What does it mean to be an adult? It seems like it’s pretty similar to being a millennial kid with helicopter parents except you’re self-subscribing to all those after-work activities – trying to be a well-rounded, contributing member of society.
One of the few perks of adulthood is being able to drink, this Saddle Up Cocktail really would be the envy of your teenage self. Few things are more glamorous than sipping from a crystal-cut coupe and this tipple is truly one of my finest works. The grapefruit liqueur pairs impeccably with the rye, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, and cardamom bitters. The finished product is perfectly balanced and incredibly easy-drinking.
Instead of being motivated by getting into a good school, we are preoccupied with climbing the rungs of the socioeconomic ladder. And while “keeping up with the Joneses” has been a perennial compulsion amongst the middle class, social media has made that impulse nearly inescapable.
As nearly everyone paints a portrait of a perfectly curated life, replete with weekends away, fancy dinners, the perfect fall knit, it becomes hard to distinguish the reality from the filtered fairytale.
I try to remind myself that comparison is the thief of joy but sometimes find myself spiralling into despair as I scroll through my Instagram feed. Either the content is so beautiful, so well-composed, that I find myself wondering how I can achieve that aesthetic, or the photos are blurry, unappealing, shot on iPhone with the flash on, but somehow garner hundreds more likes and comments than my own content.
In the latter case, I find myself outraged at the seeming injustice – thinking to myself, “But my photos are more beautiful, I made this dish with my own hands, I created the recipe, AND I wrote a whole blog post to go with it.” Of course, there are services where accounts can buy followers, likes, and comments. That might account for some of the instances of ‘injustice’ or maybe these accounts have done a better job of understanding the ever-changing Instagram algorithm, worked harder at marketing themselves or just have a more engaged organic audience.
When I’m done wallowing in self-pity, I try to channel that negative energy into something more productive. I do a bit of research to see if there are new trends or insights I’m missing out on. Are there better ways I could be marketing myself?
The one downfall of this approach is that it plays into the mindset that seems to define so much of our culture right now: it evangelizes the hustle. Whether it’s on Instagram or scrawled across a notebook or water bottle sold at Indigo, we are incited to “hustle harder” and be the “boss bitch.”
Of course I could be working harder, spending every spare moment on the blog, but I’m also fucking tired. I need to invest time in my friendships and myself, those are things I find restorative and I would be hollow without them, and undoubtedly, my creative process would suffer.
So, while I have big ambitions for this little blog, I want it to grow to reach new audiences, I want to publish a cookbook and start a product line, maybe I’ll just have to practice patience and nurture it bit-by-bit, because I don’t think adulthood should be an unrelenting onslaught of work.
I will try to avoid letting other bloggers/influencers set the pace or expectation for my own growth and rest assured in the knowledge that I’m giving what I can right now. I’ll be the tortoise, not the hare – and take the time to enjoy the fruits of my labour, like this dangerously drinkable Saddle Up Cocktail.
This Saddle Up cocktail is made with rye, grapefruit liqueur, lemon juice, cardamom bitters and a tasty cinnamon syrup, topped with a twist of grapefruit.
Combine sugar, water, and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature overnight.
Remove cinnamon sticks and store syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Recipe adapted from: Kaplan, David, Nick Fauchald, and Alex Day. “Blazing Saddles.” Death & Co. Modern Classic Cocktails. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2014.