Adelaide’s Perfect Cocktail Hour Spread


Hot Toddy with Meyer Lemons and Ginger – makes 1

1 Meyer lemon, divided
½” peeled ginger, root sliced into coins
1 tsp honey
1 – 2 oz dark rum (high quality)
1 English Breakfast (or other dark variety) tea bag

Mediterranean Infused Olives

1 ½ cups pitted Kalamata olives
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
¼ tsp dried oregano
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
½ Meyer lemon, sliced into rounds

Toothpicks, for serving

Brown Butter Date Spread

2 ½ Tbsp unsalted butter
10 Medjool dates, sliced in half and pitted
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp light brown sugar (optional)

Manchego cheese, for serving

Triple crème cheese, for serving

Baguette rounds, for serving


For the Hot Toddy’s:

  1. Bring 1 ½ cups water to boil in a teakettle.
  2. While the water is boiling, cut your Meyer lemon in half. Squeeze half of the juice into a mug and slice the other half into rounds. Place in the mug.
  3. Use your fist, a rolling pin or side of your knife to bruise the ginger coins. Don’t destroy the coin shapes – instead you want to tenderize the ginger so that the root gives up its full flavor and juices.
  4. Add the coins, honey and dark rum to the mug. Give the ingredients a quick stir. For a stronger hot toddy, use 2 oz rum.
  5. Once the kettle is ready, seep the tea bag in the hot water for 1 – 2 minutes. Pour the tea into the mug and enjoy hot.

For the Olives:

  1. Vigorously simmer the olive oil with the garlic, spices, herbs and lemon slices for 7 – 10 minutes over medium heat. If the herbs or garlic clove begins to look like they are browning too quickly, turn down the heat. Your kitchen will begin to smell amazing!
  2. Remove the pan of infused oil from the stove and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Pour over the olives in an airtight container fitted with a top.
  3. Cover and let marinate overnight.
  4. When you’re ready to serve the olives, you can either strain out the herbs and garlic through a sieve and serve the olives in the oil with toothpicks, or serve everything together for a more rustic appearance.

For the Spread:

  1. Place the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt and then begin to slowly brown, swirling the pan every once in awhile. After 3 – 5 minutes, you’ll begin to smell a nuttiness and the butter will become golden and then light brown. Remove from the heat and reserve. Make sure you watch the butter the entire time – it can go from brown to burnt very quickly.
  2. While the butter is browning, slice the dates in half and discard the pits. Place in a food processor with the salt and pepper and pulse several times until a paste is formed.

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