This week, Michael makes his three-peat appearance on Gin and Beer It to discuss the classic cocktail: the martini. We discuss the best martinis we’ve ever had, our perfect recipes, and the interesting history of James Bond’s favorite tipple.
If you live in London, you are probably aware that our lockdown restrictions on going to restaurants and bars are finally being relaxed this Saturday, July 4th. Now that being able to have some sense of normality is in reach, I’ve finally started to day dream again about all the bars and restaurants I want to go to pretty much the second it is allowed. In keeping with the negroni theme this week, I’ve whipped together a list of negronis around London that I cannot wait to try! So… in no particular order…
The Coral Room, Great Russell Street
This one caught my interest for two reasons. 1.) They apparently use my favourite vermouth which is Cocchi Torino and 2.) They brand their ice cubes with the bar name! Very eye-catching.
Bar Termini, Old Compton Street
This Soho spot is described as a tribute to authentic Italian bar culture and offers four different types of negronis. Sign me up.
Frank’s Cafe, Peckham
I’ve actually been to Frank’s before, but it was pouring rain so we just popped up to the rooftop quickly to see the stunning views of the skyline. Apparently, these negronis are only £7, which paired with the views of the London skyline is an absolute bargain.
Duck & Waffle, Bishopsgate
I am definitely no stranger to Duck & Waffle, but because every visit I’ve made has been for a post-drinks sunrise breakfast, I can’t say I’ve tried their negronis! D&W serves a ‘Ristretto Negroni’ where they slow drip the drink through coffee beans for 24 hours before serving. Actually, this sounds like it would be great at a post-drinks sunrise breakfast!
Mele e Pere, Soho
This bar supposedly has the largest collection of vermouth in London (!!!) and their house negroni blends three different vermouths with the standard campari and gin. As a budding vermouth enthusiast, I MUST give this a try.
Have you been to any of these spots, or are you planning to go when they are open? Leave a comment below with your suggestions!
Sources of Inspiration:
Welcome to the first episode of the new Gin and Beer It! To kick things off, Meg talks about one of her favorite drinks of all time: the Negroni. Topics include the history, fun variations, and Megan’s personal perfect Negroni.
I am so incredibly excited to announce the new and (hopefully!) improved Gin and Beer It podcast. In 2018, I started Gin and Beer It as a way of documenting my experiences of moving to London as an American and all of the people I have met, places I have traveled to, and experiences I have had. Over the past 18 months I have covered every topic from dating to buying a flat in London to where to travel in Europe – and it has been a blast. The one challenge I have always had with Gin and Beer It is a consistent theme that ties all of the episodes together and makes listeners want to come back for more. Finally, a few weeks ago I was sitting in my living room listening to a vinyl record and drinking cocktails (who have I become??) and it dawned on me. DRINKING is my common denominator! So, from this point onward, Gin and Beer It will be like the ‘Desert Island Discs of Drinking.’ Each week, I will invite a guest (sometimes just myself – I drink a lot) to discuss a drink that means something to them. The drink can be anything from a cocktail, to a beer, to wine, to a non-alcoholic beverage. We will talk about how to make the drink, the history, why it is important to the guest, and fun variations that you can make. Full disclosure: I am no expert! I have never been a bartender, nor have I have ever even worked in the service industry. I do, however, have nearly a decade of making memories with friends and families around a nice glass of wine or a well made cocktail. My goal is for us to bond over the shared experience of drinking, share stories, experience different cultures, and ultimately to make being a drink enthusiast accessible to all of my listeners. Below is the trailer for the new episode. Please like, share, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts! The first episode is going live this Sunday, June 28th, and I can’t wait to have you along for the ride!
- Wear makeup on the weekends
- Get dressed before 5pm
- Put on perfume
- Have themed nights
- Order food and drinks from restaurants
- Sit in the park and people watch (at a social distance)
- Paint my toenails
- Go for long runs
- Complain about my job
- Find ways to laugh
- Buy take away pints from pubs
- Eat at the dinner table and not on my couch
- Daydream and look forward to the future
- Sit and feel the sun on my face
- Allow myself to feel sad when I feel sad and angry when I feel angry
- Celebrate my successes and those of my friends and family
This week, Meg hypothesizes how the characters from some of our favorite shows (Friends, Gavin and Stacey, The Office, and more) would be dealing with coronavirus if they were living it! She then rounds the week out with her Netflix binge suggestions.
I feel a certain degree of guilt constantly writing about coronavirus. We are all living it and watching it excessively on the news, so I’m guessing the last thing anyone wants to do is travel to the Gin and Beer It corner of the internet and inundate their brains with even more ‘corona content.’
However, being the host of a ‘lifestyle’ podcast and blog (I still haven’t decide if that term is too wanky for me or not), at some point I have to face the reality that this is currently life for all of us. For me personally, dwelling on the past that once was makes me feel sad, and the future feels far too uncertain. So – I’m left with now. The present. This super fucking bizarre ‘unprecedented’ time that has resulted in me having absolutely bonkers dreams because my brain has seemingly decided that reality is currently too strange for my normal suite of dreams.
Recently, I have started coming up with creative ways to take the things that I used to love doing outside of my home, and was looking forward to this year before they were all cancelled, and bring them home. Two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I had a fancy afternoon tea. We dressed up in our Royal Ascot garb (my boyfriend kept his top hat on just long enough for me to get it on Insta) and had a proper English afternoon tea with scones, finger sandwiches, and Victoria sponge cake. Cute? Yes. Delightful? Yes. Completely over the top? Absolutely. As cringe as it might have been to some people, and as sad as it might sound, I looked forward to that afternoon tea for an entire week. It gave me something to aspire to, and in the process I learned how to make homemade scones. Last weekend, we hosted a household luau. I ordered us cheap leis off Amazon and we had a Hawaiian themed barbecue, completely with Hawaiian macaroni salad and Mai Tais. It was a particularly hot day in London, and it felt quite exotic to play luau music and sip from a tiki mug.
This might all sound horrible to you, and I get it. At the core of all of my cringe-y quarantine theme days, I’m just looking for escapism. I’m looking for anything that might make me forget, even briefly, that we are in this situation. So, if you are struggling with lockdown as I know so many of us are, I strongly recommend finding your own way to escape. If you love football, in the U.K. we can now exercise outside as much as we want. Go play! If you miss going out with the girls, have a Zoom disco where you all get dressed up, drink yourselves silly, and dance to the same tunes. I promise you, it only feels silly for the first 30 seconds, and then it actually just feels really nice and fun.
Have you found creative ways to pass the time at home? Please comment below to share, especially if you have ideas for how I can embarrass my boyfriend further!
Can you believe it has been 15 years since Fall Out Boy released one of the greatest pop punk albums of all time, From Under the Cork Tree? Meg certainly can’t – so this week’s episode of Gin and Beer It is all about the nostalgia, history, and ranking each track of this groundbreaking record.
“My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. She filled our house with love and fun and books and music, unflagging in her efforts to give me role models from Jane Austen to Eudora Welty to Patti Smith. As she guided me through these incredible eighteen years, I don’t know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her.”-Gilmore Girls
I’ve always been a momma’s girl.
Since I was a little girl, I have worshipped my mom. My mother is a nurse, a cancer survivor, a mother of three, a style icon through the decades, my best friend and my biggest supporter. She managed to pivot her career as a nurse into a career as a leader in healthcare supply chain consulting, but she can also sew a children’s Halloween costume at a moment’s notice and make a gourmet meal from cupboard scraps. With my mom around I always feel safe and as though no matter how uncertain things can feel, everything will be okay. I think many people would say their parents make them feel safe, but anyone who has ever met my mom would say there is something special about her. In the most trying of times, especially now throughout the coronavirus crisis, she has a way of bringing comfort and reason to anyone who is in need.
I always knew my mother was a hero, but the gravity of my respect for my mom increased when I became the age she was when she had me. My mom was within days of her 24th birthday when she gave birth to me in August of 1994. She took her nursing final exams when she was 7 months pregnant with me, and walked the stage at graduation with me under her gown! As I hurdle towards the age of 26, admittedly still completely unsure of who I am or where my place is in this world, I can’t believe that at this age my mom was chasing around a two year old. To be honest, I can’t even fathom how my mom was working 12-16 hour days as a psychiatric nurse at the age of 26, let alone doing that and then coming home to a toddler. It is incredibly humbling whenever I feel overwhelmed by my own responsibilities to think about the fact that, as of right now, I only have to worry about myself. In my whole childhood, even when things must have been impossibly difficult, my mom never complained or made me feel like anything she did for me was her own sacrifice.
The crazy thing is that all of the sacrifices that my mom made, she made so that I wouldn’t have to. She worked endless shifts to pay off her student loans so that I wouldn’t have so many. She sacrificed her own time and sanity so that she would never miss a Girl Scout meeting or a volleyball game. She traveled non-stop for work so that our family could afford to see the world, a privilege that ultimately inspired me to move abroad. That must be the most heartbreaking irony of motherhood: the reward that my mom gets for doing such an incredible job is me moving halfway across the world to chase my dreams. Everything I do is to make my mom proud, but I know she’d be just as proud of me if I was back home and stopping by for dinner once a week.
My mom has set the bar for being a strong woman incredibly high. She can make a Thanksgiving dinner with twelve separate dishes and somehow they all manage to be served out of the oven and warm at the same time. If you have ever cooked for more than two people, you know this is sorcery. She can get the most stubborn of stains out of clothes. She somehow managed to raise me to never be afraid to tell her the truth, which meant I never felt like I had to lie. I don’t know when I’ll be a mom and I can’t imagine that I’ll ever be half that mom she is. But, whether it’s during the times of a pandemic crisis or personal heartbreak, I know that as long as my mom is around that I always have someone I can call crying and somehow hang up laughing.
There is absolutely no chance I will ever be able to repay or even thank my mom for everything that she has done and continues to do for me every single day, even from thousands of miles away. So for now, until I can figure it out, I will just tell my mom thank you, I love you, please live to be at least 102, and I can’t wait to see you soon.
Welcome to another week of ‘How I’m Staying Sane’ during quarantimes! This weeks topics cover The Last Dance and Afterlife on Netflix, doing Legos with your significant other, and the awesome courses available on Masterclass.