Beware the Ides of March!

Because what else would you drink on the Ides of March but a Bloody Caesar? 

P.S. If you don't know what March 15th has to do with a Clamato Bloody Mary read The Real Story Behind the Assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar from the New York Post.




If you like to drink green for St. Patrick's Day and want to do it naturally you can't go wrong with fresh, organic cucumbers, fresh mint, limes and a really great gin. This is almost a classic flavor profile as mint and cucumber are often paired together, especially in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. Add a little of that gin and you have the makings of a bracing, cool cocktail to enjoy.

I had a little fun with this one by slicing my cucumbers lengthwise and lining the glass with them before I added my large ice cubes. It made for a beautiful presentation.

If you have a set of aspic cutters with a shamrock shape it would be fun to cut some out of the mint leaves ahead of time for a great St. Patrick's Day touch. (I do and wish I'd thought of it before the photo shoot!)


2 Oz Hendrick's Gin
1/2 Oz Dry Vermouth
2-1/2 Oz Cucumber Juice
1/4 Oz Lime Juice
4 Mint Leaves
1-1/2 Oz Mint Honey Syrup
(* Recipe Below)

Additional Ingredients: 2 Large Square Ice Cubes, Cup of Regular Ice Cubes

Garnish: 8 - 10 Long Cucumber Slices, 3 Tall Mint Sprigs

Tools: Vegetable Peeler, Kitchen Shears, Mixing Glass, Barspoon, Hawthorne Strainer

Glass: Tall Glass Mug

Slice a fresh cucumber lengthwise with a vegetable peeler until you have 8 to 10 long slices.
Press the cucumber slices against the inside of the glass mug then add the ice cubes.
Trim the cucumber slices off at the rim of the glass with kitchen shears and chill glass in the fridge.
Juice the remainder of the cucumber and the 4 leaves of mint together and add to the cooled mixing glass filled with ice.
Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing glass, stir for one minute then stain into the chilled, cucumber lined mug.
Garnish with the mint sprigs and serve.

Add 2 tablespoons of organic honey to 1 tablespoon of water and stir until the honey has completely dissolved. If your honey is stubborn, microwave the syrup for 10 seconds and mix until smooth.


MY DARLING CLEMENTINI - An Edible Calundula Flower and Citrus Cocktail

Edible flowers are a beautiful way to garnish a cocktail but they can also a great way to flavor one as well. Every spring I grow organic, edible flowers for creating spring and summer cocktail recipes and Calendulas are always the most robust of my plantings. When I recently picked up a huge bag of Clementine oranges from the local farmers market the first thing I decided to make was a floral cocktail featuring these beautiful, bright yellow flowers. When I got home I grabbed my juicer, my garden shears and also my bottle of homemade limoncello liqueur* and some triple sec to round out the citrus base and got to mixing up a new drink recipe.
Calundula petals have a spicy taste of pepper with a little touch of tang and bitterness which not only brought in floral notes but added the quality of a few drops of bitters so I not only garnished the cocktail with a Calendula blossom I also infused the simple syrup with some of the petals to bring in that peppery zing.
1-1/2 Oz. Limoncello
1/2 Oz. Triple Sec
2 Oz. Fresh Clementine Orange Juice
1 Tsp. Calendula Simple Syrup
(* Recipe Below)
Dash of Orange Bitters
Garnish: Long Clementine Twist, Edible Calendula Petals
Tools: Juicer, Vegetable Peeler, Cocktail Shaker
Glass: Cocktail (Martini)
Make the Calundula Simple Syrup and juice the Clementines.
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until well chilled.
Stain into the chilled cocktail glass, garnish with the Clemetine twist, a Calundula flower and a few extra Calundula petals.
Serve and enjoy on a beautiful spring evening.
2 C. Turbinado or Demerara Sugar
1 C. Water
Petals from 3 Calundula Flowers
Add the petals to a non-reactive bowl and set aside.
Heat the sugar and water on medium while stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves.
Pour this immediately over the petals and allow to infuse until completely cooled.
Strain into a sterile, lidded glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
If the syrup crystallizes you can heat it up to remove the sugar crystals. 


The PAN GALACTIC GARGLE BLASTER Cocktail for Earthlings

 According to Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is "like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick." It was invented by the ex-president of the Universe, Zaphod Beeblebrox, and is said to be the "Best Drink in Existence." Beeblebrox himself advised "never drink more than two Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters unless you are a thirty ton mega elephant with bronchial pneumonia". 
Though it cannot be truly replicated on Earth I had to give it the old Arthur Dent try. It was an interesting experience as I attempted to substitute earthly ingredients for galactic ones and still come up with a good cocktail recipe that an earthling could enjoy.
Both versions are below with my human interpretation annotated with my reasons for my substitutions.
(directly from the book):
"Take the juice from one bottle of Ol' Janx Spirit.
Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V (Oh, that Santraginean seawater! Oh, those Santraginean fish!)
Allow three cubes of Arcturan Mega-gin to melt into the mixture (it must be properly iced or the benzene is lost).
Allow four litres of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through it, in memory of all those happy hikers who have died of pleasure in the Marshes of Fallia.
Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin Hypermint extract, redolent of all the heady odours of the dark Qualactin Zones, subtle, sweet and mystic.
Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger. Watch it dissolve, spreading the fires of the Algolian Suns deep into the heart of the drink.
Sprinkle Zamphuor.
Add an olive.
Drink... but... very carefully..."

  1. First, drape your towel over your shoulder!*
  2. Take 1 ounce of Juice from a bottle of Hayman's Old Tom Gin. (I figured Ol' Janx might be much like our Old Tom Gin, once gone from Earth and now revived.)
  3. Pour in 4 ounces of Cucumber Flavored Soda Water. (I'm pretty sure Santraginean seawater tastes a lot like this because soda has a lot of sodium aka salt and cucumber because it works well with gin and mint.)
  4. Add 3 Large Ice Cubes to a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Add in 3 ounces of ice cold Hendrick's Gin. (These two were my thoughts on how to recreate the Arcturan Mega-gin.)
  6. Add a straw at this point and blow bubbles into the drink. (Easiest way I could think of to inject your own marsh gas and has the added benefit of stirring the cocktail.)
  7. Pour 1/4 ounce of Green Creme de Menthe over the back of a silver barspoon. (If there's anything close to a float of Qualactin Hypermint extract on earth, this is it.)
  8. Drop in 1 Sugar Cube Soaked in 4 drops of Scrappy's Firewater Tincture. (I'll bet these bitters are at least as exotic and fiery as any old Algolian Suntiger teeth.)
  9. Sprinkle on a dusting of Zaatar Spice. (Well, it's the only earthly spice blend that starts with a "Z"!)
  10. Slide in a strip of cucumber. (Sorry, an actual olive mixed with that creme de menthe made me gag.)
  11. Enjoy your drink and DON'T PANIC, one or two of these aren't "the alcoholic equivalent to a mugging; expensive and bad for the head." 
* “A towel, [The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.” ― Douglas Adams



I neither want it nor need it, but I should think it pretty hazardous to interfere with the ineradicable habit of a lifetime.
~ Winston Churchill

Much is said of Winston Churchill's drinking habits. It is acknowledged, by himself and others, he had a great fondness for drink. Whether he was an alcoholic or not is still up for debate, but his passion for spirits is not. He was so fond of alcohol that it added greatly to his debt and at one time he owed his wine merchant the equivalent of $75,000. His doctor even wrote him a prescription for alcohol when he visited the United States during Prohibition.
Originally a brandy and soda drinker, Churchill took to drinking scotch as a young man in India and South Africa, "The water being unfit to drink, one had to add whisky and, by dint of careful application I learned to like it."  As a result his daily tipple was a nip of Johnnie Walker Red with a goodly amount of water, something his children called a "Papa Cocktail".
Scotch was just one of his favorite spirits, he was also fond of claret, hock, brandy and his beloved Pol Roger Champagne.
I could not live without Champagne. In victory I deserve it. In defeat I need it.
~ Winston Churchill

Churchill also enjoyed Plymouth gin, though he did not personally care for vermouth, thus the Churchill Martini is basically a glass of cold gin. 

I would like to observe the vermouth from across the room while I drink my martini.
~ Winston Churchill
The recipe was first printed in Esquire in September 1939, nine months before Churchill became Prime Minister. Created at the American Bar in the Savoy hotel in London by bartender Joe Gilmore in honor of Winston Churchill, the Churchill Cocktail is a scotch variation of a Manhattan (traditionally made with rye whiskey), or like a Rob Roy with the addition of lime juice and Cointreau.
It a fairly citrus forward drink with a bit of smokiness from the scotch. There is no mention whether Churchill ever enjoyed this particular drink, even though he was a patron of the American Bar throughout most of his life.
1-1/2 Oz Johnnie Walker Scotch
(I used JW Black, my preferred JW Scotch)
1/2 Oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 Oz Sweet Vermouth
1/2 Oz Cointreau
Garnish: Lime Twist
Tools: Bar Spoon
Glass: Cocktail or Coupe
Stir ingredients together with ice, strain into a chilled glass then garnish and serve.
I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.
~ Winston Churchill
* While the discussions still abound regarding Churchill's sobriety, not one single person mentions his weight. At 5'6" Churchill was quite a sturdy figure and more girth equals more capacity for alcohol consumption.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...