Home is where the heart is and every house needs a cocktail, I mean a signature beverage, unique and special to toast the heartfelt celebrations of home. This is a story about home, heart and a recipe – The Bijouxs Cocktail.
First, home and heart. A 1920’s Spanish Bungalow cottage in the foothills is the home to Bijouxs Kitchen/Studio. This mixed media work from the early years captures the spirit. We lovingly refer to it as “the ranch” due to the on-going maintenance, repair, restoration, and all round work – it just feels like owning a ranch and many of your who own old homes are probably nodding your heads about now. The work is balanced by the charm, and little jewel nature life that the ranch embodies.
The ranch, a.k.a. our home, is a source of great comfort; tall strong boulder footings and simple white stucco walls with yards of glass, echo a calm sanctuary with a view. Part of the inherent charm is the house’s Bijouxs and Wabi-Sabi-like nature; doors that are only opened by old skeleton keys, light switches that turn on nothing, a handkerchief size kitchen with weathered stainless steel counters recalling years of cooking mishaps, and the rock-lined cellar, once used to store the wine casks from grapes harvested on the property. The inherited oversized rustic picnic table has been host to years of festive gatherings with family and friends, especially during “the compound” years, when neighbors and our children joined together every Sunday to dine under the shady vine covered patio; little jewels are unpretentious, intimate in their beauty.
Now, a bit about cocktail hour. Currently the ranch houses the Bijouxs/Kitchen Studio, and in honor of the one-year mark for Bijouxs, a toast was in order. A call was placed to Bijouxs trusted assistant, really my great friend from grad school, both of us being originally trained as artists. She has been there throughout the Bijouxs cooking journey, beginning with filming the videos for Eat, Drink or Die network (13 in two days- that’s a lot of food and filming), a photo shoot at the ranch for Pasadena Magazine, and a variety of food events, she has been a tremendous support – she can do it all, and of course she is also a trained bartender.
So, work began on the Bijouxs Cocktail. First, the classic cocktail the Bijou is a sweet, green Charteuse infused drink and there are other Bijou derivatives that lend themselves closer to a martini. The Bijouxs Cocktail is of course, not unlike Bijouxs, clean in design, but with a quirky twist.
The Bijouxs cocktail is a mix of vodka, blood orange bitters, Cointreau, a whisper of dry vermouth & a tiny drop of Grenadine, just for color. Served up, or over ice, it’s the Bijouxs version of a bitter orange infused martini. Add a splash of fresh blood orange juice for a fruitier version. The quirkiness is of course the garnish served on the side – a cocktail onion wrapped with a thin strip of orange peel. This garnish probably was created out of some genetic love of citrus and my favorite Italian sweet and sour onions braised in orange juice, which are strangely so good, nonetheless you can skip the garnish, and go with a simple twist of orange. Bijouxs however, is still in the process of searching for the right glass vessel for the house cocktail, a round, open vessel, feels right – if you have any ideas, please pass them on.
So, here’s a toast to Bijouxs, little jewels from the kitchen, one year in, and a toast to you the readers. Thank you so much for your support. I am building Bijouxs one-step at a time and dedicated to bringing you the beautiful essentials; trusted recipes, pantry items, kitchen equipment and wonderful vendors; the simple little jewels from my kitchen to yours.
Home is where the heart is, thank you for being a part of Bijouxs. Cheers.