The Official Cocktail of Le Village B&B
After the biggest free party known to man, otherwise known as Mardi Gras, a Bloody Mary may be in order. Honestly, if u have ever consumed an embarrassingly obscene amount of alcohol, Bloody Marys are more tolerable than water during an unsightly hangover.

When I was last at Le Village in Eunice, Louisiana, I visited Ms. Wiggens for an afternoon cocktail. She said a Bloody Mary is the official drink of the B&B because in south Louisiana one is usually recovering from some kind of party. Her recipe is simple and she avoids the fluff. I find this very smart because who wants to deal with all the accoutrements of a salad in one's drink while nursing a headache. 

But you don't have to be hungover to partake in a Bloody Mary. This cocktail is a great daytime beverage. (I do advise against ordering one after the sun has set - it just isn't right.)

The display is what made it taste even better. For a person like me, I first taste with my eyes. Her serving wear doesn't fall short of a refined southern hostess: holiday cocktail napkins, hammered silver ice bucket, and silver serving tray complete with antique silver filigree tongs for picking up home-made egg salad sandwiches. 

...being fashionable is a way of life - as displayed at Le Village.

INGREDIENTS & RECIPE from Felicia Hebert Wiggins:

Ingredient: Ice for glasses, lime wedges and fresh celery

Step 1: Spoon ice from ice bucket to Prep glasses and garnish with lime. Have Celery available for those that like it.

Ingredient: Egg salad sandwiches

Step 2: Always have a little snack when serving alcohol - just in case your guest gets too woozy. For an afternoon cocktail, small sandwiches are always welcome.

Ingredient: Chilled Vodka - because Bloody Marys are best very cold.

Step 3: First add vodka to glasses so that you can see how much is going in. Half and Half ratios are great for Hair of the Dog.

Ingredient: Bloody Mary mix: V8, Louisiana Hot Sauce, and some celery salt

Step 4: Serve from a glass carafe

Ingredient: Toast & Conversation

Step 5: Keep Good Company



Wine Really is for Lovers


I typically do not cover wine on this blog but rather cocktails. Honestly I find cocktails less intimidating and what more can I share about wine than A) pour in glass and B) drink ?

Though, this week is an exception since on Monday I was invited by an old friend from France to experience an afternoon of the United States

Tasting Tour of Vintage 2011 Grands Crus de Bordeaux.

I brought along my friend, Ophelia, who is well versed in wine to help guide me. Her knowledge comes from 3 main sources: loving wine, drinking a lot of it and being European. We arrived at the Waldorf Astoria (what I like to call a vintage hotel) and made our way to the ballroom through the opulent lobby. As we got closer, the smell of wine scented the air. It was insane to me that there was enough wine in this room which could produce such an intense fragrance.

Ophelia made a list of her favorite vineyards. Now it was

time to discover, taste, and learn.

My Favorite Label at the Tour - I have an affinity for the decorative

A characteristic of young wine is dryness which feels uncomfortable.  It sticks to the inside of the mouth and tongue making it feel dry and shriveled. The purple seems to attack the teeth quicker - not attractive!  But eventually these tannins, which feel so dry now, should develop into what is understood as a fuller body (aka much more enjoyable).

As we tasted one of our first selections we spoke amongst ourselves wondering how does one determine if a wine will age well?

A wine collector standing near us overheard the question and was kind enough to impart his knowledge with us. He


getting to know a vintage of wine in the same way one gets to know a lover.

"After many years of drinking the same (year) one begins to know the wine in an intimate way much like one knows an old lover." He said I'm probably too young to understand this. I suppose the dim lighting and alcohol content were doing me a few favors ;) This comment leads me to believe there really is a connection between

wine and romance.

Château Bouscaut Vineyard

As we progressed through Ophelia's list it was a delightful surprise to find tastes which were not so dry and what we liked to mark as "drinkable now". For us this meant: it only gets better from here.

Finally we reached Château Bouscaut where I met the representative,

Marie Amélie Fourault-de Fontenay.  As we approached I was hoping we would like it because it's the wine of my friend from France who invited me to the event. I would hate to report that it did not agree with my palette.

Luckily for my palette, my friendship and the reputation of the vineyard, it was one of the best wines I tried at the tasting. Also this statement is validated by the uber refined palette of Ophelia.

We tried both the White (a mixture of Semillon and Sauvignon) and Red (a mixture of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec). 

Now on a fashion note:

Not only did we enjoy the Château Bouscaut, but I was thoroughly impressed with Marie-Amélie's choice of attire. It was a velvet "wine" colored suit. It was a fitting choice, if not a witty one too. Later it occurred to me that it could function to mask hazards of the job: wine stains!!!

So you've heard it here first: Château Bouscaut 2011 = Approved by Jenée Sais Quoi

Order this young wine with Confidence (because having that je ne sais quoi is all about confidence)

Also if you find yourself in the southwest region of France, consider visiting the Château where you can sleep over, take a cooking class and participate in wine & cheese tasting. More info


  or Contact: Laure Laborde +33 (0)5 57 83 12 20 / com@chateau-bouscaut.com



Brighten up your Vodka
Mixers | Food & Drink
kumquat cocktail, kumquat vodka, cheers

As I planned to be home in Louisiana for Christmas I looked forward to all of my dad's citrus trees. I imagined picking satsumas and eating them instantly. I looked forward to picking and grapefruits from the trees in the morning and turning them into a glass of juice. What I don't love eating as much are the Kumquats. They are so cute but not so enjoyable after one or two. So I called my dad and said this year we would make Kumquat infused Vodka in an effort to make better use of these adorable mini oranges.

Hence, like the sage butter, this is another great winter preserve of nature's bounty. 


What you need: Glass jars, Fresh Kumquats & Vodka


Step 1:
Pick ripe Kumquats
kumquat, plant, Citrus

Tart and/or Sweet Kumquats. My dad grows both so we made separate jars of each. The tart ones are oblong like olives and the round ones are, just round. 

Step 2:
Wash (in case there is bird poop on your kumquats)
Pick off any stems and cut in half
depression glass, kumquats, bowl of citrus

cut kumquats

sliced kumquats

Vodka (any Vodka will do) Tho, I don't recommend a cheap, harsh one like Taaka. Even the best fruit cannot cover up the rubbing alcohol taste of that stuff.

Step 3:
Add Kumquats to jar and pour in vodka. Depending on strength of kumquat flavor will determine how many to add to jar. Since we had so many we just filled the jars to the top. 
absolute vodka, citrus, louisiana

kumquat, vodka, christmas drink, cocktail


Step 4:
Let the Kumquats infuse the Vodka for 3-4 days. Shake one a day. Keep in a cool, dry place. Since it's winter, leaving the jars outside works well. 

Family and Friends & glasses

Step 5:
Once you have determined it has infused long enough (determine by tasting), share with family and friends as an apéritif for Christmas!!! 
Serve chilled and straight up. 
Garnish with a vodka soaked kumquat wedge
kumquat cocktail,

A jar of your homemade Kumquat Vodka is also a great Christmas and New Year Present.

**Note - many recipes recommend removing the fruit if it will not be consumed within the first week. I imagine it may get bitter if left in for too long.

Though, what do do with all of these vodka soaked kumquats???
My idea is to freeze them and when you are ready to serve the vodka add them not only as garnish but as ice too.


What do you do with all of your extra Kumquats??? Or do you actually eat them all???


A Champagne Revolution
Mixers | Food & Drink
New years eve, fireworks, champagne poppers, confetti, Herrengedeck

At a recent holiday party, my friend from Germany told me an interesting story about drinking champagne with beer. With New Year's Eve around the corner, I thought this was a great time to share a bit of this champagne "cocktail" and it's historical roots.
Freixenet Cava, champagne glasses, new years eve, champagne poppers, Herrengedeck

Her husband, from East Germany, was on the forefront of Punk "culture" in the late 1980s and early 90s as they defied convention and the oppressive establishment.

In true punk fashion they diluted their champagne or sparkling wine (or in the case of my photo: cava): the drink of the privileged with beer: the drink of the blue collar worker.

This practice actually originated back in the 1950s in Communist East Germany. In order to reeducate workers and farmers and make them feel more like the new ruling class which they were supposed to be now. In some restaurants they had to buy a small bottle of sparkling wine with every beer they ordered. Workers and farmers did not want to drink sparkling wine - and poured it into their beer. The result was a surprisingly interesting and powerful drink, that went by the very old school name of Herrengedeck
Beer, champagne, champagne glasses, champagen poppers
A modern variation would include real Champagne, preferably Moet&Chandon referring to a traditional Kir Royal - that one is now known as Beer Royal.

This practice was expressed as an act of rebellion at the height of punk culture in the late 80's. For instance at a very formal reception one would order beer from a waiter when everyone is drinking champagne and then ask for the "refil" to be poured on top of the beer. 

Now that was a serious F...U... to the establishment. So punk.

Lastly it has some pretty practical purposes having nothing to do with politics and everything with just feeling good. After way too much Champagne with you friends, order one beer and pour a bit in every glass. It really soothes the stomach! 

So this New Year's Eve remember this trick rather you need to make a political statement or just save yourself from a stomach ache. 
champagne glasses, champagne poppers


A Sweet Cocktail for the New Year
Food & Drink | Mixers

Cocktail, Rosh Hashanah, Apple & Rum

As Rosh Hashanah approaches it's time to prepare for a New Year. One of the things I love about living in a multi cultural household is that we get more than one chance to start the year new and fresh. It's also nice to have a few extra holidays to make up fun cocktails like this one.

The Rosh Hashanah menu includes many sweet foods representing the wish for a sweet new year. The most symbolic foods are the apple dipped in honey, thus I made an apple based cocktail. To add sweetness to the apple I choose to mix it with rum which is made of sugar cane. Since the rum and ginger ale floater are from Jamaica, this cocktail has a hint of reggae vibe. 

(Rum drinks are also favorites of sailors & pirates. So remember this cocktail the next time you are practicing your knots.)

So get your mixer ready for Wednesday night and Have a Sweet New Year! 



Step 1: 
Slice an apple to use for Garnish. Set aside
Cocktail, Rosh Hashanah, Apple & Rum

Apple Juice

Step 2: 
Pour 1 Part Apple Juice. I like Martinelli's because it comes in a great glass jar that I will later use as a vase. 
Cocktail, Rosh Hashanah, Apple & Rum

Cocktail, Rosh Hashanah, Apple & Rum

Step 3:
Add 1 part Rum for a strong drink or add 1/2 part Rum for a mild drink. 
Cocktail, Rosh Hashanah, Apple & Rum, butt


Step 4:
Pour mixture into a shaker with ice. Shake 7 times. 
Cocktail, Rosh Hashanah, Apple & Rum
Cocktail Glass

Step 5:
Pour over ice. Leave a little room.
Cocktail, Rosh Hashanah, Apple & Rum
Ginger Ale

Step 6:
Float some ginger ale on top. Just a dash. I love this Jamaican brand because it's extra spicy.
Cocktail, Rosh Hashanah, Apple & Rum

Step 7:
Garnish with an apple ring. I cored mine into the shape of a  Star of David 
Cocktail, Rosh Hashanah, Apple & Rum

Now turn on some Matisyahu and get your New Year Party started. 

Mixer: Thyme for Peaches

In August peaches are in abundance. They are cheap. They are ripe and they are delicious. Why not blend them with a bit of gin and serve it to your girlfriends ?!

Fresh Peaches

THYME FOR PEACHES : It's sweet, earthy and refreshing. With the overload of peaches at the end of summer, this is a great use of the season's bounty. Also see Kristine's peach grilling ideas.

While attending the first Ladies Who Scout meeting over the weekend, we sipped on Frozen Peach Cocktails prepared by Scout Wiley. It's an idyllic drink in the garden especially surrounded by girlfriends. The peaches are sweet, the thyme is earthy and the icy concoction will, well....  "help you hang on".

Hurry before all your peaches are over ripened!!!!!

Peach Cocktail

Recipe Courtesy of McCormick

 ** I took the liberty of giving it a better name = "Thyme for Peaches"


1. For the Thyme Syrup, mix sugar and water in small saucepan. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Add thyme. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring to dissolve. Strain. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. .

2. For each cocktail shaker of Peach-Gin Cocktail, fill cocktail shaker half full with cracked ice. Add 1/2 c of the fruit, 1/4 c of the peach schnapps, 1 ounce (2 t) gin, liqueur and Thyme Syrup, and 2 t lime juice. Shake until mixed and chilled. Strain into cocktail glasses (Makes 2)  Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 8 cocktails.

** For Scout Wiley's version - Blend the ice with the ingredients**

Vintage Cocktail Glasses with Thyme garnish

Garnished Glasses waiting for cocktails

Peach Cocktail

Mixer: Morning Airline Spritzer

Today's mixer is a bit different from the usual mixer. In fact there was going to be no mixer at all since we are traveling and there was no time to tempt my readers with a new beverage idea.

Yet a new drink was invented on the United Airline flight to Denver. The flight attendant obliged my special request for an Apple Juice with Seltzer Mixer. He thought it was a great combination , named it after me, and offered it by name to other passengers. Everyone on my row had one and thought it was delightful.

Try it on your next morning flight for something more exciting than than water an not as sugary as plain juice. Ask for "THE JENÉE"

Thanks United Airline flight attendants for being so fun.

Mixers: The Champagne of Beers

Beer is a great summer time beverage. It's light and refreshing and pairs well with BBQ and other tasty outdoor foods like boiled crabs and shrimp!

Though, some ladies have a hard time getting over the etiquette of drinking it from a bottle. How bout pouring it into a champagne glass?!  Champagne glasses are made to retain the bubbles so the beer will stay effervescent and look incredibly classy.

Champagne glasses
All etiquette aside, why not use your champagne glasses at your next day-party to serve beer just to mix things up a bit. It's how Jenée Sais Quoi does beer.

beer in champagne class with peanuts
beer in champagne glass with pecans
Serve with Dry Roasted Peanuts and Whole Pecans (because they are fun to crack)

Mixers: Independence Spirit

Spirits are High on Independence Day and so is the Alcohol content in this aperitif. For this All American holiday I got together with the fanciest hostess I know to see what she will be serving up for the 4th of July.
This cocktail, the Negroni, originated in Italy. It's bitter, sweet & strong. It's also refreshing and appropriately color themed for this summer time holiday. Note - this might just be the summer of Campari. 

Here is how to make Kristine's Negroni Mixer:

1. Fill Glasses with Ice and pour 2 parts Gin
2. Add 1 part Campari - Mixing this up in a Red & White Striped Frock might be essential

3. Top with Club Soda
4. Add a splash of fresh squeezed orange juice
5. Finish with a Lemon Wedge. Kristine prefers lemon as the sour cuts through the bitter

Cheers & Happy Birthday America
 Thanks for Sharing Kristine

Mixers: BRING SUMMER ON with Campari

Campari Soda

Recently I joined a friend for an after work cocktail and some catching up. It was one of those first warm NY days that allowed us to sit outside and enjoy the drink al fresco. 
Thus, what to order?
When the weather changes, your cocktail choices should adjust in the same way your shoe choices change when the temp breaks 75 degrees. (temp is in Fahrenheit ;)

A cold pale beer is a good refreshing choice for this season, but you know what a FANCY refreshing drink is for the summer season???

Campari Soda

Campari Soda, Aranciata, Basket

Campari Recipes
Campari can be served several ways. The back of the bottle offers some suggestions. 
I like it 2 ways

  • Campari with Soda over Ice and a Slice of Orange 

 on the occasion when SanPellegrino Aranciata is available!!!
  • Campari with Aranciata over Ice and a Slice of Orange 

You see, I post a weekly mixer not because I'm obsessed with drinking but because drink choices reflect your style as much as your haircut does.
For instance, when u have a Campari on a summer afternoon it says "I've spent summers in Southern Europe lounging in cafes". Now that is FANCY

Enjoy Summer and all that comes with it.
What is your Go-To Cocktail on a summer afternoon?

Mixers: Coffee Cocktails

coffee, coffee cocktails

Wondering how to start your day off right and plain coffee is not working anymore? Voila: The Coffee Bar. Though, perhaps you just want to change up your coffee routine on the weekend and invite some friends over. The Coffee bar is a perfect Brunch prelude.

Coffee is an international drink, but I have many coffee memories growing up in Louisiana. My grandparents could not start the day without a cup of it. So when I slept over as a little girl, they made a cup of coffee milk for me. It was mostly milk with a splash of coffee and a spoon of sugar. It was delicious. I feel now it's already one of those old time stories that parents or grandparents would never do - give a child coffee!?!?!?!? 

Offer several mixers to make coffee cocktails, appropriate glasses and mugs, and fresh coffee. Guests can experiment with coffee cocktail recipes which is part of the entertainment.  It's coffee for grown-ups. 

coffee, coffee cocktails
Coffee Cocktail Recipes
coffee, coffee cocktails
Glass ware & Mugs
coffee, coffee cocktails
Cafe du Monde Coffee from Louisiana with Chicory
coffee, coffee cocktails
Going for the Bailey's Irish Coffee
coffee, coffee cocktails
Adding Coffee
coffee, coffee cocktails, whipped cream
Taste Testing the whipped Cream
coffee, coffee cocktails
A Bailey's Irish Coffee
coffee, coffee cocktails
coffee, coffee cocktails
Round II  !!!! Espresso Martini this time

(Painting by Tonya Engel)

Mixers: Old Fashioned - not just for Old Farts

old fashioned, bourbon, green galow
Recently I had a blind date. Well I knew the person. but she kept the restaurant a well hidden secret. After a hike to Manhattan's west side, through a guest list check point, & a strange ride in an elevator, we arrived at one of New York's best kept rooftop restaurant secrets. Without going on about it or giving too much away - it's a magical place, sorta of fairy tale-ish.

The only part that was normal about this place was the now requisite fancy, mixologist cocktail list.  Yet, this night, we opted for an old favorite - the Old Fashioned.

Perhaps being Southern makes it possible to drink Bourbon all year long (hot toddies in the winter and mint juleps in the summer). Long Live this Classic Cocktail. Try it this weekend, perhaps?

What you Need (per cocktail):
2 tsp Simple Syrup // 1 tsp Water // 2 dashes Angostura bitters // 1 large Ice cube or glass full // 1.5 oz Bourbon whiskey // 1 slice Orange // 1 Maraschino Cherry

How to Make it:
Place orange in class with Cherry // Give a little muddle // Add bitters // Add Ice // Pour in bourbon & simple Syrup // Add Water // Give a Stir // Sip & tell Stories

old fashioned, bourbon, green galow

Any amendments to this recipe??? or Stories to Swap???
BTW, normally I would gush about a new place that I love, but I honestly love it that much that I don't want to spoil it (for myself:) Though, if you are so inclined to know, ask and I might reveal this gem if you ask nicely. It's really something special.

The Iconic Mint Julep

mint julep, kentucky derby
Summer & the South are a perfect combination for this perfect Bourbon Cocktail - The Mint Julep. Last year we served this southern specialty at our wedding in Louisiana and this weekend many will be thrown back at the Kentucky Derby.

On a hot summer day in the South, instant relief comes in the form of ice, mint, sugar and bourbon.
Even those who find bourbon to harsh, these go down like Kool-Aid - so be careful if you are in heels.
Photo Finish, Derby Style
What you will need for a Mint Julep:   2 cups sugar // 2 cups water // Sprigs of Fresh Mint // Crushed Ice // Kentucky Whisky // Silver Julep Cups

How to make it: Boil water and sugar into a simple syrup for 5 minutes // Place 6 sprigs of mint in mixture and refrigerate overnight // Fill cup with ice, add 1 tablespoon mint syrup, 2 ounces bourbon // Sip.

Mixers: Spiced Rye Whiskey

A Great Winter Tyme Spirit: Rye Whiskey with Warming Spices

In warm Thailand where I am now peeling a bit from a sunburn, I feel it necessary to post an appropriate Wintry story for my readers in cold New York! and any other cold place in February.

This drink is great all winter long, but I especially like it during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season because of the spices. Since it involves infusing, my recommendation is to make it right after Halloween so it is ready for Thanksgiving Aperitifs.

Start with Whole Spices
Cloves, Cinnamon Sticks, All-Spice & Star of Anise
Amount Shown is for 2 bottles. A woman's palm full of each spice is sufficient for 2 bottles & 3 cinnamon sticks per botttle

Pour shot of Whiskey in Morning Coffee
To make room for the spices, a shot of whiskey needs to be poured out. I recommend making this in the morning as a shot of whiskey in coffee is a great way to start a Sunday. Otherwise, the whiskey can be shot alone.

Simply drop spice into a rye whiskey of your choice and screw cap back on.

Infusing is really easy. Just let sit on a shelf for 2 weeks. The hardest part is waiting.

Spirits make great gifts for the holidays, but are even better when they include a special home made touch. Make a label to gift to friends.

Enjoy Spiced Rye whiskey alone or in your favorite Whiskey Cocktail such as:
Hot Toddies
Old Fashioned
Irish Coffee

This post is part of the Series - Mixers: Evolve or Just Get Drunk

Mixers: The Pumpkintini

Pumpkintini Birthday: Thanksgiving Eve 2011

Q: What's better than pumpkin pie for thanksgiving???   A: Pumpkin Martini

Anything served on a Missoni tray (from Target) looks better. Note always have a pitcher of water on service.

My friend, Elyse, gave me a large bottle of Hiram Walker's Pumpkin Spice liquor for my birthday,
which we previously used to make a seasonal pumpkin bread pudding. Since I'm not much of a baker, I instead added vodka, dipped the rim in cinnamon sugar and stirred it up with a cinnamon stick.

The Pumkintinis were served with a bowl of Kettle Popcorn (made me think of Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving party) and a side of Valdosta black pepper Pecans

Cheers!!! ..............L'haim!!!!
Imre and Georgie, our annual Thanksgiving guests from Budapest.

Mixers: Evolve or just get Drunk

Cocktails, I once read, were invented during Prohibition when homemade alcohol tasted so bad it needed to be masked with some kind of mix.

Image from a great source on cocktails

Like the ever changing styles on the catwalk & sidewalk, cocktails go in and out of fashion.

For Instance: ordering a Cosmo will definitely show your age. The Cosmo was chic circa The Sex and the City years. Now it's just passé. Though in about 20 years when SATC is retro, The Cosmo is sure to make a comeback just as the Moscow Mule has. 

No explanation necessary

Just as new seasons require new looks, parties and gathering need inventive cocktails to mark the occasion. As much as I love combining articles in my closet to invent a new outfit for every occasion, I love combining ingredients that are rarely found on cocktail lists.

This is truly the epitome of "down to the last detail".

Hence this brings me to a new recurring topic on the blog called: Mixers
(see more under the Food&Drink category)

Drink up and be inspired.