Category Archives: Tutorials & Recipes

yellow mary cocktail recipe

Yellow Mary cocktails by Finely Crafted

It’s peak tomato season, my friends, which means the markets are overflowing with specialty shapes and colors. I wanted to try only golden varieties for a veggie cocktail that’s a lighter take on the classic bloody Mary. While this bright yellow beverage has a milder flavor than its crimson cousin, a spiced rim gives it plenty of kick. I made the whole thing in my juicer (you can substitute a blender, then strain out the pulp). Get the recipe after the jump!

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clove-laced blood orange punch recipe


Last Thursday I invited a few friends over to watch the premiere of Under the Gunn, starring the dapper Tim Gunn of Project Runway (aka “Fashion Dad”). I always serve a special cocktail for ladies’ TV night, and on this frigid eve I hoped to warm us a bit with a clove-laced citrus punch and Sriracha popcorn.

The decanter and glasses from Fishs Eddy make me so happy — they remind me of the diamond-patterned walls in the rec room of my late Maw Maw Rita. With bellies full of French toast, my cousins and I played countless rounds of ping pong in that cheerful room. Here’s how I made the cocktail.

Spiced Blood Orange Punch

  • gin
  • canned dark, sweet cherries in heavy syrup
  • clove syrup (see recipe below)
  • unsweetened blood orange juice
  • sparkling water
  • lime slices for garnish

Put a half-shot of gin in a party glass. Drop in a cherry and a splash of syrup from the can, then add a teaspoon of clove syrup. Fill the glass two-thirds with blood orange juice, then top off with sparkling water and a lime.

Clove Syrup

  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Put the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the cloves and remove from the heat. The syrup will keep in the fridge for several weeks.

make an air plant landscape

My mom spends about two hours watering her vast container garden, but I didn’t inherit those maintenance genes. My indoor favorites are succulents and air plants, tough creatures accustomed to a cruel world with little moisture.

Air plants can be expensive, yet they don’t live long, so I like to buy the small ones and set them in a “landscape.” Here’s how to make this one.

1. Choose any bowl you like–no drainage hole necessary. I used a crackle bowl from my mother-in-law that marks our wedding date.
2. Fill the bowl with PermaTill, a slate soil mix-in intended for discouraging voles.
3. Set a large rock into the PermaTill to serve as a mountain or mesa in the foreground. I unearthed my granite chunk in the backyard–a bonus of Georgia living.
4. Set a piece of dried grapevine or driftwood (look for this at terrarium suppliers, nurseries, and hardware stores) behind the rock, and wedge a small air plant between the “woods” and “mountain.”
5. Set a circular piece of citrine (available from crystal shops) in the background as a mock sun.

To water the air plant, about once a month I soak it in a separate bowl of water for several hours. Every two months, I dissolve granulated plant food in the water. I know, that’s absurdly low maintenance! This is my ideal plant–lovely and sculptural, but closely related to plastic.