20150729

HUMBLE BERRY PIE COCKTAIL

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Once upon a time my mom would make a Humble Berry Pie, at least that's what she called it. It was usually a combination of mixed berries, mostly raspberries, blackberries and, her favorite berry of all, Boysenberries. I loved this pie but it always came with her standard lecture about humility. We got pie but we had to be humble to eat it. I was willing to be humble long enough to eat my piece of pie, then I reverted back to being the cocky little brat that was my norm.

Now, there is a real, historical humble pie (not a berry in it though) and the word “humble” itself comes from the Middle French word “nomble,” which translates to “scrap." The humble pie of history was a Medieval savory dish servants made from the scraps of the master’s table, topped off with a crust and baked up as a pie. I guess the masters didn't leave too many berries on the table.

How berries ended up in mom's pie is something she took to the great beyond. Sadly, I never though to ask her. Though there is an old country saying to “eat humble pie”, meaning cockiness gets its comeuppance, and my mom was quite fond of that saying, as well as berries. She even passed both tendencies down to me, but did not pass her pie baking abilities down with them.

My cockiness is probably why the pie gods have cursed me with the inability to make a decent pie. Nope, can't bake a good, homemade pie to save my un-humble self which is probably why I have created so many pie cocktails. So, no successful baking of my mom's Humble Berry Pie for me. But the booze gods love me. In fact they have blessed me with the talent of turning culinary chaos into cocktail creativity, thus my mom's Humble Berry Pie lives on as a very delicious (and dare I say Un-Humble?) drink!

HUMBLE BERRY PIE COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS:
1 Oz. Berry Vodka
1 Oz. Spiced Rum
1/2 Cup Mixed Berries
1 Tbsp. Cream of Coconut
1 Oz. Half & Half
1 Tbsp. Honey
Ice

GARNISH: Piece of baked Pie Crust, Assorted berries

TOOLS: Blender, Coupe glass

DIRECTIONS:

Add all the ingredients to your blender and pulse until nice and smooth.
Pour your chilled coupe glass.
Garnish with the pie crust and berries.

Enjoy!
But be humble about it.



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PALOMA TEQUILA COCKTAIL

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You might think the margarita is the favorite drink of Mexico, but that isn't the case. When you go out drinking with the locals it's not a margarita they order but a Paloma. Margaritas are for the tourists.

Now there's nothing wrong with a Margarita, in fact, I love them, but when in Rome - or Mexico in this case - you should always try to drink what the locals drink. It's not only polite, it broadens your happy hour horizons.

Paloma means "dove” in Spanish and it's said that creator Don Javier Delgado Corona, owner of La Capilla in Tequila, Mexico, named the cocktail after a popular song of the same name. I don't know if this is true, I wasn't there, but I don't really care. All I really care about is whether the drink tastes good and the Paloma does.

Often made with Jarritos, a grapefruit-flavored soda found all over Mexico, I personally think the Paloma is best made with fresh grapefruit juice and I happened to have several nice grapefruits given to me by a friend who grows his own. They were really small, and kind of ugly, but their juice was sweet and pink and delicious. I immediately decided the Paloma was the way to go and so ... I went.

THE PALOMA

INGREDIENTS:
2 Oz. Tequila
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1/4 Tsp. Sea Salt?
1/2 Oz. Agave Syrup
2 Oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
Club Soda

GARNISH: Sea Salt and Sugar for rim, Grapefruit slice, Lime twist

TOOLS: Two saucers or dessert plates, Highball (tall) glass, Bar spoon

DIRECTIONS:
Add some grapefruit juice to a saucer, in another saucer combine one tablespoon of the sea salt and one tablespoon of sugar.
Dip the rim of your glass in the grapefruit juice and then into the sugar and salt combination.
Combine the tequila, lime juice, agave syrup and salt in your highball glass.
Fill the glass with ice.
Add the grapefruit juice, stir then top off with the soda.
Stir again, gently, then garnish a grapefruit slice and a twist of lime.

Enjoy - like I did!



NOTE: Please be aware that grapefruit juice can have negative interactions with certain medications.





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20150723

CHIPOTLE WATERMELON MOJITO Cocktail Recipe

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Living in Arizona can be a challenge, especially in the summer when our temps hover in the triple digits. And that old chestnut, "it's a dry heat" doesn't apply during Monsoon season where nature adds humidity to those high temperatures! One needs a tall, chilled drink for some relief from that kind of weather and I had some watermelon .....

CHIPOTLE WATERMELON MOJITO

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 Oz. White Rum
1/2 C. Watermelon, Cubed
1/2 Lime, Sliced then Quartered
5 - 6 Fresh Spearmint Leaves
1 Tbsp. Simple Syrup
3 Dashes Chipotle Sauce
Club Soda
Crushed Ice

GARNISH: 1 Watermelon chunk, 1 Lime wheel

TOOLS: 1 Long (tall) glass, Muddler

DIRECTIONS:
Add the watermelon, lime, mint leaves and simple syrup to your tall glass and muddle to release the juices and the aroma of the mint.
Add your rum and your favorite chipotle sauce (I like Cholula), give the cocktail a quick stir.
Fill the glass with ice.
Top off with the club soda.
Add a straw and garnish.

Why the hot sauce when it's already too hot outside? Because watermelons taste great with a little hot sauce and hot sauce actually helps cool your body down.

Yep. It's that easy! Sadly I was forced to drink mine in my air conditioned house ...



Enjoy and Cheers, M'Dears!
 
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CHERRY BASIL MOJITO Cocktail Recipe

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I had a few fresh cherries left over  from my Cherry Peach Whiskey Rickey and I wanted something quick and easy to whip up because I was hot, tired and ready for a cocktail. I needed something tall, cool and really refreshing which was also pretty easy and nothing is more refreshingly easy than a Mojito.

I also wanted to console myself because, once again, my work schedule had precluded me from attending Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. I was feeling very sorry for myself indeed. Cherries and rum are a great way to put paid to the doldrums, especially if you add chocolate covered cherries (and leftover peaches from my Grilled Peach Rum Mimosa) to the mix!



Within minutes I was ensconced on my deck sipping away and feeling way considerably less sorry for myself. If you need a little pick-me-up from your doldrums try this drink!



CHERRY BASIL
MOJITO

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 Oz. White Rum
1/3 C. Fresh Cherries, Halved and Pitted
Fresh Basil Leaves
2 Dashes Chocolate Bitters
3 Tsps. Mint Infused Sugar°°
Fresh Lime, Sliced and Quartered
Club Soda
Crushed Ice

GARNISH: Sprig of Basil, Homemade Maraschino Cherry

TOOLS: Pint or Collins glass, Knife, Cherry pitter, Muddler, Bar spoon

DIRECTIONS:
Place the cherries, basil, mint sugar and limes in your glass and muddle together with a cocktail muddler (or the handle of a wooden spoon) until the cherries have released their juices.
Add the white rum and stir.
Fill your glass with ice then top the drink off with club soda and stir again.
Garnish with a sprig of basil, and or mint, add your Maraschino cherry to the rim and serve.

Enjoy, and remember this one next time you have cherries and need to chill out! P. S. If you like Mojitos and pineapple check out how to make my Grilled Pineapple Mojito on my YouTube channel.
 



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20150721

GRILLED PEACH RUM MIMOSAS

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With peaches and grilling being in season I had an urge to combine both into a new summer cocktail. I love peaches with rum so that's the road I went down. I wanted to use my Diplomático Reserva Rum in the drink so I thought I'd also marinate and glaze the fresh peaches with some rum as well. Who doesn't like a double dose of rum?

But I wasn't wasting any of the Diplomático in a marinade that would grill off so I used my stock dark rum in the marinade. If you have unlimited supply of Diplomático Reserva, by all means add it to the peaches too. And call me, I'd like to be friends with anyone with an unlimited supply of  Diplomático Reserva Rum!

To get started you have to marinate, then glaze and grill the peaches for at least an hour. Here's the recipe for that marinade/glaze:

RUM MARINADE and GLAZE

2 Oz. Dark Rum
1/4 C. HONEY
1/4 C. White Sugar
3 Tablespoons Dark Molasses
1 Tablespoon Cooking Oil
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
Dusting of Freshly Grated Nutmeg
4 Fresh Peaches, Pealed, Pitted and Halved

DIRECTIONS:
Mix the ingredients together then add the peaches and allow to marinate for a minimum of an hour.
Preheat your grill to medium high.
When your grill is ready place the peaches flesh side down and grill for 3 - 8 minutes. The time will depend on how hot your grill is and how close the peaches are to the heat. Stay on top of them and check for nice grill marks and caramelization every minute.
Flip your peaches over, brush with marinade and continue to grill and baste for another few minutes. Be careful, rum is flammable!
When the peaches are tender remove from the grill, cool then set aside until you're ready to mix your drinks.

If you're using these as dessert, you don't have to peel the peaches. Because I was going to be using them as a cocktail puree I did.

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GRILLED PEACH RUM
MIMOSA
(Makes 3 cocktails)


INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 Oz. Diplomático Reserva Rum
4 Oz. Grilled Peach Puree
3 Tbsp. Egg White
2 Drops Orange Bitters
Chilled Dry Champagne
4 Tsps. Honey
Ice
GARNISH: Fresh Peach Slice, Dusting of Nutmeg

TOOLS: Blender, Cocktail shaker, Champagne goblet

DIRECTIONS:
Chill your glass(es) in the freezer.
Add the rum, peach puree, honey, orange bitters and egg white to your blender and blend until smooth.
Transfer this cocktail to an ice filled shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds, watch for your shaker to frost over.
Pour 2 ounces of your mimosa style into each chilled Champagne goblet.
SLOWLY top off with the Champagne, being careful not to overfill because the bubbly and the egg will create a foam which can overflow.
Garnish with a fresh peach slice.
Dust with a teeny bit of nutmeg and enjoy!
 



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20150717

DAIQUIRI COCKTAILS

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A DAIQUIRI COCKTALE
 Once upon a time ...
"... a group of American engineers who had come into town from the Daiquiri mines were imbibing their favorite drink in this restful spot. It was one of those wonderful rum concoctions made from Ron Bacardi. A jovial fellow by the name of [Jennings] Cox spoke up. ‘Caballeros y amigos, we have been enjoying this delicious mixture for some time, but strange to admit the drink has no name. Don’t you think it is about time something was done to extricate us from this sad predicament?’ It was unanimously agreed that the drink should be named, without further procrastination. There was silence for several minutes as each man became immersed in deep thought. Suddenly, Cox’s voice was heard again, 'I have it, men!  Let’s call it the Daiquiri!' And so it was christened."
~  Miami Herald of March 14, 1937



Thus starts the tale of the Daiquiri, a beloved beverage of presidents and paupers, authors and aristocrats, movie stars, miners and mariners. The Daiquiri is a simple drink with an auspicious past.



Though a somewhat similar potable known as Grog* was being quaffed by sailors many decades before as a preventative for scurvy, the Daiquiri's creation is credited to the above mentioned Jennings Cox. Its history is less nebulous than most famous drinks and its recipe has been fairly definitive from the very beginning. It's a simple, three ingredient cocktail of rum, fresh lime juice and sugar (a member of the Sour family) and, luckily for us, Cox actually wrote his original version down:



From the frozen favorites of Hemingway novels to the fruit flavored slushy renditions found in nearly every tropical vacation local to today's bespoke recipes from craft cocktail bars, the Daiquiri has endured a century of cocktail trends. Despite being dragged through the abyss of cheap rums, defiled by sad pre-made sour mixes and being forced through frozen drink machines for the tourists and spring break crowd, the Daiquiri has managed somehow to remain a noble beverage of humble origins that lends itself to countless variations and interpretations. Below are a few of mine.
 
DAIQUIRI RECIPES:
BANANA DAIQUIRI
BING CHERRY DAIQUIRI
BLUEBERRY DAIQUIRI
CANTALOUPE DAIQUIRI (aka Orange Is The New Black Daiquiri)
COCONUT DAIQUIRI
The HEMINGWAY DAIQUIRIS
PEACH DAIQUIRI (Blended)
PEACH SOUR DAIQUIRI (Unblended)
RASPBERRY TARRAGON DAIQUIRI


"His limes were gently squeezed with his fingers lest even a drop of the bitter oil from the peel get into the drink; the cocktails were mixed (but not over mixed).... The stinging cold drink was strained through a fine sieve into the glass so that not one tiny piece of ice remained in it. No smallest detail was overlooked in achieving the flawless perfection of the drink."

~David Embury, The Fine Art of Making Drinks, 1948

FYI: National Daiquiri Day is celebrated yearly on July 19th.

* Grog was originally made with water or a weak beer and rum with the lime being added later to keep the drink fresh, it had the added benefit of acting as a preventative for scurvy.
 
http://www.zazzle.com/24_x_24_poster_keep_calm_and_drink_a_daiquiri-228704606460479155
 
 



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20150716

HEMINGWAY SPECIAL & PAPA DOBLE DAIQUIRIS

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Ernest Hemingway loved Daiquiris and there are two versions associated specifically with him, The Papa Doble and the Hemingway Special. The two drinks are very similar, varying only in the ratios and in the mixing of the drink.

Though Jennings Cox is deemed the creator of the Daiquiri, Havana bartender Constante Ribailagua, aka The Cocktail King, is credited for having both perfected the original daiquiri and creating the original frozen Daiquiri at the famed El Floridita bar (The Temple of the Daiquiri) in pre-Castro Cuba.


While Hemingway was in Havana to write he frequented the El Floridita and was introduced to Ribailagua's Daiquiri. Hemingway loved it but, being a diabetic, requested his Daiquiris without sugar, so Ribailagua obliged him with one featuring Maraschino liqueur for the sugar substitute and the Hemingway Special was born. Hemingway liked doubles so dubbed his the Papa Doble.

It's said that Hemingway would often drink a great number of Daiquiris in one sitting, reports listing from 12 to 16 in one session. Though Hemingway was admittedly a heavy drinker, because he suffered with diabetes I would question these claims. Even though the processed sugar had been removed in his Hemingway Specials, alcohol itself converts to sugar in the bloodstream, not to mention the converted sugars from the grapefruit juice. Not only that, take a gander at the rum measurement, a whopping 3 and 1/2 ounces! Multiply that by just ten and you have and 35 ounces of rum. That's nearly 4 and 1/2 cups of rum, and that's 2 to 6 drinks below what the stories profess he drank! This large a number of drinks would surely have put anyone with diabetes in or near a diabetic coma. Hemingway also had liver problems and high blood pressure, both of which are also exasperated by alcohol intake. But it makes for a nice story.

Whatever the myths that surround Hemingway and the Daiquiri, it is truth that he loved them, often including references to them in his writings.

Papa with his favorite Daiquiri in hand.

The Papa Doble Daiquiri
(Hemingway's own name for a double Hemingway)

3-3/4 Oz. White Rum
2 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
2 Oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
6 Drops Maraschino Liqueur

Blend well with chipped ice in a cocktail shaker and serve in a large chilled goblet.

The Hemingway Special
(What the tourists are probably served)

2 Oz. White Rum
1 Tsp. Grapefruit Juice
1 Tsp. Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Hand chip (Frappé) some ice, add to shaker, then add remaining ingredients.  Shake well, then pour contents of shaker into a chilled cocktail glass filled with crushed ice.
 
To be perfectly honest, neither of these would be a favorite of mine. The Papa Doble is way too strong and neither were sweet enough for me, but I really did like the addition of the Maraschino liqueur and I used Luxardo's brand. To make this enjoyable for myself, and because I'm not a diabetic, I added about a tablespoon of simple syrup to my Hemingway Special and then was quite happy. Then I added one of my Homemade Maraschino Cherries with a lime wheel as garnishes because we all know I like my cocktails with some geegaws.

He was drinking another of the frozen daiquiris with no sugar in it and as he lifted it, heavy and the glass frost-rimmed, he looked at the clear part below the frappéd top and it reminded him of the sea.
~Ernest Hemingway, Islands in the Stream






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