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Writing  by Cathy Deutsch

Photography by Mark Kramer, Copper Kitchen Studio

Chappaqua mainstay Susan Lawrence has served the area for over 40 years. Founded by siblings Mark and Susan Kramer, Mark, who is still at the helm, says he honors his sister’s memory every holiday season by making their favorite/signature Buche de Noel, also known as a French yule log cake. It’s a complex, multi-step, time-intensive creation that Mark and Susan enjoyed making together every Christmas Eve. 

“Susan always brought her contagious energy, good cheer and enthusiasm to what seemed an impossible task as we made over 100 cakes well into the night,” he says. “By the end, our aprons were always covered with chocolate, and we were exhausted. But for both of us, it was a true labor of love.” 

While that tradition continues at Susan Lawrence, it’s so complicated that Mark chose to provide the recipe for his favorite holiday cocktail instead. His White Christmas Margarita is a blend of tequila, coconut, lime juice, heavy cream and Cointreau. Cheers!


White Christmas Margarita

Makes two generous cocktails.



3 oz. Patrón Silver tequila 

4 oz. unsweetened canned coconut milk, stirred until fully blended 

1 1/2 oz. Cointreau

3 oz. cream of coconut, (plus more for rim garnish

1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste

1 tbs. heavy cream

Lime wedges for garnish

Pomegranate seeds for garnish

Fresh mint for garnish

Fresh flaked coconut, very lightly toasted, for garnish

Lime zest, for garnish




Pour a small amount of coconut cream on a small plate. On a second plate, add flaked toasted coconut mixed with lime zest. Dip the rims of the martini glasses in the cream and then into the coconut/lime mixture so you have a nice decorative edge on each glass.

Fill half of a large cocktail shaker with ice, leaving room for all ingredients. 

Add tequila, the stirred coconut milk, cream of coconut, lime juice, heavy cream and Cointreau to the ice-filled shaker.

Firmly secure the shaker lid and shake for 30 seconds or until the margarita is fully combined and chilled.

Strain into fresh ice-filled martini glasses and garnish with a lime wedge, fresh mint and pomegranate seeds.


This article was published in the November/December 2023 print edition of Connect to Northern Westchester.

Cathy Deutsch
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Cathy Deutsch is a resident of South Salem and a former local shopkeeper in Katonah and Mount Kisco. She previously wrote a restaurant column for The Country Shopper and is currently a contributor to several local publications. Additionally, Cathy’s personal essays have been published on noted on-line platforms including Dorothy Parker’s Ashes. “Writing has always been my passion, and I’m very excited to be writing for Connect to Northern Westchester,'' she says.