Berry Naughty


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.

Zacapa Rum Punch with Fried Apples


I recently went on a snowmobiling trip. It was an incredible adventure filled with breath-taking views. After a full day in the snow we made our way back to our little cabin, started a roaring fire, enjoyed rum punch with fried apples while playing an exhilarating game of poker.

  • 5 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 orange thinly sliced
  • 6 quarts unfiltered apple juice
  • 1/2 cup brown cane sugar
  • 3 teaspoons allspice
  • a pinch of freshly graded nutmeg
  • 3 cups Zacapa Centenario 23
  • 1 cup Lairds Apple Brandy
  • Cinnamon sticks

Stud the apples with the cloves. Place all ingredients into a sauce pan except for the Zacapa. Slowly bring to a simmer. Let simmer for ten minutes. Remove from heat. Add Zacapa and Lairds Apple brandy.  Ladel into mugs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Fried Apples

  • 3 tbs. unsalted butter
  • 6 Fuji Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/8 rounds
  • 1/4 cup brown cane sugar
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Zacapa Centenario 23
  • Whipped Cream

Heat Butter in a skilled until melted and frothy. Add apples and cook until soft about 2 minutes. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/2 cup water. Let simmer for five minutes or until a syrup is formed and the pan is almost dry. Turn off heat and add Zacapa to the pan. Place apples on a small plate and top off with a dollop of whipped cream.

Spanish Eggnog


As I have mentioned my best friend Jenny lives in Madrid. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have her as a best friend. Sometimes I am awake with a random question at 4 am and she is always there with a thoughtful answer. And then again at 6:30 pm I will have another question and she responds within seconds. I am always amazed how she works such long hours. If I was with her I would need a glass of Spanish Eggnog; a little caffeine, protein and rum just to keep up.

  • 8 egg yolks lightly beaten
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 15 roasted coffee beans
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ cup Ron Zacapa Centenario rum
  • ½ cup St George Spirits Firelit Coffee liqueur
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ ground cardamom

Lightly beat all egg yolks. Combine egg yolks, milk, sugar, cinnamon stick and coffee beans. Cook about ten minutes stirring continuously until the liquid is able to coat a metal spoon. Place saucepan in a bowl of ice water for two minutes. Discard cinnamon stick. Remove vanilla bean and carefully take out vanilla bean seeds. Put seeds back into the milk mixture. Pour into a pitcher. Add Zacapa, Firelit Coffee liqueur, nutmeg and cardamom. Stir. Chill for twenty-four hours in the refrigerator.


I have been thinking a lot about New Orleans lately. Maybe it’s because of the hurricane on the east coast. I remember how much time I spent in New Orleans cleaning up after Katrina hit. I was incredibly blessed to meet so many strong, courageous people and it made me feel so happy to be able to contribute to their lives. Maybe it was seeing Harry Connick Jr. last night in the Penthouse of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.  He has this effortless confidence, not to mention an irresistible charm. One thing is for sure, I am missing the south.

I started drinking my coffee with chicory and decided to make some Creole Kahlua for the winter.  It’s bold, rich… actually the word dynamite comes to mind.

  • 1.5 oz Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 Rum
  • ¾ oz Homemade Creole Kahlua
  • 1/3 oz Doubonet Rouge
  • 1/3 Chambord
  • 1 barspoon Cherry juice
  • Garish with Cherries

Homemade Creole Kahlua


  • 3 cups Pure Cane Sugar
  • 5 cups Water
  • 2 ounces Café Du Monde Coffee and Chicory
  • A bottle of vodka
  • 4 tsp Vanilla

Mix sugar and water and simmer 45 minutes.  Then add 2 oz. Café Du Monde Coffee and Chicory.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Let cool.  Add vodka and vanilla.  Rebottle and let stand 2 weeks.