Another year coming to a close, another year where I'm still in the same rut, the same stagnant space, the same state of discontent. You'd think I'd learn by now. You think I'd set goals that were more concrete, more specific...so much less nebulous.
It's the last Tuesday of December, the last Tuesday of 2014...it is a cold, blustery night in Los Angeles. The weather widget on my phone says that at 8:15pm, it is 49 degrees, but with the winds, feels like 39 degrees. Cold. Can I take these winds as a sign? A sign that I'm finally ready to blow all the crap out of my life...make definitive goals, figure out where it is I really want to go, and stop thinking that life will fall into place by a magical snap of my fingers. I don't expect 2015 to kick off without a few bumps and rough starts, but I do expect 2015 to turn into an infinitely more productive year than 2014, 2013, and even 2012. That's a lot of time. I have a lot of making up to do.
But before I get to work, there needs to be a drink. A drink to say, 'so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye' to 2014 and all the fear, anxiety, and unhappiness I have poured into too many of its 365 days. Bring out the bubbly, let's toast to a new year where I worry less, see more sun than clouds, see more good in me than bad, and appreciate the person I am, instead of sinking so much energy berating myself for what I'm not.
Let me be the first to wish you a happy new year...a truly fulfilling 2015.
A New Leaf Cocktail
6 fl oz cava (though Champagne or prosecco will do)
2 fl oz sweet vermouth
2 tbsp citrus simple syrup
2 tbsp fig jam
4 fl oz orange juice, fresh squeezed (about 2 medium oranges)
orange peel for garnish
In a small lidded jar or cocktail shaker, add the orange juice and fig jam. Shake vigorously to break down the jam. If you think you've shaken enough, shake more. With each coupe glass, rub a strip of orange peel along the rims to transfer some of the oils to the glasses. Into each glass, pour 1 oz vermouth, 1 tablespoon of the citrus syrup, and 2 oz of the orange and fig juice. Stir to mix well. Top each glass with 3 oz of cava and garnish with orange peel.
Note: The citrus syrup is something I had left from making candied citrus peel a couple of weeks ago. You can substitute simple syrup or make your own syrup with the peel from one medium orange (pith removed), 1 cup water, and one cup sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring to make sure the sugar dissolves, then simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Strain peel and store in refrigerator.