20110531

It's National Macaroon Day - Have a Macaroon Martini!


IT'S NATIONAL MACAROON DAY
Perfect Timing for a Macaroon Martini

Most of us are familiar with the shredded coconut macaroon but the very first macaroons were actually almond meringue cookies. It's said these original macaroons were created in an Italian monastery and modeled after a monk's belly button!


MACAROONS versus MACARONS 

In France "Les Macarons" are generally meringue type cookies and you will find them all over French bakeries (patisseries) in a sandwich form filled with chocolate ganache or jams and buttercreams.  This sandwich macaroon was invented by Pierre Desfontaines Laduree, Thanks to Laduree, today you can find these meringue macaroon sandwiches in a variety of flavors and beautiful colors in every corner of France. Laduree's original "macaron" sandwiches were filled with chocolate ganache which is why I included the White Creme de Cacao in my Macaroon martini recipe.

The coconut macaroon we are most familiar with is probably a recipe brought over by Jewish immigrants who adopted the cookie because it requires no flour or leavening which means it could be enjoyed during Passover.  This is also most likely when coconut started being added and even completely substituting for the ground almond.

Whether you prefer the coconut macaroon or the more meringue like confection, you will certainly enjoy my Macaroon Cookie Martini - and be sure to serve it up with a plate of macaroons!




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20110530

HAPPY MINT JULEP DAY! Celebrate May 30th with a Mint Julep Martini


A Classic Mint Julep is Bourbon, Fresh Mint, Water and a splash of Simple Syrup and it came out of the Southern United States as a kind of bourbon spritzer meant to ease the heat of those long, hot summers.  It is also the traditional cocktail of the Kentucky Derby where thousands of them are served up for the Run for the Roses.

I've done several adaptations of this classis Southern cooler and you can find all those drink recipes here:
MINT JULEP RECIPES 

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20110528

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!


 HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY
Please take time out of your weekend celebrations to remember
those who stood in harm's way
to protect and defend us and our way of life.

IN LOVING MEMORY of Dad and Kenny.


HAVE A SAFE &
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY.




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20110527

PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR MARTINI - Pear Ginger Cocktail

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The
PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR MARTINI
Can you see why I named it that?

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Vodka
1/2 Cup of Fresh Pear Puree
1 Oz. Sparkling Cherry Juice
1/4 Tsp. Freshly Grated Ginger
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tsp. Lavender Honey
Ice

Garnish: Pear Slice

Tools: Cocktail shaker

Glass: Cocktail (Martini)

DIRECTIONS
 Chill your glass in the freezer.
Fill the cocktail shaker with ice.
Add the pear puree, vodka, lemon juice, lavender honey and ginger.
Shake until chilled, pour into the chilled glass, top off with the sparkling cherry juice.
Garnish and serve.


This is an absolutely wonderful way to use a ripe pear.  I added a pinch of fresh ginger for a little spicy kick but feel free to use a pinch of powdered ginger if you want, just be very judicious and don't use too much or you run the danger of the ginger overpowering the delicate pear.

Yes, it's a perfectly named martini for Christmas but I was actually thinking more of The Partridge Family because the pear garnish looked like their logo:

So, Come On, DRINK Happy at happy hour with my Partridge in a Pear Martini.

Updated 9-2016

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20110526

SUNSET IN PARADISE MARTINI

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SUNSET IN PARADISE MARTINI
Fresh Raspberries and Mangoes for a Sunset in a Martini Glass

This cocktail came about from a little brunch memory lapse but sometimes that means a happy accident.  What was a missed opportunity for my brunch became a pretty delicious martini the next day.
This is a sunset in a glass with a star burst design of raspberry coulis on top for a nice decorative touch:


MOCKTAIL VERSION
Non-Alcoholic Recipe for the Sunset in Paradise Martini

Simply replace the Coconut Rum with non-alcoholic Pina Colada Mix or sweetened Coconut Juice.

Enjoy it while sitting out and watching the sunset today - never miss a sunset if you can help it.
Cheers & May the sun set on a wonderful day for you.

Updated 7-2018
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20110522

GREAT BRUNCH MARTINIS

Caravaggio's BACCHUS

SOME GREAT BRUNCH MARTINIS
FOR SURVIVAL SUNDAY

Yesterday was supposed to be the End of the World - again.  Thankfully, and predictably, that did not happen.  The world goes on and, if you're reading this, you - like me and bazillions of other inhabitants of Earth - are still here.  This is, of course, a reason to celebrate with a few

BRUNCH COCKTAILS

But whatever you do, be sure to celebrate Survival Sunday because any day you wake up and the world hasn't ended is a day to lift a glass and toast to!

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Updated 9-2016

20110521

The End of The World Rapture Martini


THE END OF THE WORLD MARTINI
It's a little bit of Rapture in a Cocktail Glass

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly."
~ Richard Bach

For those of you who buy into all the doomsdayer propoganda and think the world is going to end today or tomorrow or the next time some crackpot misreads some biblical text and proclaims the end of the world, here's your (updated) apocalypse cocktail.

The New
END OF THE WORLD
RAPTURE MARTINI

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Vodka
1/2 Oz. Cognac
1/2 Oz. Cardamom Simple Syrup
2 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
Ice

DIRECTIONS
Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker, strain into a chilled martini style cocktail glass and serve.

Sadly, Forbidden Fruit Liqueur, which I originally used for my Rapture Martini is no longer made.



I admit my bottle was a gift given to me as a joke on a long past birthday. It was a cool curiosity so I kept it, but it sat around gathering dust for years until all the brouhaha over some hayseed preacher's apocalyptic predictions went viral in 2011. Interestingly enough it was still palatable, even decent, and perfect for a doomsday drink. When I see what some unopened bottles are selling for on eBay, I now wanna slap myself for opening the bottle.

If you'd like to try that older recipe, here's one recipe for Forbidden Fruit Liqueur by Eric Ellestad over at Savoy Stomp.
Here is another recipe made with actual pomelos, the main citrus originally used in Forbidden Fruit Liqueur. I make no guarantees on these recipes because I haven't tried either of them, but go for it if you're of a mind to taste some forbidden fruit.

Now, for those of you who have led a somewhat questionable life and are too proud to repent:

and for those of your who are convinced you've led a pristine and holy existence and think you're heading to Paradise:

For the rest of us who figure we're going to be around for a while yet, bookmark this site for new cocktail recipes every week.

Bless you, my booze guzzling children, may the spirits speak to you in heavenly voices - the spirits of vodka, rum, gin, tequila & whiskey that is.





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Updated 9-2016

20110520

MILLIONAIRE MARTINI for BE A MILLIONARE DAY!


MARTINI EXCUSE #34
May 20th is
BE A MILLIONAIRE DAY

If you're going to be a millionaire you need a cocktail to fit your new station in life, right?  Well, there's nothing more fitting than a martini made with real gold and topped off with some pricey Champagne!

My Millionaire Martini is an apple martini that screams "nouveau riche" - perfect for your financial ambitions and those "Champagne and Caviar Dreams" you've been harboring!

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Updated 8-2016

20110519

It's National Devil's Food Cake Day

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May 19th is
NATIONAL DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE DAY*

Of course I used this as an excuse to create The Devil's Food Cake Martini inspired by the popular dark chocolate cake.
 
The
DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE MARTINI
 
INGREDIENTS:
1 Oz. Chocolate Vodka
1/2 Oz. Cake Vodka
1/2 Oz. Chocolate Port
3 Drops Fee Brother's Aztec Chocolate Bitters
Ice

Garnish:  1 Tbsp. Dark Cocoa Powder mixed with 1 Tablespoon Sugar, Dark Chocolate Shavings

Tools:  Two Small Plates, Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Cocktail (Martini)

DIRECTIONS:
Mix the cocoa powder with the sugar on one of the small plates. Add a splash of chocolate vodka to the other small plate. Dip your glass rim in the chocolate vodka then the cocoa mixture.
Chill Glass in the freezer.
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until well chilled.
Strain into the chilled glass, garnish with the dark chocolate shavings and serve.
 
The devil made me do it.

If you're not into brimstone, try my other Chocolate Martinis or my other Cake Martinis.

Updated 5-2016

*Ever wondered about where all these special commemorative holidays come from?


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20110518

Celebrate National Egg Month with these Egg Martinis!

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MAY is NATIONAL EGG MONTH
so why not celebrate at Happy Hour with an egg in your cocktail? An egg can add a wonderful body to a cocktail  as well as act as a binder, and it puts a lovely froth on top as well.  Some great classic cocktails employ the use of eggs and with the use of pasteurized eggs many of these cocktails are making a comeback:

EGG COCKTAILS


Most drinks using eggs are within the Flips or Fizzes categories with the Fizzes having sub categories depending on what part of the egg is used, i.e. Silver Fizzes use only egg whites, Golden Fizzes use only egg yolks and Royal Fizzes use the whole egg!
There is a big debate about whether or not raw eggs are dangerous to use in cocktails.  The big salmonella scare a few years back almost killed off egg use in bars but most experts will tell you that the the risk of becoming ill from a FRESH egg is not the danger it's cracked up to be. If you still worry then the use of pasteurized eggs is your answer and they are readily available in most grocery stores in the egg aisle - just look for something that resembles a small milk carton:


Mixing in your egg can be a bit more trouble - you have to shake, shake, shake until you can't shake any more and it's always wise to start with a slow shake at the beginning to start the emulsification process so you don't end up with a shaker full of froth - but the results are well worth the effort.  Besides, you can always use a blender, just start with a few slow pulses then bring up the speed to medium.  For a more expert and detailed instructions on how to use eggs in your cocktails, here's a great article on How to Use Eggs in Cocktails over at DrinkDogma.com

So get down and get eggy with yo bad self to celebrate National Egg Month!





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20110517

Bubble Gum Martinis - Opus One and Opus Two

 
TODAY'S FEATURED MARTINIS
Holy Bazooka, Batman - it's a Double Bubble of  Bubble Gum Martinis!
 

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Updated 2-2017

20110515

It's National Chocolate Chip Day!


If you love your chocolate chip cookies here is a way you can enjoy them in a cocktail. This is a quadruple chocolate threat of a cocktail with both white and dark Creme de Cacao, chocolate infused vodka and a rim of grated chocolate chips. The touch of butterscotch schnapps gives the martini that caramelized flavor of the classic chocolate chip cookie dough.

If you're a cookie monster like me, here is the most classic cookie of them all in a marvelous new drinkable form. The recipe garnish is simply a nice dark grated chocolate rim but if you really want to go all cookie on Happy Hour then try crushing up some actual chocolate chip cookies and rimming your glass with that.

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20110514

The MISSISSIPPI MUD PIE MARTINI



A friend brought over a pint of coffee ice cream for dessert last week and left the remainder in my freezer.  I'm not a big coffee ice cream fan BUT I am a fan of iced coffee drinks, especially in the summer.  Of course, you know where I'm going with this, booze was going in that coffee ice cream drink.

By the time I finished I had what was basically a Mississippi Mud Pie in my glass; Oreo cookies, coffee ice cream and a nice little punch from Kahlua, coffee and chocolate vodkas and Bailey's Irish Cream. It was just like drinking one of those classic seventies restaurant desserts.


The
MISSISSIPPI MUD PIE
MARTINI

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Kahlua
1/2 Oz. Coffee Vodka
1/2 Oz. Chocolate Vodka
1/2 Oz. Bailey's Irish Cream
1 Oz. Half & Half
3 Oreo Cookies
Scoop of Coffee Ice Cream

Optional Garnish: Dip rim into chocolate syrup then into a mixture of instant coffee, cocoa powder and sugar

Tools: Blender

DIRECTIONS
Rim your glass if you choose to, then chill the glass in the freezer.
Add the ingredients to your blender and pulse until smooth and creamy.
Pour into your chilled glass, add a few extra Oreo cookie crumbles on top and serve.



Updated 9-2018
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20110512

WORLD COCKTAIL DAY - Martini Excuse #30!


Today is World Cocktail Day. In fact, according to The Museum of the American Cocktail this whole week is World Cocktail Week!
I don't know about you, but for me that is the perfect excuse for a martini!  It's almost like the whole world is saying, "Shake, Shake, Shake" your boozy at Happy Hour.  Who am I to resist?

Today you can enjoy any cocktail of your choosing but I highly recommend you enjoy one of my 300+ Designer Martinis - all happily taste tested by me personally.  See how hard I work for you??

To find out more about the cocktail and it's beginnings, read my articles



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20110507

A MARTINI FOR THE 137th KENTUCKY DERBY


THE KENTUCKY DERBY MARTINI

Today is the 137th Annual Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.  This Kentucky Derby Martini is a nutty chocolate and bourbon cocktail inspired by a famous Derby food - read more about the creation here.

There wasn't one horse with martini in the name, so, out of the twenty horses that were running in the Derby this year I picked my favorite because of his sexy name, "Midnight Interlude". I also liked the fact his jockey is wearing pink AND his dam's name was "Midnight Kiss".  His odds, at the time of my bet were 13 - 1, but at the time of this post went up to 11- 1 - not great but I kind of like long shots (get it? long "shots"?)

There was another horse called Pants on Fire whose name I liked too and his colors are also pink but his odds were even lower at 20-1 so my money went on Midnight Interlude.

There are now only 19 horses running the race this year (at the time of this post) as Uncle Mo scratched on Friday. 

The post time for this year's "Run for the Roses*" is 6:24 p.m. EDT (time subject to change) and if you're not there live you can watch it on NBC - so, get your Kentucky Derby Martinis in hand, place your bets and enjoy the race!

*Why is the Kentucky Derby also referred to as the "Run for the Roses"?  Because the winner of the race is covered with a blanket of 554 red roses.

Enjoy the late Dan Fogleberg's RUN FOR THE ROSES composed for the Kentucky Derby in 1980:

GO MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE - MOVE YER BLOOMIN' ARSE!

Updated 4-2016



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20110506

HAPPY NATIONAL BEVERAGE DAY - Drink Away!


MARTINI EXCUSE #29
MAY 6th is NATIONAL BEVERAGE DAY!

Today is National Beverage Day which means you get to enjoy the libation of your choice.  You can liberally suck down Martinis (my personal favorite, like Duh!), Margaritas, Mojitos, Cocktails of any ilk, Sodas, Smoothies, Teas, Coffees and even Water!

Anything comestible that is liquid and fits into a drinking vessel is a beverage:

I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage ~ Erma Bombeck

Beverages are essential to our existence.  We need liquid to survive:

Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage ~ Woody Allen

Beverages taste good, can complement our meals, bring us together socially and give us something to do with our hands after we quit smoking!  Beverages give us something to toast good news with and give us an excuse to buy pretty glasses and cups,

I kinda think the beverage might be the top of the food pyramid or should be.




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20110505

BLOOD ORANGE MARGARITA MARTINI for CINCO DE MAYO

Updated  5-2016

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!

Of course I HAD to do a margarita for Cinco de Mayo but you know I'm going to sip it out of a martini glass so meet my zesty Blood Orange Martini-a-Rita!  It's a martini glass filled with "bueno".

Grab this Blood Orange Cinco de Mayo margarita (martini), some chips & guacamole and find out exactly what you're celebrating on the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo) on the Cinco de Mayo Cocktails Page.

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!





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20110504

The Little Black Dress Martini for Audrey Hepburn's Birthday


The LITTLE BLACK DRESS MARTINI
Dedicated to Audrey Hepburn
May 4th, 1929 - January 20th, 1993

This martini is dedicated to Audrey Hepburn, a woman of talent, style, elegance, beauty & kindness - she wore the little black dress like no other woman before or after her.  Ms. Hepburn was my inspiration for The Little Black Dress Martini - Read more here.

"I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and... I believe in miracles." ~ Audrey Hepburn


Happy Birthday, Audrey
Thank you for gracing the world with your movies and your class, you are missed.

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Updated 10-2016
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20110503

CUPCAKE FLAVORED VODKA?


CUPCAKE VODKA?
Do we really need another designer vodka on the market?

It seems as though everyone who is anyone has entered into the vodka market - as well as a few folks who aren't anyone but want to be. It's a wild west of potato and grain alcohol out there with more new gunslingers showing up every day to take on the legends.

The latest to enter the fray is Cupcake Vodka with four "cupcake flavors" - obviously aimed at a female demographic with more money than sense and a need to have the very latest fashion, whether it be couture or cocktail.

Here's what the Cupcake Vodka website says about their vodka:
"We use natural ingredients and pay special attention to each step of the process. Using the finest American grains we distill six times and drive it home through charcoal filteration [sic]. We cut our vodkas with distilled water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the result is smooth and rewarding."
Pretty much the same process and ingredients most other decent vodkas employ - oh, no, wait - they use distilled water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains! BTW, that's "filtration" not "filteration" boys!

They have 4 flavors:  Frosting (yuh huh, vanilla vodka), Devil's Food (ya'll guessed it, chocolate vodka!), Chiffon (can you say lemon citrus vodka?) and Original (I guess they couldn't come up with a cutsie cupcake name for just plain ole vodka).

This brand is obviously a ploy to grab a piece of the huge cupcake market out there and I can't fault anyone for living the American dream and making a bid for their share of any hot trend (make note of my own bid for a share of that market with the Pop Art Cupcakes design at this post top!)  I'm all for free enterprise - BUT  their bottle design is uninspired and doesn't say "cupcake" to me at all. Shouldn't it at least have been a pink bottle with maybe a cute little twirl on the cap or maybe a cupcake shaped bottle?  I somewhat shamefully admit I'm a sucker for a cool vodka bottle and I would happily buy an adorable pink bottle with some creativity to it, especially if the cute bottle comes with vodka inside - that's just frosting on the cupcake vodka!

I'm not saying this is good vodka and I'm not saying this is bad vodka because I haven't had the opportunity to try any of these dessert themed flavors, I can't seem to find them out here in the backwater of the Old West and their website gives me no clues as to where I can purchase them . . . .

All I am saying is this: Since I have recently moved back to Arizona, and my property is filled with all variety of cacti, maybe I should get in on the stampede and start the Cactus Vodka Company.  I already have the brand name and slogan:
PRICKLY VODKA
Let Us Stick It To You!


 
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20110502

IT'S NATIONAL TRUFFLE DAY - Orange Truffle Cocktail Recipe

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 Updated November 2015

Some years ago I had a friend over who was in love with those chocolate dipped orange sticks. I never went to his house that there weren't some of them out in candy dishes strategically placed near where he sat.  He used to buy them at Trader Joe's so I went out to get some and found that they also had raspberry ones. I bought those instead, he still argues with me to this day about which is better.

To shut him up so he'd leave me and my TJs chocolate raspberry sticks alone, I created this cocktail for him. Turned out to be a freaking great cocktail which tastes exactly like a chocolate covered orange truffle and one that I do often. Much better than his jellied orange sticks.

The
ORANGE TRUFFLE

Cocktail


INGREDIENTS:
1 Oz. Orange Vodka
3 Oz. White Crème de Cacao
1/2 Oz. Orange Liqueur
1/2 Oz. Heavy Cream
Shaved Dark Chocolate for the Rim
Chocolate Dipped Orange Slice

TOOLS: Cocktail shaker

GLASS: Cocktail (martini) glass or coupe
 
DIRECTIONS:
Dip the rim of the glass in some of the orange liqueur then into the chocolate shavings. Chill the glass in the freezer while you make your cocktail.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then add the orange vodka, white crème de cacao, orange liqueur and the half and half and shake until well chilled.
Pour into your cocktail glass and garnish with the chocolate dipped orange slice.

What's a Truffle?

For this cocktail, of course, I'm referring to the chocolate truffle, a confection of a soft chocolate ganache rolled in a dusting of cocoa powder or dipped in chocolate, but this is not the only truffle that's edible out there.  In fact, today's chocolate truffle is actually a dessert homage to an edible fungus that is highly prized in gourmet cuisine.

Truffles are actually the fruiting body of an underground mushroom that grows near the roots of various trees.  Wild truffles of the Tuber genus have been considered the "diamond of the kitchen" by chefs and gourmets for centuries for their deep, earthy flavor and smell.  There are references to the use of truffles in cuisine as far back as the fourth century B.C. and there are mentions of truffles in Roman cooking as well.

Pigs and even some dogs were trained to hunt out these difficult to find delicacies and, until the 1800s, it was only these wild truffles that were available, making this delicacy a very expensive addition to the table. The record price for wild truffles was $330,000 US a kilogram in 2010. These days truffles are being grown commercially, helping to bring the cost down, but the wild truffles are still the gold standard for most gourmands and chefs.

As for the chocolate truffle, whether created by M. Dufour in Chambéry, France in December 1895 or by the famous chef Auguste Escoffier in the 1920s, it was obviously named after the fungal truffle because the dusting of cocoa powder used to set the soft chocolate ganache truffle gave it the earthy appearance of a the coveted wild truffle.




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20110501

HAPPY MAY DAY! Toast May 1st with this May Day Martini

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HAPPY MAY DAY!

May 1st is the Day to enjoy 
The May Day Martini Recipe

A LITTLE HISTORY OF MAY DAY

The earliest known celebrations of May Day occurred with the festival of Flora, the Roman Goddess of flowers, as well as the Germanic celebration of Walpurgis Night. May Day also has it's roots in the Gaelic celebration of Beltane (or Beltaine), an Irish and Scottish celebration of the cross-quarter day celebrated on May 1st which marks the midpoint in the Sun's progress between the spring equinox and summer solstice.

Most pagan celebrations were either abandoned or "Christianized" during the process of conversion in Europe and now a more secular version of May Day continues to be observed in Europe and America. Here in America May Day is best known for its tradition of dancing around the Maypole and the crowning of the Queen of the May.

My memories of May Day are very much in tune with these typical celebrations of dancing around a ribbon decorated May Pole, as well as getting edible gifts hung on my door. In fact, my clearest memory of May Day involves getting a construction paper cone of the best butter cookies ever on my doorknob for several years when I was in grade school from a boy named Bruce!

Although most of us today associate May Day with these most modern celebrations, it is also designated as an international workers’ holiday commemorating the day in 1886 when laborers, immigrants, artisans and merchants in Chicago waged a general strike to win the eight-hour work day.

 So today you can celebrate the 8 hour work day and toast to the Queen of May with a martini shaker full of black currants, raspberries and Champagne.

May Day Martini!



BTW, you can buy Posters, Tees & other fun Gifts
of this colored pencil drawing of a carousel horse:
THREE CAROUSEL HORSES


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