We interrupt this program

If someone had told me ten years ago, let alone two, that I would be on the edge of my seat in excitement over the second season of a Masterpiece Theatre Classics program I would have laughed with a big, “Um, yeah right!” However, last winter we (my husband and I ) fell into the world of Downton Abbey and in love. It’s one of those shows that embodies what great television and film is all about, executing on all fronts – writing, cinematography, music, and design, both set and costume.

Before I go any further I should apologize to anyone who was expecting fabric or design related information. If it helps, I did come up with the recipe that follows while I was cutting and prepping fabric to sew:).

We wanted to have a viewing party for premiere of the second season tonight but with two little people in the house and jobs, we have cut down on our school night festivities. However, I couldn’t resist mixing up a cocktail for the occasion. You may have none or some of the ingredients but it’s something you can enjoy during next week’s episode too!

The Dowager
One of our favorite characters is the Dowager Countess, played by Maggie Smith. She’s tough, sharp-tongued but actually quite charming. This cocktail is a little of that too. I did a little research (nerd alert) and found out that some of my favorite ingredients were very popular in Britain in the early 20th century. Though I did use bourbon instead of gin since it’s winter and the story lines are going heavier than lighter – again nerd alert, on many levels.

I winged a little of this and actually made a last minute addition to make it just right. There are easy substitutions for some things.

Serves one
Juice of half one Small lemon, I used a Meyer lemon
Juice of half of one Satsuma or clementine orange (a small blood orange would be great too)
2 measures Bourbon or rye whiskey
Half measure St. Germain or elderflower liqueur (optional)
Half measure Calvados or apple brandy (could substitute another brandy here)
2 dashes Bitters, I used rhubarb but others would work
Half measure Sweet vermouth
Champagne, prosecco or cava
Orange twist

Put cocktail glass in freezer or fill with ice cubes and water to chill. Squeeze citrus fruits into shaker then add all ingredients except for champagne. Add ice and either stir or shake (top on) until very chilled. Dump out ice water from glass or take from freezer and pour the drink into the glass. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with orange twist.


Easy to make this festive and non-alcoholic. Take the juice of the lemon and orange, add in some elderflower syrup (they sell this at ikea and even stores like trader joes and whole foods), then top with sparkling water. Garnish with mint or orange.




5 responses to “We interrupt this program

  1. Love the show too and am only sorry that I didn’t have a matching drink! You’re an inspiration on so many levels! Cheers!

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