Liqueur Project

homemade liqueur

Homemade liqueurs, strawberry and coffee.

Both are delicious. I am going to make more for gifts and for my own cabinet. Here are the recipes…

Homemade Coffee Liqueur, from Macheesmo.

I ordered my Madagascar vanilla beans from The Spice House. I used a dark roast bird friendly coffee I order from Birds & Beans (and drink anyway for breakfast): Scarlet Tanager French Roast.

This liqueur is amazing in Black Russians and White Russians. I liked it 50/50 with vodka (1 part vodka, 1 part coffee liqueur). For a White Russian, 2 parts vodka, 2 parts coffee liqueur, 1 part cream.

Strawberry Liqueur, by Laurie on

I used local strawberries, from Applecrest Farm Orchards. Hoping to get both my daughters to join me there today to pick some more!

More about Strawberry Liqueur plus another recipe, from Serious Eats: How to Make Strawberry Liqueur.

You can splash a little strawberry liqueur in sparkling wine or club soda for a quick refresher, use it to sweeten up a seasonal sangria, or sub it in for other liqueurs like triple sec in classics like a Margarita. And you don’t need a lot of patience, since it doesn’t take long for strawberries to release their flavor and color—after only a day or two you’ll have a bright red infusion that smells like a Strawberry Shortcake doll who likes to party.

Maybe I can use the strawberry liqueur in the drink I invented, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Coming soon: Homemade Rhubarb Bitters and Homemade Blueberry Liqueur.

Flashing in the sunlight

Tree swallow on a wire, balancing in the wind, yesterday on Mount Agamenticus.

I was looking for migrating hawks and I found swallows instead, dozens of them.

Handsome aerialists with deep-blue iridescent backs and clean white fronts, Tree Swallows are a familiar sight in summer fields and wetlands across northern North America. They chase after flying insects with acrobatic twists and turns, their steely blue-green feathers flashing in the sunlight.

I do love the handsome aerialists.

Swallows and martins are the family Hirundinidae.

Swallows have adapted to hunting insects on the wing by developing a slender, streamlined body and long pointed wings, which allow great maneuverability and endurance, as well as frequent periods of gliding. Their body shape allows for very efficient flight, which costs 50–75% less for swallows than equivalent passerines of the same size.

It’s surely summer, for there’s a swallow:
Come one swallow, his mate will follow,
The bird race quicken and wheel and thicken.

- Christina Rossetti, A Bird Song

Easter 2014

bluebird eggs

Morning: bluebird eggs in the backyard.

“Best Easter egg hunt ever.” – Anna, my daughter

bee and crocuses

Afternoon: bee and crocuses at Prescott Park, Portsmouth.

“Can we go now? I’m cold and I have to pee.” – Anna, my daughter (age 25)

An April evening in Portsmouth

North Church Portsmouth

Hello, Portsmouth.

I visited the old port city on Thursday evening. Settled in 1630, incorporated in 1653, capital of the colony in 1679 and refuge for exiles for Puritan Massachusetts.

Portsmouth flower box

Buddha in the window and flower box of spring.

Market Street Portsmouth

Market Street.

Commercial Alley Portsmouth

Commercial Alley and t-shirts. “Cool story, bro.”

“When nothing goes right, go left.”

Live free or die sign

Signs: “Live free or die.”

“You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning.”

moffatt ladd

Moffatt-Ladd House, 1763.

Home during the American Revolution of General William Whipple, one of New Hampshire’s three signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Ayla Brown

Ayla Brown sings the national anthem at her father’s campaign kick off event at the Portsmouth Sheraton.


Outside the Sheraton, some people tell Scott Brown where to go.


On the left side.

cold dead hands

On the cold dead hands side.

Scott Brown

Inside, Scott Brown announces run for U.S. Senate.

Introduced by former N.H. governor John H. Sununu as “the once and future senator.”

North Church Portsmouth

Post-event, a walk in twilight and a waxing moon.

North Church draws the eye upward…

south wind north church

… to see that the wind is from the south.