My Place or Yours?

Fear or Desire

George Dickel No. 12 paired with flavors of lively, tangy apricot has always been one of my favorite combinations. This is the perfect Easter Flip whether it’s paired with sticky buns for breakfast, crumb crusted southern ham with a side of asparagus for lunch or a pleasant pick me up after a late afternoon Easter nap.

In a cocktail shaker, combine all of the ingredients except ice and shake the bejesus out of it. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a chilled collins glass. Garnish with half an eggshell filled with 1 oz Dickel No.12 and a brandied cherry.

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Guilty Pleasure

guilty pleasure

Chambord liqueur hits your palate first with notes of bright raspberries, mixed with dark blackberries. Next comes a soft citrus spice flavor combined with bitter grapefruit found in Campari and finally glazed with malted caramel grapefruit juice. Then ‘Vroooommm’, Bulleit Rye’s honey rye spice livens up  your palate. Fonseca Bin 27 Port balances out this ‘Guilty Pleasure’ with rich current velvety dark cherry flavors and Regan’s bitters adds a touch of orange zest.

  • 1 oz Bulleit Rye
  • 1 oz Campari
  • .5 oz Fonseca Bin 27 Port
  • .5 oz Chambord
  • .5 oz Caramelized grapefruit juice
  • .25 oz Fresh squeezed Meyer lemon Juice
  • 2 dashes Regans Orange Bitters

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake well. Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Caramelized Grapefruit Juice

Cut two grapefruit in half. Place them upside down on a baking sheet so that the inside is facing up. Sprinkle each half with one tablespoon of brown sugar and half a teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon.  Broil on high for 5-10 minutes, take the baking sheet out and let the grapefruit cool.  Juice grapefruit then fine strain the juice into an airtight container.

French Quarter For Your Thoughts…

French Quarter For Your Thoughts...

Happy Sunday! I found myself in the park this afternoon, in my bikini, about to dive into my picnic lunch consisting of a baguette, extra gooey double cream Brie cheese, Humboldt fog cheese, greek olives and a stack of articles from the New York Times I have been meaning to read. A couple of friends came to join my picnic and I made this cocktail.  Cozy warmth from the sun combined with a soft breeze told me Spring was in the air. Catching up on the latest cocktail, wine and fashion articles with this cocktail in our hands was a perfect way to spend my Sunday with friends.

Cardenal Mendoza Brandy is full bodied with tasting notes of apricot, peach, flan, and a suggestion of smoke. Plum Port Royal Syrup adds flavors of bold plum, cassis, fresh figs with a linering spice. Paired together with a hint of citrus is a day dream all on it’s own, leaving one with an oh so content smile where another person might be tempted to ask, ‘French Quarter for your thoughts?’

  • 1.5 oz Cardenal Mendoza Brandy
  • 1.5 oz Plum Port Royal Syrup
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake well. Fine strain over ice into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with a cherry. Enjoy.

 Plum Port Royal Syrup

  • 1 cup Fonseca Ruby Port
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¾ sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
  • 22 black peppercorns tied up in cheesecloth
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 plump dried Black Mission Figs steamed or one heaping table spoon of fig jam
  • 2   two inch orange peels
  • 2  deep purple plump plums

*If using dried figs, place them in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with one inch of water.  Microwave for about ten minutes until figs are plump but not mushy.

Add water, sugar, vanilla bean, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, figs and plums into a saucepan. Bring to a boil for a minute, stir well to incorporate all ingredients. Turn down heat and let simmer stirring occasionally, adding more water as needed. Once all of the plums have broken down and a thick syrup has formed, about 45 minutes turn off the heat. Discard the cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and peppercorns. Let cool. Place syrup into a blender and blend until smooth. Fine strain into an airtight container. Add Ruby Port. Stir to incorporate.

It’s Always Fort Worth It

It's Always Fort Worth ItPineapple, Apple, Mint, Mojito. Now try saying that five times fast. My baseball team is flying into Forth Worth, Texas today to settle down in Arlington and  get ready for opening day. Setteling down also means getting ready for the Texas heat that is to come. I came up with a simple cocktail that they could make for themselves it is light and refreshing. Since one of my favorite players is from Venezuela, I used a Venezuelan rum. Pampero rum is rich in cinnamon, pepper, coconut, and vanilla spice notes. I paired it with crisp tart apples, sweet pineapple and fresh mint. Flying into Fort Worth to see my team play with a pineapple, apple, mint mojito in hand is always worth it.

  • 1.5 oz Pampero Blanco Rum
  • 1 oz Clear Creek Apple Brandy
  • .5 oz fresh lime juice
  • .75 oz pineapple syrup
  • 12 mint leaves
  • Club Soda

Lightly muddle mint leaves in the bottom of a shaker. Add all of other ingredients and fill with ice. Shake well. Pour into a chilled collins glass. Top with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedge, mint and pineapple.

Pineapple Syrup

Cut pineapple in half and remove the rind. Cut pineapple into one inch pieces.  Add pineapple and one very hot cup of water into a blender and blend until it’s as smooth. Fine strain pineapple juice into a small saucepan. Add one half cup of clover honey. Let simmer just until syrup thickens enough to cover the back of a spoon. Let cool. Place in an airtight continer.

My Private Cabana

My Private Cabana

Sour grapefruit, rhubarb, tangy pineapple, a rosehip undertone with kiwi and pear all wrapped up in a velvety herbal yet slightly bitter bubbly warmth. Yes, this little cocktail is an essential in my private cabana.

  • 1.5 oz Pineapple infused Tanqueray Gin
  • 1 oz Aperol
  • .5 oz St. Germain Liqueur
  • .5 oz Rosehip syrup
  • 2 dashs grapefruit bitters
  • Chandon Reserve Champagne

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well. Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass. Float .5 oz of Chandon Reserve champagne over the top. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Grilled Pineapple Infused Tanqueray

Put five pineapple slices cut length wise on a barbeque grill. Grill them for about five minutes just until the pineapples juices are starting to show and the pineapple is turning a light brown. Place pineapple in Tanquray when still warm. Let sit for 24 hours shaking occasionally.

Rosehip Syrup

  • One cup of rosehips, cleaned
  • 1/2 cup Savannah Orange Blossom Honey

Place rosehips in a food processor and chop. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rosehips to boiling water. Turn off heat and let rosehips stand for fifteen minutes. Filter the liquid through a coffee filter. Place rosehips liquid back into the saucepan and discard coffee filter.  Add half a cup of Savannah Orange Blossom Honey. Lets simmer just until the consistency coats the back of a spoon.

South of the Hi’ Way

I came up with this sherry-sangria cocktail on a road trip to spring training in Arizona. When I arrived in Scottsdale I was able to make this for my players and they loved it.

My road trip started out just like this cocktail, sweet fresh clean air, top down on the jeep wrangler going through the almond orchards heading south east down California’s central valley. Have you ever smelled an almond orchard in March? Well let me describe it to you, one deep breath is like a bouquet of flowers, light citrus notes blended with a suggestion of pepper. That reminded me of the beautiful bottle of Don Julio Reposado I had resting in the back seat. Next I drove though fields with perfect rows of emrend green leafy trees full of ripe oranges nesseled under the branches, almost begging for me to pull over and pick. My mind couldn’t help but wander to Benidictine with its wonderful spicy orange undertones.  I pulled over at a fruit stand to stretch my legs only to find the first peaches of season and homemade spiced nuts. This got me thinking, I liked the idea of Don Julio Reposado with Benedictine but by adding Lustau Sherry into the line up with it’s notes of brown sugar, peach, mixed nuts and honey a solid tasting profile began to warm up. Calling peach infused Hakushika Sake out of the bullpin, layered with juicy pears and peaches fufilled my other craving. By the time I arrived in Scottsdale I had stopped at a few other fruit stands and picked up apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, and clementines that would allow their natural juices to work as a team to brighten up the cockatil. It was a sweet journey, ‘South of the Hi’Way’ is a delicious cocktail that ended with a night full of memories I will always savor.

  • 750 ml Don Julio Reposado
  • 1 cup Benedictine Liqueur
  • 1/2 cup Peach Infused Hakushika Sake
  • 1/2 cup Lustau Sherry Dry Amontillado Los Acros
  •  Apricots, Peaches, Nectarines, Plums, Clementine oranges cut into 1/4 inch wedges

Combine all ingredients into a punch bowl and stir. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Serve over ice cubes and garnish with fruit.

Peach Infused Hakushika Sake

  • 2 ripe juicy clingstone yellow peaches
  • 1 750 bottle of Hakushika Sake

Cut peaches into eighths removing the pits but not the skins. Place them into a large glass pitches. Pour bottle of Hakushika Sake over the top of them and let sit for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain out peaches with a cheese cloth and sake into another airtight container. Sake will keep for seven days in the refrigerator.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

st patsedited

Irish whiskey cocktails and heavy pints of Guinness are easy to come by especially on St. Patrick’s day. I opted to make something much lighter yet festive. I cut shamrocks out of lime peels and froze them in ice cube trays to make St. Patrick’s Day Tanqueray and Tonics.