RAVEN'S WING Pomegranate Orange Haloween Cocktail

A couple of Halloweens ago I wrote a little horror poem, "THE HALLOWEEN VISITATION, A Cocktale of Horror and Vodka", about ravens knock, knock, knocking at my door begging for my Crystal Head Vodka. For some reason I didn't create a cocktail to accompany that Edgar Allan Poe parody. Time to correct that right now.

I wanted an dark cocktail with a purple cast to it, like raven feathers, and something fruity but tart. Something ravens, and people, might like their Crystal Head Vodka with. Maybe if I named a cocktail after them those darned birds would leave my nightmares alone.


1- 50 Ml. (Mini) Crystal Head Vodka Nip (1.67 Oz.)
1/4 Oz. Cointreau
1-1/2 Oz. Pomegranate Juice
1 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons B'Lure Butterfly Pea Flower Essence
3 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
Large Ice Cubes

Garnish: Lemon Twist, Pomegranate Slice, Raven Cocktail Pick, Black & White Straw

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Old Fashioned

Chill glass in freezer.
Add all the ingredients, EXCEPT the B'Lure and the large ice cube(s), into an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake until chilled.
Add the large ice cubes to the chilled glass, pour the cocktail over the ice.
Add the B'Lure over the back of a spoon down the inside of the glass, do NOT stir but allow it to settle at the bottom.
Garnish and serve.




DEM BONES, DEM BONES Chocolate Wine & Vodka Mocha Shake Cocktail for Halloween

Crystal Head Vodka. Just perfect for Halloween. Perfect anytime, but Halloween is seriously skull bottle and vodka friendly.

I get into the skeletal spirit again this year, but while everyone else is zigging with the typical bloody tomato juice vodka drink, I decided to zag that seven times distilled Crystal Head Vodka into a coffee and chocolate wine frozen libation. The beautiful skull bottle and that Herkimer diamond filtered vodka deserve a little zing, plus those poor bones in the graveyard need a little wake-me-up to get rattling along.

"Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around."
~ James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938)

Chocolate Wine & Vodka Mocha Shake for Halloween

2 Oz. Crystal Head Vodka
1-1/2 Oz. Chocovine Chocolate Wine, Original
1 Oz. Half & Half
1 Tsp. Instant Espresso Powder
1 Tablespoon Turbinado Rich Simple Syrup*
2 Drops Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters
2 Drops Angostura Orange Bitters
4 Regular Ice Cubes
5 Coffee Ice Cubes

Garnish: Dusting of Crushed Cacao Nibs, Black and White Straw and Assorted Skeleton/Halloween Geegaws

Tools: Blender

Glass: Miniature Milk Bottle, Chilled
(Rocks Glass would work too.) 

Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Pulse to make sure all ice cubes have been crushed.
Pour into the chilled milk bottle,  garnish and serve.

(Rich simple syrup is 2 parts sugar to 1 part water as opposed to basic simple syrup which is a 1:1 ratio.)
Heat 2 parts Turbinado Sugar and 1 part water on medium just until the sugar has dissolved. Cool and refrigerate for up to 3 months. Add a tablespoon of Crystal Head and that simple syrup can last up to 6 months or longer!

An added benefit of doing this cocktail was I finally found a way to incorporate Chocovine in a mixed drink AND got to name a Halloween cocktail after the great gospel song "Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones" made popular by The Delta Rhythm Boys.




The LA PRESIDENTE, A Female Version of the El Presidentemail Cocktail

The El Presidente was created during the American Prohibition at the Jockey Club in Havana, Cuba by American bartender Eddie Woelke who named it after then Cuban President Gerardo Machado. There's a great article on it by Wayne Curtis with more details here.

I just thought it was a perfect cocktail for election year, but with one slight change ... in name only:


1-1/2 Oz. White Rum
1 Oz. Cinzano Bianco
1 Tsp. Grand Marnier
1/2 Tsp. Homemade Grenadine

Garnish: Homemade Maraschino Cherry, Orange Twist

Tools: Barspoon, Mixing Glass, Strainer

Glass: Cocktail

Stir ingredients with ice in the muxing glass until chilled, strain into your chilled cocktail glass, garnish and serve.

You might just want to make a batch for this particular election.




I don't know what it is about Halloween and aliens with me, but I truly believe if they ever do invade it with be on October 31st. That's if they have done any research at all. Everybody knows you can be an alien on earth on Halloween and nobody will notice you because everyone is in costume. (The possible exception would be those annoyingly aggressive Martians from Orson Wells' War of the Worlds.) Slick marauding ETs could probably even take over the White House before all the Trick and Treaters are back in bed with candy belly aches.

Plus, electric blue cocktails either say Halloween or Tiki to me. This one has touches of both. Because I'm just that twisted.

As for those invading guys, all I can say is they better keep their claws and/or tentacles off my Crystal Head Vodka or I'm going all Independence Day on them.

In Case of

1 Oz. Blue Curacao
3/4 Oz. Crystal Head Vodka
3/4 Oz. Bacardi Superior White Rum
1-1/2 Oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice
1/2 Oz. Small Hands Orgeat Syrup
3 Dashes Scrappy's Lime Bitters
Ice Cubes

Garnish: Wild Hibiscus B'lure Butterfly Pea Flower Extract, Alien Gummy Candy

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Something alien looking

Chill the glass in the freezer.
Fill your cocktail shaker with ice then add the other ingredients.
Shake until chilled then strain into an ice filled, chilled glass.
Add the alien gummy to the rim then add drops of the B'Lure down the inside of the glass and onto the ice cubes then serve.

If you really want to add some serious extraterrestrial then shave a few chips of dry ice on top just before serving. Just make sure the dry ice has dissolved before drinking.

This cocktail is featured in my
COLOR YOUR COCKTAILS Recipe and Coloring Book but here I changed it up a bit for Halloween and added the B'Lure for a bit of extra color fun then added some lime bitters to balance the extra sweetness from the B'lure's pea flower extract.

National Alien Abduction Day is March 20th, National Alien Day (Alien426 Day) is April 26th, World UFO Day is July2nd.






and Recipes
A little history, some thoughts and quite a few recipes.
The Corpse Reviver "before 11am, or whenever steam and energy are needed."
~ Henry Craddock
Most references to the Corpse Reviver state that the earliest recipe in print appears in Harry Craddock's 1930 version of "The Savoy Cocktail Book", but recipes for the Corpse Reviver actually appear much earlier in literature, in fact, as early as an issue of Punch in 1861.
Another early recipe for the corpse reviver that pre-dates Craddock's can be found in 1903 in The Steward's Handbook and Guide to Party Catering.

There are several recipes for the Corpse Reviver, the primary ones being the Corpse Reviver 1 and the Corpse Reviver 2.

Corpse Reviver 1
2 parts cognac
1 part apple brandy or Calvados
1 part sweet vermouth
Preparation Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Corpse Reviver 2
3/4 ounce gin
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce Cointreau (curaçao)
3/4 ounce Lillet (Kina)
1 dash absinthe
Preparation Shake ingredients together in a mixer with ice. Strain into chilled glass.
Two more versions exist, a Kentucky Corpse Reviver which is composed of equal parts bourbon, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice and Cointreau, and the Savoy Corpse Reviver which employs equal parts brandy, Fernet Branca and White Crème de menthe.
Corpse Revivers are considered one of the first "hair of the dog" cocktails, hence the macabre name. However, let's be serious here, I am NEVER going to make this cocktail as a hangover cure, my delicate constitution requires a morning-after libation that is a bit more gentle. I'll leave that arcane remedy concept in a coffin along with the boozers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries who thought it a stalwart reviver of their alcohol laden corpses. 
That being said, it is a lovely herbal lemon libation, ideal for Halloween. Corpse Revivers are often dredged out of the cocktail mortuary for aptly named spooky drinks and this seems an appropriate application. One or two all decked out in ghoulish garb should really get your party guests started. The #1 is actually a scary, boring cocktail, run screaming in horror. The #2, however, is complex and worthy of digging up from the grave, which is exactly what I did here. But I added a few spooky twists ....

1-1/2 Oz. Hendricks Gin
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1/4 Oz. Fresh Orange Juice
1 Oz. Cointreau
3/4 Oz. Cocchi Americano
1/8 Tsp. of Pastis
1 Tsp. Simple Syrup
Garnish: Large Lemon Twist, Skeleton, Large Ice Cubes with Gummy Eyeballs
Tools: Cocktail Shaker, Metal Strainer
Glass: Rocks
Shake ingredients together in a mixer with ice. Strain into ice filled chilled glass. Garnish and serve.
You'll note I added lime and orange juice to the lemon juice. I wanted some slight greenish color from the lime and added the orange to pump up the Cointreau.  I went with Cocchi Americano because the Lillit called for in the original recipes was Kina Lillit, which no longer exists. The present-day version, Lillit Blanc, is minus the quinine that distinguished the original aperitif.
As for the Pastis, I substituted this liqueur for the Absinthe because it's much milder, less licorice aggressive and has sugar which brings a touch more sweetness to the cocktail. I felt it would fight less with the distinctive rose and cucumber notes of my gin choice which has a very subtle licorice back note of its own.




I love blackberries and before the season was over I wanted to get one last fresh blackberry cocktail under my belt. As we are still dealing with summer temperatures here in Arizona despite it being fall, I also wanted something tall and cool.

When I'm not constructing a new craft cocktail for my brand or for an event I often revert to simple classic cocktails for my personal drinks. One of my favorites in summer is a tonic, usually gin tonics, occasionally vodka; the choice of spirit is usually based on what I'm adding to the drink. I rarely do a straight gin and tonic, I like adding fruits and using the herbs from my little garden on the back deck. This way I get a little variety at happy hour without a lot of thinking or work. I'll be honest here, if I'm not making any money on it I'm not going to spend hours creating a new cocktail just for myself.

That's not to say I don't make myself good cocktails, I do and this is a very good cocktail, just not complex. And sometimes that's just what you're looking for at happy hour. The only thing I tweaked a bit was using Crème de Cassis in place of the simple syrup.

Blackberry & Blackcurrant

1-1/2 Oz. Gin
1 Oz. DeKuyper Crème de Cassis
10 Fresh Blackberries
3/4 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Fever Tree Light Tonic Water

Garnish: Fresh Blackberries
(Little Tip, freeze the blackberry garnish. It will help keep your drink chilled in summer.)

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Collins

Muddle the blackberries and lime juice in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
Fill with ice, add the gin and Crème de Cassis then shake until chilled.
Strain into the ice filled Collins glass, top off with tonic, garnish and serve.

International Gin and Tonic Day is Oct 19th, National Gin and Tonic Day is April 9th and National Blackberry Day is September 12th.




RHUBARB GINGER OLD FASHIONED Cocktail with Rhubarb Bourbon Chutney and Rhubarb Ginger Simple Syrup Recipes

Here's the thing about me and rhubarb. It's a fruit that grows in spring but I always crave rhubarb cocktails in fall. I have no idea why and it's annoying because I can't get fresh rhubarb in the fall. But I'm aware of my odd craving so I always freeze some just for this reason. (I also freeze a few full stalks as garnish; by putting a bamboo skewer in them I can keep the frozen stalk from drooping as it defrosts in the cocktail and that chilled stalk helps keep my cocktail chilled!) I really have no other use for rhubarb except for Rhubarb Chutney, that recipe is included here as well.

Come to think of it, I see chutney as kind of a fall condiment, maybe that's why I associate rhubarb with fall. Nevertheless, when summer temperatures drop here in Tucson, I'm ready for rhubarb cocktails and a favorite is a Rhubarb Old Fashioned.

Rhubarb Ginger

2 Oz. Templeton Rye Whiskey
3/4 Oz. Rhubarb Ginger Simple Syrup
(*Recipe below)
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Dashes Rhubarb Bitters
Large Ice Cube(s) or Sphere(s)

Garnish: Stalk of Rhubarb (cut off the leaves as they are toxic). I also added a hollowed out lemon filled with some of my chutney and a glass stir stick in case anyone wanted to add a little spicy rhubarb kick to their drink.)

Glass: Old Fashioned

Tools: Stir Stick

Chill the glass in the freezer while you get your ingredients in place.
Add the lemon juice and Rhubarb Ginger Simple Syrup to the chilled glass and swirl it around.
Add ice cube(s) then pour in the Templeton Rye and the Rhubarb Bitters and stir until chilled.
Garnish and serve.

*Rhubarb Ginger Simple Syrup

1-1/2 Cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Rhubarb, Fresh or Frozen, Chopped
1 Tsp. Freshly Grated Ginger

Bring the ingredients to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Mash the rhubarb up with a potato  masher to release more of the juice.
Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 3 minutes.
Set aside to cool.
Strain out the solids BUT set them aside to add to your Rhubarb Chutney below!
Stores bottled in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, longer if you add a tablespoon of vodka.

Rhubarb Ginger Chutney

3/4 C. Sugar
1/3 C. Bourbon (or aged rum)
1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Zested, Fresh Ginger
(Only 1 teaspoon if you are using the leftover rhubarb from the simple syrup.)
2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1/4 Tsp. Ground Clove
1/2 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/3 C. Chopped Red Onion
1/2 C. Dried Cranberries
16 Oz. Chopped Rhubarb, Fresh or Frozen (I used the leftover rhubarb from my simple syrup plus another 8 ounces of my frozen rhubarb.)

In a large saucepan, bring everything but the rhubarb, onions and cranberries to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium until the sugar dissolves.
Add the rhubarb, onion and cranberries and simmer on med-low until the mixture thickens enough to spoon onto toast, meat, or whatever you're serving it with. With the added bourbon this took about 15 minutes, just keep an eye on it.
Allow to cool (or serve warmed if you prefer) and serve with cream cheese and garlic toast.
Also great on pork ribs and chops and grilled chicken!

TIP: Be sure to blanch your rhubarb before freezing to keep the beautiful colors bright.



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