20161226

NEW YEAR'S COCKTAILS

http://themartinidiva.com

A New Year comes ringing,
New promise it's bringing,
So lift up your glasses
As the old year passes,
And greet the New Year,
With toasts of Good Cheer!

NEW YEAR'S
COCKTAILS
 
BLOODY MARY'S
BUBBLING FRUIT BRANDY MARTINIS
CHAMPAGNE COCKTAILS
CHAMPAGNE WISHES & CAVIAR DREAMS
MERRY MIMOSA MARTINI
NEW YEAR'S BLUES MARTINI
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION MARTINI
RASPBERRY RESOLUTION MARTINI
SPARKLING GRAPE MARTINI
SPARKLING HIBISCUS MARTINI
SPARKLING PEAR MARTINI
SPARKLING POMEGRANATE MARTINI
TWILIGHT PEARL MARTINI
  
Here's to a new year filled with cheer!

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Updated 12-30-2016

20161216

Grandma's BOURBON, HIBISCUS and ROSEWATER "TEA" Cocktail


You could always tell when my Grandma Effie's "tea" had a kick, you could hear the ice cubes clinking around her china cup as she sipped. I kinda always wanted to try that tea, it sure made Grandma happy, but Mom said it was grown-up tea and always shoved something less potent towards me.

Well, I'm all grown up now, Mom.


Grandma's
BOURBON, HIBISCUS and ROSEWATER
"TEA"

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Bourbon
2 Oz. Wild Hibiscus Tea
1 Tsp. Orange Juice Concentrate
1 Oz. Rose Hibiscus Syrup
Ice

Garnish: Hibiscus Flower

Tools: Cocktail Shaker, Hawthorne Strainer

Glass: Tea Cup

DIRECTIONS:
Brew the Hibiscus Tea, strong, and allow to cool.
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake and until chilled.
Strain into a teacup with a few ice cubes in it, garnish and serve.

Grandma's tea was usually just orange pekoe with a couple of fingers of bourbon, so why the rose and hibiscus? Because my grandma always smelled like rosewater, and the wallpaper in her house had giant hibiscus flowers all over it.

MAKES A GREAT HOT TODDY TOO
Yes, you can do this hot, it just happened to be an 80 degree day in December here in Tucson when I made this, I wasn't going with a hot toddy! Just don't cool the tea and leave out shaking and straining, which is primarily to strain out any ice shards anyway.

Cheers to you, Grandma Effie, I sure hope there's bourbon up there!


   
 

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20161215

TEA COCKTAILS, Hot and Cold


Long before I ever called myself The Martini Diva I was adding booze to my tea. One of my favorite combinations was Grand Marnier in Good Earth's spiced orange tea. I was also fond of flavored vodkas and rums with flavored teas, both iced and hot. 

Homemade Tea Infused Vodka
I've even made tea infused vodkas by simply dropping 6 to 8 tea bags into one bottle of decent vodka. You allow this to steep for about 18 hours, strain through coffee filters (just to get the fine tea dust out) and you're ready to go. If you want Sweet Tea Vodka simply add simple syrup to taste.

You can also add spices, herbs and citrus zest as well as berries and fruits though you'll need to infuse those longer depending on what you've added.

Tea is a great way to add a little creativity to your craft cocktails. You can make a tea infused simple syrup to use in your tea or use it as a cocktail mixer, either hot as a toddy or mixed cold. There's a world of possibilities considering all the flavored teas out there.

And it's always fun to serve a cocktail in a teacup, that's how my Granny used to have a nip of bourbon in her tea.

TEA COCKTAILS 
 
Butterfly Pea Flower Tea & Elderflower Gin & Tonic 
Chai Tea Martini
Citrus Spiced Hot Toddy
Grandma's Bourbon Hibiscus "Tea"
Hibiscus Heart Fizz
Long Island Iced 'Tini
Mint Green Tea Gin & Tonic
Panic Button Martini
Wild Hibiscus Tea Infused Gin & Tonic
    
You can also add a bit of booze to a classic Arnold Palmer:


International Tea Day is December 15th, Iced Tea Day is June 10th, British National Tea Day and National Tea Day are both April 21st, National Hot Tea Day is January 12th and January is National Hot Tea Month.

Updated 4-2017
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GINGERBREAD LATTE COCKTAIL


Lately it seems like gingerbread is surpassing pumpkin for the latest trending holiday flavor profile. I don't have a problem with that because I love gingerbread, and have created many Gingerbread Cocktails for past Christmas seasons.

I also love Coffee Cocktails and often pour a little of my Homemade Gingerbread Liqueur* into my evening cup of coffee for a quick coffee gingerbread tipple. Why I neglected to make an "official" coffee and gingerbread cocktail until now eludes me, but this drink recipe should solve that issue once and for all.


The
GINGERBREAD LATTE
COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS 
2 Oz. Gingerbread Liqueur
1/2 Oz. Coffee Liqueur
(I used my favorite, Branca's Caffè Borghetti)
2 Oz. Coffee
2 Oz. Half &Half
Ice

Garnish: Gingerbread Cookie

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Mini Milk Bottle or Rocks Glass

DIRECTIONS
Chill glass in the freezer.
Shake the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker until chilled then strain into the chilled glass.
Garnish and serve.

National Gingerbread Latte Day it is December 15th.


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20161212

The AMBROSIA COCKTAIL, A Drink Fit for the Gods


In ancient Greece ambrosia was considered the food of the Gods, and nectar was the drink of the Gods. Today Ambrosia is a fruit salad made up of mixed fruits, particularly orange slices, cocktail cherries (ugh!) and pineapple with whipped cream and/or cream cheese, coconut, marshmallows and sometimes nuts.

It's a Southern culinary favorite that originated around the mid 1800's, around the time fruits like coconut and pineapple, previously considered exotic, became more readily available in the U.S. The earliest print reference to Ambrosia is from an 1867 cookbook by Maria Massey Barringer called Dixie Cookery: or How I Managed My Table for Twelve Years.

There is an Ambrosia cocktail floating around that employs cognac, Calvados and lemon juice, but I'm going for the classic taste of that fluffy, sweet fruit salad so well loved byou America. Primarily because that is what most of us associate with ambrosia.

It never hurts to appeal to the masses, right?

AMBROSIA COCKTAIL
A Cocktail Fit for the Gods

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Dark Rum
1 Oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
3 Oz. Fresh Orange Juice
3 Oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice
2 Tablespoons Coconut Cream
1-1/2 Oz. Whipping Cream
Cup of Ice

Garnish: Mini Marshmallows, Coconut Flakes, Luxardo Cherry

Tools: Cocktail Shaker, Hawthorn Strainer, Bar Spoon

Glass: Hurricane

DIRECTIONS
Rub some of the coconut cream on the rim and dip in coconut flakes then chill the glass in the freezer.
Add all the ingredients except the Grenadine to your cocktail shaker and shake until well chilled. Fill the glass with ice then pour the Grenadine in and gently strain the cocktail over the back of a bar spoon on top, garnish and serve.

National Ambrosia Day is December 12th.

  

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20161211

KOSHER COCKTAILS


Yes, Kosher Cocktails. What, you think there's no drinking in the Hebrew culture? Well, think again. My Jewish friends love a good cocktail and, for those who follow the laws of kashrut (keep kosher) I always try to include a kosher drink in my party bar menu.

I may be a shiksa but I am also a good hostess who prefers every guest of mine be accommodated. Because I'm a shiksa though, my kitchen is not kosher so, technically speaking, the actual cocktails I serve in my home might not be for strict Orthodox practitioners. My Hebrew friends are not Orthodox so I'm able to mix up some cheer for them during their High Holidays and on Shabbat.

KOSHER COCKTAILS 

KOSHER SPRITZER-TINI

PASSOVER COCKTAILS

ROSH HASHANAH
COCKTAIL

L'Chayim!

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20161205

POPULAR PROHIBITION ERA COCKTAILS


Every 5th of December the entire cocktail world celebrates the end of Prohibition and the 21st Amendment to the Constitution which repealed the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act.

1919 to 1933 was a dark era in the history of drinking in America, but it was also a time that gave meteoric rise to the modern day cocktail. Why? Because, despite the efforts of the temperance movement to eradicate booze from America's landscape, Prohibition instead fueled in Americans a love for cocktails and gave drinking alcohol glamour and sexiness by making it taboo.

Speakeasies sprang up all over the major cities in the United States serving "bathtub gin", bootleg whiskey and smuggled rums, most of which were pretty low quality and bad tasting, if not outright dangerous to drink. To make the low quality spirits palatable to their scofflaw patrons, bartenders would mix them with all nature of fruit juice, mixers and bitters to hide the bad taste of the booze. Their success is evident in the number for bespoke drinks that survived the dark ages of alcohol to live on in bars and cocktail parties right up to today's revival of vintage libations.

If you've never tried these cocktails, today is the day to give them some happy hour honor. Below you will find the classic recipes, as well as some some of my signature adaptations, for some of the survivors of those 13 years of a hoped for, but not accomplished, dry America.

Happy Repeal Day and may you Party Like It's 1933 Again!


POPULAR
PROHIBITION ERA
COCKTAILS

Spiced Lavender BEES KNEES

The CLOVER CLUB

The CORPSE REVIVER (Lives Again)

TERRI'S CHERRY 65 inspired by the FRENCH 75

GIN RICKEY
Created by bartender George Williamson, per popular customer Joe Rickey's instructions, at Shoemaker's, in Washington D.C. during a particularly brutal heat wave in 1883. The Rickey was originally made with rye whiskey.

2 Oz. Gin
Fresh Lime Juice
Seltzer Water
Optional: Splash of Simple Syrup 
Mix ingredients in a highball glass filled with ice.

HANKY PANKY
Created by Ada Coleman at the American Bar in The Savoy in 1925.

1-1/2 Oz. Gin
1-1/2 Oz. Sweet Vermouth
2 Dashes Fernet Branca
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, strain into a chilled glass, express an orange twist over the top.

The LAST WORD
The first mention of this popular Prohibition cocktail comes from a 1916 Detroit Athletic Club menu.

3/4 Oz. Gin
3/4 Oz. Chartreuse
3/4 Oz. Maraschino Liqueur
3/4 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Shake with ice, strain into a child cocktail glass.

The MARY PICKFORD
Created for actress Mary Pickford at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba in the 1920s.

2 Oz. White Rum
2 Oz. Pineapple Juice
1 Tsp. Maraschino Liqueur
1 Tsp. Grenadine
Shake ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnished with a cocktail cherry.

The PINK LADY

The RYE RACKETEER inspired by the SCOFFLAW

The SIDECAR

The WARD 8
According to Robert Vermiere this is a cocktail named after Boston, a city divided into 8 wards.

1-1/2 Oz. Rye Whiskey
3/4 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 Oz. Fresh Orange Juice
1/4 Oz. Grenadine
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Add an ice cube and a splash of sparkling water.

The WHITE LADY
When Harry Craddock of The Savoy took a cocktail named the Delilah and replaced the creme de menthe with orange liqueur the White Lady was born.

1-1/2 Oz. London Dry Gin
3/4 Oz. Orange Liqueur
3/4 Oz. Lemon Juice
Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker, fill with ice, shake and strain into a chilled coupe glass.


   

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20161203

PEPPERMINT LATTE COCKTAIL


Here's a perfect cocktail for cold weather and the holiday season. It's got all your winter favorites in one glass; hot coffee, chocolate and peppermint plus, yay, booze!

Merry, Merry whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year.

The
PEPPERMINT LATTE
COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS 
1 Oz. Caffè Borghetti Espresso Coffee Liqueur
1/2 Oz. DeKuyper Dark Créme de Cacao
1/2 Oz. Peppermint Schnapps
4 Oz. Hot Coffee

Garnish: Espresso Whipped Cream*, Dusting of Instant Espresso Powder and a Chocolate Candy Cane

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Coffee Mug

DIRECTIONS
Add the ingredients to a coffee mug, stir, garnish and serve.

* My recipe for the Espresso Whipped Cream can be found on this Fernet Mocha Frappé Shake Cocktail

Yes, you can make it a cold cocktail too. Just shake the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain, garnish and serve in an Old Fashioned glass instead of a mug.

National  Peppermint Latte Day is December 3rd.

 
   

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20161201

SALTED CARAMEL APPLE COCKTAIL


There's something about late fall that makes me want caramel apples. Maybe it's because my mother used to make caramel apples for the Trick or Treaters every year. I also happen to love caramel apples so when fall creeps around the corner my cocktail fancy often turns to this childhood favorite.

Ages ago I created a Caramel Apple Martini, long before there were caramel, apple or salted caramel vodkas on the market. When I discovered I had tucked a bottle of Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka on my bar shelf and forgotten about it, I decided maybe I'd try a new recipe.

The new recipe turned out great. It's absolutely perfect for a dessert drink!


SALTED
CARAMEL APPLE
COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka
1 Oz. Irish Cream Liqueur
3 Oz. Apple Juice or Cider
1/4 Tsp. of Sea Salt
Ice

Garnish: Rim glass: 2 Tbsp. Demerara sugar mixed with 1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt, Dried Apple Slice

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Rocks or Cocktail

DIRECTIONS
Rim then chill glass in the freezer.
Add ingredients to the cocktail shaker and shake until chilled. 
Strain into the chilled glass, garnish and serve.

If you love this cocktail you might also enjoy making my
HOMEMADE CARAMEL APPLE VODKA

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20161121

CRANBERRY MARGARITA


My friend Dave (@DaveThePlatypus) pointed out that I had no Cranberry Margarita in my Cranberry Cocktail line up. He was right, somehow I had totally neglected to post up a cranberry margarita.

Seriously, where has my mind been every holiday season??

I correct that omission right now.

CRANBERRY MARGARITA

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Blue Agave Tequila Blanco
1/2 Oz. Cointreau
2 Oz. Cranberry Juice
3/4 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Cup of Ice

Garnish: Sugar and Wild Hibiscus Salt Rim, Lime Wedge. Optional - Few Fresh Cranberries

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Cocktail or Margarita

DIRECTIONS
Mix 2 Tablespoons of sugar with 1 Teaspoon of Wild Hibiscus Salt Flakes. Rub glass rim with lime then dip in the sugar and salt mixture.
Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker then shake until chilled.
Strain into an ice filled glass, garnish and serve.


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20161118

MULLED APPLE CIDER Cocktails & Punch


A perfect drink for sipping in front of the Christmas Yule log in your fireplace, this Mulled Cider is a heated holiday version of my classic Apple Martini with the addition of the traditional fruits and spices of mulled cider.


It's a modern version of very old, traditional Wassail*, a beverage of hot mulled cider which evolved from a drink called 'lambswool' where roasted crab apples were dropped into warmed mead. Wassail, a spiced cider or wine, was traditionally drunk as an integral part of wassailing, a Medieval English drinking ritual intended to ensure a good cider apple harvest for the following year.

Wassail! Wassail!
All over the town,
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown;
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;
With the wassailing bowl, we'll drink unto thee.

This spiced apple cider classic is one of my most popular holiday cocktails, very nostalgic and comforting on cold nights and ideal for holiday entertaining.


MULLED APPLE
CIDER
(Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS
4 Oz. Dark Rum
2 Oz. Apple Pucker
8 Oz. Apple Cider
1 Tea Bag of Martinelli's Mulling Spices
1/2 Tsp. McCormick Orange Peel
1/2 Tsp. McCormick Lemon Peel

GARNISH PER DRINK: 1 Dried Apple Slice, 1 Dried Orange Slice, 1Cinnamon Stick

TOOLS: Saucepan, Ladle

GLASS: Tea Cups or Mugs

DIRECTIONS
Add the apple cider, mulling spice tea bag, lemon peel and orange peel to your saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to cool while the flavors infuse through the cider.
At serving time add the rum and the Apple Pucker, bring the spiced cider back to a simmer.
Ladle into your serving vessels, garnish and enjoy.

You can also multiply the recipe and use a crock pot for larger gatherings. Place the cider, spice bags, lemon and orange peel in the crock pot and heat on low for 4 hours. Add the spirits just before serving.

Yes, you can leave out the booze for a non-alcoholic version.

"Old Apple tree, old apple tree;
We've come to wassail thee;
To bear and to bow apples enow;
Hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full;
Barn floors full and a little heap under the stairs."

* Old Norse "ves heil", Old English "was hál", which translates to "be you healthy"

    
 

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20161115

CHOCOLATE BUTTERBEER Cocktail Recipe


Served cold in bottles or hot in foaming tankards, Butterbeer is a Wizarding World tipple made famous in the Harry Potter books and movies. The whole idea of butter beer fascinated me whenever mentioned, I would think, "I wonder what that would taste like?"


Well, according to J. K. Rowling herself, "I made it up. I imagine it to taste a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch."

Okey-dokey, slightly sweet, probably should be carbonated, needs a buttery touch. I needed more to go on so I did a little research and discovered there actually was something called "Buttered Beer" back in Tudor times. There is a recipe in The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin' (1588) made from beer, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, cloves and butter. Heston Blumenthal used a recipe from The Accomplisht Cook by Robert May (1664), which has a buttered beer with licorice root and aniseeds when he had his Tudor Feast. However, these don't sound much like the Butterbeer of Harry Potter's World to me, these sound like hot beer flips.


Supposedly Butterbeer, which is low in alcohol content, makes house elves drunk but humans have to drink a lot to get inebriated. Well, boo to that. A glass or two of Butterbeer that doesn't get Harry, Ron or Hermione tipsy might be okay for underage students at Hogwarts, but we Muggle adults need a little ABV to get through our magic deprived world ... especially these days.

There are a few boozy concoctions out there for "Butterbeer" that make use of rum and butterscotch syrup or liqueurs. These are basically uninspired recreations of Hot Buttered Rum which is a made from rum, butter, hot water or cider, some sweetener, and spices. Seriously? That doesn't sound at all like J.K. Rowling's idea of Butterbeer. Where's the BEER?? May they be consigned to Slytherin House by the Sorting Hat for those abominations.

We must all face choice between what is right and what is easy.
~ Albus Dumbledore
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


I had to take matters into hand and give us all a viable Butterbeer option before Valdemort joined the fray and added even more nasty potions to the mix. So I grabbed my cocktail wand and cast a little chocolate spell and added some real spirits to the recipe.

Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress. Adventure.
~ Albus Dumbledore
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince


Harry Potter's
Great Goblet of
CHOCOLATE
BUTTERBEER

INGREDIENTS
10 Oz.  Rogue Chocolate Stout, Icy Cold 
1 Oz. Jefferson's Bourbon,  Chilled
2 - 4 Tbsp. Butterbeer Simple Syrup
(Recipe below* The amount of syrup you use depends on whether you prefer to enjoy the bitterness of the stout or like a sweeter cocktail. Start with 2 tablespoons and add to taste.)
Dash of Sea Salt
Ice

Topping: Chocolate Bourbon Whipped Cream (Recipe below**)

Garnish: "Spell Glitter" (Wilton Edible Glitter, Gold Stars), Magic Wand Stir Stick

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Large Goblet, Tankard or Beer Mug, Chilled

DIRECTIONS
Fill the cocktail shaker with ice the add the bourbon and Butterbeer Simple Syrup.
Shake until chilled then strain into your chilled mug or goblet.
Add the chocolate stout, top with the Chocolate Bourbon Whipped Cream, garnish and serve.

Prefer a less potent version for those fledgling wizards in your house? Here's a magical but non-alcoholic version:

Harry Potter's
Great Goblet of
CHOCOLATE
(Egg Cream)
BUTTERBEER
(This one's for you "Little Pea"!)

INGREDIENTS
10 Oz. Cream Soda, Icy Cold 
2 Tbsp. Torani Chocolate Syrup
1 Tbsp. Torani Butterscotch Syrup
1/3 Cup Whole Milk
2 Dashes Sea Salt
Ice

Topping: Whipped Cream

Garnish the same as the adult Butterbeer but use a different magic wand stir stick.

DIRECTIONS
Pour the milk into an ice filled goblet. Slowly add the syrup, then gently add the cream soda. Using a long spoon, stir well, garnish and serve.

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.
Phrase to work Maurauders Map
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

BUTTERBEER SIMPLE SYRUP
In a small sauce pan, mix together 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar with 1 teaspoon of dark cocoa powder and 1/3 cup of chocolate stout. Mix in 2 tablespoons of Torani Butterscotch Syrup and a pinch of sea salt. Warm over medium heat until blended. Lower heat and reduce, stirring constantly, until the syrup coats the back of a spoon. (About 5 minutes.) Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. This will keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator and is great on ice cream and pancakes!

CHOCOLATE BOURBON
WHIPPED CREAM
1 C. Heavy Cream
1/2 Tsp. Sugar
1/4 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tbsp. White Creme de Cacao 
1/2 Tbsp. Bourbon

Tools: Hand Mixer, Mixing Bowl
Chill all the ingredients, bowl and tools. Beat to soft peaks. Will keep for up to 2 days refrigerated.

Why don't we go and have a butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks, it's a bit cold, isn't it?
~ Hermione Granger
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

October 31,lst is the end of the First Wizarding War (October 31, 1981) and the first defeat of Voldemort and his Death Eaters by an infant Harry and the original Order of the Phoenix.
May 2nd is the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts (May 2, 1998) where Voldemort was finally defeated by Harry, ending the Second Wizarding War.
July 31st is the birthday of Harry Potter and his creator, J.K. Rowling.


  

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20161111

VETERAN'S DAY COCKTAILS


For all our troops, past and present, Thank you for your service and sacrifice while defending our freedoms and way of life.

The Mottoes of the branches of the United States Military:
United States Army: "This We'll Defend"
United States Coast Guard: "Semper Paratus"
United States Navy: "Honor, Courage, Commitment."
United States Marine Corps: "Semper Fidelis"
United States Air Force:"Aim High...Fly, Fight, Win"


VETERANS DAY
COCKTAILS

ARMY NAVY COCKTAIL
AVIATION
JUNGLE JUICE
NAVY GROG
RED, WHITE & B'LURE MARTINI
STAR SPANGLED COCKTAIL
TRIPLE RUM PUNCH
U. S. MARINE CORPS MARTINI

Did you know that Happy Hour has its roots in military history?

There is actually something called the Coast Guard Cocktail, however this is not a drink but a nickname for sea sickness.

ABOUT VETERANS DAY

According to The U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs:
"World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”"

This is why we celebrate Veteran's Day every November 11th. Originally known as Armistice Day, November 11th was officially made a holiday on May 13, 1938, dedicated to world peace and to honor the soldiers of World War I. However, in 1954, after the sacrifice of troops during WWII and Korea, Congress changed "Armistice" to "Veterans" and November 11th became a day to honor American Veterans of all wars.

If there is some confusion as to what day Veteran's Day is celebrated make no mistake, according to the Department of Veteran's Affairs it is always November 11th:
"The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.

The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good."

*It is interesting to note that our allies, Canada and Australia, also observe November 11th as a Remembrance Day for their troops.


As to why the poppy is associated with Veteran's Day, this poem by John McCrae should tell the story:

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
~ John McCrae 1915


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20161110

The U. S. MARINE CORPS MARTINI


At the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia there sits an exact replica of the original Tun Tavern, the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps. In this present day Tun Tavern they have served the U.S. Marine Corps Martini for over 50 years. This cocktail is sometimes also referred to as a 5:4:3:2:1 Martini because of the ingredient ratios.

On this day, the birthday of the United States Marine Corps, it seems appropriate to serve this cocktail honor of those who served and those who continue to serve our country as proud Marines.

Semper Fi and Cheers!

The
U. S. MARINE CORPS
Martini

INGREDIENTS
5 parts Vodka
4 parts Gin
3 Ice Cubes
2 parts Pale Dry Sherry
1 part Water

DIRECTIONS
Place all the ingredients in a mixing glass and freeze several hours. The water and ice cubes allow for some dilution and should create a slight freezing of the ingredients.
Do not shake or stir.
Strain into chilled martini glass and serve. No garnish is served with this cocktail.


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20161101

IDEAL COCKTAILS for DAY OF THE DEAD, DIOS DE LOS MUERTOS!


It's my favorite time of the year, first Halloween then Dios de los Muertos aka Day of the Dead. I have a thing for both holidays, skeletons, skulls and cocktails to go with them. In fact, I've done quite a few skeleton and skull themed drinks in my tenure as The Martini Diva. I just love a cocktail with good bones.
Make no bones about it, these are the best cocktails for the Halloween, Day of the Dead Season.
Pardon the bone puns. I'll stop now.

DAY OF THE DEAD
COCKTAILS
for
DIOS DE LOS MUERTOS
BLOODY BOILERMAKER
CORPSE REVIVER LIVES AGAIN
DEM BONES, DEM BONES SHAKE
DRUNK SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET
GRAPEFUL DEAD MOJITO
GRINNING SKULL
NAKED SKULL MARTINI
RATTLED SKULL COCKTAIL
SKELETON'S DELIGHT MARTINI
SPARKLING SKELETON SANGRIA

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20161030

FrankenStein of Horror Cherry Cola Ale & Rum Halloween Cocktail


It's Halloween! Let's party like monsters!!


I found two adorable Frankenstein tapas plates and just had to do one more Halloween themed cocktail to use them as props. Being the lover of bad puns that I am, I also had to do a drink that played on the "stein" in Frankenstein. That meant some kind of beer and I just recently reviewed Best Damn Cherry Cola Ale and had a bottle left. A little help from some black rum, a bit of chocolate and monstrous mixings were afoot. Think Dr. Victor stirring up a reanimated Rum and Coke instead of a man.

Sad, cobbled together monster that he is, Frankenstein could probably use a good drink.


"Look! It's moving. It's sha — it's... it's alive. It's alive... It's alive, it's moving, it's alive! It's alive, it's alive, it's alive! It's ALIVE!"
Frankenstein, 1931, Universal Pictures


FrankenStein of Horror
Halloween Cocktail
A Flagon Full of Frightful Fun

INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 Oz. Captain Morgan's Black Spiced Rum
1 Oz. Dark Crème de Cacao
6 Oz. Best Damn Cherry Cola Ale
Ice

Garnish: Gummy Candy Hand, Halloween Straws

Tools: Cocktail Shaker, Blender

Glass: Beer Stein

DIRECTIONS
Add the rum and crème de cacao to the cocktail shaker and shake these ingredients until chilled.
Pour into an ice filled stein and top off with the cherry cola ale.
Garnish with something fun and serve.

"You have created a Monster and he will destroy you."
Frankenstein, 1931, Universal Pictures



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20161029

A BERRY, BERRY BLACK CAT COCKTAIL for Halloween


October 29th is National Cat Day and National Black Cat Day was just October 27th so I had to do this cocktail. Not that I haven't given a cocktail homage to black cats before with my classic Black Cat Martini, but I found this pretty cool Halloween cat-face bucket that was perfect for a decent sized on-the-rocks drink and I just had to use it.

For this particular cat themed spooky cocktail recipe I went "berry" over the top with deep, blackish, berry liqueurs and a black vodka base. I was inspired by the fact that my cat wingman, Bailey, won't let me eat a berry without sharing with him. (No, sorry he's not a black cat, he's a blond.)


REVIEW OF BLAVOD VODKA
I hoard my Blavod black vodka for Halloween (and those oddly multiplying requests for a creating signature Goth or Vampire wedding cocktails.) First of all, it wasn't easily available for a few scary years here in the United States. Secondly, it's the only black vodka I will use in my Halloween cocktails because it's black color is created with natural, organic ingredients. I live in fear of not having it available at Halloween so when I restock I don't buy a bottle of Blavod, I buy a case.


Blavod Vodka is black because of the infusion of Black Catechu, which, supposedly, adds little flavor to the vodka.  However, along with some mild berry notes and slight hint of anise (licorice) there is a tiny bite of something akin to allspice or maybe clove at the end which I would attribute to the Catechu. However, when mixed with other ingredients these mild flavors will disappear. All in all, it's a very decent vodka with only a slight burn going down and very worthy of the higher end price, if only for the deep black and completely natural black color. It's a Halloween freak's best bar buddy.


A
BERRY, BERRY BLACK CAT
Halloween Cocktail

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Blavod Black Vodka
1 Oz.  Briottet Crème de Cassis Blackcurrant Liqueur
1 Oz. Chambord Framboise (Raspberry) Liqueur
1 Oz. Blue Curacao
2 Oz. Pomegranate Juice
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Ice

Garnish: Frozen raspberries and a lime wheel in a hollowed out lemon. If you can get blackcurrants, add a few to the lemon boat as well. I added a few, fun eye ball ice cubes as well.

Tools: Cocktail Shaker, Fun Halloween Straws

Glass: Tin Halloween Cat Bucket.
(I found mine in the party department at Walmart by the paper plates and napkins.)

DIRECTIONS
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until well chilled.
Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice, garnish and serve. Allow guest to choose whether or when to add in the garnish.

TIP: Keep both the Chambord and Crème de Cassis refrigerated for longer shelf life.

  

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20161027

SPARKLING SKELETON SANGRIA A Raspberry and Strawberry Sangria for Halloween and Day of the Dead


Halloween (Oct. 31st) and Day of the Dead (Nov. 1 - 3) come very close together, which is fortunate for me because I like to celebrate each with special, bespoke cocktails.

This time I got to combine the two in one cocktail because I found a fun Day of the Dead Cabernet Sauvingon to play with at World Market aka Cost Plus. I knew the minute I saw that skeleton bedecked wine that I was going to do a sparkling skeleton themed sangria recipe.


I had also found some "limited edition" raspberries and late harvest strawberries just begging to go swimming in some fruity Cabernet.

I love it when a plan comes together.


SPARKLING SKELETON SANGRIA
A Raspberry and Strawberry Sangria

INGREDIENTS
1 Bottle La Catrina Vino "Bride and Groom" Cabernet Sauvignon
1 Split of Prosecco, chilled
1/4 Cup Honey Ridge Farms Raspberry Honey Crème
4 Mexican Lime Slices 
1 Pint Fresh Raspberries, whole
1/2 Pint Fresh Strawberries, sliced
Ice

Garnish:  Fresh berries, slice of lime

Tools: Mixing pitcher, Serving Carafe

Glass: Wine Goblet or Cocktail

DIRECTIONS
Warm half a cup of the wine with the Raspberry Honey Crème in the microwave for 20 - 30 seconds to make a quick simple syrup that will mix into the sangria easily.
Combine all the ingredients together, except the Prosecco and ice, in a mixing pitcher.
Cover and let sit for a minimum of 2 hours. (Overnight is fine too, but the delicate berries will break down more which also means you get more berry flavor.)
Just before serving transfer the Sangria to a serving carafe filled with ice, leaving enough room to add the chilled Prosecco.
After adding the Prosecco, pour into individual glasses, garnish and serve.

SERVING TIP: Frozen berries make ideal ice cubes. You can also freeze berries in the ice cubes.


    

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