Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Cocktails: Tequila Peach Mint

Once you've made a batch of homemade mint simple syrup you will start to put it in every drink you can think of. This cocktail recipe is not only refreshing, it temporarily transports you to the cool shade of a peach tree on a warm summer day.

Tequila Peach Mint
2 ounces silver tequila
1 ounce white cranberry juice
2 ounces fresh peach juice
3/4 ounce mint simple syrup

Mix will and pour over ice.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Upcoming Events: Los Angeles Bump Beauty & Style

This Wednesday night in Brentwood Club MomMe is hosting a Bump Beauty & Style event for Pregnancy Awareness month. Co-hosted by special guest Anya Sarre, moms-to-be will learn how to pull off a 2-minute makeover, adjust a wardrobe for those curves that keep on curving, and pack a diaper bag without the kitchen sink. It's not easy, but Club MomMe has gathered up all the professionals in LA to help make the transition into motherhood a little easier, with a lotta glamourous.

Anya Sarre
And then let's not forget one of the most important elements of the night, the mocktails! These virgin drinks are being created by yours truly using the ever-so-popular Plum Organics and a few other special ingredients that will remind you of the real stuff. Hang in there ladies...nine months will go by quickly (and the transition from mocktails to cocktails is the smoothest).

Buy your tickets right here, right now, and spend the evening celebrating all things motherhood.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Patriotic Sangria!

Memorial Day is shared with family and friends and filled with lots of great food and delicious drinks. This white wine sangria tastes amazing and is equally aesthetically pleasing. Oh, and it will take you 10 minutes to make!

Ingredients (Serves 4-6) 
2 bottles white wine
2 cups brandy
2 cups peach schnapps
1/2 cup sugar
4 apples
1 package strawberries
1 package blueberries

Use a star-shaped cookie cutter for the apples. Mix in the liquid ingredients followed by the fruit. Layer the blueberries first, then the apples, and then the strawberries (red, white and blue!).  Refrigerate the sangria for at least six hours. Gently stir periodically to dissolve the sugar. If you'd prefer to keep the fruit layered, gently push the fruit up and down with a wide wooden spoon.

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VIDEO: Beer Buster

On my Let's Mix show for Modern Mom, I make a beer buster. If you're skeptical about trying this one, let me just tell you that the camera man who filmed the segment thought the drink looked to good that he just had to drink it immediately after the shoot was over. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think! Click here for the video.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer Cocktails: Tequila Mint Sour

Look no further for that Memorial Day weekend signature cocktail. This tequila mint sour is dangerously good and perfect for pitchers and beverage canisters. Add large thin slices of lemons, plenty of mint, and serve over ice. Enjoy!

2 ounces tequila
2 ounces homemade sweet & sour
3/4 ounce mint simple syrup
Squeeze of a lemon wedge

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mixology 101: Peach Simple Syrup

Simple syrups got their name for a reason: they are fantastically easy to make. This peach simple syrup can be added to hundreds of cocktails, or to the top of your morning pancakes.

Ingredients (multiply as needed)
1 cup fresh organic peaches
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Yields 1/2 cup

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan over a low flame, stirring occasionally. Once the peaches have broken down almost completely, strain the liquid into a container. Use any left over bits as jam, and refrigerate the syrup until needed.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Finding the Perfect Cocktail Name

Naming a cocktail is not a big deal. You just put the ingredients into the name or run with the first title that comes to mind. But for some reason I had a really hard time conjuring up the name of the cocktail I put together for the Saveur Blog Awards party in two weeks. Everything I jotted down onto a scrap of paper was garbage, which is probably just a result of taking cocktail naming quite so seriously.

Luckily I had the assistance of my sister and my friend Lauren. Jocelyn came up with a bunch of perfect names in seconds flat and helped me to narrow the list down to one. Then when it was time to commit to the drink's official name, and I started to have silly second thoughts, Lauren stepped in to assure me that Jocelyn's choice was indeed perfect. Goodness were my my choices terrible.

Here's the drink's ingredients: Moonshine Whiskey, organic grapefruit juice, homemade sweet and sour, and mint simple syrup. What name would you assign?

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Peach Martini

I think it may be safe to say that summer is finally here. The heavy liqueurs have been pushed to the back of the bar to make way for those ingredients that make the perfect warm weather cocktail.

Peaches are in season, a sweet fruit that lends itself well to a variety of delicious drinks. The Peach Martini is a treat for your guests, completing the summer BBQ or picnic.

Peach Martini
3 ounces vodka
1 ounce peach simple syrup
1-2 cups fresh peaches

Directions: Muddle the vodka with the peaches and strain into a shaker. Add the simple syrup, ice and shake well. Strain into a martini glass rimmed with sugar.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mixology 101: Radish Infused Vodka

There's a stretch of holidays between Mother's Day and Labor Day when a Bloody Mary perfectly completes the breakfast, brunch, lunch, or BBQ you are hosting. It's one of my favorite drinks to make and one that I take a lot of pride in. But sometimes you have to freshen things up a little...yes, even the old favorites.

A few months ago I was craving a bit more of a bite in my Bloody Mary recipe and adding a radish infused vodka seemed like a great solution. I'd never planted my own radishes before and definitely haven't seen an organic radish vodka in the store (yet).

Apparently these little veggies don't need much maintenance; just a small amount of soil, a few hours of sunlight, and some water. The stalks were towering above the ground just weeks after I nestled those little the seeds into the earth, giving me a huge amount of satisfaction. If only I had that much success with everything in our garden!

I peeked into the dirt a little to gage the size of the radishes and after about 5 weeks determined they were ready for plucking. They came right up out of the ground with no effort and gleamed a deep pink once hosed off.

After a more thorough clean in the kitchen, I chopped off the roots and stem, cut them into thin slices, and dropped them into a jar full of vodka. Patiently, I waited as they "marinated" overnight.

The wait was worth it because the spoonful of vodka that I sampled the next day was exactly what I was looking for. It had a zing to it without being overwhelming.

In my freezer I now have a full jar of radish vodka ready for some Bloody Marys and a slew of weekend gatherings. Now I need to figure out all the other ways I can use it!

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Cocktail for Season 8 of The Bachelorette

Tonight is the eighth season premier of The Bachelorette, starring the lovely Emily Maynard. How can you possibly not tune in to this watch this show after all that darling little Em has been through? From the untimely death of her early love and father of her child to the unfortunate breakup with Brad on The Bachelor, this girl deserves a break in the soul mate department.

Careful thought went into the ingredients of this cocktail. Miss Maynard is sweet as peaches, and beautiful enough to be a lot of girls' envy. And the Angel's Envy bourbon I chose isn't for the weak at heart; it's fantastically smooth yet has a kick to be reckoned with. This season I really think that we're going to see a side to Emily that we haven't seen before.

So stock up on the bourbon and the Kleenex, and help me toast to a new leading lady, looking for love.

Bourbon Peach Ginger Ale 
2 tablespoons homemade peach simple syrup
2 ounces Angel's Envy  Bourbon
2 ounces ginger ale
Fresh peach slices

Directions: Pour the simple syrup and the bourbon into a glass and whisk together until blended. Add the ice and peaches, then fill the glass with ginger ale.

Peach Simple Syrup: Over a low flame, heat 1 cup sugar, 1 cup fresh peaches, and 1 cup water. Simmer until the peaches have almost liquified. Strain the syrup into a sealable containable and use any left over peach pieces for jam!

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Breakfast in Bed Cocktails

There's something about a cocktail accompanying breakfast in bed that just starts Mother's Day off right. Hand her a breakfast tray, the newspaper, fluff the pillows, and let her start the morning at a slow, non-hectic pace.

Each of these drinks only requires two ingredients, giving you no excuse to not to make at least one of them!

Hot Raspberry Tea Cocktail
3 ounces raspberry tea
1/2 ounce Chambord

Coffee, Cream, & Frangelico
3 ounces coffee
1 ounce half and half
1 ounce Frangelico

Hot Caramel Tea & Vanilla Vodka
3 ounces black caramel tea
1 ounce vanilla vodka

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day Breakfast in Bed, This Girl Style

Yesterday I suggested serving breakfast in bed with a warm coffee or tea cocktail as a way to tell your wife, and the mother of your children, to truly relax. Now I've found the perfect coffee cup from which she may sip her lovely beverage: the Tiffany Bows Mug.

The bow will stay perfect forever (just keep the whole thing away from small hands), the box will never get soggy (I mean the china one you see in the picture), and every time you refill her cup it's like opening a Tiffany box all over again (kind of a lie but work with me). But having the kids paint a ceramic mug in a Color Me Whatever store will cost you the exact same amount, create tens times the headache, and will be exactly what every other woman is getting. This year, be different. Get the blue mug.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Best Mother's Day Gift Ideas

This Mother's Day get creative with the gift you give your mom (or maybe it's the gift you request for yourself). Surprise her with an activity or gift she may never think of for herself.

Mani, Pedi, and Champagne Present your mom with more than just a gift certificate to her favorite nail salon by attaching a chilled bottle of her favorite champagne to that little ol' gift card. Even better, tell her to meet you at the salon and be waiting with the glasses and the bubbly.

Flower Pairings Bump a bouquet to the next level by pairing it with a bottle of wine or liqueur. Couple wild flowers with elderflower, pink roses with a rosé, violets with Chambord, or cherry blossoms with cherry liqueur. Or simply browse the spirit store's aisles for well designed bottles that catch your eye, and match it up with any type of flower your mom would like.

Wine Tasting Trip Take a trip to a local winery and sample their latest varietal, or wrap up a bottle from the winery for your mother with a note detailing the upcoming reservation. If you don't live near a winery, make a few calls to your favorite restaurants and bars and see if you can arrange for a private wine tasting for two.

Personalized Wine Bottle She probably doesn't want to see a photo of her grandkids on a wine bottle, but what about a photo of her garden, or an image of a water color she painted, or a photo from her wedding day? Incorporate part of her life into the label and the wine will instantly become a collector's edition. Start exploring customized wine bottles at PersonalWine.com, or get crafty and make your own.

Breakfast in Bed Serve up the most decadent breakfast you can cook, including a morning cocktail. Nothing says "stay in bed as long as you'd like" more than a full glass of champagne, or a rich coffee sweetened with Frangelico. It is her day after all. Encourage her to indulge!

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wine of the Week: Santa Barbara Collection

A wine produced from a landscape as stunning as this Santa Barbara County vineyard has to be good. And it is. I had the opportunity to sample the 2010 Pinot Noir and 2010 Chardonnay and can suggest  these two wines as the ones to keep on hand for those last minute summer parties.

The Santa Barbara Collection Pinot Noir is a well-balanced, 100% Pinot blend, that would suit any meal. Produced from the gorgeous North Canyon vineyard along the Santa Maria Bench, this red boasts hints of fresh berries, red cherries, and vanilla. The Chardonnay originates from their Cat Canyon estate in the Los Alamos sub-region of Santa Barbara County and is equally delicious with its essence of lemon, peach, and even nectarine.

The duo will make a lovely hostess gift for a great price, and a smart addition to your home bar.

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Upcoming Events: Santa Monica JLLA Fundraiser

This Wednesday night, the Junior League of Los Angeles will be partnering with the Viceroy Hotel to host Cocktails for a Cause. The Viceroy has created a $10 signature drink for the women's club, and an amazing 100% of the proceeds from this drink will go back to the non-profit. The JLLA provides tens of thousands of volunteer hours to the city, and supports programs that benefit women and their families. I hope to see you there!

Viceroy Hotel May 9th, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
1819 Ocean AvenueSanta Monica, CA 90401

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Manners Rule #23: Be Prepared for Every Guest

There are the drinkers, and then there are the non-drinkers. There are those who drink only beer, and those who refuse white wine. If you don't know your guests well, be prepared for anything. Keep these items stocked in your kitchen and you will be able to please every guest you welcome into your home.

6-Pack of Beer: Opt for a pale ale or a light beer.
Wine: Keep a bottle of Cabernet and Chardonnay on hand and ready to serve. Red wine is best kept in a 55-65 degree temperature zone, and chill the white at 45-55 degrees.
Sparkling Water: Choose your favorite sparkling mineral water and consider selecting a flavored one too.
Vodka: Choose your favorite brand or ask for help with picking a good one. Aim to spend at least $20.00.
Tonic Water: Combined with the vodka, you've got a quick and easy cocktail.
Limes: Keep about six on hand, and use for the beer, sparkling water, or vodka tonic. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Margaritas

If you're not drinking tequila at your local Cinco de Mayo fiesta, you are no fun. Live it up with these two original Margaritas that may be a pain in the ass to make but are well worth the effort.

Coconut Margarita
1 ounce coconut milk
2 tablespoons coconut milk fat (you heard me)
3 ounces tequila
3 ounces sweet and sour
6 cubes of frozen coconut water

Directions: Combine 6 cubes frozen coconut water, 2 tablespoons coconut milk fat (skimmed off the top of the can), 1 ounce coconut milk, 3 ounces of tequila, and 3 ounces sweet and sour. Blend until frothy and serve with a lime.

Hazelnut Lime Margarita
2 ounces tequila
1 ounce Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur
1 ounce sweet and sour
1/2 ounce lime juice

Directions: Add each ingredient to a shaker filled with ice and shake hard. Strain into a glass with a sugared rim.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Voted Best Cocktail Blog!

We just learned that we won the Best Cocktail Blog award from Saveur Magazine and want to thank all of you for your votes! We are proud to be included in such incredible company and have found some spectacular new blogs to follow.

Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to celebrating in New York City with you later this month.

Jordan & Jocelyn

American Museum of Natural History Global Kitchen Event

Tonight in New York's American Museum of Natural History, Juan Carlos from Mano a Mano and Courtenay Greenleaf of the Richard Sandoval Resturants will be joining forces in the Linder Theatre to bring you a taste of Mexico.

In preparation for your Cinco de Mayo celebrations, treat yourself to this lesson in the cultural history of tequila and chilies (and it may inspire the cocktail menu you've been planning). Besides the wicked knowledge you'll gain, the $30 ticket includes tequila flights and little tastes of chili-based dishes.  Purchase your ticket here!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Clementine Margarita

Clementines make a delicious and naturally sweet Margarita, and an irresistable cocktail when combined with a little lemon, lime, and salt. Kick off your Cinco de Mayo celebrations early with this refreshing twist on the traditional Margarita.

Clementine Margarita
2 ounces silver tequila
1.5 ounces fresh squeezed clementine juice
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice
Garnish with lime and salt the rim

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

VIDEO: How to Make a Margarita

Cinco de Mayo falls on a Saturday night this year which means that you are most likely planning to fit a Margarita somewhere into your day.

This was the most commonly ordered drink when I was behind the bar, and there is no surprise as to why. Made correctly, it has the perfect balance of sweet, sour, salt...and tequila.

Watch my video to find out how to make a great Margarita for your celebrations this weekend!