Saturday, August 3, 2013

Aunt Jean

This little ditty goes out to a special lady, my great-aunt Jean - who recently turned 89.

From my early memories of visiting her urbane and well-appointed condo with family at times, Aunt Jean knew how to live. She introduced me to exotic things like Orangina, and exuded culture, whether it was crossword puzzles, taking my cousin and me to see a local production of The Nutcracker or a Christmas present of Note-Ability, that board game which had a miniature electronic grand piano and you had to pick out the melody for others to guess.

I come from a substantial family heritage of cooks, be it Mom or my grandmas who worked in church kitchens; Aunt Jean rose even higher, working in test kitchens in the Big City for products like Hellman's mayonnaise and Karo syrup (an assistant director of the department at that, at minimum, for as much as I know). Her chocolate-peppermint patty cookie sandwiches remain the best Christmas cookie EVER. Full stop.

She's since retired to beautiful Florida, ever enjoying the sights, food and entertainment.

Now, as Aunt Jean would tell you, she was a teetotaler. But that doesn't at all preclude combining the flavors of her life into a satisfying libation. So in that light, I'm happy to bring you FdV's first mocktail!

Aunt Jean
3 oz Orangina
2 oz Earl Grey tea
1 T cream of coconut (Coco Lopez preferred)
nutmeg for garnish

Brew a cup of Earl Grey tea until lukewarm; this will make the tea rather potent and astringent, but that's all to the good as it will help the flavor hold up and add a touch of bitterness to balance the sweetness.

In your serving glass (a highball or rocks glass) dissolve the cream of coconut in 2 oz of the tea. Add ice to mostly fill the glass. Top with the Orangina and gently stir. Add a dash or two of nutmeg for garnish.

With love,