Archive for October, 2008

Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2008

Sorry this is so short — between the Phillies winning the World Series and having to find a last-minute Halloween costume, there is little time left for a sip! Luckily, my favorite mixer friends at Stirrings came to the rescue:

Blood Orange Lychee Martini
Courtesy of Stirrings
1 part Stirrings Blood Orange Martini Mixer
1 part vodka
Splash of Lychee juice

For “eyeball,” stuff lychee with dates and drop into bottom of glass. Garnish with a fresh blood orange wedge and plastic spider. Serve in martini glass rimmed with Stirrings’ Blood Orange Martini Rimmer garnish


Copa Cubana

October 27, 2008

In 1492, Christopher Columbus not only discovered America, he discovered Cuba too — 516 years ago today to be exact. To celebrate, Matusalem rum suggests raising a glass of Cuba’s namesake sip.

The Ultimate Cuba Libre
2 oz. Matusalem Gran Reserva Rum
Cola, ice cold
Wedge of Lime

Half fill a chilled highball or Collins glass with ice cubes, add rum and fill with cold cola. Stir gently and squeeze the lime wedge over drink and drop into glass.

One for the Teams

October 22, 2008

My hometown has a huge sports weekend coming up and it starts tonight with Game 1 of the World Series featuring the Philadelphia Phillies! From what I’m reading on Facebook, Philly fans could use some Liquid Courage to help us through our fight against the Tampa Bay Rays. Maybe this will help:

Liquid Courage
Courtesy of
6 oz. Vodka
6 oz. White Rum
8 Creme de Cacao
6 scoops Ice Cream
1 pint Milk

Add all ingredients to a blender and liquify until shake-like consistancy. Serve in beer mugs.

Eagles are coming off a bye week and it’s a must-win this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. If the past month is any indication, we’ll need a few shots come halftime — let’s hope its for touchdowns, not turnovers. Bartender/president of the Philadelphia Eagles Club of Hoboken, Furey, suggests Dr. Bombs, a shot of Jekyll & Hyde dropped into a pint of Monster or Red Bull.

And finally, though I am not a fan (owls are way cooler), Penn State has its biggest game of the season Saturday night against Ohio State. Since many of my friends are members of “the cult,” this one’s for you:

True Blue PSU Fan
Courtesy of the Nittany Lion Inn
2 oz. Belvedere Vodka
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 oz. Blue Curacao
Sierra Mist

Like the glassware you see here? It’s hand-painted my none other than my talented mom, Margie Vagnozzi. Check out the rest of her collection at Morning Glories.

Cocktail Cookies

October 21, 2008

If you know me, you know I have a sweet tooth. I can’t resist any type of cake, cookie, ice cream, you name it. So when Grand Marnier Cocktail Macaroons arrived on my desk I couldn’t resist trying them out, even though it was before noon. In the words of Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf: OMFG! Of course, it comes as no surprise. The macaroons are made by award-winning pastry chefs Francois Payard and Nicolas Boussin. What’s inside is a creamy cocktail gelee with just the slightest hint of Grand Marnier. Inspired by four different cocktails, the macaroons come in four distinct flavors: Grand Cosmo, Grand Margarita, Grand Mojito and my favorite, Orange Crush.

Grand Marnier Orange Crush
1 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
2 fresh orange wedges
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Muddle orange wedges with bitters and lemon juice in a mixing glass. Add Grand Marnier and ice and shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange wedge.

Grand Marnier Cocktail Macaroons, $3 per macaroon/$18 for 4-piece gift set, are available exclusively at Payard Patisserie & Bistro.

Oh, James…

October 20, 2008

So I’m still completely baffled by the sticker shock I encountered in — of all places — my hometown of Philadelphia this weekend. Maybe it was the astronomical cab fares that helped me justify shelling out $14 for a Jack Daniels-based cocktail. Then again, maybe it was the fact that said cocktail was wonderfully delicious and infused with local ingredients. Either way, James: I know you got one of Food & Wine’s best chefs of 2008 in the kitchen, but seriously, $14 in Philly?! My family and friends can no longer claim that NYC is too expensive to visit. Here’s what we were sippin’:

James-hattan: a manhattan made with orange, raisins and cinnamon-infused whiskey.
Grand Poire: a pear and fall spice (cloves, vanilla, star anise, cinnamon) infused vodka cocktail mixed with local pear puree, a splash of pineapple juice and Domain de Canton.

Before I end this post, I also wanted to give Anthony’s in the Italian Market an honorable mention. Though there were no cocktails consumed, three words say it all: Banana Nut Latte.

Tequila in the Fall

October 17, 2008

Isn’t the weather just amazing lately? I’m so ready for the gorgeous weekend that it’s store for the Northeast. So tonight, I’m kickin’ the weekend off a little early with a few more fall cocktails, courtesy of mixologist Jim Meehan from PDT.
Heavenly Horchata
1 1/2 oz. Gran Centenario Reposado
1/2 oz. Kahlua
2 oz. Horchata

Add all of the ingredients to a mixing glass; then add ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with grated cinnamon

Gran Treacle
1 1/2 oz. Gran Centenario Plata
2 oz. Apple Cider
1/4 oz. Agave Nectar
2 Dashes Bitterman’s Mole Bitters
Add all of the ingredients to a mixing glass, then add ice. Stir and strain into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with a twist of orange

Jim’s Diablo
2 oz.Gran Centenario Plata
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. Domain de Canton ginger liqueur
1/4 oz. Crème de Cassis
Add all of the ingredients to a mixing glass, then add ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a thinly sliced lemon wheel.

Big Apple Crush

October 9, 2008

It’s a Grey Goose kinda week. Just in time for fall, last night’s cocktail tasting at the brand new Chelsea hotspot Mr. West was complete with seasonal sips, mushroom simosas, a little Starship, and a special appearance by a few cuties from the FDNY. All in all, an awesome girls night out. Here’s one recipe that’s sure to be an autumn favorite:

Enchanted Apple Martini Cocktail
Courtesy of Grey Goose
1 ½ parts Grey Goose vodka
1 part apple cider
½ part maple syrup
Cinnamon sugar
1 lemon wedge

Moisten the outside edge of a martini glass with a lemon wedge and then roll it in cinnamon sugar. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, squeeze in the juice from the leftover lemon wedge and drop it into the shaker. Add vodka, apple cider, and shake vigorously. Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with a dried apple chip.

Pick an Icon, any Icon

October 8, 2008

Last night I had the pleasure of being invited to a cocktail party at Kiss & Fly to celebrate the fourth season of the critically-acclaimed series Iconoclasts. If you are not familiar, Iconoclasts is an original program presented by Grey Goose Entertainment and the Sundance Channel that teams up today’s leading innovators to share ideas and discuss their creative processes. This season, pairings include architect Cameron Sinclair and Cameron Diaz, along with Venus Williams and Wyclef Jean, who gave an amazing performance at last night’s event. Also in attendance: Clive Davis, Sir Richard Branson, and Tony Hawke — all featured in the fourth season – and hottie du jour, Penn Badgley (swoon).

So you may be wondering: What does this all have to do with Grey Goose and why is she writing about it on Martini Talk? I admit, at first it had me scratching my head, but after I did I little research Goose’s involvement made total sense. You see, Grey Goose Entertainment is a division of Grey Goose vodka that was created in 2005 to innovatively market its product to consumers without actually hitting them over the head with a bottle of L’Poire. Here’s what it says on the website:

GGE main goal is to produce original content for TV, music, and film. Each innovative project reflects the spirit of Grey Goose vodka and celebrates the interests of the consumer.

Iconoclasts was GGE’s first production, and you may be surprised to learn that part of their strategy is to exclude all references to Grey Goose vodka in the episodes. You won’t find any obvious product integration here, but you did see those gorgeous frosted bottles all over the club last night. The event even had its very own Grey Goose signature cocktail, which I’ve left out because this blog has seen one too many L’Poire cocktails.

So, in an attempt to get more people commenting on my blog (I think it’s about time…), I pose this question to you: If you could sit down and talk to anyone – anyone in the world — for one hour, who would it be?

The fourth season of Iconoclasts premieres Oct. 16 on the Sundance Channel. Check your local listings.

Martinis at The Met

October 4, 2008

What did I do today? Toasted the gorgeous fall weather with Kira and Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog on the Rooftop Garden at The Met.

The Balloon Dog
2 oz. vodka
1 oz. elderflower cordial
Splash of sparkling pear juice