Swig & Swill

The Hippocrene

the hippocrene

I was recently lucky enough to be asked by the fine folks at the Poetry Foundation to whip up a fancy-pants cocktail to celebrate 100 years of Poetry magazine. The cocktail was to be called the Hippocrene after the mythological fountain created by Pegasus. After much experimentation and some very helpful taste-testers, I ended up with:

The Hippocrene


  • 1 1/4 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce ginger liqueur (domaine de canton)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon mint tea (brewed at double strength) and chilled
  • 2 ounces dry, sparkling wine
  • Fresh basil, for garnish
  • Dash or two grapefruit bitters


Single glass preparation:

Combine all ingredients except sparkling wine, basil, and bitters (if using) in a mixing glass over ice. Stir and strain into a glass and top with remaining ingredients.

Punch preparation:

Combine all ingredients (in greater quantities) except sparkling wine, basil and bitters in an adequately sized serving bowl, along with some large blocks of ice. It’s best to let this mixture chill and dilute a little while before adding everything else, but if time is short, it could be refrigerated beforehand and water (sparkling or still) can be added along with the rest of the ingredients at service time. The basil should still be added directly to the glass, as it is the aroma and not necessarily the flavor that you’re after. It would also be nice to garnish the mixing bowl with some citrus slices, for color and a generally vigorous appearance.



Westervin Wishlist

26 Years

Pie from Bang Bang

It’s my birthday, y’all! Well, it will be tomorrow, and I’m gettin’ pumped. I have what I think is the perfect weekend-long birthday celebration ahead: Friday off from work (did someone say shopping); a trip with some frands to Six Flags on Saturday; and a joint-birthday potluck brunch in our backyard on Sunday (our pal LB is turning 24 that day). It will make for the most perfectest combination of relaxation, excitement, socializing, sunshine, and a little alcohol (Brian will be making fresh OJ for mimosas and tomato juice for bloody marys at the brunch)! Do I have it made or what?!

Because the anticipation is killing me, I thought I’d kill some time with a birthday wishlist, which includes some of these things I’m looking forward to and some things I’m still pining for.

The first is an entire pie from Bang Bang (see above). Preferably a chilled pie, like key lime or banana cream. Mmmmmm……. We’ll be picking up my pie order on Sunday for the brunch!

Six Flags roller coaster

Roller coasters via Six Flags. I need the thrill, baby!

edible arrangement

{ image from The Beautiful Thrifty Life }

An edible arrangement. Not kidding. I really want this. I’m literally so excited about one of these bad boys being delivered to my office tomorrow that I’ve probably spent 6 hours on their website looking at all the different fruit combinations and arrangements and asking Brian 50 times what time it’s gonna arrive!

Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me

More reading material! These are just two of the titles on my list of books to read before classes start again in September.  Here’s hoping I can keep it up through the fall semester! (Who am I kidding?)

handmade bracelets

Bracelets! All the bracelets!

Clockwise: Ice Blue, River, Two-Toned, Amazonite, Maidenhair Fern, Coral & Cobalt

gray and white cat

A companion for Fitzgerald. This kitteh’s name is Prince, and he wants me to give him a forever home. I can tell by the look in his eyes.

cat temporary tattoos

Or at least temporary cat tattoos. But preferably both.

A Pretty Pair

A Pretty Pair: Patchwork Cake

sculpture by Sarah Dougherty and painting by Clare Grill

{ Room Portrait by Sarah Dougherty (via Big Things) }

{ When You Get That Old by Clare Grill (via The Art Cake) }


26 on the Outside, 6 on the Inside

Happy Birthday Brian red and blue cookie cake

I did it! Please join everyone else in congratulating me on reaching twenty-six years of age. While that in and of itself might not be much of an accomplishment, this last year sure has been. As you all know, and are maybe tired of hearing about, I married my co-blogger and the all-around lovely lady, Sarah. Since this past year was such a big one, you may be a bit worried about me. You may be wondering what my twenty-seventh year could possibly bring about to top all the goings on of twenty-six. Well nothing, of course, could top the wedding, but I assure you that’s not going to stop me from livin’!
Continue reading

Blog News

Two Years of Westervin!

tall beeswax birthday candles

{ Beeswax Birthday Candles from Mile-End Soap & Candle Supply }

Have you heard?! Westervin is 2 years old. That’s quite a feat, if we may say so! What’s that? You don’t have a present? Well, that’s ok. Turns out you can wish us well by completing a little reader survey. It’ll help us get a better idea of what you like about Westervin, so we can be even better friends this year. Continue reading

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Fine Fixin's

Fine Fixin’s: Skillet Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Pan Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
It’s birthday season! Well, it’s birthday season for me anyway, and you know what that means: presents! Over the weekend, I received some early birthday presents from my parents including America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. This is one of those giant cookbooks that seems to have a recipe for everything. I wanted to add another one of these to my collection and thought that it might as well be a ‘healthy’ one. So far, Sarah and I have only glanced though it, but we’re both pretty excited. Hopefully we’ll be sharing some of the best recipes with you this year. But for now, you’ll have to settle for this recipe, which I made yesterday because I had an excess of carrots and parsnips.

Skillet Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

3/4 c water
3/4 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
1 tbsp canola oil
4 carrots (12 oz), peeled, and sliced 1/2″ thick on the bias
3 parsnips (9 oz), peeled, and sliced 1/2″ thick on the bias
1 tbsp minced parsley

1. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Combine the water sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt in a bowl. Add the carrots and water to the skillet. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the carrots begin to soften. 7-9 minutes.

2. Uncover and turn the heat up to high. Add parsnips and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water evaporates and the veggies brown. 13-18 minutes. Add some salt, and any other tasty herbs you might have. I used some Herbes de Provence.

Blog News

Happy Birthday, Westervin!

{ one hundred thirty three by Hannah Greene }

The Westervin blog is one year old! Can you believe it? We gave birth to this little idea of a silly blog around this time last year, and my how our little creation has grown in 12 months! My how our lives have changed in 12 months! An engagement, a new job, a new apartment, and our crazy kitty child, Fitzgerald. Happy as clams, we are.

How will we celebrate? Chocolate cake, of course! Lots of chocolate cake. And a little trip to see our bestest best friends in the whole universe. And probably some champagne, if I have anything to say about it. But don’t worry–we haven’t forgotten about you, our faithful reader. We probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you, all of you, with your sweet comments and encouraging feedback. We’ve even got a little present for you. You’ll have to wait until Monday, though. But I’ll give you a hint… it rhymes with Clog Piveaway.

A Westervin Wedding, Daily Pretties

Daily Pretties: Is it house trained?

{ family portrait :: the sams from Heather Landis }  { medusa from A Journey Round My Skull }

Meow meow, kitty-kitties.  I hope you had a red, white and blue-tiful weekend (for those of you residing in the good ol’ US of A, at least) and are transitioning into yet another hot ‘n’ sweaty summer week.  Brian and I actually let our patriotism fall a little by the wayside  this weekend — may our forefathers forgive us — as our ears filled with the distant sounds of wedding bells and our minds wandered over every possible detail (seemingly) of a garden ceremony and starlit reception, replete with every charm expected of an Ozark Mountain romance (how’s that for a theme, grandma!), including, but not limited to apple and pecan cup-pies, antler chandeliers (I’ll explain this one later), assorted vintage textiles, and minty, fruit-filled cocktails.  Not to mention a color pallet to make a blind man swoon!  Imagine: Bone, Peanut Brittle, Tin Roof, Bluebell, Seafoam, and Dirt Clod (I cannot be bothered with boring color names.)  Yes, my pretty kitties, in addition to settling on a venue, we have set our hearts on a date.  September 3rd, 2011.  Whew!  Now that that’s off my chest, we can get down to the important stuff.  My zealous campaign for a birthday cat!  A cat, with a bow on it, presented to me, on my 24th birthday.  Make it happen, people.  I’ve already picked out a name for her.  Are you ready?  KITTY COURIC!  I. am. so. good.

Swell Dwelling

Swell Dwelling: Party Perfect

How do you know if you’re an overachiever?  If, for your fiancé’s birthday party, you’ve made a canopy of streamers that covers your entire ceiling, using strips of magazine organized by dominant color and arranged in rainbow order, then it’s probably a safe bet.

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