tart cherry old-fashioned cocktail

Pitcher of tart cherry cocktail

I made this wintry cocktail for my friend Shannon’s wedding last month, and I think it’s the perfect drink to clink on New Year’s Eve, too. (Plus this photo shoot was a convenient excuse for breaking in my new silver-foiled glassware, heh heh!) Pure tart cherry juice has an earthy, almost herbal flavor that I like to balance with spicy ginger and sweet navel orange (avoid cherry juice blends, which are dulled with apple and grape). The booze is added separately, so any kids and designated drivers at your party can enjoy a virgin punch. Assemble two days ahead to allow the orange peels to release their oils.

get the recipe after the jump

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modern ‘hood: cliff may’s rancho estates

Orange and gray modern ranch

If I ever build a house, I’ll drop a stack of Cliff May home photos on my architect’s desk for inspiration. In southern California, May was a pioneer of building characteristics that we think of today as the hallmarks of midcentury modern ranches — clean lines, open floor plans, and an indoor-outdoor feel. So on a recent trip to Los Angeles for Andrea’s work, we spent an afternoon in Long Beach cruising May’s Rancho Estates tract neighborhood, built in 1953-54.

The Rancho homes have opaque facades and high privacy fences that reveal little about their interiors. If you’re nosy curious like I am, you can mine real estate sites such as Rancho Style for photos of light-soaked rooms, swanky pools, and lush courtyards. Although I had to imagine what modern treasures lay beyond the walls, I gleefully shot the sculptural plants, rock gardens, colorful gates, and vintage cars visible from the street. Unless otherwise noted, all photos were taken by me from public property.

Photo via ranchostyle.com
Photo via ranchostyle.com
Photo via ranchostyle.com
Photo via ranchostyle.com

Charcoal and yellow ranch home

Modern concrete and stone courtyard with red gate

click for 6 more home photos

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