Cocktail Advent 16: 8th Night Toddy


Today’s drink is perfect for chasing the chills away–whether it’s the weather outside or the weather you’re under.

8th Night Toddy
Created by Luca Zanirato, Miami

  • 2 parts Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon
  • ¼ part Honey
  • 1-2 Star Anise
  • 2 parts Hot Water
  • Orange Zest
  • Lemon Zest
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
2. Shake and strain into a hot toddy glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
It is also, of course, created in honor of Hanukkah, which begins tonight according to my calendar.
***This recipe was submitted by a representative of Basil Hayden’s Bourbon. I am not affiliated with this brand nor was I compensated for this post, not even with review samples. As always, we believe in responsible refreshment and the use of the Designated Driver. No drunken monkeys, please!***

AlcoHOLidays | National Rum Day | Cruzan Pineapple Passion


Cruzan_Pineapple Passion

In honor of National Rum Day (August 16) I am delighted to share a recipe courtesy of Cruzan Rum, folks who have been so nice as to share with us several of their tasty libations this summer! (It’s also quite convenient as I am both up to my eyes in wedding projects and in the midst of a prolonged Internet outage right now.)

What could be more tropically-minded than drinking something fruity from a pineapple, hmm? Not much, especially if you happen to have a little umbrella to put in there as well.

Cruzan® Pineapple Passion:
2 parts Cruzan® Passion Fruit Rum
2 parts Pineapple Juice
1 part Lime Juice
1/2 part Honey Syrup
2 Pineapple Chunks
Fresh grated Cinnamon


Combine all ingredients in a blender with 1 cup of ice and blend for 20 seconds. Pour into a cored pineapple and garnish with fresh mint.

Note: Slice the top of the pineapple off a half-inch from the top. Core the inside of the pineapple. Don’t have a pineapple corer handy? Core your pineapple with an ice cream scoop! Make sure you don’t scoop all the way to the skin or your pineapple will leak.

We may be a bit more than a month away from Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19), but I don’t think anyone would find it amiss if you donned an eye patch, the nearest copy of your favorite Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, and kicked back with a rum cocktail. Just remember to have a designated skipper to keep you between the navigational buoys.


50 Shots of America–Montana


Continuing our liquid tour of the country, this week we’re following along the Canadian border to Montana.




Prior to statehood, Montana was home to several Native American tribes, a fact that caused plenty of friction as explorers looked to take over the territory, building forts and settlements throughout the early 1800s. Just past mid-century, major deposits of gold, silver, lead, copper and coal were found and the miners followed in droves. As the nineteenth century came to a close, railroads and the centers of industry that surrounded them ushered in the 41st state to the Union on November 8, 1889.


3/4 oz Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Kirshwasser
1/4 oz Cinnamon Schnapps
1 barspoon Honey

Combine all ingredients over ice and shake vigorously until the mixture is as cold as glacial runoff. Strain into a chilled cordial glass.

This one is bracing! As I’d imagine those chilly mountain winters would be. It’s not too sweet (the honey just takes the edge off from the other, bossy ingredients), and warms as it goes down–great for the last cold snap before Spring.

Rye, cherries and honey are all important crops in the agricultural Big Sky Country, with nods to the German and Irish ancestry of the state.

Did you know that Montana is a very popular spot for basing movies? I suppose all that open space (4th largest state by size but 44th by population) is just too tempting. Of course, one of the biggest movies based there, Legends of the Fall, wasn’t even shot there! (Maybe it’s all the grizzly bears?)

50 Shots of America–Iowa



One day shy of a year after the admission of Texas via treaty, Iowa becomes the 29th state on December 28, 1846.

Though considered mainly agricultural (it is in the midst of the Corn Belt, after all), manufacturing makes up the greater part of industry in the state with food production being the largest portion of that–General Mills, ConAgra, Heinz, Hostess, Quaker Oats and Blue Bunny (just to name a few) are all headquartered in the Hawkeye State.

But if agriculture isn’t their main focus, what do they do with all that corn? Iowa happens to be the national leader in ethanol production and a strong proponent of renewable energy sources, be it in sustainable fuels or wind energy. Which is where our drink-of-the-week inspirations comes from.


1 oz Whiskey (Jack Daniels or Jim Bean, we’re going for the corn-liquor, here)
1 oz Honey
Caffeinated Soda

Combine the whiskey and honey over ice and shake like your settling a border dispute. Strain into a chilled cordial or tall shot glass and top with the ice-cold caffeinated soda of your choice. Swig it down and get ready to forge ahead and accomplish things!

You may recall that Iowa was on the other side of that border dispute known as the Honey Wars with Missouri. If not, it’s okay, I forgive you, and Iowa probably would, too. Iowans tend to be front runners in a lot of things–civil rights, women’s lib, renewable resources… it’s not a bad trait, you know? And, if (like me) you can’t have caffeine, substitute as necessary and call it Unleaded 😉

One last thing: the state is also home to Electrolux/Frigidaire who, along with Kelly Ripa, are raising awareness and funds to support ovarian cancer research through their Ultimate Banana Split campaign. Head over to Kelly Confidential to create your ultimate banana split by September 7, 2010. $1 for every submitted split will be donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.


Cocktails for a Cure badge

Cocktails for a Cure

And speaking of good deeds! Just a reminder that I’m participating once again in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk and, like last year, offering a couple incentives to my supporters. There’s this years print of a cocktail created in support of the walk plus I’m donating 22% of all Character Cocktails ordered by October 15, 2010, to the cause (and you get the print, too). More information can be found on my Cocktails for a Cure page.

50 Shots of America–Missouri

Meet Me at the Fair

Meet Me at the Fair

Now, if you were paying attention last week when Maine was added to the Union as part of the Missouri Compromise, then you’re probably not surprised that the Show-Me state is taking it’s place as #24 at the bar this week!

And speaking of that nick-name (unofficial–they don’t have an official one!), what does it mean?

While no one is 100% sure, the strong favorites are

  • the requirement of workers being shown, rather than told, how to do a particular job (lots of immigrants, maybe a language barrier thing, too); or
  • a speech by Congressman Vandiver in 1899 where he basically said “frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I’m from Missouri, and you have got to show me.”

Basically, actions speak louder than words, in Missouri.

So let’s just head over to the cocktail shaker, shall we?

Meet Me at the Fair

1 Tea bag
1 bottle German beer
1/2 oz Honey
1/2 oz Irish cream

Cold-steep the tea bag in the beer a minimum of 20 minutes. Combine 1 oz of the tea-beer, the honey and Irish cream over ice and shake it like your mixing up some instant pancakes. Strain into a small sugar cone and drink it before the cone dissolves.

The explanation:

The name comes from the song (and movie of the same name) Meet Me In St. Louis and refers to the 1904 World’s Fair that saw the creation of iced tea (don’t worry, southerners, Missouri was considered part of the South when it joined the union) and the ice cream cone. The two largest ancestral groups in Missouri are German and Irish and the state maintains some of the most lenient alcohol regulations in the country. Finally, there was a border dispute between Missouri and Iowa over an area known as the Honey Lands–the main casualty of which was a stand of 3 bee-hive holding trees; the state insect is the honey bee.

Oh, and the pancake reference? Aunt Jemima pancake mix was the first of it’s kind, invented in St Joseph in 1889.