June 5, 2009

Happy Hour at Home: French 75s and Herbed Goat Cheese


There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne. –Bette Davis

If I were a magician, I would like to bring back into my fold all the friends and fellows who were in my company this past weekend. I would gather up people from all corners of the globe and country and plop them into my living room where I would play Whitney Houston, ply them with herbed goat cheese and French 75s, and encourage dancing and the telling of embarrassing stories.

There is nothing like old friends. And I can’t really think of anything to follow that sentence that doesn’t sound hopelessly trite. But here goes: The best ones can understand what’s going on with you in a near telepathic way that requires no explanation on your part. Picking up with them is to pick up right where you left off, but still somehow managing to include all the realities of now. Whatever makes you laugh in the moment contains the hysterics of something five years prior, and they have the secret, privileged knowledge of knowing you used to wear clothes from Contempo Casuals when you were “dressing up.”

None of this is meant to diminish the the wonder of new friends, which are more remarkable, in a way, for you’re having been able to find them in the real world next to the office xerox machine or at the local coffee shop. But like the Brownie song goes (and sometimes you have to resort to the Brownies to really express yourself adequately), “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”

I’m wishing for a few more days with the golds.

French 75

Serves 1

1 shot gin
1 tablespoon simple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

Shake gin, simple syrup, and citrus juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into glass, top with champagne and serve with a twist of citrus peel.

Herbed Goat Cheese
makes about 1 1/2 cups

10.5 ounces goat cheese (the long log)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon thyme leaves

In the bowl of a food processor, blitz goat cheese until smooth. Add herbs and lemon juice and pulse to combine. Serve on cucumber rounds and rice crackers.

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  • Miranda M.: The French 75 is one of my favorite cocktails. Gin and champagne…in the same drink! Quel deliciousness.6 years ago

  • Dana McCauley: Old friends and good cocktails really do go hand-in-hand! Well said.

    Here’s a link to a drink that I make that my friends loe and ask me to bring over to their parties:

    http://danamccauley.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/caipirinha-the-perfect-summertime-cocktail6 years ago

  • Miranda, I couldn’t agree more! Gin and champagne — what genius thought of such a thing?!?

    Dana, Mmm, I love me a caipirinha. Delish!6 years ago

  • Marissa: Oh I’m so trying your cheese for my game night this weekend, and I hope I’m left with the same fond memories that you’re swooning over now.6 years ago

  • Jen: You brought back Contempo Casuals! Love it!6 years ago

  • Lisa (dinner party): Oh, Contempo!

    Your little cheese-topped zucchini rounds are so cute!6 years ago

  • Marissa, I hope you like the cheese. Initially I wanted to make a homemade Boursin-like cheese, but all the recipes on the web sounded so strange (equal parts cream cheese and butter?) so this was my consolation.

    Jen & Lisa, Hell yeah, Contempo! :)6 years ago

  • Starlene: Contempo was my second job. My first was at Swiss Colony wearing one of those ridiculous Swiss Miss red dresses with the pinafore and handing out cheese samples in the mall. I quit that job when I got the coveted Contempo job. After three days at Contempo, I secretly wished I still worked at Swiss Colony. I missed the smell of cheese and hated my mean new co-workers. Some things never change:)6 years ago

  • Starlene, This comment pretty much made my day. :) When I look at the few remaining items still in my possession from those days, I am seriously confounded as to how I could wear such tight, itchy, stretchy things. Oy.6 years ago

  • anne: This is great! I would totally be up for your happy hour at home. I loooove Whitney and always will! Goat cheese sounds yummy too.6 years ago

  • kiss my spatula: like, anne, i’ll always love whitney (though i still wish she never met bobby brown). anyways – the french 75 sounds simply delectable. can’t wait to give it a try!6 years ago

  • Love Whitney! And can we have a moment of commemoration for how awesome that video is?!?6 years ago

  • EB: I knew there was a reason I liked you. Next time you come to visit I’m taking you to Anabelle’s for a French 756 years ago

  • Alright! It’s a date!6 years ago

  • Misty: I just had a weekend like this, with my three closest friends from high school visiting. We haven’t all been together for three or four years, and it was just magical. Its like nothing ever changed, even though we all have. I am very fortunate to have these girls in my life!6 years ago

  • Anne: This sounds amazing. I am meeting with a couple silvers tonight and some gold next week… I think if we have it at home, I am going to borrow this recipe… sounds delish!6 years ago

  • geek+nerd: Hi Sarah – I’m doing some catching up on your blog, and mmm those French 75s sound delish! And I know what you mean about old friends. Everything that you said is so true.6 years ago

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- Margaret Mead