What to drink while cooking, what to serve with a meal? Except for the occasional sub-shop take-out or pizza, or a deli sandwich, I have never put soda out with a meal. Sparkling water with lemon or lime, yes. Diet coke, orange soda, etc. etc – never.
While cooking or baking during the morning or afternoon, I’m usually sipping a cup of French roast black coffee or Mighty Leaf Tea – so many favorite varieties – Green Tea Tropical, African Nectar, Orange Dulce, Organic Earl Grey, Chamomile Citrus. Cooking dinner, a whole ‘nother story. It’s when the cocktail hour begins. Bourbon on the rocks – plenty of rocks – usually Knob Creek or Larceny. But a more recent favorite, discovered when Grey Goose was promoting cognac-laced vodka around Christnmas for $75 a fifth (very pretty bottle, but really?) I tried my own version of freezer-chilled Kettel One with a splash of cognac and plenty more ice to keep it bracingly cold. Never liked the taste, or non-taste actually, of straight vodka; not a martini drinker either. But this little concoction is really quite good.
With dinner, we usually have just ice water from the Poland Springs dispenser, or iced tea – almost always Republic of Tea Ginger Peach, with a sprig of mint when available. Not much of a wine drinker when it’s just the two of us, since husband no longer imbibes, but I do love a bold Italian or California red for dinner with guests. Solane Valpolicella, Bogle Authentic Red, or a crisp white table wine with seafood. There are always bottles of inexpensive red and white by the spice rack to add a splash into what’s cooking.
And for Passover – just 4 weeks away – Manischevitz Blackberry. Nothing goes better with brisket. More about Passover later.