Some Like It Hot, A Creole Bloody Mary


         I created a Creole Bloody Mary just in time for the Super Bowl to honor New Orleans. I have spent a lot of time below the Mason Dixon line. My great grand father started the athletic department at UNC and I still have family in North Carolina. I have some close friends in Alabama and love spending time on the beach in the gulf. These experiences have made me a natural southern cook.

The Creole Relish in this bloody mary adds a spicy sweet yet a little bit tart element. It is also a phenominal addition to a homemade pizza, a burger, on grilled chicken or even with added cheese to dip your French fries in. I combine southern flavors with classic south of the boarder flavors to make amazing huevos rancheros using spicy chorizo served with a side of Creole Relish. It adds a sweet, tangy crunch to the eggs. I keep homemade relish and hot sauce it in the refrigerator at all times. If you do spend the time to make each, I guarantee you won’t just use them in this drink. Once you make your own fresh sauces you will be just as spoiled as I am and always have some on hand.

Some Like It Hot –

  •  2 oz Bulleit Rye
  • A pinch white pepper
  • A dash Worcestershire sauce
  • One heaping spoon full of  Creole Relish
  • Two dashes Homemade Hot sauce or Cholula Hot Sauce
  • One heaping spoon pickled peperoncini juice
  • 5 oz tomato juice
  • Lemon Squeeze
  • Slap Ya’Mama Seasoning

Using a lemon wedge round the top of a pint glass. Turn the glass over and roll it in Slap Ya’ Mama seasoning. Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Add Ice. Shake just until combined. Pour Creole Bloody Mary into a pint glass. Garnish with pickled carrots, pickeled radishes, cucumbers and a spring of Italian parsley. Enjoy.

Creole Relish

  •  One large red onion
  • 1 tbsp. Whole Grain Mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh Horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon lemon curd
  • 1 juice from one lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon Dill Weed
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sorghum syrup

Prepare charcoal grill. Cut tops off of onion and peel. Cut onion into eighths. Brush with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Grill until onions are caramelized and just starting to brown. Alternatively, roast onions in a 400-degree oven on a baking sheet.

Combine all other ingredients in a food processor. Using a spatula transfer relish into a bowl. Put onions into the same food processor until finely chopped. Fold red onions into relish mixture. Let sit in the refrigerator at least over night or up to two weeks.

A & P Hot Sauce

  •  2 Habanero chili peppers
  • 10 red jalapeños – halved 
  • one red bell pepper – quartered 
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay
  • tablespoon grapeseed oil

In a blender all ingredients except salt and old bay. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large saucepan. Add the pepper mixture. Let simmer and whisk slowly until thickened. Fine Strain mixture into an airtight container. Place in refrigerator.

Pickled Radishes with Chiles and Ginger

  • One bunch of radishes.
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 Thai Chili
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoons ginger, peeled and chopped

Wash radishes and cut ends leaving half and inch stem. Cut each radish into fourths. Place radishes in a small bowl or quart sized Mason jar with a lid. Combine vinegar, sugar, salt and water in a saucepan. Bring mixture up to a boil. Cook only for a minute just until the sugar and salt dissolves. Let cool. Add chilies, garlic and ginger to the radishes. Pour the mixture over radishes. Add water if necessary to completely over radishes. Place the lid on top of the jar or plastic wrap over the bowl. Refrigerate for two days or up to two weeks stirring once a day, every day.

Pickled Carrots with Fennel

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • one pound of carrots
  • one small head of fennel

Peel the outer skin off a pound of carrots. Using a sharp pairing knife, cut carrots lengthwise into quarters. Take off outer layer of a fennel bulb and wash throughly. Cut fennel into ¼ inch rounds. Arrange carrots and fennel into a small pyrex dish. In a small saucepan bring two cups water to a boil. Remove from heat and add salt, peppercorns, and garlic. Stir well, making sure salt dissolves completely and let cool. Add mixture to carrots. Add enough water so that the carrots and fennel are fully submerged. Cover pyrex with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least two days or up to two weeks.

Gun Powder & Lead


Looking at Bulleit Rye you immediately notice it’s irresistibly rich, amber color. It explodes with flavors of cherry cola, fall bake spices, subtle oak and warming cinnamon. Mysterious notes from the deep south of Corsier Red Absinthe fill this cocktail with tarragon wrapped in citrus infused hibiscus. Then balanced off with bold cherries that have a trace of black cardamom. The first sip of this cocktail warms you up, the second sip fills you with fire, and with the third sip….well, all I can say is, ‘Gun Powder and Lead’.

  • 2 oz Bulleit Rye
  • .5 oz Corsair Red Absinthe
  • 2 dashes Woodford Reserve Cherry Spiced Bitters
  • .5 oz Cherry-Black Cardamom Shrub
  • Lemon wedge
  • Orange Twist

Lightly muddle lemon wedge in a beaker. Then combine all ingredients except Corsair Red Absinthe to the beaker. Add ice and stir well. Add Corsair Red Absinthe to chilled rocks glass. Roll glass around coating as much of the inside surface as possible. Pour out remaining absinthe. Fine strain cocktail into chilled glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Cherry-Black Cardamom Shrub

  • 5 cups cherries halved and pitted
  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • 2.5 cups orange blossom honey
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 8 black cardamom seeds

Wash cherries. Cut in half and pit each cherry. Combine cherries, sugar and honey in a bowl. Stir all ingredients lightly muddling berries. Place bowl in the refrigerator. Let sit for 48 hours – making sure to stir three or four times a day. Add vinegar, black cardamom seeds, and a stick of cinnamon. Let sit in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Again stirring at least once a day. Fine strain into an airtight container.



This little martini is delightfully complex. Amante Anejo with burnt butterscotch and white pepper notes ignites a notable fire. Rhubarb shares the spotlight with Zucca Amaro highlighting its bitter dark side while Aperol illuminates the once red stalks adding cheerful, tangy tangerine to the mix. Blood Orange and raspberry shrub acts as the conductor that finds balance in a quite sophisticated cocktail symphony.

  • 2 oz Amate Tequila Anejo
  • .5 oz Rabarbaro Zucca Amaro
  • .5 oz Aperol
  • .5 oz Blood Orange- Raspberry Shrub
  • 1 dash Regans Orange Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a beaker with ice. Stir well. Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a blood orange slice.

Blood Orange – Raspberry Shrub

  • 2.5 cups blood orange slices
  • 2.5 cups raspberries
  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • 2.5 cups agave
  • 1/3 cup organic apple cider vinegar

Wash the outside of each blood orange carefully. Cut blood oranges into one inch pieces. Combine blood oranges, raspberries, sugar and agave in a bowl. Stir all ingredients lightly muddling berries. Place bowl in the refrigerator. Let sit for 48 hours – making sure to stir three or four times a day. Fine strain out all fruit. Add vinegar. Stir. Fine strain again into an airtight container.

The Sicilian


Soloerno Blood Orange Liqueur seduces the soft notes of ginger and honey found in Perucchi Dry White Vermouth. The Sicilian is then laced with fresh blood orange juice that takes you to exotic places when infused with coriander seeds adding a semi-sweet, warm, caraway, lemon peppery spiced experience.

  • 2 oz Perucchi Dry White Vermouth
  • 2 oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1.5 oz Blood Orange Syrup

Combine all ingredients with ice in a beaker. Stir well. Fine strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Blood Orange Syrup

  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice finely strained
  • 1/4 cup orange blossom honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds

Lightly muddle two heaping tablespoons of coriander seeds. Put coriander seed into a small sauce pan. Turn on heat and let seeds warm up for a minute. Add all other ingredients. Let simmer for ten minutes. Remove from heat and place in an airtight container. Once cooled, place in the refrigerator for 48 hours. Fine strain syrup making sure to capture all of the coriander seeds and funnel into another airtight container. Keep refrigerated.

Llevarte al Cielo


Llevarte al Cielo is a perfect balance of exciting, rich butterscotch Fortaleza Reposado that leads to undertones of malted vanilla then rounds out your palate through hints of herbal orange spice.

  • 1.5 oz Fortaleza Reposado Tequila
  • .5 oz Amber simple syrup
  • .5 oz Benedictine Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Fever Tree Orange Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a beaker with ice. Stir well. Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

Amber Syrup

Makes one cup

For every bottle of Dos Equis Amber Ale add 1/3 cup brown derma sugar, a vanilla bean and a pinch of nutmeg. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring up to a boil for one minute. Turn heat down and let simmer for ten minutes. Fine strain into an airtight container.

Amber’s Flip


One of my very best friends is named Amber, a women whom I not only look up to but absolutely adore. Since this cocktail is made with a Amber ale, I thought ‘Amber’s Flip’ was an appropriate name.

  • 1.5 oz Bulliet Bourbon
  • 1 oz Amber syrup
  • 3 oz Shiner Hefeweizen Beer
  • .5 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Whole egg
  • A pinch of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a shaker except the cinnamon. Hard shake for one minute. Add ice, shake hard again for a minute. Fine strain into a collins glass. Garnish with a pinch of cinnamon. Enjoy.

Amber Syrup

In all honesty I am a little obsessed with this syrup. It’s incredible. The brown sugar takes that sting off the slightly bitter notes in Dos Equis Amber Ale and amplifies the deep butterscotch notes, then adds vanilla, with a hit of malted spice.

Makes one cup

For every bottle of Dos Equis Amber Ale add 1/3 cup brown derma sugar, a vanilla bean and a pinch of nutmeg. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring up to a boil for one minute. Turn heat down and let simmer for ten minutes. Fine strain into an airtight container.

Lazy Sunday


This is the kind of cocktail you want when you are awake, but still cozy. It’s perfect for a lazy Sunday brunch. I used Aviation Gin because of its  luscious lavender, robust cardamom and inviting orange notes that compliment the smooth, champagne like juice of Seckel pears.

  • 1.5 oz Pear Infused Aviation Gin
  • .5 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1 barspoon Rosemarry-Ginger simple syrup
  • La Marca Prosecco

Combine all ingredients, except La Marca Prosecco in a beaker with ice. Stir well. Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass. Top with Prosecco float and spring of fresh rosemary.

Pear Infused Aviation Gin

Place eight Seckel pears cut in half into an airtight container. Add 750 ml Aviation Gin. Store in a cool place for two weeks. Shaking and taste testing once a day, everyday. Take out pears one by one with tongs. Fine strain gin though a coffee filer into another airtight container.

Rosemary-Ginger Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup peeled and sliced fresh ginger root
  • two stems of fresh rosemary

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring up to a boil for a minute. Reduce heat to a simmer for ten minutes. Stir consistently until sugar is completely dissolved. Fine strain syrup into an airtight container, let cool completely, refrigerate.

Sage Stallone


Figs have a nutty, sweetness that pairs well in this cocktail with earthy, pungent sage. Sage Stallone is then brightened with subtle lemon, orange, lime, chamomile, and juniper’s peppery spice found in Bluecoat American Dry Gin. It’s then topped with tart lemonade that makes a very refreshing cocktail.

  • 2.5 oz Bluecoat American Dry Gin
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 3 heaping bar spoon fig preserves
  • lemon aid

Muddle sage leaves and fig preserves in the bottom of a shaker. Add gin. Shake with ice, fine strain into a chilled highball and top with lemonade – bar spoon stir.

Fig preserves can either be purchased or made in-house. Williams of Sonoma has a tasty recipe that I used, it can be found here.

Old Fashioned in a Clementine

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I love to cook, eat, drink and be surrounded by loved ones. Lately I have been hosting a lot of dinner parties. When I have friends over its nice to offer an ‘amuse-bouche’; something small, delicious, with a hint of spice to open up everyone’s senses. I like to choose a trusted classic cocktail so there are no surprises. How to make an Old Fashioned is no mystery and my friends always enjoy a good one. I decided to put a twist on the presentation to breathe some new life into a faithful recipe.

To make the clementine cups, I used a serrated grape fruit knife to cut a hole in the top of each clementine. I then took the grapefruit knife and used it around the edges inside to pull out the pulp. I used my favorite whisky, George Dickel No. 8 as the base spirit for these Old Fashioned’s. I poured each little clementine cup 3/4 full of an Old Fashioned and garnished with a brandied cherry. Everyone came in with a smile and left with a content yawn. Just the way I like it.

Top of the List


This is absolutely the most refreshing margarita and number one on my “Honey do” list.  Honeydew brightens the citrus taste in the tequila while the honeysuckle simple syrup brings out the natural honey flavors.

  • 2 oz. Fortaleza Blanco
  • 2 oz. Honeydew nectar
  • 1/2 oz. Honeysuckle simple syrup
  • Lime

Shake Fortaleza Blanco tequila, honeydew nectar, honeysuckle simple syrup and a fresh squeeze of lime. Serve over ice. Garnish with a lime.

Honeydew Nectar

Blend one inch cubes of honeydew melon until smooth, fine strain.

Honeysuckle Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup Honey suckle blossoms
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 tea spoon Sour salt, or Citrus acid
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Water

Place honeysuckle blossoms on the bottom of a large bowl. With a lemon peeler, peel strips of lemon and place on top of blossoms. Make sure that there is minimal white on the inside of the lemon peel. Make simple sugar and water solution. Pour over honeysuckle and lemon rind. Stir in citrus acid. Place a tea towel over the bowl for twenty-four hours. Sieve through a coffee filter into cordial bottles or jars.