For all my criticisms of Living’s constantly changing format and continual decline in number of recipes, the March issue was, I have to admit, pretty great.
And not just because the cover could realistically be titled “Martha Posing Among Giant Plants As If I Am Having Some Strange Dream In Which Those Plants Eat Her But Not Before She Tells Them a Thing or Two.”
This time around, the annual Gardening Issue*, contained a bunch of delicious recipes! Who knew? I thought we’d be knee deep in a trillion varieties of bluebells and suffering through endless descriptions of Martha’s elaborate gardening setup. My thumb doesn’t even approach green. It’s more a sickly, ashamed yellow. But I imagine that for many, this issue is eagerly awaited every year. My sickly thumb and I just sigh and dream of April.
But March 2012 is determined to be better than previous Marches! I applaud this!
I’ve now made a couple of edible things from this issue, but the standout (and not just because it is an alcoholic beverage, although that didn’t hurt its chances with the judges, that’s for sure) is the White Nixon cocktail.
A mixture of vodka, fresh grapefruit juice, ginger liqueur, and (cold) tea, the White Nixon is basically everything I like in one glass. Oh, and it’s not just any tea. It simply must be made from the White Nixon blend of white tea and herbs from Bellocq tea atelier in Brooklyn.
Every cell in my typing fingers resisted committing that paragraph to the annals of Internet history. What a prissy, snotty thing to say! “Must be made from the blend of whatever from some place in Brooklyn where nu-yuppies go to meet other nu-yuppies who want to compare notes on who’s been to what obscure Asian country and how you know Whole Foods is probably a corporate mindwasher but you just can’t pass up their Meyer lemons.” But, my friends, I just completed a nine-month tour of the Seas of Sobriety, and I wanted a cocktail that was fit to celebrate my homecoming.
So I ordered a box of White Nixon from Bellocq and instantly developed an expensive tea habit. THEIR TEA IS SO GOOD! I think I probably hadn’t had seriously good tea before, because this tasted like subtle, elegant heaven. The article in Living explains why they’re so amazing, but to sum up: they send unicorns to the Elysian Fields to pick organic tea in small batches or something and the result is phenomenal. They sent me a sample of another white tea blend called White Wolf, which was delicious as well.
White Nixon tastes a little like a lavender sachet but not cloyingly so, and the lavender is offset by a really delicate tea flavor. As you can tell, just the thought of it turns me into a wistful romantic who is probably clad in a velvet blazer. But it is that delectable.
Also, white tea has enough caffeine to get you through your evening without diving headfirst into your dinner**, yet it also won’t keep you awake all night.***
But yes, the White Nixon cocktail was tasty like a more interesting greyhound (vodka + grapefruit juice, my favorite). But honestly I’m more excited about all of the teas I’m going to discover now that I’ve found Bellocq. Teas trumping vodka. Life goes on.
* The one that normally begins begging for its life the moment it drops through the mail slot and sees the “Oh, you’re headed straight for recycling” glint in my eye.
** I’m tired a lot.
*** Like some babies I know.