That’s How the Cookie Crumbles


Oatmeal Cookie CocktailOr, rather, shakes.

Okay, the O-cocktail in this series is another one I’ve been looking forward to getting just right. We first had it ages ago at a tapas-style restaurant. We’d gone there after a late movie and ate (and drank) at the bar. While we weren’t really looking for another full cocktail (we’d each had one a piece–moderation, remember?) the martini list was so tempting, so we asked for this one as a shot. Oh, it was divine, and we’ve worked on the right combination off and on since then.

I think we’ve finally got it right.

Oatmeal Cookie Martini

1.5 oz Irish Cream
1.5 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
3/4 oz Buttershots
3/4 oz Vanilla Vodka
1/2 oz Goldschlager
garnish: cinnamon sugar, raisins

Combine all  liquid ingredients over ice and shake like a mixer creaming cold butter. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass that’s been rimmed with cinnamon sugar. Garnish with a spear of raisins, if that’s how you like your cookie.

There are many versions of this delectable treat floating around the web and I was astonished to see that several called for Jagermeister–not exactly what I like in my oatmeal cookie. One called for amaretto, which I thought was a nice touch, but so far I haven’t see any with vanilla vodka or condensed milk. What can I say, I have a cocktail ingredient type!

I know it’s a little early to be thinking about the big guy in the red suit, but I wonder if I left this out for him instead of regular cookies, would I find a little something extra in my stocking?

Give Me 3 CCs–Stat!

3-C Martini

3-C Martini

Unlike a goodly portion of human adults, I don’t rely on a cup of coffee or three to start my day (part of it is that whole no-caffeine thing, of course). Sure, I indulge in the occasional Venti Decaf Soy Caramel Macchiatto when I manage to leave the house a little early but, for the most part, my coffee-flavored indulgences happen later in the day.

Much later.

A good after-dinner coffee drink–with plenty of cream, of course–can only be improved by one thing, in my mind: chocolate. So I offer up this take on the chocolate coffee martini.

3-C Martini

1 oz Vodka
1 oz Coffee
3/4 oz Irish Cream Liqueur
3/4 oz Chocolate Liqueur (Godiva, preferred)
Garnish: whipped cream, chocolate shavings

Combine liquid ingredients over ice and shake enough to knock the last vestiges of sleep from your thoughts. (Not that I’d advocate this as a morning beverage, unless we’re talking Sunday brunch and you’re not going anywhere for a while!) Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with whipped cream and freshly-shaved chocolate.

I made two versions of this drink–one with coffee and the other with coffee liqueur. While the Kahlua version was divine, the coffee flavor is much more muted than if you use fresh coffee, straight from the pot. In the latter, thanks to the other ingredients, the coffee is strong but not bitter. Feel free to substitute based on your personal preferences.

The one thing you’re not going to want to substitute is anything other than a premium vodka. I’ve often been told that the better the vodka, the cleaner the flavor. Or, in some cases, the lack of flavor–at least readily discernible flavor. Not being a vodka-neat type, I didn’t really think much about it until I received a bottle of a premium vodka to try–Cinco Vodka from San Antonio, TX–and now I am a true believer! When placed next to a common call brand vodka the finish and feeling that the Cinco gave was far beyond the burn that the call brand gave. So consider this your tip of the week–buy a better vodka and reap the rewards!

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.

50 Shots of America–Mississippi

Muddy Magnolia Shot

Muddy Magnolia

Entering the Union on December 12, 1817, Mississippi became the 20th state to sign on the dotted line.

Thinking of the Magnolia State brings to mind images of plantation homes, cotton fields and the eponymous river. So very strong before the Civil War, top 5 as far as wealth is concerned, it has not fared so well in the century-plus that followed. There were issues, there were changes that didn’t want to be made and when they were made it was at a snail’s pace.

Let’s just leave it at that and move on to some high points and, of course, the cocktail.

Lots of great music came out of the Mississippi Delta–Elvis was born in Tupelo, Jimmy Buffet lived in Mobile for a while… just lots of good music and influence of various sounds around the country.

Other things that started in Mississippi? Root Beer (Biloxi, 1898), lung & heart transplants (U Miss Medical Center, 1963 & ’64, respectively), Rayon fabric (Hazelhurst), the origins of Memorial Day (Columbus, 1866) and Borden’s Condensed Milk (Liberty).

Oh, yeah, you know where this is going!

the Muddy Magnolia

1 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 oz Chocolate Liqueur
1/2 oz Hazelnut Liqueur
1/2 oz White Chocolate Irish Cream

Combine condensed milk and the chocolate and hazelnut liqueurs over ice in a shaker. Shake like a rushing river and strain into a chilled cordial glass. Float the Irish Cream over the back of a bar spoon and, if you want to gild the lily, shake or shave a little cocoa over the top.

I wanted to call this the Mississippi Mud because that’s sorta what I based the recipe on, that ooey-gooey dessert. But there are numerous drink recipes with that name already so I figured we’d go the magnolia route but also pay respect to the past that Mississippi has–both the good and the bad. Silver tarnishes, magnolias might get a little muddy, but the important thing is that they are still the same inside.

Todd’s comments on the drink: very smooth, the warmth hits the back of your throat in a nice way, very nice. And that was on the first sip! Of mine, actually. This drink he actually wanted one of his own 🙂

A Touch of the Irish


Most people who have encountered Irish Cream liqueur have done so favorably and come away fans. While it does well as a single spirit, over ice or neat, it also pairs with a whole laundry list of others. There are some notable exceptions, however: like the lime juice that tops it in a Cement Mixer and, from personal experiments, strawberry liqueur–the consistency is, well, they call it a Cement Mixer for a reason. Blech!

Back to happier combos! Vodka seems to pair especially well with this spirit and, of course, anything chocolate or coffee. If you treat it as cream with a kick, you can hardly go wrong! This is what gets us such gems as the B52 and the Mudslide, but the cocktail I want to bring you today is a little newer, to me anyway, and with my own twist (mostly due to substitutions to match my current inventory of alcohol). Based on the cocktail known as the Oreo Cookie, I now present to you

The CHF Double-Stuff

1 oz Vanilla Vodka
1 oz Coffee liqueur
1 oz Irish Cream liqueur
1 oz Chocolate liqueur

Combine in a cocktail shaker over ice and then pour into a chilled glass. Makes 1 large cocktail or 2 double shots; after all, it’s good to share!

My love affair with the vanilla vodka continues, as you can see, and my other substitution was Godiva liqueur for creme de cacao. Creme de cacao, from my quickie research, is a lighter chocolate liqueur with a touch of vanilla, so my substitutions seemed incredibly logical. The first sip, according to my co-taster, was very chocolate but then leveled out whereas I got more of the Kahlua and Irish cream. It probably depends on the individual taste buds involved but we both agreed that it blends and mellows with each sip.

While it’s certainly no substitute for a real cookie, it’s a nice treat when you’re not actually hungry but craving something sweet.