Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Hour: Royal 61

- 1 1/2 oz gin
- juice of half lime
- 1 oz creme de cassis
- 1 oz watermelon syrup*
- Champagne
- sugar for rimming (optional)

Mix all ingredients except in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass rimmed with sugar (optional). Top with Champagne.

Watermelon Syrup
To make watermelon syrup, mix 4 cups pureed seedless watermelon and 1 cup granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir while bringing to a simmer. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Stirring occasionally, simmer until the mixture has reduced by one half in volume and becomes syrupy. Remove from heat to cool and then place in a glass bowl or jar, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Keeps 5 days in the refrigerator. Makes 2 cups. (Watermelon syrup recipe and photo by National Watermelon Board, cocktail recipe by Yuri Kato)
{Source: Cocktail Times}

Happy Hour: Sage Lady

- 1 1/2 oz Absolut mango vodka
- 2 or 3 fresh sage leaves
- 3 cucumber slices
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 1/2 oz Cointreau
- Dash peach bitters

Muddle cucumber, simple syrup and sage. Shake with ice and fine strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a spanked sage leaf.
{Source: Cocktail Times}

Friday, September 16, 2011

DIY Yummie: Baked Banana

With Rum-Spiked Crème Fraîche
Wrapped in their skins with butter and brown sugar, bananas can be placed over dying coals to be ready for dessert when you are.

10 large firm bananas
1/4 pound unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons dark rum


1. With a sharp knife, slit the peel open on each banana. Carefully remove peel, reserving it.

2. Roll the bananas in the melted butter and then in the brown sugar. Return each banana to its peel.

3. Using lengths of kitchen string that have been soaked in water, tie each banana. Set aside.

4. In a small bowl, blend the crème fraîche with the rum. Set aside.

5. Grill the bananas over low coals, turning frequently, for 15 minutes, or until heated through.

6. Remove the strings and peels from the bananas and serve them on individual dessert plates with some of the crème fraîche on the side.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: The Tot (non-alcoholic)

6 large strawberries
1 scoop of ice
1 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
1/2 ounce grape juice


1. Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth consistency.

2. Pour over cubes in a highball glass.

3. Garnish with candy or fresh berries.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Harvey Wallbanger

1 ounce vodka
4 ounces orange juice
1/2 ounce Galliano


Pour the vodka and orange juice into a highball glass filled with ice cubes. Stir. Float Galliano on top.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Fresh Pear & Ginger Juice (non-alcoholic)


8 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
8 green apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
2 ripe pineapples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled


Pass the pear, apples and pineapple chunks and the ginger through a juicer according to manufacturer’s instructions. Chill.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic)

2 pounds plus 1/4 cup sugar
1 pound fresh ginger, shredded
1 pack compressed yeast
1 cup black raisins
2 lemons, juiced
60-72 white raisins


1. In a large pot soak the sugar and ginger in 3 quarts water overnight. In the morning, bring the liquid to a boil and allow to simmer for 1 hour. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

2. Pour the liquid into a clean pail and add enough water to total 2 gallons of liquid. Add the yeast and black raisins. Cover the pail and allow to stand airtight overnight.

3. In the morning, through a strainer, add the juice of 2 lemons. Cover and set aside for 6 days. Do not stir.

4. Siphon and strain all but a few inches of the ginger beer into a clean pail. Discard the remaining liquid, ginger, and raisins.

5. Bring to a boil 1/4 cup sugar with 2 cups water. Add to the ginger beer and stir.

6. Pour the ginger beer into 10 to 12 750-ml bottles leaving 1 inch of air space at the top of each bottle. To each bottle, add 6 white raisins and cork tightly. When the raisins rise to the top, the ginger beer is ready to be served.

Note: Be careful, the corks may pop for the first few days while waiting for the raisins to rise. Place a towel on the cork when opening bottle. This is a non-alcoholic beverage.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Courvoisierpolitan

In the mid to late 1990s, the Cosmopolitan became the drink of choice among hip, savvy urbanites—or anyone who aspired to that status. Here’s a variation on the Cosmo with Courvoisier instead of the usual vodka—call it a Courvoisierpolitan, or CV Cosmo, for ­short.

4 ounces ­Courvoisier
4 ounces Triple ­Sec
4 ounces cranberry ­juice
6 ounces lime ­juice
Slices of orange peel, for ­garnish

1. Chill 6 martini ­glasses.

2. Pour all the liquid ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into the glasses. Garnish each with a slice of orange ­peel.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Blueberry Cosmopolitan

1 1/2 ounces Ketel One Vodka
1/2 ounce Cointreau
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
3/4 ounce runny honey
3/4 ounce blueberry juice


1. Pour all ingredients into shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass.

2. Garnish with an orange twist soaked in Cointreau.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Brandy Alexander

This cocktail is just right if you’re looking for something a little decadent that’s rich and sweet. Its flavors are elegantly balanced and sure to cure your cravings.

1 1/2 ounces brandy
1 ounce crème de cacao
1 ounce heavy cream
1 scoop crushed ice
Whole nutmeg

Pour brandy, crème de cacao, and heavy cream into a mixing glass with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a 6-ounce cocktail glass and grate nutmeg over top, to taste.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Convertible

2 ounces Bacardi Rum
1/4 ounce Maraschino liqueur
2 ounces coconut milk
1 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
5 ice cubes


1. Blend all ingredients with ice and pour into wine glass.

2. Garnish with a lime twist.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Espresso Shots

These shooters are sure to keep the party going. Pass them around any time you need an energy boost. They’ve fueled many of my parties and kept guests dancing longer than they originally intended to. Yield: Makes 3 to 4 ounces.

Peel of an orange
Chocolate shavings from the best quality chocolate bar
Chili pepper flakes
1 ounce best quality, premium Vodka or Tequila
1/2 ounce Kahlua especial (70 proof)
1/2 ounce Tia Maria
1 ounce cold espresso


1. Rim the tube/shot glass with the peel of an orange rind. Dip the rim of the glass in chocolate shavings and chili pepper flakes.

2. Place the vodka or tequila, Kahlua, Tia Maria and espresso in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into test tubes or shot glasses.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Vodka Gimlet

2 oz vodka
1/2 oz Rose's unsweetened lime juice


Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass with several ice cubes. Stir well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Tall Cool Blonde

5 tulip petals
1 part Grenadine
2 parts Lemoncello
2 egg whites
Confectioner’s sugar
4 parts Stolichnaya® elit™ vodka
Sparkling water


1. Pack a tall Collins glass with ice and tulip petals.

2. Pour Grenadine into bottom of glass, followed by Lemoncello and let settle. Whip egg whites and dash of confectioner’s sugar in blender.

3. Pour Stolichnaya® elit™ into glass, and top with sparkling water. Spoon egg white meringue on top.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Coviello Cup

3 leaves of fresh basil
4 parts Stolichnaya® elit™ vodka
2 parts orange juice
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part simple syrup
Diced cucumber
Cucumber sphere for garnish


1. Pack a double rocks glass with ice and three basil leaves.

2. In a shaker, mix the additional ingredients with the diced cucumber. Shake vigorously and strain into glass.

3. Garnish with a cucumber sphere.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Strepe Chepe

This is a fabulous, refreshing, and potent concoction, which is ideal for launching a summer party. The tricky thing about frozen drinks like this one is that you don't taste the alcohol. It can give such a fresh, innocent impression but it can sneak up on you. So be careful, and enjoy!

8 ounces high-quality vodka
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons superfine sugar, plus more to taste
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, tightly packed

Combine all the ingredients in a blender full of ice cubes and blend until the contents achieve a uniform frozen consistency. Add more sugar periodically as needed, or until the mixture is just right. Serve in champagne flutes.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Chocolate Martini


1 shots Godiva chocolate liqueur
1 shots Crème de Cacao
2 shots of vanilla vodka
2 shots half-and-half


1. Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake, and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

2. Garnish the glass with swirls of Hershey syrup on the inside or use chocolate shavings on the rim.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Black / White Russians

Black Russian

8 ounces vodka
6 ounces cofee liqueur

Pour 2 ounces of vodka and 1 1/2 ounces of coffee liqueur into each of 4 rocks glasses full of ice, stir, and serve.

White Russian

8 ounces vodka
6 ounces coffee liqueur
4 tablespoons heavy cream

Pour 2 ounces of vodka, 1 1/2 ounces of coffee liqueur, and 1 tablespoon of cream into each of 4 rocks glasses full of ice, sitr, and serve.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Mimosa


3 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
5 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine


Pour the orange juice into a champagne flute. Fill the glass with Champagne or sparkling wine.

An interesting idea is to replace the regular orange juice with blood orange juice when in season.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Ruby Margarita

  • 1 1/2 ounces Gran Centenario Reposado tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice or a couple dozen pomegranate seeds


1. Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into a chilled margarita glass.

2. Garnish with a thin lime wheel.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Madras

1 1/2 ounces 1800 Reposado Tequila
2 ounce cranberry juice
1 ounce orange juice


1. Pour the 1800 into a highball glass with ice and then add cranberry, orange, and lime juice. Stir well.

2. If desired, garnish with an orange slice.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Watermelon Martini

  • 1/4 large seedless watermelon
  • 12 ounces vodka
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Splash of Simple Syrup (see below)
  • 6 watermelon balls, scooped out with a melon baller, for garnish
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced, for garnish


1. Chill 6 martini glasses (see below).

2. Pulse the watermelon in a blender to create a purée (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Pour the vodka, lime juice, and Simple Syrup into a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into the chilled glasses. Garnish with a watermelon ball on the rim of the glass and float a slice of lime in the center.

Simple Syrup: This cocktail sweetener can be made of varying thickness; thin is 3 parts water to 1 part sugar, medium is 2:1, and thick is 1:1. Simply bring the sugar and water to a boil, then remove from the heat immediately and set aside to cool. Store in a jar in the refrigerator for as long as you like.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Mint Summer Night-ini

  • 2 parts Stoli Blakberi™ vodka
  • 1 part fresh cucumber juice
  • Splash of simple syrup
  • Mint leaves to taste
  • Thin slices of cucumber for garnish


1. Muddle mint leaves and shake ingredients over ice. Strain into chilled martini glass.

2. Garnish with sprig of mint and thin slices of cucumber.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Blakberi Blues

  • 2 parts Stoli Blakberi™
  • 1 part Stoli Blueberi™
  • 1 part cranberry juice
  • 1 part simple syrup
  • Splash of raspberry liqueur
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Sage to taste


1. Muddle sage. Combine with ingredients, shake vigorously over ice, and strain into a cocktail glass.

2. Garnish with one blueberry, one blackberry, and sage.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: B&B (Blakberi & Basil)

  • 1 part Stoli Blakberi™
  • Basil to taste
  • Sparkling lemonade


1. Muddle basil with Stoli Blakberi™.

2. Shake with rocks, strain into a tumbler with rock and top with sparkling lemonade and basil.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Bita-Tini

  • 2 oz Kettle One vodka
  • 2 oz fresh grapefruit
  • 1/2 oz pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime


Mix all ingredients and shake well. Strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a fresh piece of grapefruit twist or lime twist.

Source: Colin Cowie
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