20190313

FLORAL (FLOWER INFUSED) COCKTAILS


Nothing evokes spring more than the first flowers peeking through at the end of winter. Flowers are the essence of spring, and they can be an intriguing part of your spring cocktails as well.

There are several options for imbuing cocktails with floral elements using floral liqueurs, essences, extracts, cocktail bitters and syrups to employing actual edible flowers as a garnish. Used judiciously, even a drop of floral bitters, rose water, flower essence or just a teaspoon of floral honey syrup can add a floral touch of spring to your cocktails. To achieve a floral note, one or more of these methods has been applied in each of the cocktail recipes below.


FLOWER INFUSED
(FLORAL)
COCKTAILS 

ALIEN INVASION COCKTAIL
ANGOSTURA & OLD LACE
APRICOT LAVENDER BOURBON SOUR
The AVIATION
The BARBIE MIMOSA
BEE'S KNEES
BLUSHING ROSE
BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER - ELDERFLOWER G&T
CHOCOLATE & ROSES MARTINI
The COCKTAIL PURPLE
MY DARLING CLEMENTINI
The ELDER FASHIONED
ELDERFLOWER SALTY DOG
ENCHANTED FAERIE
GRANDMA'S "TEA"
HIBISCUS HEART FIZZ
LADY ROSE COCKTAIL
LAVENDER KIWI DAIQUIRI
LUCKY CHARM
MOROCCAN ROSE
NEVERLAND COOLER
PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR MARTINI
PURGATORY PUNCH
The SAGZERAC
SPARKLING HIBISCUS MARTINI
STORMBORN COCKTAIL
WILD HIBISCUS G&T
WILD HIBISCUS MARTINI

You might also want to check out my
HERB COCKTAILS.

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20190309

The BARBIE MIMOSA Cocktail



It might be hard to believe, but the iconic Barbie doll turns 60 today. I grew up playing with Barbie Dolls, in fact, I had the whole 50s/60s pack; Ken, Midge, Toni, a slew of outfits, accessories and the peach and turquoise sports car. But that doll of my youth, the original Barbie, has changed with the times over the last six decades so I think it's time her cocktail did as well.

 
The plethora of existing Barbie cocktails consist mostly of a pink drink of juices with a little vodka and or coconut rum mixed in. I think a 60 year old Barbie should be a little more sophisticated in her choice of cocktail. That's why I tossed out the jungle juice mixtures and am introducing today's senior citizen Barbie to a drink more suited to her maturity, an effervescent combination of a Mimosa and a Negroni.

Cheers and Happy Birthday, Barbie!


The
BARBIE
MIMOSA

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Gordon's Pink Gin
3/4 Oz. Cocchi Rosa
1/2 Oz. Fresh Pink Grapefruit Juice
2 Oz. Chilled Pink Champagne
1 Drop Rose Water

Garnish: Edible Candied Rose Petals

DIRECTIONS
Fill mixing glass with ice
Add all the ingredients except the champagne.
Stir until well chilled.
Strain into a chilled champagne flute.
Top off with the Champagne.
Garnish and enjoy.


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20190308

Chocolate & Rye Whiskey Manhatten Cocktail Recipe



Thanks to a close friend of mine from Sonoma, I finally got my hands on a bottle of Sonoma Distilling Company's Cherrywood Rye. My friend needed a weekend away from tribulations of a divorce so I invited her out to enjoy the beautiful spring wildflowers of the desert and chill out from all the legal proceedings. She came in towing her luggage and a gift box full of some of my favorite Sonoma county goodies and tucked right in there was a bottle of that lovely wine country rye. I have been wanting to get my hands on a bottle for ages but my zip code never brought up a local source on their website so thank the Booze Gods for best friends.
After she settled in I poured us both a glass over ice to savor the rye as she vented over her departing mate. Taking a cue from that, I immediately decided a chocolate Manhattan was next, mixed two up then handed hers to her saying, "You don't need a man, you need a Manhattan!"

It was the perfect, smokey, chocolate liquid elixir for a woman in the throes of a divorce and worked out beautifully for today's International Women's Day cocktail. I just wish she'd brought two bottles.


You Don't Need A Man,
You Need A MANHATTAN!
A Chocolate & Rye Whiskey Manhattan Cocktail

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz Sonoma County Cherrywood Rye Whiskey
1 Oz Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur
1/2 Oz Cinzano Rosso Sweet Vermouth
2 Dashes Bitter Truth Chocolate Bitters
1 Dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Garnish: Brandied Cherry, Orange Twist

DIRECTIONS
Chill your glasses.
Fill a cocktail pitcher with ice. Add the ingredients and stir until chilled.
Strain into the chilled glass.
Garnish and serve.

Cheers to you, my dear friend, come back soon and bring me that second bottle. (And some Gravenstein cider!)


International Women's Day is March 8th. 

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20190304

ARNAUD'S SPECIAL COCKTAIL




Arnaud's Special was the house cocktail of the famous Arnaud's Restaurant of New Orleans in the 1940's and 1950's. It's a Southern take on a Rob Roy where the sweet vermouth and Angostura Bitters are replaced with the Dubonnet and orange bitters. 

If you're looking for a dry cocktail give this a try. It's a great cocktail to sip before dinner. Just make sure you use the new Dubonnet released in the States last year, it's more like the original 1846 formula and the Dubonnet that Europe has always had access to.  Even though Arnaud's most likely used the first American version, this new Dubonnet is much more complex and makes this cocktail way more interesting. (FYI, during the 1940s, when Hitler had control of France, the United States could not import Dubonnet so a different version was created in the U.S. It was, however, milder and less bitter as a result of the reduction of the quinine.)


ARNAUD'S SPECIAL

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Johnnie Walker Red Scotch
1 Oz. Dubonnet Rouge
3 Dashes of Orange Bitters

Garnish: Orange Twist

DIRECTIONS
Stir in a mixing glass with ice until chilled then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Express the orange twist over the top then drop into the cocktail.


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20190303

PEACH BLOSSOM COCKTAIL Recipe




A few days ago it snowed (yes, SNOWED) here in Tucson. Today we are going to hit nearly 80 degrees. Such are the vagaries of the beginnings of Spring in Arizona, one minute you're tossing more mesquite wood on the fire and the next moment you're putting on shorts.

Somebody with a great sense of humor built little snowmen all throughout Saguaro National Park, here's one on top of a saguaro.

For cocktail lovers, the ending of winter means it's time to pull out your Collins and highball glasses and start thinking about tall, refreshing, low ABV* coolers again. You might want to tuck the brown booze off to the side and dust off your clear liquor bottles as well because hot weather and a burgeoning garden are both very friendly with gin, vodka, light rums, unaged whiskies and blanco tequilas.

With that in mind - and since it's National Peach Blossom Day - I thought I'd kick off the approaching spring and summer seasons with a cocktail that's been around for a while but in slightly different versions. I've seen recipes for peach blossom cocktails using a peach liqueur with either vodka or gin and, having tried both, I prefer the vodka. Gins can differ quite a bit in their botanicals and, if you choose the wrong one, it can overpower or conflict with the peach. Vodka doesn't have that problem, it's a much more amenable spirit when it comes to blending with delicate flavors, in fact, you can buy peach vodkas that enhance the peach experience.

Most of the recipes floating about the net are simply a mix of spirit, peach liqueur and either orange juice or ginger ale but I figure if you're going to make a peach cocktail put some real peach in it, I used frozen ones to help keep the cocktail cool. I leave out the orange juice, add some lemon to pop the sweetness of the peach and go with the effervescence of the ginger ale. This puts this cocktail in the Buck** category, making it a perfect drink for sitting outside and watching nature wake up from its winter nap.


The
PEACH BLOSSOM
Cocktail

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Peach Vodka
1 Oz. Peach Schnapps
5 Oz. Ginger Ale

Garnish: Frozen peaches mixed in with the ice cubes, Mint leaves

DIRECTIONS 
Pour the vodka and peach schnapps into a Collins glass filled with ice cubes and frozen peach slices. Stir, top with ginger ale, pop the mint between your palms (this gently releases the oils into your cocktail), then place on top of the ice and enjoy.

* Alcohol by Volume

** A Buck is a cocktail or mixed drink that uses ginger ale or ginger beer, citrus juice and any of a number of base liquors.


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20190302

The BANANA CREAM PIE COCKTAIL Recipe



Some years ago I was very much into recreating pie recipes as adult beverages and, because banana cream pie is one of my favorites, I created a vodka based Banana Cream Pie Martini. I recently saw that National Banana Cream Pie Day was coming up and thought I'd revisit this experiment but with some interesting rums instead.

I used Appleton Estate aged rum and Cruzan's Banana and Vanilla Rums, added some fresh banana, a bit of cream and a dash of salt. I nearly always add salt to even out the sweetness that is inherent in a dessert inspired drink, it's a nice little chef's trick for balancing out too much tartness and it also serves to open up the palate.

Darned thing was so good I had two and skipped dinner.


The
BANANA CREAM PIE
COCKTAIL 

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Banana Rum
1/2 Oz. Vanilla Rum
1 Oz. Aged Dark Rum
1/2 Oz. Half & Half
1/2 Ripe Banana
1/8 Tsp. Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
1 Cup Crushed Ice

Garnish: Crushed Vanilla Wafers for Rim, Banana Slice

DIRECTIONS
Blend the ingredients until smooth, pour into a chilled glass, garnish and enjoy.


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20190226

The WHITE RUSSIAN Cocktail



The White Russian is the creamy sister cocktail to the Black Russian. A Black Russian is 5 parts vodka to 2 parts Kahlua (coffee liqueur), the White Russian adds 3 parts cream to that.

A very popular and trendy drink in the 70s (and my GoTo gambling cocktail in those days) the White Russian's popularity then waned until 1998 when The Big Lebowski was released. Onto the screen strides Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), an aging hippie who dubs his White Russians "Caucasians" and sloshes them down while abiding through life in bathrobes, sandals and surfer bum threads. These days the White Russian and The Dude are so intertwined you can't order one without someone shouting "He abides" or simply, "Dude!"  Don't believe me? Go into a bar, order one, I dare you.


It might not be considered by most mixologists as one of the world's greatest drinks but I happen to enjoy drinking a Caucasian occasionally and, like The Dude says, "everything is just, like, your opinion, man”.


The
WHITE
RUSSIAN
Martini Diva Style

INGREDIENTS:
2 Oz. Vodka
1 Oz. Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
1-1/2 Oz. Cream, Whipped lightly (soft peaks)
2 Dashes Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters

Garnish: Espresso Powder Rim, Scrappy's Orange Bitters

Tools: Stir Stick

Glass: Old Fashioned

DIRECTIONS:
Dip the rim of the glass in some Kahlua, then into the espresso powder.
Fill glass with a few ice cubes.
Stir in the Vodka, Kahlua and chocolate bitters.
Slowly add the whipped cream to float on top.
Do not stir again.
Tap a few dashes of the orange bitters on top, add a stir stick and serve.

Just take it easy, man, enjoy ... but watch out for cats ....


Variations:
The Black Russian has no cream.
The Blind Russian (aka Muddy Water) which substitutes cream with Irish Cream.
The Mudslide which uses both cream and Irish Cream.
The White Canadian made with goat's milk.
The Anna Kournikova made with skimmed milk.
The White Cuban made with rum instead of vodka.
The Dirty Russian made with chocolate milk instead of cream.
The Dirty Black Russian has no cream but uses cola.
The Colorado Bulldog adds cola.
The California Russian adds a shot of triple sec and a slice of orange.
The Irish Russian is served with a head of Guinness.
The Brown Russian is served in a highball glass and topped with ginger ale.
The Black Magic uses a dash of lemon juice and a lemon twist garnish.
Peri's Black Russian is served in a highball glass with vanilla vodka then topped with cola.

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