Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category

New Year’s Resolution: More Cocktails!

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

It’s time to untangle ourselves from the mania of Christmas and focus on the next big event: New Year’s Eve. That night will mark the first anniversary of my home cocktail craziness. Last NYE, armed with my new MixShakeStir cocktail book, I hit the liquor store with a shopping list of liquors culled from the tastiest sounding drinks… and returned to discover that I could really make only half of each drink (thanks a lot, Kirkland liquor store).

Fortunately, the year has been more fun than frustrating, and that deserves a toast. What’s the best beverage to raise high for that toast? You got it — champagne.

But let’s dress up that sparkling wine (because any will do – champagne, Prosecco, cava).  Here are a few recipes that add oomph without hassle.  As is the trouble with all recipes calling for wine or beer, unless a specific brand and year is listed, results may vary. Pop open your bottle and use the ratios below as a starting point and then tinker to preference. Oh, and use chilled ingredients.  All should be served in a champagne flute or coupe.

1. Although around just a few years now, the St. Germain Cocktail is nearly a classic. If you don’t have one of these beautiful St. Germain bottles, stop reading and hit the store!

St. Germain Cocktail

¾ oz St. Germain liqueur
2 oz sparkling wine
Slice of strawberry or a raspberry to garnish (optional)

2. This version of the classic Champagne Cocktail substitutes bourbon for brandy and omits the bitters.  My husband agreed that this would be a good drink for those who like bourbon but aren’t enthusiastic about champagne.  I did cut corners by using commercial vanilla syrup (commonly used in lattes) instead of making my own.

Bourbon Champagne Cocktail

 1 oz bourbon
½ oz vanilla syrup (I used DaVinci’s)
4 oz champagne
½ vanilla bean to garnish (optional)

3. Looking for another use for my Ty Ku (as featured here previously), I played around with recipes from other sites and came up with this:

NY Ty Ku

1 oz Ty Ku
1 oz Prosecco
¾ oz lemonade (I used Simply Lemonade)
Add agave or simple syrup sweetener if desired.

Shake Ty Ku and lemonade with ice, then strain into a flute glass. Add chilled Prosecco and stir gently. This is a light sipping drink.

Cheers to 2011!  ICE

Next: I’m going to take a blog-break for a few weeks to work on my cocktail resolutions. Stay tuned!


A Sparkling Toast to Simplicity

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

It’s just the simple things sometimes, isn’t it? After my year of more complex cocktail making, my friend Mags reminded me of such a simple yet elegant drink at a recent ornament exchange. She filled our flutes with Prosecco and dropped a few pomegranate arils in. Voilà.

Riding the bubbles

Prosecco, from Italy, is a sparkling wine like champagne. It’s often cheaper, and even tastier, than champagne. Pomegranate arils are the juicy part surrounding the seed. You can liberate the arils from the pomegranate, or be lazy and buy them loose at Trader Joe’s and now other grocery stores (look among the refrigerated cut fruit).

I love Prosecco anyway, but the pomegranate arils jazz it up for a party. And I was strangely happy watching those seeds rise and fall in the bubbles like a lava lamp. I’m more conscience of such moments since reading another friend’s new blog called Just the Simple Things. Check it out.

I hope you find many simple pleasures – cocktail and otherwise – this season.

Cheers, ICE

PS: My next post will focus on a not-pleasurable event – hangovers. Got a preventative or remedy? Send it to me via the “Submit Your Recipe” link in my sidebar.


I’m Guest-Blogging on MamaBloo…

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

I put in a guest appearance this week on MamaBloo, a blog about motherhood, marriage and life by my friend Kari. My topic is the girls’ getaway weekend, and of course I included a drink recipe! Check it out: GET ME OUTTA HERE.

Cheers, ICE