After we piled the insane amount of things we brought across oceans into our absolument tiny Fiat Canc Cent (yes, people of Cannes, we too travel in a Yacht, a Fi-Yacht), our very first stop in France was one of those crazy-Euro-mall compounds that sells absolutely everything. Though these stores are sort of nightmarish and not at all the authentic-ancient-crumbling-stucco-boulangerie feel you hope for in France, they also have everything you need in one place (excellent if you require camp stove gas AND saussicon) and boast 500 foot long aisles of nothing but rosé.
Our first shopping list was this: camp stove gas, corkscrew, sausage, cheese, bread, peaches, a strange spicy watercress, water, wine, and 4 small tin mugs for morning coffees and sodas de route. Armed with our tin cups, the corkscrew, and my trusty opinel, we proceeded to picnic our way across the countryside, spreading the tie-dyed towels Rav had sent us in a gay ladies care package to precede her arrival, breaking out the bread and covering absolutely everything in a fine scrim of baguette crumbs and sausage ends. Slanted sunset mugs in the backseat full of champagne and an antire wooden plateau of honeyed peaches in les Hautes Alpes, brimming with funky cider at 10 am, the perfect breakfast with the three cheeses in ascending pungencies (le goute!) purchased straight from the farmer in Erveden, dusky red wine with the hazelnut sausages of Dordogne, and all the beautiful baguettes we could stuff in our baguette holes. Nage tous le jours y Vive le pique-nique.
Carrie came over last night and we had what might be the last glasses of red wine of the season. Now, New York hasn’t exactly been cooperating with this season business- winter was a mere turkish delight’s worth of chill and March has come on like a liger, tricking the crocuses and then making them cry. My mourning for red wine and whiskey is almost more symbolic than anything else, a wish for the warmth I know/hope is coming. To that effect, I think maybe instead of looking back on the end of the season, I’ll look forward. To late sun and backyards and flowy striped dresses with bare legs. And for that I need to raise my glass with something fresh, light, champagney, and not too silly. Perfect timing for Meags sending me this early-spring-perfect concoction, the cherub’s cup. Added bonus: you can fix it in batches in a big pitcher, alleviating muddle fatigue, and allowing for that “breezy effortless hostess” thing that’s so very hard to capture. Oh this? Just whipped it up.
1/4 cup sliced strawberries + more for garnish
1/2 cup St. Germain
1 cup Hendrick’s gin
1/3 cup lemon juice (this is NOT exact, so you can adjust)
~1.5 bottles dry sparkling wine (enough to fill your pitcher 3/4 of the way)
:: Muddle your strawberries with a bit of the St. Germain (it’s easier to muddle if you’re working with a small volume)
:: Pour the muddled berries and all the hard alcohol into a large pitcher. Stir in the lemon juice and the sparkling wine and taste to make sure you like the proportions. You can make a bit more of the St. Germain + gin mix and add it in if you like. Add additional sliced berries to the top for a pretty finish, or slice a slice on the diagonal and perch it on the rim of the champagne flute.
:: Put on pink lipstick, something cottony, maybe a silk scarf, and tiptoe through the tulips.
It should get to 55 today, let’s cross our fingers and our legs at the ankle and pray for 60. Happy weekend.
Cherub’s Cup Recipe/image from new fave (and serious sister-in-cocktails) Heart of Light.