20180619

The CLASSIC GIN MARTINI

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What is a classic martini recipe? Ask a thousand people, you'll get a thousand different versions of the original martini recipe. Make no mistake, the real, classic martini is a gin martini. I don't mean to offend you vodka proponents but gin was the spirit used in the original martini way back in 1911 and is still considered essential to a "real" martini.

Folks will argue until doomsday about ratios of gin to vermouth, whether to stir or shake, over or up, liquor brands and every other single part of the cocktail and it's mixing process. The martini is such a very personal drink it's an age old debate at the bar.  But one thing about the vermouth amounts ... if there's no vermouth at all it's not a martini. It's just gin. Got it?

Once upon a time I was not a true martini lover.  I loved the glass but I was not ready for gin. That has changed, a lot, and I happen to adore gin and gin cocktails these days, including the martini.  Gin and martinis are both acquired tastes. I have acquired them. I have also played around with the recipe myself quite a bit and love Dirty Martinis, Smoky Dirty Martinis and hundreds of cocktails I have designated as "designer martinis", but if someone asks me for a martini with no additional provisos this is the cocktail they will get.


The Classic
GIN MARTINI

INGREDIENTS
4 Parts Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 Part Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth

Garnish:  3 Honking Big Green Olives with Pimento

Tools: Mixing Pitcher, Hawthorn Strainer

Glass: Martini/Cocktail, of course

DIRECTIONS
Chill the gin, chill the glass, chill the pitcher. The vermouth should already be in the fridge!
Fill a chilled mixing pitcher with filtered ice.
Pour in the gin.
Pour in the vermouth.
Stir 20 times.
Strain into your chilled glass.
Garnish with 3 honking green pimento olives.

 That. Is. All.

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20180608

The NEGRONI



IF YOU PLAN A TOAST TO THE LATE ANTHONY BOURDAIN TONIGHT, THIS IS THE COCKTAIL YOU SHOULD BE DRINKING.

I woke up this morning to the tragic news that chef, author and travel guru Anthony Bourdain had died. Shocked and terribly saddened, I went on to discover he had died by his own hand, which drove me deeper into my sadness. The loss of someone you admire is difficult and it is made more so when you discover they took their own life. My heart goes out to his family and his close friends.


At the top of my personal Bucket List was the hope to meet, and maybe even dine with, Mr. Bourdain. It probably was never going to happen, now it never will. I admired his outspoken view of the world, his honesty and the way he embraced life and will miss checking his Twitter feed to see who or what he was currently taking to task. I'll miss not having new episodes of his gustatory travel adventures and his nearly always controversial appearances and talks elsewhere.


Anthony Bourdain was the rock star foodie who showed us how to globally drink and eat and one of his favorite cocktails was the Negroni.


Tonight I shall lift a glass and toast a gentleman who, on a daily basis, made me laugh, made me learn and made me question myself and the world around me. I will say cheers and goodbye to a unique individual I came to admire in the years since I first read his book No Reservations and I will do so with a Negroni in hand. 


The
NEGRONI

INGREDIENTS
Equal parts:
Campari
Gin
Sweet Vermouth

Garnish: Orange Twist or Slice

Glass: Old Fashioned

DIRECTIONS
Pour ingredients over ice in a chilled glass.
Stir then garnish.


“I think the Negroni is the perfect cocktail because it is three liquors that I don’t particularly like. I don’t like Campari, and I don’t like sweet vermouth and I don’t particularly love gin. But you put them together with that little bit of orange rind in a perfect setting… It’s just: It sets you up for dinner, in a way it makes you hungry, sands the edges off the afternoon. In an after dinner, it’s settling. It is both aperitif and digestive. It’s a rare drink that can do that.” 
~ Anthony Bourdain


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20180606

The Sex And The City RUBY COCKTAIL Recipe



There are tons of Ruby Cocktail recipes floating around in cocktail land including, but not limited to:
1) a gin, grenadine and applejack recipe similar to the Prohibition era Pink Lady cocktail,
2) a rhubarb-infused vodka with simple syrup and fresh lime created by Vanessa Bortnick of Harry Denton's Starlight Room in San Francisco,
3) Tony Abou-Ganim's vodka, elderflower and Aperol version, and
4) The SATC Ruby.


The Sex and The City version of the Ruby Cocktail was created by the Florida Citrus Commission to boost sales of Florida grapefruit. To further encourage grapefruit sales the recipe was proposed to the creators of SATC as a replacement for the what had been the signature drink of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda, the Cosmopolitan. The producers liked the idea and the SATC Ruby made its debut in Season 4's Episode 12 "Just Say Yes". Eventually, the more widely recognized Cosmo made it back as the SATC signature drink in following episodes (as well as the first Sex And The City movie) and the Ruby went into the same sitcom oblivion as the flock of discarded SATC paramours.

It's really too bad The Ruby didn't stick around because I personally prefer the fresh ruby red grapefruit juice spiked with citrus vodka over the ubiquitous cranberry, vodka and lime Cosmopolitan.


The SATC
RUBY COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
6 Oz Fresh (Florida) Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
3 Oz Citrus (Absolut Citron) Vodka

Garnish: Sugar Rim, Grapefruit Twist

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Large (10 ounce) Martini/Cocktail

DIRECTIONS
Shake ingredients with ice, strain into the sugar rimmed, chilled glass then garnish with a grapefruit twist and serve.


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20180527

GRAPE COCKTAILS

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I loved grape juice, grape soda and grape candy as a kid.  As an adult I kind of left them behind because they were too sweet. Then, one day, I discovered that adding booze fixed that problem.
Now I have a tidy little list of fun grape flavored cocktails and I get to feel like a kid again, only with a little buzz.

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20180525

MEMORIAL DAY COCKTAILS

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Memorial Day (or Decoration Day) is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces.

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It is also recognized in the U.S. as the beginning of summer, most likely because it was traditionally the day the school year ended. Currently we celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday of May with the Memorial Day celebrations occurring on the weekend just ahead of that.

For me that means, after honoring those among my friends and family who served and sacrificed, sharing the weekend with my remaining family and friends and having a cookout with some refreshing summer cocktails. It is also my signal to start crafting cocktails made with all the lovely, fresh produce and herbs that become abundant in summertime. Over the years, I have created quite a list of original drink recipes perfect for the long, hot days of summer and I've included links to some of my favorites below, as well as some some of the best warm weather drink categories and flavors to keep you cool from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

SOME OF MY FAVORITE

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20180516

The MIMOSA with Recipe Variations and History

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The Mimosa is a modern day cocktail classic composed of equal parts Champagne and citrus juice (most typically orange juice) which enjoys widespread popularity as a brunch starter. It is widely accepted that the Mimosa was created in 1925 at the Ritz Hotel in Paris by bartender Frank Meier, although in Meier's own book, The Artistry of Mixed Drinks (p. 1936), he does not lay claim to the drink with his book's "created by" symbol. Originally the Mimosa was served over ice in a large wineglass, today's version is a straight up cocktail served up in a flute glass.

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Named after the Mimosa flower (which looks a little like a cluster of Champagne bubbles), it is a variation of the Buck's Fizz, created in 1921 at the Buck's Club in London by Pat McGarry, which is made with two parts Champagne to one part orange juice.

Recognized variations include:
The Grand Mimosa, served with the addition of a bar spoon of Grand Marnier.
The Puccini uses Mandarin orange juice.
The Poinsettia which is made with cranberry juice.
The Megmosa which uses grapefruit juice and, sometimes, a splash of Cointreau.
The Soleil which uses pineapple juice.
The Bellini, substitutes peach puree for the orange juice.

You can substitute nearly any fruit juice for the orange and end up with a lovely Mimosa variation. My personal favorites include pear juice, blueberry juice, pomegranate juice, cherry juice and strawberry juice, all freshly squeezed or sent through my electric juicer and I've been know to grill and mix my juices as well.  You can also substitute other sparkling wines like Prosecco. Additionally, I often add in a few drops of complementary bitters, though technically this is a Champagne Cocktail element. Basically any fresh fruit juice topped off by Champagne or a sparkling wine can be called a Mimosa these days.

 
The
MIMOSA 
 
INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Fresh Orange Juice
2 Oz. Champagne 
 
Glass: Chilled Champagne  Flute

DIRECTIONS
Add the fresh orange juice to your chilled glass and top off with chilled Champagne. Do not stir. It's that simple.

My Mimosa Variations
Berry Mimosa
Blushing Rose Champagne Cocktail
Grilled Peach Mimosa
Merry Mimosa Martini
 
 
National Mimosa Day is May 16th.

 
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20180509

STRAWBERRY BASIL MOSCATO COCKTAIL



Moscato is an Italian dessert style white wine made from the muscat grape. Similar to the Spanish moscatel and the French muscat, it is sweet and fruity with hints of the honey and those qualities inspired my recipe for this cocktail recipe. Though muscat grapes are the oldest known variety and wine made from it has been popular for ages, it's gotten a recent surge in modern day popularity thanks to brand linked rappers and hip hop artists.

Since it's already hitting triple digits here in Tucson, I thought some moscato would pair nicely with the classic combination of fresh strawberries and some fresh basil from my herb garden for a refreshing summer cooler. Adding a little effervescence with some strawberry sparkling water and a bit of sweetness with some honey, I ended up with a pleasant late afternoon cocktail.


STRAWBERRY BASIL
MOSCATO COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS:
4 Oz. Moscato
4 Fresh Strawberries
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tbsp. Water
Strawberry Sparkling Water
1 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Basil Leaves
Ice

Garnish: Sprig Basil, Strawberry

Tools: Muddler

Glass: Highball

DIRECTIONS:
Warm the honey and water in a highball glass in a microwave just long enough to thin the honey and mix together, about 10 seconds.
Add the strawberries and basil to the glass then gently muddle. 
Fill your glass with ice then add the Moscato, stir.
Top off with the strawberry sparkling water, garnish with a fresh strawberry, a sprig of basil and serve.

National Moscato Day is May 9th.

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