It seems that word of my newfound affection for gin has gotten out. The reasonable thing to do was obvious–have a cocktail party. Thinking that a happy hour would be nice and that we’d still have time to watch another episode of Downton Abbey before bed, we invited several of our friends over around 5 o ‘clock, bar stocked and ready, mixers on hand, and cucumbers rolled up and skewered, awaiting their favorite gin.
It wasn’t until I was setting out the Beefeater, Hendrick’s, Old Tom, Makers Mark, Bacardi, etc. that I realized that I had invited a crowd of seminarians and soon-to-be or currently-ordained guests over for a cocktail party in the middle of Lent (gasp!). Apparently our friends don’t abstain from alcohol during Lent, or maybe it was just the fact that our party was on a Sunday–a mini Easter–that everyone was willing to imbibe. I’ll chock it up to the latter for the sake of preserving everyone’s pious reputations.
Whatever our respective Lenten disciplines (I was going to make a dessert every day during Lent, but it hasn’t worked out, so I just gave up dieting and called it good), it did not prevent us from enjoying each other’s company, along with a few drinks, including some new concoctions. The Pink Preppytini was a big hit, as was the Old Tom with a twist of orange, on ice. Owing to my apparent reputation as a gin affectionado, two of my friends brought over a French gin, G’Vine Nouaison, that was an interesting new find. Apparently it’s made with berries from the “fecundated vine flower” (I know, I blushed, too), and it has an aromatic and botanical nose, much like the Hendrick’s, but with a more citrusy, juniper scent. We mixed it with grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and grenadine (which I made, myself) for a crisp, juicy martini.
I was in good company in my green, silk, cocktail dress, which had been in the back of the closet so long I was worried it might not fit anymore. Nearly everyone donned their happy hour best, and my friend Robert even had on a full suit. We did honor to our cocktail attire, whooping it up long enough that our cocktail party turned into a pizza party and we ordered several pies for delivery. Had I not offered to make a round of martinis for Beth and Emilie after everyone else headed home, I probably could have watched an episode of Downton Abbey, but instead we sipped our drinks and made chit chat well past midnight. All in all the night was a great success and lot of fun, and I got to start out the week with a clean house (one of my greatest, simple pleasures). A gin tasting party has been tentatively scheduled for later in the month. More news on that to follow.