Whenever people have been asking us "how's your summer going?" we're always like "it's...weird. But good?". While August always has a little bit of a split personality vibe (wait, didn't summer *just* start but hold up now, is that HALLOWEEN CANDY I spy!?) this August in particular has us feeling of multiple minds about...everything.
We're not sure what we expected this season to look like (and, in fact, we have spent a fair amount of time over the last year working towards not expecting things to look any certain way and rather trying to balance finding the beauty in whatever way they do end up looking with being grateful for simply having eyeballs) but to say it's been a bit of a rollercoaster is an understatement. We doubt we are alone in finding ourselves trying to solve for multiple variables at every turn: X=what feels good to my heart, Y=what feels good to my body, Z=what feels good to my brain, A=what feels safe for my family, B=what feels safe for my community, C=what is the best way to maximize joy while delicately balancing and honoring the varying equations of everyone else around us.
One simple thing we've landed on to solve for XYZABC is the BYOG BFD. Or, in layperson's terms: The Bring Your Own Glass to the Big Fancy Drink.
Enamel Serving Bowl, Gio Low Spanish Wine Glasses, Cork Ottoman Tray, 1 liter Glass Decanter, 2 Liter Glass Decanter, Pallares Kitchen Knife, Mara Metz Cutting Board, Copper Canister, Teak Muddler, Checked Linen Napkins, Turned Beech Bowl
Not to say that this particular season's unprecedented uncertainties can be addressed entirely by simply making a big batch of cocktails and sharing them outside with your friends/neighbors/anyone with a glass but, unlike so many things at this moment, the BYOG BFD answers more questions than it asks—and that is something we definitely could use more of right about now. And ice, we can always use more ice.
Pallares Kitchen Knife, Mara Metz Cutting Board, Copper Canister, Teak Muddler, Checked Linen Napkins, Turned Beech Bowl
The preparation for a Big Fancy Drink is simple: pick what's freshest (in our case, at this moment, it was strawberries and mint from the garden, and perfectly ripe scratch and dent peaches from the orchard paired with rosemary from the pot at the shop), add complementary juice, simple syrup, sparkling water, ice, and the booze of your choice if you'd like, put it all in your favorite Big Fancy Decanter—we usually use these gorgeous ones from Henry Dean (which come in both 1 liter and 2 liter sizes) for water because they are so generously sized but they are an absolute dream for this application—and add as much more gorgeous seasonal fruit as possible and bam you're ready to pour.
Gio Low Spanish Wine Glasses, Cork Ottoman Tray, 1 liter Glass Decanter, 2 Liter Glass Decanter, Pallares Kitchen Knife, Mara Metz Cutting Board, Copper Canister, Teak Muddler, Checked Linen Napkins, Turned Beech Bowl, Teak Long Stirring Spoon
The BYOG part is equally as uncomplicated: everyone brings their own favorite glass (we swear by these easy and elegant low Spanish wine glasses for this and infinite other uses) and can fill or be filled as they like until the cows come home/the sun goes down/your massive batch of BFD runs out. BYOG comes with the extra additional benefits of a) allowing people to own their own ABCXYZ variables and comfort-levels and b) cuts down on après BFD dishwashing. Win/Win.
Gio Low Spanish Wine Glasses, Cork Ottoman Tray, 1 liter Glass Decanter, 2 Liter Glass Decanter, Pallares Kitchen Knife, Mara Metz Cutting Board, Copper Canister, Muddler, Checked Linen Napkins, Turned Beech Bowl
At a wild time when we've been yearning for connections but not wanting to overcomplicate things, when we want to both prioritize good times and thoughtful safety, when we want to respect the needs and boundaries of others, when we've also been desirous of continuing to maintain and grow the tentatively marvelous new-friend relationships we made around our fencelines and up the block with our neighbors during peak lockdown times, and when we just want to have some peak-summer fun without thinking about it every dang minute... the BYOG BFD has scratched all of those itches—beautifully, generously, deliciously, and every Friday-nightly.
A BFD Recipe-ish: Strawberry Mojito
(perfectly fits the large decanter)
2 limes, cut for juicing
10 strawberries, hulled and halved
1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup–1 1/2 cups rum, white/gold/dark depending on how strong/piratey you like it
8 cups sparkling water
lime, strawberries, and mint, for garnish
Squeeze the juice of the limes into the pitcher, set the squeezed limes aside. Add in the strawberries, mint leaves, and sugar to the pitcher.
Let sit for 5 minutes, or until the strawberries start to release some of their juices.
Using a muddler or a wooden spoon, mash the strawberry mixture together in the bottom of the pitcher to release the flavors.
Add in the juiced lime quarters and rum.
Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then add the sparkling water.
Gently stir to combine. Pour over ice into glasses and garnish as desired.