Cocktail Advent 23: Good Memories


As the holiday season wears on, it’s a good time to think back to friends far away or family antics relegated to memory. Today’s cocktail sounds like a soothing accompaniment to long sessions spent reliving the “old” days–be they twenty or two years passed.

Image via Bombay Sapphire Gin

Image via Bombay Sapphire Gin

Good Memories
Created by Bombay Sapphire New York’s Most Imaginative Bartender Winner, Vincenzo Cangemi of Ovest Pizzoteca and Bar in NYC

  • 1.75oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • 1 oz spiced rum
  • 1 scoop Hazelnut ice cream
  • 0.5oz cherry liquor
  • Jerry Thomas bitter
  • Cinnamon

Method: Pour all the ingredients into a shaker except the bitter and cinnamon, then shake with no ice, just with a strainer cord, the ice cream will melt into the drink chilling it out perfectly, getting creamy and ready for some cinnamon grated on top and Jerry Thomas bitter.

“It’s a delicious martini-style cocktail perfect for Christmas, with hazelnut notes and cloves, all surrounded with cinnamon aroma, cherries, and vanilla from the rum. It’s a cold blend that has a floral body from the Bombay Sapphire Gin, that warms you up in the cold. It is also perfect for a summery Christmas on a fantastic tropical island. Enjoy responsibly! Salute!”

I’m going to guess that, if you cannot find Hazelnut ice cream in your market and do not feel like whipping up a batch yourself, a splash of hazelnut liqueur and some quality vanilla bean ice cream would do the trick. As for the “strainer cord” your guess is as good as mine–the only reference I could find to that was that some bartenders keep their strainers close at hand by hanging them from a retractable cord.

***This recipe was provided by a representative of Bombay Sapphire Gin. I am not affiliated with this brand nor was compensated to post this recipe, not even with review samples. As always, we encourage responsible refreshment and the use of the Designated Driver. No drunken monkeys, please!***

Cocktail Advent 20: Almond Eggnog


I debated including this one, but decided to after all. First, because I didn’t have a true eggnog (I keep typing eggnot, which is probably telling) and, perhaps, still don’t. Second, because it’s good to let the non-dairy milks have a chance. Third, if you’re feeling a little overdone from the rest of this month’s cocktail suggestions, this might create a tiny oasis of dubious healthfulness.

Today’s recipe also contains absolutely no alcohol, so if you wanted this to be your breakfast for a last round of Christmas shopping, it’s a much better option than the high-octane options previously presented!

Image via USANA Health Sciences

Image via USANA Health Sciences

Almond Eggnog
(serves one…two if you feel like sharing, but you won’t)

  • 1 cup vanilla-flavored unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons French Vanilla Nutrimeal
  • 1 tablespoon 100 percent pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup ice

Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately. And enjoy staying healthy this season!

The meal replacement shake ingredient provides protein and fiber, and I would imagine your preferred version of it would be fine. (Nutrimeal, for what it’s worth, has several High-FODMAP ingredients so I won’t be giving it a try.) Leaving it out is a possibility, but probably would make the smoothie feel a bit thin.

***This recipe was submitted by a representative of USANA Health Sciences. I am not affiliated with the company nor was I compensated for this post, not even with review samples. As always, we encourage responsible refreshment and the use of the Designated Driver. No drunken monkeys, please!***

Cocktail Advent 18: Warm and Toasty


Another cider drink perfect for chasing away the chill. If you don’t have access to The Perfect Puree-brand cranberry puree, I’m fairly certain you can come up with a substitute in a pinch. I think blended, frozen raspberries would work equally well if that’s what you happen to have closer to hand.

Warm and Toasty
Source: Manny Hinojosa

  • • 1 1/2 oz. Bourbon
  • • 1 1/2 oz. The Perfect Purée Cranberry Puree, thawed
  • • 5 oz. hot apple cider
  • • Whipped cream
  • • Dash of ground cinnamon
  • • Apple slice (for garnish)
  • • Orange wheel (for garnish)

In a coffee mug, combine apple cider, cranberry puree and bourbon. Stir and top with whipped cream and cinnamon. Garnish with apple slice & orange wheel.

***This recipe was submitted by a representative of The Perfect Puree. I am not affiliated with the company nor was I compensated for this post, not even with review samples. As always, we encourage responsible refreshment and the use of the Designated Driver. No drunken monkeys, please!***

50 Shots of America–Arkansas

Granny's Baked Apples

Granny's Baked Apples

Arkansas, our 25th state as of June 15, 1836, is no longer The Land of Opportunity.

No, seriously, they changed their motto to The Natural State back in the 1970s to boost their tourism profile.

What they are the land of is national parks, mountains, hot springs and agriculture–they’ve got poultry, beef and pork down pat!

They also have a high number of dry counties throughout the state: 42 of the 75 do not allow alcohol to be sold within their boundaries! And the counties that do sell it get the privilege of collecting loads of extra taxes–4% to start plus an additional 10% on cocktails and wine at restaurants!

Since we haven’t done a non-alcoholic drink in a while, now seems the appropriate time, doesn’t it?

Granny’s Baked Apples

1.5 oz Apple Juice
1 barspoon Sweetened Condensed Milk
splash of vanilla
sprinkle of cinnamon

Combine over ice and shake like you’re prospecting for gems in Crater of Diamonds State Park. Strain into a chilled cordial glass and top with cinnamon.

The primary inspirations for this drink are the state flower being the apple blossom and the state beverage being milk. I suppose if you just couldn’t hang with the lack of alcohol, you could always dash in some vanilla vodka instead of the plain vanilla.

And with this recipe we’re halfway through the 50 States!

50 Shots of America–Maryland


You know, if Maryland was a person, I think they’d be pretty confused.

Take, for example, this scattering of facts:

  • Founded as a haven for English Catholics, Catholicism has been banned at least twice within it’s borders! Still, it boasts the first cathedral in the United States (the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and was home to the founder of the Sisters of Charity who became the first US-born citizen to be canonized, St Elizabeth Ann, 9.14.1975.
  • It’s considered Little America or America in Miniature because it boasts so many different environments in it’s just-over 12,000 square miles–that’s a lot of everything to put in such a small space!
  • Despite being predominantly Democratic, it’s most famous political son was the Republican VP under Nixon, Spiro Agnew. Of course, maybe that should read infamous…
  • It’s technically south of the Mason-Dixon line (since that point of demarcation is it’s northern border) but was coerced into not seceding with it’s southern brethren (of which roughly half the state identified with) because Lincoln pointed cannons at it from DC! Incidentally, the land DC sits on was ceded by Maryland back in 1790.
  • The state sport is jousting, which is rather unique, but it’s tough to actual witness unless you attend the Maryland Renaissance Faire in Crownsville, and it only runs 3 months of the year!
  • And look at the state motto: Manly deeds, womanly words. Would you like to be in the metaphorical room when those two duke it out?

It’s for these reasons I dub the following drink:

Wit’s End

1/2 oz Rye whiskey
1/4 oz Goldschlager
1/2 oz Ginger syrup*
Club soda

Combine the rye, goldschalger and syrup over ice. Shake like a jouster is barrelling towards you with his lance aimed at your shaker. Strain into a cordial glass and top with club soda, giving it a little stir with a swizzle stick to combine.

Even though the state beverage is, indeed, milk the early trials of milk and rye and Old Bay seasoning (in honor of that which seasons the famous Maryland Blue Crabs that are such a treat) fared about what they sound like they would. (Actually, it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t really what I was looking for. Plus, we just did a milk cocktail not too long ago.) Rye whiskey was quite a popular item in Maryland up until Prohibition but since then most distilleries have closed, the last surviving one transplanted to Kentucky. Still, rye and soda can be found in some of the older Marylander establishments for those looking for a taste of the old ways.

Old Bay, back to the seasoning for a bit, is described as a combination of celery salt, bay leaf, mustard seed, black and red peppers, cinnamon and ginger. Yum! And while the first sets of ingredients had me thinking something along the lines of a Bloody Mary, the cinnamon and ginger seemed a nice foil for the rye, which can be quite strong if you’re not all that into whiskey. (Hint: Rye whiskey reminds me more of Scotch than Bourbon.) Also, there was a taste of gold mining going on in the Old Line State but it didn’t last long. Still, it made the Goldschlager an obvious choice.

*To make ginger syrup you can go two ways:

  1. Make a basic 1:1 Simple Syrup with about an inch of fresh cut ginger simmered in. Strain and cool.
  2. Dice and mash an inch of fresh ginger and let steep in pre-made simple syrup for 2 weeks or more.

One last note about Maryland (though, I admit, there’s plenty more to say). During the War of 1812 the British were trying to take the Port of Baltimore and did battle against Fort McHenry. Francis Scott Key is said to have penned the Star Spangled Banner during this onslaught. I find this incredibly synchronistic as, completely unplanned–I couldn’t plan this stuff if I tried!–my topic over at the 64 Arts (my personal blog about living creatively) for Friday is Anthems. Coincidence? I’m not sure there is such a thing!