20120229

A Cocktail for Leap Day on Leap Year!

Once every four years we get an extra day.  I figure that means we should get an extra martini!

Here's my LEAP DAY MARTINI:


2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce Blue Curacao
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 lemon twist, for garnish

This is my Leap Day Version of the Leap Year Cocktail created by Harry Craddock, for the Leap Year celebrations at the Savoy Hotel, London, on February 29th,


Happy Leap Day!

Updated February 2016.

*According to Gary Regan in his book, "Joy of Mixology"




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20120227

Happy National Kahlua Day

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Updated November 2015

Happy National Kahlúa Day!
WHAT IS KAHLÚA?
Kahlúa is a rum based coffee liqueur originally produced in Mexico. The name derives from a word which means "house of the Acolhua people". Today there are several flavored versions available as well as a Kahlúa Especial which has a higher alcohol content and is made with higher quality Arabica beans grown in Veracruz, Mexico.
HOW ABOUT WE MAKE SOME?
I've been making my own version of Kahlúa for years, some great versions and some not so great. The first time I made coffee liqueur in the 1970's I ended up with brown sludge from the cheap vodka and instant coffee recipe I tried. The first mistake there was using cheap, the second was using vodka, the third was using instant coffee. I've come a long way since those days and have finally found a great recipe which employs a high quality aged rum, ground beans, real vanilla and Turbinado sugar. This recipe was adapted from a recipe I found on Serious Eats.

HOMEMADE VERSION OF
KAHLUA STYLE COFFEE LIQUEUR

INGREDIENTS:
3 Cups of  Diplomático Reserva Rum
1-1/2 Cup Turbinado Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean
2/3 Cup Espresso Beans, Finely Ground
3 Cups of Water
SPECIAL TOOLS:
Coffee filters, small metal strainer, small saucepan, funnel, Mason jar, infusion jar or bottle, decorative bottle.

DIRECTIONS:
Cold brew the espresso beans by adding them to 2 cups of water in a Mason jar. Shake and refrigerate for 24 hours. Strain through a coffee filter lined metal strainer into the infusion jar. Set aside.

After 24 hours you can then make the Turbinado simple syrup by combining 1-1/2 cups of Turbinado sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring these just to a boil then remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool and thicken.

Grab the jar that you have your cold brew coffee in and scrape in the beans from the vanilla pod, drop the vanilla pod in as well.  Add in the rum and shake everything up then allow the infusion to steep for a week, shaking at least once a day.

Once the week is up strain out the vanilla beans and pod through a metal strainer and bottle up in a decorative bottle with a sealed cap.

TIP:  You might want to double the recipe.  I went through my first bottle in two days. By the way, this makes a great gift for holidays, birthdays and it's an excellent hostess gift.

As for that photo up top? That's my favorite way to make use of my Homemade Kahlua style liqueur:
WHITE RUSSIAN TRUFFLE CUPS with Espresso Liqueur

You can also make use of it in many of my
COFFEE COCKTAILS
ESPRESSO COCKTAILS
and bake it into these
KAHLUA CUPCAKES




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20120225

COCKTAILS & TRIVIA FOR THE 84th ACADEMY AWARDS #4


Classic Billy Crystal Academy Award moments like the Hannibal Lecter skit, the Jack Palance bit and those wonderous song and dance routines and Billy's signature sound (tell me what you think it is!):





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20120224

COCKTAILS & TRIVIA FOR THE 84th ACADEMY AWARDS #3


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To celebrate the 84th ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS airing this Sunday on ABC, here's some classic Oscar acceptance lines:

Classic Acceptance Lines:
  • Thank you very much. That makes up for the strip-search. - Woody Allen
  • Oh, wow. This is the best drink of water after the longest drought of my life - Steven Spielberg
  • Most of all, I want to thank my father, up there, the man who when I said I wanted to be an actor, he said, 'Wonderful, just have a back-up profession like welding - Robin Williams
  • I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me! - Sally Field
  • I guess this proves there are as many nuts in the Academy as anywhere else - Jack Nicholson
  • This is one night I wish I smoked and drank - Grace Kelly
And, of course, the Most Classic Non-Acceptance Line of All Time:
  • "Marlon Brando very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reason for this being is the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry - Sacheen Littlefeather refusing the Best Actor Award for Marlon Brando in 1972
 Sacheen Littlefeather's Reading Marlon Brando's Refusal of the Best Actor Award for his performance in The Godfather at the 45th Annual Academy Awards.

Updated February 2016.




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20120223

Happy National Tootsie Roll Day! Tootsie Martini & Trivia.

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Did you know that Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy to be sold in the United States? Of course, that was back in the day when you could buy a piece of candy for a penny.  Tootsie Rolls were named for Clara Hirshfield, the daughter of creator Leo Hirshfield, whose nickname for her was Tootsie.

Created in 1896 by Mr. Hirshfield in his small candy shop in New York City, Tootsie Rolls have changed very little from his original recipe and are still the same chewy, chocolaty goodness that we all know and love.

Tootsie Rolls have long been a favorite of mine and I still keep a bag in the house to this day.  It's said that the company includes a portion of the previous day's batch so that, ". . . . there's (theoretically) a bit of Leo's very first Tootsie Roll in every one of the sixty four million Tootsie Rolls that Tootsie produces each day." 

I don't know how much of that original Tootsie Roll is still in my Tootsie Midgee but it's a nice thought, isn't it?

Celebrate with my
TOOTSIE ROLL MARTINI

February 23rd is National Tootsie Roll Day.

Cheers & Enjoy your Toot-Toot Tootsie Martini today!

Updated 7-2018
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COCKTAILS & TRIVIA FOR THE 84TH ACADEMY AWARDS 2


In honor of this Sunday's airing of The 84th ACADEMY AWARDS, here's a little Oscar Trivia for you:
  • The official name of the golden statue is the Academy Award of Merit. Bette Davis makes the claim that she named the statuette after her first husband, bandleader Harmon Oscar Nelson.
  • You cannot buy an Oscar. The winners or their heirs may not sell the statuettes without first offering to sell them back to the Academy for $1. If the winner does not agree to this stipulation the Academy keeps their statuette. Prior to 1950 this stipulation was not in place and Oscars fetched as high as six figures.
  • In 1981, the Academy Awards were delayed for one day, due to the shooting of President Ronald Reagan.
  • The first televised Academy Awards show was the 25th annual, held on March 19, 1953.

And just in case you missed it and need a laugh, here's Will Ferrel and Jack Black singing the 'GET OFF THE STAGE' Oscar song.




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20120222

Happy National Margarita Day!


HAPPY NATIONAL
MARGARITA DAY!

Yes, I do like a margarita occasionally, especially on National Margarita Day! I might be having mine frozen or on ice, with some seasonal fruits, in a martini glass or in a flask, but one way or another a margarita will be in my hand tonight.  Jimmy Buffett would be proud!

Come waste away with me with my
TOP MARGARITA RECIPES.





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COCKTAILS & TRIVIA FOR THE 84th ACADEMY AWARDS


Get more of my
OSCAR COCKTAILS HERE

THE 84TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS airs Sunday, February 26th and in honor of the show I thought I'd share some of my favorite Oscar moments with you as well as my Oscar Martinis!  I've been watching the Oscars for decades (you try and guess how many) and here's some of my top favorite moments of all of them:


Tomorrow, Oscar Martini #2 and some Oscar Trivia!

P.S. Glad to see you back in the saddle, Billy Crystal!!!!





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20120221

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!


Cocktail Recipe
It's Fat Tuesday so Let The Good Times Roll with my Mardi Gras Martini, a martini-ized version of the traditional Mardi Gras cocktail, the Hurricane.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Updated February 2016.




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20120217

IF YOU HAVEN'T GOT VODKA IN THE HOUSE YOU'RE MISSING OUT

From cocktails to cleaning to cures, vodka is a useful liquid to have around the house!

WHAT? YOU WERE JUST DRINKING IT?

Vodka is a pretty good multi-tasker. Of course, the first and primary use is for cocktails, vodka martinis to be more specific, BUT this humble spirit has a multitude of other uses that make it pretty handy to have on hand even if you abstain from alcoholic beverages!

31 REASONS WHY
Everyone Should Have a Bottle of Vodka (or ten) in the House:
  •        REMOVE WINE STAINS - Pour some vodka on it, scrub with a brush and then blot dry. (Spot test fabrics and surfaces first.)
  •     POLISH YOUR HOUSEHOLD FIXTURES - Pour some vodka on a damp cloth and rub out those water spots and smears on your chrome, glass and porcelain faucets and handles.
  •     KEEP CUT FLOWERS LONGER - Add a few drops of vodka and a teaspoon of sugar to the water and your cut flowers will stay fresh longer.
  •     WEED KILLER - A little 80 Proof protection for your yard can be had by just filling a spray bottle with two cups of water, a few drops of liquid dish soap, and an ounce of vodka.
  •     COLD SORE KILLER - Pour some vodka on a cotton ball and dab on that cold sore to make it go away faster.
  •     EARACHE RELIEF- Put a few drops of vodka into an aching ear, let it sit for a minute or two then tilt ear down and let the vodka drain out.
  •     TOOTHACHE RELIEF - Swish a little vodka in and around an aching tooth to disinfect and relieve the pain. Then see your dentist!
  •     FEVER REDUCER - Pour some vodka on a washcloth and rub your chest and back as a liniment.
  •     PAINT REMOVER - Pour a little vodka on the clothing or wherever you dropped some paint, let it sit for a moment or two then scrub or massage it out. Spot test a small, hidden area first. (This is something that I have done for years! One time I got acrylic paint on my couch and it dried before I noticed. I had no isopropyl alcohol in the house and then realized vodka was alcohol so grabbed it up and tried it. It worked quicker than isopropyl alcohol and I've been using vodka to remove my paint drops on tons of things since - including my poor puppies who love to sit at my feet while I paint!)
  •     CAT STAIN REMOVER - Pour some vodka on that ugly cat stain and it will remove the discoloration. It won't kill the hidden odor (you need a special enzyme for that) but it will look better. Again, do a spot test on the carpet or rug first.
  •     JEWELRY CLEANER - Soak your gold, silver or platinum jewelry in vodka for a few hours and it helps loosen dirt, grease and grit. This will work on an precious and most semi-precious stones as well but do not use on pearls, opals, turquoise or other porous gems.
  •     SCREW REMOVER - If you are trying to remove a rusted screw, pour some vodka on it to help loosen the rust.
  •     REMOVE SMOKE ODORS - Mixing one part vodka to three parts water in a spray bottle and misting it in the air will help alleviate the odor of cigarette, pipe and cigar smoke.
  •     DANDRUFF RELIEF - Add two teaspoons of crushed rosemary to one cup of vodka and allow this to infuse for two days. Strain it to remove the rosemary pieces and use this to massage your scalp. Allow this to dry in your hair, then wash out.
  •     BAND AID & STICKER REMOVER - Pour some vodka on the bandage or sticker and let it soak a bit to release the adhesive.
  •     KILL MOLD & MILDEW ON CAULKING - Pour some vodka in a spray bottle and spray your caulking in bathrooms, let it sit for five minutes and wash off.
  •     CLEAN YOUR EYEGLASSES - Dip your soft eyeglass cloth in some vodka to clean the lenses and remove germs.
  •     LONGER LASTING RAZOR BLADES - Place your razor blade in vodka after use to keep it rust free, disinfected and it will last longer.
  •     REMOVE VOMIT STAINS - Pour some vodka on the stain, rub and blot dry. Spot test fabrics first.
  •     FACIAL ASTRINGENT - Pour some vodka on a cotton ball and wipe down your face after washing to deep clean and tighten pores.
  •     HAIR BEAUTY PRODUCT - Add one ounce of vodka to a 12 ounce bottle of shampoo to cleanse your scalp and remove toxins from your hair to stimulate growth and healthy hair.
  •     INSECT REPELLENT - Pour some vodka in a spray bottle and spray on annoying insects. This WILL kill them so be aware of this and try not to kill the bees that are so vital to our planet.
  •     COLD PACK - Equal parts of vodka and water in a double layer of sealable plastic baggies makes an excellent cold pack for aches, pains and headaches when kept in the freezer until slushy.
  •     PAIN TINCTURE - Pour some vodka on a handful of fresh lavender leaves in a glass jar with a lid, let this sit in the sun for three days, strain out the lavender and use by dabbing on the sore area.
  •     CINNAMON MOUTHWASH - Add nine teaspoons of cinnamon to one cup of vodka and infuse for two weeks. Strain and store in a sealed jar. Mix equal parts with warm water and rinse your mouth, spit out - do not swallow.
  •     KILL FOOT ODOR - Wash your feet with vodka to kill that nasty foot odor.
  •     RELIEVE JELLYFISH STING - Pour some vodka on a jellyfish sting and it will relieve the pain as well as disinfect the wound.
  •     RELIEVE POISON IVY - Pour vodka over the area affected to remove the urushiol oil which will alleviate a lot of the itching.
  •     EMERGENCY DISINFECTANT - Pour some vodka on any open wound as an emergency disinfectant.
  •     HOME MADE VANILLA EXTRACT - You can make your own vanilla extract by adding 4 - 5 vanilla beans to a cup of vodka and letting it infuse for 60 days in a cool, dark place (fridge is good). Shake every few days as it distills. Other flavor extracts are possible as well.
  •     AND - FINALLY - YOU CAN MAKE A MULTITUDE OF YOUR OWN Home Made Flavored Vodkas and Liqueurs.

20120214

VALENTINE MARTINIS & DESSERTS!

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY
from The Martini Diva!
Valentine Martinis and some Valentine Recipes to put the Love in your Valentine Day Libations!
 

Have a great Valentine's Day!!

Updated March 2016




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20120204

CHOCOLATE FONDUE COCKTAIL


Fondue is fun, but fondue with booze is funner!

It's National Chocolate Fondue Day and I'll bet I had you at "Chocolate Fondue". Of course, I could not let it pass without a cocktail to mark the occasion.

The
CHOCOLATE FONDUE
MARTINI

INGREDIENTS:
1 Oz. Chocolate  Vodka
1/2 Oz. Dark Creme de Cacao
1/2 Oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
2 Dashes Coffee Bitters
1 Oz. Heavy Cream
Ice

Garnish: Toasted Mini Marshmallows,  Fruit pieces cut in 1/2" cubes

Tools: Cocktail  Shaker, Cocktail Picks, Individual Votive Candles

Glass: Cocktail 

DIRECTIONS:
Chill the glass in the freezer. At the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into the chilled glass and serve with a plate filled with the marshmallows, fruit cubes and a votive candle. Now your guests can toast their own marshmallows and dip their fruit into their chocolate fondue cocktails.

See? Funner!

All chocoholics may now bend their heads in prayer.

Updated February 2016.



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20120203

CARROT CAKE MARTINI RECIPE


Don't wrinkle your little bunny nose at carrot juice in a cocktail! Carrots are very sweet and when you add some lovely cake vodka and the cream cheese frosting rim you could probably turn Bugs Bunny into a boozer!

This makes a very nice dessert cocktail and it's a lot easier and cheaper to make than a carrot cake.

The 
CARROT CAKE
MARTINI

INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 Oz. Cake Vodka
2 Oz. Fresh Carrot Juice
1/8 Tsp. Cinnamon

Garnish: Honey Sweetened Cream Cheese Rim, Baby Carrot, Raisins

Tools: Cocktail Shaker


DIRECTIONS
Mix a teaspoon of honey with a tablespoon of cream cheese then pipe this on the rim of your cocktail glass. Chill glass in freezer.
Add the ingredients to an ice filled cocktail shaker, shake until chilled then strain into the chilled glass.
Garnish with a small baby carrot and a few raisins and serve.

"Don't take life too seriously. You'll never get out alive" - Bugs Bunny

National Carrot Cake Day is February 3rd.

Uplated 2-2018
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20120202

Happy National Heavenly Hash Day!


Buy the full sized recipe card for my
Chocolate, Marshmallows, Nuts, BOOZE!  What are you waiting for?

Yeah, it's also Ground Hog Day but, seriously, would you even want me to come up with a Ground Hog Martini??? Heavenly Hash has marshmallows, nuts AND chocolate and my Heavenly Hash Martini adds booze to that! You can't say that for Punxsutawney Phil!

I'll bet those poor people freezing their patooties off waiting for Phil would rather be drinking one of these!

Happy National Heavenly Hash Day
from The Martini Diva!



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20120201

BEER MARGARITAS - A Super Bowl Touchdown!


EASY BEER MARGARITAS!!!!
Now you don't have to choose between beer or margaritas for Super Bowl this Sunday!

These Beer Margaritas are the answer to all your football booze issues.  You get the delicious sweet and sour of a margarita along with that kick of tequila AND you get it with the carbonated buzz of a good Mexican beer!

Who's your Mama Now?

Updated 1-2018
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