20150729

HUMBLE BERRY PIE COCKTAIL

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Once upon a time my mom would make a Humble Berry Pie, at least that's what she called it. It was usually a combination of mixed berries, mostly raspberries, blackberries and, her favorite berry of all, Boysenberries. I loved this pie but it always came with her standard lecture about humility. We got pie but we had to be humble to eat it. I was willing to be humble long enough to eat my piece of pie, then I reverted back to being the cocky little brat that was my norm.

Now, there is a real, historical humble pie (not a berry in it though) and the word “humble” itself comes from the Middle French word “nomble,” which translates to “scrap." The humble pie of history was a Medieval savory dish servants made from the scraps of the master’s table, topped off with a crust and baked up as a pie. I guess the masters didn't leave too many berries on the table.

How berries ended up in mom's pie is something she took to the great beyond. Sadly, I never though to ask her. Though there is an old country saying to “eat humble pie”, meaning cockiness gets its comeuppance, and my mom was quite fond of that saying, as well as berries. She even passed both tendencies down to me, but did not pass her pie baking abilities down with them.

My cockiness is probably why the pie gods have cursed me with the inability to make a decent pie. Nope, can't bake a good, homemade pie to save my un-humble self which is probably why I have created so many pie cocktails. So, no successful baking of my mom's Humble Berry Pie for me. But the booze gods love me. In fact they have blessed me with the talent of turning culinary chaos into cocktail creativity, thus my mom's Humble Berry Pie lives on as a very delicious (and dare I say Un-Humble?) drink!

HUMBLE BERRY PIE COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS:
1 Oz. Berry Vodka
1 Oz. Spiced Rum
1/2 Cup Mixed Berries
1 Tbsp. Cream of Coconut
1 Oz. Half & Half
1 Tbsp. Honey
Ice

GARNISH: Piece of baked Pie Crust, Assorted berries

TOOLS: Blender, Coupe glass

DIRECTIONS:

Add all the ingredients to your blender and pulse until nice and smooth.
Pour your chilled coupe glass.
Garnish with the pie crust and berries.

Enjoy!
But be humble about it.



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PALOMA TEQUILA COCKTAIL

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You might think the margarita is the favorite drink of Mexico, but that isn't the case. When you go out drinking with the locals it's not a margarita they order but a Paloma. Margaritas are for the tourists.

Now there's nothing wrong with a Margarita, in fact, I love them, but when in Rome - or Mexico in this case - you should always try to drink what the locals drink. It's not only polite, it broadens your happy hour horizons.

Paloma means "dove” in Spanish and it's said that creator Don Javier Delgado Corona, owner of La Capilla in Tequila, Mexico, named the cocktail after a popular song of the same name. I don't know if this is true, I wasn't there, but I don't really care. All I really care about is whether the drink tastes good and the Paloma does.

Often made with Jarritos, a grapefruit-flavored soda found all over Mexico, I personally think the Paloma is best made with fresh grapefruit juice and I happened to have several nice grapefruits given to me by a friend who grows his own. They were really small, and kind of ugly, but their juice was sweet and pink and delicious. I immediately decided the Paloma was the way to go and so ... I went.

THE PALOMA

INGREDIENTS:
2 Oz. Tequila
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1/4 Tsp. Sea Salt?
1/2 Oz. Agave Syrup
2 Oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
Club Soda

GARNISH: Sea Salt and Sugar for rim, Grapefruit slice, Lime twist

TOOLS: Two saucers or dessert plates, Highball (tall) glass, Bar spoon

DIRECTIONS:
Add some grapefruit juice to a saucer, in another saucer combine one tablespoon of the sea salt and one tablespoon of sugar.
Dip the rim of your glass in the grapefruit juice and then into the sugar and salt combination.
Combine the tequila, lime juice, agave syrup and salt in your highball glass.
Fill the glass with ice.
Add the grapefruit juice, stir then top off with the soda.
Stir again, gently, then garnish a grapefruit slice and a twist of lime.

Enjoy - like I did!



NOTE: Please be aware that grapefruit juice can have negative interactions with certain medications.





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20150723

CHIPOTLE WATERMELON MOJITO Cocktail Recipe

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Living in Arizona can be a challenge, especially in the summer when our temps hover in the triple digits. And that old chestnut, "it's a dry heat" doesn't apply during Monsoon season where nature adds humidity to those high temperatures! One needs a tall, chilled drink for some relief from that kind of weather and I had some watermelon .....

CHIPOTLE WATERMELON MOJITO

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 Oz. White Rum
1/2 C. Watermelon, Cubed
1/2 Lime, Sliced then Quartered
5 - 6 Fresh Spearmint Leaves
1 Tbsp. Simple Syrup
3 Dashes Chipotle Sauce
Club Soda
Crushed Ice

GARNISH: 1 Watermelon chunk, 1 Lime wheel

TOOLS: 1 Long (tall) glass, Muddler

DIRECTIONS:
Add the watermelon, lime, mint leaves and simple syrup to your tall glass and muddle to release the juices and the aroma of the mint.
Add your rum and your favorite chipotle sauce (I like Cholula), give the cocktail a quick stir.
Fill the glass with ice.
Top off with the club soda.
Add a straw and garnish.

Why the hot sauce when it's already too hot outside? Because watermelons taste great with a little hot sauce and hot sauce actually helps cool your body down.

Yep. It's that easy! Sadly I was forced to drink mine in my air conditioned house ...



Enjoy and Cheers, M'Dears!
 
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CHERRY BASIL MOJITO Cocktail Recipe

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I had a few fresh cherries left over  from my Cherry Peach Whiskey Rickey and I wanted something quick and easy to whip up because I was hot, tired and ready for a cocktail. I needed something tall, cool and really refreshing which was also pretty easy and nothing is more refreshingly easy than a Mojito.

I also wanted to console myself because, once again, my work schedule had precluded me from attending Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. I was feeling very sorry for myself indeed. Cherries and rum are a great way to put paid to the doldrums, especially if you add chocolate covered cherries (and leftover peaches from my Grilled Peach Rum Mimosa) to the mix!



Within minutes I was ensconced on my deck sipping away and feeling way considerably less sorry for myself. If you need a little pick-me-up from your doldrums try this drink!



CHERRY BASIL
MOJITO

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 Oz. White Rum
1/3 C. Fresh Cherries, Halved and Pitted
Fresh Basil Leaves
2 Dashes Chocolate Bitters
3 Tsps. Mint Infused Sugar°°
Fresh Lime, Sliced and Quartered
Club Soda
Crushed Ice

GARNISH: Sprig of Basil, Homemade Maraschino Cherry

TOOLS: Pint or Collins glass, Knife, Cherry pitter, Muddler, Bar spoon

DIRECTIONS:
Place the cherries, basil, mint sugar and limes in your glass and muddle together with a cocktail muddler (or the handle of a wooden spoon) until the cherries have released their juices.
Add the white rum and stir.
Fill your glass with ice then top the drink off with club soda and stir again.
Garnish with a sprig of basil, and or mint, add your Maraschino cherry to the rim and serve.

Enjoy, and remember this one next time you have cherries and need to chill out! P. S. If you like Mojitos and pineapple check out how to make my Grilled Pineapple Mojito on my YouTube channel.
 



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20150721

GRILLED PEACH RUM MIMOSAS

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With peaches and grilling being in season I had an urge to combine both into a new summer cocktail. I love peaches with rum so that's the road I went down. I wanted to use my Diplomático Reserva Rum in the drink so I thought I'd also marinate and glaze the fresh peaches with some rum as well. Who doesn't like a double dose of rum?

But I wasn't wasting any of the Diplomático in a marinade that would grill off so I used my stock dark rum in the marinade. If you have unlimited supply of Diplomático Reserva, by all means add it to the peaches too. And call me, I'd like to be friends with anyone with an unlimited supply of  Diplomático Reserva Rum!

To get started you have to marinate, then glaze and grill the peaches for at least an hour. Here's the recipe for that marinade/glaze:

RUM MARINADE and GLAZE

2 Oz. Dark Rum
1/4 C. HONEY
1/4 C. White Sugar
3 Tablespoons Dark Molasses
1 Tablespoon Cooking Oil
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
Dusting of Freshly Grated Nutmeg
4 Fresh Peaches, Pealed, Pitted and Halved

DIRECTIONS:
Mix the ingredients together then add the peaches and allow to marinate for a minimum of an hour.
Preheat your grill to medium high.
When your grill is ready place the peaches flesh side down and grill for 3 - 8 minutes. The time will depend on how hot your grill is and how close the peaches are to the heat. Stay on top of them and check for nice grill marks and caramelization every minute.
Flip your peaches over, brush with marinade and continue to grill and baste for another few minutes. Be careful, rum is flammable!
When the peaches are tender remove from the grill, cool then set aside until you're ready to mix your drinks.

If you're using these as dessert, you don't have to peel the peaches. Because I was going to be using them as a cocktail puree I did.

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GRILLED PEACH RUM
MIMOSA
(Makes 3 cocktails)


INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 Oz. Diplomático Reserva Rum
4 Oz. Grilled Peach Puree
3 Tbsp. Egg White
2 Drops Orange Bitters
Chilled Dry Champagne
4 Tsps. Honey
Ice
GARNISH: Fresh Peach Slice, Dusting of Nutmeg

TOOLS: Blender, Cocktail shaker, Champagne goblet

DIRECTIONS:
Chill your glass(es) in the freezer.
Add the rum, peach puree, honey, orange bitters and egg white to your blender and blend until smooth.
Transfer this cocktail to an ice filled shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds, watch for your shaker to frost over.
Pour 2 ounces of your mimosa style into each chilled Champagne goblet.
SLOWLY top off with the Champagne, being careful not to overfill because the bubbly and the egg will create a foam which can overflow.
Garnish with a fresh peach slice.
Dust with a teeny bit of nutmeg and enjoy!
 



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20150717

DAIQUIRI COCKTAILS

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A DAIQUIRI COCKTALE
 Once upon a time ...
"... a group of American engineers who had come into town from the Daiquiri mines were imbibing their favorite drink in this restful spot. It was one of those wonderful rum concoctions made from Ron Bacardi. A jovial fellow by the name of [Jennings] Cox spoke up. ‘Caballeros y amigos, we have been enjoying this delicious mixture for some time, but strange to admit the drink has no name. Don’t you think it is about time something was done to extricate us from this sad predicament?’ It was unanimously agreed that the drink should be named, without further procrastination. There was silence for several minutes as each man became immersed in deep thought. Suddenly, Cox’s voice was heard again, 'I have it, men!  Let’s call it the Daiquiri!' And so it was christened."
~  Miami Herald of March 14, 1937


Thus starts the tale of the Daiquiri, a beloved beverage of presidents and paupers, authors and aristocrats, movie stars, miners and mariners. The Daiquiri is a simple drink with an auspicious past.


Though a somewhat similar potable known as Grog* was being quaffed by sailors many decades before as a preventative for scurvy, the Daiquiri's creation is credited to the above mentioned Jennings Cox. Its history is less nebulous than most famous drinks and its recipe has been fairly definitive from the very beginning. It's a simple, three ingredient cocktail of rum, fresh lime juice and sugar (a member of the Sour family) and, luckily for us, Cox actually wrote his original version down:


From the frozen favorites of Hemingway novels to the fruit flavored slushy renditions found in nearly every tropical vacation local to today's bespoke recipes from craft cocktail bars, the Daiquiri has endured a century of cocktail trends. Despite being dragged through the abyss of cheap rums, defiled by sad pre-made sour mixes and being forced through frozen drink machines for the tourists and spring break crowd, the Daiquiri has managed somehow to remain a noble beverage of humble origins that lends itself to countless variations and interpretations. Below are a few of mine.

DAIQUIRI RECIPES:
BANANA DAIQUIRI
BING CHERRY DAIQUIRI
BLACKBERRY DAIQUIRI
BLUEBERRY DAIQUIRI
CANTALOUPE DAIQUIRI (aka Orange Is The New Black Daiquiri)
COCONUT DAIQUIRI
DRIVING MISS DAIQUIRI
The HEMINGWAY DAIQUIRIS
LAVENDER KIWI DAIQUIRI
MANGO DAIQUIRI
PEACH DAIQUIRI, Frozen
PEACH SOUR DAIQUIRI (Unblended)
RASPBERRY TARRAGON DAIQUIRI
SPICED BANANA DAIQUIRI

"His limes were gently squeezed with his fingers lest even a drop of the bitter oil from the peel get into the drink; the cocktails were mixed (but not over mixed).... The stinging cold drink was strained through a fine sieve into the glass so that not one tiny piece of ice remained in it. No smallest detail was overlooked in achieving the flawless perfection of the drink."
~David Embury, The Fine Art of Making Drinks, 1948

FYI: National Daiquiri Day is celebrated yearly on July 19th.

* Grog was originally made with water or a weak beer and rum with the lime being added later to keep the drink fresh, it had the added benefit of acting as a preventative for scurvy.

http://www.zazzle.com/24_x_24_poster_keep_calm_and_drink_a_daiquiri-228704606460479155


Updated 7-2017
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20150716

HEMINGWAY SPECIAL & PAPA DOBLE DAIQUIRIS

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Ernest Hemingway loved Daiquiris and there are two versions associated specifically with him, The Papa Doble and the Hemingway Special. The two drinks are very similar, varying only in the ratios and in the mixing of the drink.

Though Jennings Cox is deemed the creator of the Daiquiri, Havana bartender Constante Ribailagua, aka The Cocktail King, is credited for having both perfected the original daiquiri and creating the original frozen Daiquiri at the famed El Floridita bar (The Temple of the Daiquiri) in pre-Castro Cuba.


While Hemingway was in Havana to write he frequented the El Floridita and was introduced to Ribailagua's Daiquiri. Hemingway loved it but, being a diabetic, requested his Daiquiris without sugar, so Ribailagua obliged him with one featuring Maraschino liqueur for the sugar substitute and the Hemingway Special was born. Hemingway liked doubles so dubbed his the Papa Doble.

It's said that Hemingway would often drink a great number of Daiquiris in one sitting, reports listing from 12 to 16 in one session. Though Hemingway was admittedly a heavy drinker, because he suffered with diabetes I would question these claims. Even though the processed sugar had been removed in his Hemingway Specials, alcohol itself converts to sugar in the bloodstream, not to mention the converted sugars from the grapefruit juice. Not only that, take a gander at the rum measurement, a whopping 3 and 1/2 ounces! Multiply that by just ten and you have and 35 ounces of rum. That's nearly 4 and 1/2 cups of rum, and that's 2 to 6 drinks below what the stories profess he drank! This large a number of drinks would surely have put anyone with diabetes in or near a diabetic coma. Hemingway also had liver problems and high blood pressure, both of which are also exasperated by alcohol intake. But it makes for a nice story.

Whatever the myths that surround Hemingway and the Daiquiri, it is truth that he loved them, often including references to them in his writings.

Papa with his favorite Daiquiri in hand.

The Papa Doble Daiquiri
(Hemingway's own name for a double Hemingway)

3-3/4 Oz. White Rum
2 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
2 Oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
6 Drops Maraschino Liqueur

Blend well with chipped ice in a cocktail shaker and serve in a large chilled goblet.

The Hemingway Special
(What the tourists are probably served)

2 Oz. White Rum
1 Tsp. Grapefruit Juice
1 Tsp. Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Hand chip (Frappé) some ice, add to shaker, then add remaining ingredients.  Shake well, then pour contents of shaker into a chilled cocktail glass filled with crushed ice.
 
To be perfectly honest, neither of these would be a favorite of mine. The Papa Doble is way too strong and neither were sweet enough for me, but I really did like the addition of the Maraschino liqueur and I used Luxardo's brand. To make this enjoyable for myself, and because I'm not a diabetic, I added about a tablespoon of simple syrup to my Hemingway Special and then was quite happy. Then I added one of my Homemade Maraschino Cherries with a lime wheel as garnishes because we all know I like my cocktails with some geegaws.

He was drinking another of the frozen daiquiris with no sugar in it and as he lifted it, heavy and the glass frost-rimmed, he looked at the clear part below the frappéd top and it reminded him of the sea.
~Ernest Hemingway, Islands in the Stream






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20150715

COCONUT DAIQUIRI Cocktail Recipe


It may be summer time, and a perfect time for a creamy, icy cold Daiquiri, but this recipe was really inspired by a discussion of Game of Thrones and how Jon Snow was constantly reminding everyone in the world of Ice and Fire that "Winter Is Coming!"

Poor guy was totally obsessed and then got killed by some Night's Watchmen and not even a White Walker. Bummer, he was (is) one of my favorite characters!  But, like nearly every conversation I get involved in during cocktail hour, somehow there's always someone who suggests I should "make a cocktail for that!" So I did.

The demise of Jon Snow was sad and shocking (and obviously not really gonna happen), but it didn't stop any of us from enjoying this lovely coconut beverage while summer is still in full bloom here in Arizona and no White Walkers are lurking behind the Saguaros. Lizards, bunnies, quail, a few friendly snakes and cocktail leeches, yes. White Walkers, no, they can't take the summers here.

The recipe is a simple tropical riff on a classic Daiquiri, blended to a lovely mound of coconut cocktail joy. I've even provided a virgin, slightly lower caloric version for non-imbibers who prefer their cooling coconut in a mocktail, though it's not as luxurious as the boozy beverage.
 
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And, now that Winter Has Come to the lands of Ice and Fire we're all going to need a few drinks ...

The
Winter Has Come
COCONUT DAIQUIRI 

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 Oz. Diplomático Reserva Rum
4 Oz. Cream of Coconut, I prefer Coco Lopez
(Do NOT use coconut milk!)
1-1/4 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1 Cup Ice 

GARNISH: Toasted, flaked, fresh coconut and/or Lightly crushed pearl cake decorations for rimming plus some chocolate covered coconut flakes to represent the Dragonglass (aka obsidian aka the only thing that can kill a White Walker.)

TOOLS: Jigger, Juicer, Blender, Coupe glass 

DIRECTIONS:
Rim your glass on the outside edge with some cream of coconut, then dip in the toasted coconut flakes or the crushed cake pearls then chill your glasses in the freezer.
Place the rum, cream of coconut, lime juice and ice in the blender and pulse until smooth and creamy.
Pour into your chilled glass, add the Dragonglass aka chocolate coconut flakes and serve.

VIRGIN COCONUT DAIQUIRI 
3 Oz. Coconut Milk
1 Tbsp. Cream of Coconut
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1-1/4 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Flaked Fresh Coconut, Toasted
Proceed as you would with the alcoholic version.

And remember ....


 



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20150714

CHERRY PEACH WHISKEY RICKEY COCKTAIL


I love taking advantage of seasonal ingredients in my cocktails, it's a great way to bring freshness and intense flavors to happy hour. It's also a way to bring healthy to happy hour, something that's a large part of my cocktail mission. When I got my hands on some early cherries and some beautiful peaches all I could think of was muddling them in a glass and splashing booze all over them. Everyone else might be thinking pies or fruit salad, but not me, I make a beeline to the bar.

My only problem was what spirit to use. I'd had a particularly long, stressful day and wanted to taste the booze in my drink but still enjoy the tang and sweetness of my ripe cherries and peaches. I waffled back and forth between rum and whiskey, both being good playmates for cherries and peaches, but finally settled on whiskey because it has an effect on me much like a good massage that ends in a gentle kiss. This was exactly what my body and soul needed and just what my two ripe, juicy drupes called out for.
 
I picked Gentleman Jack because it's a slightly sweeter version of Jack Daniels. With forward notes of caramel and vanilla, a fruity taste on the palate and a soft burn, it seemed a good match for my sweet summer fruits and my mood. Jack did not disappoint, he was a gentleman ... and a heck of an 80 proof masseur.
 
The
CHERRY PEACH
WHISKEY RICKEY

INGREDIENTS:
2 Oz. Whiskey
8 Fresh Cherries, Pitted, Sliced
Half a Fresh Peach (minus 1 slice for garnish), Peeled, Cubed
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
Juice of Half a Lime
Soda
Crushed Ice

GARNISH: Fresh Peach Slice, Bourbon Cherry

TOOLS: Old Fashioned glass, Measuring spoons, Juicer, Muddler, Jigger, Bar spoon

DIRECTIONS:
In an Old Fashioned Glass, muddle the cherries and the peaches with the brown sugar and the lime juice.
Add the whiskey/bourbon then fill glass with ice.
Top off with soda, stir, garnish and enjoy.
I did.
 




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20150712

CANDIED PECAN (Nut) LIQUEUR RECIPE

 
I made some candied pecans with my Candied Nutz and as I munched away enjoying the lovely caramelized sugar and great flavor of the toasted pecans I thought, "I wonder if I could get this flavor into a vodka infusion?" 

So I grabbed half a cup of the nuts before they got completely gobbled up, snagged a bottle of vodka and got to work. The results were amazing - the infusion captured both the wonderful caramelized sugar and that lovely nutty flavor that really comes out when nuts are toasted. 

I made one mistake, I didn't make a large enough batch the first time so I had to go through the whole process again. Don't be a dummy like me, double or even triple the recipe. Trust me, you won't be sorry. And do the same for the Candied Nutz or you'll eat them all up before you make liqueur!

By the way, you can do both recipes with other nuts, like pistachios, cashews and macadamias. I've also done it walnuts but I switched out the vodka for bourbon and used maple syrup instead of sugar for my Toasted Walnut Maple Bourbon.

RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE
CANDIED PECAN LIQUEUR

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 C. Candied Pecans
8 Oz. Medium Quality Vodka
1/4 C. Sugar 

TOOLS:  Blender, infusion bottle or jar, funnel, medium metal strainer, cheesecloth, coffee filters, mason jar(s).

DIRECTIONS:
Put the candied nuts, sugar and the vodka into a food processor or blender and hit pulse about 5 or 6 times. Don't grind the nuts too small.
Pour this mixture through the funnel into a clean infusion bottle or mason jar.
Label and put it in the fridge to distill, shaking at least once a day.
Check the flavor every few days until you get the flavor strength and mellowness you want. (Mine took about a week before I couldn't resist having a glass but it really hit peak at about a month.)
Strain the liqueur to remove all the bits of pecan from the infusion. I used a large metal strainer for the first step, then, to get rid of the finer particles, I strained twice more, once through cheesecloth and finally through coffee filters.
 
P.S. Don't  throw away the strained out pecans, they're great as a dessert topping.
 
Now you get to try it out in all my great
PECAN COCKTAILS!
 
 



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20150711

GRILLED PINEAPPLE MOJITO Cocktail Recipe


A Mojito is a classic Cuban beverage made with white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime juice, sparkling water and mint. It's a tall, lightly alcoholic drink perfect for warm climates and hot summer nights.

Though a Mojito is typically made with white rum, I happened to have a gift of a bottle of Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Rum sent to me from Venezuelan distillers Destilerías Unidas S.A. This rum had a dark, caramelized, almost whiskey-like oakiness that called out to me for a tart but sweet, flirty fruit partner to soften up and round out the Mojito's bite of lime. There on my counter was a ripe pineapple just waiting to be introduced to that rum. Add a bit of smoky heat to that pineapple to accentuate the brown sugar of the rich rum and cocktail magic was bound to happen.

So that's just what I did, I grilled up some pineapple to muddle in the drink, used the juice from some of the fresh pineapple and reduced it to a simple syrup (in place of the sugar) and garnished with a grilled pineapple wedge. It was all about that fresh grilled pineapple and that beautiful rum being kissed by mint and having a sparkling relationship in my glass!

The
Grilled Pineapple
MOJITO

INGREDIENTS:
2 Oz. Rum Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
1 C. Grilled Fresh Pineapple, Cubed
3 Tsp. Pineapple Simple Syrup*
1 Lime, Sliced and Quartered
15 - 18 Micro Mint Leaves
Club Soda
Crushed Ice

GARNISHES:
Micro Mint Sprig
Grilled Pineapple Wedge
Lime Twist Spiral

TOOLS: Saucepan, Grill, Channel Knife, Pint or mixing glass, Muddler, Hawthorn strainer, Highball glass

DIRECTIONS:
Make your Pineapple Simple Syrup. (Recipe below.)
Grill slices from your fresh pineapple and also some wedges for the garnish. When the pineapple is cooled, cube up the slices for your drink.
Add the grilled pineapple cubes and pineapple simple syrup to your mixing glass and muddle well to release the juices of the pineapple cubes.
Create a spiral from a lime with a channel knife and set aside.
In your Highball glass add the mint and lime juice and gently muddle to release the mint oils.
Strain in the pineapple juice from the mixing glass, add the rum and stir.
Fill this glass with crushed ice.
Top with the soda and garnish.

VIEW RECIPE VIDEO:

* PINEAPPLE SIMPLE SYRUP RECIPE:
1 C. Brown Sugar
(Or 1 C. White Sugar and 4 Tablespoons of Dark Molasses)
1 C. Fresh Pineapple Juice

Bring the sugar and pineapple juice to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring just until sugar dissolves. Reduce volume by half. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer to a clean jar. You can refrigerate unused portions for up to 3 months.
Salud, and don't forget to splash a bit of your Mojito on the floor for the saints!





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20150709

PINA COLADA RECIPES and Tiki Variations

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The Pina Colada, Puerto Rico's official national cocktail since 1978, is a creamy, fruity Tiki style drink made with fresh pineaple juice, cream of coconut and rum. Coco Lopez, the original cream of coconut, is said to have been the inspiration for our modern day Pina Colada recipe. Developed by Ramon Lopez-Irizarry, a Professor of Agriculture at the University of Puerto Rico, supposedly Coco Lopez was introduced to bars in 1954 along with blenders and a challenge to use the ingredient in signature cocktails. Therein lies the beginnings of the tales of this tropical Tiki style drink.

Originating in Puerto Rico, there's a lot of folks who lay claim to the creation of the Pina Colada, including a story that attributes the very first recipe to the pirate Roberto Cofresí (El Pirata Cofresí) who was said to drink a concoction of rum, pineapple and coconut milk sometime in the early 1800's.

Modern day versions are claimed by:

Ramón “Monchito” Marrero Pérez of the Caribe Hilton in San Juan who was said to have blended up a version using local rum, pineapple, condensed milk and coconut cream sometime around the mid 1950's.

Ricardo Garcia, also from the Caribe Hilton, says he created the Pina Colada when he had run out of coconuts for his signature Coco Lopez cocktail, substituted pineapple juice then served his in a real pineapple shell.

Ramón Portas Mingot also lays claim to the Pina Colada while bartending at The Barrachina in 1963.
 


The Caribe Hilton's original Pina Colada Recipe (ala Pérez) is 2 ounces of white rum, 1 ounce of cream of coconut, 1 ounce of heavy cream, 6 ounces of fresh pineapple juice and 1/2 a cup of crushed ice blended until smooth and garnished with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.

The Barrachina freezes their pineapple juice and coconut cream instead of adding ice then adds the rum.

My love of the Pina Colada has led me to create a number of my own original Pina Colada style recipes and I'll probably end up doing several more in the future. After all, you just can't beat the combination of fresh pineapple, coconut and rum.
http://themartinidiva.blogspot.com/2015/04/strawberry-pina-coladas-tiki-cocktail.html
PINA COLADA COCKTAILS:

BEACH BUM BERRY PINA COLADA
BLUE HAWAII MARTINI
HIBISCUS COLADA FRAPPÉ
PINA COLADA MARTINI
PINA COLADAS ON THE BEACH (Edible Cocktail Gels)
PINEAPPLE ORANGE COLADA
RASPBERRY PINA COLADA
STRAWBERRY PINA COLADA MARTINI
STRAWBERRY TIKI COLADA COCKTAIL
SNEAKY TIKI COCKTAIL


AND, if you use coconut ice cream instead of vanilla,
DRUNKEN BABY PINEAPPLE WHIPS.
 
http://themartinidiva.blogspot.com/2013/10/drunken-baby-dole-pineapple-whip.htmlhttp://themartinidiva.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-beach-bum-tiki-drink-tropical.html
 
Some classic variations on the original Pina Colada include the Chi Chi which is a Pina Colada with vodka replacing the rum, the Amaretto Colada where the rum is replaced with Amaretto, and the Blue Hawaii where vodka is added with the rum and the coconut us replaced with Blue Curacao.
 
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Pina Colada is the first of my new series of Classic Cocktail Art at MartiniDivaBoutique.Com and, yes, it's available on prints, clothing, home decor, stationary and gifts in both the versions posted here!

National  Pina Colada Day is July 10th!
 
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ICE CREAM CONE CUPCAKE COCKTAILS


These alcohol infused ice cream cone cupcakes are really easy. I've used just a simple boxed cake mix and packaged frosting and simply added a few "extras" to them - including a nice little shot of booze.

If you're not as lazy as I am, then by all means, go ahead and use your favorite homemade cake and frosting recipes. The whole key to my recipe is the addition of alcohol by permeating the cupcake itself after baking and drizzling on a little of a complimentary liqueur on top of the frosting. Since I am the ultimate in lazy when it comes to cooking, I stick with mixed but I admire those of you who have the time and energy to bake from scratch. (Pssst ..... If you want to be really lazy, you can buy already made frosted cupcakes and skip the cone altogether!)

You can even add more booze by mixing some in with the frosting mixture and adding a little confectioner's sugar to thicken it up if necessary.

The nice thing about infusing the alcohol AFTER the baking process is 1.) None of the alcohol bakes off, making these a true cocktail cupcake and 2.) You don't have to do all the cupcakes in a batch the same flavors.

AND, yes, this method works for regular cupcakes and mini cupcakes as well, in fact, this method works for all cakes! 

INGREDIENTS
12 Flat Bottomed Ice Cream Cones
1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 Can Cream Cheese Frosting (or Homemade)
1 Cup of Chambord (Raspberry Liqueur)
1/2 Cup Fresh Raspberries, Cleaned and Dried
1/4 Cup of Orange Zest
Cake Decorations - Sprinkles, Etcetera


TOOLS:
Muffin Tin, Mixing Bowls, Measuring Cups & Spoons, Hand Mixer, Bamboo Skewers

INSTRUCTIONS:
Place your ice cream cones into the muffin tins and wrapped coiled aluminum around the base to keep them from tipping over while filling and baking.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare your cake mix as instructed on the package then fill the ice cream cups only half way.
Carefully place the cone laden muffin tin into the oven.Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a bamboo skewer comes out clean.
Allow cupcakes to cool.
While cupcakes cool prepare your frosting by mixing in the orange zest.
Once the cupcakes are cool take the bamboo skewer and poke about 10 holes into each cupcake cone, being careful not to poke completely to the bottom of the cone.
Slowly and carefully drizzle the Chambord into the holes. Do not pour in too much or it will soak to the bottom and create a soggy cone!
Pipe the frosting onto your cupcakes, drizzle on a bit more of the Chambord onto the frosting, decorate with some fresh raspberries and cute cake decorations.

MORE IDEAS & TIPS!

Try other flavor combinations like:
Lemon cake with lemon zested frosting and drizzled with Limoncello.
Chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting and drizzled with a home made chocolate liqueur.
Orange cake with lime zested frosting and drizzled with Cointreau, Oranecello or Grand Marnier.
Add some chocolate chips to the cake batter or toss in some rainbow confetti cake decorations. You can also combine the fruits and chocolate or try spice cake with banana liqueur and some candied nuts on top. The possibilities are as endless as the kinds of cakes and liquors that are available.

You can even create some inspired by any one of my cocktail recipes here on MartiniDiva.com, just type your chosen flavors or ingredients into the search bar and see what comes up!

BTW, July is National Ice Cream Month!




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20150708

PINA COLADA ON THE BEACH Edible Cocktail Gel

The whole time I was concocting this Pina Colada Cocktail Gel I kept hearing The Pina Colada Song (aka Escape) by Rupert Holmes. By the time I had finished my upscale Pina Colada jello shots I was definitely ready for some on the beach so I created an entire beach scene for my presentation.
FYI, I had 4 of these the day I made them! They were really delicious and refreshing, perfect for a hot day and I was feeling pretty well buzzed after three - but I ate the fourth one anyway! You have to be careful with these - you can eat them like candy but never forget they're loaded with booze!

PINA COLADA
ON THE BEACH
A Pineapple and Coconut Flavored Edible Cocktail Gel

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR PINA COLADA GELS:
You will prepare the coconut and pineapple layers separately on this Pina Colada Cocktail Gel.
Start with the pineapple layer first and do the coconut layer last. Save enough of the pineapple gelatin to pour some into your seashell mold.

INGREDIENTS:

Pineapple Layer
1 C. Pineapple Puree
1 C. Pineapple Rum
2 Pkgs. Knox Gelatin

Coconut Layer
1/2 C. Coconut Cream
1/2 C. Coconut Milk
1 C. Coconut Rum
2 Pkgs. Knox Gelatin

GARNISH and PRESENTATION:
Cooking Spray
Brown Sugar
Cocktail Umbrellas
Small Sea Shells, Cleaned
Large Coconut Flakes
Serving Platter

TOOLS:
Measuring Cups
Non-stick Medium Saucepan
Non-stick spoon
8" x 8" Cake Pan
Tropical Themed Silicone Candy Mold
Sharp, Thin Blade Knife

BASIC EDIBLE COCKTAIL GEL DIRECTIONS:
Spray all your molds with cooking spray and set aside.
Measure out all your ingredients and get your tools ready.
Pour your non- alcoholic liquid (juice, water, puree, milks, creams, etc.) into your saucepan, stir well and let this sit for a few minutes.
Place the saucepan on a burner, turn the heat to low and warm the mixture, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is completely dissolved. This takes about 2 to 4 minutes. Do not boil, it's not necessary.
Remove the pan from the burner and, if the recipe calls for a package of dessert gelatin, stir it in.
Next, quickly stir in your alcohol ingredient.
Pour gelatin mixture immediately into whatever mold(s) you plan on using.
Place in the refrigerator to set for at least an hour.
You can then pour on additional layers, if any.
Once all layers are set, you are ready cut, press out with a cookie cutter and/or release the elements of your cocktail gels and plate.

GENERAL SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS and TIPS for Edible Cocktails:

If you are molding in a cake pan, dip your knife blade in hot water and slide it around the edge of the cake pan. Do the same when you cut out the separate pieces. Use a flat metal spatula to lift your gel out of the pan.

Cookie cutters don't need to be heated and silicone molds do not need to be heated to release either - but don't forget the cooking spray before you pour your gelatin into any mold!

Most cocktail gels can be frozen, depending on the ingredients. 

If you're preparing these for a party that will have children present create some without alcohol simply by replacing the liquor with the same amount of a non- alcoholic liquid or puree of a complimentary flavor, BUT be sure to make the non-alcoholic ones look very different from the ones with alcohol.

ENJOY!



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20150707

Strawberry Blueberry Margarita


Here's a great version of a margarita that I blended up to use some leftover berries I had in the fridge. With a couple shots of tequila, those berries were just enough for a couple of delicious cocktails and a perfect end to a long day of painting and remodeling my studio. 

Strawberry Blueberry Margarita

2 Oz. Tequila
6 Big Strawberries
1/2 C. Blueberries
2 Fresh Mint Leaves
Juice of 1 Lime
Pinch Lime Salt
1 Oz. Agave Syrup
3/4 C. Ice

Toss it all in a blender, pulse, pour and garnish with a strawberry and sprig of mint and enjoy!




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20150703

Red, White & B'lure Martini for July 4th


Just for kicks, it being Independence Day and all, I thought a red, white and blue martini might be fun. Blue is a hard color to come by in cocktails unless you use an artificially colored liquor, but I happened to have on hand a bottle of B'lure Butterfly Pea Flower Extract, sent to me by Wild Hibiscus, that is a naturally occuring deep blue color. I'd been dying to play with this and I finally saw an opportunity.

You have to be careful with B'lure if you want to maintain the blue color, because if you add any acidic element to your cocktail the B'lure will immediately start to turn from blue to pink to purple depending on how much acid you add. That's cool too, and something I want to play with more down the road, but for a July 4th theme I needed that blue. I also needed the cocktail itself to be completely clear before adding the B'lure drops. That pretty much meant clear booze all around. Because the butterfly pea flower extract has sugar in it and has a mild floral essence, I went with cherry vodka and Maraschino liqueur then used regular vodka and chocolate bitters to balance their sweetness.

Yes, it's a powerful martini but it's meant to be sipped as you watch the fireworks and you need something with some bang for that!

The
RED, WHITE and B'LURE
Martini

INGREDIENTS:
2 Oz. Belvedere Vodka
1/2 Oz. Three Olives Cherry Vodka
1/2 Oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
12 -15 Drops B'lure Butterfly Pea Flower Extract from Wild Hibiscus
5 Drops Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters
Maraschino cherry
Ice

TOOLS: Mixing glass and strainer, Bar spoon, Martini (Cocktail) Glass


DIRECTIONS:
Fill your mixing glass with ice.
Pour in the vodkas, the Maraschino liqueur and add the chocolate bitters.
Stir rapidly with the bar spoon until well chilled.
Strain into your chilled glass.
Using the dropper provided, drop the Butterfly Pea Extract into the cocktail. It will settle nicely on the bottom for a layered effect.
Garnish with a Maraschino cherry and enjoy.


Happy 4th!
HAVE FUN, BE SAFE, DRINK RESPONSIBLY!



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20150702

RED, WHITE & BOOZESICLES, Raspberry, Coconut, Blueberry Cocktail Popsicles


I've done frozen cocktails - what I call Boozesicles - a few times before, like my Pomegranate Boozesicles and my Grape Boozesicles. I've even done a few varieties of Martini Granitas, aka fancy, boozy shave ice! They're impressive, fun and a great summer refreshment or dessert that also counts towards happy hour!



When I was invited to a Fourth of July party and asked to bring dessert I decided that I needed to up the ante on frozen cocktails and bring some serious red, white and booze to play.

What I came up with was a refreshingly cool venture through three different alcoholic drinks on a stick. A RaspCherry Martini, a Coconut Colada and a Blueberry Margarita. It's like a cocktail flight (a reduced-measure tasting selection) but frozen on a stick, a tasty and neat way to end a holiday cookout! Especially if you can find the sippy straw popsicle molds I did, no dripping down the hand!

If you can't find the sippy straw molds then flip your boozesicles stick end up and let them melt into a pretty glass, combined together they taste like Tutti Fruity:


Got kids coming? No problem, just leave out the booze, reverse the colors and use a different shaped mold so there's no confusion!

These ought to set off a few fireworks of their own:
RED, WHITE &
BOOZESICLES
This recipe will make six standard popsicles.

RED RASP-CHERRY MARTINI LAYER
1 Cup Frozen Raspberries
Water
1/4 Cup Cherry Vodka
2 Tsp. Sugar
4 Drops Orange Bitters
Fill a full cup measure with raspberries then add water to the top and add to your blender with the cherry vodka, sugar and the orange bitters.
Blend it all up and pour into the popsicle mold 1/3 of the way.
Freeze.

WHITE COCONUT COLADA LAYER
1/3 Cup of Cream of Coconut
2/3 Cup of Milk
1/4 Cup of Dark Rum
Blend it all up in and pour to the 2/3 mark of your popsicle mold.
Freeze

BLUEBERRY MARGARITA LAYER
1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
Water
Juice of One Lime
1/4 Cup Blue Agave Tequila
2 Tsp. Sugar
4 Drops Grapefruit Bitters
Fill a full cup measure with blueberries then add water to the top and add to your blender with the rest of the ingredients. 
Blend it all up and fill the balance of your molds to the top.
Freeze.

Happy Fourth of July!





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