toggle navigation

Cocktail Hour

October 5, 2011

Our wedding reception. Wearing my second dress for the night and token bunny ears.

For those of you married, do you ever dream of what you’d do differently if you had the opportunity to plan your wedding all over again? I was never one of those girls who dreamed out my wedding day for hours on end. To be honest, I’m still surprised myself that I met the love of my life when I was 26—I would’ve predicted a much older encounter. At any rate, I love the way my husband tells it as something like me strutting across the CNN newsroom and him checking out the goods squeezed into skinny jeans. To which I pulled the trump card several months later, the ol’ I’m too tipsy to drive home, we’d better go back to your place. Well played. By both of us.

But, I would do it differently. My wedding, that is. We got married October 18, 2003 and planning was stressful and I was a nightmare to be around, I’ll admit. For starters, I’d maybe not handle everything in the wedding department as an afterthought, since I was planning it with my mother four states away just after Shock and Awe began in Iraq, and well, I didn’t give two-you-know-whats about chair covers, dress alterations, and programs then. At that time I was making sure producers on our show’s team were getting outfitted with flack jackets and I was working 12 hour shifts for months on end. But, boy I care now.

I certainly would’ve created a drink for the cocktail hour. Maybe two, one for each of us, each D, a his and hers version of something lovely to sip on during a fall evening while we, the bride and bridegroom, posed for photos. And the drinks would’ve had a meaningful name, representing both the occasion and us. For the gents, it’d certainly include bourbon, since it’s my husband’s drink of choice, mine something varying off a Pimm’s Cup, since that and vodka tonics are generally the only two cocktails I order.

Here’s what we would’ve, should’ve riffed on for our cocktail hour. Two drinks—we’ll name them the Dahlia and the DSD Old-Fashioned respectively. It was either those names or else our drinks would be called Baghdad and Tight Jeans, and since the occasion included extended family in attendance and a small town in Kansas hosting, I thought names with our monogrammed initials and a pretty flower sounded a bit more respectable. I’m certain my Grammy and mother would agree.

Cin cin to (almost) 8 years.

Dahlia (a.k.a. Tight Jeans)
Recipe from the Napolean House in New Orleans

• Fill a tall 12 oz glass with ice and add 1 1/4 oz. Pimm’s #1 and 3 oz lemonade
• Top with 7up
• Garnish with cucumber

DSD Old-Fashioned (a.k.a. Baghdad)
Recipe adapted from Esquire
• 1 sugar cube
• 3 dashes Angostura bitters
• Club soda
• 2 ounces bourbon

Place the sugar cube (or 1/2 teaspoon loose sugar) in an Old-Fashioned glass. Wet it down with 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and a short splash of water or club soda. Crush the sugar with a wooden muddler. Rotate the glass so that the sugar grains and bitters give it a lining. Add a large ice cube. Pour in the  bourbon. Serve with a stirring rod.