Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hangover Cocktails: Start the New Year Off Right!

Oh, the dreaded hangover. With New Year’s Eve just a day away, and the abundance of alcohol consumption that usually goes hand in hand with the celebration, it’s always best to plan ahead. And though drinking lots of water before heading into a drunken slumber guarantees to reduce the effectsof a hangover, if you’re completely tanked, remembering to do this just isn’t realistic.

Those of us who have a really good time on New Years will be paying for it in the morning – and lessening post-party pain is always the goal: the tastier the better. So, before heading out for New Year’s Eve, make sure you have the ingredients for one of these enjoyable hangover cures.

Hangover Cocktail Cure #1: The Redeye Mary The hair of the dog is always a sure-fire way to cure the symptoms of a hangover. The tomato juice will help to metabolize the alcohol you consumed, the egg is rich in amino cysteine which will help your body clear out the toxins from drinking
- 4 ounces Beer
- 1 ounces Vodka
- 8 ounces Tomato Juice
- 1 whole Egg
- Cayenne Pepper to taste

Pour the beer, vodka, Cayenne pepper, and tomato juice into a pint glass and mix well. Pour into a pint glass, add a fresh, raw egg, and drink up. You’ll feel the healing begin in no time.

Hangover Cocktail Cure #2: The Honana Shake The banana will help settle your stomach and the honey replenishes the blood sugar level and the milk rehydrates the system.
- 1 banana
- Cup of milk
- 1 Tbs. brown sugar
- 1 Tbs. of honey
- 1 shot of rum

Peal the banana, cut into large chunks and place the pieces in a small bowl. Place the bowl in the freezer and leave the banana until the banana chunks are firm. In a blender, combine the banana, milk, brown sugar, honey and rum. Blend until smooth. Pour your Honana into two glasses and serve.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Ultimate Christmas Champagne Cocktail

Not too sweet, but crisp and perfect with a holiday dessert, this is the Ultimate Christmas Champagne Cocktail!

Ingredients for the Christmas Champagne Cocktail- 4 oz. Champagne or Sparkling Wine
- 1 oz. Grand Marnier
- 3 brandied cherries (the best pre-made can be found at Whole Foods, behind the cheese counter)


Combine the Champagne or Sparkling Wine with the Grand Marnier in a chilled cocktail shaker or pint glass. Stir gently. Pour into champagne glasses and add 3-4 brandied cherries. Serve. Drink.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Dirty Snowball: a Minty Holiday Cocktail

The Dirty Snowball Cocktail
Feasting on Christmas cookies always calls for some milk, but when you’re an adult you have an excuse to add alcohol to that mix. I found a great match for dipping and sipping. The Dirty Snowball is what I like to call it!

This minty cocktail derives from “The Grasshopper” that contains equal parts Crème de Menthe, Crème de Cacao and fresh cream. I added a shot of whipped cream flavored vodka to take it up a notch. To add to this green beauty I rimmed the glass with Oreo cream and dipped it in the crushed cookies. The Dirty Snowball is a combination of milk and cookies all in one. Enjoy this holiday cocktail!

Ingredients for the Dirty Snowball:
  • 1 Oreo, double stuff preferred
  • Glass of your choice
  • 1 shot Crème de Menthe
  • 1 shot Crème de Cacao
  • 1 shot Whipped Cream flavored vodka (Vanilla works too!)
  • 3 shots fresh cream (or to taste)
  1. Twist your Oreo so that one side of cream is exposed. Scrape off the cream around the rim of your glass and pinch it on to secure the connection. Crush the cookie portion of the Oreo on a small plate and dip the cream covered rim in it with desired amount of Oreos.
  2. Combine Crème de Menthe, Crème de Cacao, Whipped Cream Vodka, and fresh cream to your cup and add ice.
  3. Serve with more cookies for dipping!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Berry Sangria

Holiday Berry Sangria is the perfect Holiday cocktail for a festive Holiday party (or any party for that matter). It’s bright and refreshing and very intoxicating. Your guests are guaranteed to love it! And the perk? You don't need a high-priced wine to make this fancy berry cocktail...

Ingredients for Holiday Berry Sangria:
  • 4 cups of mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries – frozen berries work as well)
  • 2 cups of dark rum
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 bottle of red wine (pinot noir or zinfandel - refrigerated)
  • 1 bottle of cherry juice (refrigerated)
  • 1 cup of sparkling apple cider (refrigerated)
  • Fresh mint

  • Large bowl with lid
  • Large punch bowl or pitcher
  • Ladle

Step 1. 24 hours before serving, combine berries, rum and sugar in a large bowl and stir gently until the sugar is dissolved. Seal the bowl with the lid and refrigerate.

Step 2. This step should be done no more than 30 minutes before serving. In a large punch bowl, combine the rum-berry mix, wine, cherry juice & sparkling apple cider. Stir gently. Ladle your sangria into wine goblets or glasses. Garnish each glass with a sprig of mint.

Serve your Holiday sangria & Enjoy. Happy Holidays!

Warning: This beverage contains a lot of booze. Would suggest limiting to 2-3 glasses per person. =)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tea and Sympathy

Recently a friend was in the midst of a personal conflict and was asked if I could suggest a good drink to comfort her. I remembered a drink that I had in the past by the name of “Tea and Sympathy”.

Sometimes things get tough and you just want a warm cocktail to comfort you.

Ingredients for Tea and Sympathy:

- 8-10 oz. Hot Bigelow Constant Comment Tea (cinnamon spiced tea will do)
- 1 shot of Grand Marnier (Contreau will work if you don’t have the good stuff)
- A twist of lemon
- Honey to taste

This drink is satisfying when you need comfort. It’s also great when you get off the slopes and want something different than a Hot Buttered Rum.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Blender Hot Toddy

It’s that time a year: "Season of the Cold and Flu"… And a friend of mine just told me that she’s laid up in bed with one of the worst sore throats she’s had in a while. I suggested she try my Hot Toddy remedy and then thought: "Why not share it with everyone?":

- 10 oz. Hot Chamomile Tea
- A Squeeze of Lemon
- Honey to taste
- 1 shot of Brandy or Cognac
- A couple of slices of Fresh Ginger, if you have it (optional)

The taste isn’t “amazing”, but it’s not bad either and can really soothe the most irritable throat.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Case of Cocktail Plagiarism

Unbelievable... United Airlines just staked claim on a mixer that has already been well established. They’re calling it the “Sunrise Sunset”, but I believe it’s more commonly known by bartenders and drinkers alike as the “Madras”. In fact, this drink hit its high in popularity in the 80’s, according to Marissa Walsh, author of “Tipsy in Madras”.

What’s the difference between the Madras and the Sunrise Sunset mixed drink? United uses cran-apple juice instead of cranberry in their cocktail. Is United Airlines now entitled to sue a bar for using cran-apple juice instead of plain cranberry and serving it up as a “Madras” to their customers?

Apparently, United thought so highly of their “new” drink that they decided to publish a press release about it. Are they aware that their new signature cocktail already existed? There’s no mention of the Madras in their press release. Maybe they’re just hoping that their plagiarism of the popular Madras mixer will go unnoticed…

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Beer & Cookies?

Watch out Milk – There’s a new player in town! That’s right. Beer is making its move to replace the “milk” in “Milk & Cookies”. I was skeptical at first – and I’m still not 100% sold on the concept – but pairing Beer and Cookies was definitely intriguing.

What sparked the idea of pairing beer and cookies? A strong declaration made by a friend, who swore that any beer plus chocolate chip cookies equalled a great pairing. I looked at him cross-eyed, but realized I couldn’t knock it ‘til I tried it. So I bought a selection of beers at Whole Foods and an assortment of cookies from a local bakery and rounded up a few friends to help me test out this new “beer and cookies” theory. And, of course, I made my poor friends rank each beer and cookie combo on a scale of 1 through 10 so that I could more precisely measure our findings.

Before you look at the results, please keep the following in mind:
1. Unlike wine and food pairings, the results of each beer and cookie pairing sometimes varied significantly, person to person, because some combinations played out differently on each of our palettes.
2. The graph is an average of the results of 5 different people. Based on #1, there isn’t a huge sway between what pairing was most loved and what wasn’t. I’ll be testing this on a larger audience the next time. 3. The results of this graph should only reflect these specific combinations. There could very well be other beers that could pair well with the selected cookies and vice versa.
4. Most importantly, none of us had ever had beer to wash down our cookies.

And the results are as follows (drum-roll please)…

As the averages show, most beer and cookie pairings didn’t exactly knock our socks off. However, Indian Wells’ Spicy Pumpkin and Pipeline’s Porter were definitely the best matched to our selection of cookies. And we all agreed that pairing Bison’s Gingerbread Ale with ginger snap cookies made our taste buds happy.

In the end, this eccentric taste test did make me a believer in the beer/cookie theory. However, I’m not sure if beer will ever replace milk in my heart. But, for those of you that do love the “beer and cookie” coupling, please help me to see the light: let me know which cookies and beers you think should be paired together. I’m flying blind.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Irish Hot Chocolate

The Irish Hot Chocolate is my absolute favorite drink on cold, rainy or snowy days. This hot chocolate cocktail isn't too sweet and it'll warm you up in a heartbeat!

Ingredients for the Irish Hot Chocolate:

-    Milk (I prefer non-fat or skim)
-    Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: 1 Tbs. per 8oz.
-    Bailey’s Irish Cream
-    Optional: 1/2 a shot of dark rum to give it an extra kick

In a small pot, heat the milk slowly on the stove (medium low), stirring frequently. Do not bring to a boil or even a simmer. As soon as you see steam, turn the stove off. Slowly sift cocoa powder into the milk, stirring regularly (to prevent clumping). Once all of the cocoa powder has been added and has been thoroughly mixed in with the milk, return the pot to the heat and stir regularly until very hot. Turn the stove off (do not remove the pot from the stove) and add the Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Pour the mixture into your favorite mug, sprinkle a little cocoa powder on top and enjoy!