Negroni Week: My Favorite Cocktail Recipes and an Exclusive Etta + Billie Product!

image from Imbibe

When I think of ordering a Negroni, my mind is usually telling me it’s time to sit and relax. Take a load off, savor the moment, which is hard to do with a 1-year old baby boy!
The Negroni is the perfect cocktail for these kinds of moods. They’re a bit bitter, strong, and subtly sweet. For one our favorite weeks at Etta + Billie, Negroni Week, I wanted to share some of the most interesting ways you can enjoy this iconic cocktail, where to get them, and also share some exciting E+B news!

Classic Negroni: Junior. Mission, SF

Exterior of Junior in the Mission District of San Francisco

Located just a hop and a skip from my house, Junior is my favorite local spot to sit n’ think for a while with a good, herbaceous Negroni. The interior is beautiful, the colors are contemplative, which makes for the perfect environment. Here are the ingredients for the Classic recipe:

Interior of Junior, located in the Mission District of San Francisco. A full display of the bar.
image from EaterSF

Classic Negroni
1 oz. Gin (my favorite is St. George’s!)
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1 oz. Campari
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: Rocks Glass
Garnish: Orange Peel
Combine all ingredients and stir with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish.

Kingston Negroni: Outerlands, Outer Sunset, SF

Interior of Outerlands, a restaurant in the Outer Sunset District of San Francisco.
image from EaterSF

If you take the N-line outbound to the beach, through layers of fog, you’ll find this wonderful gem of a restaurant called Outerlands. Although they’re known for many things (like their amazing grilled cheese!), the bartenders introduced me to the Kingston Negroni, and now it’s my favorite place to get it. Using Jamaican rum instead of gin, I was pleasantly surprised by the rich, spicy combination. Definitely the kind of drink you want to have with a friend, savoring all the flavors of your Negroni and sharing deep conversation. Here are the ingredients for the Kingston Negroni recipe:

A Kingston Negroni on the counter of Outerlands in midday


Kingston Negroni
1 oz. Jamaican rum (my favorite is Smith and Cross!)
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz Campari
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: rocks
Garnish: orange peel
Combine all ingredients and stir with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish.

Mezcal Negroni: Hello Stranger, Uptown Oakland

Interior of Oakland's Hello Stranger in the Uptown District. a Large L-shaped bar with cool lighting and plenty of space to move around
image from EaterSF

Across the bridge, Hello Stranger is my favorite Uptown bar for a Negroni. On the weekends this place gets busy, but during the week you can always count on a mellow scene with great music. Honestly, what brought me to this place was word of their original creation: the Hell’s Belles Negroni. With earthy mezcal, herbaceous rosemary (they even torch the rosemary sprig!) this version surprised me in the best way. It’s an experience you must check out if you’re in Oakland. Here are the ingredients for the
Mezcal Negroni:

The Hell's Belles mezcal negroni sitting on the bar at Hello Stranger in Uptown Oakland
image from EaterSF

Hell’s Belles
1 ¼ oz. mezcal (Hello Stranger uses Wahaka espadín)
1 ½ oz. Cocchi Americano Rosa
½ oz. Campari
Tools: barspoon, strainer
Glass: Old Fashioned
Garnish: grapefruit twist, rosemary sprig
Stir all the ingredients with ice to chill, then strain into an ice-filled glass. Twist a piece of grapefruit peel over the drink, then pierce the twist with a rosemary sprig and use as garnish. (Optional: Use a kitchen torch to flame the rosemary sprig until it smokes; extinguish the flame before serving.)

New Etta + Billie product: Negroni Soap!

Etta + Billie Negroni Soap displayed on a table with other bar tools, as well as a hand holding a negroni cocktail

Just in time for Negroni Week, I made a small batch of soap inspired by one of my favorite classic cocktails, the Negroni! It’s the perfect combination of sweet and bitter and a little boozy. Visit our Instagram page for more Negroni Week updates, as well as our website to purchase your favorite new cocktail soap.

In the Kitchen: 5 Fancy Looking but Totally Easy Easter Brunch Recipes

There are many things to celebrate on Easter, but one of my all-time favorite parts of the day is the incredible holiday brunch gathering. The kind of brunch you don’t see on a normal day. The kind that makes your eyes wide, mouth water, and sets your stomach growling!

Ready to be hailed brunch royalty? Here are some scrumptious recipes to put you on that pedestal: 

French Toast Casserole 

Flavorful and delicious, this french toast bake takes 15 minutes of prep the night before. Impressive dish, without the stress. 

Brioche with Prosciutto, Gruyere, and Egg

Fancy will be your name after you serve your guests this open-faced fried egg sandwichon toasted, buttery bread. Top with your favorites like frisee salad, prosciutto, and add some pretty garnish. 

The World’s Easiest (VEGAN) Sticky Buns

Soft, tender, and fluffy! These sticky bunsare perfectly spiced and loaded with pecans! This delectable treat gets better with each bite. 

Apricot-Bourbon Glazed Ham

This tangly glaze by the one and only Martha Stewartcarmelizes into a gorgeous amber coat for a bone-in presentation that is sure to impress. Sweet, tart, and smoky, this ham is a stunning centerpiece. 

Easter Brunch Cocktail: Lavender & Grapefruit

You can’t leave brunch without an impressive (but simple) Easter Brunch Cocktail. This drink is hard to mess up with only TWO ingredients! Lavender-infused vodka and grapefruit juice! Okay three ingredients – you do have to infuse the vodka with dried lavender prior to the day. But totally worth it! 

In the Kitchen: Best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!

From Craftsman and Wolves

These are the best chocolate chip cookies EVER! Seriously. I know there are a ton of blog articles out there claiming to be the real deal, but none of them have ever made me feel the way about a cookie like I do when I’m waiting on the Craftsman and Wolves to get out of the oven. 

Think ooey gooey hot Valrhona chocolate wrapped in a salty-sweet cookie batter with REAL vanilla and sea salt. I mean oh.my.goodness! Take it to the next level with a dip in some almond milk and I’m done for the day!

Have I convinced you? 

Get the Recipe: Valrhona Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe Roundup: Cozy Winter Dishes

I admit it: I’m pretty anti-traditional when it comes to resolutions. People generally pick something and then beat themselves up about not doing it, or just have a hard time incorporating it into their lives because it’s something really intense – like going from never exercising to setting a goal to go to the gym 5 days a week! It’s not very sustainable or easy to accomplish. 

But I also love that the New Year sparks the imagination for improving your healthy and happiness. And it’s one of my favorite times of year to try out new (somewhat healthy) recipes. 

I’m talking about the kind of meals you eat while wearing fuzzy socks. These Winter recipes are the ultimate in soul-warming comfort food. And healthy (ish) too! 

So, park yourself in front of the fireplace and chow down on these amazing cozy dishes. After all, the New Year is about improvement, not deprivation. 

Roasted Winter Vegetable Bowl

Pepper-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Lemon Chicken Piccata

Apple Crisp in a Mug

In the Kitchen: Evergreen Tangerine Inspired Cocktails

The combination of pine and citrus is classic. Its aroma brings instant warmth, comfort, and distinct character to any room it permeates. An easy way to have the rooms of your home smelling like this delicious blend is with our Evergreen Tangerine Room + Body Spray, but if you feel like getting crafty in the kitchen instead, these refreshing and festive cocktail recipes can lend a hand.

Photo by: Parsnips and Pastries

Rosemary Citrus Gin + Tonic

This drink makes use of winter citrus fruits and rosemary not just for garnish, but to masterfully compliment the flavor of gin. The rosemary adds a not-quite-pine yet herbal hint of flavor. The Meyer lemons used in this recipe are sweeter than regular lemons, and their rind carries a highly fragrant and spicy aroma that combines beautifully in this cocktail.

Ingredients:

1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 clementine
½ Meyer lemon (juiced)
2 ounces of Tropicana tangerine lemonade (or tangerine juice)
2 ounces gin
3 ounces tonic water
Clementine and lemon slices, additional rosemary sprigs for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle half of your clementine with a large sprig of rosemary.
  2. Add the juice from half a Meyer lemon, gin, and some ice.
  3. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass.
  4. Top with tangerine juice/tangerine lemonade and tonic.
  5. Garnish the glass with slices of clementine and/or lemon and add a sprig of rosemary as a cocktail stirrer.

Photo by: DRAM

The Jockey

If you’re in the mood for cocktail that utilizes actual pine rather than more standard herbal flavors, this is the one for you! A twist on the Mint Julep, this flavorful and refreshing drink is sure to be a hit at any holiday party.

Ingredients:

1½ ounces of bourbon
1 ounce of pine syrup
2 lime wedges, muddled
Handful of mint leaves, muddled
Citrus bitters

Directions:

  1. Fill a pint glass or martini shaker with mint and lime wedges Muddle well.
  2. Add the bourbon, pine syrup, and citrus bitters and pour over ice.
  3. Shake well and pour into a fresh glass with crushed ice.
  4. Garnish with fresh mint.

In the Kitchen: Hot Toddy Recipes

Nothing says “warm” and “cosy” like a hot toddy on a cold day. These cocktails—typically enjoyed when the weather begins to get colder and wetter—are even rumored to help cure the common cold! A simple blend of liquor, hot water, honey, and occasionally herbs and spices; this classic drink is not only a winter staple but can be dressed up to impress even the pickiest of cocktail connoisseurs.

classic hot toddyPhoto by Meg Baggott, Styling by Dylan Garret

The Classic Hot Toddy Recipe: Use this recipe to make a perfectly simple and classic hot toddy, or use it as a base to work with to add your favorite tea, spices, or other ingredients.

Apple Cinnamon Hot Toddy: Inspired by the taste of delicious apple pie, this drink will have you feeling like you just drank a spiked version of your favorite winter dessert (just without the crust)!

Hot Toddy Caramel Popcorn: Looking for that hot toddy flavor, but not in the mood for a drink? This popcorn recipe combines classic caramel popcorn with hot toddy flavors for a creative take on both!

Fresh This Month: Evergreen Tangerine

The smell of pine and citrus instantly conjures memories of winter holidays, warm meals, and cozy nights. Etta + Billie’s latest line of soaps, room + body spray, and hand + body wash is no exception. Inspired by snowy walks through evergreen forests and tangy season citrus, these products are sure to be showstoppers in your home or make great holidays gifts for friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and anyone who like great scents!

etta + billie evergreen tangerine soap

Evergreen Tangerine Soap
Evergreen Tangerine Sea Salt Body Scrub
Evergreen Tangerine Hand + Body Wash
Evergreen Tangerine Room + Body Spray

tangerine gin cocktail© Wendell T. Webber

Can’t get enough of the delectable combination? This cocktail can help bring your favorite evergreen tangerine scents and flavors to any dinner party or happy hour. Simple and delicious!

Ingredients:
10 ounces gin
8 ounces tangerine juice (fresh squeezed is best)
4 ounces simple syrup
8 ounces chilled club soda
Ice

Directions:

  1. Combine gin, tangerine juice, and simple syrup in a large sealable container and refrigerate until chilled (at least 1 hour).
  2. Cover the container, shake, and pour into an ice-filled pitcher.
  3. Strain into individual ice-filled glasses and stir in club soda.

Go-To Tips: Fall Activities and Treats

October is a great month for getting ready for watching the leaves change, wearing your coziest and softest flannels, and snacking on many delicious treats. October is also a particularly good time to getting your home and body prepared for the upcoming winter. Here are some of our favorite seasonal activities and treats (snackable and otherwise) to enjoy and share with others.

Fall Pumpkin

Apple Picking: It wouldn’t be fall without apple picking! Whether you enjoy eating apples raw or using them to bake apple pies or make caramel apples, apple picking is a great activity for the whole family. Some apple orchards even offer tasty treats on-site to keep you fueled, like apple cider and pastries. So grab your friends, Google your nearest apple orchard, and spend some time outdoors in the crisp autumn air.

Chai Tea Room + Body Spray: Chai is one of those scents that elicits the warm, spicy, and subtly sweet smells of autumn. This chai tea spray is a perfectly complementary combination of smells to not only help your home smell like a comforting and seasonal space, but can also help freshen YOU up! Safe for linens, the body, your car, and more; feel free to be generous with this Etta + Billie product to make your home fall ready.

Cheese and Pretzel Broomsticks: These fun little snacks are great for kids and adults at parties. No cooking required; just get some thin pretzel sticks, string cheese, a knife, and some chives (optional) for garnish. Just be sure to snap a photo of your creative snack plate before they’re all gobbled up!

Boozy Apple Cider: A signature cocktail is a must at any gathering. This drink is a great option since it can be used for all autumn-themed parties and can even be made without alcohol for kids. Served in seasonally appropriate carved-out apples, sweetened with a hint of caramel, and spiked with cinnamon-flavored Fireball Whiskey; this cocktail will wow all your party guests.

Corn Maze and Pumpkin Picking: Getting lost in a corn maze can be a fun activities for kids of all ages, however, some places offer Halloween or horror-themed mazes for adults too. A perfect excuse to run around in the outdoors and burn off some energy, corn mazes can keep kids entertained for hours. Many farms also offer pumpkin picking, so you can head home ready to carve pumpkins, make pumpkin pie, or roast pumpkin seeds.

Ginger Orange Lip Balm + Salve: Nothing is worse than having dry, itchy skin once the weather starts getting colder. Help keep your skin moisturized with this revitalizing ginger orange lip balm and salve instead! The ginger is both calming and refreshing, the orange lends hints of uplifting citrus, and the nourishing oils and cocoa butter keep your skin conditioned and soothed all year round.

Etta + Billie Ginger Orange Lip Balm + Salve

Fresh This Month: Chai Tea

Chai is a perfect winter scent with a warming grounding blend of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and ginger. The warming spicy aroma of cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg meld with the creamy richness of milk to create a delicious and soothing blend.

Chai is a phenomenally distinct yet versatile flavor and scent. Commonly founds mixed with black tea, chai originated in South Asia and can be traced back to India and China. While chai spices vary from region to region, traditional chai spices include cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, cloves, fennel, ginger, and peppercorn.

Etta + Billie Chai Tea

If you’re interested in making your own chai drink, here is a simple and delicious recipe that combines black tea, milk, and spices.

Ingredients:

2-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
10 whole cloves
6 cardamom pods
6 cups cold water
6 bags of black tea
2 cups of whole milk (or almond/soy milk)

Directions:

  1. Combine fresh ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, and cardamom in a medium saucepan. While stirring, lightly crush the spices.
  2. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover the saucepan, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, add tea bags and steep for 5 minutes.
  5. Discard tea bags, add your milk of choice, and simmer over high heat for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, strain chai into a teapot, and serve hot.

Etta + Billie Chai Tea Limited Edition Products

Want to include the deliciously aromatic smells of chai not just in your beverages but in your home and skincare routine too? You’re in luck! Etta + Billie just released a line of limited edition chai tea inspired bath and body products for those who can’t get enough of the stuff.

A perfect scent for the cooler temperatures of fall and winter, these chai bath and body products offer the perfect blend of warming cinnamon and ginger with spicy cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg:

Chai Tea Body Scrub
Chai Tea Room + Body Spray
Chai Tea Skin Balm
Chai Tea Soap