”, let alone the actual ingredients? I didn’t want to think about it. The streets were hot, and the air was thick with humidity that rivaled that of my home state of Florida. I needed serious quenching.

Fueled by syrupy Gatorade and cheesy pizza, we braved the streets, eking out as much as we possibly could over the next few hours.

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bourbon + spiced pear cocktail | fall cocktail favorites

This week has been a weird one. I’m slowly recovering from being sick with a virus that smacked me down on the couch for a week and a half. And my camera and my car both decided to get sick and die at the very same time. How is this fair?! Don’t we wish all of our mishaps and hiccups could be dispersed over several months’ time, but maybe having all the crap happen at once is a blessing.

I’m posting this delicious cocktail, but at the same time, I’m also on a serious cleanse: no caffeine, no sugar, no booze, no animal products. I’ve made it past week one, so I am feeling rather strong. I did take a slight deviation on Friday, when I met up with two friends at Café Max and had one of Max’s famous matcha green tea lattes, made with almond milk. My friend, Sherrie, who is coincidentally my health coach, couldn’t finish hers. With crazed eyes, I brazenly reached across the table and pulled her room-temperature latte closer to me and slurped up the last, lightly caffeinated drips. It was an enlightening moment on my caffeine dependency.

Ouch. Whatever, I balanced it all out with a round of green juice, so it’s all good.

bourbon + spiced pear cocktail | holly & flora

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palisade peach + sage whiskey smash | my inspiring time in portland

Sometimes, you’ve gotta just shake things up and get on a plane. And fly out to Portland to a creatives meet-up, where you don’t know anyone at all. Because you’re that thirsty for change.

That’s exactly what I did last weekend, when I attended the Hello Sessions in Portland, Oregon. This event for creative entrepreneurs was founded by Joy of Frock Files and Melissa of LuLu the Baker. I found out about the one-day workshop via my IG friend, Bobbie Pinto, writer of the blog, Even If Nobody Reads This. I followed her link, perused the lineup of speakers, fell in love with its vibe, and signed up that very day. I didn’t even know what to expect; I’d never attended a bloggers’ conference before. I just knew that I wanted some serious inspiration, a good kick in the ass, and a renewed sense of creativity.

That’s what came my way, full-blast, and I took home even more than I ever thought I would.

palisade peach + sage whiskey smash | holly & flora palisade peach + sage whiskey smash | holly & flora Continue reading

blood orange whiskey cocktails + taking stock | 02

Earlier this week, I popped over to the Victoria Vitale’s lovely blog, Scissors & Sage, to share a blood orange whiskey cocktail recipe I developed. When she asked if I’d guest-post on her lifestyle blog, I couldn’t resist. She posts weekly DIY tutorials, crafting projects, recipes, and design ideas. It’s pretty much a one-stop for all things pretty, fun, and crafty. I was happy and honored to grace her pages!

As you well know, I have kept a bowlful of blood oranges at the ready, over the past few weeks. So, I have obviously also kept my cocktail glasses filled to the brim with citrus-y drinks. This one is a perfect balance of sweet, savory, acidic, and bitter notes. Even if you don’t have blood oranges on hand, any kind of orange will work perfectly with the cocktail’s components. So, head over to Victoria’s blog for the original post or skip down for the details on the recipe.


Scissors & Sage – “Cocktail Concocting with Jayme Henderson”


blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora


blood orange whiskey cocktail


  • 1 1/2 ounces whiskey or bourbon {I used Bulleit Bourbon}
  • 1/2 ounce Amaro Nonino Quintessentia
  • 2 1/2 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice (about two blood oranges)
  • 1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice (about a quarter of a lemon)
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar
  • 2-3 dashes orange bitters
  • Sprig of thyme
  1. Juice the citrus and set aside.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the whiskey, amaro, blood orange juice, lemon juice, agave nectar, and bitters.
  3. Shake until nicely chilled. Strain and pour into a cocktail glass filled with fresh ice.
  4. Finally, squeeze the thyme sprig a few times to release its aroma and garnish!
  • This recipe can be easily doubled, and tastes great served up shaken and strained.
  • If you have trouble finding blood oranges, navels or other types can be substituted.
  • Depending upon the sweetness of the blood oranges, increase or decrease the amount of agave nectar, to taste.

blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora

Wishing you a very happy Friday!! I know there are only a couple of hours left, so make them extra happy ones. That’s what I will be doing. I never could get into a groove until around 5:30 today {that’s PM, by the way}, despite imbibing two-thirds of a French press and one Venti iced soy latte from Starbucks. That’s a little disturbing.

Maybe it has to do with staying up way too late last night, debating with my boyfriend whether or not that damned striped dress was blue-black or gold-white. Well, for the record, I was right. It was blue. We did end up agreeing that the entire thing was ridiculous and wound up dying laughing at this scene, another battle of colors, from Liar, Liar. Remember when Jim Carrey’s character can’t lie and tries telling himself that his blue pen is red?

More realistically, it has to do with the workload and stress level this past week. I mentioned in an earlier post that our restaurant participates in Denver Restaurant Week, along with over 250 other restaurants, offering a prix fixe menu, modestly priced at $30 per person. We have about 700 on the books tonight, but somehow, I managed to get the night off. I am not complaining at all! Two more days of the craziness, and we are back to normal.

Here’s round two of my monthly check-in of what I’m into, what I’m focused on, and what’s currently striking my fancy. This little series is inspired by Keira, who was inspired by Sydney, who was inspired inspired by Pip.

Have an amazing weekend!

XO,

Jayme

blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora


taking stock | 02


Making  |  lots of shrubs! Ever since buying the book, Shrubs, by Michael Dietsch, I have made a blood orange shrub, a raspberry-mint shrub, and a strawberry-peppercorn shrub. #nomoreboringdrinks
Cooking  |  …actually, baking weekly granola batches.
Drinking these blood orange whiskey cocktails and sipping on this White Zinfandel. Yep. White Zinfandel. And it’s goooood.
Reading  |  Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel and Marathon by Jeff Galloway. The books are actually related. I am going to need a lot of zen to finish both the 1/2 and the full marathons I’ve committed to running.
Wanting  |  for my glass jars to arrive in the mail, so I can fill them with dried, organic herbs from my garden and put them up for sale!
Looking  |  at my to-do list and hoping to check off some seriously procrastinated tasks this weekend.
Playing  |  that stupid game, where if you look at a friend’s hand, while they are making the “okay” sign with their fingers, they can punch you. Pretty mature, huh? Somehow, it is my ultimate goal to win this game against our sous chef. Does this game even have a name!?
Wasting  |  time researching tips on organizing my desk and not actually putting them into action.
Drawing  |  upon my amazing resources and finally amping up my SEO, thanks to my talented friend, Kristy.
Wishing  |  I could just get up, when my alarm rings. I am so trying to get up at a consistent 9:00. It is tough, sometimes.
Enjoying  |  the fact that I planned ahead and got tickets to both Hot Chip and Belle & Sebastian. First shows of the year!
Waiting  |  patiently for March 19th, when I can have a delicious glass of wine again. I have given up alcohol until then {I’m almost three weeks in!}, so that I can focus on my running regime.
Liking  |  all of these recipes for blood oranges. My blood orange sherbet made the list, annnnd it’s spiked with a little Campari.
Wondering  |  why I chose to run a half-marathon the day after I get back from vacation in May. A wine-tasting vacation. I am seriously a sucker for pain.
Loving  |  the nine inches of snow in our backyard! I think I might build a snowman! And now I have that song in my head. And now you do, too.
Hoping  |  for some inspiration to start sketching again. I’m still stuck on geometric shapes and flowers of the basic variety.
Marveling  |  at these beautiful, watercolor botanical letters and pinning this tutorial on how to make them! Smitten.
Needing  |  this t-shirt and seething that it is not in stock!!
Smelling  |  victorious. I made it through 6.55 miles on the treadmill today! That’s exactly halfway through the distance I’ll run on May 17th at the Colfax Half-Marathon.
Wearing  |  a tacky pink hair clip from the late 80s, mismatched socks, my Asics, a sweaty, black Nike tank top, and hot pink Nike basketball shorts. It’s my day off.
Following  |  the lovely ladies at Hooch & Home. They make amazingly rad cocktails.
Noticing  |  that there is always a positive angle that you can find from any situation.
Pinning  |  lots and lots of baked goods, especially this macha layer cake. That’s right.
Thinking  |  I should finally upgrade to a Garmin running watch, but is it worth the nearly $200 price tag that accompanies it?
Feeling  |  super excited that Steve and I are going to Cali for almost a week in May! He’s turning 40, and we are celebrating in wine country! #duh
Listening  |  to Beck, Sea Change, especially “Lost Cause.” And I just turned it off because it was too depressing. Time for some Belle & Sebastian! I still need their newest album…
Learning  |  how to make this whipped coconut oil and rose body butter.
Giggling  |  at Maria Bamford. So, I’ve had Amazon Prime for a couple of years but never knew about all of the videos, movies, and shows that are available for streaming! Lately, I’ve been addicted to True Blood, old X-Files episodes, and so much stand-up.
Feeling  |  hungry for these adorable mini shortbread cookies. They will go perfectly with all of the lemon curd I made. And that is why I run! 😉

XO,

Jayme

blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora

summer cherry bourbon smashes {2 ways}

Yep, here I go again! Posting more about summer cherries {with at least two more cherry posts in draft form!}. I cannot get enough of them right now. In fact, the boyfriend and I headed out to Berry Patch Farms in Brighton, Colorado, to pick our own pie cherries. I had never picked cherries before. It proved a little time-consuming, but we had so much fun! I even ended up befriending a chicken, temporarily losing my debit card, and coming across some snap peas along the way.

I have also been researching how to perfect my lattice crust technique for a possible cherry pie and dreaming up ideas on how to make adorable, miniature cherry pies in jars. Too bad work and gardening and laundry get in the way. Those cherries will have to wait until tomorrow. Until then, I am sneaking little handfuls of those sweet, red spheres and tossing them into glorious summer bourbon cocktails. Bourbon is not just for the cooler months. I’ll prove it.

A little less than a month ago, the season’s first cherries started to trickle in. They weren’t grown locally and tasted a tad sour, but I just couldn’t wait for Colorado cherries. So, I grabbed a couple pints and set out to make some brandied cherries. The process was messy but ever-so-delicious. As I mentioned before, when you decide to pit cherries, grab a friend, pop a bottle of wine, turn on some music, and cover yourself in a towel. Gloves help, too. I actually remembered those this past pitting adventure, thankfully. For once, I planned ahead and actually followed through!

I have come across some resourceful ways to preserve summer cherries, but sometimes it is tricky to find creative means to incorporate them later on. Enter the brandied cherries. I have used the cherries in small tarts, in bourbon smashes, and as a garnish in Manhattans. I even ventured out and used them in a glaze for a pork tenderloin. I am suddenly contemplating a boozy cherry popsicle right about now.


brandied cherry bourbon smash


  •  2 ounces bourbon {I used Tin Cup}
  • 4 brandied cherries {see my recipe}
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar or 1/2 ounce agave nectar
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • dash orange bitters {I used Miracle Mile}

Toss the brandied cherries, raw sugar, and lemon juice in a double old-fashioned glass and muddle well. Add ice, pour in the bourbon, and give a shake of bitters. I like to pour the cocktail into a shaker tin and pour it back into the glass to incorporate the cherries. A good stir will also work.

What if you don’t have any brandied cherries on hand? No worries. Just use the fresh cherries you have and make this adaptation. I made another version of bourbon smashes last summer, when we were remodeling our kitchen. Whenever I make this cocktail, I am reminded of that crazy time, when our house was full of boxes, and we had to do our cooking, dish-washing, and dining on our back porch. So, a good cherry bourbon smash makes me feel grateful!


fresh cherry bourbon smash


  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce Cardamaro {or amaretto, for a twist}
  • 4 fresh cherries
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar or 1/2 ounce agave nectar
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • dash orange bitters

What are you doing with summer cherries, while they are in season? Later this week, I’ll be posting that cherry pie I mentioned, as well as some cherry coconut milk popsicles that were amazing.

Cheers to a great weekend!