I was like the Nancy Drew of birthday cakes. When I was younger, my parents would hide my birthday cake and, with my best friend in tow, we’d sleuth about until we found it. Inevitably, we’d swipe some of frosting only to feign innocence when the cake came was found semi-mutilated. As I’ve grown older, I’ve opted for a more calm and quiet celebration and have even come to dislike most birthday cakes. But this year’s a different story.
This year my birthday is at the height of Coachella — the music festival I’ve gone to religiously for years now — so, I’m following fate and going all out. But instead of cake, I’m opting for cocktails because a good party is always made better by a few well-crafted drinks. In addition to a sweet tea-take on a Dark and Stormy, I’m going to be stirring up batches of my Improved Negroni – I swapped rum for the traditional gin, Aperol for the usual Campari, added orange juice, and a dash of orange flower water — as a brunch-style punch. Oh, and for the first time in years, I think I’ll actually be okay with singing Happy Birthday.
Makes 10 servings
15 ounces white rum
10 ounces Aperol
10 ounces orange juice
5 ounces Sweet Vermouth (I actually found Rosato vermouth)
A few dashes orange bitters
A few dashes orange flower water
1 orange, halved and sliced
Orange twist, for garnish
Combine all ingredients except orange twist in a pitcher and refrigerate until chilled thoroughly (can be made without fruit up to 2 days ahead). Stir before serving, pour over ice, and garnish with a twist.