Archive for the ‘bubbly’ Category

In serious need of an Italy fix…

April 13, 2009

It started in West Hollywood. In search of the cast from Grey’s Anatomy, my friend took me to Cecconi’s for breakfast. We sat on the patio (shown), enjoyed amazing coffee, and enjoyed a little slice of la dolce vita. This place reminded me of so much of the venerable San Domenico restaurant in NYC, and if it wasn’t before noon, I would have loved to have been sippin’ some Campari.

Then last week, I went to see the Valentino documentary. Most of the movie took place in beautiful Rome and the next day I found myself on Kayak looking up flights to Milan. Unfortunately, flight prices are still a little steep for my budget, so I’ve decided to transport myself to Italy in a more economical fashion: by consuming as many blood orange cocktails as possible. According to New York, ’tis the season for this native Italian fruit.

Blood Orange Bellini
Courtesy of Stirrings
1 part Stirrings Blood Orange Mixer
4 parts dry Chandon Sparkling Wine
Garnish: Stirrings Blood Orange Rimmer

Rim chilled Champagne flute with Blood Orange Rimmer. Pour in Mixer and top with Chandon Sparkling Wine.


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.

Blind Sippin’: Cointreau vs. Combier

January 10, 2009

With the new year I’m introducing a new feature to Martini Talk: Blind Sippin’, where I’ll be comparing well-known brands to innovative up-and-comers. The first installment? A blind tasting of two French orange liqueurs.

We all know Cointreau – a good cosmopolitan’s secret ingredient and preferred choice for cocktails that call for triple sec. Now, there is Combier. Combier is not new. In fact, its touted as the original triple sec, having been around since 1834. Its all-natural recipe and light, citrusy scent is attracting lots of attention lately. What I like most is that it doesn’t have the overbearing taste of alcohol that is very present in Cointreau — taste them side-by-side and you’ll see what I mean. The fact that Combier is triple distilled in 100 year old copper stills designed by Gustav Eiffel (yes, the Eiffel Tower guy) also gives it a certain je ne sais quoi. And, it’s priced lower than then competition, which in these tough economic times is certainly a plus.

Combier Flirtini
2 pieces of pineapple
1/2 oz. Combier Liqueur d’Orange
1/2 oz. vodka
1 oz. pineapple juice
3 oz. champagne

In the bottom of a mixing glass muddle the pineapple pieces and Combier. Add vodka and juice and stir with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and top with champagne. Garnish with a slice of pineapple.

Tis the Season for Bubbly

December 13, 2008

My 2008 sip of choice? Champagne (more specifically, a little Veuve), and all the bubbly cocktails that go along with it. So I was so excited when Kim Haasarud’s 101 Champagne Cocktails arrived in my mailbox. There are so many recipes that are perfect for the holiday season. Here are two to try:

Poinsettia Cocktail
1/2 oz. Combier
3 oz. cranberry juice, chilled
Orange twist

In a champagne flute, combine Combier and cranberry juice. Add the orange twist, top with champagne and serve.

Champagne Celebration
Created by Tony Abou Ganim
1 sugar cube
Peychaud’s bitters
1/2 oz. Hennessy VSOP
1/2 oz. Combier
Chilled Moet & Chandon White Star
Long orange twist for garnish

Soak the sugar cube in Peychaud’s bitters and drop into a champagne flute. Add cognac and Combier. Slowly fill with champagne and garnish with orange twist.

To good health, good fortune, and infinite happiness!

Ruby Red

November 16, 2008

Sorry, I’ve been a bit MIA lately. I recently started a new job, a somewhat new relationship, and a GMAT prep class all in the past month. Needless to say, things have been a little crazy, but that doesn’t mean the cocktails stop flowin’. Like weddings (a subject I know a lot about), cocktail culture seems to be recession proof. In good times or bad, people still need a drink. And though it seems almost every company is scroogin’ out on their holiday parties, I myself can’t wait for the holiday season to get here. In these tough times, a little mistletoe and Christmas Wrapping is sure to go a long way, and it all begins with my favorite holiday of them all: Thanksgiving.

Though I will be spending Turkey Day in LA with Ed (somewhat new relationship), I’ll be thinking of my friends at Blue Sage on Friday, when we would normally gather for Potato & Corn Chowder soup, Casbah salads, and a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau. Luckily, co-owner Holly was kind enough to give me her secret recipe for a seasonal-inspired sip I can make on the West Coast.

Ruby Sipper
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup cranberry juice
1 cup pomagranate juice
2 cups sugar
Rind & juice of two oranges
Sparkling white wine/ Prosecco
Red sugar for glass rim
Whole fresh cranberries for garinsh

Add to a sauce pan coarsely chopped cranberries, juices, sugar & orange rind simmer until syrupy about ten minutes. Strain; cool syrup to room temp. Pour into squirt bottles( this makes it so to pour into champagne flutes). Pour 1-2 tablespoons syrup into sugar rimmed flutes, then top with sparkling wine. Garnish with cranberry.

*cranberry – ponagranate syrup is also great in vanilla vodka
*syrup lasts in refrigerator for two weeks.

It’s Tales of the Cocktail time!

July 15, 2008

This Wednesday, the country’s hottest chefs, authors, mixologists, bloggers, and more will descend upon the French Quarter for the annual Tales of the Cocktail, a four-day event in honor of the spirit — and spirits — of New Orleans. Why New Orleans? Well believe it or not, that is where the cocktail originated. Though I’ve never been, I can’t think of a better reason to visit. Unfortunately though, I’m unable to attend this year. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be celebrating this annual tradition. Instead, my friends and I will be hopping around New York City this Friday night, imbibing at classic cocktail establishments known for mixing up tasty old-school sips. Stay tuned for cocktails and happenings from the 1st Annual NYC Cocktail Bar Tour. In the meantime, check out the winner of 2007’s Tales of the Cocktail competition:

Starfish Cooler
Courtesy of Stacey Smith, GW Fins, New Orleans
1 oz. Moët & Chandon White Star
1 oz. Limoncello
1 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
1 oz. Unsweet Iced Tea
½ oz. Simple Syrup

Muddle orange slice and mint leaf in collins glass. Combine all ingredients.

Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere

June 7, 2008

OK, so this post isn’t about martinis, but it is about my next favorite drink at the moment: champagne. Just last week I attended a champagne tasting at Country at The Carlton hotel in New York. This is fast becoming one of my favorite restaurants in the city — I love lighting and decor. The best part? The champagne lounge on the second level. Here’s one of their signature sips:

The International Cocktail
1/4 oz. Hennessy VSOP
1/8 oz. Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
Angostura Bitters-soaked sugar cube
Orange zest

Rinse champagne flute with Hennessey, then disregard the rest. Add a bitters soaked sugar cube to the glass followed by Luxardo Maraschino liqueur. Top with Prosecco. Garnish with orange zest.

Ciao Campari!

May 4, 2008

Still on my classic cocktail kick, I’ve decided to make Campari my drink of choice for the spring season. What is it? A bitter, herbal spirit that originated in Italy in the late 19th century made with rhubarb, ginseng, and orange peel, and 57 other secret ingredients. Why I’m lovin’ it? It’s super refreshing when mixed with club soda and a splash of lemon. Plus, it has a gorgeous red color reminicent of a South Jersey shore sunset, which takes me back to another bygone era I’m having a little nostalgia for lately…

So last week, I had the pleasure of having my first Campari cocktail at the venerable San Domenico restaurant on Central Park South. The San Domenico Signature Cocktail is a delicious mix of Campari, Cointreau, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and Prosecco. Salute!

Kickin’ It Old School

April 9, 2008

I just got back from the Bowery Hotel, where bartender Brian is mixing up old school concoctions worthy of Toulouse-Lautrec. That’s right, we are talkin’ Absinthe. Though I have done my Absinthe research, even writing a story on the “Green Fairy” while at Pennsylvania’s Wine Spirits Quarterly, I have never seen an absinthe cocktail made in person — until tonight. Bowing to tradition, Brian mixed up this mystical green potion in a pint glass, topped it off with a strainer, over which he poured ice cold water from an ornate glass jar over a sugar cube. If you’re not daring enough for this hallucingenic sip, try the bar’s Bowery Cocktail: a mix of Dubonnet, Angostura bitters, and Plymouth Gin topped off with Champagne and served in a martini glass garnished with a lemon twist.

It’s the martini talking…

September 23, 2007

This past Friday night I met a friend for a drink after work at one of the most fabulous places in New York: Flat Iron Lounge — very old school, very Art Deco, very Frank Sinatra. A colleague recently told me that this place serves the most fantastic cocktails in the city, and it did not dissappoint (thank you Mr. Victor Thompson). My martini was a lovely sensation of vodka infused with pearls of jasmine and white peach and garnished with the prettiest orchid…hello, deliciousness! Of course I had two 😉 The recipes, of course, are a secret, but I thought I’d share two fall-inspired cocktails to kick off the season (and to tide you over until the 4th Annual Martini Talk). Cheers!

Gingered Pear
Courtesy of Stirrings
3 oz. Stirrings Pear Martini Mixer
2 oz. Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1 oz. Stirrings Ginger Ale
Stirrings Spiced Apple Rimmer Garnish
Slice of fresh ginger

Build in an iced highball with Stirrings Spiced Apple Rimmer and a slice of pear, short shake, and top with Stirrings Ginger Ale.

Pomegranate Mimosa
Courtesy of POM Wonderful
1/2 oz. POM Wonderful® 100% Pomegranate Juice
1 glass of dry champagne
1/2 oz. Cointreau®

Pour champagne into a champagne flute. Add pomegranate juice and float the Cointreau on top.

A little martini talk:
“There is something about a martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant:
A yellow, mellow martini:
I wish I had one at present.”
— Ogden Nash

“I love to drink martinis,
Two at the very most.
Three I’m under the table.
Four I’m under the host!”
— Dorothy Parker