The Ghostbuster and a Black & Orange

Who is READY FOR HALLOWEEN!?  One week away … So you better be hot gluegunning the last bling onto your “Sexy Bernie Sanders” costumes today, ladies and gents.

I am watching Nightmare Before Christmas for the first time.  I know…I know. Somehow in all the years of OWNING Halloween, I have missed this crucial piece.   No time like the present! Are you back from the pumpkin patch today?  If so I bet you need a beer.  And I bet you’re sick of pumpkin everything.  Well breathe a sigh of relief, it’s almost over.


Buy these things: IMG_20151023_183830

I split a Guinness with my favorite pumpkin beer from Magic Hat today, but found a really cool Harpoon Coriander and Orange a’Peel to make my Black and Orange!  Remember the Pope Floats technique?  Same thing!  Guinness floats on light beers, and while it is a perfect fall beer on it’s own, it is heavy…the meal of beers, so splitting it makes it fun and drinkable for non Irish 😉.  You can layer just about any light beer you enjoy.  This works ASHMAZINGLY with ciders and shandys bee tee dubs.   Pick your favorite fall flavor and go nuts!  Here is the Black and Orange :

PhotoGrid_1445655533979HOW:  Fill a pint glass halfway with your beer choice.  Take that spoon, lay across the glass with end touching the inside. Crack a can of Guinness open, let it foam out the top a little, pour over the rounded part of the spoon.  It will “settle” onto your beer and look like this:


Ok, enjoy that out of your Guinness glass (Get a set. . . Take that as you wish.)

So let’s get to the good stuff.   You want a shot?  A real shot?! A drop shot of epic proportions, cats and dogs… living together!? Mass hysteria?

Then you want The Ghostbuster.

PhotoGrid_1445655690066You’ll need:  

Bailey’s (I used a salted caramel flavor and it was rad).  Kahlua. Triple Sec. Crown Royal.  Cola.  

In a rocks glass pour yourself a shot of crown and fill the glass halfway with cola.  In a shot glass, fill 1/3 with Kahlua, 1/3 Triple Sec, and top with Bailey’s (it will float automatically)…

Now…this is a drop shot so prepare as many of these as you like, have everyone hold their glasses at ready, and drop the shot into the glass of crown and coke. You can watch the ghouls come alive in the glass, but hurry and chug or you’ll get slimed! That Bailey’s curdles up in cola if left to it’s own defenses.



The Ghostbuster!   I’ll warn you now I’ve put big bad men into a trance with this shot. It sneaks up on you…so, only one.  We all know sequels are never what they’re cracked up to be.

…I can’t feel my face when I’m with you…but I love it.

Happy Halloweening! 🎃


Pope Floats

WHAT A WEEK.   Here on the East Coast we close up shop for a three day weekend – and for all intents and purposes, we’ll call it Indigenous People’s Day.   I’m taking off on a field trip tomorrow to Salem, Massachusetts, and will have a wonderful witchy concoction for you when I return.

Since it IS Friday and you might just want a fun little something to start your night out with – I’ll give you a quick, easy tutorial on layering Bailey’s on top of just about any sweet spirit.  (Bailey’s is a notorious curdler in things like colas and fruit based lemony snickety stuff…so stick to things like Amaretto, Kahlua – and syrupy dense sweet schnapps…  then when we WANT it to curdle I’ll show you that too!  I know, what?  it happens…)



Did you catch that?  …..   See it’s all in the spoon – but what you’ll find floating Bailey’s on top of Amaretto is that it kind of just bloops up to the top anyway…but for a pretty separation use a spoon.   Also, chill these puppies because those two liquors taste kind of blech when warm…

So there…. the Pope Floats.   Float-y Bailey’s on top of Italian Amaretto (I almost went for a Brazilian liquor but I figured I’d honor the Vatican as a whole…I’m sure they would approve.  😉 )    Shoot one tonight before dancing the night away, or before watching Shark Tank.  It’s your life.


*jumps on broom and takes off!

The Dirty Martini

Welcome, shakers of the weekend!

What a week it has been.   Autumn is crisping up leaves.  Pope Francis rode in a little Fiat around our nation.  Olivia Pope is back in biz with Scandal.  Joaquin the tropical stormacane is headed up the East Coast.  I finally have my first official post ready!!!

There are 8.7 billion drink recipes online right now.  Google it.  Lavender boysenberry spritzed pisco rimmed with saffron and licorice twizzle set afire by a kiss of Bacardi 101 floated on the tears of a Tibetan monk.

It’s all out there, and we’ll get our hands sticky with as many as I can try.  But for this FIRST drink, I want to begin where I began, cocktailing at a hotel bar in the Southwest that hosted bands resting between arena shows, elected officials puffing cigars (when that was still allowed), and karaoke collegiates downing Long Island Ice Teas (when that was still allowed).   In the hours before the old timers left and the crowds rushed in, I worked with some really, really good bartenders who taught me how to craft a drink.  It matters HOW you build a drink.  The order you do things in matters, and the presentation matters.  The first drink they taught me to make, and it will forever be my favorite, was the dirty martini.

THE SHOPPING:             martini1

I am a vodka martini girl.  Gin makes a man mean, or so they say, and I’m mean enough, so in this martini I am going to use Grey Goose vodka.  It’s smooth and inoffensive to guests  (Note: my go-to favorite is Stolichnaya).  There are two billion vodkas, there are 100 thousand gins, and ALL of this is best when you find the one that really fits your taste.   A solid punchy gin is Bombay Sapphire.   I will stress – in a drink of elegance such as the martini do not buy those plastic bottles on the bottom shelf…shell out a little more and feel fancy.  If you have the means to buy very expensive spirits, remember that sometimes they are charging for the bottle and not the contents.   You can only distill a potato so much before it all tastes the same.  Find your happy place on the spirit.

You will need DRY vermouth.  (not sweet.  That is for a Manhattan, and that is for another weekend).   You will also need olives (big clean Spanish olives), a lemon if you like a twist (limes are not for this, nor are oranges but you do you), and if you think both those ideas are gross pick up little pickled pearl onions (You’ll wind up with a Gibson – it’s fantastic).

Are you having a group over?  Line up your stash on your table or bar area – always put garnishes out in a little bowl (NO THEY ARE NOT SNACKS PUT THAT DOWN) – Fill and chill a large carafe of strained martini that you can just stir up and pour into the glasses.  Don’t put ice in the carafe or you’ll have a watery mess.

Only need one or two (or three)?  Then do this:

  1. Set out your martini glass – place ice in glass – pour a small amount of dry vermouth into the glass – set aside to chill.                                                      martini2
  2. In your shaker, put one scoop of crushed ice – pour two or three shots per drink of vodka or gin – shot glass to measure or the bartender count (one… two… three…stop).  For a DRY martini – put a dash of vermouth into the mix.   For a MEDIUM martini – put a glug (half shot) into the mix.  For a WET martini – put a shot of vermouth into the mix.  The more vermouth, the less the zing of the vodka or gin will be on your tongue.   For a dirty martini – a glug of olive juice from the jar.  DO NOT USE A TON OF OLIVE JUICE IN THERE – you want a martini, not a sip of the Atlantic Ocean.  Add it in to taste.
  3. Shake it.   Because Bond,   James Bond.
  4. Remember your little martini glass sitting alone over there, chillin?  Swirl the ice melt and vermouth around and around in it, and dump it into the sink – BAM!  You’ve just “painted your glass” – you can use that phrase to impress people.   It’s fancy and puts a little hug of vermouth around your glass.
  5. Strain that puppy into your glass.    (This fuzzy little pic that will drive all my photographer friends mad shows the Boston method.  HEY one handed pour plus pic snapping.  I think I did okay…)                                                                  martini5
  6. GARNISH!   Garnish is the difference between meh and WOW.  Don’t you dare make a mehtini!  You can drop olives into stuff some other time.  Get some nice little picks and give your guest two or three olives.  One is the pits, speaking of… No pits!  DO NOT USE CHEESE STUFFED OLIVES.  Who doesn’t love a chunk of feta floating in your drink?  EVERYONE doesn’t.  That’s the answer.  DO use Jalapeno stuffed olives.  DO say “Ima get jala-peno martini” as you plunk them on picks into your guest’s drink.    Or don’t.  Know your audience.                                    martini6
  7. DRINK!       I have a dearly beloved who insists on gulping down martinis. It drives me mad.  Sip them.  They are meant to be lingered over while lunching with a Senator and discussing policy changes, or waiting at the charity ball for your turn to give accolades.  Treat that tini with respect!    tini

And treat yourself with respect.  Enjoy – Don’t drink and drive.

Ain’t gonna hurt nobody.    We just dancin y’all.

Bar Basics (barsics)

Before our big jaunt into spilling and shaking and pouring tomorrow, you’ll need to stock up on some bar gear.

If you have two glasses and ice you can make a nice drink, so don’t worry if you don’t have a bar set yet, but they are wonderful additions to a kitchen.  Bed Bath & Beyond has a great 9 pc. one for thirty dollars from Libbey:  bar set…your Mom’s basement – you’ll find something fun.   Just make sure you have a shaker, a strainer, a muddler, and a shot glass.

Martini, High Ball, Rocks, Daiquiri – they all have a reason, a history…some of them are just irritating (don’t get me started on my disdain for the sloshy Margarita glass)…but they are all worth a try.  Collect as you go.

DID YOU KNOW- there are three types of shakers:

The Boston (this is what you see at a good ol dive bar, and it’s my favorite) – metal bottom, pint glass top, crack like an egg to strain.

The Cobbler – metal bottom, metal top with strainer in it, third cap to measure shots.   Attempt to crack but it won’t because it freezes together EVERY TIME and you yank and pull and run water on it and throw it at a wall and now your guests have left and you FAIL.

The French –  My tipsy shaker is a hammered copper fronch shaker my parents found in the seventies at a little Nantucket shop!  It is the best thing I’ve ever mixed a drink in.   The French is a metal bottom (you can use the half from the Cobbler you threw at the wall), a metal top or plastic top (it doesn’t look pretty but won’t freeze to the bottom), and a separate strainer ring that slaps on the bottom and works very well at keeping icebergs out of your tini.


Get a shaker that you like, but I’m very seriously warning you about that Cobbler.  I’ve never enjoyed them.  They are not used in bars.  There is a good reason.

SO…get your gear.  Get excited.  Let’s light this candle!