The VODKA MARTINEZ. That's right, Vodka.

A friend came to visit last night and, as always, brought a bottle of booze along. (Good friends who come to drink are the ones who bring booze with them.) I told him I would make him a Martinez since he had never tried one, but he brought vodka instead of the Old Tom style gin I'd asked for, killing off the idea of the classic Martinez. At least until I thought about it for a second and said, why not?
Why not try the Martinez with vodka? Vodka is sort of gin without botanicals in it, the sweet vermouth has a goodly amount botanicals on it's own. I figured it was worth a try so I did.
To balance out for the sweeter, botanical forward qualities of Old Tom gin I added a bit more of the sweet vermouth and an extra layer of bitters. I liked it, he loved it, but he's not a gin lover so he doesn't count. Also he didn't bring me the right gin so he still has nothing to compare it to. I still prefer the gin Martinez, but I can't deny the vodka was decent replacement and it made a great aperitivo before the pork tenderloin roulade dinner I'd made.
I couldn't truly call it a Martinez, but then maybe all I needed to do was add Vodka in front. After all the Vodka Martini has made a name for itself, maybe it was time for the (so-called) father of the Martini to get a vodka version of its own.
1 Oz. Vodka, Chilled
1 Oz Sweet Vermouth, Chilled
1 Barspoon Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
4 Dashes of Orange Bitters
Garnish: Luxardo Maraschino Cherry, Orange Twist
Tools: Mixing Glass, Bar Spoon
Glass: Cocktail (Martini)
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice until very cold, pour into a chilled glass, garnish and serve.


Rowdy ROY ROGERS COCKTAIL with an Adult Twist

Yesterday was my birthday and I wanted a fun drink to go with the new wine glass my friend Melodieann sent me for my birthday, but I wanted a cocktail instead of wine.
Something, probably the bright colors and playful designs on the glass, brought to mind a children's drink, the Roy Rogers. This classic non-alcoholic kid "cocktail" was a parental dining out appeasement for the kiddies made with cola mixed with Maraschino cherry syrup (or Grenadine) and garnished with that neon cherry the tykes loved for its bright red color and high sugar content. It was the boy's version of a Shirley Temple and, as a tomboy youngster who loved all the cowboy serials on TV, my preferred virgin cocktail choice.
I figured why not try to recapture a bit of childhood at my advanced age? A birthday in the 60s deserves a little injection of youthful high spirits and joy. I could definitely use it and the wine glass was certainly large enough to accommodate a tall drink. The only difference between my new birthday glass and a typical Roy Rogers glass was a stem and, hey, I'm old enough at this point for the fancy glass, right?
However, because I'm not a kid anymore and I needed a tad more than just a sugar rush from the soda, I decided it needed a little bourbon, an adult upgrade of the maraschino cherry syrup and a few of drops of bitters to balance out the sweetness of the cola.
Worked out perfectly. I almost feel like a kid again. Happy Birthday to me. Yippee-Ki-Yay.
2 Oz. Buffalo Trace Bourbon
1/2 Oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 Dashes Cherry Bitters
1 Dash Angostura bitters
4 Oz. Cola
Garnish: Luxardo Maraschino Cherry
Chill glass.
Add the bourbon, Maraschino liqueur and the bitters to a chilled glass filled with ice then stir.
Too off with cola, garnish and serve.
Happy Trails, Buckaroos!



English Toffee is a hard, crunchy candy typically made with sugar, butter and cream then topped with chocolate and chopped almonds. In the U.S. the candy is usually made with cane sugar while in the British Isles it's made with brown sugar or molasses.

These ingredients sounded like a pretty good cocktail to me so out came my cocktail shaker.

1 Oz. Caramel Vodka
1 Oz. Dark Creme de Cacao
1/2 Oz. Amaretto
1 Oz. Half & Half
Garnish: Dark chocolate rim dipped in crushed almonds, chocolate and caramel syrup drizzle inside glass bowl.
Tools:  Cocktail Shaker
Glass: Cocktail (Martini) or Coupe
Melt some dark chocolate, dip the rim of the glass in the melted chocolate then dip in crushed almonds.
Chill the glass in the freezer for 15 minutes then remove and drizzle in the chocolate and caramel syrups and place back in the freezer. This will set the drizzles in place as well as chill the glass.
Fill the cocktail shaker with ice, add the ingredients and shake until chilled.
Strain into the chilled glass and serve.

Yes, it does taste just like liquid Almond Roca.
National English Toffee Day is January 8th.
Updated 1-2019

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