Saturday, August 13, 2011

Weekend Cooking...A Toast!

I am not much of a drinker, especially for someone who grew up spending a lot of time in a bar. My family owned a bar in Newark NJ, which was a bit of an adventure. From the time that I was six, until my mom sold the place when I was in my early 20s, I probably spent part of every day there.
Well, except for those summer in Atlantic City that I know I have talked about!

Maybe that is part of why I am not a drinker.
All I know is one drink and I am acting silly.
Two and I am falling asleep.

But this week I had a drink or two and did not cook a thing, so I though I might share my most recent beverage of choice this week.
"Drambuie (pronounced /dræmˈbjuːi/ or /dræmˈbuːi/) is a honey- and herb-flavoured golden liqueur made from aged malt whisky, heather honey and a secret blend of herbs and spices. The flavour suggests saffron, honey, anise, nutmeg and herbs."

It is very much like Irish Mist, another liqueur you have probably never heard of. Again, herbs and spices, honey and, in this case, Irish whiskey rather than Scotch whiskey like Drambuie. Both are rather strong, about 80 proof and a little sweet. I am sure those herbs and spices are in there, but don't get the idea that it has a herby taste, because it does not. Now, to my taste, Drambuie is a bit smoother and a little sweeter than Irish Mist, which is why I like it.

You can drink it straight up, in a sniffer, as I did. Or you can have it on ice as I suspect Bandit would prefer. And it makes a fine ingredient for a number of mixed drinks, one of which I will share. It is made with Ginger Beer, which is not to be confused with Ginger Ale. It is an alcohol free soft drink, but with a spicy, pronounced ginger taste. If you like ginger, you will like ginger beer and with Drambuie, it make a pleasant, refreshing drink.

"A combination of Drambuie and ginger beer, each a fantastic compliment to the other; simplicity that satisfies."

The Jamaican Nail

2 oz Drambuie
6 oz Ginger Beer

- fill highball or tall glass with cracked ice
- pour in the Drambuie
- pour in the Ginger Beer
- stir gently (do not shake)
- add a wedge of lime for garnish

Ok, I made the one pictures in a short glass and cut the ingredients in half, but it is 9 a.m. in the morning! :-)

Now, the toast!

To my Aunt Grace, who died last Sunday.
Her death, as sad as it is, was not a surprise. She had been sick for quite awhile, on dialysis for a couple of years, on hospice care for the last few months. And I am thankful that she able to stay in her home and died peacefully in her sleep, sitting in her recliner chair. She had talked that last Friday with my brother about the possibility of stopping her dialysis, that she was so tired, and I am glad she did not have to make that decision.

But she knew the end was near I think.
She had already planned her funeral.
That same Friday, just two days before the end, she sat at her computer desk and wrote out her obituary. Then she wrote a list of people she wanted called to tell of her death. And when I went over on Monday to pick something to her to be dressed in at her funeral, there was a new, fitted navy jacket hanging on her closet door, as if waiting for me.
She was my mother's sister, the last of the six siblings, 85 years old.
She was born in Atlantic City, moving to Florida when she married and lived there about half her life, returning back north after her husband died. They had no children but is survived by a good number of loving nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and a great-great nephew.

So, I raise my glass to you Aunt Grace!

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

May the Angels lead her into Paradise. 
May the Martyrs receive her at her coming 
and take her to Jerusalem, the Holy City. 
May the Choirs of the Angels receive her, 
and may she, with the once poor Lazarus, 
have rest everlasting. Amen.  

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. So sorry to hear about your aunt. Here's to a life well lived!

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your beloved aunt. I'm sure she would have loved it.

  3. ..and she would have like a wee Drambuie too.

  4. I love Drambuie -- and I of course have heard of and drunk Irish Mist! Silly girl. I'm more inclined toward the Scotch.

    Your aunt sounds like a strong woman. I hope she's found some peace and her loving family will continue to raise a wee dram to her memory from time to time.

  5. So sorry to hear about the passing of your Aunt. It does sound like she was ready to begin the next stage of her journey.

  6. Condolences to you and your family on the passing of your aunt. R.I.P.

    As for Drambuie, I will have to pass. I had too many Rusty Nails one night -- 13 years ago -- and can still feel the rusty nail pounded through my skull.

  7. Awww, Caite, I am so sorry to hear your Aunt Grace passed away but now she is at peace. There's nothing comforting I can say - just know I am keeping you in my thoughts.

  8. Your aunt sounds like a wonderful and organized person. Cheers to her!

    I love Ginger beer but never knew you could combine it with Drambuie.

  9. I never had ginger beer until recently. it is rather hard to find here.

  10. Oh, I love this...ginger beer always tempts me!

  11. This was such a kind, loving tribute to your aunt. Wonderful posting. I have a cousin who grew up in a bar, but both his parents were alcoholics, so the bar had no charms for him, and he doesn't drink to this day.
    I love the sound of your cocktail but I just can't take whisky. I want to like it 'cause I love the whole Scotch thing, but I just don't. I'm more a cosmo girl. :<O

  12. A beautiful tribute to your Aunt, I am sorry for your loss.

    Likewise, we lost my Grandfather's sister earlier in the year. The last of her generation. Whilst their passing is of course sad, we must rejoice in their life and the contribution that they made to ours. For we are, I am certain,all the better for their love,support and guidance.

  13. yes bandit prefers anything on the rocks.
    yes aunt grace prob would have liked totry this drink!
    I like you're weekend cooking icon ;)

  14. What a beautiful tribute to your aunt. I'm glad you were able to enjoy a nice new drink to toast her life.


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