Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce you to the real
Bond, James Bond "Martini"?
Bond's first mention of a martini appeared in the 1953 edition of Casino Royale by Ian Fleming:
"A dry martini,' he [Bond] said. 'One. In a deep champagne goblet.'
"Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?"
There you have it. This is how it all started and I would like you to note that this is not really a martini at all (dry or otherwise) as it uses both gin and vodka and Kina Lillet, which is not vermouth, it is an aromatised, quinine infused, wine based, orange flavored liqueur. To confuse matters further, KINA* Lillet is no longer available. The name was changed to Lillit Blanc and the quinine was completely removed in 1986.
I always find it interesting that that Bond called out the gin and the Kina, but not the vodka. As for the name? Bond named this cocktail a Vesper after a female double agent, Vesper Lynd, in Casino Royale.
As for Shaken, Not Stirred
The first appearance of that phrase appears in Fleming's novel Diamonds Are Forever (1956), but Bond himself does not utter the words until the book Dr. No (1958) where the actual phrase is "shaken and not stirred" not "shaken, not stirred." The first time the phrase is uttered by Bond himself on film is by Sean Connery in Goldfinger (1964). In 2005 the American Film Institute listed the phrase #90 on Best Movie Quotes of the last 100 years.
So, James Bond (Ian Fleming) created the very first designer martini way before the Cosmo or an Appletini burst upon the cocktail scene, but sadly his cocktail can no longer be made as quoted. However a close approximation can be "Shaken and Not Stirred" with a bit of clever substitution.
for the New Millennium of 007
3 Parts Gordon's Gin
1 Part Vodka
1/2 Part Cocchi Americano
Garnish: Lemon Twist Rose
Tools: Cocktail Shaker
Glass: Champagne flute
Shake ingredients with ice, stain into chilled flute, garnish and serve.
As for an actual martini? Three years after his Vesper, Bond specified his martini as: "six parts vodka, one part vermouth, shaken" in Fleming’s 1954 novel Live and Let Die.
Now THAT'S dry!
* Kina Lillet) aka quinine, is a quinquina, a cinchona bark liqueur.
The Godfather, Movie Director: Francis Ford Coppola Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton Won: 3 Oscars, Best Picture-1973, Best Actor/Supporting - Marlon Brando, Best Writing/Screenplay - Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola Release Date: March 24, 1972
The Godfather, Cocktail Based on the Mario Puzo novel of the same name, The Godfather was such a popular movie it is thought to have inspired this cocktail. According to Disaronno liqueur*, this was a favorite cocktail of Marlon Brando who played Don Corleone aka the Godfather in the movie. There's even a variation called the Marlon Brando Cocktail also known as a Godson**, which adds cream to the scotch and amaretto.
I can't confirm either of these rumors, however I will tell you that this was my go-to cocktail in the early seventies, along with a Godmother**. As far as I know, there are no references to anything similar to the Godfather prior to the 70s, and with the Italian amaretto as part of the duo recipe, the connection to the movie does make sense. As for it being Brando's favorite drink, I suspect this is more marketing ploy than truth, but that's Disaronno's story and they're sticking to it.
The Godfather is a scotch and liqueur duo where the liqueur is Amaretto, making it related to a Rusty Nail (equal parts scotch and Drambuie). The official IBA recipe for The Godfather calls for equal parts scotch and amaretto, though you will often see a 4:2 or 4:1 ratio with the scotch being the larger measurement to cut down the sweetness of the cocktail. I happen to prefer the IBA version of equal parts as this is the way the original drink was made in the 70s.
INGREDIENTS 2 Parts Scotch 2 Parts Amaretto Ice
DIRECTIONS Pour the scotch and amaretto over ice in a chilled Old Fashioned glass, stir gently for a minute.
No garnish is called out but a nice twist of lemon or orange zest expressed over the top does add a pleasant layer of extra flavor.
* Amaretto (translates to "a little bitter", a diminutive form of the Italian word "amaro", meaning "bitter") is in an Italian liqueur made from almonds or apricot pits or a combination of both. Interestingly after the year 2000, Disaronno no longer labeled their product as an amaretto, stating that it contained no almonds and was, therefore, safe for those with nut allergies.
** Related drinks are the Godmother, which uses vodka instead of the scotch, the Goddaughter which is a Godmother with cream, the Godson mentioned above, the Godchild, which uses cream instead of scotch and the French Connection which replaces the scotch with Cognac.
My friend Dave (@DaveThePlatypus) sent me a bottle of his homemade Grilled Pineapple Moonshine and it was PHENOMENAL! It was incredibly smooth for a moonshine, in point of fact for any spirit, and the pineapple hit your nose right from the get-go and carried through right down the throat along with a natural sweetness and touch of tartness. The hint of smoke from grilling the pineapple was a crowning touch. If Dave doesn't sell this he's missing a great opportunity, it's not only the best pineapple moonshine I've ever had, it's the best pineapple infused liquor I've ever had.
I have been taking little nips from it so often that I thought I'd better get a cocktail recipe done before I nipped it all away. The problem was, that moonshine was so good on it's own I had a hard time coming up with a cocktail recipe that would do it justice.
I finally settled on a humorous approach to a pineapple upside down martini. Most of those are fairly uninspired vodka concoctions with a splash of chemical bomb laden, jarred Maraschino cherry syrup from the dark side of drinks. I wasn't going to insult Dave and his deliciously smoky pineapple moonshine so I had to tweak that concept over to the enlightened era of mixology with a little culinary creativity.
The first thing I did was dump the jarred Maraschino syrup and make homemade. I added just a bit more acid (fresh lime juice) to counterbalance the sweetness from the homemade syrup, then I upped the smokiness and the kick factor with a little Chipotle hot sauce.
No added booze. That moonshine didn't need any help in that department, trust me. I had two of these and the only thing I was good for after that was The Boob Tube, and, confidentially, I don't remember what I watched. The next morning I found the Rubber Ducky swizzle stick in my toothbrush holder in the bathroom.
Glass: Small Rocks, or something fun in the same size.
Grill several pineapple spears. Cut up enough for a third of a cup per cocktail. Save one for garnish.
In the bottom of your glass, muddle (smash) the grilled pineapple chunks and hot sauce with the lime juice.
Fill the glass with ice, pour in the pineapple moonshine then stir.
Pour the homemade Maraschino syrup over the back of a spoon placed against the side of the glass so the syrup will settle to the bottom.
Garnish with a grilled pineapple wedge, Homemade Maraschino cherry and a dusting of smoked paprika on top and serve.
Below are the video instructions:
HOMEMADE MARASCHINO SIMPLE SYRUP
1 Cup of Frozen Dark Cherries
1 Cup of Turbinado Sugar
1/4 Tsp. Lemon Zest
Bring all the ingredients to a boil then immediately reduce heat to low. Smash cherries with a potato masher to release all the juice. Simmer on low until the syrup thickens, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool, strain into a sterile syrup bottle or jar.
When I heard about Chocolate Mojitos, I didn't think I was going to like them. Mojitos are a crisp, tart and refreshing Cuban rum cocktail made with lime and mint and my knee jerk reaction was "with chocolate?" Then I remembered I love citrus fruits dipped in dark chocolate, I am addicted to Junior Mints and adding rum to anything is right in my wheel house so what was my objection here? I have no freaking idea, it must have been a response of the vestiges of my reptilian brain or something equally atavistic. After I tried and fell in love with a Chocolate Margarita, the last of my silliness disappeared.
I'm glad I ignored my initial cringe and tried this cocktail recipe. I got so excited about the idea of chocolate and mojito together I even made Chocolate Mojito Truffles to go with my cocktail, the truffle recipe is just below the mojito recipe.
1-1/2 Oz. Bacardi Superior White Rum
1/2 Oz. White Creme de Cacao
1 Oz. Da Vinci Chocolate Syrup
6 Fresh Lime Wedges
4- 8 Mint Leaves
Garnish: Scharfenberger Cocoa Powder and Turbinado Sugar Rim, Mint Leaf, Mojito Truffles (recipe below)
Tools: Two small plates for rimming, Muddler
Dip the rim of the glass in some creme de cacao then dip half the glass rim into the cocoa powder and half into the sugar.
In the bottom of the glass, muddle together the mint leaves, chocolate syrup and lime quarters.
Fill glass with ice, pour in the creme de cacao and rum then top with club soda.
Stir, pulling the muddled ingredients to the top.
Garnish and serve.
View the recipe video:
24 Oz. Scharfenberger Chocolate, Chopped into 1/2" pieces
1/4 C. Bacardi White Rum
Zest of 2 Limes
2 Tbsp. Lime Juice
8 Fresh Spearmint Leaves, Chopped fine
1/4 Tsp. Maldon Salt
9 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
6 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
Tools: Large mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, medium microwaveable bowls, zester, melon baller, plastic wrap, parchment paper
Add the chocolate, cream and butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat on 50% power at 30 second intervals, stirring each time, Repeat until the chocolate is almost melted.
Stir until the final pieces of chocolate are completely melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Gently fold in the mint leaves.
Add the lime zest and juice a little at a time and fold in until thoroughly mixed.
Last, fold in the rum.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
Scoop out truffle mixture with a melon baller, dust your hands with cocoa powder and roll truffle mixture into balls and place on parchment paper.
Roll in dark cocoa powder, cane sugar or coat in either melted white or dark chocolate and place on parchment paper.
If you want to garnish add a tiny cube of candied lime peel* to each truffle.
Store in the fridge, remove half an hour before serving so the centers of the truffles will be soft and creamy.
The Caipirinha? Think of it as Brazil's answer to the Mojito, except with cachaça instead of rum. There's also a vodka version called a Caipiroska, but that's another post.
The Caipirinha, Brazil's national cocktail, is made with Cachaça, (also known as pinga, or caninha) which is Brazil's very popular distilled alcoholic beverage. Originally concocted as a cure for the Spanish flu, the original drink started out with lime, garlic and honey. Someone along the way had the wherewithal to remove the garlic and toss in a few ice cubes and the Caipirinha was born.
I took the basics and added a blackberry brandy float and blackberries, because I can never leave well enough alone ... and I had gorgeous, giant Driscoll's blackberries.
Considered a super food, blueberries are extremely healthy and are said to boost your immune system, neutralize free radicals, improve memory, improve vision, lower cholesterol, improve heart health, prevent cancer, support digestion, reduce belly fat, reduce the aging process, reduce urinary tract infections and act as an anti-depressant.
With all that going on, and the fact that they taste good, I figure they're a great cocktail ingredient. So, I've added them to a ton of libations.
You know eventually I had to do it. I am a serious chocoholic and I love margaritas and tequila. Yes, I finally had to do a chocolate margarita, if only so I could say I had a recipe for one when people asked.
I fell in love. I ended up making two more, one more than I should have, but they tasted so good! This is a beautifully complex, sophisticated take on a margarita.
The trick was in using Casa Noble Single Barrel Extra Añejo Tequila which has its own chocolate, nutty notes. I decided it would play better with the chocolate and orange liqueur combination than a blanco and I was correct. The Casa Noble was a perfect match for the rich chocolate flavors, the orange liqueur and the spiced rim. I'm very glad I splurged my sipping tequila on this particular cocktail.
Margherita Pizza Margaritas. Why not? Think about it, it's basically a Bloody Maria with an Italian accent. It's booze fusion, a cocktail mash-up of Mexico and Italy.
It's also my little drink play on the popular tale of the origins of Pizza Margherita. The story claims that in 1889 pizza maker Raffaele Esposito created a fresh basil, mozzarella and tomato "Pizza Margherita" in the colors of the Italian flag to honor Margherita of Savoy, the Queen Consort of King Umberto I.
Margherita of Savoy
However, according to Italy Magazine, the recipe for this pizza combination "can be traced back to at least 1866 in Francesco DeBouchard book “Customs and Traditions of Naples” - (Vol II, p.. 124). There he describes the most popular pizza toppings of the time which included one with cheese and basil, often topped with slices of mozzarella."
Anyone really care where and when Pizza Margherita came from? No? Me either, I just like that pizza, had some great heirloom cherry tomatoes to use up, and I had a craving for a margarita. Tequila, an Italian orange liqueur and pizza toppings. I had to do it, the word play was just too irresistible.
(P.S. I was also craving taquitos so I took my regular cheese taquitos and turned them into Margherita Taquitos. That recipe is just below the drink instructions.)
1-1/2 Oz Tequila Blanco
1/4 Oz. Aperol
10 - 15 Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes
4 Fresh Basil Leaves
2 Teaspoons Fresh Lime Juice
GARNISH: Rim: 1 teaspoon fennel seed, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, sea salt for rim. Shredded Mozzarella, Basil Leaf.
TOOLS: Cocktail Shaker, Muddler
GLASS: Old Fashioned
Mix the fennel seed, sea salt and crushed basil leaves together in a small flat plate.
Rub the rim of the glass with lime dip in the fennel and basil salt mixture then chill the glass in freezer.
Muddle the tomatoes, lime juice and a pinch of the salt mixture in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
Fill the shaker with ice, add the remaining ingredients then shake until chilled.
Strain into an ice filled glass, garnish with a sprinkling of shredded mozzarella and a sprig of basil then serve.
If you like the idea of pizza as a drink check out my
Soften the tortillas between moistened paper towels in the microwave for about 10 seconds.
Sprinkle each taquito with equal parts of the Mexican blend cheese and the mozzarella. Don't get too enthusiastic, you want to be able to roll these tortillas tightly.
Place a few slices of the cherry tomatoes atop the cheese.
Sprinkle on a little bit of the basil.
Roll the tortilla as tightly as possible then place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. You can pierce each taquito with a couple of toothpicks to keep them rolled but I have never found the need to do this.
Mist each taquito with a generous spray of the cooking oil.
Sprinkle a touch of sea salt over the taquitos.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the taquitos are lightly browned and crispy.
Serve with a fresh salsa garnished with the extra julienned basil.
National Cheese Pizza day is September 5th, National Pizza Day is February 9th and National Margarita Day is February 22nd.
"Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week."
~ Guy Beringer
BRUNCH: n. A late morning meal eaten instead of breakfast and lunch.
The word "brunch" is a portmanteau of the words breakfast and lunch. According to The Smithsonian, the term was coined in an article in Britain in 1895 to describe a Sunday meal for "Saturday-night carousers".*
I love Brunch, it's the ultimate indulgence on lazy weekends. What's better than sleeping in late then heading out to a meal that satisfies both breakfast and lunch ... and has booze?
With all these cocktail options you have no reason to ever have a sad, late breakfast again.
These are not the jello shots of frat party fame where cheap booze and gelatin grope each other in a dark Dixie cup, these are sophisticated, adult, Edible Cocktails where designer liquor power dates intense flavor. It's what happens when booze grows up and gets married to haute cuisine.
Honey is one of my favorite sweeteners. If it's possible to replace simple syrup, sugar or any other sweetener with honey in a cocktail I will do it. It's all natural and it keeps literally forever. As a healthy cocktail sweetener it's second to none for adding that essential balance for any spicy, sour, and bitter elements. If you can get lovely flavored honeys like those I've been kindly gifted from Honey Ridge Farms, it adds additional flavor as well. You can even buy honey wine, called Mead, very popular back in the good old Medieval days and making a huge comeback in today's craft cocktail scene.
I always keep a jar of local honey for allergy season but I end up using it more for cocktails then for sneezing. Because honey is so healthy I have created so many cocktails using it that I'll probably miss some on this list, so feel free to use my search option to find them all and don't be afraid to replace other sweeteners with honey in your favorite cocktails. By thinning it with warm water you can create a very healthy alternative to most simple syrups, just remember that any honey brings it's own distinctive flavor to the cocktail profile.