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Chartreuse, Housemade Vermouth and the Red Sox

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Last weekend goes down as one of the best in recent memory for me thanks to two great meals in Boston and a little baseball team called the Red Sox.

Friday night found some friends and me at Coppa, where I made it just in time for the late-night menu-an abbreviated version of the dinner menu, but no less impressive. Highlights included chef Jamie Bissonette's stunning crudo with radishes and carrots and borage flowers and the Pattypan di Popeye pizza topped with summer squash and spinach. A friend ordered the Strongman cocktail, which came in an enormous stein with a very muscular glass arm as the handle. The drink, a mixture of green chartreuse, yellow chartreuse and Coors Light (!) was remarkably refreshing and surprisingly strong.

The next day we were lucky to score some seats to the Red Sox game versus the Detroit Tigers. Now, as a girl who grew up in Michigan, I get a lot of flack for rooting for anyone other than the Tigers, but I can't help it. I love David Ortiz. I confess. I also love walk-off homeruns. And guess what: Bottom of the 9th, Sox down 3-2, David Ortiz gets up to the plate and WHAM! Three-run double, and the Sox win the game!

To celebrate this ridiculous victory, we sat down for dinner at Eastern Standard where the oysters were delicious and the 2009 Domaine Colotte rosé (find this wine) from Marsannay went expertly with the tomato, goat cheese and almond salad. Mixologist Jackson Cannon started us off with a to-be-named mini-cocktail (created by fellow bartender Bob McCoy) that was the perfect aperitif. Cannon's been making amber vermouth in-house, and it made this cocktail particularly herbaceous and balanced and refreshing. This is the best possible drink for a hot summer night after your favorite team comes through in the end:

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add 1 ½ oz. gin, ¾ oz. amber vermouth, ½ oz. fresh lemon juice, ¼ oz. simple syrup and 1 dash orange bitters. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze a fresh lemon twist over the glass and discard. Serve.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Run with chefs and wine experts in the Celebrity Chef 5K and dance all night at Gail Simmons’ Last Bite Dessert Party during the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.