Authentic Suburban Gourmet: “The Bridgett Cocktail”

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Milestones are epic moments in life that are unforgettable.
Whether it is the birth of a baby, high school graduation, college graduation, first
real job, marriage or buying your first house – they are all milestones.
Milestones are locked in your memory forever and pave the way through this journey
we call life.

Several weeks ago, we celebrated a milestone birthday with
our neighbors. Their daughter Bridgett turned 21.  We first met Bridgett when she was just seven
years old.  Our court was newly built and
each neighbor slowly moved in and we all became friends.  As time passed, those friendships evolved and
changed. Some got stronger, some dissolved and some remained simply neighbors.
This progression is quite interesting to reflect upon.

Ours with Bridgett and her family became stronger. We are
affectionately known as Auntie Lisa and Uncle Charles to her and her
brother.  Not having children ourselves,
except for the furry type, we are both very honored to have this special
relationship with our wonderful neighbors and good friends.  Going back to celebrating the milestone
birthday for Bridgett, I wanted to do something memorable.  Why not throw a cocktail party in her honor
and create a signature cocktail aptly named – “The Bridgett”.  Let the planning begin.

A couple months ago, I was on vacation for a wedding in Arkansas
and was introduced to Aperol and Tito’s Vodka – those two libations would be my
inspiration for the signature cocktail. 
What is a cocktail party without some great appetizers?  I created a special cheese platter complete
with my homemade Balsamic Fig Jam.
Along side the cheese plate was Oven Roasted Grape Crostini’s, Caprese Bites,
Avocado Toasted with Reduced Balsamic and Bourbon Apricot Meatballs.  Of course no birthday celebration would be
complete with that perfect cake.  Since
Bridgett is a chocolate lover, I made my Chocolate Espresso Cake – a crowd
pleaser for sure.

All in all, a fun night celebrating a milestone – cheers to
you Bridgett!

The Bridgett Cocktail

Makes 2

2 oz. Tito’s Vodka

2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

½ oz. Aperol

½ oz. Champagne

Couple dashes of Orange Bitters

Orange Peel for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, add all of the ingredients above
except the orange peel with ice and shake well. 
Rub the orange peel around the inside of the glass and on the rim, then
strain the cocktail into the glass and add orange peel.  Enjoy!

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