Archive for the ‘martinis’ Category

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

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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.

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

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.

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.

Ginger or Marianne?

August 17, 2008

Lately, I’m definitely a ginger kinda girl. And now I know why they gave The Movie Star her name: Ginger is such a spicy, sexy flavor, and I am loving it in cocktails, whether they are made with ginger beer or the trendy Domain de Canton. It all started with the Jamaican Firefly at Pegu Club. Then there were the Gold Medal Martinis at Kira’s house. Last night, I continued the trend at One with this ginger-infused sip:

The White Orchid
Courtesy of One
Ketel One Citroen
Domain de Canton
Triple sec
Lime juice
White cranberry juice

Going for Gold

August 17, 2008

My friend Kira recently moved into a fabulous new apartment and decided to get a few friends together for a little housewarming party and watch the Olympics at the same time. So in honor of Beijing and the unstoppable record-breaking U.S. Olympic team, I created a signature cocktail just for the occasion using my new favorite liqueur: Domain de Canton, a ginger-infused white cognac.

Gold Medal Martini
2 parts Grey Goose La Poire
1 1/2 parts Domain de Canton
1 part pear juice
Gold dust sugar

Shake with ice in a shaker, strain, and serve in a gold
sugar-rimmed martini glass.

Global Sips

August 10, 2008

This past week I was in Washington D.C. filming a WeddingChannel.com segment for FOX. I was super-excited when my car pulled up to my hotel, which was located right in the heart of Georgetown! I have loved this posh town ever since college. As I was walking along M Street I got even more excited when I saw Mie N Yu. I had met the marketing and events coordinator, Mike Cherner, at a market party for The Knot a few months back, and he told me to stop in if I was ever in town…and so we did. When I walked through the door, I was sold. With a passion for travel and all things exotic, I immediately fell in love with the Moroccan-inspired decor. It was like we were transported to a far-off land. The menu was just as exciting: banana pesto hummus, panko-crusted Japanese eggplant, wasabi mash potatoes, and one heck of a spicy Mie N Yu roll made with tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber, sesame seeds. And then there were the cocktails….I absolutely LOVE martinis made with blood orange juice, so I just had to try the Emperor’s Nectar: Absolut Apeach, Mathilde Peach, white cranberry, blood orange juice.

But this post would not be complete without mentioning Mie N Yu’s Guillotine Martini. If you are ever D.C. (and you are rollin’ like Kanye) you might want to plop down $325 for this lux sip: a blend of Louis XIII, Grand Marnier 100, and fresh juices that is handcrafted tableside.

Let’s hear it for the Pegu Club!

August 4, 2008

The next stop on my old-school cocktail tour of NYC came unexpectedly last weekend when a friend suggested we go to the Pegu Club. I was super-excited because this place was on my list and, thankfully, the cocktails did not disappoint. Though, I have to say, the atmosphere sort of did. It just seemed like everyone knew about it already, unlike PDT (even though everyone pretty much does). Needless to say, the bar was really crowded with a well-dressed crowd, but despite this, the bartenders still managed to concoct a mean cocktail. We sipped a Jamaican Firefly (dark rum, ginger beer, fresh lime juice) and an Ode to Ankarah (St. Germain, gin, grapefruit juice, orange bitters, lemon juice).

One thing I did love: the Asian-inspired decor. Check out the Pegu Club’s website for the history of it’s namesake cocktail lounge in Burma. In the meantime, here is a recipe for the original Pegu Club Cocktail:

The Pegu Club Cocktail
Courtesy of The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock
1 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. Cointreau
3/4 oz. freshly-squeezed lime juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters