In the planning stages of this project, I gave myself a gift of only scheduling stocks and cocktails during the final week. I dubbed it Stock-tail Week.
This was the week where I spent all my energy planning the final VIP party, writing thank you notes, assembling our VIP gifts, and making sure the Ina website was up to date. For a couple of days I felt weepy. Then I felt excited. I felt confused and at times unable to fully process that the project was basically over.
The numbers on the clipboards have been so high for so long, it felt strange to see them fall lower and lower throughout the week. 27. 18. 13. 9. 4. 1. I felt gleeful and simultaneously sad to see the end arrive. We drank cocktails everyday this week as a celebration of both.
WHAT I COOKED
Homemade Vanilla Extract, Cook Like a Pro
Homemade Chicken Stock, Cooking for Jeffery, Back to Basics, How Easy Is That?
Chicken Stock, Cook Like a Pro
Beef Stock, Cook Like a Pro
Vegetable Stock, Cook Like a Pro
Chicken Noodle Soup, Family Style
Fruit & Cheese Platter, Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Country Dessert Platter, Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Garlic Toasts, Make It Ahead
Warm Marinated Olives, Cook Like a Pro
Cauliflower Toast, Cook Like a Pro
Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake, Barefoot Contessa Parties!
Classic Daiquiris, updated, Cook Like a Pro
Italian Iced Coffee, Cook Like a Pro
Autumn Sangria, Cook Like a Pro
Herbal Iced Tea, Family Style
Fresh Peach Bellinis, At Home
Jalapeno Margaritas, Make It Ahead
Cranberry Martinis, Make It Ahead
Dukes Cosmopolitan, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof
Raspberry Rayale, Barefoot in Paris
Cassis a I’eua, Barefoot in Paris
Watermelon Mojito, How Easy Is That?
Pink Grapefruit Margaritas, How Easy Is That?
Juice of a Few Flowers, Back to Basics
Mango Banana Daiquiris, Back to Basics
Aperol Spritzer, Cooking for Jeffery
Limoncello Vodka Collin, Cooking for Jeffery
French 75, Cooking for Jeffery
WHAT I LEARNED
ITALIAN ICED COFFEE.
This one is a winner. It is slushy, but in a grown-up way, and the flavor it phenomenal. While drinking these on afternoon, we had a moment where we wondered aloud if we should sell these at Hurley House. They were that good.
These are good, but they come with a huge warning. Everyone who tried these agreed they were way too spicy. Distractingly spicy. I think if I make them again I would remove the seeds from the jalapeno before soaking the tequila. Otherwise, per usual, Ina knows her way around a margarita.
Perhaps my favorite cocktail from the entire project, this reminds me of champagne lemonade. I love it.
This was the final recipe. The last hurrah. I shook it up with a smile on my face in front of a room full of cheering friends. It tasted like victory, like a party, like a long-awaited celebration. I will always remember this cocktail fondly and shall make it again in years to come.