First, let me admit I stole the black moon ice ball idea from The CocktailCouple (@CocktailCouple), it was too cool an idea not to rip off. But then I also saw the same idea used by Kyle Hagerty, from the Tennessean Hotel's bar, The Drawing Room, so apologies and thanks to both for the genius idea.

Now that I've admitted I'm a total thief and brigand, at least let me mea culpa with the fact that I turned it into a margarita. They say there's nothing new under the sun, evidently there's nothing new under a total eclipse of the sun either.

The whole focal point of this cocktail is the black ice ball moon slowly melting against the sun orange of the margarita, it's truly a stunning happy hour visual. Skip that and you might as well skip making the drink. It also creates kind of an auroral effect at the beginning when the ice starts to melt, as well as adding pineapple and lime juice to the drink experience.

Of course, when that black ice ball really melts you have a very odd green looking margarita on your hands, but by that time maybe your guests will be too blitzed to know that and, besides, it's going to be dark outside because you are viewing the last total solar eclipse until April 8th, 2024. So, prepare and serve the drink inside to show off, then drag your guests outside to the viewing area as quickly as possible.

One little thing, to make really black ice you're going to need a ton of food coloring. I have professional food coloring in black and used quite a bit of that per cube, but I wanted seriously black ice balls. Most people, however, don't keep black food coloring in their house so I tested making black ice with the standard four color box of food coloring. To make two drinks I used up almost an entire box of the basic food colors. Less of the color and you'll end up with a grayish ice ball instead, so commit to that box of food coloring or don't bother. Instructions for making the black moon ice balls is below.

To make the ice ball melt slower, chill all of your ingredients and your cocktail shaker beforehand.

(Sorry this was so late but better late than never. I've been on various medications off and on since May and haven't been able to have too many cocktails. Yesterday I finally got to quit taking all of them!)


2 Oz. Tequila
1/2 Oz. Grand Marnier
2 Oz. Fresh Orange Juice
1 Black Moon Ice Ball
(Directions below.)

Garnish: Orange slice

Tools: Cocktail shaker, Spherical Ice Mold, Funnel

Glass: Old Fashioned, Chilled

Add the tequila, Grand Marnier and orange juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake until well chilled then strain into the chilled glass. Add the Black Moon Ice Ball, garnish and serve.

Makes 2 Black Ice Balls

TOOLS: 2 Spherical Ice Molds, 1 Funnel

2 C. Pineapple Juice
1/3 C. Lime Juice
30 drops Black Food Coloring
20 drops each; Red, Blue, Yellow Coloring and 5 drops Green Food Coloring
(Test your color by dropping a bit into some water then adjust the color a drop or two at a time. Too blue? Add some 1 red, 3 yellow). Too green? Add 1 blue, 2 red. Too Purple? Add a green, 2 yellow. Technically, colors opposite on the color wheel when mixed will create black.)

DIRECTIONS: Mix your black ice water then, using the funnel, carefully pour into your ice ball molds. Freeze for 3 to 5 hours or overnight.

Happy Total Solar Eclipse viewing, remember not to look directly at it with the naked eye, and don't let your pets do that either! If you don't have solar eclipse eyeglasses, here's how to make your own solar eclipse viewer.




I made some Candied Pecan Liqueur once, ages ago, and loved it so much I now try to keep it on hand in my bar at all times. It's the main ingredient in many of my Pecan Cocktails.

Once more into the breach, only this time with chocolate pecan pie on my mind.


2 Oz. Homemade Pecan Liqueur
1/2 Oz. Chocolate Vodka
1/2 Oz. Chocolate Liqueur
1/2 Oz. Half & Half

Garnish: Chopped pecans and dark chocolate shavings

Tools: Cocktail shaker

Glass: Cocktail (Martini)

Shake ingredients with ice then strain into a chilled glass.
Garnish and serve.

National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day is August 20th. National Pecan Pie Day is July 12th.

If you like this cocktail you might also want to try this Bourbon Derby Cocktail.





The basic traditional English Trifle recipe calls for ladyfingers or stale sponge cake (often soaked in sherry, port or Madeira), fruit or some fruit jam, creamy custard and fresh whipped cream, all layered until they reach the top of the serving dish. It's the modern descendant of a Medieval fruit and custard fool and a close relative of the cream and sherry dessert known as a syllabub (which was a dessert inspired by the frothy 16th century syllabub drink of wine, cream, sugar and lemon juice.)

With my Raspberry Trifle Martini I've taken the main ingredients and combined
them into a liquid trifle in a glass.



2 Oz. Pinnacle Cake Vodka
1/2 Oz. White Creme de Cacao
1/4 Oz. Sweet Sherry
2 Oz. Raspberry Puree
Juice of 1/4 Lemon

Garnish: 2 Cubes of Sponge Cake (or Ladyfingers), Chocolate Syrup, Whipped Cream

Tools: Blender, Metal Strainer, Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Cocktail or Coupe

Chill your glass in the freezer.
To make the raspberry puree blend 1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries, 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of sugar then strain out the seeds. Add 2 ounces to the cocktail shaker per drink. (The remainder of the puree can be used in other dishes, like over ice cream, cake or even spooned over pork chops.)
Add the remaining cocktail ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until well blended and chilled.
Pour into the chilled glass, top off with the whipped cream, drizzle on some chocolate syrup and garnish with the cubes of sponge cake.

If you like you can replace the cubes of sponge cake with the more traditional lady fingers, as long as you get that cake bite in their you're golden.


RUM INFUSED GUMMY WORMS - Booze Infused Gummy Candy Recipe

I got some free gummy worms so I thought I'd give them a soak in some booze. Vodka soaked Teddy Bears are floating all over the web as the newest big thing so, what the heck, I'll toss the free worms in some booze too. It's not like I haven't made candy booze over the years.

Since the gummy worms I got were tropical flavored, I decided I would use rum instead of vodka. So, into my little bowl went the package of gummy worms and then some light rum.

It took about 18 hours for the gummy candy to soak up most of the rum. I could have let them soak longer, however they were already so drunk they were falling apart! Maybe gummy teddy bears are more stable, but I didn't get any of those for free.

  Here's a video of the end result so you'll see how truly drunk and falling apart my poor gummy worms were. They tasted wonderful, but there was no way they could be served in this state.



Add the gummy candy to a covered jar or bottle then completely cover the worms with a decent light rum.
Allow this to infuse until all the worms have completely dissolved, shaking well at least twice a day. Mine took a couple of days.
Once the worms have dissolved, strain through a metal strainer.
Then strain again through cheesecloth or coffee filters to remove the finer gummy sludge. (If using coffee filters you will have to change them several times and allow more time for the filtering process.)
Below is the gelatin and other gunk you'll be straining out:

Bottle or use immediately in Rummy Gummy shots!





It's the time of year that decent, fresh cantaloupe starts showing up in the market and there's nothing better than a fresh cantaloupe cocktail in the heat of summer to cool you off. If your cantaloupe is ripe and sweet there's nothing more refreshing.  If your cantaloupe has almost gone overripe it's even better for the cocktail as you get more juice and much more sweetness.

1 Oz. Melon Vodka
3 Oz. Fresh Cantaloupe Puree
Juice of Half a Lime
1/2 Tbsp. Warm Water
1 Tbsp. Honey

Garnish: Cantaloupe Melon Balls

Tools:  Melon Baller, Cocktail Shaker, Bar Spoon

Glass: 5 Oz. Martini Cocktail Glass

Using the melon baller, scoop out several cantaloupe balls for the garnish and set aside.
Chill your glass in the freezer.
Add the warm water, honey and lime to your cocktail shaker and stir to blend the honey into a syrup.
Fill the cocktail shaker with ice, add the remainder of the ingredients and shake until chilled.
Pour into the chilled glass, garnish and serve.

If you prefer, you may strain your cocktail through a metal strainer for less pulp from the puree.

If you like cantaloupe in your cocktails you might also like my Cantaloupe Daiquiri.


You can purchase the Cantaloupe Martini on Recipe Cards HERE.



The History of BLACK TOT DAY - The End of the Royal Navy Daily Rum Ration


Before modern technology long sea voyages created a drinking problem. Back in the 1600's sailors were given a daily gallon of beer as their drink ration. Unfortunately the volume of the beer was a storage issue so a half pint of rum replaced the beer on sea voyages. The switch was popular among the crew but drunkenness became an issue so in 1740 Admiral Edward Vernon ordered the rum be mixed with water in a ration of 4 water to 1 rum and split into two separate servings a day per sailor.

Continuing issues with alcohol related disciplinary problems caused this half pint to be reduced to a quarter pint in 1824 and later, in 1850, to an eighth pint served once a day. In 1881 the navy ended the officers ration and in 1918 the warrant officers ration.  Finally, in answer questions regarding the validity of the daily rum tot, the Admiralty Board issued the following statement in 1969:

"The Admiralty Board concludes that the rum issue is no longer compatible with the high standards of efficiency required now that the individual's tasks in ships are concerned with complex, and often delicate, machinery and systems on the correct functioning of which people's lives may depend".

This led to the famous House of Commons "Great Rum Debate" of 1970 which eventually concluded that the Royal Navy's daily rum ration, or tot, was deemed no longer appropriate and on July 31st, 1970, after 300 years of Naval Tradition, the final rum rations were poured at 11 a.m. (6 bells in the forenoon watch) after the pipe of up spirits*. Despite an extra can of beer being added to the daily rations, the decision was not popular among many and some took to wearing black arm bands, tots were "buried at sea" and even mock funerals occurred.

July 31st, 1970 then became BLACK TOT DAY, the last day the Royal Navy issued their sailors their daily tot of rum.

Rest In Peace, Daily Tot.

What shall we do with a drunken sailor?
What shall we do with a drunken sailor?
What shall we do with a drunken sailor?
Early in the morning?
Take away his tot and keep him sober!
Take away his tot and keep him sober!
Take away his tot and keep him sober!
Early in the morning!

* The time when the rum ration was distributed was called "Up Spirits", usually between 11 am and 12 noon.



The Sidecar is a classic Cognac cocktail that dates back to World War I.  It makes use of one of my sipping favorites, Cognac.
Here's some great background information about the Sidecar from my friends over at The Alcohol Professor 
2 Oz. Cognac
1 Oz. Cointreau
1 Oz. Lemon Juice
Rim glass with sugar.
Shake ingredients with ice.
Garnish with orange twist or wedge.

National Sidecar Day is July 30th
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