Quarantini, anyone?

I first heard of the quarantini from Jane Fonda a couple of days ago. She’s stuck at home just like the rest of us in California (the governor’s orders) and suggested we try one. Derek Brown, author of “Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the World” and owner of the Washington, DC, cocktail bar Columbia Room, says, “It’s the drink you make with what you’ve got in your cabinets or freezer, and is best enjoyed with whomever you’re cooped up with — or perhaps a neighbor in need.” And  if you do have the ingredients, here’s Brown’s recipe:

A Quarantini that can be made with common at-home drink ingredients.

  • 1½ to 2 ounces of a not-necessarily-sweet base spirit, like vodka or gin — or another of your choice
  • ¾ ounce of citrus (such as lemon or lime juice), whose vitamin C is great for immunity
  • ½ to ¾ ounce of simple syrup to sweeten things up. (Simple syrup, as its name suggests, is simple to make. Just boil equal parts sugar and water until they liquefy together.)
  • Then shake the drink with a bit of ice — if you don’t have a shaker, you can grab two pint glasses and join their rims — before straining it into a cocktail glass.


I thought I’d start on a lighter side today, considering how much the coronavirus has affected all our lives in just the last week. My gym closed one week ago today, toilet paper has become a product in absencia, and lines are over a block long to get into Costco with a wait time of two and a half hours just for the store to open. Thankfully, I’m only annoyed about the gym, though I’ve managed to keep up my exercise program by taking a walk to my local beach every morning. I had plenty of toilet paper on hand in my cupboards to last fifty days for both my husband and me according to howmuchtoiletpaper.com, and I just shopped at Costco online – with free delivery. I’ve also had no problems finding most foods at the grocery stores — except for whole wheat bread and frozen veggies; however, my husband and I have agreed to order takeout from our local restaurants as much as possible to help keep them open and thriving.

But two other things have come up that I’ve never thought would affect me before. One — the need to be six feet away from people we come in contact with. You should see how I have to maneuver myself around people I pass or pass by me while I’m out walking and the looks some of them give me when I literally walk onto the street in my attempt to get far enough away from them. Two — we cannot socialize as usual. Our dinner group of six couples cancelled our April meeting. I suggested we at least get together virtually for a hello-how-are-you toast on the scheduled date. Since I recently downloaded Zoom, I thought that was such a brilliant idea until I read today in the Sunday newspapers how friends are getting together socially all over the place — even cooking the same food and dressing to the nines for their virtual dinners and cocktail parties. I’m just hoping our whole group will join in for at least the cocktail hour.

By the way, Jane Fonda has had to bring her climate change fire-drill Fridays online too.

Actor Jane Fonda, at center in bright red coat, rallies with dozens of others in front of the White House in November as part of her “Fire Drill Fridays” protesting climate change.(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

What I find most daunting is the calm emptiness outside — no cars in the parking lots, little traffic on the roads, few people anywhere. Just an eerie quiet. Certainly enough quiet to do my writing if only I were motivated. That’s the thing. My motivation level is way low right now. I should be on my way to having my new memoir finished, and I haven’t touched it all week.  Any suggestions to help get me back in the groove?

Thanks for being with me here today. I’m sure I’ll have more to write about these terrible times in the next days and weeks to come. So I hope to see you soon.



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