As the summer is quickly approaching, here is a fun recipe that will be a hit at any BBQ, picnic or party…just not for the kids!
1 1/2 quarts cranberry juice cocktail
1 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted
2 cups vodka
Combine all of the ingredients in a large plastic container. Freeze for several hours. It will not freeze solid, but rather achieve the consistency of a slushy.
Scoop into punch cups or wine glasses and serve.
As the evenings begin to cool off, sometimes a warming cocktail hits the spot after a long day at work. One of my favorite Fall libations is a Classic Manhattan and its for good reason this drink is referred to as “the King of Cocktails”
1 oz of Your favorite Bourbon
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 teaspoon Maraschino Cherry juice
Fill shaker 3/4 full with cracked ice. Add Bourbon, Sweet Vermouth and Maraschino Cherry juice. Shake with ice, strain and garnish with Maraschino Cherry and enjoy.
In honor of National Rum Day…here are Three Classic Cocktails…
Fill a short glass with ice. In a shaker combine:
- 1-1/2 oz. white Rum
- 1 oz. lime juice
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- Ice to fill
- Shake and strain into the glass
Fill a tall glass with ice. In a shaker combine:
- 1-1/2 oz. dark Rum
- 1/2 oz. lime juice
- 1/2 oz. lemon juice
- 3 oz. orange juice
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- Dash of grenadine syrup
- Ice to fill
- Shake and strain into the glass
Fill a tall glass with ice. Add:
- 1-1/2 oz. dark Rum
- Juice of half a lime
- Cola to fill
- Stir and garnish with lime shell
It’s hot outside and enjoying a cool crisp summer cocktail is a great way to enjoy a lazy afternoon or relax after a long day.
Pimm’s Cup is the quintessential British summer drink. Although most famously enjoyed by spectators at Wimbledon, cricket matches and sailing regattas, this refresher with its unique herbaceous tang can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere, anytime.
“Pimm’s” is both the name given to this long mixed drink as well as being the proprietary name of the gin-based, delicately spicy, iced-tea-colored spirit that serves as its base. At a relatively low 25% alcohol, Pimms No. 1 Cup (the spirit) blends nicely with lemonade, lemon-lime soda or ginger ale and is garnished with cucumber and lemon to make a Pimm’s Cup.
Pimm’s Cup (makes one drink)
1.5 ounces Pimm’s No. 1 Cup lemonade (or ginger ale or lemon-lime soda) lemon slices , cucumber slices (optional: orange slice, fresh borage and/or mint leaves, apple slices, strawberry)
Fill a Collins glass half with ice and a few slices of cucumber, borage leaves or other garnishes. Add measure of Pimm’s, then top up glass with lemonade or soda. Stir gently and add additional ice if needed. Garnish with slices of lemon and cucumber.
As Spring blooms, we find ourselves outside much more for dining and evening cocktails. The next time you are out for drinks with friends, check out the cocktail menu. One of my favorite cocktails to enjoy this Spring is an old classic, a French 75.
Champagne, makes most cocktails ideal for a late spring brunch or perfect to stroll the back patio on cool evenings. Like the Sidecar, the French 75 has World War One connections, probably being named after a WWI artillery gun. Returning French pilots, familiar with the guns deadly potency, demanded a drink equally disarming and were given one. You can substitute Gin for the Brandy.
½ oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Brandy or Gin
½ oz Cointreau
Add lemon juice, Brandy or Gin, Cointreau to a shaker or pitcher with a bit of ice, stir or shake till cold. Strain contents into a champagne flute and top with champagne and a lemon twist.
If you are thinking about hosting a brunch and normally offer your guests Mimosa’s, next time serve Mimosa Jellies. This cool skewered nosh-able bite will quickly become a favorite brunch cocktail treat.
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice (fresh squeezed, if possible)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 envelopes plain gelatin
- 1 1/2 cups champagne, prosecco or other sparkling wine
- 1 drop orange flower water (if desired)
- Pour juice and sugar into a small saucepan and sprinkle with the gelatin. Allow the gelatin to soak for a minute or two.
- Heat over very low heat until gelatin is dissolved, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the champagne. (Mixture will be foamy – don’t worry, this will dissipate as the mixture sets.)
- Add the drop of orange flower water if desired.
- Pour mixture into a 9″ x 9″ glass or non-reactive metal cake pan. Refrigerate until fully set (3 to 4 hours).
To serve, cut into desired shapes with a knife or small cookie cutter (I like small oval or round shape). Garnish with edible flower petals, if desired and serve on a platter or place jellies on skewers.
Bon Appetit & Cheers!
Summer is here and so is the heat, well at least this week and that means outdoor dinners, happy hours and fun with friends.
Here are my Top 5 Spots to enjoy the summer sun or a warm outdoor evening…
Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel If you are feeling fancy, this is the place. Great food, overpriced drinks, incredibly accommodating staff and a beautiful inviting patio. Truly one of a kind in LA.
The Eveleigh Pronounced “everleigh”, a well hidden Sunset Blvd retreat. Playing cool music, great food and a fun specialty drink menu, this place is a great option for early evening drinks, dinner, or weekend brunches.
The Wilshire A favorite among Westsiders. The expansive split-level courtyard is consistently considered as one of the top 10 outdoor dining spots in America. Large trees, outdoor fireplaces, water features…romantic, cool and all around great spot.
Geoffrey’s Malibu If you don’t mind the drive up the coast, this place is a gem. Located on PCH overlooking the ocean, what more could you ask for? Beach sophistication for drinks, dinner or weekend brunch.
Chateau Marmont Definitely one of the prettiest garden patios in LA. A longstanding top destination for outdoor dining & drinking, day or night. This place makes you feel completely removed from the city stresses, just north of the Sunset strip.
Bon Appetit & Cheers!
Every now and again, I like to enjoy a martini. I know, these days, people are ordering all sorts of martini’s…mango, pineapple, apple, cosmos, the list goes on and on.
In my opinion there is nothing better than a classic simple vodka martini.
My order…Grey Goose vodka martini…extra extra dry, i.e. no vermouth, extra shaken, served a little icy with a twist.
Personally, I think it’s a straight forward martini, but on occasion, the bartender rolls his eyes when I ask for the “extra” shaken…go figure.
If you order a martini, without any instructions, you may get a classic old school martini which is typically made with gin instead of vodka, so be specific unless your bartender knows your habits…Any martini can be made into a dirty martini by adding a splash of olive brine.
Classic Martini Ingredients
75ml (or approx 2+ 1/2 oz) Gin or Vodka
15ml (or approx 1/4 oz) Dry Vermouth
1 green olive OR a twist of lemon peel
6 ice cubes
Classic Martini Directions
Into a mixing glass, toss a handful of ice cubes (about half a dozen)
Pour in the Gin or Vodka and the Vermouth.
Stir well. Some may prefer shaken. Strain and pour into a martini glass.
To finish, either drop a green olive into the bottom of the martini glass OR arrange a twist of lemon peel on the edge of the martini glass.
Traditionally, ICE chills our favorite beverages, keeps food cold when its on a display and its even used as sculpture. Is ice is simply frozen water? Not anymore.
Névé Luxury Ice company is producing some of the coolest, most unique ice on the market. Consider Névé Ice to be gourmet frozen water. They use the purest water possible and freeze it with every attention to detail. Their ice even melts slower than regular ice.
Névé offers “cool” ice in different shapes, sizes, colors and even with filled with fruit, herbs or flowers.
Of course, this ice is more expensive than standard ice, but if your looking for something different and want to make your next soiree even cooler do it with some luxury ice.
The National Restaurant Association surveyed more than 1,500 chefs recently to predict what will be some of the Hottest Trends on menus in 2011. Its no doubt that these trends will somehow effect events and catering menus alike. Here are some highlights from the survey…
- The top 10 menu trends for next year will be locally sourced meats and seafood, locally grown produce, sustainability as a culinary theme, nutritious kids’ dishes, hyper-local items, children’s nutrition as a culinary theme, sustainable seafood, gluten-free/food allergy-conscious items, back-to-basics cuisine and farm-branded ingredients.
- Rounding out the top 20 menu trends are artisan liquor, locally-produced wine and beer, smaller portions for a smaller price, organic produce, nutrition as a culinary theme, culinary cocktails, newly fabricated cuts of meat, fruit/vegetable children’s side items, ethnic-inspired breakfast items and artisan cheese.
- On the drink menu, micro-distilled spirits is the top item. Other alcohol items high on the list include locally produced beer and wine, culinary cocktails, food-beer pairings and beer dinners. Specialty iced tea top the nonalcoholic beverage category.
Click here to view the complete NRA Chef Survey “What’s Hot in 2011″