Archive for September, 2008

Blog’s first birthday!

September 28, 2008

Time seriously flies. This past week marked the one-year anniversary since I started publishing Martini Talk. It’s been so much fun, and I just want to thank everyone for their support. Please keep reading it and pass it on to your friends! I got big plans for this little blog that could, so stay tuned. In honor of this milestone, I’m toasting my blog with the Clementine Blush Gimlet from The Stanton Social. I originally intended to celebrated my 32nd birthday at this Lower East Side hotspot in December, but since I made it there a little early, there’s no time like the present. Slainte!

Clementine Blush Gimlet
Svedka Clementine vodka (the one with all those freaky Fembot ads)
Muddled fresh strawberries
Lemon simple syrup
Lime juice



September 27, 2008

I’m generally not a scotch drinker, but when invited to a tasting for The Macallan I couldn’t resist. If there is one scotch I would not mind sipping it is The Macallan (18-year over ice, please). So last night, I enlisted a couple friends/virgin scotch drinkers to join me at Studio 450 in Manhattan where we were treated to a few slices of manly deliciousness (read: hot waiters) and a quick lesson about this so-called “water of life.” The Macallan brand ambassador, Graeme Russell, gave an informative, yet still very fun, presentation on the history of this Speyside single malt and also led us through a tasting of The Macallan 12-, 15-, 17-, and 18-year. But perhaps the best part of the night was learning how to toast in Scottish. I’ve often seen the word Slainte but never knew how to pronounce. You raise your glass and you go “Slanzh!” or “Slanj!” So much fun. I think I even like it better than salut (just don’t tell my Italian fam that). Oh yeah, the cocktail: if you are new to scotch, try adding a splash of ginger ale to The Macallan 10-year, or try this:

The Highland Honey Julep
2 shots of The Macallan Fine Oak
1 tsp. Scottish heather honey
5 mint leaves
Mint sprig

Warm honey and put it in the glass, add one shot of The Macallan Fine Oak and stir until honey is dissolved, half fill glass with crushed or cracked ice. Add remaining shot of The Macallan Fine Oak and the mint leaves, stir for 15 seconds. Fill glass to the top with crushed or cracked ice and garnish with mint sprig.

Gilda’s Club and some gin

September 22, 2008

Over the past three months I have been privileged to be a part of the benefit committee that helped to plan the Gilda’s Club Worldwide 4th Annual Red Ball, which was hosted by the Young Leadership Council this past Friday night. Close to 400 people came together at the Westside Loft in Manhattan to celebrate and raise money for Gilda’s Club Worldwide, an amazing organization named in honor of SNL alum Gilda Radner who’s mission is to provide free cancer support for the whole family the whole time. Our hard work and efforts truly paid off (unfortunately though, I forgot my camera!). It was an incredible evening filled with great people, awesome music, delicious sustainable hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Fancy Girl Catering, and tasty cocktails courtesy of Bacardi.

The Gilda
1 part Bombay Sapphire
1 part lemonade
1 part cranberry juice

2 parts Grey Goose Le Poire
1/4 part Disaronno
1/4 part simply syrup
Squeeze of lemon

Thank you so much to all of those who attended and donated to this event and amazing cause. We truly appreciate it!

Vanilla … … baby

September 18, 2008

Sorry! But the song has been in my head ever since I left The Navan Orchid Studio earlier this evening. Vanilla is — by far — my favorite scent and flavor, so you can imagine how excited I was to be invited to The Navan Orchid Studio where I was introduced to the many ways the vanilla orchid can be used, in everything from food to flowers — and of course, cocktails! The spotlight was definitely on Grand Marnier’s Navan, a liqueur blended with cognac and natural vanilla. Here’s the back story: The rare vanilla orchid blooms for only one day in Madagascar and it has to be hand-pollinated to produce a single vanilla bean. From that bean we get the smooth, sophisticated spice we all know as vanilla. In honor of this intense harvest season, Navan called upon NYC mixologist Aisha Sharpe to mix up some innovative sips:

The NAVAN Orchid Martini
1/2 oz. Navan
1 oz. Belvedere vodka
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
Moet & Chandon Imperial
Garnish: white orchid

In a mixing glass combine all ingredients except the champagne, add ice, shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with champagne.

Madagascar Sour
1/2 oz. tamarind syrup
1/2 oz. Navan
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. club soda
Garnish: 3 brandied cherries on a pick

In a mixing glass add all ingredients except the soda, add ice, shake and strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass, add soda and garnish.

*Want more? try splashing some Navan over a bowl of Breyer’s Vanilla Bean ice cream for an indulgent sensory overload.

Goodbye to Summer? I don’t think so…

September 10, 2008

Many of us are having a really hard time saying goodbye to summer, so much so that I’m actually heading down the shore this weekend with the fam for a little R&R. The sad part is that this will be the first time I’ve been to the beach in two seasons (Caribbean and European vacations not included)! Better late than never I guess. And to help keep that summer feel going just a little bit longer, the folks at Ketel One have sent some tasty cocktails my way. I promise, the pumpkin and spiced-apple sips will be coming soon, but for now….

The Ultimate Ketel One Endless Summer Punch
1 oz.Ketel One vodka
½ oz. Midori
½ oz. Amaretto
½ oz. Orange juice
½ oz. Cranberry juice

Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker. Serve straight up in a martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

The Ultimate Kiwi Martini
2 oz. Ketel One vodka
½ shot Simple Syrup
1 fresh and ripe Kiwi

Cut the kiwi in half and scoop out the fruit and transfer to a shaker. Muddle the fruit and add remaining ingredients. Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker and serve straight up in a martini glass. Garnish with kiwi.

One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila…HOME

September 7, 2008

Summer may be over but things are not slowing down. Friday night, Kira and I gathered 100 of our closest friends at Home for a Corzo tasting, courtesy of Bacardi. Corzo is a hot new tequila that is so smooth you can sip it neat. Did I mention its also made with twice the blue agave than other super-premium tequilas? And aging in small America white oak barrels guarantees an ultra-luxe sip. To keep things respectable, we whet our palates with a few cocktails made with Corzo Silver, infused with notes of citrus and vanilla:

Corzo Pineapple Martini: Corzo Silver, pineapple juice, and Cointreau
Corzo Sunrise: Corzo Silver, fresh orange juice, and Grenadine
Zen Corzo: Corzo Silver, lychee juice, and simple syrup

Drink Your Vegetables

September 7, 2008

Last Thursday, I was invited to a high-end spirits tasting courtesy of Bacardi at the brand new, “secret” Chinatown bar, Apotheke. In addition to the intriguing decor (think opium den meets apothecary) the cocktails were just as interesting: Grey Goose and Grand Marnier combine with muddled strawberries; some type of cilantro concoction which I stayed away from because I detest the herb; and my favorite: Grey Goose will muddled red peppers and dill. I’ll have to hit this place up on a regular night to try some apothecary-themed cocktails, such as Aphrodisiacs (champagne and cognacs), Pain Killers (tequilas and spices), and Stress Relievers (incorporating lavender, sage, etc). Apotheke, 9 Doyers St., New York, NY 10013 (212) 406-0400

Sippin’ in Madrid

September 1, 2008

Hola! I’m back from Spain and though it was an AMAZING trip, I couldn’t wait to get back to do some Martini Talkin’. There were not too many cocktails consumed, but in between bottles of Cordineu cava I did get a chance to sip a few. The first night in Madrid, my friend Cristina took me to Les Botelles where our vodka tonics were poured from 50 ml bottles — so cute!

I don’t even like mojitos, but the following day I couldn’t resist the Black Mojito at the rooftop bar at the ME by Melia hotel: Stoli vodka, creme de cassis, mint leaves, lime, sugar, and a splash of champagne.

Finally, to cap off my week abroad, we paid a visit to Del Diego, a highly recommended “cocteleria” off Gran Via, where I was wowed by the sleek decor, vintage martini shaker collection, and the delicious Diego martini: vodka, advocaat, apricot brandy, and lime juice.