Indigo Tries Bailey's Irish Cream!

10 out of 10
When I was growing up, I learned about the past of my family. We can trace lines into Wales, Ireland and Italy, all from different grandparents. I believe that the Italian lines are what show the most in our family. I grew up with this focus on La Familia that follows me to this day. The Irish in me is most apparent though. My eyes are hazel, with green and brown. I have light brown hair that turns yellow with enough sunlight. But my skin really shows it off. I am very pale, usually the lightest color on every foundation palette (and believe me, I’ve tried a few). I also sprout freckles like trees sprout flowers in the spring. The contrast between me and my family is pretty clear. I am tall and bring in the Welsh and Irish roots of my grandmother. The rest of my siblings and cousins are short, with dark hair, blue eyes and they actually manage to tan once in awhile. Tanning is something I’ve dreamed about but never done. It’s probably not physically possible.
So when I started learning about different cultures, I heard the usual jokes. “You’re Irish, so you’re always drunk.” “You’re Italian, so you’re part of the mob.” “You’re Welsh so you…um, what do the Welsh do?” It was the Irish jokes that rang the most true for me. I was raised as part of a family that allowed drinking at younger ages. I have stories of young Indigo getting drunk on accident, and I have the best stories of young Indigo getting drunk on purpose.
Bailey’s Irish Cream is a particular brand of alcohol represents a lot to me. It’s a delicious drink that hides in coffee. It makes something that I enjoy even better. But it’s also covert. It’s sneaky. If I’m not careful, it will take over the whole drink. Instead of enjoying a coffee with a kick, I’ll be making coffee that is mostly Bailey’s. It’s okay to do that occasionally, but I don’t want to do it all the time.
My mother is a huge fan of Irish Coffee. We don’t often eat out as a family. It’s even less often that the restaurant has Irish Coffee as an option. But when the stars align and we decide to have a post-dinner drink, my mother will always order an Irish Coffee. This drink is also common in my sister’s house, where I enjoy weekly visits rights now. Though there isn’t a lot of hard liquor there, she always has Bailey’s on hand. Because of these, I really associate Bailey’s Irish cream with the reliability of family. Sometimes that means it’s more like a pest, when you only have Bailey’s but you really wanted some Godiva liquor.
Now, Irish coffee also includes Jameson. And we know that our friend Jamie leads me to my best worst best decisions. And I think that only makes Irish Coffee even more appropriate for family. Family is such a rocky subject for me, and having something as untrustworthy as Jameson being paired so beautifully with Bailey’s is a perfect metaphor for my interactions with my family. And this is why I don’t drink Irish Coffee by myself. When I look into the glass, and I watch the cream swirl, I can’t help but remember the struggles and the bad times. But when I drink with the people who can pull me out of my cup and into the fun world, an Irish Coffee can ground me in my roots.
I’m not an alcoholic, but I am Irish in a lot of ways. The roots are subtle, and they’ve been overshadowed by a big Italian tree. But they still run through my blood and into my life. I wouldn’t give them up any more than I would remove Jameson from a good Irish Coffee.
Indigo’s Best Recipe for an Irish Coffee

  • 1 shot of Jameson Whiskey (no other brand will do)
  • Coffee, already brewed, and preferably still hot (cold brew is not great for this)
  • Bailey’s (to taste)

Brew the coffee and grab a mug. Pour the coffee into your mug leaving a lot of room for cream and sugar. Sugar the coffee almost to taste (you want it slightly less sweet to accent the other flavors). Do the shot of Jameson. Pour another. Put THAT shot in the coffee. Why? Because something can kick in while the coffee cools enough to drink. Lastly, add the Bailey’s until it reaches the desired color. You can top with whipped cream too, if you’re like me. Otherwise, enjoy as it is!
Additional Idea! For an Iced Irish Coffee, make some coffee the day before and pour into an ice cube tray. Use those ice cubes to cool off your coffee!
Additional Additional Idea! You can also just sip Bailey’s with some coffee ice cubes. Bailey’s on the rocks is a delicious and refreshing dessert drink!
 

Indigo Tries the Love Martini!

10 out of 10
This drink is robbed directly from the menu of The Melting Pot, and I am not sorry about it, because they named it something as stupid as “The Love Martini.”
Earlier this year, my platonic life partner went to The Melting Pot with her coworkers and they had a great time. The group ordered this drink because the ingredients sounded delicious. (It involved Cranberry Juice and Peach Schnapps, which is a favorite combination in our house. Seriously, that drink tastes like a push pop.) Try it. This drink was developed specifically for the Valentine’s Day events at the Melting Pot, which probably explains that awful name. Being the group of beautiful humans that they are, my partner and her coworkers immediately befriended the waitress and the bartender in order to find out the exact recipe of the drink.
Since discovering the recipe, we have used this drink at every gathering of friends, and even taken it camping. This particular drink has has been my companion around many firesides this summer. I love sitting with it in hand, blissfully tipsy and watching the conversation go by.
What I love about this drink is that it seems to be as versatile as any cocktail can get. I can easily drink many glasses of this and be roaring drunk. Or I could sip on this with a few friends around a board game and enjoy a mellow tipsy time. It allows a lot of room for modifiers. You could add grenadine for more sweetness or orange juice for more tartness. You could muddle mint and change it into a mojito.
For me, alcoholic beverages are a staple for group gatherings. My friends and I can get together without drinking and have an excellent time, but it’s companionable to crack open a few beers (or pour a few cocktails) and chat. The alcohol relaxes those of us who are anxious, and it loosens the conversation to explore new things.
The Love Martini is a perfect drink to walk these lines. It can be drunk by many people because it’s gluten-free (unlike beer) and it’s tasty. So if you don’t enjoy tasting the alcohol in your alcohol, you can still enjoy this drink. It’s fruity, so many people like the taste of it, but cranberry juice isn’t so sweet that it’s overwhelming. As I pointed out before, you can add any number of ingredients to modify it to your liking. Even simple syrup to make it more sweet is easy.
Now before I finish up, I want to talk about this name. The Love Martini is a trash name for this drink. I think it sounds childish, and I don’t even know if I could say it out loud to order it. I would just point at the menu and say “that one please…the love one.” It makes me think of Harry Potter, but in the way that the Love Potions in Harry Potter only emulated love, not created actual love. That’s how I feel about this drink when I call it The Love Martini: I don’t love it. I just think I do.
Now, I would love to actually fall in love with this drink. To that end, let me help them rename it. Here are a few options :

  • St. Valentine’s Blood
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Valentine’s Juice
  • Berry ‘Em in Romance
  • The COCKtail (for after hours)

Or my personal favorite:

  • The Heartini

So this cocktail has quickly become a new favorite both in my household and in the groups I camp and socialize with. We will continue to enjoy this drink, and I hope you enjoy the recipe I place below for The Heartini (Melting Pot, I will happily take a payout so you can use that name).
The Heartini

  • 1 part coconut rum
  • 1 part peach schnapps
  • 4 parts of Cranberry Juice

Mix all ingredients over ice, or in cocktail shaker. Enjoy!
Variations:
The Love Mintini (I’m okay with it because it’s a pun now): Muddle a few sprigs of mint in the glass before adding liquids.
Orange You Glad I Heart You: Exchange two parts of cranberry juice for orange juice.
The Secret Admirer: Add a small splash of Grenadine.

Indigo Tries Eggnog and Rum!

8 out of 10
So it’s holiday season! And under normal circumstances, we would barf at the idea of putting an egg in our alcohol (unless it’s a gin fizz, then it’s classy and nuanced). However, once Christmas rolls around, we start popping eggs and cream into every glass of bourbon. Because its ChRiStMaS!!!
Now I want to make one thing really clear: I don’t like Christmas. I enjoy seeing family, and getting out of classes. However, I definitely don’t like giving gifts. I don’t enjoy receiving gifts on a specific day. I hate most Christmas music, and I just don’t like it Sam I Am. Peppermint is suddenly in every piece of chocolate. All of a sudden, everyone wants my cider and hot chocolate with fucking rum in it because Christmas drinks.
But there’s one part of Christmas I truly appreciate: Eggnog.

A glass of eggnog with nutmeg sits on a wooden table. There is the bottom of a small tree behind it, with two hedgehog ornaments and a star wars stormtrooper ornament.
I can’t imagine a more perfect setting and more perfect drink unless it includes a fireplace. The setting, not the drink.

I first tasted this drink as a child and I drank way more than was healthy. But it was creamy and sugary and delicious, so I wasn’t afraid. I insisted on buying one small carton of eggnog every year since. No one else in my family really enjoyed it, but they watched as I would buy one, and then drink it over the course of a week. Sometimes, it worked out that I had my last drink on Christmas Eve. Sometimes, it didn’t take that long to finish the carton.
When I first turned 19, I had been drinking for at least 5 years (because I am a hick and garbage). I tasted fum for the first time at a friend’s house. The night involved tequila, rum and Everclear. It was a good time, but I took that first sip of rum and was in heaven. I immediately knew that I had found my life partner. My one true love: Spiced Rum. So of course, I brought it home to meet the eggnog. It was truly amazing.
So what does drinking Rum and Eggnog feel like? Well, if you have ever taken a cloud, thrown some nutmeg on it and swallowed it whole, I imagine it would be close. It’s somehow smooth and bouncy. Yet also sweet and delicious.
What does drinking Rum and Eggnog taste like? Well if you take a bit of sweet cream, add some whispers of spice, and then just the tiniest hint of warm, soft cat belly. I believe that it’s similar to the taste of ambrosia. That’s why most people can only have a bit of it. They aren’t gods.
But what prevents this drink from being a perfect 10 in my book? Well, the short answer is that it’s heavy. Now, to be quite clear: I am a very big fan of heavy drinks. Guinness is my favorite beer. Hot Chocolate universally needs more chocolate. I have very hearty and rich flavor palate. And yet, this drink should be enjoyed carefully. Eggnog is rich and heavy, even by my standards. I can have a glass, but then I need a break. My cow-wife can only have a shot’s worth of eggnog (which leaves no room for rum). And as I have discussed before, when I drink alcohol with too much sugar, I will have a wicked awful hangover.
As usual, one recipe for you:
Indigo’s Favorite Eggnog and Rum!

  • Eggnog (most brands are good, but locally made is best!)
  • Spiced Rum (I like Sailor Jerry, Kraken or Sugar Island, but the cheap stuff would do just as well.
  • Nutmeg (for garnish)

Pour one shot (1 ounce) of rum into a glass. Add in 3-4 ounces of eggnog. (I usually do three ounces myself, but I like alcohol a lot.) Give it a good stir. Sprinkle some nutmeg on top for garnish (JUST A PINCH OF NUTMEG). Enjoy!

Indigo Tries a Washington Apple!

10 out of 10.
Tastes great but also will get you hammered. If you like apple pie or whiskey, this drink is for you.
So a long long time ago, I liked to hang out with some back-woods folks. I use folks with that spelling on purpose. They are (to my knowledge) about as cis-het-normative as a group of people can be. They had that simple country way of life where their kids drank at 16 (with supervision) and they hosted parties because parties are fun. It reminds me of the type of country where you sit on the front porch and look at the stars just because there’s nothing else to do. With a dash of city liberalism, and removing the racism/sexism/general oppression of anyone “other”, this is the kind of living that I really adore.
These folks had one favorite drink: The Washington Apple. So despite being on the opposite coast from Washington, this drink was abundant, and it came in a lot of different forms. Anywhere from pitcher, to chaser, to shot. So when I was 16 myself, I went to this house and we got absolutely plastered on this drink. From this night, I remember being kissed on the cheek by a “good old boy” who I would refuse to talk to if I met today, pulling a girl naked from the shower she tried to take, and cuddling between a cute girl and a cute boy as they fell asleep. These times hold a lot of conflict for me now because I’m much more aware of society, but these happy memories are in my heart and I won’t let them go.
And they have nothing to do with the drink. Back to business, Indigo!!
So the true and proper Washington Apple that I know is in single cocktail form. It begins with one ounce of Crown Royal, one half-ounce of apple sour schnapps and roughly 4-5 ounces of apple juice. The resulting cocktail has a delicious apple taste, with a nice kick from the Crown Royal. I imagine that you could add Fireball and make sort of a Washington Apple Pie.
However, my favorite thing about the Washington Apple is that this drink can easily be made in bulk, as well as into shots. Just by changing the proportions, this drink can be made and enjoyed by many folks, or it can be a pleasant cocktail you order by yourself at a bar.
This drink is smooth and sweet. Some say that it’s too sweet, and I think that’s possible. If necessary, I could see cutting the apple juice with a bit of soda water (not tonic water). This would add acid from the carbon, and also dilute the apple juice thoroughly. If you regularly find that ciders are too sweet for you (jesus, I like apple things don’t I?).