The Tequila Sun Also Rises

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It was a week and a half ago that we moved out of our apartment in the boonies and into an old house in St. Pete. It was home to friends of ours for several years, so the house has good vibes. We woke up early on moving day (far too early for a Saturday), and a couple friends helped us load the truck. Derek brought doughnuts to ease the pain.

A few hours later, friends started showing up at the house. Ready to unload, unpack, and help us settle in. Pizza was ordered. From our fridge, which at this point held a bottle of champagne, leftover pie, and beer, we grabbed a few cans and then went out for more. Most of our friends live on this side of the bridge, and I’m glad we’ll be closer for more days like this.

Cooking in the new house was a breeze once all our pans and plates and gadgets were in order. It seemed all the moving boxes had the same label: kitchen. I learned how to use the gas stove, and we’ve since made fettuccine with cherry tomatoes and roasted garlic, simple dinners, a plum cake (coming to you soon!) and butter chicken.

We had guests stay with us over Labor Day weekend, and one night we had friends over for an impromptu dinner. You could maybe call it our first unofficial dinner party in the house? All the lights went off in one long pause as a storm came through. I held my breath. We didn’t even have the pasta water going yet and while most people appreciate a nice dinner by candlelight, cooking by candlelight sounded a lot less romantic. To my relief, the lights came back on. Dinner came together, slowly but surely.

Four bottles of wine. Poof.

Yeah, we’re loving this house.

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Our parents and friends got FaceTime house tours and were all charmed. The backyard is our own private jungle with a wall of towering bamboo on one side. The porch (we have a PORCH!) looks out onto more greenery — hibiscus, oversized ferns, and a tree with feathery branches skimming the roof.

Now that the moving is over, how about a drink? Because I like to celebrate the little things, but also because we still need to get new furniture and make this place feel like our home. I offer up a tequila sunrise inspired by our weekend in Mexico. I broke the rules here and used an orange-carrot juice, which I prefer to straight orange because the carrot mellows it out. This gives the drink a deeper hue, and I didn’t have grenadine so I used some of the syrup from a jar of Luxardo cherries. Not quite the same color explosion, I know, but it was still great to sip while looking out my new favorite window.

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This is a day drink, you know? Something for a lazy end-of-summer weekend afternoon or an alternative to your usual mimosa. Or a beach vacation in Mexico. You feel me? Recipe from Gourmet.

1/2 cup orange juice
2 ounces tequila
juice of 1/2 lime, plus 1 lime slice
1 teaspoon grenadine

Fill a 12-ounce glass halfway with ice. Add orange juice, tequila, and lime juice. Stir well. Drizzle grenadine over the drink, but do not stir it. Garnish the drink with a slice of lime.

Makes 1 drink.

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