All posts filed under: gin

The Apollo Cocktail with St. George Terroir Gin

It’s really, really great when you have thoughtful friends who know you well enough to buy you gifts of gin. Those are the kinds of friends that you hold onto for dear life because a friend who knows your favorite spirit is a special friend, indeed. My dear friend Lori Rice of Fake Food Free is just that kind of thoughtful friend! A few weeks ago, I was surprised and thrilled to receive a package in the mail from her containing an entire set of St. George Spirits Gin as a wedding gift! The set came with their 3 signature gin varieties: Terroir, Botanivore and Dry Rye. St. George Craft Distillers hails from Alameda, California, which just happens to be Lori’s stomping grounds. It’s no secret that Gin is my favorite spirit. I love it because the flavors in gin so easily combine with fresh herbs and I love cocktails that taste like they’re fresh from the garden. Since I was unfamiliar with this particular brand of gin, I was very excited to hold a little tasting for myself in order to get to know …

Happy Father’s Day! Cherry Drop Martini

Oh, fresh cherries…I am not done with you yet!  I am going to make the most of you while you’re in season, eating these glittering jewels by the bagful; baking them into a pie, smashing them into a cocktail.  Cherry season is too short, so I shall make hay while the sun shines. This drink is so smooth.  A perfect balance of sweetness and strength.  Just like Dad.  I made this cocktail with both white vermouth and red vermouth and they both resulted in a really fine drink.  The red vermouth brings out the deeper, darker cherry notes and the white vermouth is bright and sweet.  You can’t go wrong with either one. So, make your Dad (or whoever represents a father in your life) a drink and let him relax today–he deserves it!

Cucumber Basil Gin Martini

Last weekend, we had to make an emergency run to the liquor store to replenish our gin stash! I can’t believe we actually allowed ourselves to run out completely and I have to admit, I was a little panicked about it! Off we went to the store with the intent to replace our old standbys–Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Hendricks and Plymouth; but, what we left with was a new discovery: Citadelle Gin. Citadelle is a French Gin and like my favorite Hendrick’s, it is both floral and herbal and very smooth! The inspiration for this drink came from a sake-based cucumber-basil martini that I enjoyed just recently at a sushi restaurant. I didn’t have any sake at home, but I knew that the flavors would be perfect with the botanical notes in the Citadelle gin!  The weather is getting warmer, so you must put this drink in your spring and summer cocktail arsenal!  It is light, refreshing, herbaceous and so delicious! Perfect for a garden party!       Happy Weekend!

Cocktail of the Week: It’s About Thyme! Plus, Parmesan-Thyme Crackers

Last weekend, I planted four new thyme plants in my little herb garden, so in honor of that, I’m featuring thyme in this week’s cocktail and finger food! This was the first cocktail The Husband and I learned to make together.  Inspired by that year’s winner of the 2011 Signature Spring Cocktail Contest: “No Thyme Like the Present“; it was served as the signature drink at my 40th birthday party (my, how time flies)!  The original recipe is a Hendrick’s Gin cocktail flavored with fresh thyme, subtle hints of cucumber and finished with a float of white grape juice.   The drink was amazing! It was cool and refreshing and perfect for an outdoor summer gathering. What I remember most was that I only had one glass of it and I was the Birthday Girl!  Why do I always get cut off so early?  Well, that was a few years ago, and I think my tolerance has increased a bit since then! My version of the recipe uses more gin, less juice and incorporated the herbs …

Cocktail of the Week: The Lusty Lady, plus Deviled Eggs

I’m pretty excited to share this cocktail with you because, well, it’s delicious and it’s pretty, but also because it’s one of those recipes that just came together perfectly just the way I imagined it!  Last week, I attended an amazing cocktail party benefitting the Helen David Relief Fund for Bartenders Affected by Breast Cancer.  The event featured 12 specialty cocktails prepared by some of Las Vegas’ most esteemed mixologists!  I only made it through 5 cocktails that night (and that was an amazing feat all it’s own) but I left there with a fuzzy memory of  a pretty, frothy cocktail garnished with a sprig of fresh lavender.  And with that vague memory, came the inspiration for this cocktail. Now, if last week’s cocktail, the Martinez, could be considered a man’s drink, then this one is for the ladies!  And by that I mean in a “strong enough for a man but made for by a woman” kind of way!  Like the Martinez, it’s a gin-based cocktail, but lightened up with an egg white froth, an herbes …

Cocktail of the Week: Classic Gin Martinez

For this week’s cocktail, we are going old school.  The Martinez is a classic 19th century cocktail comprised of four ingredients that should be included in any well-stocked home bar:  gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur and orange bitters.  The Martinez is a drink that begs to be savored, preferably in a darkened room festooned with lots of velvet and with a bluesy refrain playing in the background.  There are no frills here–no sugared rims, no floating flowers, just refinement and simplicity in a glass!  I was inspired to make this drink after seeing the recipe on Food52 and it is remarkably simple. I used Hayman’s Old Tom gin, Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth, Christiani Maraschino and Scrappy’s Orange Bitters. Now, go put on some good music and put your feet up for a while!  Cheers!

The Cesar Ritz Martini

It’s Friday and it’s cocktail time!  I was thumbing through one of our cocktail books this afternoon,  “The Modern Mixologist”, by Tony Abou-Ganim.  Normally what happens when I’m looking for cocktail inspiration, I come upon a drink that looks absolutely mouthwatering, but then I find that it requires me to either buy an exotic ingredient, or what happens more often, requires an infusion that takes one to two weeks to prepare.  So, you can imagine my excitement when the book fell open to reveal a cocktail that was not only easy to prepare, but included everything that I already had in my pantry and refrigerator. I made a small substitution–the recipe called for English cucumber and I only had a good, old-fashioned regular cucumber, but I think the only difference it made was the final presentation.  In short, it was tasty and refreshing and perfect for a Friday evening after a long work week. The drink is called the Cesar Ritz Martini and the author created it as a signature drink when he was working …