Archive for the ‘cocktails’ 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.


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

Countdown to 2009

December 30, 2008

2008 was definitely the year of pear and lots of bubbly as well. So what flavor will we be sippin’ in ’09? Mango perhaps? It’s too soon to tell, but you can be sure Martini Talk will bring you the latest, tastiest cocktails in the new year. Here are my faves from 2008.

10. The von Tobel
9. The International Cocktail
8. Clementine Blush Gimlet
7. The Take Off
6. Jamaican Firefly
5. Lemongrass Kicker
4. The Diego Martini
3. Texas Nectar
2. Coda
1. The James-hattan

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

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!

mmmm….White Russians

December 3, 2008

From today’s New York Times, an ode to one of my all-time favorites:

White Russians Arise, This Time at a Bowling Alley

AMONG the significant dates in the history of Kahlúa, the Mexican coffee liqueur, surely March 6, 1998, rates a mention. That was the release date of “The Big Lebowski,” the Coen Brothers movie about an aging slacker who calls himself the Dude, and who, after a thug urinates on his prized rug, becomes caught up in a Chandleresque mystery.

Played with slouchy brio by Jeff Bridges, the Dude’s chief pursuits involve bowling, avoiding work and drinking White Russians, the sweet cocktail made with vodka, Kahlúa and cream or milk.

Click here for the full article.

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.

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.