Friday Happy Hour: The Peak Bloom

Among all the attractions Washington, DC offers, one of the briefest but most glorious are the annual spring cherry blossoms. A gift from Japan at the turn of the last century, the product of decades of lobbying by writer and geographer Eliza Scidmore, DC is crawling with cherry blossom trees. For a vanishingly short time each spring, they bloom and then quickly loose their petals in clouds of pink flower confetti that fall with every breeze. Did I say it was glorious? (If you do visit for the cherry blossoms, skip the crowded Tidal Basin and visit some of the quieter groves, like the one in Capitol Hill’s Congressional Cemetery or Georgetown’s Dumbarton Oaks.) Nole asked for a cocktail this week to celebrate the flowers, so here’s a light and air (and pink) gin sour that tries to capture some of their spirit. – Andrew

The Peak Bloom Cocktail Recipe with Cherry Blossom Syrup and Str

The Peak Bloom Cherry Blossom Cocktail Recipe Card by Shauna Lynn Illustration for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Illustration by Shauna Lynn for Oh So Beautiful Paper

The Peak Bloom

2 oz American Gin
1 oz Lemon
1 oz Cherry Blossom Honey Syrup
1 tbsp Strawberry Preserves
Splash of Soda Water (Optional)

Combine the gin, lemon, syrup, and preserves in a cocktail shaker and add three or four big square ice cubes. Shake well and fine strain (pouring through a tea strainer or using a strainer spoon with a tightly coil) into a chilled cocktail glass.

The Peak Bloom Cocktail Recipe with Cherry Blossom Syrup and Str

We talked about American gins, in contrast to drier English-style gins, last week when we wrote about our updated Gin Rickey. Emphasizing other botanicals alongside juniper, a new American-style gin lends this drink a softer profile. We used Heritage Distillery’s Soft Gin for our Peak Bloom.

The Peak Bloom Cocktail Recipe with Cherry Blossom Syrup and Str

The cherry blossom syrup – made in Japan from honey and cherry blossom extract, which we included in another cherry blossom themed drink a couple years ago – lends this drink a subtle floral flavor. And those preserves do a couple of nice things: they add a bit of earthy sweetness that leaves this drink on the sweeter side, and the pectin in the preserves helps thicken this drink up a bit in the same way that a little egg white might, too.

The Peak Bloom Cocktail Recipe with Cherry Blossom Syrup and Str

The Peak Bloom doesn’t need a splash of soda water, but a few effervescent bubbles can be a nice addition here. But the drink will go flat fast – just like the cherry blossoms lose their petals – so you might find yourself drinking it down quickly.

(Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we’ve been posting our experiments before they make their way onto this column!)

Glassware by Liquorary

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! I’ve been spending a lot of time out in my garden lately (now that the weather is finally nice again!) and it has been so nice to see everything start to turn green after so many months of brown and gray. My peonies even have buds and the lilacs aren’t far behind! But in the meantime…


Photo by Flowermuse via Instagram

…a few links for your weekend!

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

Cohen’s Silver and Jute Birth Announcements

These sweet birth announcements were created by Cari from for her own baby boy! The classic announcements feature a silver belly band with jute twine announcing Cohen’s arrival – and of course a few beautiful photos!


From Cari: It’s always a challenge to design for yourself and for your family, but luckily, with the gorgeous newborn photos from the super talented Ely Fair, this design focused on the images of our sweet boy! I wanted to keep his announcements very simple and traditional. The front features a crest with his initials and serves as Cohen’s personal logo (every newborn should have their own logo, right?). On the back, a vintage trumpet plays on the wording of introducing him to the recipient!


Printed on triple layer paper with a silky finish, the announcements were tied together with jute twine around the light gray belly band. Sealed in a gray linen envelope with a velvety surface, these were the perfect way to introduce our sweet Cohen Jennings to our family and friends!


Thanks Cari!

Photo Credits: 

Kendra + Patrick’s California Farm Wedding Invitations

I love the illustrations in these California farm wedding invitations from Irene at Sparkvites! With a mint green and gold color palette, Irene incorporated cloud illustrations to evoke the wedding’s outdoor setting and casual hand lettering. So pretty!


From Irene: This invitation was created for a California country wedding. Kendra and Patrick wanted a hand-illustrated design for their outdoor wedding overlooking the mountains at Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse. Their ceremony and reception are both going to be held outdoors, and they wanted a country farm theme without the farm animals. It was super fun to work with Kendra on this design and dream about visiting their gorgeous venue.


The invitation is letterpress printed on double thick stock. We chose metallic gold to match the vintage country style, and mint green to match the color of her bridesmaid dresses.



Thanks Irene!

Check out the Designer Rolodex for more tal­ented wed­ding invi­ta­tion design­ers and the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Sparkvites

Stationery A-Z: Just Because Cards

Did you know that April is National Letter Writing month? I’m (obviously) in favor of writing letters all year long, but I’ll take any additional excuses I can get! Today I thought I’d round up a few cards that are perfect for just saying hello and letting someone know you’re thinking about them – whether they live around the corner or on the other side of the country:


1. Moglea

2. Meeschmosh

3. Sycamore Street Press

4. Ashkahn

5. Garance Doré for Rifle Paper Co.

6. Hello!Lucky (you can also find Hello!Lucky’s write_on letter writing kit – with 16 cards and envelopes! – at Paper Source here!)

7. Idlewild Co.

8. Ferme à Papier

9. Near Modern Disaster

10. Odd Daughter Co.

11. Ladyfingers Letterpress

12. Lilikoi Design + Letterpress


13. Hartland Brooklyn

14. Ink Meets Paper

15. Snow & Graham

16. Amy Heitman

17. 9th Letter Press

18. Yellow Owl Workshop

19. Fancy Seeing You Here

20. Hooray Today!

21. Wit + Whistle

22. Red Cap Cards