Tag Archives: cocktails

Time to unplug!

4 Mar

You know you live in an uber-connected world when someone sends you an email and tells you that this weekend (March 6-7) is celebrated as National Day of Unplugging. I’d like to think that I could put my phone down and not touch it for a full 24 hours, but I know that is a lie. So this weekend, I am going to try to unplug. I am only going to use my phone to text and for calls. I will not be posting on social media. I will not be obsessively be checking Instagram or Facebook. I will unplug and let goodness happen. To distract myself, I’ve ordered two 500 piece puzzles. I think that should keep me busy for a bit.

Our friends over at Cruzan Rum sent over a recipe for a drink to get you through the Unplugged weekend. And you know how much I love puns, so here it is:

1 1/2 parts Cruzan® Aged Light Rum
1/2 part White Vermouth
1/2 part Chamomile Syrup*
1/2 part Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Egg White
Dash of Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake without ice to combine. Add ice, shake vigorously for 10 seconds and double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with two drops of Bitters.

*Chamomile Syrup:
Steep two Chamomile Tea Bags in 8oz. Hot Water for 5 minutes to make double strength Tea.
Add 8oz. Sugar to Tea and stir until Sugar is dissolved.
Syrup will be good for one month.

Can you unplug this weekend? If you decide to unplug, let us now how it goes. And, before you unplug on Friday, here are some of the best videos and stories I’ve seen this week:

Apparently this pup does this when he is shown a toy.

Adam Levine and Maroon 5 are fantastic.


‘Love Has No Labels’ PSA is a beautiful ode to humanity

Hulk is awesome. Hulk, the dog, that is. 



Beertails! A tasty treat for all!

20 Aug

Do you like beer? Do you like cocktails? Well, then you’ll love Beertails. That’s right, that’s a thing now and these recipes sound pretty darn good. Labor Day is right around the corner (I hate that I just had to type that), and these might be some tasty treats for your end of summer bash!

Bohemia Limeaid


·         1 ½oz Herradura Silver

·         ¼  oz triple sec

·         1 oz fresh lime juice

·         ½  oz agave syrup

·         1 oz Bohemia


1.       Mix all ingredients together and stir without ice.

2.       Pour over ice and garnish with a lime wheel.

Spiked Hawaiian


·         1 oz Morita chili infused tequila (To Infuse  the Reposado tequila take a cup of Morita chilies add to a measuring jug, pour 1 liter of Reposado tequila over the  chilies and leave for 90 mins.

·         ½  oz celery juice (blend celery stems to create a pulp)

·         ¾  oz  pineapple juice


1.       Combine tequila, celery juice and pineapple in a cocktail shaker with cubed ice.

2.       Shake hard and strain into a high ball glass.

3.       Top with Indio beer and stir to combine. Garnish with a pineapple flag dipped in crushed red chilies.

 Mojito Tecate Light


·         6 Mint leaves

·         4 tbls. Sugar Syrup

·         2 tbls. Lemon Juice

·         2 tbls White Rum (optional)

·         12 oz. cold Tecate Light


1.       Crush the mint leaves and in a tall glass, add the sugar syrup; the lemon juice; the white rum and cold Tecate Light. Shake and enjoy!

Do you have a favorite beertail? Do share in the comments.

Tabasco Gets Classy…

6 Nov

You know what I love? Lamp. You know what I can’t wait for? Anchorman Dos. I know sequels aren’t typically as good as the first, but I have a good feeling about this one.

Photo Cred: Anchor Man 2 Official Movie Site

Photo Cred: Anchor Man 2 Official Movie Site

So if you are as excited as I am, here are four cocktail recipes from Tabasco, yes the hot sauce. It is getting classy for the return, and I think you should practice your class as well.

Hilarity is sure to ensue as we watch our favorite news team reclaim their legendary status.

Below are four recipes for The Burgundy, It’s So Damn Hot, You Know I Don’t Speak Spanish, and Brick’s Hand Grenade.

The Burgundy
Serves 6

1 Quart tomato juice
1 Cup vodka
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 Teaspoon Tabasco brand Original Red Sauce
Lime slices or celery stalks

Combine tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, and Tabasco Sauce in a 2-quart pitcher; stir well. Serve over ice. Garnish with lime or celery.

The Burgundy

It’s So Damn Hot
Serves 1

2 Ounces quality vodka or gin
7 Ounces tomato juice
1/2 Ounce Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 Heaping teaspoon horseradish mustard
10-20 dashes Tabasco brand Original Red Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
1/8 Teaspoon white pepper
1/8 Teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 Teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 Teaspoon garlic powder
1 Pinch of cumin
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1/2 Lime, juiced
1 Chicory leaf
1 Cornichon
2 Tabasco brand Spicy Beans

Spicy Seasoned Garlic Sea Salt
6 Dashes Tabasco brand Original Red Sauce
1/8 Cup sea salt
1/2 Tablespoon toasted garlic

Combine all Spicy Seasoned Garlic Sea Salt ingredients and mix well. Fill a pint glass with ice and rim with Spicy Seasoned Garlic Sea Salt. Combine all ingredients into mixing glass. “Roll” ingredients back and forth from mixing glass to shaker several times; mix well. Pour into ice-filled, salt-rimmed pint glass. Garnish with chicory leaf, a cornichon and Tabasco Spicy Beans.

It's So Damn Hot

You Know I Don’t Speak Spanish
Serves 1

1/2 Lime
Coarse salt
1 1/4 Ounces gold tequila
3/4 Ounce Grand Marnier
1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Tabasco brand Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce

Rub rim of a goblet with cut side of lime, then dip rim into saucer of salt. Fill glass with ice. Squeeze juice from lime. Pour lime juice, tequila, Grand Marnier, and Tabasco Green Sauce into an ice-filled cocktail shaker or pitcher and shake or stir vigorously. Strain into ice-filled glass and garnish with a slice of lime.

Variation: Use Margarita or sweet and sour mix to make drink as directed on label. Shake in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Tabasco Green Sauce per drink and stir.

You Know I Don't Speak Spanish

Brick’s Hand Grenade
Serves 1

2 Tablespoons pineapple juice
2 Tablespoons lemon-lime carbonated beverage
1 Tablespoon light rum
1 Tablespoon tequila
1 Tablespoon vodka
1 Tablespoon gin
3 Drops Tabasco brand Original Red Sauce

Combine all ingredients and pour into a 12-ounce highball glass filled with ice; stir. If desired, garnish glass with a wedge of pineapple or lime.

Brick's Hand Grenade

From Boston Bartenders with Love!

10 Oct

Fall is here. Time to soak in the last hours of sunshine and foliage. Time to prepare ourselves for the darkness of winter ahead. If you are like me, a good fall cocktail can ease the pain. Check out these great fall cocktails with rum from two local Boston bartenders. I personally love Eastern Standard and will be making my way there soon to try this deliciousness.

Do you have a favorite fall cocktail in Boston? Share with us!

Dominican Old Fashioned3 (credit Emmanuel Cayere)

Photo cred: Emmanuel Cayere

Dominican Old Fashioned

Created by Kevin Martin, Eastern Standard

1.5 oz. Brugal Extra Dry Rum

.5 oz. Santa Maria Al Monte

1 Barspoon St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram

1 Barspoon Sugar

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

2 Dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

In a mixing glass combine sugar, Angostura, Peychaud’s with a splash (.25oz) of soda water, stir to make a paste. Add Brugal Rum, Santa Maria Al Monte and Dram with ice, stir until properly diluted and chilled. Strain cocktail into a chilled lowball over fresh ice, garnish with a long orange twist.

Old Orchard Style

Created by John Henderson, Tavern Road

2 oz. Brugal 1888 Rum

.25 oz. Demerara Syrup (2:1 Demerara or raw sugar to water)

1/8 of Granny Smith Apple

1/8 oz. Allspice Dram

Old Orchard Style6 (credit Emmanuel Cayere)

Photo cred: Emmanuel Cayere

Muddle apple in a mixing glass, add other ingredients and stir with ice until well-chilled. Fine strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass, top with freshly grated cinnamon and a thin slice of apple.

Interested in more cocktails and recipes? Follow Brugal Rum on Twitter.

I beg your (Pisco) Portón

25 Aug

Tell me something I’ve never heard of and I’m naturally interested in hearing and learning more. Tell me it’s about bacon and booze and my interest level increases 10-fold. That’s what happened a few weeks ago when Pisco Portón asked me to join them for a pairing dinner at ArtBar in Cambridge, MA, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to learn more about this intriguing new spirit.

For those not familiar with pisco, as I wasn’t, here’s the rundown: pisco is a mixable spirit distilled from grapes. It is named after the Peruvian port of Pisco where the drink was originally exported.

Porton retails for $39.99 for a 750 ml bottle

The brand Portón, owned by the Kallop family, is made from a blend of three grape varietals (Quebranta, Torontel and Albilla). A juice from the first pressing of the grapes is made and then fermented, but not completely in order to retain some natural grape sugars that would otherwise be converted into alcohol. The fermented juice is then distilled to 86 proof in custom made copper pot still and is left to rest for five to eight months before bottling to let the flavors of the pisco develop. Because less sugar is converted to alcohol, 20 pounds of grapes must be used to make one liter of pisco. Portón’s new distillery was built to be environmentally friendly and sustainable, which paired well with ArtBar’s use of local and regional ingredients.

We were lucky enough to have dinner with Portón’s COO, Jean-Francois Bonneté, who also helped us really understand the depth and versatility of the spirit.

Now, onto the food and booze we had Tuesday. The USBG (United States Bartender’s Guild) Boston Chapter invited eight of its members from 8 different restaurant/bars in Boston to create a cocktail that would pair with a particular course the  ArtBar was preparing. Yes, that is right, 8 different cocktails and 8 courses. (Below, I included the full menu with the corresponding cocktail.)

What I found really awesome was how truly versatile the spirit is. The first cocktail we had was a welcome cocktail and it was called Grape 3-Ways and I could really see myself serving that as a cocktail at brunch – a great twist on the traditional mimosa. It included Portón, Pinneau de Charantes, Lavender Honey, Fresh Orange Juice, Champagne and Fresh Lavender. Then, stepping into the evening’s courses, we were introduced to a cocktail that was completely different from the welcome cocktail, but equally as awesome and that trend continued with each course.

The bartenders were really invested in each cocktail and it was apparent when each bartender presented the cocktail they created and explained exactly why they used certain ingredients. For example, Elizabeth Powell, Head Bartender at ArtBar, wanted to create a cocktail that really brought the drinkers back to the heart of America and incorporated apple into the flavors of her cocktail to make “Hometown Dream”, which was paired with a sauteed lobster tail in toasted brioche and a lobster corn dog with grain mustard sauce.

To truly get a sense of the flavors resulting in the pairing of the food and the cocktail, I sipped the cocktail before starting on the course, took a bite and then another sip. It really did enhance the flavors in the food.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how drinkable the spirit was no matter how it was prepared. I drink spirits, but not to the point where I usually ask for something by name. Portón would make me think differently the next time I’m interested in a cocktail.

The ArtBar served some amazingly good food, i.e. Bacon Mac-N-Cheese with Bacon Fondue (that was when I knew they were trying to win my love). And it was a real pleasure because through the night the bartenders were able to sit down and eat with us. It was a great opportunity to talk to the bartenders from some of our favorite places in the city. (I have included who created each cocktail in the menu below and what restaurant/bar they are from. You should really check them out.) Portón put on a great event and I look forward to blogging about my home cocktail experiments with Portón.

Find them on Facebook here and @PiscoPorton on Twitter.

Now onto the menu and cocktail pairings…

Welcome Cocktail created by Dave Delaney – bartender at Still and Stir in Worcester and the Citizen Public House in Boston

Grapes 3-Ways
3/4 oz. Portón
1 oz. Pinneau de Charantes
1/2 oz. Lavender Honey
1/2 oz. Fresh Orange Juice
Top with Champagne and 1 sprig fresh lavender

1st Course – Prosciutto wrapped bean spread with zahtar flavored olives and grilled naan

Cocktail created by Kelly Coggins, wine rep for Hangtime Wholesale and works part-time at Tremont 647

Love Porton #9
3/4 oz. Porton
3/4 oz. Aperol
3/4 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
2 oz. crisp white wine
1 oz. club soda
Grapefruit zest

2nd Course – Maine Lobster

Cocktail created by Elizabeth Powell, Head bartender at ArtBar

Hometown Dream
2 oz. Porton
large dash extinct acid phosphate
1 oz. green delicious apple shrub
1 oz. Laird’s AppleJack
long spiral green delicious apple peel to garnish

3rd Course – Taco Trio: Pork cheek with pico de gallo and chipotle laced sour cream; charred tuna with nappa slaw and lime aioli; hanger steak with avocado, fried shallots and chimi churri

Cocktail created by Kevin Mabry, Bar Manager at jM Curley

Tip of the Cap
1 1/2 oz. Porton
1/2 oz. Luxardo cherry liquor
1/2 oz. Luxardo Triplum
1/4 oz. lemon juice
muddled strawberry
2 dashes Texas Pete hot sauce
1 oz. Cava

4th course: Mac & Cheese eggroll with guanciale and smoky fondue

Cocktail created by Sam Karachi, bartender at Russell House Tavern and also works at The Boston Shaker in Davis Square

The Royal Hunt of the Sun
1 oz. Porton
1 oz. Salers Gentiane Liquor
1/2 oz. Amaro Nonino
8 drops Lapsang Souchong Tea bitters
grapefruit twist to garnish

5th course – Georges Bank U-10 sea scallop rolled in applewood bacon with mango puree, red pepper essence and chive oil

Cocktail created by Sam Treadway, bar manager and co-owner of Backbar in Union Square

Peruvian BBQ
1 3/4 oz. Porton
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. maple syrup
1 dash smoked chipotle tabasco
Charred lime wheel to garnish

6th course -Roasted all natural sirloin with Mediterranean coucous, marsala syrup and heirloom cherry tomato salad

Cocktail created by Noon Inthasuwan, beverage director at Moksa Restaurant and Sommelier and Mixologist at OM Restaurant 

*Note: I made a comment that I don’t eat read meat and so I was brought another plate without the meat. I love good customer service, even if I wasn’t necessarily a “customer” that night.

La Cosecha (The Harvest)
2 oz. Porton
1 1/2 oz. Orleans Cider Vermouth
1 oz. Masala Syrup
Top with purple corn foam

7th course – Turtle panna cotta with raspberries, caramel sauce and a chocolate tuille

Cocktail created by Troy Clarke, President of the Boston Chapter of the USBG, Director of Food & Beverage at Royal Sonesta Hotel and Owner of TwelveTwentyFour Cocktails

Terroir Expression
3/4 oz. Porton
3/4 oz. Tonala Anejo Tequila
1/2 oz. Lustau Solera Superior Sherry
Dash of phosphate
Burnt orange peel to garnish

8th course – Cheese: Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Ford Farm Cave Aged Chedder, Vermont Creamery Aged Goat Cheese with lavender honey, spiced almonds and grilled baguettes

Cocktail created by Josh Taylor, bar manager at West Bridge in Kendall Square

Turning Red
1 1/2 oz. Porton
3/4 oz. Barbadilla Oloroso sherry
1/2 oz. Merlet Creme Cassis
1/2 oz. Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot
Dash Peychaud’s bitters

Let the Hunger Games Begin!

22 Mar

It’s finally here! The Hunger Games! I never thought I would get sucked in to a series like this, but I find myself so completely absorbed by it all, that I can’t stand myself. I mean today I read something about a Hunger Games inspired workout – a bit much,  I have to admit.  Though I am beyond excited to see the movie, I am not beyond crazy and going to the midnight showing tonight.

Instead, I may possibly just celebrate in my own way and have a Hunger Games-themed cocktail such as a Mockingjay or the sting of Tracker Jacker (we all know that isn’t good, or is it?)…  I know quite a few people that will also be excited for these fabulous concoctions to honor Panem, so without further ado… “may the odds be ever in your favor. Happy Hunger Games”

The Mockingjay

1.25 oz Frangelico

2 spoonfuls sour cherry macerate

.75 oz Cherry Brandy

Shake hard, strain over rocks. Garnish with a cherry and a few orange slices.

Katniss Everdeen Elixir

1.5 oz. CAMUS VSOP Elegance

0.75 oz. Punta Mes Vermouth

0.25 oz. Simple Syrup

0.75 oz. Lemon Juice

Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne

Shake all except champagne. Strain into flute and top with champagne. Garnish with mint sprig.

Effie Trinket’s Pink Drink

2oz Croft Pink 

1oz Premium Gin

2 dashed of Regan’s Orange bitters

3oz Ginger Beer

Pour all the ingredients into an ice-filled highball glass, stir briefly and garnish with a sprig of mint and seasonal fruit.

The Tracker Jacker’s Sting

Fresh seasonal fruit 
(recommended: strawberry, lime, orange, kiwi, and passionfruit)

¼ oz. Lucid Absinthe

1 ¼ oz. cachaça

½ oz. spanish brandy

½ oz. orange liquor

1 oz. red wine

In a cocktail shaker, thoroughly muddle the fruit with Lucid, cachaça, brandy, and orange liquor. Pour into wine glass. Float red wine on top of cocktail.

Halloween Cocktails – drink ’em up!

27 Oct

One of the best holidays of the year is upon us…Halloween. And don’t even start with me how Halloween isn’t a holiday. There are so many fun ways to make your own Halloween celebration the best. From spicy entrees to spooky desserts your choices are unlimited. But what to serve to drink with those wonderful choices? Do not fret, Cdog is here with some suggestions for Halloween cocktails.

Let’s start with something that’s new to me and to be really honest I haven’t tried yet. We will be making this, this weekend though!

Belvedere Bloodsucker

Shake with ice and pour over ice cubes into a rocks glass. Top with 1.5 oz of Tru Blood beverage and garnish with a blood orange slice. Perfect for the vampire in all of us!

Pumpkin Martini (okay, okay, I know Kteb won’t drink this but I’m sure many of you might – this will even last you through to Thanksgiving!)

  • 2 oz of vanilla infused Russian Standard vodka* (kteb and my vodka of choice…obvi)
  • 1/2 oz cream liqueur
  • 1/2 oz of pumpkin puree (to make this easy just used canned pumpkin)

*To make the infused vodka it might be easier than you think. For every 750 ml of Russian Standard vodka add a couple whole vanilla beans and allow them to sit at least 24 hours. Strain the beans and add the vodka back to the bottle – refrigerate.

Pour the cream liqueur and vodka into a shaker filled with ice. Add the pumpkin puree. Shake again and strain into a chilled martini glass. For those of you who are fancy pants you can also add sugar to the rim. It’s super easy – dip the glass in water. On a separate plate prepare a sugar and cinnamon mixture and then dip the damp glass into the mixture – voila!

Apple Cider Hot Toddy

This is one of my absolute FAVES. It’s perfect for nights that are cold and rainy or nights that you just want a hot, spiked beverage (duh).

  • 2 oz whiskey or apple brandy (we’ve also used ginger brandy in the past!)
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • hot apple cider
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 1 cinnamon stick for stirring and garnish

I hope you enjoy one of these if you decide to make them. And if I didn’t include your favorite drink of choice, please leave a comment along with the recipe or link. Happy Halloween and happy cocktail drinking!!


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