20110131

IT'S BRANDY ALEXANDER DAY!


Another good reason to get out the martini glass & cocktail shaker

 Yes, there really is a national holiday set aside for the Brandy Alexander!

Did you know the Brandy Alexander made an appearance on the pilot episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show?  It was also featured in the movie The Days of Wine & Roses where Jack Lemmon buys Lee Remick the drink because she loves chocolate but doesn't like the taste of alcohol.

Brandy Alexanders are smooth, delicious and taste like a chocolate shake so they can be quite a dangerous cocktail. Like Feist says in the album The Reminder Brandy Alexander, "goes down easy" and "always gets me into trouble".
 
Here's a fun recipe for Brandy Alexander Brownies to go with your Brandy Alexander Martini.


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20110127

Henry Africa's, Lemon Drop Martinis & Fern Bars



Fern Bars and The Liberation of the Cocktail
How Henry Africa's, Perry's and The Cocktail Revolution of the Seventies Turned Me into The Martini Diva

Around the time I started kicking up my heels in platforms and dancing to disco music under mirrored balls, a cocktail revolution was under way in San Francisco.  It was 1970 and Perry's (of Armistead Maupin's 'Tales of the City' fame) and Henry Africa's (established by Norman Hobday to take the "opium-den. . out of saloons") were turning the traditional bar scene upside down by changing dark, nineteenth century male drinking establishments into living room style, coed cocktail destinations with the homey atmosphere of antique lamps and furniture. Live ferns were the hip houseplant of the day, so greenery was plentiful and close enough to tickle your nose while you sipped your cocktail.

The "fern bar" had come to Happy Hour and Bay Area residents were the first to experience a phenomenon that would sweep across the country, give birth to chains like T.G.I.Fridays and Houlihan's, and turn five o'clock into an entirely new, youth oriented social experience. Green plants, bell bottom pants, flower power and happy hour melded together and brought a whole new generation to cocktail-dom. The dark, smoky male dominated saloon gave way to a thinly disguised "meet" market where the children of the "three martin lunch" generation gathered to get down, get funky and - let's be honest here - get laid.

My mother had enjoyed her cocktails in famous ballrooms listening to big bands, dressed in elegant cocktail dresses, awash in sparkling sequins and hi-balls. Decades later my sister dressed in black leotards and baggy black sweaters and met up with her hipster crowd in dark, coffee houses to listen to would be beat poets while surreptitiously pouring a splash of cognac or brandy in her coffee cup. I had Lemon Drops at Henry Africa's and Harvey Wallbangers at Perry's in The City and boogied down with wine spritzers and Tequila Sunrises at local joints in the San Jose area like The Bodega, Gilbert Zapp's, Reuben's Plankhouse and Mountain Charley's dressed in bell bottoms, hot pants and platforms, crowned with a frizzy red, honky Afro. The times they had a-changed.

From the speakeasies and flasks of the twenties, the ballrooms and tuxedoed waiters of the forties, the coffee houses and spiked caffeine of the fifties and the business man's lunch with the three drink appetizers of the sixties, cocktails came into the light in the "liberated" seventies afloat in the ambiance of Tiffany Lamps and antiques, ferns and the first of the designer cocktails. The era of the yuppie Happy Hour had begun, complete with pre-Aids sexuality and free nachos on platters.

I spent Friday nights in my twenties in the latest, hip fern bar of the week with my gal pals, raising hell, trolling for men and ordering the latest libation to spill forth from 80 proof bottles. I didn't know it at the time, but I experienced my very first designer martini when I took a sip of The Lemon Drop at Henry Africa's where it was created in the 1970s.

Henry Africa's is long gone - Hobday closed it in 1986 and opened Eddie Rickenbackers where, as far as I know, he still hangs out with his cat watching a TV in the corner. The last time I looked, Perry's had become an upscale restaurant on the Embarcadero. The Lemon Drop lives on as an Elder of the Designer Martini Tribe and I took my fern bar-hopping experience and grew up into The Martini Diva.

The times, they are still a-changin'.

GET MY RECIPE FOR

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Updated 10-2017
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20110126

Margarita Martini


You can't think about margaritas without thinking of Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville so I had to do a special recipe card for that one.

This is the official recipe for a classic Margarita from the IBA (The International Bartender's Association) which calls for a 7:4:3 ration of tequila, triple sec and lime juice.  The classic Margarita is served over ice in an old fashioned glass but most contemporary tastes prefer a frozen (blended) version so I have included those instructions as well.

You can substitute Cointreau for the Triple Sec, add an ounce of Blue Curacao for a Blue Margarita and, of course, there are the fruit versions for the blended or frozen margarita where you add some fresh fruit to the blender.  My favorite of the fruit versions is the Strawberry Margarita because I love strawberries and they add a touch of sweetness to the cocktail that balances the tartness nicely.

You can find all my MARGARITA RECIPES HERE.

Updated 4-2017

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20110121

VERY BERRY MARTINI &Taste Testing Liquors!


The
VERY BERRY MARTINI
 & a little trick to taste test before you buy a new liquor!

Black Currant Vodka is one of the more unusual infused vodkas out there and I tried several brands before I settled on Absolut Kurant as my choice for my bar. The other brand was more like a black currant liqueur because they infused the vodka with blackcurrant juice and not the berries and I occasionally use it for a little splash of sweetness and that rich blackcurrant fruitiness.  The last bottle I got stuck with was a raving dud which tasted like cough syrup gone bad and ended up going down the drain while I cleaned the bottle to use for infusions!

Despite what the ads might tell you, not every bottle of alcohol is drinkable and I've gotten stuck with a enough swill over the years that I have developed a sneaky little trick to try out a new booze before I buy a whole bottle of something that can't be saved by any means of mixology magic.

This is my little taste testing secret:  I go to a local, upscale, hip drinking establishment where they stock all assortment of exotic and quixotic alcohol and order one shot in a snifter.  This allows me to experience the nose and the taste unadulterated by any mixes and undiluted by ice and it's a boon to my booze budget as well!  I'll slowly sip the shot, roll it around in my mouth and make note of back tastes, the burn and the texture and I can even see the "legs" as the liquor slides back down the glass.

As a mixology hobbyist this method has saved me a ton of money I would have wasted on a bottle of a bad liquor while I also gather great information from the professionals behind the bar. I've gotten to the point that I will stop in a few of my favorite drinking establishments and see what's new in their bar and catch up on some cocktail gossip while I'm at it.

If I owned a bar I would definitely have a Tasting Night at least once a month!



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20110119

AMARETTO MANGO MARTINI


THE AMARETTO MANGO MARTINI

This is what happens when you tango a mango with vodka. . .

Purchase the AMARETTO MANGO MARTINI RECIPE CARD Here

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Updated 8-2016

20110117

CARAMEL APPLE MARTINI

After doing a little housekeeping I've moved the

Inspired by it's cousin, the classic Apple Martini, my Caramel Apple Martini is a little happy hour trip to one of my favorite treats of all time.

You might also enjoy some of my other
Apple Cocktails
 
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20110116

COCKTAIL FACTS & HISTORY


WHAT IS A COCKTAIL?
  • A Cocktail is a mixed drink that contains two or more ingredients, one of which must be a spirit. This means a cocktail is an alcoholic beverage.  Technically if it doesn't contain alcohol it is not a "cocktail".
  • Non alcoholic versions of cocktails are often called "virgin" cocktails and, most recently "mocktails".
  • Originally cocktails were a mixture of spirits, sugar, water and bitters but today a cocktail is considered any mixed drink that is made with alcohol.
  •  Once upon a time cocktails were called bitter slings.
  • The true origin of the word cocktail is not known, however, the first known appearance of the word in print was in The Farmer's Cabinet on April 28, 1803.
 Read more about the Cocktails Facts and History and The Original Cocktail Party at:  A HISTORY OF THE COCKTAIL

Life's just a #cocktail party ― on the street.
~ Mick Jagger


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20110114

CANDIED PECAN MUDSLIDE MARTINI


Thanks for visiting MartiniDiva.Com!
 
Did a little housekeeping and things have moved.

I've archived all my recipes as collectible postcards at MartiniDivaBoutique.Com!
You can get the recipe right off the card AND you can now order it on a recipe postcard for your recipe files.

Here's where you can find the recipe for my
CANDIED PECAN MUDSLIDE MARTINI
 
 

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20110113

CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE MARTINI


Did a little housekeeping and things have moved!
You can get the recipe right off the card AND you can now order it on a recipe postcard for your recipe files.

Here's where you can find the recipe for my
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20110112

CANDIED PECAN MARTINI - Nutz for Martinis!

Hi!
Did a little housekeeping and things have moved!

You can get the recipe right off the card AND you can now order it on a recipe postcard for your recipe files.

Here's where you can find the recipe for my
CANDIED PECAN MARTINI
 
Cheers and Enjoy!
 
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20110111

20110110

Going NUTZ - CANDIED NUT RECIPE

After 10 years of posting drink recipes things get a little crazy. As time moves on you have to reorganize and redesign so ....
 
I did a little housekeeping and things have moved!

Here's where you can find the recipe for my
CANDIED NUTZ

I've archived all my recipes as collectible postcards at MartiniDivaBoutique.Com!
You can get the recipe right off the card AND you can now order it on a recipe postcard for your recipe files!

Thanks and Enjoy!
 
 

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20110107

POMEGRANATE MARTINI & My Healthy Martini Radio Show Today


 Let's Make Happy Hour Healthy!
 
For detailed instructions on making The Classic Pomegranate Martini and some great tips for bringing some Healthy to Happy Hour tune in to my Happy Half Hour Radio Show today!
 
I'll also be giving you instructions for turning all this week's Pomegranate Martinis into delicious Mocktales, non-alcoholic versions for those of you who prefer a virgin version!
 
Get all the instructions, tools and garnish tips for this week's martinis as well as some great ideas for making martinis that not only taste good but are good for you! It's a half hour of fresh ideas for making cocktails with a healthy touch.

WHEN?
Today, January 7th @ 12:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time)
 
WHERE
Listen LIVE Online at: 
The Martini Diva's Happy Half Hour Radio Show

Listen LIVE via Telephone at:
(714) 333-3350

Got some questions for making martinis? Feel free to call in!

Can't make it? Don't worry, the archived show will be posted here all next week!
 
Here's my previous Pomegranate Martinis
 
LAST WEEK'S MARTINI BLOGCAST:




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20110106

POMEGRANATE LEMON DROP MARTINI

After 10 years of blogging out thousands of cocktail recipes it was time to do a little housekeeping.
 
You can now find this recipe here:
 
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20110105

ORANGE POMEGRANATE MARTINI


THE ORANGE POMEGRANATE MARTINI

Another great way to enjoy your bottle of Pomegranate Vodka, this Orange Pomegranate Martini gets it's kick of orange from the Cointreau, a powerful orange liqueur that is often used as an apéritif or a digestif.  Her I've used this branded version of a triple sec to bring sweetness and orange flavor to the tartness of the pomegranate, lemon and cranberry elements.

Instead of pomegranate juice I used white cranberry for a clear martini then I drizzled a little raspberry flavored Chambord over the top to give the martini a nice pink tint.  The fresh orange slice and pomegranate seeds for the garnish add that nice fresh fruit finish.  Pretty and tasty.

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Updated 10-2016

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20110104

CHERRY POMEGRANATE MARTINI - Pomegranate Martinis for Health


THE CHERRY POMEGRANATE MARTINI

As you can see from the recipe card, I created this martini for Valentine's Day for the rich, deep red color but there is no rule that says you can only drink it in February.

Get the full sized recipe card for my
CHERRY POMEGRANATE VALENTINI HERE
 
ALL MY VALENTINE COCKTAILS!

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20110103

POMEGRANATE MARTINIS - To Your Health!


November is
POMEGRANATE MONTH 

Here in the U.S. pomegranates are in season and fresh, seasonal fruit is a great way to make a great martini as well as boost your health. There's no reason happy hour can't be happy and healthy at the same time.

Studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption is good for you!  According to Professor David J. Hanson, Ph.D. of the State University of New York in Potsdam, NY,
"Moderate drinkers tend to have better health and live longer than those who are either abstainers or heavy drinkers. In addition to having fewer heart attacks and strokes, moderate consumers of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine and distilled spirits or liquor) are generally less likely to suffer strokes, diabetes, arthritis, enlarged prostate, dementia (including Alzheimer's disease), and several major cancers."
Adding a fresh, healthy and seasonal fruit like pomegranate juice as a mixer just ups the healthy ante.

POMEGRANATE - THE ANCIENT FRUIT

The pomegranate  is mentioned in Europe as early as the Iron-Age Greek Mythology in the Homeric hymns. Native to the Iranian Plateau and the Himalayas in Northern India, the pomegranate is now cultivated throughout the world.  It was introduced to North America when Spanish settlers brought it over in 1769 to California. Here in the Northern Hemisphere it is in season from September through February which makes it a wonderful fresh, winter fruit for making martinis!

The name "pomegranate" derives from the Latin word "pōmum" which means "apple" and "grānātus" whic translates as "seeded"  In Germany it is called a Granatapfel or "Garnet" apple and in France it's called "pomme-grenade" while the early English version was "apple of Grenada".

There are some who say that it was not an apple which Eve used to tempt Adam in the Garden of Eden but a pomegranate!


POMEGRANATE SUPERFOOD TO THE RESCUE

Pomegranates are a good, natural source of vitamins A, C and E as well as folic acid and are considered to be a Super Food because of their many health benefits which include:
  • Lowers blood pressure - a study showed that drinking 1.7 ounces of pomegranate juice per day lowered systolic blood pressure by as much as 5 percent.
  • It can lower your cholesterol - It lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease - drinking pomegranate juice daily may help support the normal blood flow to the heart.
  • Fights Cancer - pomegranates have high levels of the flavenoids, antioxidants that are thought to be effective in counteracting various cancer-causing radicals. In one study drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice per day kept PSA levels stable, reducing the need for further treatment such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy.  Another study in Israel postulated that pomegranate juice destroyed breast cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. It may also prevent breast cancer cells from forming.

Some suggested additional health benefits which are not proven are:
  • Pomegranates might reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, osteoarthritis, and diabetes.
  • Pomegranates might reduce the possibility of developing Alzheimer's.
  • Drinking pomegranate juice might even  be a natural way to prevent dental plaque.

Madonna of the Pomegranate by Botticelli

GETTING TO THE GOODNESS

The seeds of the pomegranate are where all this goodness resides but it can sometimes be difficult and messy to remove them from the outer hull.  To easily remove those morsels of tasty goodness cut your pomegranate in sections then hold that section seed side down over a bowl and hit the rind of the pomegranate with something hard like the back of a spoon - the seeds will pop out easily from a ripened fruit!

    GRAB YOUR POMEGRANATES, GET SET ...

    Now you have all the knowledge and background, grab your Pomegranates, Pomegranate Vodka, Pomegranate Juice and let's start shaking up some Healthy Happy Hour goodness:

    POMEGRANATE COCKTAILS

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    Updated 10-2016

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    20110101

    New Year's Resolution Martini


    The NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION MARTINI

    For all of you who are planning out your New Year's Resolutions here's a classic cocktail with a garnish of funny.

    Updated 5-2016

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