20150228

BLOOD ORANGE BLACKBERRY WHISKEY SOUR, House of Cards

 
Today I'm celebrating the new season of Netflix's great House of Cards series with this Frank Underwood inspired blackberry and blood orange Bourbon Sour.
 
In creating this drink I've carefully chosen my ingredients to reflect Frank's personality, inclinations and temperament. Blanton's Bourbon is Frank's bourbon of choice so .... bourbon! He's always using his BlackBerry so I decided to muddle in a few blackberries, which stand up well to the brown sugar notes of the bourbon. Then I added a bit of blood orange juice. If I have to tell you why blood orange, you're not watching the show!
 

Frank Underwood's
BLOODY (Orange) BLACKBERRY
BOURBON SOUR


INGREDIENTS:
 
2 Oz. Blanton's Single-Barrel Bourbon
1 Oz. Fresh Blood Orange Juice
2 Tsp. Blackberry Simple Syrup
1  (1 Oz.) Pasteurized Egg White, Optional*
8 Blackberries
Blood Orange Slice
 
TOOLS:
 
Muddler, blender, cocktail shaker, Old Fashioned (rocks) glass.
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
Muddle 5 of the blackberries with the blackberry simple syrup in the bottom of an Old Fashioned (rocks) glass.
If you are using the egg white, dry shake (shake without ice) the Blanton's Bourbon, blood orange juice, egg white for 2 to 3 minutes or until the egg is emulsified and the mixture is frothy. I cheat and use a blender because I have shoulder issues and it works just fine.
**( If you skip the egg go directly to  the next step.)
Add the Blanton's Bourbon and blood orange juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled.
Fill your rocks glass with ice, pour the chilled Blanton's and juice over the ice, stir to mix and garnish with the blood orange slice and the last 3 blackberries. 
Now, settle in for some political shenanigans and some great drama while you sip!
 

ON A FUN NOTE: Blanton's uses 8 different horse and jockey bottle stoppers which leads collectors on a fun little hunting game to collect all eight. Each stopper is marked with a single letter that spells Blanton's when the set has been completed. Cheating and buying on eBay is whack! If you'd like to send me a little thank you for all my free cocktail recipes, I'm missing letters N and A!
 



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20150221

OSCAR COCKTAILS for The Academy Awards


Watching the Academy Awards is a tradition in my house. I haven't missed a broadcast in nearly 40 years and I don't plan on missing this year's Oscars either. I usually gather together a group of friends and we watch together, dissing the Red Carpet couture, rooting for our favorite movies and actors, and drinking lots of cocktails.

For your Oscar Party I've put together a list of great cocktails to make your Academy Awards night celebration memorable.


ALL MY
MOVIE COCKTAILS

GOLDEN COCKTAILS:
GOLDEN RAMOS FIZZ
PINEAPPLE MINT JULEP
PINEAPPLE PISCO SOUR
TIPSY MISS FLIP
MY DARLING CLEMENTINI
CITRUS MINT MARTINI
MANDARIN GRAPEFRUIT MARTINI
MAPLE WHISKEY SOUR

STAR INSPIRED COCKTAILS:
Marilyn Monroe
BLONDE BOMBSHELL
Thelma and Louise
OVER THE CLIFF MARGARITA
James Bond
VESPER

SciFi Movie Fan? Check out these
SPACEY MOVIE SPIRITS
STAR TREK COCKTAILS 1
STAR TREK COCKTAILS 2
STAR WARS COCKTAILS

INTO VINTAGE?
COCKTAILS NAMED AFTER MOVIE STARS

CHARLIE CHAPLIN
1 Oz. Apricot Brandy
1 Oz. Sloe Gin
1 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Lime Twist
Pour the apricot brandy, sloe gin and lime juice into an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake until chilled.  Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the lime twist.

JEAN HARLOW
2 Oz. White rum
2 Oz. Sweet vermouth
Lemon peel
Add the rum and vermouth to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

CARMEN MIRANDA MARTINI
1 Oz. Dark Rum
1/2 Oz. Spiced Rum
1 Oz. Pineapple Juice
1/2 Oz. Tangerine Juice
1 Tablespoon Coconut Cream
Slice of Fresh Pineapple
Edible Orchid
Add the rums, pineapple juice, tangerine juice and coconut cream to an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously until well mixed and chilled. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the fresh pineapple and the edible orchid.

SHIRLEY TEMPLE & ROY ROGERS
We can't forget these two famous non alcoholic drinks for the kiddies! The Shirley Temple is simply lemon lime soda with a Maraschino cherry. 


The Roy Rogers is Cola with a Maraschino cherry, but I happen to have a fun adult version with booze!


This should give you a wide range of libations to choose from for your Oscar night revels. Now, dim the lights and shut off your cell phones, the entertainment begins.


PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
Updated 2-2018

20150220

FLAVORED SIMPLE SYRUP RECIPES & INSTRUCTIONS


There's nothing that will punch up the flavor of a cocktail like a flavored simple syrup. When a cocktail recipe calls for simple syrup you can add a flavored version and boldly or subtly change the flavor profile of the cocktail depending on how much or how little you use.

Unflavored simple syrup is made by simply heating equal parts of sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves, allowing this to cool and then bottling. Rich simple syrup is a 2:1 sugar water ratio. A flavored simple syrup is just as easy and has way more cocktail panache.

HERB FLAVORED SIMPLE SYRUP
(Heat process method.)
 
Tools: Medium saucepan, fine metal strainer or sieve and/or cheesecloth, sterilized storage bottle or jar with lid, funnel.

INGREDIENTS:
1 C. Turbinado or Demerara (Raw) Sugar
1 C. Water (Or Fruit Juice*)
1 Handful of Fresh Herb Leaves

DIRECTIONS:
(for juice infusions see below)*
  • In a small saucepan, combine your water and herb leaves, bring to a boil, remove from heat then allow to steep for 15 - 30 minutes. (If you're using fruit juices these infused juices can also be used as interesting cocktail mixers after straining!)
  • Add your sugar then cook on medium, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, DO NOT BOIL. Remove from the burner immediately and let cool, if you overcook or boil the sugar water your syrup will form sugar crystals.
  • Strain through a sieve into your sterilized jar.
  • Your infused syrup will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks up to a month. I hear if you add an ounce of vodka or a vitamin C tablet they will keep a bit longer.** Rich simple syrups can last up to 6 months. Keep in mind that using fruit juices as your syrup liquid could affect shelf life so check for mold or just make as much as you will use in a week or so. I will often make just enough for the cocktails I'm serving that day.
  • This heat method also works well for citrus zest syrups. For the actual fruit I prefer the cold process recipe below but this heat process will work if you're in a time crunch. HOWEVER, you do need to simmer the fruit until it breaks down, not just until the sugar dissolves. This means standing over the mixture to make sure it doesn't burn or boil. Frankly, the cold process for fruits is easier, not to mention superior in taste.

*HERB INFUSED FRUIT JUICE SYRUP DIRECTIONS:
  • When I substitute a fruit juice for the water I reduce the amount of sugar because reducing fruit juice intensifies it's sugars. For sweeter juices I use no added sugar at all, for more tart or sour juices I reduce the sugar to quarter cup or less.
  • Reducing the sugar requires that you simmer the herb infused juice instead of just heating until the sugar dissolves (because there's little or no sugar to form the syrup except that in the juice itself!)  I simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to the viscosity I want, usually half the liquid volume.
  • Keep a close eye on the reduction because once it gets to the syrup point it can easily turn to molasses or even burn. Test it by taking a spoonful of syrup and dropping back into the pan. When it's ready, take it off the heat, cool it and bottle.

Try some combinations! 
Apple juice with tarragon, strawberry juice with basil, blackberry juice and thyme or raspberries with rosemary. You can even add spices like cinnamon, star anise or saffron. With the spices, just do an additional strain through cheesecloth to remove the finer sediments. Different types of sugars like Demerara, Turbinado (both raw sugars) or brown sugar are a nice way to change it up as well. Think how great my Mint Simple Syrup would be for sweet tea. Yes, you can also make vegetable syrups! Use your imagination, the sky's the limit as long as the flavors pair well.


FRUIT SIMPLE SYRUPS
For Fruit Simple Syrups I use a cold process technique instead of heat. A cold process brings out more of the fruit's natural flavors and, because of the 2:1 sugar ratio, lasts longer. It's a bit more complicated than the heat method but not by much.

Tools: Mixing bowl, potato masher, large strainer or sieve and/or cheesecloth, quart size jar with lid, storage bottle or jar. 

INGREDIENTS:
2 C. Fruit, Chopped or Grated
2 C. Demerara or Turbinado (Raw) Sugar
1 C. Water

DIRECTIONS:
  • Add your chopped fruit and sugar to a mixing bowl. Smash it all together with your potato masher and let this sit for an hour. After an hour, smash it all up a little bit more and let it sit in the fridge for another hour or even overnight. Smash it up again.
  • Pour this mixture into the quart jar, add the water and then shake like a madman until the sugar completely dissolves. Let this sit in the fridge for a bit (overnight is best) then shake it up again.
  • Strain again if small seeds are involved (berries come to mind), this time through cheesecloth.
  • Bottle and store in the refrigerator.


You're all done now and, if you add a tablespoon of vodka, this syrup can last longer in the refrigerator.
Like the herb simple syrups above, try some fun combinations.

SOME COCKTAILS
FEATURING FLAVORED SYRUPS:
 
Cherry Rum Ball -Cherry Cinnamon Syrup
Tipsy Miss Flip - Ginger Simple Syrup
Pineapple Mint Julep, Cantaloupe Daiquiri - Mint Simple Syrup
Pomegranate Margarita - Pomegranate Syrup
Blueberry Daiquiri, Blueberry Mint Julep - Blueberry Simple Syrup
Saucy Christmas Crantini - Hibiscus Cranberry Syrup

THINK THAT'S A LOT OF SYRUP FOR A COCKTAIL OR TWO?
Flavored syrup is not just for cocktails!
Pour it on ice cream, pancakes, pound cake, use it as glazes for meat, add it to salad dressings and even tap a bit in rice. Your flavored simple syrup will be long gone before it's shelf life is up. Heck, you'll probably be doubling your recipes after the first one disappears.

Here's a nice article on the variety of cocktail syrups from Imbibe.
 
** If you want, you can freeze your syrups into individual servings in ice trays for longer shelf life! They don't freeze completely (because of the high sugar content) so use silicone trays which make it easier to pop out the individual servings.

Updated 10-2017
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CHERRY RUM BALL Flip Cocktail


After I finished up my new pineapple flip cocktail, the Tipsy Miss, yesterday I found I had forgotten to use the spiced rum I'd soaked my pineapple garnish in for that cocktail. It was a good two ounces of booze and I didn't want to pour it back in the bottle. I also had about one egg's worth of pasteurized egg white left in the carton and it seemed silly to put that back in the refrigerator. 

Additionally I had just made a bunch of flavored simple syrups, one of which was cherry and cinnamon, so, what the heck, how about another new cocktail?

The
CHERRY RUM BALL
Flip

INGREDIENTS:

2 Oz. Spiced Rum
1 Oz. Cherry Cinnamon Syrup
1 Oz. Cherry Juice
1 Oz. Pasteurized Egg White
Maraschino Cherry
Cinnamon

Special Tools: Blender

DIRECTIONS:

Chill your glass in the freezer.
Add the spiced rum, cherry juice, cherry cinnamon simple syrup and egg white to a blender and blend it all up until nice and frothy, about 2 minutes.
Pour this mixture into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled and icy cold.
Pour into your chilled coupe, garnish with one of my homemade Maraschino Cherries, dust with some cinnamon and serve.
Makes two cocktails.  

If you like cherries, you might also like my new Cherry Clafoutis Martini, my Drunken Cherry Martini or one of my other multitude of Cherry Cocktails

Yes, indeed I do like cherries! 





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TIPSY MISS Pineapple & Spiced Rum Cocktail


I've been playing with egg cocktails for the last few weeks and using up this truckload of fresh pineapples and eggs given to me by a friend. In the last 16 days I've made numerous pineapple and/or egg cocktails including my Pineapple Pisco Sour, a Golden Ramos Fizz, a Pineapple Mint Julep, the Meringue Island Punch and Spiced Pomegranate Rum Fizz and even a Cherry Clafoutis Martini. I've been slightly punch drunk for a fortnight and my protein level has never been higher, albiet slightly pickled. 

I have just enough fresh pineapple juice and eggs left to do one more drink recipe before my neighborhood declares me the crazy drunk lady from seeing all the empty booze bottles in my trash.
So here goes, I named it appropriately:

The
TIPSY MISS
Flip

INGREDIENTS:

2 Oz. Spiced Rum
1-1/2 Oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice
1 Oz. Ginger Simple Syrup
1 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1 Pasteurized Egg White (1 Oz.)
Pinch of Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla
Drunken Pineapple Triangle*

Tools: Blender, cocktail shaker

Glass: Coupe

DIRECTIONS:

*Soak your pineapple triangle in some of the spiced rum for at least an hour. When you make the cocktail add this rum to your 1-1/2 ounces. 
Chill your glass in the freezer.
Add the rum, pineapple juice, ginger simple syrup, lime juice, vanilla and egg white to a blender and whiz it up until nice and frothy, about 2 minutes.
Pour this mixture into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled and icy cold.
Pour into your chilled coupe, garnish with the drunken pineapple triangle, dust with a pinch of nutmeg and serve. Makes two cocktails.  

Eat the rum soaked pineapple, trust me.

Enjoy and please, if you don't see a post from me for a while, make sure my neighbors haven't locked me up in a rehab center. If they did please tell them it's my job, I'm not really a drunk!






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20150219

PINEAPPLE MINT JULEP


The Mint Julep, beloved libation of Southerners everywhere and the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby, is now known as a bourbon based mint cocktail but this was not always the case. Up to modern times a Mint Julep could be made from brandy, rum or even genever (gin).

Once served in a pewter cup* and now preferred in a silver julep cup, the Julep is a member of the smash cocktail family, cocktails that make use of a muddler for "smashing" ingredients in the bottom of a glass to release the aromatics and flavors. The metal cup allows for a nice icy frosting of condensation on the cup.


As early as 1784 there are mentions of a medicinal treatment called a "mint julep" and the first mention in print came in 1803, where it was described as "a dram of spirituous liquor that has mint steeped in it, taken by Virginians [sic] of a morning."

In British Captain Frederick Marryat's 1840 book, "Second Series of A Diary in America" a "real" mint julep's construction reads:
 "Put into a tumbler about a dozen sprigs of the tender shoots of mint, upon them put a spoonful of white sugar, and equal proportions of peach and common brandy, so as to fill it up one-third, or perhaps a little less. Then take rasped or pounded ice, and fill up the tumbler. Epicures rub the lips of the tumbler with a piece of fresh pine-apple, and the tumbler itself is very often encrusted outside with stalactites of ice. As the ice melts, you drink."

Though I flout tradition by adding pineapple, thanks to this little vintage tidbit my pineapple version is made an honest woman, so to speak. My other flouting of tradition is the use of an Old Fashioned (rocks) glass instead of the metal cup. I don't have a julep cup and I'm not buying a julep cup just to make Mint Juleps, my house is already full of enough drinking vehicles to open my own bar.

So, okay, I don't use a julep cup, I went retro and added pineapple and I also fly in the face of tradition by using mint syrup and not muddling. Well, bless my little heart, I'm just a Northerner!

If you don't mind a little sipping advice from a brash Yankee, try this recipe out.
I think you'll like it.

PINEAPPLE MINT JULEP

INGREDIENTS:

2 Oz. Bourbon
1-1/2 Oz. Pineapple Juice
3/4 Oz. Homemade Spearmint Simple Syrup
(Recipes for this and other flavored simple syrups.)
Mint Leaf Garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Chill your rocks glass. Pour in your bourbon, pineapple juice and mint simple syrup and stir. Fill the glass with chipped ice, stir a few more times, add the mint garnish and serve. 

Mint Julep Facts:
  • Each year, almost 120,000 Early Times Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack.**
  • May 30th is Mint Julep Day.
  • There are 165 calories in a standard Mint Julep.
  • The word 'julep' comes from the Arabic julab, which is from the Persian julab, meaning 'rose water.'


As well as being a fun alternative to the classic drink of the Kentucky Derby, this golden cocktail is great for Oscar parties or just sitting on your veranda in the summer heat jawing with Big Daddy. 

*The mention and use of a pewter cup should give clue to the age of this cocktail, as pewter, once standard for a tankard in colonial times, is now known to be toxic as a drinking vessel.




20150218

GOLDEN RAMOS FIZZ

 
Basically a Ramos Fizz is gin, lemon and lime juice, egg white, cream, powdered sugar or super fine sugar, orange flower water and some soda. This Golden Ramos Fizz replaces the lemon and lime juices with tangerine juice and the orange flower water with orange bitters. It's that simple and it's that good.
 
If you want to make it even more golden you can turn it into a flip by using a whole egg in place of just the egg white. Eggs bring such a lovely richness and mouth feel to a cocktail and, in my recipes, I always use pasteurized eggs so there is no worry about any contamination. You really should try at least one, and the best egg cocktails to try out at first are a Ramos Fizz or a Pisco Sour. This kind of bridges both!
 
GOLDEN RAMOS FIZZ

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 Oz. Plymouth Gin
1 Oz. Heavy Cream
1 Pasteurized Egg White
1 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
3 Oz. Fresh Tangerine Juice
1 Dash Orange Bitters
1 oz Soda Water
Orange Wheel
 
DIRECTIONS:
Combine all the liquid ingredients, except the bitters and garnish in a blender and dry blend for a minute to emulsify the egg white and aerate the cocktail. Transfer this to an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for another minute to chill. Pour into a Tom Collins or rocks glass, tap the orange bitters onto the foam and garnish with a orange wheel.
With this cocktail you'll be golden, pardon the pun, and it's perfect for Oscar parties, Emmy parties or gold wedding anniversaries!
 



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20150216

The COCKTAILS of NEW ORLEANS


Happy Mardi Gras!
Laissez les bons temps rouler - with booze!
(Click photos for credits)

The cocktail was not invented in New Orleans but it certainly calls NOLA home. Certainly some famous and delicious libations grew out of the Big Easy. You can, of course, have any cocktail you'd like in New Orleans but there are a few you need to try if you want to "drink in" the true spirits of the birthplace of jazz. Heck, you wouldn't go there without having a beignet, some mudbugs (Crawfish), gumbo, King Cake or chicory coffee, why miss the local liquid offerings?

What to drink in New Orleans?


TRY SOME OF MY
MARDI GRAS INSPIRED COCKTAILS


SAZERAC
Designated on June 23, 2008, as New Orleans official cocktail by the Louisiana legislature.

1.5 Oz. Cognac
1/2 Oz. Absinthe
One sugar cube
Few drops of water
Two dashes Peychaud's Bitters
1 Drop Angoustura Bitters

Wash the an Old Fashioned (rocks) glass with the absinthe. (Washing a glass is rolling the liquid in the bowl then dumping out the excess), set glass aside. Drop the sugar cube in another Old Fashioned glass, add the drop of Angoustura Bitters to the sugar cube, then the water and muddle with the cognac. Add ice, stir until chilled then strain into the absinthe washed rocks glass, express the lemon twist over the drink then discard the twist.


HURRICANE
Beloved by tourists and Spring Break collegiates. Created in New Orleans by Pat O'Brien in the 1940's.  

1 Oz. Dark Rum
1Oz. White Rum
1/2 Oz. 151 Rum
1/4 Oz. Passion Fruit Syrup

Shake ingredients with ice, then pour into a hurricane glass over ice. Garnish with an orange slice and Maraschino cherry.

VIEUX CARRÉ 
Invented by Walter Bergeron, the head bartender at the Monteleone Hotel (Carousel Bar) in New Orleans in the 1930s, the Vieux Carré was named after the French Quarter , the "Old Square" (Vieux Carré).

(Image in public domain)

ARNAUD'S SPECIAL
The house cocktail of the famous Arnaud's Restaurant in the 1940's, this is a Southern take on a Rob Roy where the sweet vermouth and Angoustura Bitters are replaced with the Dubonnet and orange bitters.

2 Oz. Balvenie Doublewood Scotch
1 Oz. Dubonnet Rouge
3 Dashes of Orange Bitters

Stir in a mixing glass with ice until chilled then strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass. Express then garnish with an orange twist. 


FRENCH 75
Named for a French artillery gun, the French 75 was created in 1915 at the New York Bar in Paris (Harry's New York Bar) by Harry MacElhone. There is another version that substitutes cognac for the gin, but not in my universe. 

1 oz Gin
2 oz Champagne
1/2 oz Lemon juice
2 Dashes Simple Syrup

Add the gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled and strain into a Champagne flute. Top off with the Champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.


RAMOS FIZZ
My favorite of the bunch! Originally called a New Orleans Fizz, the Ramos Fizz was invented by Henry C. Ramos at his bar in Meyer’s restaurant in New Orleans in 1888.

1-1/2 Oz. Plymouth Gin
1 Oz. Heavy Cream
1 Pasteurized Egg White
1 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
1-1/2 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1-1/2 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Dashes Orange Flower Water
1 oz Soda Water

Combine all the liquid ingredients in a blender and dry blend for a minute to emulsify the egg white and aerate the cocktail. Transfer this to an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for another minute to chill.*

Pour into a Tom Collins glass and garnish with an elaborate orange rind carving. 

* Interesting fact: back in the good old days, before blenders, creator Ramos insisted you needed to shake the Ramos Fizz for a full 15 minutes. This is what was required to create the meringue like consistency of this cocktail. There is the famous incident where one bar lined up 15 shaker boys and sent the cocktail down the line because one shaker boy could not shake a cocktail longer than a minute without his arms seizing up! Thank goodness for mod-cons!


Updated 2-2017
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Mardi Gras KING CAKE FLIP Cocktail


Throw me something, mister!
Like cake! And put it a cocktail!

WHAT EXACTLY IS A KING CAKE?


The King Cake is a traditional Mardi Gras/Epiphany dessert that takes it's name from the Magi, the three kings who visited the new born Christ in the manger. It started out as an Epiphany Feast bread, then, three centuries ago, became a bread with sugar on top and beans inside. Now it's a bread style cake flavored with cinnamon, stuffed with cream cheese, frosted and decorated in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold. It also always has a plastic baby figurine hidden inside.

King Cake, brought to New Orleans by French settlers, became a traditional food of Mardi Gras parties around the late 1800's. The baby tucked inside represents the baby Jesus* and the tradition in New Orleans is whoever gets the baby in their piece of cake hosts the Mardi Gras party next year. The colors of Mardi Gras and the King Cake represent the colors of the crowns of the Magi; purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power.

Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday, is also known as Shrove Tuesday, and is celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday by indulging in rich foods, drinks and enjoying parties. It's the last ditch binge before the repentance and austerity of the Lenten season.

For my Mardi Gras gift to you I'd like to help with that drink indulgence by sharing my cocktail recipe for ...

The
KING CAKE CREAM FLIP

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 Oz. Dark Spiced Rum
1 Oz. Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka
1 Whole Pasteurized Egg
2 Oz. Half & Half
3 Tsp. Brown Sugar
Cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Cream Cheese
Purple, Green and Gold Sugars

SPECIAL TOOLS: Blender, Piping bag, dessert plates for sugar rim, Old Fashioned glass.

DIRECTIONS:
Pipe some cream cheese on the rim of your glass. Dip a third of the rim in each of the colored sugars. Chill your glass in the freezer.

Add the rum, vodka, egg, cinnamon, half and half and the brown sugar to a blender and blend on medium to emulsify the egg. This is an easy way to dry shake an egg cocktail.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, pour in the blended cocktail and shake until chilled. Pour this into your rimmed glass, sprinkle on a dusting of cinnamon and serve.

Garnish tip: You can add a tiny plastic baby to the rim if you like. I rarely garnish my cocktails with anything that's not edible, however the baby is a big part of the King Cake tradition. If you're good at sculpting fondant or chocolate you can sculpt a tiny little baby and add that to your rim. Sadly, though I am an artist, I am not a sculptor and I couldn't find a little edible baby anywhere BUT I did have the Cupie Doll baby my Dad brought home from WWII so I tucked that in with the beads and doubloons for the photo!

Happy Mardi Gras!

*A LITTLE LITURGICAL HISTORY OF THE ADVENT TO EASTER HOLIDAY SEASON

(Feel free to correct me where I'm wrong!)
In Western Christianity a dinner is eaten on the Eve of Epiphany (the night of January 5, also known as Twelfth Night or Three Kings Day). Known as the Epiphany Feast it often included the gifting and eating of sweetened breads. This bread evolved into the modern King Cakes of today.

In the Catholic Church the holiday season follows a path from the advent of Christ to his resurrection. Advent is the celebration of the coming of Christ and leads into Christmas. The Epiphany season celebrates the revelation of Jesus as the son of God, and starts on the evening of December 25th and goes through January 6th. Also known as The Twelfth Day of Christmas, Epiphany is the climax of the Advent/Christmas season, ending on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (Fat Tuesday!) and leads into Lent. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, is a six week period of atonement and self denial which leads to the Easter season. On the liturgical calender Lent ends the day before Good Friday, the day Christ died, and is the Friday before Easter Sunday, which is the celebration of the resurrection of the Christ. The dates can change somewhat with the year, the locale and the denomination of the church doctrine.





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BOOZING IT UP in the WHITE HOUSE


CAN I TOP THAT OFF FOR YOU, MR. PRESIDENT?

Thanks to a tweet from Mixellany.com (@Mixellany) I read this fun article from Vanity Fair by Alex Beggs on favorite cocktails of our Founding Fathers. It listed some of the preferred alcoholic drinks of past Presidents of the United States from George Washington up to Gerald Ford and also presented an encapsulated view of the history of American happy hour tastes.

Mixed up by Leo Robitschek, these libations bounce from Colonial punches to spritzers to nogs to straight up whiskey, a tale of cocktails as varied as our tales of P.O.T.U.S. Surprisingly, several of these sounded pretty darn good to me, not always the case with many of the vintage drink concoctions of our forefathers. In particular, I really liked the choices of Grant and F.D.R. (probably because I've been on an egg cocktail binge) so I decided to shake them up - with a few Martini Diva tweaks:


MERINGUE ISLAND PUNCH
Tweak of Ulysses S. Grant's Meringue and Roman Punch.


SPICED POMEGRANATE RUM FIZZ
Tweak of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Haitian Libation.

If you'd like to try out Robitschek's original recipes with his full directions check out his article on Vanity Fair.

AN INTERESTING ASIDE: Beggs mentions in the first sentence that Benjamin Franklin was in the habit of having a hard cider with his breakfast. Today this would be a sign of a drinking problem, however this was not an unusual habit to have back in colonial America where beers, ales and ciders were simply a part of their daily menus. Keep in mind that the early settlers of America believed, like their European counterparts, that alcohol was medicinal. Additionally, drinking water could be dangerous because, even though there was an abundance of water sources, there was no way to tell what was safe and what was polluted and people often sickened or died from tainted water. Add this to the fact that even untainted water, extracted from natural sources, was often full of sediments and mud and required settling or filtering before it was drinkable and it makes sense that Franklin would grab a quick cider instead!

If you like trying out early American cocktails, you might also enjoy my RATTLED SKULL, a modern day version of the popular colonial cocktail, the Rattle Skull.




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20150213

More VALENTINE COCKTAILS than Cupid has Arrows!


Valentine's Day is coming up. You planned a HUGE cocktail party and every bartender within 100 miles is booked. You just ended up with the biggest project your business has ever conceived of on YOUR desk and it's due February 13th. You need fabulous, epic Valentine Cocktails and there's no time to Google anything let alone try to invent them yourself. Who ya gonna call?
Boozebusters!?

Nope, sorry, no such thing, BUT have no fear, The Martini Diva is here! Below are the links to ALL my fabulous, flirty Love Potions. From pink martinis to red margaritas to dessert inspired drinks, I have your hearts and flowers, chocolate and berries and sparkling sips all laid out for you to choose from right below.

No need to spend hours searching the webz for suitable love inspired drink recipes, save that time for some well deserved pampering. I list all the ingredients necessary, any special tools required and give detailed directions for all my crowd pleasing, delicious and visually impressive Cupid infused cocktails. There's even a few posts with 40 proof love poems to quench your literary thirst!

So concentrate on that project, order up some tapas from the local deli to feed your lovelorn sweeties and hit the mega booze mart on your way home. You can sleep in and still have stunning craft cocktails for the liquor and love starved guest(s) who will be knocking on your door on Valentine's Day.


THE MARTINI DIVA'S
VALENTINE
COCKTAILS

MOROCCAN ROSE

CHERRY CLAFOUTIS MARTINI
  
HIBISCUS HEART VALENTINE FIZZ
   
LOVE NOTION #9 CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY SANGRIA

HOT CHA CHA CHERRY MARTINI

SPARKLING HEART COCKTAIL

PINK VALENTINE COCKTAILS
9 heart hued hooches that add color to Cupid's cocktails.

POMEGRANATE VALENTINE MARGARITA
Your favorite tequila cocktail all decked out in red candy hearts and pomegranate goodness.

SEXY VALENTINE COCKTAILS
6 sexy sips to sass up happy hour. 

TRUE LOVE VALENTINE COCKTAILS
8 romantic liquid refreshments full of hearts, flowers and flavor.

VALENTINE COCKTAILS FOR THE BROKEN HEARTED
6 humorous and heavenly ways to drink your heart troubles away.


There you have them, more Valentine Cocktails than Cupid has arrows!

May your Valentine's Day be filled
with whatever your heart desires!


Updated 2-2017
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20150212

CHERRY CLAFOUTIS MARTINI Valentine Cocktail


I'm a huge fan of almost all the TV cooking shows and I'm a faithful devotee of ABC's The Taste. I never miss an episode. I love that the outcome is based more on taste than personality.

While watching The Taste I live tweet during the show and, after a segment involving sweets, asked Chef and Judge Ludo Lefebvre what his favorite dessert was and he tweeted me that it was his mom's Cherry Clafoutis. This struck a chord with me as clafoutis was a dessert I was very fond of while living in France, having enjoyed it often at family dinners with my then fiance. I love anything with cherries and clafoutis is loaded with lovely dark cherries.

A typical Cherry Clafoitis (or a flognarde if made with another fruit) is very much like a sweet fritatta or a custardy pancake and is made with eggs, butter, flour, sugar, fresh cherries, milk (and sometimes heavy cream), vanilla, a pinch of salt and often a splash of brandy. I took these ingredients as my starting point for flavoring my cocktail. A bit of cake, a bit of custard, a lot of cherry goodness and a French chef inspired this Cherry Clafoutis Martini.
  
I happen to like cocktails with egg whites in them, they bring a creamy texture and a beautiful, natural foamy top. Though eggs perform a slightly different role in a cocktail then they do in baking, in both cases they add richness to the end product. So, instead of pulling out the mixing bowls and doing my mise en place to bake a Cherry Clafoutis, I pulled out the cocktail shaker and lined up the bar tools and booze to shake a Cherry Clafoutis!


The
CHERRY CLAFOUTIS
Martini

INGREDIENTS:

2 Oz. Dark Rum
1/2 Oz. Pinnacle Whipped Cherry Vodka
1 Oz. Kirsch
Splash of Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 Oz. Black Cherry Juice*
2 Tbsp. Pasteurized Egg White
1/2 Oz. Half & Half
Pinch of Fleur de sel (salt!)
3 Tsp. Simple Syrup
2 Dashes of Vanilla Bitters
Homemade Maraschino Cherry

 DIRECTIONS:

Chill your glass in the freezer. 

Combine all the ingredients except the Maraschino cherries in a blender and blend for a few seconds to emulsify the egg into the cocktail.

Pour this into an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake until chilled. Allow the drink to settle for a minute or two then pour into your chilled martini glass. Slide a Maraschino cherry onto the rim and enjoy!

Makes two 4 ounce cocktails or (in my single woman case) one big martini!

* Since it's February (National Cherry Month!) cherries are out of season here in Arizona so I used some lovely cherry concentrate from Benjamin Twiggs to make my dark cherry juice. Though I prefer fresh, using a concentrate allowed me to keep the juice a little thicker and more tart which I really liked with the egg white.

Dark Rum is interesting in that it has a heavy vanilla nose so it was a perfect base liquor for the vanilla cake and custard notes of the dessert. The Pinnacle Whipped Cherry vodka brings in some creamy flavor and added cherry punch. The Kirsch (a cherry flavored brandy), along with the cherry juice and cherry vodka, bring in the brandy and cherry elements. I popped up the sweetness with some simple syrup and the half and half substitutes for the milk in the baked recipe. The egg white gives the cocktail it's body and the bitters curtail the sweetness while adding a deeper vanilla undertone to the rum. I added the splash of maraschino liqueur at the end on a whim and it tied in the garnish very nicely.

I did a full afternoon of experimental mixology and was a little blitzed by the time I got the recipe worked out, but it was worth it. I put Cherry Clafoutis in a glass and added a little buzz. It was a good day of baking shaking!

Merci, Chef Ludo, thanks for the inspiration, vous êtes mon préféré célèbre chef!





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20150211

LOVE NOTION #9 Chocolate Raspberry Sangria


I don't do a lot of wine cocktails. Most of the time I prefer to enjoy my wine as the vintner intended, but I do occasionally enjoy a sangria or a wine cooler. When I came across this interesting bottle of Chocolate Shop Red Wine I impulsively grabbed it off the shelf. I'd enjoyed Deco Chocolate Port when I lived in Sonoma County and thought I'd give this wine a try.

I loved it! It was similar to the port, was a little less chocolate forward, less sweet with a lighter body. It's exactly the kind of dessert wine I would serve with chocolate strawberries or chocolate truffles or anything with chocolate. I might even pair it with a savory dish like cocoa and coffee rubbed rib eyes.

Of course being me, I had to add stuff to it to make a cocktail. What I ended up with was a remarkable chocolate raspberry sangria. I think I've died and gone to heaven.

The
LOVE NOTION #9
Chocolate Raspberry Valentine Sangria

INGREDIENTS:

5 Oz. Chocolate Shop Red Wine, Chilled
1/2 Oz. Raspberry Vodka
1/3 C. Fresh Raspberries
2 Tbsp. Raspberry Syrup
1 Tbsp. Chocolate Syrup
2 Drops Fee Brothers Aztec Bitters
Chocolate Heart Candies
(I found adorable white & dark chocolate hearts from Ghirardelli)
1/2 C. White Chocolate, Chopped
1/2 C. Dark Chocolate, Chopped

Special Tools: Pastry brush, Old Fashioned glass, metal strainer.

DIRECTIONS:

Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or microwave then paint the rims of your glasses from the top to a quarter of the way down the glass. Attach a chocolate heart candy to each rim with an extra dab of chocolate, holding gently in place until it stays. Place your glass in the refrigerator to set up the chocolate.

Puree the raspberries with the Chocolate Shop Red Wine, raspberry vodka, chocolate and raspberry syrups and bitters in a blender.


Strain this into an ice filled cocktail shaker (to remove the raspberry seeds) and shake until chilled. Pour into your garnished glass and enjoy for a romantic finish to your Valentine dinner.

Makes two full cocktails.

Some chocolate dipped cookies, chocolate covered marshmallows, sugar, chocolate dipped pretzels or nuts go really nice with this cocktail.


Tip1: Use up the rest of the melted chocolate by dipping the pretzels or nuts in it to serve with your cocktail.

Tip 2: Reduce any of the sangria leftovers to a syrup and pour over ice cream! If you have any, that is, and you probably won't.







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