Cocktail Advent 26: Bon Bon


Oh, did you think we were done just because Christmas is over?! Not a chance! In fact, I figure we’ve got plenty of reasons to continue cocktailing it up through the new year!

Image via Whiskey Blue at W Los Angeles

Image via Whiskey Blue at W Los Angeles

Bon Bon

  • .5 oz Chambord
  • .5 oz Amaretto Di Saronno
  • .5 oz Frangelico
  • .25 oz Chocolate Syrup
  • .5 oz Half & Half
  • .75 oz Raspberry Puree

Add all ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice, cover and shake vigorously.Strain into a port glass and garnish with 3 raspberries.

While I’m not generally a brand snob about liqueurs, when it comes to raspberry liqueurs there are a lot of pale, cough-syrupy options out there. Chambord is the only one that doesn’t twist my face into baby-eating-a-lemon proportions, so sometimes it really does pay to stick with a brand you can trust.

***This recipe was submitted by a representative of Whiskey Blue at W Los Angeles. I am not affiliate with the establishment, nor was I compensated for this post. As always, we encourage responsible refreshment and the use of the Designated Driver. No drunken monkeys, please!***

Paging Professor X to the Cocktail Bar…


X-Ray Specs Cocktail

Alphabetical series always have a few trouble spots and X is a biggie. I suppose I could have gone for something musical with a xylophone-inspired cocktail, but I opted to go with the other tried-and-true x-answer: x-ray.

There’s seldom, if ever, a good reason to go in for an x-ray–it’s almost always for a broken this or a not-working that–but we’re not talking fractures, today. Nope, we’re taking a slightly different sort of look inside, this time into your mind.

Two X-people immediately spring to mind (not ex-people, as in no longer around, necessarily, but x-people as in their names are the only x’s I can ever remember): Xavier Roberts and Charles Xavier. And while a friend and I did stumble upon possibly the most inappropriate memorabilia in the gift shop of the former (I mean, really, whose idea was the Cabbage Patch Museum’s shot glasses, hmmm?), I think we’ll go with Professor X, of comic book fame, for this week’s inspiration.

Thanks to the glut of comic book movies that have made their way to the big screen in recent years you don’t have to get anywhere near a comics shop to know that Professor X is the telepathic head of the mutants who try and stay just this side of the law and hope for equality and acceptance with the rest of mankind. And the Professor isn’t just your average side-show (or reality-show) mind-reader; no, his powers pack quite the wallop.

Just like this week’s Alphatini.

X-Ray Specs

1 1/2 oz London Dry Gin
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Raspberry Liqueur
garnish: lemon slice

Combine the gin, vermouth, lemon juice and raspberry liqueur in a glass over ice and shake with all the power of your mind–or arms, for us non-mutants–until cold as steel. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a center-cut slice of lemon.

A few notes: the London Dry Gin is a nod, of course, to the wonderful Jean Luc Picard Patrick Stewart who plays Professor X in the first few X-Men movies. The lemon wheel, with it’s spokes, is a blatant homage to his wheelchair. The rest of the drink is overall dry with a bit of sweet. Because even if you are fighting both misguided mutant supremacists and the scared masses of humanity, I’d like to think you find at least a little time for fun so you don’t burn out.

Just don’t have to many of them, or I can’t vouch for the state of your mind the next morning.

(And for those who might be curious, a single X-Ray Spec comes in at a mere 165 calories.)

Slip Into Something More Raspberry


What, no one decided to take up the Quest cocktail challenge? That’s too bad!

Maybe this week’s cocktail will be better suited for you, then, and we’ll keep it short and sweet, to boot! It’s the holidays, after all, and everyone seems to be in a hurry.

Raspberry Slip cocktailChefs love to tell stories–I don’t know, must come with the job–and our chefs at school were no exception. One (who also happened to be an English major before he became a chef) loved to tell us all the odd things they’d come up with to round out the usual cocktail and buffet offerings.

Apparently chocolate-dipped strawberries just weren’t special enough for this one client, they demanded something truly decadent and over-the-top to wow their guests. To appease Miss Picky they dipped hundreds of fresh raspberries into dark chocolate–just the barest tip–and called them Aphrodite’s Nipples. A little risque, sure, but the client loved them. Go figure.

About a year or so I created a simple cocktail based on those little gems for a fundraiser, and today I’m taking it another step and creating a darker, creamier recipe as our ‘R’ martini.

Raspberry Slip

1 1/2 oz Vanilla Vodka
1 1/4 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
3/4 oz Godiva Liqueur
3/4 oz Raspberry Liqueur

Combine all ingredients over ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and slip into a sweet, chocolate-berry languor.

If you’re a fan of those raspberry flavored chocolates that have flooded the market in the last couple years you’ll really like this cocktail.  And if you feel the need to take the even more to the dark side, drizzling some chocolate syrup down the sides of the glass or rimming it with chocolate curls certainly wouldn’t hurt. Or, hey, be decadent and do both! I won’t tell…

50 Shots of America–Illinois

Purple Popcorn Eater

Purple Popcorn Eater

Coming in at number 21 on the sip-by-state roster is Illinois, Land of Lincoln, which became a state on December 3, 1818.

Home to the third-largest city in the country, the state is a bit top-heavy with almost three-quarters of the state’s population concentrated in the northeast: in and around the city of Chicago. Home to the first nuclear power plant, a would-be Latter Day Saints Utopia and the first McDonald’s, the state has oil and coal in the south, corn and soybean fields in the center and industry galore in the north.

It was pretty tough to come up with a theme for this state’s drink, but with a state snack of popcorn and the state flower being the violet, I present to you…

the Purple Popcorn Eater

1 oz Raspberry Liqueur
1/2 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
1/4 oz Kentucky Bourbon

Combine over ice and shake like your stealing home plate. Strain into a chilled cordial glass over ice.

While there is a creme de violette liqueur, it can be difficult to find. I had the raspberry around so I went with that. This drink tastes a lot like having popcorn and a side of really sweet soda, if it’s too sweet and you’ve got room in the glass you can cut it with some chilled club soda. Even though all-alcohol drinks are traditionally stirred, the shaking adds a little of natural mixer via the water that gets added in this step; the ice in the glass is for all the state parks focused on rocks.