20170121

The PINK SQUIRREL Cocktail


On the website for Bryant's Lounge in Milwaukee, it states the Pink Squirrel was created by Bryant Sharp in 1941. According to cocktail historian David Wondrich, the Pink Squirrel was created as a promotional gimmick.

"In the early ’50s, one liquor company hired a sexy female to walk into bars with a pink squirrel attached to a leash. The foxy lady was promoting the “Pink Squirrel” cocktail, a viscous concoction made with pink almond liqueur and creme de cacao."

Wherever it came from it's pretty much considered a classic "girly" drink because of its pink color and sweetness. At Bryant's it was originally made with equal parts Crème de Noyaux, (an "almond flavored" liqueur made from apricot pits), crème de cacao and ice cream, though later the crème de cacao was omitted. Supposedly, this is the way Bryant's still serves their Pink Squirrels.

Decent Crème de Noyaux is difficult to find so I grabbed my Amaretto, approached from a different, healthier, angle and went down a boozy almond, chocolate, yogurt and strawberry smoothie road. Yes, I added the crème de cacao back in because - hey - chocolate, BUT it's still a nice, girly pink boozy shake of a drink.

The
PINK SQUIRREL
Cocktail

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz Amaretto
1 Oz Crème de Cacao
1 Oz Organic Vanilla Yogurt
3 Strawberries
1/2 Cup Ice

Tools: Blender

Glass: Martini or Coupe

DIRECTIONS
Blend with ice, strain into a cocktail glass and serve.
To make my Pink Squirrel smoother in texture I blended it, froze it, then blended again.

Despite being male, my cocktail wingman, Bailey, loved it.


The Pink Squirrel is a perfect cocktail for National Squirrel Appreciation Day on January 21st.


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20170119

Hot Buttered POPCORN SHOOTER COCKTAIL with Caramel Popcorn Garnish


I'm always up for trying something new and unusual and, since it happens to be National Popcorn Day, I got this harebrained scheme to try and make a popcorn cocktail. Since I needed it for today a popcorn infused spirit was not possible so I decided to start with a popcorn infused syrup.

Out came the white Orville Redenbacher and my favorite popcorn pot and the experiment began. The first step is to make the popcorn infused simple syrup.

POPCORN SYRUP

INGREDIENTS
2 Cups sugar
4 Cups Water
6 Cups Popped, Buttered & Salted Popcorn

DIRECTIONS
Bring the ingredients in a medium saucepan on high to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium.
Stir and smash down the popcorn kernels to release more flavor.
Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.
Shut off the heat and allow the syrup to infuse and cool for an hour.
Pour through a fine metal strainer to remove the popcorn.
Makes about 6 - 8 ounces of syrup.
(This will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.)

I was blown away by how much it tasted like the popcorn, or to be more accurate, because of the sugar, it tasted like kettle corn. It was delicate and absolutely delicious and reminded me of my favorite Hot Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly. That delicate quality was the issue, I didn't want it masked by any flavor from the spirit so I decided to go with a good quality vodka and turned it into a simple popcorn shooter.

Because I buttered my popcorn, you also get a nice buttery texture in the syrup and I decided that a little of that caramel flavor from kettle corn would be a nice way to garnish.

Oh, I did I say it's served warm?

HOT BUTTERED
POPCORN SHOOTER

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Vodka
1-1/2 Oz. Popcorn Syrup

Garnish: Caramel Syrup Rim Dipped in Crushed Popcorn

Glass: 2 Oz. Shooter

DIRECTIONS
Garnish the glass and set aside.
Dry shake the ingredients - no ice - in a cocktail shaker to emulsify the buttered syrup with the vodka.
Put this into a microwavable cup and nuke for about 10 to 15 seconds, just enough to bring it to body temperature or so. You want it warm, not hot.
Pour into the shot glass and serve.

By the way, the leftover syrup is FABULOUS on ice cream!

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20170113

Mango Pineapple RUBBER DUCKY Cocktail Slushy


Had to do it. January 13th is National Rubber Ducky Day and I just happened to have some rubber duckies laying around.

This cocktail is perfect for a pool party or just because it's fun. Leave out the booze and it's a perfectly fine mango pineapple smoothie, just not as much fun.

The
Mango Pineapple
RUBBER DUCKY
Cocktail Slushy

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Dark Rum
6 Oz Bolthouse Farms Mango Pineapple Colada (Juice)
1 Tablespoon Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Ice

Garnish: Mini Rubber Ducky, 3 Dashes Orange Bitters

Tools: Blender

Glass: Rocks

DIRECTIONS
Blend ingredients together until smooth, pour into an ice filled rocks glass, tap on 3 dashes of orange bitters then float the Rubber Ducky on top and serve with a straw.



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20170103

CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRY COCKTAIL


I have a fondness for all things chocolate and all things cherry, so it's not surprising I have a fondness for this chocolate covered cherry cocktail.

The Three Olives Cherry Vodka is really important in this recipe, it's the best cherry vodka I've found. I use Hiram Walker's Creme de Cacao but there are other brands available. Don't skip the Woodford Reserve Chocolate Bitters, they add extra depth of flavor and balance the sweetness.

The
CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRY
COCKTAIL
(Chocolate Covered Cherries Recipe Below)

INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 Oz. Three Olives Cherry Vodka
1 Oz. Creme de Cacao
1 Oz. Half & Half
2 Dashes Woodford Reserve Chocolate Bitters
1 Cup of Ice

Garnish: Fresh Chocolate Covered Cherry

Tools: Cocktail shaker

Glass: Cocktail  (Martini or Coupe)

DIRECTIONS
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish and serve.

HOW TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRIES:
Melt your semi-sweet chocolate chips in a double boiler or you can use a regular sauce pan with about 1-1/2 inches of water and place a stainless steel bowl over that as a make-shift double boiler.
Wash and dry your fresh cherries, leave the stems on.
When the chocolate is completely melted and nice and creamy, grab your cherries by the stems and dip up to where the stem starts.
Gently move the cherry to a flat surface covered in wax paper or parchment paper.
Cool the cherries in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Want to really amp up the garnish? Soak your fresh cherries in some cherry brandy, cherry vodka or bourbon overnight before dipping them in the chocolate.

Be sure to warn your guests there is a pit in that cherry. Or you can take the extra time to remove the pit from the bottom of the cherry. That part will be completely covered in chocolate anyway.


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20161226

NEW YEAR'S COCKTAILS

http://themartinidiva.com

A New Year comes ringing,
New promise it's bringing,
So lift up your glasses
As the old year passes,
And greet the New Year,
With toasts of Good Cheer!

NEW YEAR'S
COCKTAILS
 
BLOODY MARY'S
BUBBLING FRUIT BRANDY MARTINIS
CHAMPAGNE COCKTAILS
CHAMPAGNE WISHES & CAVIAR DREAMS
MERRY MIMOSA MARTINI
NEW YEAR'S BLUES MARTINI
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION MARTINI
RASPBERRY RESOLUTION MARTINI
SPARKLING GRAPE MARTINI
SPARKLING HIBISCUS MARTINI
SPARKLING PEAR MARTINI
SPARKLING POMEGRANATE MARTINI
TWILIGHT PEARL MARTINI
  
Here's to a new year filled with cheer!

http://themartinidiva.com

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Updated 12-30-2016

20161216

Grandma's BOURBON, HIBISCUS and ROSEWATER "TEA" Cocktail


You could always tell when my Grandma Effie's "tea" had a kick, you could hear the ice cubes clinking around her china cup as she sipped. I kinda always wanted to try that tea, it sure made Grandma happy, but Mom said it was grown-up tea and always shoved something less potent towards me.

Well, I'm all grown up now, Mom.


Grandma's
BOURBON, HIBISCUS and ROSEWATER
"TEA"

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Bourbon
2 Oz. Wild Hibiscus Tea
1 Tsp. Orange Juice Concentrate
1 Oz. Rose Hibiscus Syrup
Ice

Garnish: Hibiscus Flower

Tools: Cocktail Shaker, Hawthorne Strainer

Glass: Tea Cup

DIRECTIONS:
Brew the Hibiscus Tea, strong, and allow to cool.
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake and until chilled.
Strain into a teacup with a few ice cubes in it, garnish and serve.

Grandma's tea was usually just orange pekoe with a couple of fingers of bourbon, so why the rose and hibiscus? Because my grandma always smelled like rosewater, and the wallpaper in her house had giant hibiscus flowers all over it.

MAKES A GREAT HOT TODDY TOO
Yes, you can do this hot, it just happened to be an 80 degree day in December here in Tucson when I made this, I wasn't going with a hot toddy! Just don't cool the tea and leave out shaking and straining, which is primarily to strain out any ice shards anyway.

Cheers to you, Grandma Effie, I sure hope there's bourbon up there!


   
 

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20161215

TEA COCKTAILS, Hot and Cold


Long before I ever called myself The Martini Diva I was adding booze to my tea. One of my favorite combinations was Grand Marnier in Good Earth's spiced orange tea. I was also fond of flavored vodkas and rums with flavored teas, both iced and hot.

Homemade Tea Infused Vodka
I've even made tea infused vodkas by simply dropping 6 to 8 tea bags into one bottle of decent vodka. You allow this to steep for about 18 hours, strain through coffee filters (just to get the fine tea dust out) and you're ready to go. If you want Sweet Tea Vodka simply add simple syrup to taste.

You can also add spices, herbs and citrus zest as well as berries and fruits though you'll need to infuse those longer depending on what you've added.

Tea is a great way to add a little creativity to your craft cocktails. You can make a tea infused simple syrup improve your tea and use it as a mixer, either hot as a toddy or mixed cold. There's a world of possibilities considering all the flavored teas out there.

And it's always fun to serve a cocktail in a teacup, that's how my Granny used to have a nip of bourbon in her tea.

TEA COCKTAILS

Chai Tea Martini
Citrus Spiced Hot Toddy
Grandma's Bourbon Hibiscus "Tea"
Hibiscus Heart Fizz
Long Island Iced 'Tini
Panic Button Martini

You can also add a bit of booze to a classic Arnold Palmer:


International Tea Day is December 15th, Iced Tea Day is June 10th, British National Tea Day and National  Tea Day are both April 21st, Nation Hot Tea Day is January 12th and January is National Hot Tea Month.

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