I've been known to forget Jonah and my anniversary under normal circumstances, so to say this year was rigged against me—the date fell amidst a move, new puppy, pandemic—is an understatement. It was already the evening by the time Jonah gently reminded me, "So, happy anniversary!" Fortunately, he doesn't hold it against me that, for some reason, the date December 7 refuses to stick in my brain the same way my middle school best friend's phone number still does. Normally, we'd pivot from home dinner plans to meet at one of our favorite restaurants after work. But, what about this year is normal?
As soon as Jonah left to take Toast out on his evening walk, I began brainstorming ways to transform our previous evening plans—reheated pasta, maybe an episode of Parks & Rec—into some semblance of a celebration. I lit a favorite candle, put together a quick cheese board, and began researching cocktails that would feel bartender-quality, with the dwindling resources I had from our most recent grocery trip. What resulted was a happy surprise, and truly one of the best cocktails I've ever made at home: a Gin-Campari Sour.
By the time Toast raced around the corner into the kitchen, followed shortly by Jonah, I was pouring the chilled, frothy, pink cocktail. One drink and one hour turned into two, before we realized we'd spent the entire evening just sitting and chatting at our kitchen counter.
What I love about going to restaurants with Jonah—beyond having someone cook a delicious meal for me—is the time it gives me to just sit with him, without any responsibilities. Our improvised anniversary drinks, while in the exact same room we have dinner every single night, felt that much more special with just a cheese plate, nice cocktail, and a mutual understanding that dishes would get washed in the morning.
While I've finally set a much-needed calendar reminder for next year's anniversary (and our wedding anniversary, because there's no guarantee I'll remember that day either), I'd be surprised if I forgot this drink.
Slightly adapted from this Saveur recipe
Makes 1 cocktail
1 1⁄2 ounces gin (I prefer AMASS)
3/4 ounce Campari
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup (1 to 1 ratio of sugar to water, I added a bit more than the original recipe calls for to balance the acidity from the lemon)
1 egg white
Add all ingredients to a cocktail mixer, secure the lid or glass (I prefer a Boston shaker), and shake hard until you feel the egg white incorporate and froth. This is called a "dry shake," which I find easiest for breaking up the egg white—the shaker feels lighter when the egg is frothed.
Add ice, and shake for another 30 seconds to thoroughly chill, then strain into a chilled glass and apologize to your partner for forgetting your anniversary seven years in a row (that last bit is optional).