Archive for February, 2009

Oscar, Oscar!

February 21, 2009

I haven’t seen 90% of the movies nominated for Academy Awards this year (that’s because going to the movies in New York, well, sucks), but that’s doesn’t mean I won’t be tuning in to see Hugh Jackman take his turn as host. Here are my picks for the winners, along with a signature cocktail just for the occasion.

Best Picture: Milk
Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk
Best Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Night
Best Supporting Actress: Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

The Milk Man
Courtesy of Grey Goose
1 1/2 parts GREY GOOSE® Original Vodka
1 part peppermint schnapps
1/2 part simple syrup
1/2 part cream
1 chocolate-dipped peppermint stick

Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until outside of shaker is frosted and beaded with sweat. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with peppermint stick and sip with pride.

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What happens in Vegas…

February 17, 2009

…definitely stays in Vegas — unless we are talking about cocktails. I’ve been in town since Thursday, and while there have been many highlights — Paul Oakenfold, Cirque du Soleil, the Center Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel (above) — these cocktails deserve an honorable mention. So let’s get to it.

Mango Tamarind Martini at Tao in The Venetian: Finlandia Mango, Cranberry Juice, and tamarind

Stoli Doli at Capital Grille: Stoli vodka infused with Dole pineapples for 10 days – a new American classic

Black Rabbit at Okada in Wynn: Takara Shochu (Japanese rice vodka), passion fruit juice, and grenadine

Pom Sangria at Okada in Wynn: Ichinokura sake, vodka, pomegranate juice, and sprite

Momo Punch at Pearl in the MGM Grand: Bacardi rum, Hakasatura sake, coconut milk, and angostura bitters

Sad, but true…

February 7, 2009

It’s official, the bad economy has trickled down to Martini Talk. So, you may have noticed that my posts have slowed down a bit. There are a few reasons for that. 1) I recently started a new job that requires me to travel – ALOT. 2) I was studying for the GMATs. and 3) When I did have time, I really wasn’t going out much. I mean, $13 cocktails in this economic climate? Yeah, no.

But then all of a sudden it seemed like the sips were going to start picking up again. The GMATs were over (don’t ask how I did), a new stimulus package was unveiled, and I was finally getting the hang of the new gig — and then it happened.

Last night, my friends and I were super excited to check out Merkato 55 (shown above). I’ve heard rave reviews, and the website had us so pumped. Think rum infusions, spice-infused cocktails, a bread bar. So we make a reservation, get there on time, and there is barely anyone in the restaurant. OK, it was early. So we ask the bartender for a cocktail menu and he says they don’t have one. Ummm…has he seen the website??? So then I asked the hostess for a dinner menu, and she hands me a 5 x 7 piece of paper with only 3 items on it. What??? When we asked about what was on the website, all they could say was “I’m sorry, we aren’t doing that anymore.” Very odd, and very disappointing. Could this be a sign of the times? My gut instinct is that Merkato 55 is not going to be around much longer. I hope the same is not true for Bar Martignetti, which is also mysteriously “closed for renovations.”

So we ended up at Ilili (right). Great Lebanese food, so-so cocktails. We sipped the Poison Sumac Margarita made with tequila, orange liqueur, fresh pomegranate juice, lime and sumac.

Drinks from the Road

February 1, 2009


This past month I started traveling for my new job. Though I’m not home much, I do get to visit a lot of warm weather places, which is nice considering it’s like 18 degrees in Hoboken right now! So in 2009, in addition to Blind Sippin’, you’ll also be seeing more drinks from across the country on Martini Talk. Here are a couple from my two new favorite cities.

Pom Ginger Martini
Courtesy of the Verandah Lounge in Dallas
1 part Vodka
2 parts PAMA pomegranate liqueur
Crushed ginger

Mix vodka and PAMA with ice. Strain into a ginger-rimmed martini glass.

Sparkling Hibiscus
Courtesy of Roy’s in San Diego
1 oz. Belvedere vodka
1/2 oz. Hawaiian hibiscus nectar
3 oz. Domaine Chandon Sparkling Rose

Pour vodka and hibiscus nectar in a champagne glass and top with sparkling wine.