Cocktail Recipe: Sookie St. James

Sookie St. James is perhaps best described as Lorelai Gilmore’s accident-prone best friend and platonic life partner.

Gawd, I love her.

Played by Melissa McCarthy, she’s funny, beautiful, creative, and caring. She also happens to be fat. But you know what’s really cool about Gilmore Girls? No one ever mentions that Sookie is fat. It’s never a plot point that she can’t get a man because she isn’t skinny. She’s not depressed. There’s never a Very Special Episode where she comes to terms with how fat she is and tries to loose weight. She never goes on a binge diet or is seen making herself exercise to make up for whatever she ate that day. She’s just awesome. Not “she would be so pretty if she just lost some weight” awesome. Just awesome. Period.

I fell in love with Melissa McCarthy in the role as Sookie because she’s just so charming and real, but also because it’s so rare to see a woman her size being the love interest on a show, accepted and loved for Who She Is and not What She Should Be.  I wish I could say I’ve brought myself to watch more of her work since then, but I just haven’t been able to. The Chris Farley-esque body comedy where her fatness is her punchline makes me feel all wounded. Maybe it’s a good sign that women can have body comedy, too… I just wish a talented fat actress could get noticed for something else. I know that she’s at least partially responsible for some of these characters (she wrote and produced her latest film, Tammy), so I suppose she’s comfortable with the roles she chooses. I just wonder what the chances are that she’d get a movie funded where she wasn’t having the play a variation of the same bumbling fatso?

ANYWAY. Back to Sookie.

Sookie is a talented chef, and much of her screen time involves her in/around the kitchen. She’s constantly experimenting with different dishes and ingredients, often allowing her imagination to get the best of her as she prepares incredibly elaborate meals (ahem, not that I can relate or anything). I wanted her drink to be creative and decadent; a little cocktail she would enjoy as a fellow foodie.

 

 

MMmm, sauce bath. Images found here.

 

So, in her honor, I present to you:

Sookie St. James

You’ll Need:

Sookie St. James: A Gilmore Girls Inspired Sara Galactica Cocktail Original {pictured: cream, honey, vodka, apricot liqueur}

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actualCocktail Recipe: Sookie St. James

Cocktail recipe: Audrey Horne.

This drink is so simple I hesitate to even call this a recipe. That sounds so formal. Like there are steps and measurements and a planned outcome when you start. This drink was unplanned. It happened on a whim when I remembered those cherries I bought at the farm stand, the rye whiskey tucked up on top of the refrigerator where I’m staying, and the honey bear on the counter. It all became so clear. These things were made for each other, I just needed to introduce them. I knew they’d take it from there.

I didn’t even get around to taking a final glamour shot of this drink. I got as far as the muddle:

IMG_5963

View this and other photos on my Instagram feed, @saragalactica.

It occurred to me after making this cocktail that I didn’t have any particular story inspiration in mind when I began. This happens sometimes. I don’t always set-out to make a drink based on a character or place. Sometimes it just happens after the fact, and sometimes I just make a damn drink because I want to. This one, however, was in need of a name. I mean, look at it! So I started to think about the sexy, more-complex-than-they-seem characters in my story repertoire, and…

Enter Audrey Horne:

Image via https://vintagethreadspeckham.wordpress.com/tag/audrey-horne/

She’s that sexy weirdo on Twin Peaks that, if you’re anything like me, you started out kinda hating and then ended up feeling oddly protective over. And we all remember the cherry stem scene, right?

Audrey Horne makes her case.

This drink is a sexy weirdo just like Audrey, one you’ll definitely feel a little protective over once you have a taste.

 

How to make it:

Grab 5-6 gorgeous, sweet red cherries. Remove the stems and toss ‘em into your glass. Drizzle about a tablespoon of honey over top. Muddle the cherries and honey until the fruit is broken down a bit, and the juices from the cherries have dissolved the honey. Don’t worry about the pits, darlin’. You’ll drink right around ‘em.

IMG_5955

Honey + cherries.

Top it all off with an ounce or two of rye whiskey. Bulleit is my standard at home, but you grab what you like, sugar. Pour it on in, add some ice, and stir until just combined. Sit. Drink. Swoon.

 

 

Yes, Audrey. It really is.

 

Actual out.

 

 

 

actualCocktail recipe: Audrey Horne.

Stories, Scotsmen, and Starting.

I’ve been thinking a lot about stories these days. I’ve always been addicted to them, though until recently I don’t think I would’ve ever described it as that. But I am, you see, so addicted to stories.

I suppose it started somewhere around the age of three that it really set in (or maybe  it’s just the earliest memory I have). I loved to watch the same movies over and over (and over) again. I know that’s not particularly unique, but that desire never really went away. When Piggy and Kermit parted in Muppets Take Manhattan? I cried. Every. Single. Time. I remember my mom being on the phone, long cord forming curlicues to the floor, laughing at me because I was in tears again. I still can’t hear “Saying Goodbye” without tearing up, y’all.*

And yeah, I guess I assume most people probably grow out of that? I just haven’t figured it out. Sure, I eventually pick up new stories; it just takes me a bit longer than is maybe normal. I’m still driving my mom crazy: Yes, I’m on my third run-through of the West Wing and I watched it for the first time less than a year ago. Stop judging me!

I’ve been knee-deep reading stories these days, too. Well, one story/series in particular. Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s called the Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon. She’s been writing these books since the early 90s (the first novel was published in 1991), but I’ve just recently come down with the Outlander bug. It took me almost a year to give the first book a shot by the time I had it in my hands, but late this last year I picked it back up again, and while I was reading I turned some invisible story-corner that hurtled me into READ ALL OF THE OUTLANDER territory. If you’ve read the series, you probably know what I’m talking about. If not, I can only hope you give it a shot. It pretty much has everything you need: Strong female lead, historical fiction, romance (which normally makes shudder, but not this one), sci-fi elements, and a ton of action and suspense… And I’m not even mentioning all the sex and kilts and violence and magic and medicine.

So a couple of my newest homegirls, Ginny and Jess, and I traveled down toward Seattle for an author event & book signing with Diana Gabaldon. We and about 800 other nerds sidled into the commons in a building that lost its air conditioning earlier that day (on the hottest day so far this year, of course) to hear Gabaldon speak, and also settle once-and-for-all how to say her last name. She was funny, slightly bawdy, and as whip-smart as you might expect a woman who weaves history and fiction together so beautifully.

It was thrilling to hear her talk about how she became a novelist (secretly, to see if she could), and to listen to the powerful reminder that it’s never to late to try something new. She was about to turn 35 when she decided she’d try her hand at writing a novel. She was no old maid by any means, but bold to recognize what she wanted and not see her already established life as a roadblock. I can’t tell you how often I hear women my age talk about what they would do if they could start over, if they didn’t already have a family, a job, the bills, etc… Diana’s story was a great reminder that you don’t necessarily have to intend to start over. You just have to start.

Who got to stand quietly next to Diana Gabaldon? This girl right here!

Who got to stand quietly next to Diana Gabaldon? This girl right here!

Outlander is about to become a television show on Starz, with Ronald Moore (of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Carnivale fame) at the helm (I swear I’m not getting paid for any of this Outlander talk right now– I’m just THAT excited). A show or movie will never be the same as a book, and for that I’m grateful. It means a new interpretation of a story I’m in love with, a chance for me to get acquainted anew with the characters I’ve spent so much time with, and an opportunity to feast my eyes (and not just my brain-eyes) on what’s sure to be an incredibly beautiful setting.

Outlander will premiere online on August 2nd, and I’ll be working on a cocktail for you to drink while you’re watching. Outlander fans: What would you choose as inspiration for the first episode of the series? I just might take you up on your suggestions!

 

*Yep, even right then. Good lord.

 

actualStories, Scotsmen, and Starting.

“I will burn the heart out of you.”

Things have been a little quiet here on the blog while I cocktail behind-the-scenes. I’m getting ready for another Study in Drink event at The Temple Bar this Sunday, this time featuring the episode “The Great Game.” Now, if you haven’t seen this episode, then I suggest going to watch it before continuing this post because there are tiny spoilers ahead:

 

 

 

 

The Sherlock cocktails I’ve made so far have included A Study in Pink, The Watson, The Cipher, and Contraband (a.k.a. Jade Treasure). I’ll share those recipes soon, but I am SO EXCITED right now because I have been wanting to create a Moriarty drink but had to wait until we OFFICIALLY meet him in the Season 1 finale.

And THE TIME IS FINALLY HERE.

I’m not going to share what’s in this drink YET because I don’t want to give any secrets away, but I will share that it will feature Irish whiskey in honor of Andrew Scott, because DUH:

 

Stay tuned, sweeties. The recipes will be coming soon!

Actual Out. 

Animated gifs found here.

actual“I will burn the heart out of you.”

Sara Galactica Presents: A Study in Drink

A Sherlock-inspired cocktail demo series at The Temple Bar!

Each event includes two cocktail demo, two tasty themed cocktail samples, Sherlock BINGO/or other fun activity, and a complimentary screening of an episode of the BBC’s Sherlock:

  • Sunday, June 8 at 8pm: The Blind Banker
  • Sunday, June 29 at 8pm: The Great Game

$10, ages 21+

Select a date below to purchase tickets now!

actualSara Galactica Presents: A Study in Drink

The Lady Mary Crawley.

Today I’m sharing a drink that I made for the first time a little over two years ago. I was on a Downton Abbey kick (who hasn’t been there?) and was feeling compelled to make drinks inspired by the dramatic characters of the show. Lady Mary was one of the first inspirations in this series of concoctions because, truth be told, I really sorta love her. Yes: Even the bitchy, cold, viper-like Mary who makes poor decisions and pouts over them. Maybe she’s a fellow Scorpio? I digress.

I made this drink on a whim, took a photo of it on instagram… And then never made it again, as is the case with most of the Downton cocktails I was devising on weekly basis.

The first The Lady Mary (or Lady Mary 1.0, made in December 2012) was sweet English tea, vodka, homemade rose liqueur, and bubbles:

The Lady Mary Cocktail, A Sara Galactica Original {photo by saragalactica on instagram}

It was pretty delicious. I almost thought to make that same drink again for this blog, but it’s the wrong season for roses here, and I’d be doing you a serious disservice if I didn’t explain how to make that rose liqueur. Can you buy rose liqueur at a liquor store? Sure, sometimes you can find it. But it’s a little harder to locate, and I’ve honestly never owned a bottle of it!

So I got to thinking about a Lady Mary 2.0. Without getting too spoilery, the cocktail above captured Mary in her rosier state of mind, but that’s not particularly suitable for the Mary Crawley you might recognize if you’ve been keeping up with the show. The more recent Mary is decidedly moodier… And I love me some moody characters.

You might notice I’m using tea again in this cocktail. I think tea is a woefully underused cocktail ingredient– it’s got a hint of bitterness, is kinda earthy, and can bring lovely flavors to the party if you know how to use it.

 

The Lady Mary, A Sara Galactica cocktail original.

Photos by Andrea Holodnick

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actualThe Lady Mary Crawley.

Recipe: Lilac Syrup

I’m working on a lot of cocktails behind-the-scenes right now. They’re mostly Sherlock-related because, well, this is coming up: SHERLOCK-GALACTICA_TEMPLEBAR_HANDBILLWhile I’ve been concocting new recipes, the seasons have changed, and our garden is exploding with beautiful lilac flowers. I did a little research and learned that lilacs are edible (something I’m sad to admit I didn’t know before) and that you can make awesome shit with them, such as lilac syrup. I didn’t have my bad ass sister, Andrea, here to take photos this time, so this recipe is a little image-scant. However, this is the sorta thing anyone who can pick flowers and simmer water can do. I promise.

Lilac syrup, saragalactica.com

Lilac Syrup

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • A shit-ton of lilac florets, carefully removed from their stems (as much as possible without removing the base of the flower). How much is a shit-ton, you ask? I didn’t actually measure, but I would imagine I was using anywhere between 6-8 cups of lilac flowers. Give the stems a few good shakes and inspect them for bugs before pulling the flowers off for the syrup.

Lilac syrup, saragalactica.com   1. Combine sugar and water. Cook over medium-low heat until sugar is completely dissolved, and the mixture is just about to come to a boil. 2. Pour hot simple syrup over lilac florets. Stir. 3. Cover with plastic wrap or other lid and let sit overnight, stirring occasionally before you go to bed. 4. Strain. I used a mesh strainer with no problems. If you don’t want any plant sediment, line a strainer with cheesecloth first. 5. Store in clean bottles/jars in the refrigerator.

Lilac syrup, saragalactica.com Those soggy lilac florets? Make sure you drain every last drop of the syrup you can into those jars o’ magic.

Then: You can spread them out on a wax or parchment paper lined sheet pan and allow to dry overnight. Toss with a little extra sugar and, voila! Candied lilacs. I used brown sugar because I forgot I used all of my white sugar for my syrup! The brown works nicely, though:

Candied lilacs, saragalactica.com

actualRecipe: Lilac Syrup

Greetings, humans.

I skipped blogging last week to get things in order at work before leaving for Hawaii. There were a number of long days to get everything sorted, but y’all: I’m here.

Aloha

Even though last week was busy, it was full of lots of great accomplishments. I’ll share more on some of those later, but I’ve had one thing up my sleeve that I’ve been DYING to tell you all about… And now I can! Here it is:

Sara Galactica Presents…

A Study in Drink

A Sherlock-inspired cocktail series at the Temple Bar in Bellingham, WA!

The Temple Bar hosts this exclusive cocktail demo series, including free screenings of the TV series, Sherlock.

  • When: Sunday, May 18th at 8pm
  • Where: The Temple Bar, 306 W. Champion St.
  • What: Cocktail demo, two tasty themed cocktail samples, complimentary screening of BBC Sherlock’s “A Study in Pink,” and Sherlock BINGO!
  • How much: $10, tickets available for purchase at The Temple Bar (space is limited). Additional drinks and snacks available for purchase at the event.

Visit the Temple Bar to grab your ticket– space is limited, and this event is going to be so. Much. Fun.

actualGreetings, humans.

Firefly-Inspired Cocktail Recipe: The Hero of Canton

As I mentioned before, the first themed party I ever threw was a Firefly viewing party for my friends. I made a series of cocktails inspired by the show and coupled them with episodes. I was so excited!

And then I got everyone really drunk on accident.

I didn’t mean to, exactly. I wanted everyone to have a good time, but after the fourth episode things were getting a little sloppy. It turns out I planned too many drinks! Too often! Who knew?

There are a few drinks, however, that people still remember from that party. One is a Kaylee-inspired cocktail that is sure to surface here at some point. The other is the one I’m sharing with you today.

I made a few adjustments to the recipe to make it easier and less expensive to make, but it’s just as tasty as the original. It’s not a complicated drink, but neither is its namesake: Jane Cobb. It’s straightforward and delicious, and it’s not going to take crap from anyone! Just the way Jayne would like it.

Let’s get to the recipe so you can make one of these tasty drinks and drink:

animated .gif from http://stonelykos.tumblr.com/post/76802988637

Sara Galactica Original Cocktail Recipe: The Hero of Canton

Photos by Andrea Holodnick

Ingredients

Firefly-Inspired cocktail, "The Hero of Canton" ingredients

 

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actualFirefly-Inspired Cocktail Recipe: The Hero of Canton

“We gotta go to the crappy town where I’m a hero!”

Grab a bottle of bourbon and make a batch of ginger syrup, because my upcoming Firefly-themed cocktail is so tasty you’re going to need to get it in your life almost immediately. Trust me: It ain’t no shiong mao niao!

In the meantime, check out Mental Floss’ “23 Fun Facts About Firefly” to get in the spirit of the show.

Oh, and who’s the inspiration behind the upcoming drink? Let’s just say that our love for him now ain’t hard to explain!

actual“We gotta go to the crappy town where I’m a hero!”