“One’s life and passion may be elsewhere, but New York is where you prove if what you think in theory makes sense in life.” ~ Miuccia Prada
Last year, we went to New York City after our home renovations to celebrate my 40th birthday.
I love New York.
Our last evening there, we left our apartment in Midtown East and stayed at The Hudson Hotel in Hell’s Kitchen as an extra special treat.
I was disappointed to learn that their famed Sky Terrace and Private Park were closed on account of the unseasonably cool weather. We asked the concierge where would be a nice spot for an intimate drink before dinner and he suggested their own Library Bar.
I should mention, about the only thing I adore more than a beautiful edible garden is a gorgeous library.
And as a general rule, I don’t enjoy bars. They’re noisy, crowded and you risk forking over a fortune for some average drinks.
But The Library Bar was different. It literally resembles a large library, with warm wood panelling, open fireplaces, chesterfield wingback chairs and comfortable leather lounge chairs. Books to read. And chessboards.
Books and chessboards in a bar, oh my!
I tried my best to play New-York-cool as I browsed the cocktail menu even though I wanted to take photos of every square inch and squee with delight.
Out of the corner of my eye, I spied a copy of “David Bowie: A Life in Pictures” that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on.
(Incidentally, I heard the news of David Bowie’s passing earlier that year when I was in my greenhouse and not too ashamed to tell you I had a little cry. He’s my all-time favourite artist and we even had the opportunity to see him in concert in Perth. When we renovated, my sympathetic tradie, Glenn the Tiler, would crank up the volume on the Bowie songs when he came on the radio, bless him.)
The only thing that would have made The Library Bar better at that point would have been a basket full of black kittens for me to play with.
I ordered a Honey and the Bees, a delicious mix of “Bombay Sapphire Gin, Fresh Mint, Fresh Lemon Juice and Orange Blossom Water and Amber Honey”
I don’t have their actual recipe. But I have played with the mix since, trying to recapture the simple pleasure of that drink. I am close! I think it is the perfect Valentine’s Day cocktail, with aphrodisiac honey in the mix.
I’m calling my version…
Put a martini glass in the freezer to chill.
2 shots of your favourite Gin
(I like Bombay Sapphire Gin.)
1/2 shot of fresh lemon juice
(I used tart, Eureka lemons.)
1/2 shot of honey
(I used honey from my own hive, but do try to find local find raw honey, even if you aren’t an utter beek like me.)
A few drops of orange flower water
(You could also use rosewater.)
A few leaves of fresh mint
Combine all the ingredients in your cocktail shaker and stir carefully to dissolve the honey. Once the honey is incorporated, shake your cocktail over ice. Pour into your pre-chilled glass and garnish with a mint leaf or a blossom of your choice!
I don’t know when we will be back in New York. But I hope it is soon. And if you have the inclination and are undecided…go.
Just go. While you can.
In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my cocktail and reminisce. Twenty years ago today (February 13th) Husband proposed! We’ve come a long way, and I look forward to another 20 years, at least, adventure together!