Hibiscus Colada Frappé Cocktail Recipe

Frappé "frap-ay": Noun.
A partly frozen drink made with milk or fruit juice, or a strongly alcoholic drink served with ice.

I covered all the bases of the definition of a frappé with this cocktail simply to use up some stuff in my fridge! I had an opened can of pineapple juice from another cocktail experiment, some orange juice for the same reason and about half a dish of vanilla ice cream and surprise guests who showed up at my door unannounced. I figured I could clear out my refrigerator and turn it into an impromptu happy hour at the same time.

I wanted to doll up this tweaky Pina Colada with an interesting garnish but had none of the actual pieces of fruit. What I did have was my trusty jar of Maraschino cherries and some Wild Hibiscus Flowers packed in syrup. Good enough! The Hibiscus syrup added a nice pink glow and the flowers were an exotic little nest for the cherry garnish.

I tossed the ingredients into my blender with some ice and frappeed away. Not bad mixing on the fly!

(Makes 4 Cocktails)

4 Oz. Vodka
1Cup Pineapple Juice
1Cup Orange Juice
2 Lg. Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream
1/2 Tsp. Freshly Grated Ginger
Pinch of Salt
2 Cups of Ice
Hibiscus Flower
Hibiscus Syrup
Ground Ginger
Half an Orange Slice
Maraschino Cherry

Serve in a martini glass or coupe. 

Add your ice to a blender then scoop in the ice cream, grate in the fresh ginger and pour on the vodka, pineapple and orange juices and toss in a pinch of salt. Blend to a slushie, frothy consistency. Pour about a teaspoon of the hibiscus syrup into each glass, gently pour in the cocktail mixture, sprinkle on a dusting of ground ginger and garnish with the cherry tucked into a hibiscus flower and the orange slice.

My guests were fascinated by the edible flower garnish and loved the tropical, gingery drink. For folks who dropped in with no notice (oh, okay, they called me but my wonky phone* sent them to voicemail) it was kind of a leftover-cocktail triumph.

(*P.S. Samsung, we need to have a talk.)

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What's the deal with BOOMERANG COCKTAILS?

The first time I heard about the secret bartenders ritual of "boomerang cocktails" I was in New Orleans hanging at a friend's bar. I watched as he crafted up an interesting looking libation and then, instead of placing it in front of a customer, he put some of that clingy kitchen wrap over the rim, scribbled something on the plastic with a Sharpie, packed it in a gift bag, poured some bar mix around it and handed it to one of his bussers who promptly hurried out the back door with it.

He had this little smile playing around his lips that piqued my curiosity even more so I stuck my snoopy nose in and asked what was up with the bag of booze and bar snacks. He said, "Boomerang Time." So I bit and said, "Boomerang Time?" (WTH?)

Turns out there was a nifty little "thang" going on between local bartenders where they sent each other drinks as a friendly gesture, sort of a cocktail industry Amuse Booze. Perfectly legal in New Orleans where they have an open container law that allows alcohol to take to the streets. Not so legal in other places where I understand this practice also occurs, but much more sub rosa.

It's also supposed to be some big bartender clique secret, but not so much anymore as I've found several references to it since. So I feel a bit less guilty about tattling on the covert practice and ratting out my friend. . .

All this brings me to today's cocktail, the Boomerang. No association to the boomerang cocktail practice of gifting fellow bartenders that I'm aware of, the recipe has been around considerably longer than the practice. But thinking of my friend, now a restaurateur in another part of the world, brought to mind that night and reminded me of the cocktail.

There are two versions of the Boomerang, don't ask me why; one gin and one bourbon. I was in a martini mood so went with the gin. The bourbon version is more like a very sweet lemony Manhattan, also good!


2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
2 dashes Bitters
1/2 tsp Maraschino Liqueur
1 Maraschino Cherry
Lemon Twist

Chill a high ball (old fashioned)* glass in the freezer. Add the gin, dry vermouth, bitters and Maraschino liqueur to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake until chilled then strain into a chilled glass filled with an ice ball. Garnish with a twist of lemon and a Maraschino cherry.

*Traditionally, the Gin Boomerang is served up in a martini glass, but I find it more pleasant slightly diluted by some ice and served in a high ball glass.


2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
2 dashes Bitters
1 tsp Maraschino Liqueur
1 Maraschino Cherry
Lemon Twist

Same directions as the gin version, glassware too. I pour this "over" as well, but I've also made it "up" in a martini glass

So, there you go. A little bartender Easter egg, an Amuse Booze with secret society panache and a couple of versions of a nice cocktail. Cheers and enjoy!

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Salted Caramel Macchiato Martini Cocktail Recipe

You like those Caramel Macchiatos? Well, hold on to your coffee cups, I've upped the ante and added booze!

Take that and brew it, Starbucks!


1 Shot Pinnacle Salted Caramel Vodka
2 Shots Chilled Espresso
1 Shot Heavy Cream
1/4 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
Caramel Syrup
Course Sea Salt

Dip the rim of your martini glass in some caramel syrup. Sprinkle a bit of the coarse sea salt onto the caramel (not too much, this is not a margarita), then chill your glass in the freezer. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, pour in the Pinnacle Salted Caramel Vodka, chilled espresso, heavy cream, and vanilla extract then shake until well chilled.
Pour into your chilled and rimmed glass. Dust with a little ground espresso beans, garnish with a cube of salted caramel candy and enjoy.

Three Cheers to National Macchiato Day!

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Cocktails for Thanksgiving Dessert? Why Not?

Why slave over a hot stove any longer than necessary on Thanksgiving? Grab a cool cocktail shaker and DRINK your dessert(s) instead! That's right! Shake, Don't Bake!
Unless you're lucky enough to have a professional style kitchen in your home (or, at the very least, a double oven), you'll be spending another hour or more over said oven baking pie(s) or some traditional dessert, plus the prep time for each sweet treat. If your guests are anything like my guests, then you have to make more than one type of pie too! Pop has to have "Mom's" apple, Aunt Agnes won't eat anything but her "special" cherry, and dear Cousin Joe Bob insists on pumpkin! (You're just the cook, but wouldn't you really just love a slice of your favorite key lime?) Then there's always the cake lovers and non-traditionalists hoping for the latest au courant sweet. 

Naturally, not a one of them volunteers to BRING their pie, opting instead to re-gift you with a bottle of Chateau Gas Station some other wanker left at their last party. You'd have to open a bakery to please everyone. The mind - and Kitchen Aid - reels!
So, why not make it easy on yourself and set up a Thanksgiving Cocktail Dessert Bar? After the cocktails you might even get a few of those guests to help you with the dishes.* 
Pick out a few of the cocktail recipes below and batch up the ingredients ahead of time. Set out your martini glasses, a bucket of ice and a few cocktail shakers and send your freeloaders to the bar after dinner! 
As for the kiddie table, just set up a few plates of (store bought) cookies or cupcakes, some frosting in a can, assorted toppings and let 'em have at it! The tryptophan in the turkey will balance out the sugar rush and they'll be entertained while the adults sip their dessert.
Pumpkin Pie Martini
Caramel Apple Pie Martini
Cherry Pie Martini


And just for you, because you're The Cook:
Key Lime Pie Martini
*Be responsible with the Thanksgiving Dessert Cocktails. Only one per guest (after all they only eat one piece of pie!) and no driving for an hour after!

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There is something so sexy about this Cappuccino Martini. It's subtle, elegant, divinely delicious and dangerously mysterious. The bold coffee flavor carries a hint of dark chocolate lurking just at the back of your senses; it's silky, smooth and the espresso/sugar rim teases your mouth and tickles your tongue as you sip.

I used my own Homemade Espresso Vodka but you can buy coffee vodka if you're too excited to wait while your vodka gets acquainted with the espresso beans. (Sheesh, some folks have no self control!)


1 Oz Espresso Vodka
1/2 Oz. Kahlua
1/2 Oz. Bailey's Irish Cream
1 Shot Chilled Espresso
1 Scoop Chocolate Ice Cream
1/4 Tsp. Fleur de Sel (Salt)
Instant Espresso & Sugar Mixture
Dark Cocoa Powder

Martini Glass
Cocktail Shaker

Dip your martini glass rim in some Kahlua or Bailey's and then into the instant espresso and sugar mixture. Chill your glass in the freezer. Fill your cocktail shaker with ice and add the Espresso Vodka, Kahlua, Bailey's, chocolate ice cream, salt and the shot of espresso, shake until well chilled then pour into your chilled glass. Garnish with a dusting of the dark cocoa powder or a couple of espresso beans and sip your way into a torrid love affair!

This is a cocktail equally comfortable at brunch, happy hour, dinner, dessert or a midnight tryst. 

It's a great date.

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Bittersweet Chocolate Almond Martini



1 Oz. Chocolate Vodka
1 Oz. Amaretto
1 Oz. White Creme de Cacao
1/2 C. Crushed Almonds
Cocoa Powder

Rim glass with crushed almonds, cocoa powder and sugar mixture then chill in the freezer. Place a cup of ice into your cocktail shaker, add the Chocolate Vodka, Amaretto and Creme de Cacao and shake until chilled then pour into chilled martini glass and enjoy.

National Bittersweet Chocolate Almond Day is November 7th.

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Thanks to a gift from The California Walnuts Commission (@CaWalnuts) I now have in my possession some lovely Homemade Toasted Walnut Maple Bourbon.
I took one look at that bag of lovely walnuts and knew exactly what to do with them.  I tossed them into some bourbon! After waiting patiently for many weeks while the walnuts, bourbon and maple got all happy with each other, I'm now able to share my recipe with you!
1 C. Toasted, Chopped Walnuts
2 C. Bourbon
1/4 Tsp. Vanilla Extract (or one split vanilla bean)
2 Tbsp. Real Maple Syrup
Toast your walnuts in a saucepan for about 3 to 5 minutes, keeping an eye on them as they can burn easily. You want a light toast.
Combine all the ingredients and allow to infuse for a minimum of 2 weeks and up to a month.
Strain through cheesecloth to remove the walnut pieces.
(DON'T THROW THE WALNUTS AWAY! More on this in a bit! )
Now you can bottle your Toasted Maple Walnut Bourbon and enjoy!
1-1/2 Oz. Toasted Walnut Maple Bourbon
1/2 Oz. Bailey's
1/2 Oz. Heavy Cream
Pinch of Cardamom
Crushed Walnuts
Dip your glass rim in some of the Bailey's then into the crushed walnuts. Chill glass in the freezer. Combine the Toasted Walnut Maple Bourbon, Bailey's, Heavy Cream and Cardamom in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until blended and chilled. Pour into a coupe, dust with a little more cardamom and enjoy.
1 Oz. Toasted Walnut Maple Bourbon
1 Oz. Pumpkin Spice Liqueur
Pour both into a shooter and, well, shoot! Oh, okay, you can add a dollop of whipped cream.
HEY! Don't go away just yet! Remember I said don't toss the walnuts? You didn't? Good! There's another fabulous way to enjoy your sweet, nutty bourbon! Take a nice scoop of those bourbon maple soaked walnuts, mix in an ounce or so of your Toasted Walnut Maple Bourbon and pour this right the heck over a nice scoop of rich vanilla bean (or maybe fresh peach or dark cherry or chocolate) ICE CREAM! I'm your best friend now, aren't I?

Go ahead, make extra of everything. I did the minute I used up nearly all of my first batch on ice cream!

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