Girlfriend Drinks: My Mom’s St. Germain Cocktail
My mom. She is the ultimate the girlfriend. Not only does she look like she could be my girlfriend (there was a solid season where I used #mothernotsister in every photo as people had started to think I had 3 sisters not 2) but all my girlfriends who meet my mom instantly want to be her friend. She’s the best, and some days like today I feel the 3,000 miles physically separating us more profoundly.
She introduced me to girlfriend dates: nail painting sessions, Valentine’s Day card making, French braiding, cute cafes and strong espresso.
She also taught me so many lessons about hosting:
- 20 people is the baseline for all gatherings: I don’t know if it’s my introvert mother’s preference or just a result of my dad being extremely extroverted with a propensity to “just invite people over,” but I grew up thinking that something wasn’t really an event unless approximately 20 people were coming. Subsequently, I have two modes of cooking: for two people or twenty.
- Everyone can have a task: I still remember when I was 5 my mom put me in charge of the door and name tag table at a baby shower she was hosting. My duties: answer the door, and then kindly ask people to make a name tag.
- Candles go a long a way. Most parties we threw I vividly remember the pre-party scramble to suddenly light all the candles all over the house. We put candles everywhere in every room, even on the Xmas tree (which gives most people a heart attack). They’re beautiful and set the mood.
- Some helper bees will need more instruction: Back to being 5 and name tag duty. There was a candle on the name tag table (which is what you’d expect after what I just described, right?). It was the 80s, and big hair was a thing. One poor woman so nicely followed my instructions, grabbed a pen, and leaned over to write her name. Meanwhile her 8 foot bangs took a dive with her, into the candle. But her bangs were so far from her head that she couldn’t see or feel that her hair was on fire. 5 year old shy me, just stood there and watched. My mom hadn’t given me instructions about putting out fires; so in my mind I was still fulfilling my job duties. Thankfully another lady noticed and came flying toward the lady violently swinging a newspaper. This is when I learned that sometimes you would have to take initiative and do something not entirely spelled out for you. And also that people who want to help might not have ever learned this; so give thorough instructions that cover a lot of if-then bases. “If anything at all happens to the table you are manning, do something”
- Do everything (or as many things as possible) ahead of time: This right here might just be the key to life. I thought it was entirely normal for most of the party prep to happen well in advance of the party: cookies baked the week before; cheese and veggies chopped earlier in the day; dips mixed the day before; tables, napkins, utensils, platters all set out ready to go…weeks before? Okay that might be a stretch. But, seriously, there is so much you can do in advance. It’s invigorating and makes parties so much less stressful.
- Back to name tags: Always a good idea. Except with 80s hair and candles, then forget them whatever you do!
- Display is important: We didn’t make elaborate towers with cheese or shape fruit in the form of flowers, but my mom would put thought into nicely arranging all the items. Moving dip from the plastic tupperware where it’s stored into a cute anthropologie bowl with a spoon = 10x cooler dip.
- Order is important: My mom is half German in blood and a 100% German in her love for order. I attribute my affinity to logistics and operations to her. She was thoughtful about what food went where on the buffet station. Think through your party flow.
- You’re never completely done when guests arrive: There is always something still in the oven or something that still needs doing when guests starting arriving, and that’s ok.
- The first guest: Whoever is first to ring that doorbell no matter what party anywhere always creates spike of adrenaline.
My Mom’s St. Germain Cocktail
Today’s girlfriend drink in honor of my mother is another St. Germain creation. I’m pretty certain I introduced her to St. Germain, but she, being the savvy one that she is, did her own research and found this delightful creation. We now refer to it as “my mom’s St Germain cocktail” even though it’s actually St. Germain (the company)’s creation.
It’s delightful. Your girlfriends, and even maybe your mother, are bound to like it.
- 2 oz white wine or sparkling white wine
- 1.5 oz St. Germain
- 1-2 oz seltzer (optional)
- lemon twist (for garnish)
- Pour first the wine, then the St. Germain, and then the seltzer into an ice-filled glass.