Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Golden Glow

Saturday morning I posted a truly fascinating recipe for a Jell-O mold from The Chiquita Banana Cookbook (1974) on Facebook and offered a prize to anyone who actually made it and posted evidence. Well, Bethany, of the fabulous Making It Modern web series, took me up on it and not only made it, but posted a live video of her sampling it. Her reaction was priceless and if you're on Facebook be sure to watch. We were so inspired that we did a live Periscope broadcast where we made our cocktail answer to this monstrosity in Jell-O! Here is the cocktail we made, incorporating as many of the flavors suggested in the original mold recipe as we could. Believe it or not, it's actually pretty good! There is little enough of the pickle juice that it just adds a tangy note and not an actual pickle flavor. Here's the original recipe for the mold:

And here's the cocktail version:

Golden Glow

2 oz vodka
1 oz Banane du Brésil liqueur
1 oz orange-carrot juice
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz pickle juice
3 dashes of celery bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass!

I like to use vodka as a base spirit when I really want the other flavors in the drink to stand out. That was definitely the case here. Banane du Bresil is the only commercially available banana liqueur I've found that actually tastes like bananas and not banana candy. If you can't find it in your neck of the woods, there are recipes online for making your own banana liqueur that result in a great product! Ingredients like pickle juice sound awful, but a little dash can give your cocktail zing. Don't overdo it! We have an episode coming soon that utilizes balsamic vinegar in a drink with the same effect. 

If you have a "fascinating" recipe you'd like us to reimagine in cocktail form, let us know! We love a challenge!

And look for us live on Facebook video soon! Periscope is great, but we think most of our people are on Facebook, so we'll see you there!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

More Cocktails For Fabulous AIDS Walk Sponsors!

Here are a couple more cocktails for two of our fabulous AIDS Walk New York sponsors! We still have quite a list of folks who've earned a drink, so we'll have more soon. We're drinking as fast as we can!

Ladies Night (created for Jenny)

2 oz applejack
1/2 oz elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz dry curaçao
1/2 oz pineapple juice
1/4 oz fresh lime juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass!

Wandering Wahine (created for Barbara & Baz)

1 oz dark Jamaican rum
1 oz Malibu coconut rum
3/4 oz creme de cassis
1/2 oz Banane du Bresil
1 pineapple juice
1/4 oz fresh lime juice
4 dashes of orange bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into a tiki mug!


Monday, May 23, 2016

Make Sure Your Next Party Has Punch!

There are things in this world I enjoy more than a mid-century cookbook or bar guide, in particular the pamphlets put out by companies to offer even more ways to use their products, but not many.  They're so shameless. If you believe their prose, your recipe will, at best, fall flat and, at worst, turn out horribly and embarrass you in front of everyone you know if you don't use their vodka or flour or powdered milk. Sunday was a good day for scoring such pamphlets, found in a little used bookstore we stumbled across in Montgomery, NY. They weren't even really for sale - the owner was using them for decoration - but fortunately he sold them to me! Here's one that's very timely with the summer party season upon us. A bowl of punch means that you can shirk bartending duty and enjoy yourself! That Sparkling Red Punch is perfect for a Memorial Day cookout - substitute a dry sparkling wine to make it even lovelier (and if the kids aren't present)!

That hair!

It's not just a punch bowl - it's an investment in elegance!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Hawaii Five-O Happy Hour

Friday night was the end of an era, as we watched the series finale of the original Hawaii Five-O. We started in 2008 and it became a Friday night happy hour tradition. Any time we were home on a Friday night we watched, in order, from the very beginning through season 12. I'm a little sad to see it end, but Columbo awaits! I've been thinking about it and I don't have a particular favorite episode. My favorite thing to do during Hawaii Five-O is to still frame on an extra's fabulous frock or a tiki in a bar or an especially fancy cocktail. I'm geeky that way. I will also confess to loving the entire series, even after Danno left for greener pastures, and including the paranormal episodes (though I was incensed when Chin Ho Kelly got killed in the line of duty). The good episodes are great, but the bad ones are pretty entertaining, too!

Here's to Hawaii Five-O! Steve McGarrett may not have touched alcohol (a point he made repeatedly), but that doesn't stop us from drinking copious amounts of rum out of his mug!

The McGarrett 2
(Serves 2)

2 oz dark Jamaican rum
2 oz amber rum
1 oz guanabana liqueur
1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz black cherry juice
1/2 fresh lemon juice
Four dashes lemon bitters

Combine all ingredients in a McGarrett mug with ice and stir.

So long, Steve!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tropical AIDS Walk Cocktails

AIDS Walk New York may be done for 2016, but we have lots more cocktails to create for our fabulous sponsors! Here are three more, all with a tropical/rum theme. Cheers!

The Offering

The Offering (created for Dennis)

1 oz dark Jamaican rum
1 oz amber rum
1/2 oz grapefruit juice
1/2 oz cranberry juice
2 dashes of plum bitters

Shake with ice and pour into a tiki mug or highball glass.

Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise (created for Ruth)

1 oz dark Jamaican rum
1 oz brandy
1/2 oz Chambord
1 oz guava nectar
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
Chilled Prosecco

Combine all ingredients except the Prosecco in an old-fashioned glass with ice. Top with wine and stir gently.

Bitter Passion

Bitter Passion (created for Alan)

2 oz amber rum
1/2 oz passionfruit syrup
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz Aperitivo Cappelletti

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Whirlwind Washington, DC Trip & AIDS Walk New York

The past four days are a blur, but they certainly were fun! Thursday morning we hit the road for the Washington, DC area, where we shot an episode at Tiki Thirstday at House of Foong Lin, in Bethesda, then another the next day at Archipelago, in Washington, DC.  Tiki Thirstday was an absolute blast. If you're ever in the area on Thursday evening, definitely go! Chef Fu, who has won all kinds of "Best of Bethesda" awards for his fabulous food, and Miss Ling, the general manager and mixologist, are so sweet and the food and drinks are out of this world! And the tikiphiles who attend were incredibly friendly and welcoming. I wish we lived closer and could go more often!

The first of many cocktails at House of Foong Lin

Huge soft shell crabs at House of Foong Lin - heavenly!

The next day we did what we called the "45 minute tour" of monuments, then arrived at Archipelago, the new tiki bar in town. They were super nice as well and have a great place! The drinks and food were both fabulous, but the garnishes were really transcendent. I forgot to get a shot of the one that looked like two exotic dancers on a pole, but they were all pretty special. And they have a Tom Selleck shrine! It's a great place!

The Tiki Thirstday episode will be online May 24 and the Washington, DC episode on May 31!

Tom Selleck shrine at Archipelago

Is it a hat or an island? Or just a fabulous garnish?

Sunday was AIDS Walk New York, our 20th walk! The weather mostly held out (a little rain, but nothing awful) and they changed the route this year, which was so much better than previous years. There was much more space on most of the route, so you didn't feel like you were uncomfortably close to 30,000 strangers - always a plus. And we stopped for a celebratory lunch at Chan's Dragon Inn on the way home - the perfect way to end the weekend!

AIDS Walk New York Star Walker Breakfast
They even had a throne!

Flaming Virgin at Chan's Dragon Inn

I've only been home for two days, but I'm ready to hit the road again! If you have a location you'd like to see in an upcoming episode, please let us know!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Midwestern Folks: This One's For You

We had a request from Susan, who's in Oklahoma and has been facing some brutal weather, for a tornado cocktail. It's the least we could do! If you're in that part of the world, we sincerely hope you're safe and sound. I wish we could deliver one of these to each of you personally!

The Eye

1 oz dark Jamaican rum
1 oz gold tequila
1/2 oz blue curaçao
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
Ginger beer

Combine first four ingredients with ice in a chimney glass and fill with ginger beer. Stir gently.

Susan, we're thinking of you. Be safe!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Ready To Hit The Road!

If there's one thing I love as much as having a few lovely libations, it's traveling! In my ideal world at least half of our episodes would be done on the road and we're working to make that a reality. In fact, we're hitting the road next week, for our first road trip episode of the season! We'll be visiting Washington, DC and environs, starting with Tiki Thirstday, a weekly event at the House of Foong Lin in Chevy Chase, Maryland! If you're in the area we'd love to see you for tropical libations and fabulous food! Here's a link to the Facebook event page with all the particulars. We can't wait!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

One More Cinco de Mayo Cocktail

It's still Cinco de Mayo, so we have a special cocktail with Sangre de Vida blanco tequila for our fabulous friend Laura, who sponsored us for AIDS Walk New York! Here it is - cheers!

Cosa Rosada de Laura

2 oz Sangre de Vida blanco tequila
1/4 oz raspberry liqueur
1/4 oz apricot liqueur
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz guava nectar

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil. Cheers!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

More Cinco de Mayo Cocktails With Sangre de Vida!

If you saw this week's episode (click here to watch if you haven't), you know we're ready for Cinco de Mayo, thanks to the fabulous folks at Sangre de Vida! Their amazing tequilas and mezcal are guaranteed to get you into the spirit! We featured several recipes, including two cocktails, on the episode, but here are two more, just because we can't get enough! Cheers!


2 oz Sangre de Vida blanco tequila
1/2 oz creme de Violette
3/4 oz grapefruit juice
3 dashes of plum bitters
3 dashes of lemon bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of lavender.

La Pistola

2 oz Sangre de Vida mezcal
1/2 oz orange liqueur
1 oz pineapple juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a roasted Serrano pepper.