20160428

BLUEBERRY PIE COCKTAIL


Like blueberries? You're going to love this cocktail if you do. It's ripe with fresh blueberry juice and gets a nice kick from blueberry and vanilla vodkas and a little zing from some orange bitters. This is a drink loaded with antioxidants from all the fresh blueberries and the perfect way to put a little healthy into your happy hour.

When I bake a blueberry pie I always use a little lemon juice to brighten up the flavors so I added a bit of fresh lemon juice here as well. The pie crust rim ties it all together and gives you a true blueberry pie experience in a glass.

BLUEBERRY PIE COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS:
1 Oz. Blueberry Vodka
1/4 Oz. Vanilla Vodka
2 Oz. Fresh Blueberry Juice
1/4 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Blueberry Simple Syrup
Dash of Angostura Orange Bitters
Ice

Garnish: Fresh Blueberries, Crushed, Baked Pie Crust Rim

Tools: Juicer, 2 Small Plates, Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Coupe

DIRECTIONS:
Juice the blueberries.
Sprinkle with sugar then blind bake up one sheet of Pillsbury pie dough. When cool, crush up in a small plate. Add some of the blueberry simple syrup to another small plate. Dip the glass rim in the syrup then into the crushed pie crust then chill the glass in the freezer. (Save the rest of the pie crust for other Pie Cocktails.)
Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake until chilled.
Slide a few fresh blueberries on a cocktail pick and serve.

If you're into food holidays, this cocktail is perfect for National Blueberry Pie Day which falls on April 28th.





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20160427

NIX THE MIX! Homemade Sweet & Sour Mix Recipe


If you do nothing else for your cocktails this year, at least
NIX THE (Pre-made) SOUR MIX!

I've said it before but it's worth saying again - commercially made, chemical laden, fake flavored cocktail mixes are death to a good cocktail. Commercially produced sour mixes are the reason you never thought you liked a Whiskey Sour, an Amaretto Sour or any other cocktail that calls for citrus and a sweetener. Like your food, your cocktails were never meant to have ingredients you couldn't pronounce in them.

It really doesn't take that long to make a fresh, nutritious homemade sour mix and the difference it makes in the taste of your cocktails is amazeballs.

Now, go get some REAL lemons and limes and do yourself and your cocktails a huge favor.

HOMEMADE
SWEET & SOUR MIX

INGREDIENTS:
2 Cups Cane or Demerara Sugar
2 Cups Water
2 Cups Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1 Oz. Vodka, optional

Tools: Medium Saucepan, Juicer, Funnel, Resealable Storage Bottle, 

DIRECTIONS:
In a saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves then remove from the heat and allow this to cool. (Congratulations you have just made simple syrup!)

While your simple syrup is cooling, juice, then strain out the pulp from your lemons and limes. (If you're using a centrifical or cold press juicer you won't need to strain. If you using a hand juicer you will need to strain.)
Pour the fresh juices into your storage bottle then add the simple syrup and give it all a good shake.
This should keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Toss the sour mix when you notice it getting cloudy. If you add the vodka it will keep for up to a month, however it will not taste as fresh.

Yes, you can leave out the vodka and cut the recipe.

Yes, you can use oranges, grapefruits and other citrus, though you might have to adjust the amount of sugar. Try different citruses for different cocktails. Mix it up, have some fun!

No, you cannot use artificial sweeteners. Yes, you can use honey or agave syrup but you'll need to adjust the water amount. And remember that honey carries it's own distinct flavor.

P.S. This homemade sour mix is also great in iced tea.

You're welcome.






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20160424

The NIGHT'S WATCH COFFEE TODDY Cocktail


"I AM THE SWORD IN THE DARKNESS."

Well, Game of Throne fans, here we are. Winter Has Come to the lands of Ice and Fire, the White Walkers have breached the wall separating them from The Seven Kingdoms, they're adding to their Wights numbers with each human kill, and the Night Watch is dismally undermanned, unprepared and - for the moment - minus Jon Snow. The Crows are kinda screwed and so might we all be ... at least at this beginning of season six.

The Long Winter has come! What shall we do?

Have a few cocktails, of course!
Let's make 'em hot coffee toddys!

THE
NIGHT'S WATCH
COFFEE TODDY

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 Oz Diplomatico Rum
1 Oz. Coffee Liqueur
(I used Caffè Borghetti)
1/4 Oz Grand Marnier
2-1/2 Oz Hot Coffee

Garnish: Foamed Milk, 2 Dashes The Bitter Truth Xocolatl Mole Bitters, Orange Twist, Chocolate Coconut "Dragonglass" Flakes

Tools: Channel Knife, Cocktail Shaker, Blender

Glass: Valerian Steel Cup (oh, okay, it's a Julep cup, who the heck can get real Valerian steel these days?) or Glass Mug

DIRECTIONS:
Pour the rum, coffee liqueur and Grand Marnier into your drinking vessels then add the hot coffee.
Foam some milk by whipping on high until the volume doubles then heating in the microwave for 1 minute.
Spoon this onto the top of your toddy then add a few dashes of the bitters, the Dragonglass chips (Alright, already! The chocolate covered coconut flakes! Sheesh, a little suspension of disbelieve here?) Drape the orange twist on the drinking vessel and serve.


This should put some warmth back into your bones and keep you awake to watch out for that nasty old Great Other worshipping Night's King.


"Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come."
~ The Night's Watch Oath

"But you'd better have a hot toddy ready for me when I come in from the cold."
Night's Watch Oath Addendum

Other Game of Throne Cocktails:
WINTER HAS COME COCONUT DAIQUIRIS
DRAGON'S BREATH COCKTAIL




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20160423

A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHT COCKTAIL


To Drink or Not To Drink, THAT Is The Question!

How do you drink like Shakespeare on his 400th birthday? Drink Mead!

Back in Shakespeare's day, the Elizabethan period, most people drank ale or wine all day long. Why? Because the water was not safe to drink. Fermentation kills bacteria , thus, if you wanted to live to see one of Shakespeare's plays you didn't drink the non-potable water, you drank booze. The most popular wine of the era was a spiced, fermented honey wine called mead. Often fruits were added to the fermentation process as well.

You can make your own mead or be lazy like me and buy some. It's not really that hard to find as mead has made a comeback in today's cocktail world.  I bought mine online, Chaucers Mead, at BevMo.

"Come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness."
~ William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act I, Scene I

A
MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S
COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS:
3 Oz. Mead
Slash of Soda
1/2 Oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Oz Fresh Orange Juice
1 Teaspoon Honey Ridge Farms Honey Créme Spiced
1 Teaspoon Hot Water
Cup of Crushed Ice

Garnish: Fresh Raspberries, Orange Wheel, Lemon Slice

Tools: Bar spoon

Glass: Old Fashioned

DIRECTIONS:
Thin the spiced honey with the hot water.
Fill your glass to the top with crushed ice.
Pour in the mead, lemon and orange juices, give the cocktail a quick stir then top off with the soda.
Pile on the fresh raspberries, add the lemon and orange garnishes to the rim then drizzle the honey over the raspberries and serve.

"Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead. By pavèd fountain, or by rushy brook. Or in the beachèd margent of the sea. To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind."
~ William Shakespeare, A Midsummer's Night Dream

Happy 400th to The Bard.





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CHERRY CHEESECAKE MARTINI COCKTAIL


What's a piece of cheesecake without some cherries on top? If you're going to go for cheesecake go for broke and add those cherries.

If you really want to go for broke make this Cherry Cheesecake Cocktail instead and drink your dessert!

CHERRY CHEESECAKE
MARTINI

INGREDIENTS:
1 Oz Cherry Vodka
1 Oz Cake Vodka
1 Oz Cherry Juice
1 Oz Heavy Cream
1/4 Oz Lemon Juice
Dash of Cherry Bitters

Garnish: Honey Sweetened Whipped Cream Cheese, Red Sprinkles, Homemade Maraschino Cherry

Tools: Baggie, Small plate, Cocktail shaker

Glass: Cocktail ( Martini)

DIRECTIONS:
Put some of the whipped cream cheese in the baggie near one corner. Twist the baggie, pushing the cream cheese towards the corner then clip a small hole in that corner to create a piping bag. Pour the red sprinkles onto a small plate. Pipe the cream cheese on the rim of your glass then dip into the red cake sprinkles (jimmies). Chill the glass in the freezer.
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled.
For the cocktail into your chilled glass, garnish with the cherry and serve.

National Cherry Cheesecake Day is April 23rd.





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20160422

COLORING & COCKTAILING LIFE HAPPY with The Martini Diva Interview

Love Coloring?
As the author of the popular coloring book, "COLOR YOUR COCKTAIL - An Adult Coloring Book with Cocktail Recipes", I was recently interviewed by Tami Patzer on being a coloring book author and illustrator and what it takes to produce and publish coloring books as well as my thoughts on why coloring is so trendy with adults these days.

If you're into coloring for fun or for the health benefits or would like to publish a coloring book too, give my interview a listen:







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20160418

ANIMAL CRACKERS In My BOOZE!

 
Today happened to be National Animal Crackers Day and I happened to have some animal crackers, so, hey, I had to do it.
 
Only instead of making it taste like animal crackers I decided to make it a cocktail I could dunk my animal crackers in ... then I added ice cream and it turned into a boozy sundae ...
I'm nothing if not flexible, especially when it comes to animal crackers.
 
ANIMAL CRACKERS IN MY BOOZE
(Monkeys and Rabbits get real looped ...)

INGREDIENTS:
2 Oz Coffee Liqueur
(I used Caffè Borghetti)
1/2 Oz Bourbon
1 Oz. Half & Half
2 Dashes Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters
Ice
 
Garnish: 1 Scoop Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, A few Animal Crackers, 2 Dashes Scrappy's Coffee Bitters
 
Tools: Cocktail Shaker, Ice Cream Scoop
 
Glass: Large Coupe
 
DIRECTIONS:
Add the ingredients to an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake until chilled.
Add one large scoop of the ice cream, tap the coffee bitters on top then stick the animal crackers in the ice cream.
Serve with a spoon.
 
Beware of cats ...




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