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As the name implies, a digestif [dee-jest-eef] is an alcoholic after-dinner drink thought to aid digestion. Most bitter digestifs have carminative herbs, which alleviate gastrointestinal distress. Digestifs are usually taken straight. Common kinds of digestif include brandy (Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados, alambric, etc.), eaux de vie (fruit brandies), a pomace brandy (like grappa), various bitter or sweet liqueurs (like Drambuie, amari, Chartreuse, Grand Marnier, Irish Mist, Kahlua or limoncello), and other distilled liquors (ouzo, tequila, whisky or akvavit), or a liquor cocktail, such as a Black Russian (Kahlua and vodka) or a Rusty Nail (Scotch and Drambuie).

Belle of the Ball

3/4 oz Baileys with a Hint of Hazelnut liqueur

1/2 oz Bertrams VO Brandy

1/4 oz Averna

1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse

Dash of mole bitters

Candied hazelnuts for garnish

Combine liquors in a cocktail shaker, shake, and serve in a coupé glass. Garnish with a skewer of candied hazelnuts.


"Holy shit, Edward."

The front of the restaurant was lit up, spotlights pointing skyward. A Santa Ana wind was blowing, quite the omen for a restaurant opening. Traveler's palms lined the outer walls of Wild-flower—their fronds shook in the dry gusts.

Photographers milled around, snapping pictures of foodies, socialites, and B-list celebrities as they walked down the small red carpet. The red carpet Edward and I were about to walk. Together. As in, as a couple. Publicly.

I took a deep breath. When Garrett had called to tell me he'd finally gotten that executive chef position, I said, 'Of course I'll support you.' But I'd thought that meant I'd go with other friends from culinary school, or even alone. Not dolled-up and escorted by Edward and a bodyguard.

Edward squeezed my hand. "We don't have to do this…"

"No. No, Angie's right. We have to make this happen on our terms." Edward's new manager was quite an improvement. Angie had an official statement prepared. She was gonna get a fuckton of calls in a minute.

Edward Cullen confirms his relationship with Isabella Swan, 26. Ms. Swan is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. She is currently employed as a personal chef.

"Bella," Edward said. His fingertips trailed along my jaw, coaxing my head around and towards him. He was smiling at me. "Baby, thank you for this. I love just hanging around the house with you, but… I don't want to hide you anymore. Hide us."

He leaned in and closed his eyes.

"No, no!" I hated denying Edward kisses, but I didn't want to smudge my makeup. Or muss my hair. It'd taken the lady Angie hired over an hour to make me look like the type of woman that usually graced Edward's arm. "My lipstick," I explained.

"You look beautiful."

I smoothed my hem, just above my knee. The midnight blue fabric made me feel a bit mysterious. Sexy. It made me feel like I believed him.

"I feel a little like Cinderella," I murmured. "The maid going to the grand ball."

Edward chuckled. "Cinderella was a bimbo. You've got smarts. And you're hotter than her, too."

"Hotter?" The corner of my mouth hitched up.

"Way hotter."

"Thank you." I ran my hand down his lapel. My fingers trailed towards his belt buckle and he grabbed my hand.

"Just as soon as we get home," he said. He kissed my knuckles. "Maybe in the car on the way there."

I looked deep into his patina-green eyes and my stomach fluttered. "We're skipping dessert."

"I can think of something much better to eat, anyways." Edward smiled, the smile I ever got to see.

"Yes—I mean, let's go." I didn't care how good the food was, Edward was better.

"Okay." Edward squeezed my hand before letting go. "Remember, you'll want to blink, to flinch away. Force your eyes to stay open. Look at some point beyond the paps. Smile. And, uh, keep your knees together when you get out of the car."

I rolled my eyes. We'd been over this. "Go get my door, Edward."

"One last thing. Don't let go of my hand."

Edward got out and walked around to open my door. Deep breath. I stepped into the chaos.

I never let go of his hand.