I have a confession to make.  I belong to a book club.  Before you get carried away by visions of over-coiffed biddies expounding endlessly on the works of Austen and Tolstoy, let me explain.   What began as a traditional literary club has developed into an amalgamation of cooking club/wine club/social club/dance-party club, and most recently travel club.  When one of our members graciously offered to host a weekend at her family’s St. Helena home, we all knew that it was a proposition we couldn’t refuse.


Inspired by the wilds and wonders of the St. Helena countryside, I concocted a signature cocktail for the mini-vacation.  We headed deep into the hills of the Napa Valley to a remote piece of land where wild turkeys run free and – gasp – there is no cell reception.  To compliment the rustic scenery, I chose Woodford Reserve bourbon as my base, and added freshly muddled lemon with a hint of honey.  The combination flattered the smoky bourbon, without the overpowering saccharine taste omnipresent in sugary mixed drinks.  image

The cocktail was perfect for the balmy spring evening.  We sipped, gossiped, devoured, and dissected our book underneath dimly lit paper lanterns in the middle of a sprawling vineyard.  My Sweet Bourbon was such a success that we will be adding yet another designation to our ever-evolving group: mixology club.  xx tt

recipe BOX: Sweet Bourbon


·  1/3 cup Woodford Reserve Bourbon

·  2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

·  2 tablespoons organic local honey

· Crushed ice


·  Juice lemons, discard seeds

·  Combine bourbon, lemon juice, and honey  in a large glass

·  Whisk until honey is completely integrated  

·  Pour over ice

·  Garnish with a twist of lemon 


tool BOX: slip these ingenious whiskey stones from the SFMOMA Museum Store into your glass for a pure un-diluted taste


t+t for the TABLE: instead of your tried and true monogrammed highballs, use these hammered steel tumblers for cocktail service


t+t DECOR: serve your Sweet Bourbons at an outdoor affair illuminated by these twinkling mason jar party lights