Cocktail Advent 19: Lady in the Garden


Here’s another cocktail idea courtesy of North Hollywood’s Bow & Truss Restaurant and Bar. They propose this as an alternative to eggnog.

Image via Bow & Truss

Image via Bow & Truss

Again, no measurements given, but we’re dealing with a twist on the classic Pisco Sour, so it’s not hard to figure out.

Lady in the Garden

  • 3 oz Pisco
  • 3 Basil leaves
  • 1 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 oz Orange Juice
  • 1 Egg White
  • Orange Blossom Water and a small Basil sprig for garnish

In the bottom of a mixing glass, muddle the basil in the pisco just enough to release some of the oils. Add in the orange juice, and the egg white and dry-shake (meaning, use no ice) for about 15 seconds or so. Then add ice to your cocktail shaker and shake again to chill. Strain into a prepared cocktail coupe and top with a few drops of orange blossom water and a pretty basil sprig.

If you’ve never tried Pisco before, it reminds me of tequila–they both have that innate warmth and rich mouth-feel to me. While I think it’s a stretch to call this an egg-nog substitute, I certainly wouldn’t turn one down if it were offered to me!

***This “recipe” was provided by a representative of Bow & Truss Restaurant and Bar. I am not affiliated with the establishment nor have I been compensated for the sharing of this recipe or image. As always, we encourage responsible refreshment and the use of the Designated Driver. No drunken monkeys, please!***

Tuesday Reviews-Day | Cruzan Passion Fruit Rum



**This is a sponsored post. I was provided a sample of Cruzan Passion Fruit Rum for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own and no further compensation has been received. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…**

Why is the rum always gone?! Because it tastes so good!

Previously I had the opportunity to review Cruzan’s Key Lime rum, but the other flavor they released this summer just hit my doorstep: Cruzan Passion Fruit Rum. If you’re looking to extend those summer feelings and flavors, Passion Fruit Rum might be just what you need.

The aroma of passion fruit is quite strong in this rum and the flavor is spot-on, though admittedly not quite as smooth as their Strawberry rum. The fruit has never been one of my top favorites mostly thanks to the texture, but in juice form it’s hard to make a good tropical punch without it! To that end I put together a quick tipple to highlight it’s tropics-inducing properties.

Passionate Kisses

1 1/2 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Passion Fruit Rum
1 oz Coconut Water

Combine over ice and shake until frosty. Strain into a prepared cocktail glass and sip into the sunset.

Cruzan’s Passion Fruit Rum is plenty sweet on it’s own and can stand up to quite a bit of fruit and acid without the need for additional sweeteners. The coconut water is my favorite low-key mixer of the moment, just make sure the one you’re buying doesn’t have any added sugars and you’ll be good to go.


AlcoHOLidays | Easter | Trio of the Southern Cross


The “shadowy” origins of many Christian holidays are major bones of contention among the devout and while I’m used to the usual arguments surfacing around Christmas I admit I’m a bit surprised at the furor rampant (at least among my Facebook friends) over Easter‘s influences.

Nutshell: the bunny, chicks, and eggs that don’t really seem like obvious symbols of the Christian resurrection celebration? That’s because they’re actually fertility symbols and yet another example of the Church appropriating a holiday from the people they were trying to sway into their fold. Over time the old pagan symbols may have been assigned new meanings (the egg as a symbol for the empty tomb, for instance) and the original meanings watered down into nothingness for most people. It happened, accept it and move on is my stance, but I’ve heard of several folks adopting the less-controversial Passover rites instead.

Whether your rite of spring leans towards sunrise services, Seders, or sugary confections a nice, refreshing beverage is definitely called for. Maybe you’re trying to balance the richness of kugel, clove-studded ham, or one too many chocolate bunnies, or you’ve looked ahead on the calendar to summer swimsuit season and want to keep your cocktails light and fruity. Any way you look at it, one of these three cocktails is sure to fit the bill.

Each of these three cocktails starts with a base of KAPPA Pisco and end with a topping-off of soda water or, in my case, Perrier. For folks who are not a big fan of plain water, adding bubbles is one way to make it more palatable, but Perrier isn’t just sparkling mineral water, it also comes in a variety of lightly flavored styles. I’ve tried their Pamplemousse Rose (pink grapefruit) before and recently received samples of their unflavored, lemon, and lime styles to try in place of club soda or sugary soda mixers in cocktails. Challenge accepted.

I find club soda to taste, essentially, like “stale” water–I’m not a fan. Admittedly Perrier has a similar trait but for whatever reason the overall flavor is more palatable. Also, if it isn’t silly to say–they’re probably the same, but–the bubbles in Perrier feel smaller, more delicate, than your average club soda. Again, I realize that’s more than likely ridiculous, but perception is perception.

On to the cocktails!

A trio of light, bright drinks perfect for spring!

A trio of light, bright drinks perfect for spring!

KAPPA Fresca

1 ½ oz KAPPA Pisco
3 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
Bottled soda water (or Perrier Lemon)

Pour KAPPA Pisco and orange juice into an ice filled mixing glass.  Shake vigorously.  Strain into an ice filled highball glass.  Top with soda (optional) and garnish with an orange peel.

KAPPA Grapefruit Fizz

1 ½ oz KAPPA Pisco
3 oz grapefruit juice
1 oz bottled soda water (or Perrier Lime)

Pour KAPPA Pisco and grapefruit juice into an ice filled highball glass.  Top with soda water (or lemon lime soda) and garnish with a lime wedge.

 KAPPA Kooler

1½ oz KAPPA Pisco
½ oz simple syrup
Club Soda (or Perrier)
Squeeze a wedge of lemon and lime

Combine all ingredients into a Collins glass with ice. Top with club soda and stir. Garnish with lemon and lime wedge.

Of the three, the KAPPA Grapefruit Fizz was my favorite while, surprisingly, Todd preferred the KAPPA Kooler, even though the flavor was mostly the KAPPA itself and he hadn’t liked the pisco neat when we did the tasting. Just goes to show that it only takes a little bit to take a drink from eh to excellent. The KAPPA Fresca, while neither of our favorites, is still a nice twist on the screwdriver or mimosa classics.



I received samples of both KAPPA Pisco and Perrier. All opinions expressed are my own.

AlcoHOLidays | Maple Syrup Saturday | Maple Break

the Maple Break cocktail

the Maple Break cocktail

Consider this my apology to maple syrup.

Why would I need to apologize to maple syrup? Well, the truth of the matter is that I’ve never really been all that fond of it. So when I was going over my list of holidays this coming week–and there were plenty to choose from*–it would have been perfectly in character for  me to skip over Maple Syrup Saturday (March 23,2013) and move onto something more to my personal taste.

And yet choose it I did, because I’ve come to respect maple syrup, even if it’s still not my favorite flavor.

You see, back in November I had to give up my beloved honey and agave nectars as part of going Low-FODMAP. I haven’t stooped so low as to add it to my tea over granulated sugar, but when I came down with a horrible sore throat the other week I did consider it. Briefly.

No, I’ve come to appreciate maple sugar not just for it’s glucose to fructose ratio but for its ability to flavor soups and other savory fare that honey or agave would have otherwise done. When mixed with other ingredients its harsh, bitter edges are blunted, making it much more palatable than on its own. In fact, when I was contemplating today’s cocktail I was struck by how much maple syrup reminds me of coffee liqueur.

Between coffee and maple syrup on it’s own, I was definitely thinking in the realm of breakfast, so it wasn’t much of a stretch to throw a little orange in there, too!

Maple Break

1.5 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Cachaça
3/4 oz Maple Syrup
1/4 oz Cointreau

Combine all ingredients over ice in the bottom of a mixing glass. Shake until you’re nice and wide awake, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass of your choice. Garnish with a strip of orange zest or two.

I chose the Brazilian rum mostly to be different, but the subtlety of the spirit really does this particular cocktail justice. It’s sweet, as you would expect, but not overly strong. You do, however, get the essence of the maple syrup in both the nose and the finished flavor of the cocktail. I think this would be an amazing brunch cocktail to serve alongside the usual Mimosa and Bloody Mary.

Throughout New England, now that it’s spring as the sap has begun to rise, maples will be tapped for the rich, sweet syrup that so many love. I may not consider myself in the ‘love’ column just yet, but with a cocktail like this I’m getting there.



*Coming up this week, just to name a few, are Passover (3/25-4/2), the Hindu New Year (3/22), and Greek Independence Day (3/25).

Cosmic Cocktails | Scorpio | What A Tail


What a Tail Scorpio-inspired astrological cocktailApologies for the lack of update last Friday: preparations for the book launch took more time than I expected them to. Isn’t it always the way?

But now we’re back! From outer space, we just walked in–

No, no, no, we’re not channeling Gloria Gaynor, here, not the least because she was a Virgo, not a Scorpio, though the done-with-you attitude of the song would fit a scorned Scorp just fine (if you could manage to get rid of one in the first place, that is).

Maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, though.

This week we’re utterly fascinated by the inscrutable Scorpio–mysterious, private, maybe a little brooding and withdrawn. Very physical, someone with their sun-sign in Scorpio is likely to need a lot of physical outlets for their energy, be it sports or exercise of a non-competitive nature (yes, that too, Scorpio is often considered the most highly-sexed sign of the zodiac). Sitting still is not something they like to do very often, preferring to be on the move.

Excellent in business, they learn quickly, take easy command of a situation, and have excellent instincts about finance. The Scorpio mind is like a steel strap, once something goes in it’s in for good, just waiting for it’s opportunity to pop out.

That said, you’re average Scorpio is not one to show their cards, wear their heart on their sleeve, or otherwise give away what’s going on behind the sometimes-moody eyes. This is probably why they make excellent confidants–until you piss them off, that is, and it’s time to get revenge. Remember there’s a stinger on the end of that magnificent tail.

In cocktail parlance, a Scorpion bowl is a rather loaded communal drink, often served in a volcano bowl featuring flames or dry ice for that extra special touch. The classic Scoripion cocktail–different from the bowl–is a little more reasonable for single drinking, but no less powerful. Meanwhile, we’ve got the Stinger, a popular after-dinner drink of brandy and creme de menthe that one of the Vanderbilt’s made acceptable for pre-dinner drinks back in the 1920s (per Esquire).

Not wanting to ignore those cocktail giants which would seem to lend themselves oh-so-well to this week’s cocktail, and knowing that strong flavors are associated with Scorpios in general, I present this cocktail in their honor.

What a Tail

Juice of 1/2 an orange
1 oz Spiced Rum
3/4 oz Brandy
1/4 oz Amaretto

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled, thinking secret thoughts. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry or two.

To make the nifty s-flag garnish I started with a slice of orange, cut from the center out in one place and threaded it onto the cocktail pick (from Trader Vic’s, in honor of the tiki-ness of today’s drink) in this order: one part of the cut side, a cherry, the uncut side in the middle, another cherry and twisting the other half of the cut side onto the end.


No, really, brooding Scorpio, cheer up a bit: it’s Friday!