20170807

RASPBERRY TRIFLE MARTINI COCKTAIL

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The basic traditional English Trifle recipe calls for ladyfingers or stale sponge cake (often soaked in sherry, port or Madeira), fruit or some fruit jam, creamy custard and fresh whipped cream, all layered until they reach the top of the serving dish. It's the modern descendant of a Medieval fruit and custard fool and a close relative of the cream and sherry dessert known as a syllabub (which was a dessert inspired by the frothy 16th century syllabub drink of wine, cream, sugar and lemon juice.)
 

With my Raspberry Trifle Martini I've taken the main ingredients and combined
them into a liquid trifle in a glass.

The
RASPBERRY TRIFLE
MARTINI


INGREDIENTS

2 Oz. Pinnacle Cake Vodka
1/2 Oz. White Creme de Cacao
1/4 Oz. Sweet Sherry
2 Oz. Raspberry Puree
Juice of 1/4 Lemon

Garnish: 2 Cubes of Sponge Cake (or Ladyfingers), Chocolate Syrup, Whipped Cream

Tools: Blender, Metal Strainer, Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Cocktail or Coupe

DIRECTIONS
Chill your glass in the freezer.
To make the raspberry puree blend 1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries, 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of sugar then strain out the seeds. Add 2 ounces to the cocktail shaker per drink. (The remainder of the puree can be used in other dishes, like over ice cream, cake or even spooned over pork chops.)
Add the remaining cocktail ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until well blended and chilled.
Pour into the chilled glass, top off with the whipped cream, drizzle on some chocolate syrup and garnish with the cubes of sponge cake.

If you like you can replace the cubes of sponge cake with the more traditional lady fingers, as long as you get that cake bite in their you're golden.
 
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
 

20170804

RUM INFUSED GUMMY WORMS - Booze Infused Gummy Candy Recipe

  
 
I got some free gummy worms so I thought I'd give them a soak in some booze. Vodka soaked Teddy Bears are floating all over the web as the newest big thing so, what the heck, I'll toss the free worms in some booze too. It's not like I haven't made candy booze over the years.

Since the gummy worms I got were tropical flavored, I decided I would use rum instead of vodka. So, into my little bowl went the package of gummy worms and then some light rum.


It took about 18 hours for the gummy candy to soak up most of the rum. I could have let them soak longer, however they were already so drunk they were falling apart! Maybe gummy teddy bears are more stable, but I didn't get any of those for free.


  Here's a video of the end result so you'll see how truly drunk and falling apart my poor gummy worms were. They tasted wonderful, but there was no way they could be served in this state.

 

RUMMY GUMMY WORM LIQUEUR

Add the gummy candy to a covered jar or bottle then completely cover the worms with a decent light rum.
Allow this to infuse until all the worms have completely dissolved, shaking well at least twice a day. Mine took a couple of days.
Once the worms have dissolved, strain through a metal strainer.
Then strain again through cheesecloth or coffee filters to remove the finer gummy sludge. (If using coffee filters you will have to change them several times and allow more time for the filtering process.)
Below is the gelatin and other gunk you'll be straining out:


Bottle or use immediately in Rummy Gummy shots!

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20170802

CANTALOUPE MARTINI

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It's the time of year that decent, fresh cantaloupe starts showing up in the market and there's nothing better than a fresh cantaloupe cocktail in the heat of summer to cool you off. If your cantaloupe is ripe and sweet there's nothing more refreshing.  If your cantaloupe has almost gone overripe it's even better for the cocktail as you get more juice and much more sweetness.

The
CANTALOUPE
MARTINI
 
INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Melon Vodka
3 Oz. Fresh Cantaloupe Puree
Juice of Half a Lime
1/2 Tbsp. Warm Water
1 Tbsp. Honey

Garnish: Cantaloupe Melon Balls

Tools:  Melon Baller, Cocktail Shaker, Bar Spoon

Glass: 5 Oz. Martini Cocktail Glass

DIRECTIONS
Using the melon baller, scoop out several cantaloupe balls for the garnish and set aside.
Chill your glass in the freezer.
Add the warm water, honey and lime to your cocktail shaker and stir to blend the honey into a syrup.
Fill the cocktail shaker with ice, add the remainder of the ingredients and shake until chilled.
Pour into the chilled glass, garnish and serve.

If you prefer, you may strain your cocktail through a metal strainer for less pulp from the puree.

If you like cantaloupe in your cocktails you might also like my Cantaloupe Daiquiri.

More MELON COCKTAILS

You can purchase the Cantaloupe Martini on Recipe Cards HERE.
https://www.zazzle.com/cantaloupe_martini_recipe_postcard-239825224853214275

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20170731

The History of BLACK TOT DAY - The End of the Royal Navy Daily Rum Ration

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BLACK TOT DAY

Before modern technology long sea voyages created a drinking problem. Back in the 1600's sailors were given a daily gallon of beer as their drink ration. Unfortunately the volume of the beer was a storage issue so a half pint of rum replaced the beer on sea voyages. The switch was popular among the crew but drunkenness became an issue so in 1740 Admiral Edward Vernon ordered the rum be mixed with water in a ration of 4 water to 1 rum and split into two separate servings a day per sailor.
 

Continuing issues with alcohol related disciplinary problems caused this half pint to be reduced to a quarter pint in 1824 and later, in 1850, to an eighth pint served once a day. In 1881 the navy ended the officers ration and in 1918 the warrant officers ration.  Finally, in answer questions regarding the validity of the daily rum tot, the Admiralty Board issued the following statement in 1969:

"The Admiralty Board concludes that the rum issue is no longer compatible with the high standards of efficiency required now that the individual's tasks in ships are concerned with complex, and often delicate, machinery and systems on the correct functioning of which people's lives may depend".

This led to the famous House of Commons "Great Rum Debate" of 1970 which eventually concluded that the Royal Navy's daily rum ration, or tot, was deemed no longer appropriate and on July 31st, 1970, after 300 years of Naval Tradition, the final rum rations were poured at 11 a.m. (6 bells in the forenoon watch) after the pipe of up spirits*. Despite an extra can of beer being added to the daily rations, the decision was not popular among many and some took to wearing black arm bands, tots were "buried at sea" and even mock funerals occurred.

July 31st, 1970 then became BLACK TOT DAY, the last day the Royal Navy issued their sailors their daily tot of rum.
 

Rest In Peace, Daily Tot.

What shall we do with a drunken sailor?
What shall we do with a drunken sailor?
What shall we do with a drunken sailor?
Early in the morning?
Take away his tot and keep him sober!
Take away his tot and keep him sober!
Take away his tot and keep him sober!
Early in the morning!

* The time when the rum ration was distributed was called "Up Spirits", usually between 11 am and 12 noon.
 
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
 

20170730

The SIDECAR COCKTAIL

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The Sidecar is a classic Cognac cocktail that dates back to World War I.  It makes use of one of my sipping favorites, Cognac.
 
Here's some great background information about the Sidecar from my friends over at The Alcohol Professor 
(@TheAlcoholProf)
 
The
SIDECAR
 
INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Cognac
1 Oz. Cointreau
1 Oz. Lemon Juice
 
DIRECTIONS
Rim glass with sugar.
Shake ingredients with ice.
Garnish with orange twist or wedge.

National Sidecar Day is July 30th
 
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20170728

The Not So WHITE RUSSIAN Cocktail Recipe


I happened to really like whipped cream vodkas, my favorite brand being Pinnacle Whipped Vodka because you really do get the flavor of whipped cream.

After doing a review on several of Pinnacle flavored vodkas a while back I experimented with several recipes and this was one of the first and it's still a favorite because it's easy and delicious.

The Not So
WHITE RUSSIAN

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Cold Espresso
1 Oz. Whipped Cream Vodka
1 Oz. Original Kahlua
1 Oz. Half & Half

Garnish: Instant Espresso Powder Rim, Milk Chocolate Curls

Tools: Vegetable peeler to make chocolate curls, Cocktail shaker

Glass: Large (5 ounce) Cocktail (Martini)

DIRECTIONS
Rim glass then chill in the freezer.
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake until well chilled.
Strain into your chilled cocktail glass.
Sprinkle on the chocolate curls and serve.

You can purchase recipes cards for this cocktail here:
Not So White Russian Cocktail recipe cards


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20170723

STORMBORN COCKTAIL for Game Of Thrones


Inspired by Season 7, Episode 2 of Game Of Thrones, this rum drink is named after the episode title and Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of her Name, The Unburnt Queen of the Andals, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea. (Enough titles for ya, Dany??)

It's also named for the storms coming, both Daenerys and the White Walkers.

I wanted to create something that looked like an incoming storm descending upon the Land of Ice and Fire. The Butterfly PeaFlower Tea float gave me exactly the color and visual effect I wanted while adding a very subtle floral essence to the tropical style cocktail of coconut and rum.


The Game of Thrones
STORMBORN COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Spiced Sailor Jerry Rum
1 Oz. Light Rum
1/2 Oz. Honey Ridge Coconut Creme Honey
1/2 Oz. Cream of Coconut
Cold Wild Hibiscus Blue PeaFlower Tea
Crushed Ice

DIRECTIONS
Fill a chilled flute with enough crushed ice to create a domed top.
Add in the spiced rum, light rum, cream of coconut and coconut honey then float the Blue Peaflower Tea over the top.
Add a color coordinated, biodegradable paper straw and serve.

"We have an army, A fleet and three dragons. We should hit King's Landing now."

Winter is no longer coming, it is here.


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20170705

The BIKINI MARTINI

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The Bikini Martini was created by Dick Bradsell for a swimwear launch in 1999. Supposedly he named the drink in honor of the Bikini Atoll where atom and hydrogen bombs were tested after World War II. Some say the name was because the shock of the cocktail was supposed to be on the level of an A-bomb, I would rather think it was the color of the ocean in the Marshall Island area that inspired the drink. (Sadly, the Bikini Atoll still remains uninhabitable nearly 70 years after the tests.)

Whatever reason, it's a beautiful blue cocktail with refreshing tropical notes that packs a decided kick.

http://themartinidiva.com

The
BIKINI MARTINI

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Gin
1/4 Oz. Blue Curacao
1/2 Oz. Peach Liqueur
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
Ice

DIRECTIONS
Shake ingredients in an ice field cocktail shaker, strain into a chilled glass, garnished with a lemon twist and serve.

 
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20170526

PRICKLY PEAR ( Cactus) MARTINI


Living in the dessert I don't have much of a garden. I keep a few herbs on the back deck protected from the deadly Arizona sun but fresh veggies and fruits are more work than I have time for. The one thing I do have in abundance are a variety of cactus and one day it occurred to me that I do have at least one fruit in my yard that could be used in a cocktail and other goodies. I grabbed my barbecue tongs, gloves and went a-harvesting.

Prickly pears protect themselves from the fauna of the desert with long, nasty spikes so you don't want to attempt to pick them with bare hands. If you just use gloves the gloves will get impregnated by the stickers and you'll be stuck sooner or later, so tongs are the perfect answer. You simply grab the fruit completely in the tongs and twist them off the nopales (the "Leaf").


My prickly pear fruits had a decidedly watermelon/kiwi flavor to them with, to my palate at least, a hint of cucumber. The fruit is heavily populated in the center with tough, black seeds which are supposedly edible but I strained them out along with any pulp. The fruit is a wonderful, dark magenta if perfectly ripe which brings a great amount of color to your cocktails.
According to the U.C. Small Farm Program, the flavor of the fruit “depends on the variety but includes strawberries, watermelons, honeydew melons, figs, bananas, and citrus. You can eat them raw, at room temperature or chilled, and alone or with lemon juice. They can be cooked into jams and preserves or cooked down into a syrup as a base for jelly and candy. This syrup can be reduced even further into a dark red or black paste that is fermented into a potent alcoholic drink called 'coloncha'. The fruit pulp can be dried and ground into flour for baking into small sweet cakes, or stored for future use.”

The reddish-purple prickly pear fruit (tuna) is high in antioxidants, Vitamin C and is purported to be prized as a hangover cure. Also known as the Cactus Pear and Indian Fig, the Prickly Pear is a part of the genus Opunti.

Here are the steps I took to get my Prickly Pear Juice:
First I washed all the pears in a strong stream of water, to clean them and remove as many of the soft glochids* as possible. Put on gardening gloves to do this! Grab the pear by both ends in several layers of paper towels and scrape off the rest of the glochids with a sharp paring knife.
Rinse the pear again to wash any of glochids off everything.

Slice off both ends, split the fruit down the middle and scrap the fruit out of the skin.
Puree all the fruit in a blender or food processor.

Strain this into a container through a fine metal strainer to remove seeds and pulp.
Have some tweezers and a magnifying glass handy in case you missed any glochids and they found their way onto your poor body.

I got one ounce of fresh juice from about eight small, ripe prickly pears. The darker purple the fruit the more ripe it is. Try to get to them before the critters do, we have wild javelina out here and they love prickly pear fruit.

While it was a fun and educating experience, after the day long, painful process with its disappointing yield, I have come to the conclusion that the javelina can have the prickly pear tunas in my yard. I'm just going to buy ready made cactus products.


THE PRICKLY PEAR
(CACTUS PEAR)
MARTINI
A Little Bit of the Arizona Desert in a Cocktail Glass

INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 Oz. Vodka
Juice of 1 Fresh Lime
Juice of 1/2 Fresh Lemon
1 Oz. Prickly Pear Juice
(If using Prickly Pear Syrup instead of juice, use 1/2 ounce and leave out the agave syrup!**)
1/2 Tsp. Dark Agave Syrup
Several Drops of Chipotle Sauce
1/8 Tsp of Lime Salt

Garnish: Jalapeno (Spicy) Chili Gummy Candies, Lime Wedge

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Cocktail (Martini)

DIRECTIONS
Chill your cocktail glass in the freezer.
Fill your cocktail shaker with ice, add the ingredients and shake until well chilled.
Strain into your chilled glass, garnish and serve.

A few days later I also made this fun, loaded Cactus Pear Margarita.


I found this lovely Cheri's Prickly Pear Syrup at the Tucson botanical gardens, but it is available on Amazon:


* Glochids are those teeny, fuzzy little stickers you can barely see and they are most irritating as they seem to be able to travel to unsuspecting areas. (When I was scrubbing, scraping and scooping out my fruit, several of the little buggers ended up in my fingers but one even ended up in a toe! There are so fine that you have to backlight them just to see them so you can grab the tops with tweezers and get them out. Nasty little buggers.)

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20170522

HOMEMADE BERRY LIQUEURS, Raspberry and Blackberry


HOMEMADE BERRY LIQUEURS
Today's Infusions? Raspberry and Blackberry!

Homemade berry liqueurs are a great addition to your bar and they are so easy to make there's no reason not to start adding a collection of your favorites to happy hour. It's just a matter of picking your favorite berries, adding 2 more ingredients and giving them some time to infuse.

You can use fresh or frozen berries, pick one or make some combos, it's your creative choice. My two choices this time were individual bottles of raspberry and blackberry. Primarily because berries were on sale and I can only eat and cook with so many before they go bad!

If you're using fresh berries, just make sure that there is no mold or soft spots and they are properly cleaned and dried. Frozen berries, without added sugar, are ready to use as is. All you need next is some good quality vodka. 100 proof spirits are best because the higher proof draws more flavor out of the berries quicker, but 80 proof works too. I find the 80 proof makes a milder sipping liqueur.

You can also infuse rum, whiskey and brandy and a vodka base with a bit of brandy added can be a nice touch as well. 

HOMEMADE
BERRY LIQUEUR

Ingredients
3 Cups Vodka (Whiskey, Rum, Brandy)
2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Berries, your choice
1 Cup Rich* Simple Syrup

Directions
Add the berries to a large, sterilized mason jar or capped bottle.
Pour in the spirits.
Shake daily and allow to infuse for 3 weeks.
Add the simple syrup, continue to shake daily and allowed to infuse for another week or two, taste testing for flavor.
Strain through cheesecloth (save the berries!) into a sterilized, caped bottle.
For extra depth of flavor and smoothness allow this to infuse for another week or two.

Remember I told you to save the berries? That's because these beautiful alcohol-infused berries are great as toppings on ice cream, pound cake and even pureed as a sauce. One tip, while infusing you will notice that the color might get drained from the berries along with the flavor so add some fresh or frozen berries to the boozy ones to put that color back in.

* Rich simple syrup is simply two cups of sugar and 1 cup of water heated until the sugar dissolves to create a syrup. Once the sugar has dissolved remove the simple syrup to cool then bottle. This will keep in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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20170518

BLOODY CAESAR COCKTAIL


Everybody knows about the Bloody Mary, but many folks aren't aware that Canada has its own special version made with clam juice added to the tomato juice. Rumor has it the Bloody Caesar was invented by bartender Walter Chell who created the drink for the 1969 opening of Marcos restaurant.  It became such an instant hit in Canada that Mott's even came up with a juice inspired by the Bloody Caesar - Clamato.

Originally called simply a Caesar by Chell as a tribute to his Italian heritage, it took a patron at Marco's who exclaimed, "Walter, that's a damn good bloody Caesar" to mix in the Bloody.

The
BLOODY CAESAR

INGREDIENTS
1–1½ Oz. Vodka
6 Oz. Clamato Juice
2 Dashes Hot Sauce
4 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce
Celery Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper

Garnish: Lime Wedge, Crisp Celery Stalk

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Pint or Highball

DIRECTIONS
Combine ingredients in an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake until chilled then strain into an ice filled glass, garnish and serve.

National Caesar Day is May 18th.

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20170511

SEVENTIES COCKTAILS

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HOW THE DISCO LIFESTYLE & WOMEN'S LIBERATION INFLUENCED 70'S COCKTAILS

Okay, here's the deal. If you were too young to drink in the seventies then you shouldn't be writing anything about 70's cocktails. You weren't there, you don't know what most of us were drinking in the seventies or why we were drinking it. I was there, I was of drinking age, I know what people were drinking in the seventies and it wasn't drinks like Pink Ladies, Brandy Alexanders, Grasshoppers, Manhattans or Rob Roys. So all you under-60 booze bloggers out there, quit saying those are 70's cocktails.Those drinks were libations of prior decades, in the days when bars were spoken of easy or were dark, burgundy boothed (primarily male) bastions* of a quiet belt or two after work.

In those olden days your friendly neighborhood bartender had all the time in the world to carry on personal conversations and to flip a fancy "girly" drink or two to placate the few female patrons who dared enter the lion's den. Before women's lib, and the influx of disco balls and fern bars, most drinks sliding across the bar were macho glasses of whiskies, draft beers or the ever powerful gin martini. When the XX chromosome invaded Hoochville the bar scene DNA was altered permanently. Instead of an escape from family life and work pressures or an XY men's club of the hale and hearty, bars became the precursors to Tinder. They were where you went to hook up because, all the sudden, that's where all the dateable women were. Yes, there was a brief invasion during prohibition and the flapper era and a few wild moments during World War II, but until the seventies a woman alone, without a male escort, was pretty much missing, sometimes even barred** from the bar scene. Then boom, in comes the bra burning, convention busting, card carrying women's movement and the mating game had moved from the ice cream social circle and into the drinking establishment.



Back in the seventies, a few older people might order a dry martini, an Old Fashioned or a Pink Squirrel at their local watering hole before dinner, but those of us in our twenties were out at crowded meeting (meat market) places, dancing and partying for hours, hoping for a love connection. We were mostly unsophisticated drinkers, prone to sweet drinks, light alcohol coolers and beers that we could balance in one hand while doing the Hustle. We were circulating the crowded discos, cruising the hip, new fern bars* and drinking (and possibly taking a few hits on doobies) through the whole night. No drinks in coupes or martini glasses could withstand the Bump or being bumped in crowded discotheques and you couldn't belt down liquor only duos or guzzle sweet, booze only trios for hours (on top of, maybe, being stoned) and not end up with a raging hangover or worse, landing behind bars after not being able to touch your nose.

If you had the audacity to order something blended or complicated like the aforementioned Pink Ladies, Pink Squirrels or Grasshoppers (all popular 50s and 60s cocktails, by the way) at trendy venues that were serving tons of hot pants and bell bottom clad party animals every weekend, the so-called bartender(s) would most likely have shined you on. Not many craft cocktails were lovingly built by hand back in those days and blenders gathered dust in the back room, the bartenders were way too overworked (not to mention most were completely untrained and uninformed in the art of cocktails). The few exceptions were signature drinks served up with burgers and fries at a few eateries with liquor licenses, and those were usually premixed then sloshed into glasses just before being assaulted by a toxic cherry and tiny umbrella.

In what most cocktail historians rightly call the Dark Ages of Cocktails, we were subjected to some of the worst drinks a venue could mass produce at breakneck speed. Bottled and powdered mixes were a bartender's friend, draft beer their favorite order and a glass of rosé with a splash of soda reigned supreme. Bartenders hired for their youth and looks, not their cocktail expertise, were more interested in tips and scoring than in serving a proper cocktail. Multiple ingredient drinks, like Piña Coladas, were popular in the 70s, but those were mostly served up at in-vogue faux Tiki bars as lightweight booze icees from premixed containers, much like their fellow frozen margaritas and daiquiris were churned out at restaurant/hang-out chains like Houlihan’s from giant slurpee machines. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, had ever heard of artisnal bitters, farm to bar or bespoke booze. It was chaos in a cocktail glass and we didn't care as long as it was palatable and didn't make us too dizzy to dance.

If you preferred a stronger libation while quietly sitting out the fray, you might be sipping a Godfather, a White Russian, a Stinger or a Rusty Nail.  Whiskies on the rocks, 7 and 7's, and gin martinis were the drinks of our parents, we wanted nothing to do with them.

If you were out to get drunk instead of getting some booty or doing the Bump you had your choice of bad to worse there as well. Shots of layered sweet liquors topped with over-proof floats, like Kamikazes or B-52s, were tossed back with abandon while gyrating to Abba. Alcoholism in a glass swills like Long Island Iced Tea were gulped down, usually as a dare, to Donna Summer. There was no booze finesse to recreational drinking or to getting drunk in the seventies. We were after all, the generation of Annie Green Springs, Boone's Farm and Coors. We also had an affinity for dangerous shoes and silly drink names like Sex On The Beach, Fuzzy Navel and that friendly surfer dude Harvey Wallbanger.

There's been a resurgence and a new interest in 70's cocktails in recent years. It's been nearly fifty years but I guess everything old is new again. Barkeeps and mixologists, myself included, are cycling back to the drinks of the disco decade, bringing a 21st century sophistication and love of quality ingredients to the mistreated drinks of the Watergate and platform shoe era. After half a century maybe it's about time we attempted to apologize to the world of cocktails for a decade of disrespect.

All that being said, were the seventies a good time for cocktails? Hell, no! Did we still have a good time? Hell, yes! We didn't know any better, we were young and the only thing we cared about was enjoying ourselves. Are cocktails better now? Hell, yes! I'm older and wrinkled, but at least I can make and get a good cocktail now. And, if I miss the old days, I'll just hang a mirrored disco ball over my bar, dig out my platform boots and pop some KC and the Sunshine Band in my cassette player.


 
Staying Alive with the
REAL 70's COCKTAILS:

(Recipes and Updated Recipes Linked In Titles)
 
AMARETTO SOUR
Amaretto was big back East in the 70s, and the Sour was popular because, thanks to the sugar laden mixes used, there was nothing sour about it. If you want to experience this as a decent cocktail I've linked here to Jeff Morgenthaler's recipe.

BULLSHOT
Another East Coast seventies favorite, this was beef bouillon and vodka and a huge brunch favorite. I used the Bullshot as inspiration for my savory Thanksgiving Martini to great advantage.

FUZZY NAVEL
A peach schnapps and orange juice nightmare. Just not worth investigating again.

GODFATHER
Scotch and Amaretto. Actually one of the few 70's cocktails I still like.
 
GOLDEN CADILLAC
Galliano was the one "exotic" liqueur that was embraced in the 70s, stocked primarily for Harvey Wallbangers. This fifties drink helped use up that bottle of Galliano.

GREYHOUND or SALTY DOG
With or without a salt rim, it was basically a grapefruit Screwdriver. Made with fresh juice and good vodka, it's still a worthy drink.

HARVEY WALLBANGER
Probably THE drink most associated with the era and the reason Galliano could be found in nearly every bar in the seventies.

KAMIKAZE
The deadly shot of vodka, triple sec and lime heard round the world, especially the morning after.

LEMON DROP
Maybe the original designer martini, the Lemon Drop was created in the seventies at the original fern bar, Henry Africa's* in San Francisco. Try this rosemary imbued version.

LONG ISLAND ICED TEA 
Though this is a tall drink, it was a sneaky, powerful punch of basically all booze and just a splash of cola that sent many an unwary disco dancer home with a DUI. Try my fun martini version instead.

PIÑA COLADA
Churned out from pineapple coconut mixes, cheap rum and giant blenders with spigots. Here I link to several of my own variations made with quality rums and fresh ingredients.

SCREWDRIVER

The ubiquitous bar vodka and bottled orange juice. If you must, at least squeeze out fresh o.j. and use a good vodka.

STINGER
This pre-prohibition cocktail of brandy and white creme de menthe lingered on into the seventies, probably because it was minty and sweet. It has a place as an after dinner cocktail.

TEQUILA SUNRISE
This drink was HUGE after The Rolling Stones 1972 American Tour, aka “The Cocaine and Tequila Sunrise Tour.” My version uses fresh juice, 1800 Tequila, homemade pomegranate syrup and a little kick from some fresh basil.

TOM COLLINS
A leftover from the 60s, Collins drinks were a mainstay of neophyte boozers, basically they were lemonade made with vodka and Collins mix. I did a modern take with some hibiscus tea, hibiscus and rose syrup and, as always, fresh, quality ingredients.

WINE SPRITZER
Wine and soda coolers were the graduation cocktail for the Mateus, Lancers and Boone's Farm aficionados. Sometimes fruit juice was added to make it a Wine Cooler. My updated version uses blackberry brandy, fresh juice and a bit of bubbly instead of the soda water.

WHITE RUSSIAN
A sweet sixties drink, made with coffee flavored liqueur and "cream" over ice, probably garnered its popularity because homemade Kahlua* was a big fad in the seventies. I do remember making my own homemade Kahlua, it was the first time I ever created an infusion. I like White Russians, I like Black Russians, heck, I like all Drunk Russians.

Now, if you must ... Disco on.
But do it with better cocktails!

* Norman Hobday, owner of the famed, original seventies fern bar, Henry Africa's, likened those pre-seventies bars to cocaine dens.
 
** As late as the early seventies women were barred from bars in some parts of the United States!
 

 
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
 

20170501

TRUFFLE COCKTAILS & Confections


COULD I TRUFFLE YOU FOR A MOMENT OF YOUR TIME?
The word truffle immediately makes me think of decadence. From the naturally occurring mushroom-y truffle that is a costly, savory fungus to the delectable chocolate dessert confection more commonly associated with the term, both were originally foods of the wealthy only. The sweet, chocolate ganache versions were quite pricey as chocolate was a rare import and the savory, mushroom like truffle was a rare fungi, naturally growing on rotten logs that could only be sniffed out by specially trained pigs.



WHEN YOU THINK TRUFFLE ...
I'm surprised by the number of chocolate truffle lovers who are unaware that this candy was named after a mushroom like savory fungus. But maybe I shouldn't be, the price of the savory truffle (Tuber Genus, Ascomycete Fungus) is astronomical, sometimes coming in at $3,000 a pound or more. Not really something that can be picked up at your local A&P, so maybe it's understandable that when most folks think of truffles they first think of the more available dessert variety. But when you look at the original, classic chocolate truffle, a rolled ball of chocolate ganache covered in a fine cocoa dust, you can see the resemblance.

IT'S TRUFFLESOME ...
As for who invented the chocolate variety, some people credit August Escoffier in the 1930s while others claim it was Louis Dufour in 1895.  I tend to believe it was Louis Dafour, as Antoine Dafour, family relationship to Louis unknown, took the recipe to Prestat, the oldest confectionery in London, and started selling "Truffles" there in 1902. Plus, the earliest mention of chocolate truffles in print is in Rigby's Reliable Candy Teacher, 19th edition published in 1920. Both these dates are prior to the purported Escoffier invention/discovery date.

THE TRUFFLE IS ...
I admit, myself, to a preference for the chocolate variety, possibly because they're affordable but also because I love chocolate more than I like earthy tasting fungi. Though a few shavings of that cost prohibitive fungal delight can send an average pasta dish straight to heaven. (And truffle salt ain't bad on popcorn, either.)

The traditional chocolate truffle was chocolate ganache rolled in cocoa powder. Modern chocolate truffles are also enrobed in chocolate, often with additional accents.

Below you will find mostly recipes inspired by the sweet truffle but I couldn't leave our at least one perfect, savory black truffle cocktail tribute.

TRUFFLE COCKTAILS
& CONFECTIONS

DRUNKEN OREO TRUFFLE COCKTAIL

MOJITO TRUFFLES

ORANGE TRUFFLE MARTINI

PERFECT BLACK TRUFFLE MARTINI

LIQUEUR INFUSED CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE RECIPES

WHITE RUSSIAN TRUFFLE CUPS EDIBLE COCKTAIL

National Truffle Day is May 2nd.

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20170427

The GOLDEN CADILLAC Cocktail

http://themartinidiva.com

A friend of mine came over for cocktails the other day and when I asked him what he would like to drink and he immediately said, "A Golden Cadillac!"  What a trip down memory lane! I hadn't had one in ages but I do remember them fondly, mostly from my days of what I considered sophisticated drinking in the seventies.  Whenever I wanted to seem elegant and ladylike I'd order a Golden Cadillac. I grabbed the Galliano and my friend and I enjoyed several while we talked about trolling in our good old days.

I forget about this cocktail and it usually takes a memory trigger or someone else to remind me of my fondness for it and then I'll blend one or two up for a little happy hour nostalgia. I never make this with ice cream as some do, I stick with the classic and enjoy the heck out of it. It's too heavy and sugar driven and just not the same with ice cream.


Created by bartender Frank Klein in 1952 at Poor Red's BBQ in El Dorado, California for a newly engaged couple who had driven up to Red's in a brand new Gold Cadillac, the Golden Cadillac is their signature drink and still served up to this very day. It's a creamy, frothy concoction of equal parts Galliano, White Crème de Cacao and Cream blended with ice and traditionally served up in a Coupe glass and garnished with chocolate shavings. And I don't care what anyone says, it's damn delicious.

If you happen to be near El Dorado, take a side trip to Red's where they blend these up every day just like it was still 1952. You can also take a few Instagram worthy pics of the Golden Cadillac gifted to Red's by Galliano.

Poor Red's
GOLDEN
CADILLAC

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Galliano
1 Oz. White Crème de Cacao
1 Oz. Heavy Cream

DIRECTIONS
Blend ingredients with ice until smooth, strain into a chilled Coupe and garnish with chocolate shavings.

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20170422

EARTH DAY COCKTAILS

http://themartinidiva.com

HAPPY EARTH DAY!
 
My whole happy hour emphasis these days is on healthy cocktails. Whenever possible I try to use fresh and organic produce, healthier* sweeteners, garden grown herbal elements and Earth friendly ingredients.

For Earth Day I have listed a few of my favorites below, trying to cover a number of flavors and spirits, but they only cover a small percentage of the original cocktails I've created to be planet and people healthy that are available on my site here. Feel free to check out my cocktail lists to the left and use my search bar for your favorite spirits and flavors for more recipes.

How to Drink Earth Friendly at Happy Hour

Spirits themselves are Earth friendly because fermentation is a natural process but there are also numerous commercial spirit brands out there whose products are organic and planet friendly. You can buy any neutral organic spirit and infuse them yourself with your own fresh organic herbs, fruits and vegetables. Make your own Homemade Liqueurs with organic produce, start a small organic herb garden, visit your local farmer's markets for organically grown produce. You can use local honeys for sweeteners and even create your own organic fruit based simple syrups and mixers as well. Even tonic water and grenadine can be made Earth friendly by making Homemade Pomegranate Syrup and why not dump those chemical, GMO laden bottled cherries for clean and delicious Homemade Maraschino or Bourbon Cherries?

I encourage you to be creative at happy hour and look for ways to make the Earth happy as well when mixing your cocktails!

EARTH DAY
COCKTAILS

APRICOT LAVENDER BOURBON SOUR COCKTAIL

Spiced Lavender BEES KNEES COCKTAIL

BLACKBERRY MOJITO

BLACK EYED SUSAN

CANTALOUPE DAIQUIRI

CUCUMBER GIN & TONIC

DRAGON'S BREATH COCKTAIL

GARDEN IN A GLASS MARTINI
 
LUCKY CHARM SPINACH CUCUMBER COCKTAIL

MELON CUCUMBER MARTINI

MIND YOUR Ps & Qs CUCUMBER PEA SHOOT COCKTAIL

RASPBERRY TARRAGON DAIQUIRI
 
STRAWBERRY BLUEBERRY MARGARITA

THYME FOR A LEMON CHERRY SLING

TIPSY MISS SPICED PINEAPPLE COCKTAIL

WHISKEY PEACH SMASH

Happy Earth Day and Here's to an Earth Friendly and Healthy Happy Hour!

http://themartinidiva.com

* Yes, I use sugar, it's one of the vital elements to a balanced cocktail BUT cane sugar is NOT by nature unhealthy, it's the AMOUNT of sugars and corn syrup, ad nauseum, that is consumed that is the culprit to a healthy diet. Balance is the key, to a healthy life and a healthy Earth.

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20170419

DERBY ROYALE COCKTAIL


I like to think of this cocktail as a chocolate cherry Boulevardier or, perhaps closer, a Kentucky Royale but with fresh cherries instead of Cherry Heering. Basically it was something I tossed together the other night when I was goofing around with my Templeton Rye and my Cinzano Rosso trying to come up with a new cocktail. At the last minute I added some orange elements with a drop of orange bitters and an orange twist because I wanted a bit of citrus hitting my nose with the chocolate and cherries.

Damn, it was good for something I just tossed together. I had three and I was one happy little boozer. I also had with my Kentucky Derby - Triple Crown Cocktail for this year. Win, win.

Now, if only my pick for this year's Run for the Roses can also win.


The
DERBY ROYALE
COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 Oz. Templeton Rye
6  Frozen Dark Sweet Organic Cherries
1/2 Oz. Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
1 Teaspoon Caffè Borghetti Coffee Liqueur
1 Teaspoon Bordeaux Cherry Syrup
2 Dashes Chocolate Bitters
1 Dash Angostura Orange Bitters
1 Tablespoon Pasteurized Egg White

Garnish: Bordeaux Maraschino Cherry, Orange Twist

Tools: Blender, Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Coupe

DIRECTIONS
Chill the glass.
Toss the ingredients into your blender and whip until volume triples and the drink is nice and foamy. (This is my cheaters version of dry shaking.)
Transfer this to an ice filled cocktail shaker, shake until chilled then strain onto the chilled coupe.
Express the orange peel over the top, add the cherry and serve.


Bailey, of course, did his cocktail wingman duty and tested it out for me:


PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20170413

MINT GREEN TEA GIN & TONIC


Tea infused gin is a hot trend at the moment. I happen to have a huge collection of fun and exotic teas so I tried a few out for tea infused gins this week. One for my Wild Hibiscus Gin & Tonic, one for my Butterfly Pea Flower and Elderflower Gin & Tonic and another, at the last minute, using some mint green tea.

That was a great last minute addition, the mint flavored green tea went wonderfully with the gin I chose, Daffy's Gin, which has strong mint and lemon notes and, with the use of lemon in place of the typical G&T lime, I ended up with a bright and thirst-quenching drink.

There's something about tea and gin and tonic, it's so perfectly British. It's also a great cocktail combination.


The
MINT GREEN TEA
GIN & TONIC

INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 Oz. Mint Green Tea Infused Daffy's Gin*
1 Oz. Lemon Creme Honey Syrup**
Juice of 1 Fresh Lemon
Fever-Tree Tonic Water
Ice

Garnish: Mint Sprig, Lemon Wedge

Tools: Metal Strainer, Stir Stick

Glass: Double Old Fashioned

DIRECTIONS
Preparation:
* An hour or more before serving your cocktails add one tea bag of Mint Green Tea for every one and a half ounces of gin and allow to infuse. Strain and set aside for the cocktails.
** Make the Lemon Créme Honey Syrup by mixing 2 tablespoons of hot water with 2 tablespoons of Honey Ridge Farms Honey Créme Lemon.
For each Cocktail:
Add the mint green tea infused gin to a highball glass filled with ice. Squeeze in the lemon wedges, then drop the wedges in the drink. Add the Lemon Créme Honey Syrup and stir. Top off with the tonuc, stir again, garnish and serve.

National Gin & Tonic Day is April 9th.

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20170411

BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER & ELDERFLOWER GIN & TONIC


While making a hibiscus tea infused gin for my Wild Hibiscus Gin & Tonic I also spied my butterfly pea flower tea in the cupboard and decided to add that to my tea infused gin session. Butterfly pea flowers are one of nature's few naturally blue foods. They're also a little magic because when you add something acidic to blue pea flower teas or essences, they will turn purple in front of your eyes. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity for a color changing gin and tonic.

I also decided to add a bit of elderflower liqueur to amp up the elderflower floral notes of the Hendrick's Gin and to complement the pea flower, then I used a light lavender honey simple syrup to sweeten the drink. The final cocktail was a gorgeous, deep blue violet/violet cocktail that tasted like a floral, lightly alcoholic lemonade. It was amazingly refreshing and tasted like spring.


BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER
& ELDERFLOWER
GIN & TONIC

INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 Oz. Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Infused Hendrick's Gin (Instructions Below*)
1/2 Oz. St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
Lavender Honey Syrup (Recipe below**) to Taste
1 Fresh Lime, Quartered
Fever Tree Tonic Water
Ice

Garnish: Lime Wedge

Tools: Metal Strainer, Bar Spoon

Glass: Highball

DIRECTIONS
* Preparation:  An hour or two before serving your cocktails add one tea bag of Wild Hibiscus Butterfly Pea Flower Tea for every one and a half ounces of gin and allow to infuse, the longer the infusion, the stronger the flavor. Strain and set aside for the cocktails.
** Prepare the Lavender Honey Simple Syrup by combining 2 tablespoons of hot water with 2 tablespoons of Honey Ridge Farms Honey Creme Lavender then set aside to cool.

For each Cocktail:
Add the pea flower tea infused gin, the lavender honey syrup and the elderflower liqueur to a highball glass filled with ice. Top off with tonic water and stir. Slowly squeeze then drop in the lime quarters, the drink will turn from bright blue to deep purple just as you serve it.

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20170410

WILD HIBISCUS GIN & TONIC COCKTAIL


Tea infused gin is a thing lately and, for Gin & Tonic Day (April 9th), I went a little wild with one of my favorite teas and did a Wild Hibiscus Tea infused gin. It was easy to infuse the gin, only took a few hours and I got a fragrant, rich, red colored hibiscus gin for my G&T which I finished off with Wild Hibiscus Rose Syrup and a wild hibiscus garnish.

It was a gorgeous, deep magenta cocktail with a tart, citrus and floral taste from the hibiscus rose syrup and fresh limes. Pretty as heck and a great way to bling up a classic gin and tonic, if I do say so myself.


The
WILD HIBISCUS
GIN & TONIC

INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 Oz. Wild Hibiscus Tea Infused Gin*
Wild Hibiscus Rose Syrup to Taste
(Use the syrup the hibiscus flowers are packed in!)
Fresh Lime Juice to Taste
Fever-Tree Tonic Water
Ice

Garnish: Wild Hibiscus Flower, Lime Wedge

Tools: Metal Strainer, Stir Stick

Glass: Double Old Fashioned

DIRECTIONS
* Preparation:  An hour or two before serving your cocktails add one tea bag of Wild Hibiscus Tea for every one and a half ounces of gin and allow to infuse. Strain and set aside for the cocktails.
For each Cocktail:
Add the wild hibiscus infused gin to a chilled glass filled with ice. Squeeze in lime wedges to taste, then drop the limes in the drink. Add Wild Hibiscus Rose Syrup to taste, stir then top off with the Fever Tree Tonic Water. Garnish with a wild hibiscus flower and serve.

National, International and/or World Gin and Tonic Day is April 9th.

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20170401

SOYLENT GREEN COCKTAIL


Today is #SoylentGreenDay.
Yes, there IS a Soylent Green #Cocktail.
No, this is not an #AprilFools joke!


PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20170330

ELDERFLOWER SALTY DOG - A Vodka Grapefruit Cocktail


Spring is grapefruit season here in Tucson and my neighbors are always generous with their harvest. Sometimes a little too generous* and I have to find ways to use all the beautiful citrus I'm gifted with. My answer is usually to head over to the bar, grab the juicer and serve those free grapefruit right back to my neighbors at happy hour.

When I only have one or two grapefruit I'll serve up my Pink Grapefruit Martini, but when I'm blessed with a multitude of grapefruit to take advantage of then a party and a tall drink is called for. A classic Paloma, a Greyhound or a Salty Dog are all good solutions to using up grapefruit gifted by the dozen. The Paloma is made with tequila, the Greyhound was originally made with gin and I was in more of a vodka mood so I went with an adaptation of both the Greyhound and Salty Dog. As a nod to spring I added a little floral twist to the classic recipes.

Whenever you have fresh grapefruit, you need to make this cocktail. It's comparatively light in alcohol, healthy and very refreshing when temperatures and thirsts are high.


The
ELDERFLOWER 
SALTY DOG

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Vodka
1/2 Oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liquor
8 Oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
4 Tbsp. Grapefruit Lemon Honey Syrup**
Ice

Rim: 1 Part Kosher Salt to 2 Parts Demerara Sugar

Garnish: Long Grapefruit Peel, Grapefruit Wedge

Tools: Vegetable Peeler, Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Pint Glass

DIRECTIONS
Peel the entire skin of one grapefruit and set aside.
Cut 2 grapefruit in half. Slice off one wedge and set aside. Juice the remainder of the grapefruit.
Rim your glass with grapefruit juice then dip in the salt and sugar, press the grapefruit twist against the inside of the glass, fill glass with ice then chill the glass in freezer.
** Blend one ounce of warmed grapefruit juice with two tablespoons of Honey Ridge Farms Lemon Créme Honey and add this to the cocktail shaker.
Fill shaker with ice then add the vodka, elderflower liqueur and fresh grapefruit juice.
Shake until chilled, strain into the glass, garnish with the grapefruit wedge, add a straw and serve.

* I usually tell people I don't like grapefruit, but the truth is grapefruit doesn't like me. I actually love fresh grapefruit, but it can be very hard on my stomach unless it's very sweet and even then I always add a pinch of salt and extra sweeteners to ease the tartness. Canned grapefruit is always too acidic and never passes my doorstep so don't ever drop in at happy hour for a Salty Dog or Greyhound*** when grapefruit aren't in season.

*** What's the difference between a Salty Dog and a Greyhound?
The Greyhound, originally a gin cocktail, not vodka, is simply either of those spirits mixed with grapefruit juice. The Salty Dog just adds a salt rim.

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20170323

BLACK FOREST CAKETAIL, A Chocolate Cherry Bourbon Cocktail


I love revisiting my past cocktail recipes. With National Black Forest Cake Day being March 28th I thought it might be time to have a new take on my original Black Forest Cake Martini. Back in those days I was big into all the flavored vodkas, these days I'm exploring whiskies and decided it was time for a bourbon Black Forest Cake in a glass.

Think of a creamy Chocolate Manhattan or a maybe Fancy Free Cocktail but with Kirsch instead of Maraschino liqueur, creme de cacao added and the bitters changed to chocolate instead of orange. Before I added the creme de cacao it reminded me a bit of Cherry Bounce, a Colonial cocktail of cherries and sugar fermented in brandy or whiskey. Not a bad thing at all.  

Adding the creme de cacao is an even better thing.


The
BLACK FOREST
CAKETAIL

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Bourbon
1/4 Oz. Kirsch
3/4 Oz. Dark Creme De Cacao
2 Dashes Chocolate Bitters

Float: 1 Oz. Whipped Half & Half

Garnish: Luxardo Cherries

Tools: Cocktail shaker

Glass: Old Fashioned

DIRECTIONS
Chill glass in the freezer.
Shake ingredients with ice until chilled then strain into ice filled glass.
Top with whipped half & half.
Do not stir, it will gently settle into the cocktail by itself.
Tap a few drops of extra bitters on top.
Garnish and serve.

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

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