The Dillinger

Published On October 4, 2012 | By Mike Lewicki | Cocktails, Vodka

Dinner parties happen with some consistency and frequency in the house. Usually it’s to commemorate a special occasion but sometimes we have people over to thank them for their friendship and fill our house with noise and cheer. It’s the kind of noise reserved for good friends spending time together, laughing and sharing stories. Each menu is crafted for the occasion, focusing on local, seasonal goods brought to the table one course at a time. Food and friendship brings us together, but there’s always something special waiting for them when they get here.

In the days leading up to the dinner, I start taking notes relating to the season. A pen and stack of paper sit on my lap as I plan out the meal and ingredients needed. I turn to magazines and books for inspiration, but often the only inspiration I need can be found at the market down the street. So I scribble down anything and everything that comes to mind and slowly narrow it down. I head to the market and start crossing items off the list, occasionally altering my choices depending on what is stocked and fresh.

Saturday starts off slowly. Over a coffee I begin breaking down the day. Time issues, cooking schedules, prep and planning. As the day winds into the afternoon the main is usually ready for the oven and resting until needed. Dessert is well under way as is the soup, which is simmering away and building flavour on the stove. By mid-afternoon I’m putting the finishing touches on the hors d’oeuvres and things are moving along nicely.

With a couple of hours to go until our guests arrive I start muddling, mixing and making the cocktail for the night. I pull out my shaker and bar tools and start muddling the cucumbers and agave nectar. Almost methodically I work step by step until I have the flavour just right. I pour myself a glass and settle in. The first taste hits all the right notes. Now, with my glass still close by, I make a pitcher full, altering the quantities to make enough for everyone. And seconds.

The last minutes of the day feel like the calm before the storm, when things get silent and still before the clock reminds us how little time we have left.  We are moments from a flurry of activity in our house. My wife has the mood set, table prepared and night’s music in rotation. She dims the lights and tries the cocktail. Instant love. We share our last moment alone together over a drink. And then the doorbell rings and the ritual settles in.

She heads to the door while I stay in the kitchen, stirring the pots and looking over everything one last time. I can hear the voices in the distance and the mood is light and cheerful. I line up ten rock glasses and pour the contents of the pitcher into them, each one the same as the  last. I top them all with a dill sprig and add a quartered lime. I load them on a tray and wait while they continue to filter in.

By now some of our guests approach me. I smile. “Hey! Welcome to our home! Glad you could make it tonight. Help yourselves to a cocktail, it’s especially made for tonight!” We like to start things right. We let them know all our dinner parties begin with a drink.  It sets the tone for the evening and lets them know they’re in good hands and they’ll be taken care good care of.


Mike is the boy behind the blog Verses From My Kitchen.

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About The Author

Mike Lewicki
once worked behind a bar. You can't get better cocktail experience than that. Mike is blogger at Versus From My Kitchen Follow Mike on twitter @mikevfmk.

13 Responses to The Dillinger

  1. ducky says:

    Yum! This sounds really unusual and good!

  2. Ken says:

    Utterly refreshing, love the twist with dill. I bet your dinner parties are the most warm and joyful evening anyone can spend with friend.

  3. Your dinner parties sound way more calm than mine. I am normally running around like a mad woman up until the doorbell rings. Maybe I need a few of these beforehand to calm my nerves!

  4. Stacey says:

    I can only imagine that you and the Mrs provide a fabulous atmosphere and delightful edibles and libations. All beautifully captured on film as well.
    This cocktail sounds delicious and refreshing!

  5. Brian Brian says:

    When we finally meet, M, I want you to make me one of these. Just remember that. ;-)

  6. This is pretty exciting! I love dill so this really appeals to me!

  7. Any dinner party that starts with a drink like this sounds good to me!

  8. Rosemary says:

    wish I drank – looks so yummy – will give my next dinner party a treat

  9. Ally Jane says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Do you deliver?

  10. I’d love to get a glass of your dillined on a dinner party. Such a nice idea.

  11. I want to come to your dinner party!

  12. Brooks says:

    My word, this cocktail looks so satisfyingly refreshing. No doubt a sure fire way to get a dinner party off to a great start. Cheers!

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