20090330

The CABLE CAR - Another Classic Cocktail in Martini Style

For all you rum lovers out there, here's a retro cocktail that is a classic from way back. The Cable Car uses Captain Morgan's spiced rum, cointreau, a little lemon and a dash of cinammon.

It's a very aromatic and tasty drink that will please those who love their Captain Morgan's! Just remember No Martini Tipping Allowed so don't have too many!

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20090327

Kir Royale Cocktail



The Kir Royale is a champagne version of blanc-cassis, a white wine and blackcurrant liqueur cocktail. The classic version Kir Royale is simply champagne with a splash of Creme de Cassis, a black current liqueur, though there are now many variations out there for the adventurous palate. I've often done this with Chambord in place of the Creme de Cassis.


Please Drink Responsibly.

Updated 11-2016

20090325

MARTINI NANO FICTION - Sadly Evident

Number Two in my new line of really, really short stories of martini fiction! Take a short break from your everyday life and ponder the wonders of the "cocktale" world. A novel ideal for happy hour from The Martini Diva.
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Image: Sadly Evident © 2009 by PopArtDiva.com
Nano Story: Sadly Evident © by TheMartiniDiva.com
All Rights Reserved. No permission is given to post, copy, distribute, save, print or reproduce in any manner without prior written permission.
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20090323

RETRO COCKTAILS - Classic Grasshopper as Martini

My sister loved Grasshoppers in her twenties. The only reason I remember this is the pale green color of the drink - as a kid I thought it was pretty and looked like a green milkshake.

The Grasshopper is kind of a milkshake for adults - it's make with cream, has a chocolate minty taste and it really is the palest shade of green. It is also one classic cocktail that usually is served in a martini glass - so I'm more legit with this retro cocktail so popular in the fifties and early sixties.

After Raj on The Big Bang Theory ordered them on one episode it's possible this drink might come back into the public eye again - or maybe not . But it is a pretty decent dessert cocktail and very elegant looking when you add my personal touch of the mint leaf and chocolate shaving garnishes!

To make a Flying Grasshopper: Simply substitute vodka for the cream in the above recipe!

If you have a Martini question, please feel free to ask me in a comment and I'll respond back here in the comments section or in a new post!
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20090320

RASPBERRY MINT MARTINI - It's Happy Hour with Mint!

http://themartinidiva.com The Raspberry Mint Martini is such a refreshing martini - the muddled mint balances nicely with the fruit and gives your mouth a little zing. The sour mix takes the sugar level down nicely and adds a little zip too - so you end up with a zippy zing of a martini!

By the way, another little tip - if you favor Chambord, the French black raspberry liqueur, be aware this is a high quality product and uses no preservatives so it's shelf life is around six months. You can substitute Creme de Cassis for the Chambord, but remember that Creme de Cassis is made from black currants, not raspberries. I have used both DeKuyper's Razzmatazz and Raspberry Di Amore at times - both somewhat less syrupy than Chambord, but also not as rich in raspberry flavor. Bols has a raspberry liqueur too, though I've not tried it as yet.

http://themartinidiva.com
Updated 7-2018
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20090319

A MARTINI NANO STORY - Five Dead Soldiers

This is the first of my little illustrated martini nano stories. Just a little literary moment of cocktail fantasy for a change of pace! Enjoy, if you like it let me know with a comment.

Cheers!
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Image: Five Dead Soldiers © 2009 by PopArtDiva.com
Nano Story: Five Dead Soldiers © by TheMartiniDiva.com
All Rights Reserved. No permission is given to post, copy, distribute, save, print or reproduce in any manner without prior written permission.
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If you have a Martini question, please feel free to ask me in a comment and I'll respond back here in the comments section or in a new post!
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY & DRIVE RESPONSIBLY!

The MARTINI ART of POP ART DIVA
Appetizer recipes to go with your martinis at The Diva of Tiny Foods!
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20090318

RETRO COCKTAILS - The Box Car Martini

The Box Car is a classic cocktail that's been around since at least the days of prohibition. I did a little searching for it's history and came up with nothing on-line, but I do know that gin gained it's popularity during prohibition because it was easy and very quick to brew. Of course, the easier and quicker it was made, the harsher the alcohol and this was the impetus for the explosion of mixed drinks or "cocktails" that evolved during this period - they had to disguise the almost grain alcohol level of the booze they had brewed up that morning in the bathtub, lol!

But some absolutely great cocktails emerged from these times and among them was the Box Car. The gin, triple sec, lemon juice and grenadine are all original ingredients BUT the original recipes call for egg whites whereas mine calls for pasteurized egg whites (you can buy egg whites pasteurized in cartons at higher end grocers, even some liquor stores carry it.) The reason for this, of course, is the modern day fear of salmonella in raw egg. Using pasteurized egg whites solves this issue.

The egg white is an essential ingredient - it adds the frothiness and a mellowness to this cocktail. You can always adjust the sweet/sour balance to your own tastes but don't leave out the egg white! Enjoy this classic flapper favored martini and party like it's 1933 (the year prohibition was lifted!)

Do you believe the only way to end the day is with a martini?
Then check out this design on
Day's End Martini
on great products like posters, tees, cards, cups, hats and more
from The Martini Diva Boutique




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If you have a Martini question, please feel free to ask me in a comment and I'll respond back here in the comments section or in a new post!

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The MARTINI ART of POP ART DIVA
Appetizer recipes to go with your martinis at The Diva of Tiny Foods!
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20090317

St. Patrick's Day Martini - Irish Chocolate Cocktail!

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

Here's a lovely chocolate mint martini with the added creaminess of Bailey's. A perfect way to end your meal of corned beef and cabbage!
May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head.
be always strong.
May you be in heaven
a half hour before
the devil knows you're dead.
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!
Please drink responsibly and keep the luck of the Irish alive for you and everyone else out there today!


20090316

LEMON MARTINI - LEMON AID FOR THE SOUL!

For everyone who's been handed some lemons in their life lately - here's the Lemon Aid Martini! It takes the sour out of the harsh realities of life and puts a little sweet into your soul.

The ultimate cocktail expression of "positive thinking" and "attitude of gratitude" - if life has handed you lemons make a lemon aid martini! A tart, refreshing and totally satisfying martini for those times when you need a little pick-me-up!

Have you gotten a lot of lemons lately? Need more lemon aid? Grab some great apparel, home decor and gifts with the Lemon Drop Martini Art design from TheMartini Diva Boutique!



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Appetizer recipes to go with your martinis at The Diva of Tiny Foods!
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20090313

FRIDAY the 13th MARTINI - A little Black Licorice Cocktail


It's FRIDAY THE 13TH! OMG! Stay inside, lock your doors, stay away from ladders, black cats, gigolos and really bitchy women and mix yourself a pitcher of these great Licorice Flavored
FRIDAY THE 13TH MARTINIS!

Let me know if you survive the day.

Please Drink Responsibly

20090311

MARTINI FUN DAY - Quotes, Stories, Facts & Gifts

MARTINI FUN DAY!

MARTINI QUOTES
Why don't you get out of that wet coat and into a dry martini? ~ Robert Benchley

The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time? ~ Gerald R. Ford (38th US President)

One martini is alright, two is too many, three is not enough. ~ James Thurber

Happiness is finding two olives in your martini when you're hungry. ~ Johnny Carson

A MOST EXPENSIVE MARTINI
You can actually enjoy a $10,000 Martini at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City - the garnish? A beautiful, REAL radiant cut Diamond!

ARE THERE BUGS IN YOUR OLIVE?
In the book "The Bug in the Martini Olive" by Patricia Holt there is a novel idea of creative spydom when the olive in a martini is really a covert listening device - check out Chapter Three "The Bug in the Martini Olive" excerpt.

JAMES BOND - SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED - VESPER or MARTINI?
The famous James Bond phrase "shaken, not stirred" was not a reference to a classic gin martini (which is not shaken as that bruises the gin) it was most likely used for a vodka martini. Bond drank both versions throughout the book and movie series, but the first drink he ordered "shaken" was actually a cocktail that is now called a Vesper:
"Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?" ~ James Bond in Casino Royale, 1953.
So, James Bond, is not a heathen and defiler of the classic Gin Martini, he is simply a man of eclectic martini tastes! The name Vesper, by the way comes from a female agent in the same movie:
"When I'm ... er ... concentrating.' he explained, 'I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name."~ James Bond in Casino Royale, 1953.


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20090304

GARLIC MARTINI & GARLIC INFUSED VODKA RECIPES


I have been wanting to create my own recipe for a Garlic Martini for a while. I wanted to start with garlic flavored vodka and decided to make my own so I could control the level of garlic flavor. I wanted something mild and smooth with just a hint of garlic (instead of something that could kill a vampire.)

Both recipes are below.

The
GARLIC MARTINI

INGREDIENTS 
2 Oz. Garlic Infused Vodka
(Recipe below)
1 Tsp. Dry Vermouth
1 Tsp. Garlic Stuffed Olive Brine

Garnish: Garlic stuffed olives, sprig of rosemary; Salt, garlic powder and dried rosemary rim

Tools: Cocktail shaker

Glass: Cocktail (Martini)

DIRECTIONS
To rim glass: Mix a tablespoon of sea salt with a pinch of garlic powder and a pinch of dried rosemary. Dip the rim in some olive brine then into the seasoned salt mixture.
Chill rimmed glass in freezer.
Shake ingredients in an ice filled cocktail shaker.
Strain into the chilled glass, garnish with three garlic stuffed olives and a fresh sprig of rosemary.

Little tip: No matter what, don't leave out the garlic stuffed olives. If you love garlic they're a treat you don't want to miss.

HOMEMADE GARLIC VODKA

Take an entire bulb of fresh garlic, peel and  gently crush each clove to release their flavor.
Drop the crushed garlic directly into a 750ml bottle of decent vodka then recap the bottle.
Allow this to sit in a dark, cool location for a minimum of two days. Shake the bottle every day.
Remember, the more garlic you use and the longer you allow it to infuse the stronger the garlic flavor will become. (I only let mine sit for the two days as I wanted a more subtle flavor.) Test it every day or so to reach the flavor intensity you desire.
When the vodka has reached the flavor level you like, strain it through several layers of cheesecloth to remove the solids.
Letting this sit for a week up to a month will allow the Vodka flavor to intensify a bit as well as mellow.

Updated 4-2018
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20090302

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN FLAVORED VODKAS

Updated November 2015
 
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN
FLAVORED VODKAS

You can infuse a variety of flavors into vodka - fresh and dried fruits, vegetables and berries, herbs and spices, vanilla beans, coffee or espresso beans, peppers and even garlic cloves can all be used to give your vodka a new flavor profile. There are even rose, bacon and candy flavored vodkas out there!

The key to creating the best home-made flavored vodka is quality. Fresh ingredients, the highest quality dried ingredients or spices/herbs, and a good quality vodka. You don't have to buy the most expensive designer vodkas, a medium quality vodka will do - but don't get cheapo and buy the discount brands. Don't used canned or frozen fruits or vegetables either.

If you're using fruits you will want to slice them (berries remain whole) to allow more of the fruit flavor to infuse into the vodka. Remove any seeds or pits or rinds. 

The same concept applies to peppercorns and herbs, garlic, coffee beans, or whatever flavor profile you're going for. Smashing these up a bit releases the oils which are where most of the taste resides.

Be sure to wash your fruits, remove stems from herbs and any leaves from berries or peppers before you place them in the vodka. I often put my flavorings into cheesecloth bags. Since I like to use the original vodka bottle for my container (for gifts I get some fun decorative bottles) - I make these bags small enough to fit into the bottle opening. In the case of larger elements like fruit slices I forgo the cheesecloth bags but when my vodka has reached the flavor peak I'm going for I will pour it through a fine strainer and/or cheesecloth or even a coffee filter to remove any solids then pour it back into the bottle.

When infusing with herbs, most can simply be gently placed in the vodka and their flavor will infuse over time. If you want to speed up the process, you can chop or lightly mash the herbs, but be gentle, you don't want to release bitterness of the herbs.

The main thing to remember is the more of the flavoring element you use and the longer you let it infuse in the vodka, the stronger the flavor will be. I generally start checking the taste after 2 days and 2 weeks is the usually longest I let them distill though for certain items, like vanilla beans, I've let them work longer. Just be careful not to let certain flavorings (coffee, some herbs, etcetera) start bringing bitterness to the party. This is where daily taste tests help.

Once you have added your flavor enhancers, seal the bottle up and leave the container in a dark, cool place. Shake it once a day, if possible. When your vodka has reached the flavor level you want you will want to strain it (even if you did use cheesecloth bags) to remove all the solids. You can then pour it back into the container you want to store it in. After you strain the vodka you can let it age for a few more weeks, this sometimes allows the flavors to continue to enhance the vodka, many flavors get richer and more mellow in the second aging.

If you're using dried fruits you can use the actual fruits separately for other purposes, like topping ice cream, pound cakes or as a sauce for savory or sweet dishes. I make Drunken Cherries a lot - I love eating the cherries straight out of the bottle - and I get the cherry flavored vodka at the same time. The one thing I will tell you - I prefer the dried fruits after only a day or two of infusion. If left longer they get overwhelmed by the alcohol flavor of the vodka and aren't as pleasant to eat - but the vodka gets a deeper flavoring.

Here's my recipe for bacon flavored vodka - no, I'm not kidding and I'm going to try this one myself! Wow, pig and booze - how can you beat that combo? Be still my heart has a whole new meaning now.

You can use candies as well as fruits, nuts, vegetables, Skittles and Jolly Rancher infused vodka was a big thing some years ago. Not my cup of tea (and speaking of tea - it makes delightfully subtle flavored vodka), but they are easy, all you do is drop the candy into the vodka, shake every so often and wait until the candy pretty much dissolves.

Experiment and have some fun. Think of flavor profiles you like when you eat or cook. Because vodka is (or was traditionally) a potato based alcohol it does not carry a strong flavor of it's own which makes it ideal for flavor infusing. Other liquors have been flavored too, such as rums, brandies, whiskeys and wines but you will have to watch that the flavoring element does not clash with their unique tastes.

Can you infuse other liquors? You betcha! Check out my yummy Toasted Walnut Maple Bourbon. You just have to be more discriminating in your flavoring elements because most liquors other than vodka bring a lot of their own flavor to the party.

Use your flavored vodkas as gifts or just hoard them to drink yourself - either way you will have discovered a whole new world of cocktail creation and your Happy Hour will have some extra happy in it!
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