20180214

BLACK PANTHER - SCOTCH & ESPRESSO LIQUEUR COCKTAIL


Inspired by the Black Watch Cocktail (blended scotch, coffee liqueur in a 2:1 ratio with a splash of soda, garnished with a lemon peel) I played around with my favorite scotch again for this year's International Scotch Day.

The name of this cocktail was inspired by all the hype for the premier of new Black Panther Marvel superhero movie coming out this week. The finished drink is as visually sleek and sexy as the movie previews and I couldn't resist the reference but it's  a great drink name even without the inspiration.


The
BLACK PANTHER
COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 Oz. Johnnie Walker Black Blended Scotch Whiskey
3/4 Oz. Caffé Borghetti Espresso Liqueur
3 Dashes Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters
1 Dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Garnish: Orange Peel

Tools: Bar Spoon

Glass: Rocks

DIRECTIONS
Add a large ice cube to a chilled rocks glass.
Pour in the scotch and coffee liqueur.
Tap in the bitters.
Stir until chilled.
Express the orange twist over the top then drop twist in cocktail and serve.




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The Sparkling Heart Cocktail for Valentines Day



The
SPARKING HEART
COCKTAIL

TO A CHILLED FLUTE
Add 2 Oz Fragoli Strawberry Liquor
Drop in 3 Frozen Strawberries
Tap in 2 Dashes Lemon Bitters
Top off with Champagne
Mist Orange Liqueur over Top
Garnish with an Orange Twist
For a mocktail version:
Replace the strawberry liqueur with strawberry syrup.
Use club soda instead of Champagne.
Add a dash of orange bitters on top.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY
from The Martini Diva

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20180207

STRAWBERRY JAM OLD FASHIONED COCKTAIL


While having a nosh at one of my favorite eateries, Prep And Pastry in Tucson, they served some homemade Strawberry Jam with my (delicious) Monte Cristo. I don't usually like strawberry jam but it was homemade so I tried it and got one heck of a surprise when I realized I loved that jam. I loved it so much I specifically mentioned it when the waitress brought the check. I told her it would be great in a cocktail and asked if I could have a couple tablespoons to try it out. When my change came back so did a small carton filled with the jam. In turn I promised Kevin, the owner, I'd post up the cocktail recipe featuring his strawberry jam.

I knew immediately I was going to pair that jam with some premium whiskey in an Old Fashioned. A good Canadian Whiskey would be a great match for the flavor of the strawberries in the jam and the jam was a great way to replace the standard sugar cube and cherries used in a classic, muddled Old Fashioned.

Good thing I love Prep and Pastry because I really liked this cocktail, it was easy to make, bursting with flavor and a great way to change up an Old Fashioned.  I just wish Prep and Pastry was closer so I could mooch some of their strawberry jam more often.


STRAWBERRY JAM
OLD FASHIONED

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Canadian Whiskey
2 Tsp. Strawberry Jam
2 Dashes Rhubarb Bitters

Garnish: Orange Twist, Strawberry Filled Ice Cubes.

Tools: Mixing Glass, Bar Spoon

Glass: Old Fashioned

DIRECTIONS
Chill glass.
Muddle the strawberry jam in the bottom of the glass with the rhubarb bitters.
Fill glass with strawberry ice cubes.
Add 2 ounces of premium whiskey, stir to chill, garnish and serve.

By the way, if you're in Tucson you definitely want to hit up one of Prep and Pastry's 2 locations. Not only is their food locally sourced and delicious, they are also pretty creative with their cocktails (try one of their fabulous Mimosas) AND, omg, those incredible house pastries!!


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20180124

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.


The
VODKA
Martinez

INGREDIENTS
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)

DIRECTIONS
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice until very cold, pour into a chilled glass, garnish and serve.

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20180115

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.


The
ROWDY ROY ROGERS
Cocktail

INGREDIENTS
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

DIRECTIONS
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!


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20180108

ENGLISH TOFFEE MARTINI

http://themartinidiva.com

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.

http://themartinidiva.com
The
ENGLISH TOFFEE
MARTINI
 
INGREDIENTS
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
 
DIRECTIONS
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.
 
National English Toffee Day is January 8th.
 
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20171214

HOT! SPICED! SPIKED! CRANBERRY ORANGE TEA PUNCH


For years I have been making a quick hot toddy with Good Earth's original Sweet and Spicy orange spiced tea and a splash of Grand Marnier, whiskey or rum. Whether I came home chilled or just needed a comforting drink on a cold day it was an easy way to warm both my hands and my core temperature.


When our Tucson weather finally decided to head to winter this year it did it fast and furious so out came my Good Earth and some rum. I was sipping away when it dawned on me that my little toddy might make a great hot holiday punch if I dressed it up a bit.

I decided to add a few extra touches to the mix, experimented a few times (I was nice and warmed up after that) then finally settled on the apple and cranberry additions below. If you're looking for a new take on your traditional Christmas Wassail Bowl, give this recipe a try. It's also lovely for a winter tea party.

You might also like the little cookie sandwiches I whipped up to enjoy with my tea toddies (recipe below). Dunking is suggested.


HOT, SPICED
SPIKED TEA PUNCH

INGREDIENTS
1 Bag Good Earth Original Sweet and Spicy Tea
3 Oz. Water
1/2 Oz. Cranberry Juice
1/2 Oz. Dark Rum
1 Oz. Hard Apple Cider
1 Tsp. Honey Ridge Honey Créme Spiced

Garnish: Dried Orange or Apple Slice, Fresh Mint Leaf, Dried Cranberry

Tools: Saucepan, Strainer

Glass: Punch Cup

DIRECTIONS
Bring the cranberry juice and water to a boil.
Lower to simmer, add the apple cider and heat for another minute.
Remove from heat, add the tea bag and steep for 3 to 4 minutes.
While this steeps add the spiced honey and dark rum to a punch cup.
Strain the steeped tea and cider mixture over the rum and honey.
Stir well, garnish and serve hot with a couple of my Hot Buttered Rum Gingerbread Men Sandwich Cookies (recipe below).

HOW TO BATCH FOR A PARTY in a CROCK POT

Multiply the ingredients times the number of cups required. 16 cups filled my crock pot.

Garnish: 1 cup of fresh cranberries, 1 orange sliced into half wheels

Tools: Crook Pot, Ladle

DIRECTIONS
Brew the tea, toss the bags, add tea to the crock pot.
Add the cider, rum, cranberry juice and spiced honey and stir well.
Cover and heat on high for 1 hour.
Add the fresh cranberries and orange wheel halves to the mixture.
Reduce to warm or low for serving.

And now for those cookies. Did I tell you they were stuffed with rum butter? 

BUTTERED RUM
GINGERBREAD MAN
SANDWICH COOKIES

Rum Butter Ingredients:
1 Stick Salted Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Ounce Dark Rum
Optional: Pinch of fresh grated nutmeg

Rum Butter Directions:
Cream the ingredients together with a mixer until smooth. Refrigerate until required.

For the cookies simply spread the inside of one cookie with some rum butter, add the second cookie then refrigerate until serving time. I used some cute store bought gingerbread men but regular gingersnaps or shortbread cookies would be nice as well.

P.S. The Rum Butter makes a really nice hostess gift!

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