Reason to Raise Our Glasses High

Tomorrow is the first day of summer (although summer started a long time ago here in the desert). In honor of the day I wanted to share a refreshing drink that my Aunt Terri and I made up when she came to visit me last summer.


As many of you know last summer was filled with heart ache and fear for me. My husband had just been diagnosed with stage four cancer. We were told he would only have a few months to live. At the same time we were still settling into my daughter’s cerebral palsy diagnosis. It was a rough season. But we were loved well by many, many, people through it.

One of those people was my aunt Terri. She came and spent a week with us in August and while she was here she did dishes, made meals, played with my kids, and even took Sage over night for a night so I could sleep. That was the first time in four years that I slept without a child in or on me and it was amazing!

She and I had long talks about life, love, writing and creativity. We watched romantic chic flicks and laughed. And we made up this cocktail, which we enjoyed while listening to spoken word poetry on youtube.

Hope you enjoy this drink, as I did, with a friend or family member who is also a kindred spirit.


Aunt Terri’s Grapefruit and Honey Tonic

  • 1 generous teaspoon raw honey
  • 5-10 drops (depending on your taste) Cayenne tincture (I one made by my friend, but I'm sure you could buy some somewhere - you could also probably substitute a sprinkle of cayenne powder instead)
  • 1 and 1/2 shot Hendricks Gin
  • 10-15 drops Digestive Bitters (I love this one from Herban Wellness)
  • 1 slice of Cucumber (optional)
  • Grapefruit juice (the first time I made it with store bought juice, the second with fresh squeezed - I loved the fresh squeezed, but it was a little less sweet)
  • Tonic water

Add honey, Cayenne tincture, Gin, and digestive bitters to a cocktail glass. Fill the glass half way full with grapefruit juice and fill the rest with tonic water. Add ice. Enjoy.

Note: The honey doesn’t dissolve well in cold beverages, but personally I sort of liked that the honey sunk to the bottom of this drink and absorbed the flavors from the gin, bitters and cayenne. I loved dipping my spoon into the bottom of the drink and pulling up a bit of honey. And enjoyed getting to the last sip and discovering the thick syrupy goodness.

This summer I plan on enjoying this cocktail in a completely different season than last year. I will be sipping this while continuing to celebrate Bryan’s miraculous recovery.

This past month Bryan’s scans showed that almost all of his tumors (they estimate/guess that there had been about 400 of them to start) had shrunk by 90%. There are still two in his stomach that aren’t shrinking as quickly, but nothing is growing and his body is responding really well to the treatment that he went through in December.

We have much we are grateful for this summer and so much that causes us to raise our glasses in celebration.

Rejoicing in the journey, Bethany