20100430

A PEAR MARTINI - The harbinger of Spring

 
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OH! PEAR MARTINI HERE
 
Made with pear infused vodka and Perle de Brillet, a pear cognac, it is the essence of the pear. I recommend Grey Goose La Poire for the pear vodka as it has a true pear flavor with some interesting floral notes. The Perle de Brillet is difficult to find and pricey but worth the effort - you can find it online!

If you would like to serve a less "high octane" version of The Oh! Pear Martini simply add some fresh squeezed pear juice from ripe pears.

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20100429

Brandy Alexander Martini - Classic Cocktails for Today


The
BRANDY ALEXANDER
Cocktail Recipe

Updated January  2016



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20100428

History of the Cocktail


The Birth & History of the Cocktail

Sometime in the 1880s a bartender at the Pendennis club in Louisville, Kentucky created a Bourbon whiskey cocktail which caught the fancy of Bourbon distiller Colonel James E. Pepper. Col. Pepper then introduced the concoction to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City and The Brandy Old Fashioned became party of cocktail history.

It's possible that the Brandy Old Fashioned is one of the very first modern day drinks to be called a "cocktail". The earliest known printed use of the word “cocktail” was in 'The Farmer’s Cabinet' published in April 28, 1803 with the first definition of the word coming in May 13, 1806 in the 'Balance and Columbian Repository' and it's description is a very close approximation to the recipe for a Brandy Old Fashioned:

“Cocktail is a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters — it is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a Democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else.
Bittered Sling? Can you imagine if the word "cocktail" had never come into use? We'd be throwing "Bittered Sling" parties and Happy Hour might have been called Bitter Hour. Who would want to go out after work for some fun at Bitter Hour??


Why are they called "Cocktails"?

No one has ever been able to truly pinpoint where the term "cocktail" originated. There are several stories of the etymology of "cocktail" but none are confirmed fact.

One version has it that during the Revolutionary war, in a tavern near Elmsford, New York, French and American soldiers would mix their spirits together during toasts that occurred later in the evening. On one such evening of camaraderie and merriment one of the soldiers stole a rooster from the tavern's Tory Supporting neighbor, whereupon the customers of the tavern promptly cooked and served the bird and garnished their cups with the rooster's tail feathers, celebrating their adventure and purloined meal with the toast "Vive le Cocktail"

A slightly different version of the above story concerns a rooster stolen from an innkeeper who was involved in the practice of cockfighting. The stolen bird was his prize fighting cock. The innkeeper was so grateful when a young Army lieutenant found and returned the hapless bird he ordered his daughter to mix the young man the finest drink she could prepare. It just so happens that drink was supposedly a mixture of Angostura Bitters, Wine of Roots and the best Whiskey in the tavern. As not one tail feather of the aforementioned poultry was lost in the incident the tavern’s toast was “to the cock’s tail”.

There is yet a third version of this story wherein Yorktown innkeeper Betsy Flanagan stole a rooster from her English neighbor and served it up to her guests as a meal, followed by drinks decorated with the tail feathers of the burgled bird. Her tickled guests then called for more drinks by demanding more “cocktails.”

Another story that has it's beginnings in New Orleans during the 1800s contends that the word "cocktail" is derived from the use of serving these mixed spirit drinks in a "coquetier” - a French double-ended egg-cup.

Still another possible origin might have derived from the 1700s practice of feeding horses a stimulant that was a mixture of ginger and water to get the equine animal stimulated prior to a showing - i.e. “cock-it’s-tail” though I find this one a bit far fetched myself.

A possible version from the 'Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins' states that a “cock” is a tap on a barrel with the dregs of the barrels contents being “the cock’s tail”. Thus anything mixed from the dregs would then be a “cocktail”.

During Prohibition the cocktail provided many a speakeasy a palatable method of serving up some extremely low quality alcohol. Because of the laws prohibiting legal - and monitored - distillation of alcohol there was a great amount of bad tasting, low quality and even sometimes dangerous liquor being brewed by all nature of law breaking citizens. Bathtub gin being the easiest and cheapest to manufacture, it became a staple of clandestine drinking establishments of the day. To hide the bad taste and quality, clever purveyors of illegal booze would mix in other ingredients and serve their concoctions in fancy dress (garnishes and unique glassware) to make their “cocktails” palatable.

Despite it’s unknown origin, the cocktail had risen above it’s somewhat questionable origins and become the star of the five o’clock hour world wide. From such humble origins arose the $15 cocktail of today’s chic bistros and bars!


An interesting little tidbit about the birth of the Cocktail Party:

Supposedly the very first cocktail party ever thrown was given by a Mrs. Julius S. Walsh, Jr in St. Louis in May of 1917. Mrs. Walsh opened her home on a Sunday for a luncheon, serving "cocktails" to her guests for one hour before lunch was served.

If you are a fanatic about Happy Hour you can still make a pilgrimage to the site of the very first cocktail party as her home at 4510 Lindell Boulevard in St. Louis still stands - but bring a donation, the home is now owned by The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis and serves as the residence for the Archbishop. In 1999 the birthplace of the cocktail party even played host to Pope John Paul II.

4510 Lindell Boulevard in St. Louis in 1909





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20100427

BERRY MARTINI - The Lipstick Kiss Martini will add some color to your kiss!


The Lipstick Kiss Martini is a really luscious, juicy martini full of fruity flavor. I created this martini a few years ago to take advantage of this huge bag of free, dried cherries someone gave me and to find another way to use Three Olives Berry Vodka which is one of my favorite fruit infused vodkas. It's still one of my favorite martinis.

I used fresh cherry juice and blackberry brandy along with the berry vodka and the "drunken cherries" which gave this martini a deep magenta color that was almost my favorite lipstick color - hence the name Lipstick Kiss Martini!




The drunken cherries are really easy to make, here's the recipe:
  • Fill a small, really clean jar about 3/4 full with dried cherries
  • Pour Three Olives Cherry (or berry in this case!) Vodka to the top, seal up the jar and let sit overnight.
  • Don't worry about how long they'll keep - trust me they won't last that long!
  • You can do this with any dried fruit and any flavored liquor!
  • The fruit and the juice make a great topping for ice cream and desserts too!
Enjoy - oh, and don't bogart those "Drunken Cherries!"

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Updated 8-2016

20100425

A Fun Beach Themed Blank Recipe Card for Your Own Recipes


Another blank recipe card for your own recipes - this one is called "SANDY BEACH", an abstract design inspired by - what else? - Sandy Beaches, lol .

I designed this as branding graphic for my store Taking Care of Business where I create some fun abstract designs that can be fully customized to brand your business or personal company economically. You simply pick the design that suits you or your business and then personalize the business cards, letterheads, cards, promotional materials - even t-shirts, shoes, aprons, cups & other gifts can be branded. Then you just order how many you want and it's shipped right to your door - simple as that! Check it out and take a look at some of the other designs available too.

SANDY BEACH
Customizable Beach Themed Business Branding

Business Cards, Letterheads, Promotional Flyers, T-shirts, Cards & More

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Updated 8-2016

20100424

An Ocean Themed Blank, Printable Recipe Card


Here's another fun blank recipe card for your own recipes - this one is called "UNDER THE SEA", it's a fun ocean themed abstract. Tomorrow I'll be posting the blank recipe card "Sandy Beach" so stop by and grab it too!

I designed this as branding graphic for my store Taking Care of Business where I create some fun abstract designs that can be fully customized to brand your business or personal company economically. You simply pick the design that suits you or your business and then personalize the business cards, letterheads, cards, promotional materials - even t-shirts, shoes, aprons, cups & other gifts can be branded. Then you just order how many you want and it's shipped right to your door - simple as that! Check it out and take a look at some of the other designs available too.

UNDER THE SEA
Customizable Ocean Themed Business Branding

Business Cards, Letterheads, Promotional Flyers, T-shirts, Cards & More


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Updated 8-2016

20100423

GIRL'S NIGHT OUT MARTINI - Berry Coconut Martini


Having a little Girl's Night Out tonight? Start your evening off with The GIRL'S NIGHT OUT MARTINI - a creamy and sweet martini made with berry vodka, raspberry flavored liqueur, coconut rum and cream. It's pink, it's powerful and it will put some pucker in your pout!

Have a lovely Friday and don't forget to tell me how the evening went!

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Updated 10-2016

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20100422

Mango Martini - SEX on a Sandy Beach Martini


With summer fast approaching I start thinking about the beach. I love the beach. I love the warm sun, I love the smell of the ocean and I love relaxing on the sand with a cool drink. What I don't love is getting sand in everything from my tote bag to my bikini bottom.

The SEX on a Sandy Beach Martini is my take on the Sex on the Beach Cocktail - because if you have sex on the beach you're really gonna get sand in places you'd rather not get sand!

The fun part of this Mango and Fruit martini is the use of crushed vanilla wafers for your rimmer - it gives the rim a run sandy look. If you can find the seashell and gummi fish candies and those fun little cocktail umbrellas it really brings the theme of this beach and ocean martini home!

Here's to a lovely summer of fun & sun on the beach - just remember to bring your martinis and a blanket to keep the real sand out of your private spaces!

SANDY BEACH DESIGN?
Get it on
Customizable Tees, Business Cards, Gifts & even cool Hi-Top Keds



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Updated 8-2016

20100421

Lemoncello Martini - or is it Limoncello Martini?

GET MY RECIPE FOR THE
LEMONCELLO MARTINI RECIPE

Lemoncello or Limoncello? No matter how it's spelled it's a wonderful lemon liqueur that has recently begun popping up in cocktails and food in all the hot eateries. There are Lemoncello cocktails and Limoncello recipes showing up on all the "A" party menus and on all the celebrity recipe sites.

Even Danny DeVito has gotten aboard the Limoncello train with his own Limoncello Original - in fact, that was brand I used for my Lemoncello Martini above. I love Danny DeVito - how could I not buy his brand as my first bottle of this intriguing lemon liqueur? I won't buy too many bottles though - if he gets too rich off his Limoncello he might stop acting and I'd have lemonized myself out of future laughter.

In any event, I really enjoyed this new lemon martini recipe, it has a perfect balance of tart and sweet with that lovely citrus flavor that is so refreshing. I muddled in a few sprigs of Lemon Basil for some fun green color and that bit of earthy influence but that is optional, this Lemoncello Martini is just as good without the herb. You can also use a simple lemon twist instead of my Candied Lemon Peel for a garnish but you'll be missing a great treat!

I used up the whole bottle and created an entire dinner menu with a Lemoncello theme. I served up the Lemoncello Martinis, I made a Lemoncello Vinaigrette for my salad, marinated chicken in the Lemoncello, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic (and used some of the marinade in a Lemoncello sauce reduction) and then I used the Lemoncello in the sauce for my favorite Bread Pudding for the dessert.

Now I'm out of Limoncello - or is it Lemoncello?
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20100420

Help me choose the Martini Recipes for my new Martini Book!



I am finally getting ready to put my first martini book together but I have a little problem - I have too many martini recipes for one book and have to choose from over 200 recipes I've created, collected and tweaked over the past few years.

I am creating a martini book that is, of course, chock full of my fun designer martini recipes (done up as fun recipe cards) as well as some short martini stories, my tips and tricks for making martinis, fun illustrations and a few surprises that will truly turn your cocktail time into a real Happy Hour of unique and delicious martinis and entertainment. The book will be a great handbook for your bar as well as a wonderful gift for friends and family.

Here's where you come in. I'm asking you to help me choose the martini recipes that will be included in my first book. I have every single one of my recipes posted on my RECIPE ARCHIVES PAGE at PopArtDiva.com and I'd like you to help me pick some of the most popular martini recipes I've posted.

You'll notice that some of my recipe cards still in the old formats and designs and some are now at a larger, high quality print resolution with new, fun graphics. I am currently converting all my recipe cards into higher resolutions for better print quality for the book and your choices will help me organize the order as well as decide which recipes to include in my first martini book!

Please drop me a comment here or e-mail me using the little envelope at the bottom of this post and tell me which of my martini recipes are your favorites. I will take the top martini choices and include them in the book.

Your readership and comments have helped make The Martini Diva one of the top martini sites on the Internet and I want to include you in the creation of what I hope to be one of the top martini books as well. I look forward to your choices, your comments and e-mails and I want to thank you for your continued support of The Martini Diva.

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20100419

BLANK RECIPE CARD Grunge Style!



Friday I posted my latest martini recipe for a CHAI TEA MARTINI using this fun new grunge style design. Today I thought you might like to have the blank recipe card version for your own recipes!

Happy Monday - 2 new martinis coming up this week!

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Updated 8-2016

20100416

CHAI TEA MARTINI on a Cool Grunge Recipe Card



I've been playing around with the Grunge look lately for some of my graphics and loved this grungy rainbow background. It seems to suit the idea of a Chai Tea Martini to me - both very hot right now!

The Chai flavor profile is all the rage in the culinary disciplines right now - from Chai cupcakes to Chai spicing - so how could I not do a Chai Martini??? This is actually pretty darn good - in fact, it rivals the Chai Milk Tea I've been ordering at a local Thai hangout for a few years - no, it's better because it's got booze in it, lol!

I feel so hip now.

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20100415

TAX DAY MARTINI - A cocktail for April 15th


THE TAX FREE MARTINI
BECAUSE IT'S A FREE COUNTRY

(except for April 15th!)
AND

In this day and age we NEED a drink on April 15th more than ever and I propose we start a "Martini Party Movement" because what good will tea do us after trying to file our income tax reports?

MANY HAPPY "RETURNS"!

Updated 4-15-2016


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20100413

RHUBARB MARTINI - Take advantage of seasonal ingredients!

Download the Full Sized 5x3 Recipe Card in Print Quality Here

I love making martinis with fresh, seasonal ingredients and this time of year Rhubarb is starting to show up at the farmer's markets & even in the grocery aisles. I was never exposed to rhubarb as a child and when I was in my early adulthood I decided to try a piece of strawberry-rhubarb pie. I hated it.

What I didn't understand at the time was it was the cooked strawberries that I disliked in the flavor profile and the texture and I tried rhubarb again in a completely different dish and loved the tartness and the flavor. When I saw the fresh rhubarb coming out this year I thought it might make a really nice martini. I was right.

The Rhubarb Martini is absolutely perfect as a cocktail - tart, slightly sweet and very fresh tasting. It's a truly fun and unique cocktail experience! It takes a little work - you have to cook the rhubarb and then turn it into juice BUT triple your batch and freeze the leftovers for the future and it's worth the work.

DO NOT EAT OR COOK THE LEAVES as they are toxic in large quantities. Rhubarb is a great source for Vitamin C, fiber and calcium.

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20100404

7.2 Earthquake in BAJA? The BIG ONE Earthquake Martini!!



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Wow, boy howdy, today around 4 p.m. here in Southern California the earth rocked and rolled! There was a 7.2 earthquake in Baja, California that was felt as far away as Phoenix and I'll tell you it sure rocked my world! Right now, at 5:45 pm it seems as though everyone is safe, no major damage has occurred and the shaking has leveled off and Thank God no one was hurt!

I was getting ready to make some Easter Martinis but instead decided I needed a really SERIOUS GIANT SIZED MARTINI with extra chocolate and, of course, some Kahlua to honor Baja and to keep me awake for aftershocks!

So, I ran right over to the bar to create one for myself - after the shaking stopped in the world and in my body - and shook up some martini nerve medicine. I am now sitting under the table with my dog, my cat, my jewelry, a flashlight, the martini shaker, watching tv and drinking my cocktail.


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20100403

The Famous EASTER PEEP MARTINI - Marshmallow Martini with Stickiness!


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EASTER PEEP MARTINI HERE

This is it! My famous EASTER PEEP MARTINI! A Marshmallow Martini made from those adorable childhood candy favorites - Peeps! I made mine from the original chicken peeps but you can use any Peep creature you happen to dig out of the Easter Basket - the flavor is still the same marshmallow-y goodness, lol.




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20100402

CHOCOLATE EASTER BUNNY MARTINI



This one has all the sweet flavor of Easter with the rich chocolate bunny taste and it has an additional hidden Easter Egg surprise of creamy coconut. It's a perfect martini for Easter and a great recipe for chocoholics and coconut lovers as well!

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Updated 8-2016

20100401

Strawberry Martini - Perfect for Easter and Spring Celebrations



There is nothing out there that makes me think of Spring and Easter more than all the gorgeous fresh strawberries that start showing up in every nook and cranny! I buy them by the flats then gorge myself on Chocolate Covered Strawberries and, of course, make a ton of Strawberry Martinis (just use the search bar and a bunch will show up)!

STRAWBERRY COCKTAILS

You can buy strawberry juice BUT it's easy enough to make if you have a blender or a juicer and it's so much better that way. Serve this one up with my chocolate covered strawberries (recipe link above) or my Mini Strawberry Pizzas!

Enjoy some of my other

SPRING COCKTAILS
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