Courtesy of With a Southern Twist
While shopping in Savannah recently, I stumbled upon this fabulous little book that I feel would make the perfect Christmas gift, stocking stuffer or hostess gift for the Southern foodie in your life that loves to entertain and serve the perfect Southern drinks. It’s Denise Gee’s Southern Cocktails: Dixie Drinks, Party Potions, and Classic Libations. Besides including the perfect Southern cocktails is includes gorgeous photography by her husband, Robert Peacock. What a creative team these two are: Denise has written for Southern Living, Coastal Living, and Better Homes and Gardens, while Robert’s photography has appeared in magazines throughout the South.
It was fascinating to learn that Denise is a native of one of my favorite Southern towns: Natchez, Mississippi. One of my cherished Christmas ornaments is from a Christmas store in Natchez that I bought way back in the day when I was still with The Pillsbury Company. Denise grew up living in a four-story Victoria home/clothing store downtown that was owned by her mother and grandmother. She was a young docent at several antebellum houses where she learned the joy of cooking, entertaining, storytelling, architecture, interior decorating and garden design.
It’s not surprising, then, that her career was inspired by both her grandmother, Freddie Bailey, who wrote two regional cookbooks, and cousin, Lee Bailey, a design guru who wrote and styled 22 nationally acclaimed books on good living. He was a master at recipes combined with ideas on presentation. Denise worked with Lee on one of my personal favorites, Lee Bailey’s Southern Food and Plantation Homes. In researching this story, I was so sorry to learn that Lee Bailey died at the age of 76 on October 16, 2003. This was the same week that we had to put down our beloved golden retriever, Kelly, so I can see why I missed. He was/is one of my all-time favorite cookbook authors. I’m so glad that I own five of his many published cookbooks.