Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

Two Words: Coconut Vodka

June 20, 2009

If I didn’t have a drinking problem already, I may definitely start to form a habit now that I’ve discovered Pearl Coconut Vodka. Coconut vodka. Not coconut rum. Coconut VODKA. Am I the only one who didn’t know this existed? It’s quite possible considering I’m late to everything in my life, including the Twilight train, but I digress ….

Back to coconut vodka. So apparently Van Gogh makes one, and so does Burnett’s – just in case you were interested. I’m sure they are lovely, but I can already tell that I’ll be a sucker for the super-premium Pearl. Where can you try it, you ask? Sushi Samba NYC 7. I have to say, I’m not a fan of the sushi, but this place has awesome cocktails, including the Tropicalla, made with Pearl Coconut Vodka, amaretto, muddle raspberries, and a coconut rim. So luscious I had two, and then I got a Hangover … with Bradley Cooper, that is. Go see it if you haven’t already, it’s pee-your-pants funny.

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Look for the red lantern…

June 14, 2009

So apparently, the casinos are now following me. On Thursday, we celebrated my friend Linda’s birthday at Macao, an unmarked bar off Canal Street named after the Monte Carlo of the Orient. The vibe inside is one-part Little Branch, one-part Pegu Club, and a dash of Stanton Social.

Oh, and the cocktails are ridiculous. We sampled just about all of them and there was only one that I didn’t like – though everyone else loved it, so I won’t throw shade here. Sip for yourself:

Arrack Fizz: Batavia Arrack (a white rice and sugar cane spirit from the West Indies) shaken with mandarin blossom water, homemade hibiscus cordial, pineapple juice, and an egg white, served tall.

Drunken Dragon’s Milk: Charbay Green Tea Vodka shaken with young coconut puree, thai basil, and Macao Five-Spice Bitters, served tall.

Bashful Maiden: Hendrick’s Gin shaken with St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Velvet Falernum (a rum-based lime cordial), lemon juice and pureed striped lemon, served straight up.

Dr. Funk: Mekhong Thai Rum served tall with homemade grenadine, ginger beer, dressed with fresh fruits and mint and topped with a drizzle of absinthe.

Blood Peach Bellini: Pureed blood peaches and a dash of Campari gently stirred with Zardetto Prosecco.

Yellow Fever: Rittenhouse Rye, Benedictine, lemon juice and egg white, shaken and layered over Cherry Herring.

Kaffir Jimlet: Kaffir lime-infused Plymouth Gin mixed with lime juice and agave nectar, served straight up.

Wanna learn how to muddle?

May 16, 2009

So I totally missed World Cocktail Week because I’ve been searching for a new apartment – which I scored and I’m happy to say that Martini Talk will be officially moving into Manhattan later this summer (YAY!). Too make up for missing WCW, I thought I’d share this cool video from CHOW.com where mixologist Michael Cecconi teaches you how to properly muddle. Enjoy!

Christmas on the Beach

April 24, 2009

So last night, the girls and I got together at Irving Mill in Union Square, which had an unexpected yet fantastic cocktail menu. Here’s what we were sippin’:

The Peruvian: Pisco, Purple Corn Cider, and lime. Purple corn cider? When I asked the bartender what that tasted like, he said “Christmas on the Beach – fruit forward with notes of cinnamon at the finish.” Who care’s what it tasted like, after that description I was sold. To my surprise, it was delicious — and not too too sweet.

My friend ordered the In Fashion and after taste-testing, I ditched The Peruvian for this more stylish sip: Rye 1, Kirschwasser, Nonino Amaro (grappa), rose water and brandied cherries.

Another one not to miss: the Kumquat Fizz, a Spring Citrus Libation made with Hendricks Gin, Strega (and Italian herbal liqueur), kumquats, lemon and soda.

Movie Time

April 23, 2009

Today kicked off the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival (through May 3rd), and while I’m not a big film festival-goer, I am psyched to see Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds (swoon) in X-Men Origins next week. Yes, I know it’s not officially part of TFF, but this is my blog. I get to write what I want 🙂

Anyway, even though I probably won’t be seeing any TFF films, I’m definitely going to make time to try the film festival’s signature cocktail, the Darkening Theater, created by B.R. Guest mixologist, Eben Klemm.

It’s made with popcorn-infused Stoli (yes, popcorn-flavored vodka!), salted Coke syrup and garnished with caramel popcorn. What do you think — sound good?

Try it and let me know. It’s being served up in NYC at Blue Fin, Blue Water Grill, Primehouse New York, Vento and Wildwood Barbeque.

Diamonds and pearls, Melissa.Diamonds and pearls.

March 8, 2009

No, I’m not talking about a Prince song. And if you don’t know the dear, sweet Melissa Mariola you won’t get the title of this blog post either. But needless to say, I could not stay away from the juice this weekend, and it was so worth it. I do believe that last night I found the single best cocktail in New York City. I may have said this before, but its going to be pretty tough to top the Diamonds and Pearls martini at the Jade Bar inside the Gramercy Park Hotel. As I said after the first sip: I just want to make out with my drink right now. Here’s the mix: Reyka vodka and Lillet Blanc shaken with freshly muddled blackberries and a touch of coconut. Fair warning: It’s $19 a pop – but worth every penny.

Sunshine in a Coupe Glass

March 1, 2009


I’m back in New York for a little more than a minute, and I’ve decided that since I’m not here so much anymore, I need to take advantage of the time I’m home. So this weekend I made it my mission to visit Little Branch, a speakeasy-style bar in the West Village. And it just so happened that I made it there twice! What was I drinkin’? Well, at Little Branch (below), the actual cocktail menu is fairly limited to sips w/ lots of brown spirits (think juleps, cognac-infused concoctions, etc.). If just the thought of sippin’ whiskey gives you headache, take a leap of faith and order the Bartender’s Choice. Little Branch’s talented mixologists will ask you what you like and whip up something delicious. My sip was the Sunflower: a lip-puckering blend of gin, St. Germain (yes, it’s back), Cointreau, and absinthe. It was a lovely preview to Spring, which can’t get here fast enough.

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.

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!!!!

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.