Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 2010

Elegant cocktails and show biz go well together. They can either be made to commemorate a play, movie, book or song, or actually be part of such an artistic expression. This month, we're serving up a trio of such concoctions.

• MY FAIR LADY


This cocktail was created at London's Savoy Hotel in the 1950s to coincide with the production of "My Fair Lady," the musical stage play based on George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion."

1½ measures gin
2 teaspoons orange juice
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon creme de fraise
1 egg white

Thoroughly shake all ingredients together with ice,, strain into cocktal glass and garnish with an orange peel.

THE JACKIE COLLINS

This drink was created by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck in honor of steamy-novel writer Jackie Collins' 25th book, "Drop Dead Beautiful."

7 raspberries
2 ounces vodka
2 ounces lemonade
One-half fresh lime
1½ ounces club soda
Simple syrup
1 fresh mint leaf

Muddle raspberries in a shaker with a splash of simple syrup. Add icem then the vodka and the lemonade. Squeeze juice of half a lime. Shake all ingredients vigorously. Add the club soda, then shake once more. Strain into a highball glass and garnish with a raspberry and the mint leaf.

• EYES WIDE SHUT

This recipe was created to honor the odd mix of Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise in the offbeat 1999 movie of the same name. The disparate ingredients are colorful and pleasing in combination.

½ ounce Southern Comfort peach liqueur
½ ounce Crown Royal Canadian whiskey
½ ounce amaretto almond liqueur
½ ounce orange juice
½ ounce pineapple juice
½ ounce cranberry juice
Splash grenadine syrup

Place ice in shaker and add all ingredients. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass filled with ice. Garnish with orange slice and cherry.

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February 2010

[William M. Dowd photo]

For this month's collection of cocktail recipes, I've chosen to start with one of my own devising, then jump to the West Coast and up to Canada for the others. Enjoy.

• THE UPSTATE MANHATTAN

The borough of Manhattan, on Manhattan island, is the center of the universe for most people. So, they like to think of that area when they drink their Manhattans. However, after attending a recent trade-only seminar on New York State's emerging craft-distilling scene, it occurred to me to jump on the "Pride of New York" bandwagon that promotes state-produced food and drink to come up with my own cocktail using only Upstate ingredients.

3 parts McKenzie Rye Whiskey or Tuthilltown Baby Bourbon
1 part Warwick Valley Sour Cherry Cordial
2 dashes Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters
1 Montmorency cherry

Put whiskey, sour cherry cordial and fresh ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Stir several times, then add bitters. Stir vigorously to chill the mixture, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with Montmorency cherry. If not in season, you may use a traditional maraschino cherry. (For a tangier cocktail, substitute Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters.)

• THE DiVINE

One of the nicest new spirits to come on the market in the past few years is G'Vine, the French grape gin distilled in the Cognac region. (See my Tasting Notes here.) Michael McDonagh, beverage director at Fisherman's Wharf-adjacent bar/club The Parlor in San Francisco has come up with a cocktail featuring it.

2 ounces G'Vine Gin
½ ounce Dimmi Italian liqueur
4 lemon slices
¼ ounce simple syrup
5 drops La tourment Vert Absinthe

Muddle lemon slices with simple syrup in a mixing glass. Add gin & Dimmi. Fill with ice. Shake and fine strain into cocktail glass. Drop absinthe over the cocktail. Garnish with lemon twist.

• BACON RYE OLD FASHIONED

No, this is not a sandwich. It's a drink created at the Hoot Café in Toronto in response to the current craze for infusing spirits with bacon. It uses Canadian bacon, which Americans will argue isn't really bacon, resembling ham instead. Your choice on what to use.

2 ounces bacon rye (recipe below)
5 milliliters Black Hoof bitters (or Angostura bitters diluted with 3 parts rye)
1 teaspoon cherry syrup
Generous length orange zest (cut with knife, not zester)
Preserved cherry for garnish

Add syrup from a jar of preserved cherries and a small piece of orange zest to a rocks glass and muddle. Add ice to fill the glass half way, then bacon rye. Stir with a bar spoon until very cold. Add ice to fill. Splash in bitters and give a final stir. Rub rest of orange zest around rim of glass and twist to extract oils. Drop zest in to drink. Garnish with skewered cherry.

Makin' Bacon Rye

Fry 2 slices high-quality smoked bacon. Let cool slightly. Put in jar along with 24 ounces high-quality rye. Let sit at room temperature for 3 days. Then put in refrigerator until completely chilled. Strain through a coffee filter. Discard bacon.

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January 2010

I'm releasing the first edition of this feature for 2010 a few days early so you can go through it to select some New Year's Eve cocktails. For that reason, the offering is double the usual trio of suggestions. They've been culled from the monthly recipes shared throughout 2009. I'm leading off with one of my own creations. Tipple, tastefully and carefully, into the new year.

• DOWD'S MARTEANI

2 oz. Arizona Green Tea w/honey and ginseng
2 oz. all-grain vodka (Blue Ice, Beldevere, etc.)
4 drops Angostura Bitters
Splash of Galliano or Strega
2 orange slices
1 mint leaf

In a metal cocktail shaker, combine tea and vodka. Add bitters and splash of Galliano liqueur, or the more herbal Strega if you prefer, plus a handful of ice cubes. Stir briskly, then strain quickly into a frosted martini glass. Twist the juice from an orange slice into the drink and let it meander through the solution on its own. Garnish with an orange slice and a mint leaf for color.

• ABSOLUTLY ROCKING

Brit bartender Gianluigi Bosco created this drink to win the Flair Bartending category in the World Cocktail Championships in Berlin. The spelling of the drink is an homage to Absolut Vodka, one of the event sponsors. His flair: He wore a big felt hat and juggled apple juice and vodka bottles to the tune of “My Sharona” sung by The Knack. Go here for a video of him in action, sans hat.

3 parts Absolut vodka
⅓ part mango juice
⅓ part apple juice
2 drops vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Lime, apple and red currants for garnish

Shake all ingredients with fresh ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish.

• TRIPLE ORANGE MARGARITA

Ronaldo P. Colli, mixologist at the Americano restaurant in San Francisco, was asked by the makers of Gran Gala Triple Orange Liqueur to come up with a seasonal margarita showcasing their product.

1 1/2 ounces ultra premium tequila
3/4 ounce Gran Gala Triple Orange
1 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 ounce agave nectar
1 lime wheel
1 orange peel

Pour Gran Gala, tequila, orange juice, lime juice, agave nectar and orange peel into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled glass filled with ice. Strain into a chilled margarita glass if you prefer your margarita up. Garnish with a lime wheel and the same orange peel on top of the cocktail. Salted rim is traditional, but optional.

(Agave nectar is a natural sweetener. Adjust according to desired sweetness. Available at gourmet stores or from online retailers.)

• FISH HOUSE PUNCH

The origin, if not the name, of this concoction dates to as early as 1732. It is the official drink of what purports to be the oldest club in America, the Schuylkill Fishing Company, founded by Philadelphians with a love of fishing.

2 parts dark Jamaica rum
1 part cognac
½ part peach-flavored brandy
1 part fresh lemon juice
1 to 1½ parts (to taste) simple syrup
2 parts (more or less, to taste) water

Stir with ice and serve in a punch cup. If you make it in bulk, do so in a sizable punchbowl with a large block of ice. You may decorate the punch with thin slices of lemon.

• WARD 8


This concoction, sort of a variant on the whiskey sour (see that recipe below), was dreamed up in Boston at the Locke-Ober restaurant bar in 1898, according to the most persuasive version of the story. Ward 8 was the section of the city that consistently delivered a winning margin of votes to the powerful Democratic political leader Martin M. Lomasney, who reigned for a half-century. The drink supposedly was created to honor him.

There are variations on the drink, using bourbon or rye or blended whiskey, and using lemon juice or lime juice or no juice. This is the original version re-introduced to legal drinkers at the Locke-Ober after Prohibition was repealed.

2 ounces rye whiskey
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon grenadine
Maraschino cherry

Shake the whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice and grenadine with ice. Strain over ice into a chilled Collins glass or Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a cherry. (Originally, the drink was decorated with a small paper Massachusetts flag.)


• THE LAST WORD


This is an old classic that long ago fell out of favor. Now, however, it's making a comeback, particularly on the Seattle bar scene, according to a story in the Seattle Times. The most popular bartender making it apparently is Murray Stenson at Zig Zag Café. Besides its taste, its price is a big drawing card: $4.75.

½ ounce gin
½ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce green Chartreuse
½ ounce maraschino liqueur

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Shut up and drink it.

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December 2009

This month's trio of cocktail recipes takes aim at holiday entertaining needs. To hit that target, I'm republishing a lineup of recipes introduced last Deceember but regularly requested by readers since then.

• CONQUISTADOR

Ryan Duvenage won the 2008 International Bartending Association World Championships qualifying spot from South Africa. This is one of the two original cocktails he created en route to the title.

50ml Havana Club Anejo Reserva
12.5ml Tio Pepe Fino Sherry
10ml Monin Raspberry
10ml Monin Blackberry
10ml Balsamic Vinegar
2 dashes Peychauds Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail or champagne glass. Garnish with an orange twist and a nasturtium flower.

• GOLDEN CADILLAC
The International Bartenders Association, which turned 59 this year, has a list of "official" cocktails. This is one of the after-dinner ones.

2 parts Liquore Galliano
2 parts Créme de cacao (white)
2 parts fresh cream

Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake briskly for few seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

• IN-LAW HOUSE RULES COCKTAIL

This cocktail was inspired by the in-laws of owner Chris Ojeda for The Edison restaurant and lounge in Los Angeles. It's a hot toddy-ish recipe you can make to sedate your family after holiday dinners. There, I said it.

2½ ounces applejack bonded or applejack
3 ounces of hot water
½ ounce mulling spiced syrup*
Slice of a baked apple**
Lemon peel (expressed in the drink)
Star anise
Grated nutmeg

In toddy glass or mug place the baked apple slice in the bottom and slightly muddle to break up. Pour the applejack, mulling spiced syrup and water and stir. Add the star anise and grated nutmeg for garnish.

(* Mulling spices syrup: Make simple syrup (1:1 sugar and water) and let the spice steep like you would a tea over a low heat. Turn off heat and let them steep for 30 minutes and strain out. Mulling spices are available at most grocery stores or health food stores.)

(** Bake an apple for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.)

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 2009

Sometimes you have to wonder if certain cocktails are intentional, or the result of too many other cocktails. This month's trio of recipes to add to your collection come under the oddball category.


• DOS RITA

This unusual concoction comes from Ruby Tequila's Mexican Kitchen in Houston, TX. Rather than a standard garnish, it has a Dos Equis beer bottle stuck neck first into the glass.

1 bottle Dos Equis beer
1 frozen margarita

Upend a chilled bottle of beer in a frozen margarita in a classic wide-mouthed glass and let it gently bubble into the slushy as you imbibe the margarita through a straw. Garnish with a slice of lime.

• MAKGEOLLI COCKTAILS


Makgeolli is a traditional rice-based Korean liquor, considered the nation's oldest such drink. The milky spirit brews in clay pots, is lightly carbonated and sweet, and about as alcoholic as a good beer.

For the most part, makgeolli had for generations been relegated to farming areas where the rice was plentiful, or to low-rent bars. Now, in the capital city of Seoul, it is making a pop culture comeback.

Because it blends so well with virtually any kind of fruit and spice, most bartenders have taken to chopping up such things as mango, melon or citrus fruits into chunks and popping them into a blender with the makgeolli.

• THIS IS IT


The Michael Jackson film finale, "This Is It," is getting mixed reviews. It also is getting mixed drinks at the Movie Tavern chain of cinema restaurants, most of them located in Texas.

The four specialty drinks on the "This Is It" drinks menu include the "This Is It Cooler" (Absolut Vanilla Vodka, Parrot Bay Rum, pineapple juice and a splash of Grenadine); "Dangerous" (Bacardi Rum, Peach Schnapps, cranberry juice, pineapple juice and a splash of Grenadine); "Black or White" (Island Oasis Banana, rum, Dreyer's Ice Cream, Hershey`s Chocolate Syrup, whipped cream and cherry), and the "Billy Jean"
(tequila, Finest Call Triple Sec, Island Oasis Wild Berry and Sweet and Sour).

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October 2009

Innovation is the key word in trendy cocktail bars these days. Here are a few examples of some unusual drinks I've come across in my research to add to my monthly archival suggestions.

CALIMOCHO

This oddball quaff comes from bartender Lane Ford at Starbelly, a new San Francisco bar. He says it's based on a drink popular with young people in Spain.

6 ounces Coca-Cola
¾ ounce Carpano Antica vermouth
4 ounces of a fruit-forward, full-bodied red wine

Take a classic Coca-Cola bottle. Pour out the Coke until you have 6 ounces left. Add the Carpano Antica and wine. Place bottle in shaker filled with crushed ice. The colder it can get, the better it will taste. Bendy straw suggested.

THE BOTTOM LINE


This drink was whipped up by bartender Kevin Dietrich to win the Bärenjäger Bartending Competition in New York. He had to use the sponsor's Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur.

¾ parts Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur
1½ parts Highland Park 18
1 part Manzanilla Sherry
¼ parts Cio Ciaro
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters

Add all ingredients to mixing glass, ice and stir strain into chilled cocktail glass.

GARDEN SOUR HOUR

Christian Sanders, bartender at The Living Room Bar in the W Hotel in Miami's South Beach neighborhood, came up with this drink to win Bombay Sapphire's recent "Inspired Bartender Search" at the Palms in Las Vegas.

1 1/2 parts Bombay Sapphire Gin
1/3 part Galliano liqueur
1/2 part lemon juice
1/2 part Triple Sec
1 part celery juice
1 thumbnail dill paste
2 dashes of orange bitters

Salt half the rim of the cocktail glass with cracked black pepper and Himalayan sea salt. Discard all ingredients into a Boston Shaker. Add ice to the top and shake vigorously for 5-10 seconds. Double fine-strain and garnish with a spring of dill.

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September 2009

This month's collection of cocktail recipes consists of a trio of new concoctions that won recent bartending competitions.

ABSOLUTLY ROCKING

Brit bartender Gianluigi Bosco created this drink to win the Flair Bartending category in the World Cocktail Championships in Berlin. The spelling of the drink is an homage to Absolut Vodka, one of the event sponsors. His flair: He wore a big felt hat and juggled apple juice and vodka bottles to the tune of “My Sharona” sung by The Knack. Go here for a video of him in action, sans hat.

3 parts Absolut vodka
⅓ part mango juice
⅓ part apple juice
2 drops vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Lime, apple and red currants for garnish

Shake all ingredients with fresh ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish.

GRAPES OF WRATH


Matthew Biancaniello of the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles whipped up this winner in the Chartreuse Competition in LA.

¾ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce agave or simple syrup
1½ ounces Hendricks gin
½ ounce green Chartreuse
Marinated concord grapes for garnish

Muddle the grapes with the lemon juice and agave or simple syrup. Add the gin, green Chartreuse and ice; stir. Garnish with the Grand Marnier-marinated grapes.

MASALARINHA

Tad Carducci created this fragrant, Indian-inspired caipirinha recipe and was honored for it in this year's Tales of the Cocktauil competition in New Orleans.

2 ounces Leblon cachaça
3 quarters lime
1/2 ounce honey
1–2” inch peel of grapefruit
1” inch cube of fresh pineapple
1/4 tsp. garam masala powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric for color

Muddle lime, pineapple and honey. Add additional ingredients and ice. Shake and serve over ice.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

August 2009

I dislike the word "ultimate" for the simple reason that it has become so misused it has lost all meaning. Rarely is anything that is called the "ultimate" actually so. Nevertheless, I do like "The Ultimate Book of Cocktails," Stuart Walton's 256-page tome first published in the UK by Hermes House in 2003. It is for the novice as well as the professional bartender, containing as it does illustrated explanations of bar equipment, glassware, all sorts of cocktail ingredients, and numerous recipes. Here is a trio of warm weather cocktails taken from that work.

MAIDEN'S BLUSH

This drink from the 1920s had two different popular recipes. One mixed gin with orange curacao, lemon juice and grenadine. This one is a bit stronger and the blush effect in the colors is more apparent.

2 parts gin
1 part absinthe
1/4 measure grenadine

Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into an ice-cold cocktail glass.


KEW PUNCH


This concoction takes advantage of fresh summer fruits and a lot of liquid flavors.

1 part vodka
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part orange curacao
2/3 part gin
2/3 part cherry brandy
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 parts ginger ale
2 parts sparkling lemonade
Assorted sliced summer fruits

Measure the vodka, vermouth, curacao, gin and brandy into a pitcher of ice and stir well to chill. Strain into a highball glass full of fresh ice cubes and the sliced fruits (peaches, apricots, straewberries, etc.). Add the bitters, then pour in chilled ginger ale and lemonade. Garnish with lemon twists and mint leaves.

PIRANHA

Be careful. As with virtually any cocktail using a soft drink as a main component, one can down too many of these too easily.

1 1/2 parts vodka
1 part brown creme de cacao
1 part ice-cold Coca-Cola or other cola

Pour the alcohol into a rocks glass containing plenty of cracked fresh ice and stir vigorously before adding the cola.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 2009

This month I've decided to stick very close to home for my trio of cocktail recipes you can add to your collection. How close? I created all three of them, intending them primarily for warm-weather entertaining. Let me know what you think.

• DOWD'S MARTEANI

2 oz. Arizona Green Tea w/honey and ginseng
2 oz. all-grain vodka (Blue Ice, Beldevere, etc.)
4 drops Angostura Bitters
Splash of Galliano or Strega
2 orange slices
1 mint leaf

In a metal cocktail shaker, combine tea and vodka. Add bitters and splash of Galliano liqueur, or the more herbal Strega if you prefer, plus a handful of ice cubes. Stir briskly, then strain quickly into a frosted martini glass. Twist the juice from an orange slice into the drink and let it meander through the solution on its own. Garnish with an orange slice and a mint leaf for color.

• JALISCO BREEZE

This was named for the Mexican state where more than 90% of the world's tequila is produced, and a place I love to visit.

2 oz. 100% agave tequila blanco
1/2 oz. Pama pomegranate liqueur
Juice of one-half fresh lime
1 1/2 oz. ginger ale

In a cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, Pama and lime juice with fresh ice. Shake vigorously over fresh ice in an old-fashioned tumbler, top off with ginger ale and a slice of lime for garnish.

• THE FLYBOY

I whipped this one up for a friend, an off-duty commercial airline pilot -- thus the name -- who usually doesn't venture much beyond a beer or a glass of wine.

2 oz. Michter's rye whiskey
1/2 oz. St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. Fever Tree tonic

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice, stir 35 times (yup, 35) with a bar spoon to release just the right amount of water from the ice, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a cherry or fruit slice as desired.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

June 2009

This month I've collected a trio of recipes for historic drinks of a wide variety. They're perfect for entertaining a cocktail-savvy crowd who think they've heard of everything. You'll show 'em!

• TWILIGHT COCKTAIL

This was a popular drink in the early 20th Century. This version comes from the book "173 Pre-Prohibition Cocktails," taken from the recipe archive of bartender Tom Bullock's 1917 collection.

1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
Juice of one whole lime
Seltzer or club soda

Put ingredients into a shaker with fresh ice, shake well, strain into a Champagne glass, fill with seltzer or club soda and serve.

FREE LOVE COCKTAIL

Two socially interesting movements battled for the hearts and minds of women in particular from about 1880 to 1920 -- Free Love, an early feminism push to free women from the shackles of male-dominated sexual rules, and Temperance, the anti-alcohol move that led to passage of Prohibition. This pale cocktail gained particular popularity in the U.S. in about 1890.

1/2 of an egg white
3 dashes anisette
1 1/2 ounces of gin
1 ounce of fresh cream

Pour ingredients over a shaker of fresh ice, shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

• THE BLOODY CAESAR

This is purportedly Canada's most popular cocktail, with more than 350 million sold each year. It was created by the late Walter Chell, a bartender at the Calgary Inn (now the Westin Calgary), in 1969 to celebrate the opening of Marco's Italian restaurant and served as an aperitif. He based the drink on the flavors of spaghetti vongole (spaghetti with clams).

1 ounce vodka
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Salt, ground pepper
6 ounces Mott's Clamato Juice
Ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, stir vigorously, serve over fresh ice and garnish with a stalk of celery and a lemon wedge.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

May 2009

This month marks a lot of things -- May Day, of course, plus Mother's Day, Memorial Day, National Hoagie Day, Limerick Day, Eliza Doolittle Day, National Hamburger Day, End Of The Middle Ages Day, National Macaroon Day...

But, in the world of international celebrations, Cinco de Mayo celebrations have grown from Mexico to be celebrated around the world. And with May 5th -- which commemorates a Mexican victory over the invading French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 -- looming, that Mexican cocktail icon klnown as the margarita comes to the fore. Here are three examples of innovative twists on the basic drink.


TRIPLE ORANGE MARGARITA

Ronaldo P. Colli, mixologist at the Americano restaurant in San Francisco, was asked by the makers of Gran Gala Triple Orange Liqueur to come up with a seasonal margarita showcasing their product.

1 1/2 ounces ultra premium tequila
3/4 ounce Gran Gala Triple Orange
1 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 ounce agave nectar
1 lime wheel
1 orange peel

Pour Gran Gala, tequila, orange juice, lime juice, agave nectar and orange peel into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled glass filled with ice. Strain into a chilled margarita glass if you prefer your margarita up. Garnish with a lime wheel and the same orange peel on top of the cocktail. Salted rim is traditional, but optional.

(Agave nectar is a natural sweetener. Adjust according to desired sweetness. Available at gourmet stores or from online retailers.)

WHITECAP MARGARITA

This recipe comes courtesy of the Texas Margarita Web site.

2 ounces tequila
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup cream of coconut
1 cup ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. This makes one drink.

POMEGRANATE MARGARITA

Celebrity chef Tyler Florence developed this particular recipe for the Food Network.

1/4 cup pomegranate juice, plus seeds for garnish
4 ounces tequila blanco
1 ounce Triple Sec
2 ounces fresh lime juice
12 ounces ice cubes
Margarita salt, optional

Combine all ingredients, except salt, in a blender and pulse until frothy and well combined. Rim glasses with lime juice using a lime wedge then dip in margarita salt, drop some fresh pomegranate seeds in the bottom of the glass and pour margarita mix over the top.

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April 2009

This month I'm looking at cocktails and punches that can be served up to large gatherings, something we'll need as we finally head into the warm months when we tend to host more cookouts and other such parties.

• CHENNAI SUPER KINGS

When it comes to punches, you have to have something from India, where the concoction originated. ("Punch" comes from the Indian word for five, thus five ingredients are needed.) This recipe is named for a cricket team in the Indian Premier League. It comes from the Leela Kempinski resort hotel.

2 parts light rum
1 part dark rum
1 part Galliano
Dash of lime juice
Orange juice to top up

Squeeze the lime juice into a shaker with ice. Add remaining ingredients and shake well. Strain into a goblet with some crushed ice, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

• FISH HOUSE PUNCH

The origin, if not the name, of this concoction dates to as early as 1732. It is the official drink of what purports to be the oldest club in America, the Schuylkill Fishing Company, founded by Philadelphians with a love of fishing.

2 parts dark Jamaica rum
1 part cognac
½ part peach-flavored brandy
1 part fresh lemon juice
1 to 1½ parts (to taste) simple syrup
2 parts (more or less, to taste) water

Stir with ice and serve in a punch cup. If you make it in bulk, do so in a sizable punchbowl with a large block of ice. You may decorate the punch with thin slices of lemon.

• THE PAINKILLER

This luscious concoction comes, via the pages of Wine Enthusiast, from the island of Jost Van Dyke, in the British Virgin Islands. It was dreamed up at the Soggy Dollar Bar. It also is popular on tourist-rich Tortola -- using the locally-made Pusser's Rum, especially during the 4-6 p.m. happy hour at the Bananakeet Café.

2 ounces Pusser's dark rum
1 ounce cream of coconut
4 ounces pineapple juice
1 oounce orange juice

Blend rum with juices and coconut and serve over the rocks. Top with freshly grated nutmeg.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

March 2009

This month I've rounded up a trio of cocktail recipes representing the old and the new, a mixture representative of today's cocktail scene where the very latest thing is offered on the same drinks menu as revived classics.

• THE LAST WORD

This is an old classic that long ago fell out of favor. Now, however, it's making a comeback, particularly on the Seattle bar scene, according to a story in the Seattle Times. The most popular bartender making it apparently is Murray Stenson at Zig Zag Café. Besides its taste, its price is a big drawing card: $4.75.

½ ounce gin
½ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce green Chartreuse
½ ounce maraschino liqueur

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Shut up and drink it.

• THE FLYING DUTCHMAN

This drink, created by Jenn Philpot of Waterbar, was one of five cocktails that won the 2009 Damrak gin competition recently held in San Francisco.

Muddle 2 slices orange with skin
Dash of simple syrup
Dash of branded cherry juice
1¾ ounces Damrak and Dimmi
¾ ounce fresh grapefruit

Shake, serve up, garnished with a dark cherry.

MY FAIR LADY

This cocktail was created at London's Savoy Hotel in the 1950s to coincide with the production of "My Fair Lady," the musical stage play based on George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion."

1½ measures gin
2 teaspoons orange juice
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon creme de fraise
1 egg white

Thoroughly shake all ingredients together with ice,, strain into cocktal glass and garnish with an orange peel.

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February 2009

This month's selection of cocktail recipes consists of a trio of goodies taken from brand-sponsored competitions. Such events usually draw the most inventive of mixologists.

LaCOLA NOSTRA

Averna is distilled in Italy from an all-natural blend of herbs, dried flowers, spices and licorice. Traditionally it is a digestivo, or after-dinner drink, known for its distinctively bittersweet taste profile. New York mixologist Don Lee created this drink in a competition sponsored by Averna.

1½ ounce Zacapa 23
1 ounce Averna
¾ ounce lime juice
½ simple syrup
¼ ounce Pimento Dram
2 ounces Moet White Star Champagne

Shake ingredients with ice, strain into a long glass with ice. Top with champagne.

ONE HOT MINUTE

This spicy conconction was created by San Francisco cocktail star Jacques Bezuidenhout to win the "Tabasco Brand Hottest Bartender Contest."

1¾ ounces Partida Silver Tequila
2 ounces cucumber and apple juice puree
½ ounce Lillet Blanc
¼ ounce agave nectar or simple syrup
1 teaspoon Tabasco Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce
1 cucumber
1 ounce unfiltered apple juice

To make the puree: Peel cucumber, cut into slices, place in a blender and blend into a puree. In proportion. mix equal parts of cucumber puree with unfiltered apple juice.

To make the drink: Shake all ingredients together and strain over fresh ice into a highball glass. Garnish: Thin cucumber slices fanned and one chile pepper placed on the side of the glass.

CRYSTAL BOUQUET

Nikko Hotels International recently held a competition among its hotels in Japan to find the best drink recipes. Cocktails were judged in short drink and long drink categories. The top six drinks then were featured at all Nikko hotels in Japan. This is one of the winners, using the sponsoring Marie Brizard products.

1 ounce Marie Brizard Charleston
⅓ ounce Marie Brizard Lime Citron
1/6 ounce curacao
1/6 ounce anisette
2/3 ounce pineapple juice

Shake and serve in a goblet.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January 2009

Considering that this week we began hitting historic notes -- ringing in a new year and leaving the year that marked the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition in the U.S. -- I thought it appropriate to serve up for this month's recipes some cocktails with historic pedigrees.

• WARD 8

This concoction, sort of a variant on the whiskey sour (see that recipe below), was dreamed up in Boston at the Locke-Ober restaurant bar in 1898, according to the most persuasive version of the story. Ward 8 was the section of the city that consistently delivered a winning margin of votes to the powerful Democratic political leader Martin M. Lomasney, who reigned for a half-century. The drink supposedly was created to honor him.

There are variartions on the drink, using bourbon or rye or blended whiskey, and using lemon juice or lime juice or no juice. This is the original version re-introduced to legal drinkers at the Locke-Ober after Prohibition was repealed.

2 ounces rye whiskey
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon grenadine
Maraschino cherry

Shake the whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice and grenadine with ice. Strain over ice into a chilled Collins glass or Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a cherry. (Originally, the drink was decorated with a small paper Massachusetts flag.)

TEQUILA SUNSET

Unlike its more famous cousin, the Tequila Sunrise -- which is nothing more than a splash of orange juice and a dash of grenadine in a glass of tequila, this drink that is popular in Mexico's high society has been around since the 1920s. Now, with tequila's increasing presence on the U.S. liquor scene, it would make an excellent holiday offering. Here's the recipe and procedure as it appears in Stuart Walton's "The Ultimate Book of Cocktails (Hermes House, London, 2005).

1 measure tablespoons gold tequila (not 100% agave)
5 measures fresh lemon juice
1 measure fresh orange juice
1 or 2 tablespoons clear honey
2/3 measure créme de cassis

Pour tequila, lemon juice and orange juice in a chilled cocktail glass and mix well with a swizzle stick. Carefully trickle the honey into the center of the drink. It will sink and create a layer at the bottom of the glass. Add the créme de cassis, but do not stir. It will create a glowing layer above the honey at the bottom of the glass.

WHISKEY SOUR

The "sour" in the name is a derivation of the old Anglo-Saxon surigan, which was eventually shortened to sour and stuck because of the taset of lemon or lime in the concoction. This recipe comes from "The Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book," first published just before Prohibition.

½ lemon
½ teaspoon bar sugar
½ pony of water
1 jigger of whiskey
Fresh ice
Orange slice
Maraschino cherry

Put the water and whiskey in a cocktail glass, squeeze in the juice of the lemon-half, then the sugar. Stir vigorously until all ingredients are blended, pour over fresh ice in the glass, and garnish with the fruit.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

December 2008

Think globally, drink locally. For this month's collection of recommended cocktails I've perused a lot of different sources. These offerings I've culled from that research should help you spice up the usual array of drinks served at holiday season get-togethers.

• CONQUISTADOR

Ryan Duvenage won the recent International Bartending Association World Championships qualifying spot from South Africa. (The main event is scheduled for Berlin in 2009). This is one of the two original cocktails he created en route to the title.

50ml Havana Club Anejo Reserva
12.5ml Tio Pepe Fino Sherry
10ml Monin Raspberry
10ml Monin Blackberry
10ml Balsamic Vinegar
2 dashes Peychauds Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail or champagne glass. Garnish with an orange twist and a nasturtium flower.

• GOLDEN CADILLAC

The International Bartenders Association, which will turn 58 in February, has a list of "official" cocktails. This is one of the after-dinner ones.

2 parts Liquore Galliano
2 parts Créme de cacao (white)
2 parts fresh cream

Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake briskly for few seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

• IN-LAW HOUSE RULES COCKTAIL

This cocktail was inspired by the in-laws of owner Chris Ojeda for The Edison restaurant and lounge in Los Angeles. It's a hot toddy-ish recipe you can make to sedate your family after holiday dinners.

2½ ounces applejack bonded or applejack
3 ounces of hot water
½ ounce mulling spiced syrup*
Slice of a baked apple**
Lemon peel (expressed in the drink)
Star anise
Grated nutmeg

In toddy glass or mug place the baked apple slice in the bottom and slightly muddle to break up. Pour the applejack, mulling spiced syrup and water and stir. Add the star anise and grated nutmeg for garnish.

(* Mulling spices syrup: Make simple syrup (1:1 sugar and water) and let the spice steep like you would a tea over a low heat. Turn off heat and let them steep for 30 minutes and strain out. Mulling spices are available at most grocery stores or health food stores.)

(** Bake an apple for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.)


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Sunday, January 4, 2009

November 2008

As we head into the holiday portion of the year, our thoughts turn to hearty cocktails -- if we're smart.

I've perused a variety of recipes from numerous sources to select this trio of treats for my monthly collection of drinks for you to try at home, or in your bar.


CIDER MILL MARTINI

This recipe is from Natalie Mouyianis, co-owner of the Hard Luck Lounge in Grosse Pointe Park, MI. The drink is shown above.

For the apple-cinnamon vodka infusion:

1 750 ml bottle of vodka
3 cinnamon sticks
4 red apples (any kind you like; organic are best)
1 doughnut hole

Put cinnamon sticks and vodka in air-tight container or jar, seal. Let soak for a few days, then wash, seed and quarter the apples and put them into the cinnamon vodka. Leave it refrigerated for four days, then strain into an empty bottle. Infusion will keep for up to a week refrigerated.

For the cocktail:

5 ounces apple-cinnamon vodka
2 ounces fresh apple cider
1 ounce simple syrup

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, shake well, strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a mini regular doughnut or cinnamon doughnut hole on the rim. Makes 1 cocktail.

(Note: To make simple syrup, put equal parts sugar and water in saucepan, heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Chill.)

KURANT IMPERIAL KIR

This festive wine-spirits combo comes from Drink of the Week. It is made by gently pouring in a champagne glass ...

1 oz. Absolut Kurant Vodka
1 oz. Creme de Casis
Fill with Champagne

Stir gently and serve immediately.

BITTER LOVE

Jaime Boudreau, whose names sounds Cajun but whose venue is the Tini Bigs cocktail lounge in Seattle, is getting rave reviews from regional press for his imaginative cocktails. Here's a simple, but unusual, example.

2 oz. chardonnay
1 oz. gin
¼ oz. Campari
2 oz. grapefruit juice

Shake hard and strain into a cocktail glass.

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

October 2008

Now that we officially are in the autumn of the year, our thoughts turn to more seasonal cocktails and maybe even more seasonal apparel for our cocktail events. Here is a collection of fitting recipes I've collected from a variety of sources.

• COINTREAU TEESE

Cointreau's brand ambassador (right) goes by the name of Dita Von Teese, and has created her own cocktail. Violet is her favorite color, so the cocktail utilizes violet syrup for flavor and color.

4 parts Cointreau
2 parts apple juice
1½ parts Monin violet syrup
1½ parts fresh lemon juice
fresh ground ginger

Combine the four liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker full of fresh ice. Shake, then strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with fresh ground ginger.

• GALANA

This drink was created by mixologist Leo Ramirez at the Trina Lounge in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

2 ounces GranGala Triple Orange Liqueur
1 ounce Flor de Cana Rum
1 ounce cranberry syrup (*)
2 pieces of fresh ruby red grapefruit (no skin or white)
Dash of orange bitters
Drunken cranberries (**)

In a Boston glass add grapefruit and cranberry syrup. Muddle, add one scoop of ice then the GranGala, rum and bitters. Shake well and pour into a wine glass. Garnish with drunken cranberries.

( * To make the cranberry cyrup you need 2 cups sugar, 1 cup water and 2 cups of cranberries rinsed and de-stemmed. Add ingredients to a saucepan, adjust heat to medium-high. Allow to boil and then reduce to a simmer. The mixture is ready once the sugar has dissolved, the syrup is slightly thickened and has taken on the color and aroma of the berries, this should take about 5 minutes.)

( ** To make drunken cranberries you need 2 cups sugar, 1 cup dark rum, 1 cup fresh cranberries rinsed and de-stemmed. Follow cranberry syrup directions, and pull out the cranberries and use for the garnish.)

BANANA NUT BREAD MARTINI

Christina Torres, mixologist at Geisha restaurant in New York (33 East 61st Street). It is perfect for fall.

1 ounce Frangelico liqueur
½ ounce banana liqueur
1 ounce biscotti liqueur
Dash of ground cinnamon
½ banana sprinkled with cinnamon and mint leaf, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients except the banana. Shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with ½ banana sprinkled with cinnamon, and a mint leaf.

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September 2008

Few among us likes to let go of summer. And the calendar is on our side until Sept. 21 when we experience the autumnal equinox and it's officially fall. So, in the waning days of the Summer of '08, enjoy these refreshing drinks I've collected from a variety of sources.

BLOOD & SAND

It sounds like old Hemingway, but it actually is one of the cocktail recipes available on the Apple OS X iPhone. You can purchase "Cocktails" from the iTunes Store or the App Store (search on “cocktails”) on your device. The program costs $9.99.

1 part Scotch whisky
1 part orange juice
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part cherry flavored liqueur

Put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with fresh ice. Shake vigorously and pour over new ice in a cocktail glass.

BLUSHING DRAGON

The XXIX Olympics are over, but you still can't get enough of things Chinese? Then try this cocktail from the famous Lobby Bar of the Intercontinental Hong Kong hotel which overlooks Victoria Harbor.

1½ jiggers vodka
¼ jigger Cointreau
⅓ jigger lemon Juice
½ jigger simple syrup
4 strawberries
6 raspberries
6 blueberries
½ a fresh mango

Blend the liquor and fruit with ice then pour into a tall glass. Garnish glass with half a strawberry with its leaf and float a chopped strawberry, blueberry and raspberry in the drink.

A DAY AT THE BEACH

This one comes from the recipe collection of DrinksMixer.com.

1 ounce coconut rum
½ ounce amaretto almond liqueur
4 ounces orange juice
½ ounce grenadine syrup

Shake rum, amaretto, and orange juice in a shaker filled with ice. Strain into a highball glass over ice. Add grenadine and garnish with a pineapple wedge and a strawberry.

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August 2008

For this month's selection of cocktail recipes, I did a little globetrotting to find offerings off the beaten path. Among the criteria for selection was the insistence that each recipe be simple to follow, considering we're in the lazy part of the year above the equator.

BLUE HEAVEN

From the cocktail recipes at The Drinks Show, held each summer in Toronto, comes this cooling, colorful offering (shown here) that's summery looking and a snap to put together. Its main ingredient, Alizé Bleu, is a ready-made French drink composed of vodka, cognac, passion fruit, cherry, ginger and other flavors.

1½ ounces Alizé Bleu
Fresh lemonade
Fresh ice
Handful of blueberries

Fill a tall glass with fresh ice, pour in the Alizé, top with lemonade and in sprinkle a few berries that will slowly drift down through the drink as you serve it.

BANANA BATIDA

Celebrity mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim presented this simple treat at the "Tales of the Cocktail" event in New Orleans recently.

8 ounces cachaça
2 small ripe bananas
4 ounces sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Put all the ingredients in a blender with crushed, fresh ice. Blend thoroughly and pour into large wine goblets, Makes two drinks.

THE BASIL 8

This multi-flavored treat comes from chef Govind Armstrong at Table 8 on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, FL:

4 white grapes
3 basil leaves
2 ounces vodka
2 ounces lime juice
3 olives
1 ounce simple syrup
Ginger ale

Muddle the grapes in the bottom of a cocktail shaker , then add basil leaves. Fill shaker with ice. Add vodka, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake vigorously. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Top off with ginger ale and garnish with three olives on a pick.

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July 2008

This month's collection of cocktail recipes come from bartenders who competed in separate New York City events plus one from a Miami hotspot.

THE WILD BLOSSOM

James Scarito of BLT Market in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 50 Central Park South, NYC, came up with this recipe to win the city's Department of Consumer Affairs 3rd annual Sidewalk Cafe Drink Mix-Off, held June 25.

2 ounces Plymouth Gin
¾ ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
¾ ounce grapefruit juice
1 ounce cranberry juice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add gin, liqueur and juices. Shake well and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist or wedge.

MARTIN MILLER'S SPICY A&T

This concoction is from James Menite, beverage manager for PorterHouse New York, 10 Columbus Circle, fourth floor, who used it to win a bartender competition to re-invent the gin-and-tonic, sponsored by Martin Miller's gin.

2 ounces Martin Miller's gin
1/4 ounce Canton Ginger liqueur
1/4 ounce St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
Teaspoon of Martin Miller's gin infused with Mexican chili peppers for three days
1 tart green apple, washed
Tonic water, preferably Fever Tree

Mix the spirits in a shaker with ice. Cut the apple in half and then, using the small holes on a box grater, grate about a teaspoon of apple pulp into the mix. Shake vigorously to dissolve apple pulp, strain into a highball glass, and top with tonic water. Garnish with a few more grates of apple and a fresh wedge of green apple and/or a slice of strawberry.

PASSION FRUIT MARGARITA

This is one of the currently popular cocktails at The Shore Club, 1901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL.

1½ ounces tequila
1 ounce spring water
Juice of half a passion fruit (save the shell)
¾ ounce agave nectar

Measure all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake; strain into a cocktail glass. Fill passion fruit shell with mescal and float on top.

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May 2008

This month marks a lot of things -- May Day, of course, plus Kentucky Derby Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, National Hoagie Day, Limerick Day, Eliza Doolittle Day, National Hamburger Day, End Of The Middle Ages Day, National Macaroon Day ... Here's a collection of cocktails to use in marking certain special days.

TRIPLE ORANGE MARGARITA

Cinco de Mayo celebrations have grown from Mexico to be celebrated around the world. And with May 5th -- which commemorates a Mexican victory over the invading French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 -- looming, that Mexican cocktail icon klnown as the margarita comes to the fore. Here is one from Ronaldo P. Colli, mixologist at the Americano restaurant in San Francisco, who was asked by the makers of GranGala Triple Orange Liqueur to come up with a seasonal margarita (shown above) showcasing their product.

1½ oz. ultra premium tequila
¾ oz. GranGala Triple Orange Liqueur
1 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
½ oz. lime juice, freshly squeezed
¼ oz. agave nectar
1 lime wheel
1 orange peel

Pour GranGala, tequila, orange juice, lime juice, agave nectar and orange peel into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled glass filled with ice. Strain into a chilled margarita glass if you prefer your margarita up. Garnish with a lime wheel and the same orange peel on top of the cocktail. Salted rim is traditional, but optional.

(Agave nectar is a natural sweetener. Adjust according to desired sweetness. Available at gourmet stores or from online retailers.)

THE 54 JULEP

I don't often give space to a product or recipe simply because a certain date has rolled around again. However, in the case of the Kentucky Derby, how can one resist? The type of whiskey used in a Mint Julep is sometimes a matter of opinion. Various distillers like to push their own products, of course. Jimmy Russell, master distiller of Wild Turkey, insists on Wild Turkey 101, and since on May 1 he'll be witnessing his 54th derby, he has a lot of seniority.

2½ oz. Wild Turkey 101
3 sprigs of mint (six to eight mature-sized leaves)
1½ teaspoons brown sugar
½ cup crushed ice

In a traditional silver julep cup or double-old fashioned glass as seen above, mull two sprigs of mint with the brown sugar and one ounce of Wild Turkey 101 for a few minutes, crushing the mint leaves with a spoon. Add the crushed ice, the rest of the bourbon, and garnish with sprig of mint.
SCARLETT O'HARA

And, finally, in honor of the opening of the musical stage version of "Gone With the Wind" in New York City, I found this recipe on the Recipezaar.com site.

1½ oz. peach brandy (1 jigger)
1½ oz. Southern Comfort (1 jigger)
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. maraschino cherry juice
Crushed ice

Put all ingredients except ice into blender. Blend for a few seconds. Add ice to fill blender about halfway. Combine on high speed.

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June 2008

Australian mixology expert Ben Hehir has been commissioned by the Glenmorangie Distillery to come up with a line of signature cocktails -- or "serves," as he prefers to call them -- using the company's Scotch whiskies.

I had the opportunity to try several during a recent private dinner at Glenmorangie House in Cadboll, near Inverness, Scotland, and highly recommend them -- particularly The Kalamansi, made with the hard-to-find Indian fruit of that name.


GLENMORANGIE SPRING TEA

1½ ounces Glenmorangie Original
¾ ounce Earl Grey tea
2½ ounces apple juice
¾ ounce strawberry juice
1½ ounce fresh lemon juice

Shake all ingredients and strain into a tall glass full of ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

• THE KALAMANSI

60 ml Glenmorangie Original
1/2 fresh lime
1 fresh kalamansi
2 barspoons soft Demerara sugar
20ml creme de peche

Muddle the lime in a stemless cocktail glass. Add remainder of ingredients and stir over crushed ice. Garnish with kalamansi fruit slices.

THE ORANGIE

50 ml Glenmorangie Original
15 ml creme de peche
10ml Grand Marnier

Stir ingredients over ice. Garnish with a grapefruit slice.

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April 2008

The never-ending search for new, new, new cocktails goes on wherever there is curiosity, inherent mixology talent and an appreciative crowd. This month, in honor of the mixed weather that marks a typical spring, I've collected a trio of disparate cocktail recipes to add to your collection.

OLD BLUE EYES

This simple concoction is the most expensive cocktail offered at NeoMeze, a Mediterranean restaurant/lounge in Pasadena, CA -- a $21 selection in a sea of $12 drinks.

2 parts Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 part Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch

Combine liquors in a shaker filled with fresh ice. Shake vigorously, strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a couple of olives.

KOI COCKTAIL

You may have seen my recent post about TY KU, the sake liqueur. Here's a recipe utilizing the neon green liquid, from About.com: Cocktails.

1 ounce TY KU liqueur
2 ounces Irish whiskey
2 drops peach bitters
lemon twist

Place the lemon twist and peach bitters in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass. Muddle well to release and mix the lemon essence and bitters. Add ice, Irish whiskey and TY KU. Shake well. Strain into a champagne flute.

MARY SUE'S PIMM'S CUP

This drink was created, and copyrighted, back in '97 by the Food Network duo of Mary Sue Milliken and Sue Feniger.

Ice cubes
1 measure of Pimm's
2 measures of ginger ale
Lemon slices
Long cucumber spears
1/2 measure dry gin
Sprig of mint, for garnish

Almost fill a tall glass with ice cubes and pour Pimm's over the ice. Add the ginger ale and lemon slices, and stir briskly with the cucumber spears. Float dry gin on top and add mint sprig.

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March 2008

Drawing by Richard K. Stoddard
The never-ending search for new, new, new cocktails goes on wherever there is curiosity, inherent mixology talent and an appreciative crowd. This month's set of cocktail recipes to add to your collection celebrates such efforts and results from some widely spaced places.

SOUTHERN EXPOSURE

I came across this creation in a report in the San Francisco Chronicle on Daniel Wyatt, the young bar manager at the city's iconic Alembic bar on Haight Street. Many of his drinks are culinary-inspired, and he's heavily into offbeat creations that have helped build both a reputation and a dedicated following.

1 1/2 ounces Junipero gin
Juice of half lime
3/4 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounce fresh celery juice
7 or 8 mint leaves

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass, garnish with single mint leaf.

BLACK & TAN

Allen Katz, director of mixology and spirits education for Southern Wine & Spirits of New York, whipped up this cocktail for an issue of Men's Fitness magazine.

2 ounce Rittenhouse rye whiskey
7 blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 ounce simple syrup
1/4 ounce fresh lime juice
8 fresh mint leaves
Ginger beer

Using a bar muddler or a wooden spoon, crush 5 blackberries in a shaker with simple syrup, lime juice, and mint. Add ice to the shaker, then add rye and shake vigorously. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice, and top with ginger beer. Garnish with fresh blackberries on a cocktail pick.

WEDDING BELLES

If you're not familiar with LUPEC Boston, go here to get acquainted with the Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails. Misty Kalkofen, who bartends at Green Street Grill in Cambridge, began the Boston chapter a year ago. The group posted this cocktail on their Web site along with a report on the nuptials of one of their members.

3/4 ounce gin
3/4 ounce Red Dubonnet
1/2 ounce orange juice
1/2 ounce cherry-flavored brandy

Shake in iced cocktail shaker and strain. Serve in a cocktail glass.

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February 2008

This month I'm looking at top-selling cocktails from "in" spots in the U.S. and Canada to add to our collection of great drinks recipes.

In two of the examples, the establishments have infused the basic ingredients to create new twists on old favorites.


THE ONE MARTINI

Toronto Star writer Linda Barnard pried this recipe out of the folks at celebri-chef Mark McEwan's One restaurant in the Hazleton Hotel, located in the Yorkville section of Toronto. It presents layers of sweet, sour and spice.

Fresh ice
2 oz. apple-pear infused vodka
1/2 oz fresh pineapple juice
Splash of fresh lime juice
Splash of simple syrup

Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Makes one drink.

(Note: The infused vodka is made at One. To duplicate it, you'll need one clear glass bottle or jar with lid, 1 cup apples, peeled and cut into small pieces, 1 cup pears, peeled and cut into small pieces, 750ml of plain vodka, a cinnamon stick, 4 whole closes. Put the whole batch into the bottle or jar, Cap tightly and steep in the refrigerator for a week, shaing it occasionally. Strain and use.)

TODAY'S HARVEY WALLBANGER

This is an update of the '70s fad favorite, classed up by Stephanie Schneider and Andrew Boggs at their Huckleberry Bar, which opened four months ago on Grand Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY. They use freshly squeezed orange juice instead of the concentrate in the original recipe, and infuse the vodka with citrus.

2 oz. citrus-infused vodka
4 ozs. freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 ounce Galliano
1 orange slice, for garnish.

Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in the vodka, orange juice and Galliano. Garnish with the orange slice. Yield: 1 serving

(Note: To infuse the vodka, use 3 lemons, one-half orange and one-quarter grapefruit, all sliced, in a 750ml bottle of vodka. Steep 2-3 days.)

CIRRUS BLOSSOM

Todd and Ellen Gray, owners of Equinox Restaurant in Washington, DC, created this cocktail with Cirrus vodka from Richmond, VA. Cirrus creator Paul McCann tells me "It was originally done for the Cherry Blossom festival, but we are revising it for Valentine's Day."

2 oz. Cirrus vodka
1 oz. Bols cherry brandy liqueur
1/2 oz. Cointreau or triplesec
1 1/4 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. sugar syrup
1/4 oz. grenadine syrup

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

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January 2008

Each year, cocktail competitions are held around the world. Some are sponsored by professional groups, some by manufacturers, some by neutral third parties. As I peruse results, I see some very interesting recipes.

This month, I'm looking at several that fall into that category. As is usually the case, a specific main ingredient is required to be part of the recipe. Thus, you often will see specific brand names used in the recipes.


PEAR-CARDAMOM FLIP

This drink took first place in Imbibe magazine's Imbibe/USA Pears Cocktail Competition. It was created by Daniel Braun of Oliver's Twist in Seattle, WA.

1/2 a ripe Bartlett pear
1 1/2 oz. Bacardi light rum
3/4 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 oz. fresh ginger juice
3/4 oz. pear-cardamom syrup (recipe below)
2 dashes Fee's orange bitters
8 medium sized mint leaves
1 large egg white
1 tsp. huckleberry liqueur
1 tsp. Clear Creek pear brandy
Ice cubes
Tools: mixing glass, shaker, strainer
Glass: rocks or highball
Garnish: pear slice

Dice one-quarter of the pear into quarter-inch cubes. Place in rocks glass with huckleberry liqueur, mint and brandy. Stir and set aside. Cut another quarter of the pear into large chunks. Place in a mixing glass, add bitters and syrup and muddle to completely break down the pear.

To the mixing glass, add ice, rum, lemon juice, ginger juice and egg white. Shake for 30 seconds. Add ice cubes to the rocks glass. Strain ingredients from the mixing glass into the rocks glass. Garnish.

Pear-Cardamom Syrup: 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup water, 1/2 a peeled Bartlett pear, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom. Bring sugar and water to boil in a small pot. Remove from heat and add pear and cardamom. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain and chill.

STARFISH COOLER

This cocktail won the top award in competition at the Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans. It was created by Stacy Smith, a bartender at G.W. Fins in New Orleans. Moët & Chandon White Star champagne was the main required ingredient.

1 oz. Moët and Chandon White Star
1 oz. lemoncello
1 oz. PAMA pomegranate liqueur
1 oz. Unsweetened iced tea
½ oz. simple syrup

Muddle orange slice and mint leaf in a Collins glass. Combine all ingredients and serve.

NOW AND ZEN

This was the winning entry in the U.S. Bartenders Guild's National Cocktail Competition. Skyy vodka was the required ingredient. The recipe was created by Debbie Peek of Tramonto’s Steakhouse in Chicago.

1 oz. Skyy Citrus Vodka
1/2 oz. Zen Green Tea Liqueur
1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz. Monin Lemon Grass Syrup
1 oz. organic acai berry juice

Combine ingredients and fresh ice in shaker. Shake vigorously and serve straight up.

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