Friday, September 18, 2009

Half Way to St. Paddy's Day!!!

Yesterday was Half Way to St. Paddy's Day and I celebrated with a little jig in my heart and some Jameson in my glass. Specifically Jameson and Gosling's Stormy Ginger Beer! So delicious! Ginger Beer was originally produced in the 1700s, brought to North America by the British colonists where it was brewed locally in homes and taverns. After the American civil war, it was produced commercially and transported to new markets, mostly in western New York state, where breweries cropped up along the Erie Canal. In the US, production was abruptly halted by Prohibition. (Damn it!) Ginger beer also has many medicinal uses and is a common stomach settler (ginger root is an effective treatment for nausea and motion sickness).

Obviously Gosling's point of the ginger beer was to create an easier way to make a quick Dark 'n Stormy and they bill it as "the only ginger beer made strictly to make Dark 'n Stormy cocktails" (the official drink of Bermuda). It is sweet and spicy and perfect! You can always make a tradtional Dark 'n Stormy but I prefer Jameson!

Dark 'n Stormy
  • 2 ounces of Gosling's Black Seal Rum
  • 1/2 can of Gosling's Stormy Ginger Beer (or to taste)

Jameson & Ginger

  • 2 ounces of Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 can of Gosling's Stormy Ginger Beer

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Autumn Punch

I love Fall. I just adore the romantic feel of creeping cooler weather and that exciting harvest time. Pumpkins, apples, cinnamon, falling leaves, and did I mention cooler weather? I already have Halloween and Thanksgiving on the brain! So at your next Fall social gathering, try this Autumn Punch.

Autumn Punch
  • One 750ml bottle dry red wine
  • Two 750ml botlles dry white wine
  • 3 ounces of sweet vermouth
  • 3 ounces of dry vermouth
  • 8 ounces of applejack
  • 8 ounces citrus vodka
  • 8 ounces of cranberry juice
  • 2 ounces of simple syrup or superfine sugar
  • 1 block of ice
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
Combine the liquid ingredients in a punch bowl and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, place the ice in the bowl. Float the orange and lemon slices on top of the punch.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Not-So-Simple Syrups

OK, I have been a terrible blogger lately...But I just saw this great article on simple syrups. I love anything DIY (and that's not to say I actually get it done but whatever...) These would also make great gifts whether hostess, housewarming, birthday or Christmas by putting into a fancy bottle with a handmade label and some ribbon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Watermelon Martini

Nothing is quite as quintessential for summer as watermelon. So what do you do when you are bored with eating slices in the backyard and having seeds and juice run down your face? Class it up with a martini, lady! I have been making these recently since watermelon is abundant on the island (not to mention sometimes free at Earth Fare). I also made them for lil' Sista's birthday a few weeks ago. It's also an easy recipe to turn into shooters for the group.

Watermelon Martini:
  • 2 ounces of Smirnoff Watermelon Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce of melon liqueur
  • Watermelon flesh squeezed or pureed to taste
  • Dash of simple syrup or sugar to taste
  • Splash of cranberry for a little color

Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with sugared fresh watermelon slices. If you wanna get particularly clever use the jellied or gummy watermelon candies for garnish or break out the melon baller. Man, I do love those candy fruit slices though...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Two great men...Frank Bartles & Ed Jaymes

In 1985, Ernest Gallo introduced the world to his famous wine coolers. He was a marketing genius, creating the characters of Frank Bartles and Ed Jaymes to promote his trendy drinks. Ok, so maybe I had no idea who these guys were in the 80s or even what a wine cooler was but now they are my dirty little silly secret. The only reference I knew was from the 1993 Pauly Shore movie "Son in Law" when Pauly sees his girlfriend's grandpa rocking on the front porch. Everything I learned, I learned from Pauly Shore movies. Scary, I know. I made fun of girls that drank Zima and all that other crap when we were in high school and college. Now, I secretly buy wine coolers when no one is around. They are so delicious! Who knew?

"And thank you for your support..."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Long Island Iced Tea

With all the Fireflys and Sweet Carolinas out there these days, many have forgotten about the original iced tea cocktail. The Long Island Iced Tea has absolutely nothing to do with Southern charm but definitely has the bite of a Belle scorned. Yes, its more labor intensive but does indeed taste dangerously like iced tea. And no, its not distilled down the road from me but can be made from a well stocked kitchen. Some purists (among whom I am not one) claim that vodka and gin should never be mixed but just go ahead and go for it. It will get you schnockered but then again so will Firefly and Sweet Carolina...just don't drink and drive. Best enjoyed in your backyard with nothing else left to do until morning! (And if you have a sudden urge for Bon Jovi's "Slippery when Wet" and leopard print stretch pants, switch back to Firefly)

Long Island Iced Tea:
  • 3/4 ounce white run
  • 3/4 ounce of gin
  • 3/4 ounce of vodka
  • 3/4 ounce of tequila
  • 3/4 ounce of Cointreau or triple sec
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 2 to 3 ounces of Coke
  • lemon wedge

Pour all the liquid ingredients except Coke into an ice filled collins glass. Top with Coke, and stir gently. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the glass and drop it in!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Old Ball and Chain

I made this martini for a bridal shower about a year ago and someone asked me this week for the recipe! I'm glad these adult libations do have some sort of staying power in the minds of my friends and fellow sippers... This is a fun martini for a bridal shower or bachelorette party courtesy of Sandra Lee from the Food Network!

Check it:

Ball and Chain Martini

  • 3 ounces of Stoli Blu
  • 1 1/2 ounces of Grand Marnier
  • splash of fresh lime juice
  • fresh blueberries for garnish

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add vodka, orange liqueur, and a splash of lime juice. Shake. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with fresh blueberries. *Note* I have also added a splash of blue curacao to give a little color!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nuts and Berries

I had this yummy shot last night at Voodoo with the ladies. After we tasted it, we all guessed at the ingredients and no one got it (at least not in full). It's a sweet little after dinner shot and tastes like a rasberry truffle or a classic childhood favorite.

Nuts and Berries:
  • 1/2 ounce of Frangelico
  • 1/2 ounce of Chambord
  • 1/2 ounce of milk (you can use cream or half & half too)

You can shake well or simply pour into a shot glass.

*Here is a slight variation and one of the boyfriend's favorites:

Peanut Butter and Jelly (PB & J):

  • 1 ounce of Frangelico
  • 1 ounce of Chambord

You can shake well or siply pour into a shot glass.

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's Spring! Breakout the booty shorts!

Here in Charleston, we are famous for our good looking coeds. I think that has a lot to do with the weather. As soon as the thermometer reaches 50 degrees, the short shorts and tank tops are whipped out faster than I don't know what! It could be a balmy 55 degrees at noon and you WILL see bikinis walking around in Uggs! (no seriously, what are you thinking?) Those yankees don't know what "warm" is. Just wait until August, my pretties. But if you too want to get in on the action, buy a cute pair of jean shorts and hit the beach (or King Street). Check out these cheap and chic pairs from Forever 21. And if you need a quick confidence boost after hiding those pasty legs all winter try this yummy pre-stroll concoction. What a city...

Big Booty Shake:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of chocolate ice cream
  • 1 1/2 ounces of Southern Comfort

Blend all ingredients well.

*You can make this shake low fat, too by buying low or no fat milk and ice cream.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In preparing for St. Patrick's Day...

In preparing for St. Patrick's Day and a fun weekend of pre-parties, I started thinking of something a little different to prepare. I love Jameson whether its on the rocks, with ginger, coke or cranberry, etc. But I did see this fun concoction on the Jameson Irish Whiskey homepage. I think I will try this one out on of my friends and family Saturday night! I am also including a different kind of recipe, one for food. And I know what your thinking, "There are FOOD recipes?!" Well, yes, there are. You just don't find them here. And sometimes you do need something else besides deep fried egg rolls, Gilroy's pizza, and those yummy Amy's organic burritos! Try a muffin, you fool!

The Perfect Jameson and Lemonade

  • 1 1/2 ounces of Jameson
  • 4 ounces of soda water (approximately)
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 teaspoons of granulated sugar

Place the sugar and the lemon juice in a highball glass and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Then add the Jameson, stir and top with ice. Finish by topping with soda water and garnish with a wedge of lime.

Jameson Whiskey Clove Muffins

2 cups white flour
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¾ cup milk
½ cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup Jameson Irish Whiskey
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 425 F

Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add milk, melted butter, eggs and whiskey and stir thoroughly. Add chopped nuts. Stir quickly and pour into large muffin tins lined with paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until well risen and firm to the touch. (Yield: 12 muffins)

*Note* The above picture is me at the ruins of St. Kevin's in Glendalough, Ireland in December 2008. Read the fascinating history of Glendalough at Sacred Destinations. And no, I am not hugging St. Kevin's cross due to my consumption of Jameson!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Southern Belle Hibiscus

I just bought my first round of hibiscus for the season! That being said, I actually just bought a $3 pack of 10 seeds. Well with this economic mess we are all in, I had to start small this year (literally). I have never grown hibiscus from seeds so this will be an adventure in my green-thumb-edness. They are called Southern Belle Hibiscus and are hardy perennials (we'll see, won't we?). Not only do I love hibiscus but these are actually called "southern belles" so the truth be told, the name did have a lot to do with my purchase. And I won't have to drag these in and out of the house during the cold! Speaking of cold, what's up with this weather? I'm freezing!

Here's a pink drink to go with my seedlings!


  • 1 ounce of Limoncello

  • 1 ounce of Stoli vodka

  • Cranberry juice to taste

Shake Limoncello and vodka. Pour into a short (or tall) cocktail glass filled with lots of ice. Add cranberry juice to taste. Garnish with a lemon or lime for a pop of color!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Wienie!!!

Even though I am about 5 weeks older and wiser than Wienie, she taught me to drink this concoction due to her vibrant youthfulness! This is one of my favorite drinks that I can get stuck on for weeks, especially in the summer! We haven't had these in awhile...but maybe tomorrow as a pre-dinner cocktail!


  • 1 1/2 ounces of vodka
  • 4 ounces of grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce of pineapple juice

Fill a rocks glass with ice. Pour vodka over ice and add both juices. Stir well and enjoy!

*Some greyhounds will be made with gin, so in a bar or restaurant you may want to specify!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Thank Goodness It's Friday!!! I am especially excited about this weekend since it's gonna be a Girls Weekend! Some of my favorite aspects of this quintessential weekend (besides the camaraderie, girl talk, shopping, etc) are, of course, the cocktails! And what's better than sitting on the water with your girlfriend(s) and sipping a fun festive martini? Listening to the waves roll in and the gossip roll out! Love it!!! So take the time this weekend and make a cocktail for your loved one, whether it be a girlfriend, boyfriend, sister, brother, mother or neighbor. Water and/or waves are optional but do try this Lemon Drop Martini for Two!!!

Lemon Drop Martini:
  • Juice of 6 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • 8 ounces of Stoli vodka
  • extra sugar for the glass rim

Combine the lemon juice, 4 tablespoons of sugar, and vodka in your ice filled martini shaker. Shake well and pour into two sugar rimmed martini glasses (To rim the glasses, run a lemon wedge around the edge of the glass and then roll edge in sugar). I love garnish so throw a little lemon slice on the glass edge or top with a lemon twist!

*Hint*- I really enjoy ice cold martinis so I always pack my glasses with ice while I am mixing my concoction. And of course, knock the ice out before pouring in your Lemon Drop Martini.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cold and Flu Season Cure = Bourbon

With all these cold, flu and bubonic plague bugs going around these days, we need a good-old-fashioned-feel-better concoction. Any good hot toddy made with a nice bourbon, honey and lemon will work but sometimes I don't like the heat. Maybe I want something cold or fizzy or both. Maybe a bourbon sling! And another round of Tylenol Cold and Congestion...

Bourbon Sling:
  • 2 1/2 ounces of bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce of Southern Comfort
  • 1/2 fresh lemon juice
  • 5 to 6 ounces of chilled club soda
  • lemon wedge

Shake the liquid ingredients except the club soda vigorously with ice. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with club soda and gently stir. Squeeze the lemon wedge over the drink and drop it in.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Since this evening is the Charleston Absolut Mango Bartender Challenge and "Mango Mixoff", I thought I would include a tropical libation of the mango variety. Absolut Mango is very potent (in my humble opinion). It has a strong nose of juicy mango probably due to the fact that it is made exclusively of natural ingredients and has no added sugar. As a result, the best way to initially try the Absolut Mango is neat. However, if you are looking for a little more kicked up fun I would try an Absolut Mango Mojito!

Absolut Mango Mojito:

  • 3 ounces of Absolut Mango
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 1/2 ounces of simple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of very fine sugar
  • Soda water
  • Mint leaves

Muddle mint leaves with sugar in a long drink glass and add crushed ice. Build the vodka, lime juice and syrup over the ice and stir. Top up with soda water and more ice. Garnish with mint leaves and bits of mango.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Casino Royale

In celebration of my long birthday weekend, I will probably drink some martinis and maybe even watch a movie. What better movie to watch while indulging in martinis? A Bond movie! I do have to admit, I love a blond Bond, especially in Casino Royale. In Ian Fleming's 1953 novel, "Casino Royale", this martini is named for the femme fatale, Vesper Lynd. Bond orders a dry martini from the bartender by giving the recipe: "Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?" Bond then explains "I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name." So the Vesper is born...

Vesper Martini
  • 3 oz of dry gin (Gordon's)
  • 1 oz of vodka (James Bond and I both prefer 100 proof Stolichnaya vodka)
  • 1/2 oz Kina Lillet (A French aperitif made from a blend of wine, brandy, fruits and herbs)
  • lemon peel

Shake well with lots of ice until it is extremely cold, then pour into glass and add a large slice of lemon peel. Bond orders his drink to be poured into a deep champagne goblet but a martini glass works, too!

*Note* Since Kina Lillet is out of classic production to my knowledge, you can substitute dry vermouth or Lillet Blanc (Lillet Blonde)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Classics Are Back!

During these uncertain recession times, people are returning to the classics. I have seen such a resurgence of classic cocktails and homemade comfort foods . Campbell's Soups even has ads that claim their canned soups were the "Original Dollar Menu." A lot of these classic cocktails I see come from the Prohibition and Great Depression eras. These so called "Heritage Cocktails" are popping up on many bar and restaurant menus all over the country. Classics like the Manhattan, Sidecar, Singapore Sling, Vesper Martini and the Old Fashioned are warming up our burdened times. These vintage cocktails have heavy darker flavors than the light fruity flavors that were so popular such a short time ago. Think Bourbons, Cognacs, Blackberries and Honey are HOT and Pomegranate and Papaya are NOT. People need more bang for their buck these days so they may be skipping the trendy hotspots and drinking at home. However, most of the top alcohol companies are expected to increase annual profit growth this year, some even in the double digits. This means that people are not going to stop consuming but will experiment when they order drinks out as well as in their own kitchens. So next time you are feeling nostalgic try one of these options that would make your Grandparents and Great Grandparents proud!

  • 2 oz Cognac
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice

Fill shaker half full with ice, combine all ingredients and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass.


  • 3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 1/2 oz of Bourbon
  • 1 dash of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 1 twist of orange peel

Combine the vermouth, bourbon, bitters and ice in a mixing glass. Stir gently, don't bruise the spirits and cloud the drink. Place the cherry in a chilled cocktail glass and strain the whiskey mixture over the cherry. Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink to release the oils but don't drop it in.

Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Blended Whiskey
  • 1 cube sugar
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 tsp of water
  • 1 slice of orange
  • 1 maraschino cherry

Muddle the orange, sugar, bitters and water in an old-fashioned glass until the sugar is almost dissolved. Fill the glass with ice and add blended whiskey. Garnish with a marachino cherry. Serve with a swizzle stick.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I dream of Hawaii...

Last night, I dreamt of Hawaii...Maybe it was a Hawaiian night on TV with Israel Kamakawiwo'ole gently humming in the background or the fact that Anthony Bourdain was cruising the streets of Waikiki on No Reservations or even the Weather Channel talking about the huge swells currently hitting the islands. Whatever is was, worked! I have Aloha on the brain!!! All of a sudden I want to eat macaroni salad, spam, ahi tuna, poi and then wash it all down with a Mai Tai or Zombie. Well, if you don't have 5 different rums on hand, try a yummy Pearl Harbor. Everyone has vodka on hand, right?

Pearl Harbor
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 2/3 ounce of melon liqueur
  • 1 ounce of pineapple juice

Shake the ingredients vigorously with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with any fruits from your kitchen, cocktail umbrellas, pink plastic swords, etc...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Guten Tag!

I was just speaking to a lovely lady of a youthful 75 years who wants to make her way back to Trier, Germany as her last big trip. She said she loved the ancient city and I think to myself "this must be some town!" So I do my research and actually Trier is Germany's oldest town. It is located in west central Germany, only 6 miles from the Luxembourg border. According to legend, the Assyrians established a colony here in 2000 BC. Later, in 16 BC, a Roman colony was founded under Augustus. Trier was favored by many Roman emperors and became known as "the second Rome." Trier was an imperial capital of Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman Emperor, and the Trier Cathedral he built there in the 4th century AD is Germany's oldest. Today Trier has a small town feel even with a population of 100,000. Many Catholics still make pilgrimages to honor the relic of the Holy Robe and the tomb of St. Matthias. Let's make a toast to the beautiful country of Germany with a yummy but not-so-authentic German Chocolate Cake shooter! What this shot may lack in authenticity it makes up for in its tastiness! "Prost!!!"

German Chocolate Cake Shooter:
  • 1 ounce Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
  • 1 ounce Stoli Vanil vodka
  • lemon slices and sugar

Frost the rim of the shot glass with lemon and sugar. Shake the Frangelico and Stoli and pour into glass. Take the shot by licking the sugar rim, shooting the mixture and biting into a lemon slice.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Dead are coming!

After hearing that The Dead are doing a month long tour this Spring (for the first time in four years!), I started making my plans! I love the peace, love, happiness scene but get over yourself already! I am here for the music first and the booze second! Seriously...lice is not "natural" and your head is not "their home." But you know what kills bugs? Booze. Just don't dunk that nappiness in my tub of Purple Jesus. Anyways... So as I daydream about the Easter show in Greensboro, I sip on a lovely Sunshine Daydream Smile. "Going where the wind goes..."

Sunshine Daydream Smile
  • 2 ounces of Stoli Vanil vodka
  • 2 ounces of orange juice
  • chilled champagne

Shake Stoli and orange juice and strain into a champagne glass. Top with chilled champagne. Garnish with an orange slice

Friday, January 2, 2009


After reading about great last minute New Year's Eve party ideas over at Modern Renaissance, I realized that my friend and favorite blogger loves Poinsettias too!!! (She just may not fully know it yet!) Poinsettias have a very interesting history and even a link to our lovely South Carolina plantations!!! Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779-1851) was named the first US Ambassador to Mexico and as a result discovered the plant in Southern Mexico in 1828. Poinsett was enchanted with the brilliant red blooms and sent many plants back to his Greenville, South Carolina plantation. There in his SC hothouses he began propagating the plants and sending them to friends and botanical gardens! Even though Poinsett had a remarkable career as a US Congressman and ambassador he will most be remembered for introducing the "poinsettia" to the US! Let's toast to Congressman Poinsett with a fitting tribute!


  • 1/2 ounce of Grand Marnier or triple sec

  • 3 ounces of chilled cranberry juice

  • chilled Champagne

Pour the Grand Marnier and cranberry juice into a Champagne flute and top with champagne!