behind the bar: peggy wong’s winter sunset

My parents live in the country in a house surrounded by farms and farmland. During the winter, Alissa and I try to time our visits to coincide with snowstorms so that we can sit in the big picture windows drinking hot chocolate and watch as the snow slowly coats the vast expanse of nothingness. Until today, I thought this was pretty much perfection. After being introduced to the “Winter Sunset,” however, I realize that I have been missing one huge opportunity in this whole process — cocktails! Our next visit will be sure to include a little Winter Sunset.

This month’s recipe comes from the King Midas of the design world, Peggy Wong. Truly, everything Peggy touches turns to absolute design gold. Whether it is her blog, visual journal, wedding invitations, rugs or even the 2011 calendar she created exclusively for a Tastemaker Tag Sale on One-Kings-Lane, she is a design genius and we can’t thank her enough for contributing to the column. Thanks Peggy! — Alissa & Ryan

CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!

My mother-in-law just gave us a bunch of fresh Meyer lemons and as much as I like to display them around our home, I really do enjoy their aroma and taste. And because it’s winter, why not make a “winter sunset” drink with candied lemon slices?! The colors are just delicious looking!

Winter Sunset Ingredients

  • 2 parts gin
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • 1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon syrup
  • 1/2 tsp grenadine, or to taste
  • candied lemon slice, for garnish

*Adjust the tartness by playing with the amount of lemon syrup and grenadine.

Pour gin, vermouth and lemon juice over a handful of ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until very cold, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Add the lemon syrup into the glass first, then the grenadine — be sure to pour each liquid in slowly if you want the layered effect. Gently drop in the candied lemon slice. And voilà! A pretty sunset right in your glass.

Lemon Syrup and Candied Lemon Slice
Combine 1 cup of sugar and a 1/2 cup of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add sliced lemons and simmer until the liquid thickens. Remove lemon slices and let cool on wax paper. Set syrup aside for making the drink later.

An award-winning designer and former deputy art director for Martha Stewart in New York, Peggy launched her own design studio, bluepoolroad, in 2009. With more than a decade of experience with some of the world’s most recognized brands, she has traversed the nuances of typography and art direction with fluency. From Victoria’s Secret Beauty to Target, Peggy offers a highly refined sensibility and has the credentials to back it up. A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology (and recipient of the Chair’s Award for excellence in graphic design), she was also a faculty member at the Art Institute of California. Shortly after bluepoolroad’s launch, Peggy was handpicked from hundreds as one of the three artists to represent Crane & Co.’s new STUDIO collection. She is now a member of Crane’s stationery design team, and her letterpress line is available exclusively through Crane & Co. A bluepoolroad rug collection was added in 2010 to punctuate the brand’s creative offerings. Peggy continues to art direct photo shoots and design for clients in the areas of branding, packaging, print, and the web. Peggy’s photography can be found on her blog, onbluepoolroad, and her visual journal, snaps. Besides penning her own blog, Peggy is also a contributing blogger for FLOR.

Peggy has been featured in Dwell, C Magazine, Real Simple, Design*Sponge, Apartment Therapy, Daily Candy Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings, Town & Country Weddings, C Weddings, Brides, Print, Step, and more.

  1. Yanet says:

    Oh my goodness, this drinks sounds like it would make any
    scenery look gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. Yanet of 3

  2. Pamela Viola says:

    Definitely a drink I’d like to try and the accompanying photographs are wonderful!

  3. Emma says:

    Yumm! keeps away the scurvy!

  4. jane says:

    must try, as peggy has exquisite taste.

  5. Meg says:

    How convenient… I was just invited to a “suitably
    pretentious, educational cocktail party” with the requirement that
    people bring the makings for something ambitious. Candy your own
    lemons? suitably ambitious!

  6. Marjorie says:

    Oh, My!! This not only looks unique, but also sounds more
    than Yummy. It’s on my list for Happy Hour next time I have guests.

  7. Paul says:

    This sounds great! Certainly would be a good addition to a
    snow storm. Thanks!

  8. Ashley says:

    This drink sounds wonderful. I’d love to be in the winter
    countryside sipping this cocktail, especially with the addition of
    delicious candied lemons!!

  9. Jen Dean says:

    I just love Peggy and her work. It is brilliant to see her on Design Sponge. You can bet that I will be making a Winter Sunset very soon.

  10. Love the idea of the candied lemons in the drink – they look so pretty. I adore her blog and am a great admirer of her style.

  11. peggy says:

    Thank you everyone for all your lovely comments! I had a great time shooting it (really nice to not be on the computer for a day!) Thanks for having me Grace / Alissa + Ryan! :)

  12. Lauren says:

    Yummy! This drink sounds delicious! The pictures are beautiful. I also love Peggy’s website……..I just spent forever looking at all of the cool things!

  13. Josh says:

    Candied lemon slices! You’ve opened my eyes to new opportunities in my original recipes. Thank you very much.

  14. Anyone have great suggestions for other camdied fruit slice uses? They’re so pretty not to use over and over again!

  15. Miki says:

    Peggy truly is the “King Midas of the design world”, although I say she looks more like a Queen :) Great recipe, Peggy!!! I can’t wait to try it out at home.

  16. Maggie says:

    So excited to try! How many lemons?


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