Autodidacts Creating Culture

Mixology is Trending

In the San Francisco area, #Mixology, the art and skill of preparing mixed drinks, ‘is trending.’

Although it’s fun to go out with my hubby to a hip new bar in downtown Oakland and browse a clever menu with interestingly named drinks containing slow food ingredients, it’s cost prohibitive, $12 for 3 oz!  Yikes.


Being a bargain bride (my husband’s semi-amusing pet name for me), I blend concoctions at home.  There are a few other reasons why I do it.

  • Making cordials uses the fruits my neighbor kindly bestows, like the Meyer’s lemons she leaves us occasionally.  (I can never have enough lemons.) 

Since I juiced all of our lemons and composted them, I didn’t have the main ingredient for Limoncello.   (Here’s another simpler recipe with beautiful photos.)

Limoncello awaiting a taste test in a tall flask.

Then I read about how to make it on-line and realized that the main flavor in Limoncello comes from the grated rind in the liquor, and I realized my error.  Oops.  


Practically the next day I found K’s plump lemons in a bag at the top of our sage-green concrete stairs in our front yard.  Perfect timing.  Got busy and made it.

  • Brewing ‘mixers’ utilizes edibles we growlike lemon verbena for Homemade Tonicor mint for Mojitos.

Booze isn’t necessary with my tonic.  I enjoy the non-alcoholic version containing a splash of tonic, sparkling water, and a small amount of pure blueberry juice.  

I make my own tonic because most of the store-bought varieties contain controversial ingredients, which is too bad because the quinine from Cinchona bark is good for muscle aches.

  • I’m interested in the medicinal aspects of the plants in the concoctions I make.

According to Web M.D.:

“Cinchona is a tree. People use the bark to make medicine.

Cinchona is used for increasing appetite; promoting the release of digestive juices; and treating bloating, fullness, and other stomach problems. It is also used for blood-vessel disorders including hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and leg cramps. Some people use cinchona for mild attacks of influenza, swine flue, the common cold, malaria, and fever. Other uses are for cancer, mouth and throat diseases, enlarged spleen and muscle cramps.  

Cinchona is used in eye lotions to numb pain, kill germs, and as an astringent. Cinchona extract is also applied to the skin for stimulating hair growth.”  

It’s safe for most people, but the side effects of too much cinchona are here.

  • Obtaining ingredients exposes me to new places and to new blogs.  

In my tropical green Ford Fiesta, I sped across the Bay Bridge to a store in the Mission District in San Francisco to obtain Cinchona bark.  I bought every package on the shelf.  I found out the place had it from a comment I read on-line.  All the herbal shops I called were out of it.  Hot commodity.

There are many wonderful blogs with Mixology ideas, but save  time.  I’ve collected recipes at my Pinterest board “Drinks for Adults.”

Options other than beer and wine are nice occasionally.  

  • Last but not least, the expressions on the faces of our house-guests after tasting one of my unusual beverages makes the effort worthwhile. 

On a warm evening David, his cousin, their buddy from the old days when they were in high school, and I sat in our living room visiting.  I brought out a frozen bottle of Limoncello and served each person a shot of it in sipper glassware.  His friend’s face lit up, and later, he wanted more.  


4 Responses to “Mixology is Trending”

    • Kristin

      Hi ‘Lumar,’

      If it sounds good to you, why not give it try and make some yourself. It’s fun! Let me know if you do.

  1. wewerenothing

    Mixology is trending? I had no idea. Maybe that explains the Obscura Society thing I went to the other night in the Mission District. They were making and serving absinthe. By the time they got around to the third one, the drinks were at 74 percent alcohol. Yikes! They say absinthe is legal in the States now, but I came away not being too sure about that. Hmmm…..
    P.S. I like the idea of making your own tonic. Have you tried it with Hendricks Gin???

    • Kristin

      Hi Kay,

      Sure, I’ve tried my tonic with gin, but I mostly use it with sparkling water and a splash of pure black cherry juice. The tonic I made doesn’t taste anything like the store bought variety. I wish it were more bitter actually. Mine is very lemony, very different. But I know it is healthier for sure.


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