A Magpie wrote in a few weeks ago:
“Tired of quickly ‘failing’ at the resolution game, my friend somewhat jokingly announced that she was opting for ‘achievable goals’ that year, lowering the bar dramatically. Her resolution that year was to “give gin another chance” — this coming many years after an unfortunate evening in college. We all hopped on her bandwagon, and ever since then, I have set an additional resolution always to have a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge. It paired well with that year’s theme of saying yes to joy, and it seemed light, fun, and optimistic.”
I loved both the imperative to afford ourselves grace when we need it (in this case, in the lowering of expectations) and the underlying prompt: “try again!”
I took the message literally this month and gave mezcal a second try. After years of insisting it tasted like bandaids (it always tasted rather plastic and antiseptic to me), a girlfriend at the dinner party I threw last weekend poured me a glass of high-quality mezcal — ice cold, on the rocks — and I’m happy to say that I am a changed woman. I enjoyed it that night and then shocked Mr. Magpie by ordering a mezcal sour the following evening, when we stole away for the night to Blue Rock Inn out in Washington, Virginia. We returned home and I begged him for another mezcal drink, which he begrudgingly fulfilled, as he has been insisting that I have been missing out on something major by fastidiously avoiding mezcal for years.
And so the obsession has begun.
I must share an absolutely delicious cocktail for those of you fellow mezcal skeptics. I don’t usually drink a cocktail before dinner, but this week demanded an accommodation. I think I mixed a batch of these up for happy hour three nights this past week. It is a delightful aperitif. Mr. Magpie and I have come to be enormous fans of the pre-dinner daiquiri (The Bomba, which I shared a few weeks ago, also qualifies and has also been heavy in the rotation in our home, particularly when we have guests over). There is something light and festive and anticipatory about them. The fact that most (all?) daiquiris foreground the tang of lime feels just-right for a pre-dinner palate cleanser — nothing heavy, or overly spiced. They drink like a kiss of citrus, and are usually gone too-fast. I am particularly partial to this one as it’s as easy as can be to whip up — no exotic ingredients or syrups, no muddling, no rimming of a glass, not even a garnish! Just shake and pour.
Phil Ward, 2007
2 ounces white rum (recommended: Barbancourt)
1/4 ounce mezcal (recommended: Del Maguey Vida)
3/4 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into a coupe. No garnish.
+Another fabulous cocktail. As you can tell, I’m a fruit-forward kind of cocktail gal.
+Recent thoughts on entertaining at home.
+Just revisited this post early into the pandemic on missing dinners out with friends. It is a nice reminder that he have come partway and some things are now doable again, from time to time.
+How do you balance new and old friendships?
+Chinti + Parker is running a ridiculous sale and they have many pieces that are 80% off — you can get these gorgeous alpaca sweater, this colorblocked beauty, and this pretty fair isle for under $100 apiece, and all three are originally nearly $500 each. Swoon!
+Into these wide-leg trousers. I can’t decide which color. Pink? Boden has been so good lately!!!
+Adore this simple initial necklace.
+I absolutely love this pearl-studded bucket bag.
+These side tables!
+A tidy set of hooks for your entryway/mud room/closet.
+Into the color of this Naghedi.
+Cutest Easter bag just launched at Pam Munson.