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Crafted Cocktail Series ~ Spiced Pecan Spritz

Happy Friday Lovies!!!  As we all know it is my favorite day of the week and this cocktail series with the incredible Cathead Vodka has been the most fun.  Today I have a fun soirée to share with you, a Derby inspired cocktail hour with my friend Steve McKenzie.  Steve invited me to his charming condo to try out a fabulous recipe he created using the same vodka I was featuring. It was the perfect timing and I truly had such a lovely time.

Steve and his lovely wife Jill live in Buckhead and traded their family home for their gorgeous high rise condo with a spectacular view.  They reside in the oldest residential high rise in Atlanta. He told me they literally sold their home right after their oldest headed to college and never looked back. After touring the stunning home I can instantly see why. I stared out his kitchen window more than once to just take in the incredible west facing view.  He shared with me that the sunsets they witness rival those you would see at the beach and I may have invited myself over for drinks at a later date just to take it in.  I am shameless that way. 

But can you blame me?  

Steve created a delicious spicy cocktail perfectly timed for the Kentucky Derby which takes place this weekend.  He was inspired by the spiced nuts his wife Jill makes for recipes, especially salads. He was positive he could recreate the taste to serve with Cathead Pecan Vodka, and he was correct as he nailed it on the head. The drink is perfect, light and full of flavor but leaves you with a tiny bit of spice at the end.

Once his Spicy Simple Syrup was finished he drained the syrup and we served it over ice with the Pecan Vodka and some Pellegrino.  It was truly delicious and the color was so gorgeous.

And with a set up perfect for Derby weekend we snacked on Schermers pecans, enjoyed our cocktails and chatted for a few hours.  I loved hearing all about his move to the condo, the kitchen they designed, the items he has collected with Jill during their many travels and the stories of his estate sale shopping trips.  Just what a fun afternoon should be ... time with friends and a yummy cocktail.

Isn't the Butler tray incredible?  I have shared before that Steve is an artist, as well as an interior designer and shop owner, and this loop pattern is one of his original art pieces.  He sells the trays in both Indigo (seen here) and Walnut in the shop and I must say they are truly fabulous.  The size is perfect, as I picked it up more than once to move it and it held every single thing we needed for our get together. I love seeing Steve's amazing art displayed on such a fabulous piece.

I truly love this Pecan Vodka.  The smell is honestly divine and the flavor is even better.  Cathead describes it perfectly ...

Aromas of freshly roasted pecans provide a subtle sweetness that combines with the richness of the pecans for a nutty finish.

Derby anyone?

Next year Steve and his wife and myself and Lawyer will have to make a trip to Derby, I can only imagine we would find some fun friends to join us for a fabulous weekend of horses, laughter, great fashion, amazing food and of course, a Cathead Vodka cocktail. Or two ... 

To make Steve's amazing drink use the recipe below drawn by the one and only Thomas Ard!  Truly his talents know no end!

For the Spicy Simple Syrup recipe ... 2 cinnamon sticks, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1/2 cup raw sugar, 1/2 t cayenne pepper and 1 c water.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.  Strain and serve. 

Make sure you garnish your cocktail with a sprig of spearmint. 

Happy Friday!  Chin, chin to my favorite day of the week and quality time with amazing people!

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