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.

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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

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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.

Berry Naughty

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I grew up in a house where the door was always open, literally. It was organized chaos all the time but at the same time our house was always bursting with love, laughter and wonderful friends. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree because my home is like that now. The other night was one of those nights where people just kept stopping by. I served these ‘Berry Naughty’ cocktails to all of my guests. They were easy to make and oh so tasty.

Zacapa’s honey, butterscotch, spiced oak topped with hints of dried fruit flavours are a match made in heaven when paired with Licor 43 that displays exotic spices, that include vanilla, tangy fruits, and citrus notes. Raspberry-Vanilla Syrup adds a fresh berry element. While Peoke Sweet Tea’s orange honey-oolong nuance synchronizes each individual flavor.

  • 1.5 oz Zacapa Centenario 23 Year Old Rum
  • .5 oz Licor 43
  • .75 oz Vanilla- Rapberry Syrup
  • Pekoe Sweet Tea

Add Zacapa, Licor 43, and Vanilla-Raspberry syrup to the bottom of a chilled Collins glass. Bar spoon stir. Add ice and top with Pekoe Sweet Tea. Stir again. Garnish with raspberries, a lemon wedge and a spring of mint.

Vanilla-Raspberry Syrup

  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 lemon, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla bourbon extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Place all ingredients in a double broiler over simmering water. Cook until raspberries are soft and have been able to release all of their natural juices. About fifteen minutes. Fine strain into an airtight container. Let cool completely.

Pekoe Sweet Tea

  • Six bags of Orange Pekoe tea
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange blossom honey
  • 1 1/2 cup cold water

Bring water to a boil in a tea kettle. Add tea bags and sugar. Stir well until sugar is dissolved. Let steep for ten minutes. Remove tea bags and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Natural Selection

Natural SelectionThis cocktail isn’t a choice, it’s a ‘Natural Selection‘. Hakushika Sake is light and fruity, with soft kiwi, pear and apple notes. I infused it with ripe peaches to give it a lush, bright note bursting with fresh taste. Don Julio Anejo adds a wonderfully complex expression of wild honey, vanilla, and oaky butterscotch. Canton and Campari play off each other with vengeance adding a level of spice and bitter sweetness. Just in time for fresh grapefruit juice to show its true intentions with bold citrus allowing each tasting note to settle down into its rightful place.

  • 1 oz Don Julio Anejo
  • 1 oz Peach infused Hakushika Sake
  • .25 oz Domaine de Canton Ginger liqueur
  • .25 oz Campari
  • .5 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • .25 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake well. Fine strain over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist and a lime wedge.

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.

Yucatan If You Want To



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‘Yucatan If You Want To’ begins with of flavors of Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon that is bursting with juicy, ripe berry notes. I then when mixed it with Mexican Coca-Cola to create an exotic Cherry-Coke. To make a complex syrup I combined Courvoisier Cognac VS revealing nutty buttered toffee notes. Followed by that I paired Dickel Rye’s vanilla, spice, caramel, and laced with coffee, bitter orange and coco found in Byrrh Grand Quinquina. All married together in a chilled coupe glass. ‘Yucatan If You Want To’? Yes, I want to and trust me so will you.

  • 2 oz Dickel Rye
  • 3/4 oz Byrrh Grand Quinquina Aperitif Wine
  • 1 oz South of the Boarder Syrup
  • 1 dash Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters

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

South of the Boarder Syrup

  • 12 ounces Mexican Coca-Cola
  • 12 ounces of Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/2 cup Courvoisier Cognac VS

Combine all ingredients in an airtight container. Stir until incorporated.

Chili O Caliente?

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‘Chili O Caliente?’ begins with aromas of cherry cola, dried flowers, light smoke that follows through on a round, supple entry to the pallet. The first sip introduces a fruity-yet-dry body with dried fruits, suggestion of nuttiness, currents, smoked honey comb, juicy cherries, and finishes with a long, elegant spicy fade.

  • 1.5 oz Tapatio Reposado
  • .5 oz Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
  • .5 oz Dolin Rouge Vermouth
  • .5 oz Caliente Cherry Syrup
  • .25 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

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

Caliente Cherry Syrup

Cascabel Chili’s have a wonderful nutty and slightly smokey flavor that paris well with ripe juicy cherries. When creating this recipe I experimented with Anchos, Chipotle and Cascabel chili’s. The Cascabel were by far my favorite chili because of the way they really showcase the nuttiness in reposado, ultimately balancing off each natural flavor Tapatio has to offer.

  • 1 cup cherries
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 1 dried Cascabel Chili
  • 1 small habanero – thinly slicked and seeded

Place Cascabel Chili in a small bowl covered with hot water. Place another bowl on top to keep pepper submerged. Let soak for 30 minutes. Remove chile from water. Remove stems and seeds. Tear into small pieces and place into a small sauce pan. Add a cup of cherries and habanero to the sauce pan along with a cup of water. Let simmer for 30 minutes until cherries become soft. Adding additional water as needed. Turn off heat. Let cool. Place syrup into a blender. Blend until smooth. Fine strain into an airtight container.