50 Shots of America–California



The 31st state, California, was ceded to the US as a result of the Mexican-American war and became a state on September 9, 1850.

I had the opportunity to visit The Golden State a few years ago but there are places there still on my list to visit.. When I got back from San Diego and realized I was a scant hour or two drive from the original Mouse House (Disneyland) I was crestfallen. Napa is also on the list but mainly I want to see San Francisco–I’ve had my work on display, there, but still haven’t been able to visit in person!

In honor of the early Spanish and Portuguese settlers, the local viniculture and the early Gold Rush days that gave the state it’s motto, I present

The Goldrush

1 oz White Wine
1 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Goldschlagger
splash of Orange Flower Water

Combine over ice and shake as a prospector panning for gold in Sierra Nevada. Strain into a chilled cordial glass.

Similar to a quickie Sangria, this fruity drink uses gold-flecked cinnamon liqueur instead of the traditional brandy. Orange flower water can be found in specialty or international food stores and you really only need a touch–more than anything it adds a delightful perfume to the drink without the added acidity of straight orange juice. Obviously you want to use a California wine, here, but if you should choose to go with a red instead of the white, call it a Golden Gate.

Butterscotch Schnapps


Another (brief) walk down memory lane…

At a Victory Weekend in Daytona Beach, November 1994, one of the girls from Miami spent the entire first evening downing a bottle of Buttershots.

Now, it doesn’t seem like butter-flavored (well, technically butterschotch) liqueur would taste very good or be a good idea in general but I have to say, the more I experiment with shots and cocktails that employ it, the more I’m convinced that it is an idea most excellent, indeed. (And, as one of my chef-instructors said: fat makes things taste good! There may not be any fat in butterscotch schnapps, I’m not sure, but the idea is the same.)

At a party a few years back we were making Buttery Nipples (Irish Cream and Butterscotch Schnapps) when someone (not me, I’m afraid, but the details of who, exactly, are a little hazy) decided to add some Godiva liqueur that I’d also brought. Thus was born the Candy Bar “Shot.” Since then I’ve attempted to streamline the ratios and this is what we’ve come up with:

CHF Candy Bar Shot

2 parts Chocolate Liqueur
1 part Butterscotch Schnapps
1 part Irish Cream Liqueur

Combine in the glass of your choice, depending on your thirst. Pouring the Irish Cream over the back of a spoon (layering) is a nice touch but totally impractical if you’re in a hurry for some yum.

Now, more recently Todd and I were out at a local tapas bar and, after each ordering a “safe” cocktail from their martini menu, became intrigued by one of the offerings: the Oatmeal Cookie Martini. Unable to restrain my curiosity the entire evening, I eventually asked our bar mistress if we could try it as a shot. Oh. My. God. I didn’t think it was possible that a mixed drink could taste like a cookie but this did. In fact, it was like eating an oatmeal cookie with an ice-cold milk chaser. So good.

Of course we had to experiment. What follows is our best efforts to date (though I’ve dropped the martini title as there’s no vodka or gin in the drink):

CHF Oatmeal Cookie

3 oz Irish Cream Liqueur
1.5 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
splash of Cinnamon Schnapps (we, and the bar, used Goldschlager)

Combine in a cocktail shaker over ice, preferably crushed, and shake til really cold. Strain into a chilled glass.

You want to be really light with the cinnamon because it can overpower the drink easily and ruin the illusion that you’re drinking a cookie.

Bottoms up!