Category Archives: Seasonal Cocktail Recipes

Sauza’s #MyKindofCinco

I like to entertain … like … a lot.  The worst part, though, is being forced to be tied to the bar so you can make everyone drinks or to keep it tidy when the one messy friend inevitably spills all the things.  (Dammit, Linda.)  Say “adios” to playing babysitter to the bar and batch out a cocktail (or three) for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta.

For Cinco de Mayo, the easiest thing to batch out is, of course, margaritas.  And (hold on to your sombrero), the US imported 12.3 million cases (yes, M-M-M-M-M-million) of tequila in 2014 … and Texas is apparently one of the top 10 tequila consuming states in the US.  So yeah, a drink with tequila is a slam dunk.

This Cinco de Mayo, I’ll be visiting family in Pennsylvania to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday.  Luckily, on her last visit to Dallas, my mom and I introduced her to margaritas … and she loved them.  Needless to say, once I land in the Keystone State, I’ll be swinging by a liquor store to pick up the makings of this remixed margarita just for her.

So, why Sauza?  It’s made with 100% blue agave in Jalisco, Mexico the same way it has been made since 1873.  The agave is put into production within 48 hours which gives the tequila a crisp flavor.

Perfect Pear Margarita (serves 8)
2 cups Sauza® Signature Blue Silver Tequila
1/2 cup lemon Juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1 cup simple syrup
1 cup pear syrup
Rosemary sprigs

Mix all ingredients in an ice-filled pitcher. Serve in margarita glasses garnished with a rosemary sprig and lime wheel.  (Ignore the color … because it’s delicious!)


1 cup pear purée
1⁄4 cup Sugar in the Raw
1⁄2 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 pinch grated nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves fully.  Reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  (The syrup will thicken-up slightly.)  Strain and store in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to two weeks.

I was given the chance to participate in this campaign and was sent items from Sauza to promote.

Introducing Tullamore D.O.G. & His St. Patrick’s Day Cocktails

written by Tullamore D.O.G. “O”

Hey, y’all … I’m Susie’s new friend!  My new mom adopted me a couple weeks ago from TLC Rescue where my name was CeeLo (because I have really short arms … I get those from my corgi mom) and Susie changed my name to Tullamore D.O.G., but you can call me Tully.  (She said that she wanted to name me after one of her very favorite things … Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey!)


The last two and a half weeks have been a big change for me … I went from running around in the country alone stealing pies from windowsills to hanging out in a condo in Dallas with food set right in front of me when I want it.  Oh, and my human takes care of my doodoo.  (One less thing to worry about, you know?)  Life is good.  Now … I’m not saying that everyone should go out and get one of my buddies I was at camp with, but they sure would appreciate it.

Tonight we tried on our St. Patrick’s Day parade outfits … do you like my green paws!?  (The tip of my tail is green, too … you can see it on my mom’s Snapchat–@susieoz–along with a bunch of other cute videos of me being adorable.)  Susie got me some super cool hair spray made just for pets and a bowtie so I could look cool on Greenville!

To make things even MORE fun my first couple weeks at my new home, my birthday is tomorrow, Saint Patrick’s Day!!!  I have a Pup-pie to look forward to, but I wanted to tell y’all about a few of my mom’s favorite Irish whiskey cocktails so you can celebrate along with me!  You’re welcome, human.

I hope you have a great time celebrating … I’ll see you all on Greenville!

1 jigger Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey (or 1.5oz)
1 cup of fresh, high quality hot coffee
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Real whipped cream

Combine Tully and coffee, add sugar, and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.  Top with whipped cream.

1 part Midori® Melon Liqueur
2 parts 2 GINGERS® Irish Whiskey
2 parts Ginger Ale
Lemon Wheel
Lime Wheel

Build in order over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a lemon & lime half moon wheel on the rim.

3–4 mint leaves
¾ oz lime juice
½ oz simple syrup
1½ oz vodka
Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Muddle the mint gently in the bottom of your glass. Add the lime juice, simple syrup and vodka, fill with ice, then top with Crabbie’s.

1 shot Jameson
1 shot pickle juice

You know what to do …

2 parts 2 GINGERS® Whiskey
4 parts tomato juice
1 part lemon juice (to taste)
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 dash salt
2 dashes black pepper
2 dashes hot sauce
splash of Irish Stout

Combine ingredients in tall glass and stir, pour into second glass full of ice, and garnish with celery stalk and lemon wedge.

1 & 1/2 measure of The Pogues Irish Whiskey
3/4 measure of Sweet Red Vermouth
3 dashes of Angostura Bitters

1 ½ parts Frangelico
4 parts easy-drinking lager beer
3 parts ginger beer
½ part lemon juice
Garnish with a lemon wheel

Pour beer into a glass. Add Frangelico and lemon juice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

THE IRISH STOUT (Recipe by Matt Ragan, Victor Tangos)

1 1/2 oz Irish whiskey
1/2 oz Varnelli Caffè Moka coffee liqueur
1 oz strong cold brew coffee
3 oz Southern Tier Mokah Imperial stout
1/2 oz vanilla syrup
Dollop of vanilla crème anglaise

Add the whiskey, liqueur and coffee in a shaker tin. Add three ice cubes, and give the tin a quick shake. Strain into a tulip glass, and top with the stout. Finish with the vanilla crème anglaise.

Luck of Laphroaig® Created by Tyson Buhler (New York, NY)
1 1/2 parts Laphroaig® Select
1/4 part Sarsaparilla Syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Orange twist

Combine ingredients in a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with orange twist.

Oscar Cocktail: The Gold Man

I am embarrassed to admit that I haven’t seen but one of the 2016 Oscars Best Picture nominees … and I just watched it last night.  Needless to say, I’m going to need something to keep me entertained since I haven’t a clue what is going to be going on.  Enter: alcohol.

So, to prepare for the 88th Academy Awards watching situation, I got a little crazy and ordered some edible gold to make a fancy cocktail instead of taking the time to actually watch the movies.  I’ve included the recipe for the cocktail I will be sipping on tonight below along with some other drink options.

2oz Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
1/2oz honey syrup
1oz lemon juice
3 orange slices, quartered
garnish: edible gold flakes or an orange slice

Muddle the oranges and honey syrup in a cocktail shaker.  Add ice, lemon juice, and shake  until chilled thoroughly.  Strain into a martini glass.

Too lazy to slice and shake?  Pop into the grocery store for a bottle of PIPER-HEIDSIECK champagne (the only champagne served AT the Oscars ceremony) or one of the Coppola Winery’s Director’s Cut collection wines (seems fitting for FILM awards).  Just make sure you plan your booze pick-up for after noon … because Sundays in Texas are ruled by TABC.  The Man sucks.)

Too lazy to cook, too?  (Seriously? Do something with your life. jk)  Plano residents can call LASH Delivery and order one of their two Oscar-themed food packages–the Foreign Film Package (Bruschetta from Campisi’s and Caramel Flan from El Norte Mexican Grill) or the Red Carpet Package (a Hummus Trio  from Zoe’s Kitchen and Summer Rolls from Mango Thai Cuisine). Each package is $20 (+$7 delivery fee) and can be ordered through 9pm on 2/28.

Basil Hayden’s Golden Spice
1 part Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
Sparkling Apple Juice

Add Basil Hayden’s Bourbon to a champagne flute.  Fill the remainder of the glass with sparkling apple juice.  Garnish with a sliced apple.

½ crushed pineapple
1 cup crushed ice
1 cup vodka
2 cups cold Coco Joy Water
2 limes

Combine pineapple, ice, vodka and Coco Joy Water in a blender and pulse until smooth.  Garnish with limes.

35ml GREY GOOSE vodka
25ml ST-GERMAIN® elderflower liqueur
20ml fresh lime juice
70ml chilled soda

Pour all ingredients except soda water into a cocktail shaker. Shake briefly over ice and double strain into a chilled flute. Top with soda water. Garnish with a stirrer.

1 bottle VSOP Cognac
1 bottle Powell & Mahoney Lemon Sour mixer
½ bottle Powell & Mahoney Ginger mixer
1 cup fresh pineapple juice
1 cup cold water

Mix together VSOP Cognac, P&M Lemon Sour mixer, P&M Ginger mixer, pineapple juice, and water. Chill for several hours before serving. When ready to serve, pour into a large punch bowl over the gold bar ice block. Top with 1 bottle chilled Champagne and stir. Add orange slice. To make the gold bar ice, fill a loaf baking pan with boiling water (this will ensure clear ice).  Add edible gold flakes to the pan and stir.  Place in freezer overnight.  Prior to serving, run the outside of the pan under hot water to release the ice block. Serves 10.

In other news, there are some ridiculous facts about the Oscars from WalletHub:

  • 25 Years Old: Jennifer Lawrence is the youngest person ever to earn four acting nominations
  • $3,500: Average cost of preparing a Hollywood actress for the red carpet
  • $220K: Value of the 2016 Oscar Swag Bag
  • 39 Years: Between Sylvester Stallone’s two Oscar nominations for his portrayal of Rocky Balboa
  • 45 Sec: The amount to which acceptance speeches will be cut down this year, thanks to individual shout outs scrolling on the bottom of the screen.

Recipe: Hot Buttered Rum

Christmasy drinks can be a little intimidating … at least by name.  I mean, who decided to call a creamy nutmeg treat egg nog or delicious apple cinnamon goodness hot buttered rum?  (What is a nog anyway?)  Well … as scary as the name “hot buttered rum” is, it adheres to the cardinal rule of life (or at least Paula Deen’s rule): adding butter makes it better.  Unfortunately the name isn’t an misnomer.

I found myself in Plano recently and happened into Holy Grail Pub.  Our waitress hardly finished saying the whole phrase “hot buttered rum” before I yelled that I’d have one.  After two sips I demanded the recipe and she nicely obliged.  I whipped up HALF a batch for a recent holiday party, and, even though it wasn’t even a tad cold outside (what the heck’s up with this weather?!), it was the first to run out.  (I’ve also had three attendees ask for the recipe, so I thought posting it was easier.)

HOT BUTTERED RUM (recipe from Holy Grail Pub in Plano)
1 gallon unfiltered apple cider (I really love the cider at Trader Joe’s)
2 Gala apples, cored & sliced 1/16” thick
2 Bartlett pears, cored & sliced 1/16” thick
3 oz fresh ginger root, peeled & sliced thin
4 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups Sailor Jerry spiced rum
1/2 cup butter

Mix all ingredients in a HUGE saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Serve warm and garnish with an apple or pear slice and cinnamon stick.
(Makes a whole lot.)

Some quick tips when making this:

  • plan ahead on the size of your saucepan (it really makes more than you expect)
  • if you’re using a beverage dispenser, strain out the solids before you put it in as it’ll clog the nozzle
  • make this ahead of time … it’ll make your house smell ah-mazing

If you’re not into butter in your drinks or making giant batches of drinks, here’s a simpler version that you can spice up as much as you’d like.

2 parts apple cider
1 part spiced rum
1 dash cinnamon

Mix, warm, and add the following ingredients as desired: apple slices, pear slices, fresh orange juice, orange bitters, cinnamon sticks, more rum


Check out more winter cocktail recipes on my recipes page!

Kenny’s Burger Joint – DIY

I am a huge fan of Chef Kenny Bowers and his growing family of seriously delicious restaurant concepts, otherwise known as Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill (Addison), Kenny’s Italian Kitchen (Addison), Kenny’s Smokehouse (Shops at Legacy), and Kenny’s Burger Joint (Frisco and a NEW Plano location!). That said, I was super excited when I received an invitation to check out the aforementioned, brand spankin’ new Kenny’s Burger Joint location in Lakeside Market in Plano. Kenny and his awesome team hosted a holiday-centric event highlighting some fun and festive appetizers, and some seriously tasty cocktails.

If you’ve visited Kenny’s Burger Joint before, it’s no secret Kenny Bowers serves up a mean burger; quite honestly, probably my favorite burger. Kenny perfected his juicy, 8 oz. patties over a natural hickory wood-burning grill, and the availability of delicious topping combinations to follow said grilling extravaganza offers something for everyone. If you aren’t feeling a burger (excuse me, what?), Kenny’s menu features a variety of other tasty options, ranging from the black angus Big Dog, and the Steak Bomb  (Kenny’s take on the classic Philly cheesesteak), to lighter options, like the fresh and delicious Ahi Tuna and Asian Chicken Salads.

2 Apps

Hopefully, if you’re a Kenny’s Burger Joint fan, you’re already aware of the greatness that is Kenny’s cocktail menu. Kenny’s well-rounded drink menu is thoughtful and creative, and includes indulgent additions such as the famed “Adult” milkshakes (I got to try the Chocolate Grasshopper (Crème de Menthe, White, Crème de Cocoa, and Oreos) and OhMyLanta, it was good. Additionally, Kenny’s Burger Joint offers a reasonable wine list and a respectable craft beer selection. Oh, and they offer Grey Goose on tap. So, there’s that.

9 Chocolate Grasshopper

I got to sample a variety of particularly delicious cocktails on this occasion, and today, you are in luck: Kenny’s talented bartenders were kind of enough to share some of their delicious cocktail recipes, so you can try your hand at recreating some of these beauties at home!


**Here’s a tip before you get started: Kenny’s standard for mixing cocktails demands no fewer than 25 “shakes” when mixing cocktail ingredients in a shaker. This results in bruising of the alcohol, which in turn creates a nifty sheet of ice atop the drink when you pour. (The more you know.)

4 Sapphire 75
Sapphire 75

Sapphire 75
2 oz Bombay Sapphire
Splash lemon juice
Splash simple syrup
Splash Prosecco

Shake first three ingredients. Top with splash of Prosecco.

Under the Mistletoe
1 1/2 oz. Stoli Blueberry
3/4 oz. PAMA Liquor
1/2 oz Pineapple juice
Slash Prosecco

Shake and pour, then top with a splash of Prosecco.


2 oz Grey Goose (consider using orange, for extra flavor)
½ oz Chambord
1/2 oz Pineapple juice
Splash Prosecco

Shake first three ingredients and top with splash of Prosecco.

Silent Nyquil (heh)
2 oz Stoli Vanilla
Small shot of whipped cream
½ oz peppermint Schnapps
½ oz simple syrup
Splash crème de Menthe
Splash Blue Curacao
Splash Prosecco

Shake first four ingredients and pour into martini glass. Drop crème de Menthe and Blue Curacao gently along side of glass (they will sink) and splash with Prosecco.

8 Silent Nyquil7 Bartender

You’re likely to work up an appetite after all of that cocktail shakin’. So, it’s a good thing Kenny shared a variety of recipes for you to try at home- and just in time for your upcoming Christmas festivities, or fleet of non-negotiable house guests!

Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos
10 fresh Jalapenos, whole
1 c. pepper jack cheese, shredded
10 strips of bacon, raw
20 toothpicks

Cut a ¼” divot in each pepper from just below the stem to just below the toe. Set the divot aside. Gently scoop out as much of the seed and white membrane as possible, and discard. Be careful not to break or tear the jalapeño.

Form enough cheese in your hand to fit in the interior of the pepper and gently stuff (approximately 3 Tbsp). Replace the divot over the cheese. Gently squeeze the pepper in your hand, and compress to close.

Place bacon on a cutting board. Place the jalapeño on the bacon, just above the toe where the divot begins. Wrap bacon at an angle, overlapping on each wrap to make sure the divot is completely covered. Gently squeeze to help bacon adhere. Secure each end of the bacon with a toothpick. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cooking. Cook either using grill method or skillet/oven method:

GRILL PROCEDURE: Place cold jalapenos on medium heat grill, and close lid. Cook until bacon is slightly crispy and cheese begins to ooze. Carefully remove toothpicks. Serve with ranch and BBQ sauce for dipping.

SKILLET/OVER PROCEDURE: Preheat oven to 400 degree. Place cold jalapeños in a lightly oiled hot skillet over medium high heat. Lightly brown on all sides. Move skillet to oven, and finish at 400 degrees for approximately 10 minutes.

5 Kenny1 Jalapeno Poppers and Tots

Bud’s White Queso
1 ¼ lb. White American cheese, shredded
1 c. Whole milk
1 c. Yellow onion, sliced in paper thin strips
½ c. Cilantro, chopped
¼ c. Pickled jalapenos, finely chopped
2 tsp. Cumin

Can be prepared in microwave or crockpot, as described below:

MICROWAVE: Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until hot, stirring occasionally.

CROCKPOT: Place all ingredients in crockpot, stirring occasionally, until everything is incorporated and queso is hot.

Juicy Lucy Sliders
8- 2 oz. Burger patties
4 slices American cheese, folded into 2” squares
4 King’s Hawaiian Mini Hamburger Buns
4 tsp. Ketchup
4 tsp. Yellow Mustard
4 Tbsp. Onion, raw and chopped ¼”
4 Tbsp. Pickles, chopped ¼”

Place on square of cheese in the center of one of the burger patties, folding the corners of the cheese so there is a ½” gap between the cheese and the edge of the meat. Place a second patty on top, and crimp the edges together (like making a ravioli), making sure there are no holes. Repeat with remaining patties. Put patties in refrigerator to firm.

Season both sides of burger patties with salt and pepper. Gently place burger patties on an oiled, flat grill or standard grill.

Cook approximately 3 minutes per side over medium high heat until browned on each side or cooked through. When you flip the burgers, do so gently to prevent cheese from oozing out.

Place ketchup, mustard, pickles, and onion evenly on each bottom bun. Place finished burgers on top. Cover with top bun, and enjoy!

Note: Be very careful when biting into the sliders as the cheese can be very hot!

Kenny shared one more thing with us that certainly bears mentioning, and that would be the infamous EL JEFE GRANDE CHALLENGE. This slightly larger than average burger, priced at $50, features:

11 El Jefe GrandeAn impressive 3 lb. patty of the finest beef stacked on two ENORMOUS pieces of Texas Toast (made especially for this sandwich) topped with:
· 10 oz. of French fries
· Chili
· Queso
· Sliced jalapeños
· ½ lb. of bacon
· Lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, and your choice of 1 c. of mustard or mayonnaise

It is a sight to behold. Guests who complete El Jefe Grande in less than one hour will receive the burger for free, plus a $100 dining certificate for a future meal, and their picture displayed on a special wall of honor in the restaurant. Plan on signing a waiver before tackling this Big Boss. (Not kidding, actually.)

If you haven’t checked out Kenny’s Burger Joint yet (or, if you have!), I would strongly suggest paying them a visit on a Monday. Why, you might ask? Martini Mondays, my friends. Kenny’s Burger Joint features a  collection of speciality martinis and cocktails for just $5, all day long, every Monday. Yes.

Happy Hour | Monday-Friday, 2:00-7:00
$1 off draft beer
$2 PBR
$3 premium wells
$4 hour wine
$2 Carboard-o (that’s boxed wine, y’all!)

Kenny’s Burger Joint
PLANO: 5809 Preston Rd, Ste 588 | (972) 378-0999
FRICSO: 1377 Legacy Drive, Suite 120 | (214)-618-8001

Sunday – Thursday: 11am – 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am – 11pm

Winter Cocktails: 2014 Edition

Seasonal Old Fashioned
Seasonal Old Fashioned

Seasonal Old Fashioned (available at Origin Kitchen + Bar)
2 oz. Redemption Rye
½ oz Pumpkin Syrup
2 dashes Orange Bitters

Pour all ingredients into a pint glass filled with ice. Stir and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange peel. 

Candy Cane Cooler (recipe courtesy of NoMa Social)
1 tbs crushed soft peppermint candy
1½ fl oz vodka
splash of white creme de menthe
¼ fl oz brandy
½ fl oz half-and-half
Crushed ice
Peppermint stick for garnish
Mint sprig for garnish

Combine the vodka and crushed peppermint.  Stir to dissolve.  Add the remaining ingredients, stir and garnish. 

John’s Remedy
John’s Remedy

John’s Remedy (available at Origin Kitchen + Bar)
2 oz. Jameson Irish Whiskey
¾ oz Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Liquor
1 dash Chinese Bitters

Add ice and ingredients to shaker tin and shake thoroughly. Strain into a snifter glass. Garnish with lemon peel and maraschino cherry.

King in the North (available at Origin Kitchen + Bar)
1 ½ oz. Bruichladdich Scottish Barley
½ oz. Disaronno Amaretto

Pour all ingredients into a pint glass filled with ice. Stir and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a Luxardo Cherry.

Winter White Sangria
Winter White Sangria

Winter White Sangria
2 Parts Viva Diva Peach Moscato
1 Part Malibu Coconut Rum
0.5 Part Triple Sec
1 Splash Peach Orchard Punch

Stir Rum and Triple Sec in with Fresh cut Orange, Peach, and Apple Slices. Stir in Tropicana’s Peach Orchard Punch. Finish with Viva Diva Peach Moscato. Add Ice and Serve.

Cinnamon Sidecar (recipe by Seth Brammer of The Second Floor)
Four Roses bourbon

Combine and serve up.

Hot Frenchman's Punch
Hot Frenchman’s Punch

Hot Frenchman’s Punch (recipe by Philip Duff)
1 shot G’Vine Nouaison
1¾ shots sweet, dark red wine/madeira
2 shots hot water
1 barspoon honey
1 barspoon brown sugar
⅓ shot freshly squeezed lime juice
Half a grated cinnamon stick
One sprig of coriander
One “grate” of fresh nutmeg One “nail” of ginger

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass or teapot and allow to steep for approx. 3 minutes Pour out through a tea-strainer into the glass.
Glass: Heat-tempered handled mug or teacup
Garnish: Cinnamon stick.

Pumpkinpalooza (available at The Hard Rock Cafe)
2 ½ oz Makers Mark
2 ½ oz Pumpkin real puree infused syrup
4 scoops Vanilla ice cream

Blend ingredients.  Garnish with Whipped Cream and Caramel Syrup.

El Burro
El Burro

El Burro (recipe by Seth Brammer of The Second Floor)
Cabeza Tequila
Ginger Beer

Combine ingredients and serve over crushed ice.

Grilled Orange Margarita (recipe by Seth Brammer of The Second Floor)
Char-grilled orange
El Jimador

Combine and serve on the rocks.

Wild Cherry Peppermint Cosmo
Wild Cherry Peppermint Cosmo

Devotion Wild Cherry Peppermint Cosmo (This is a sugar- and gluten-free cocktail!)
2.5 ounces of Devotion Wild Cherry vodka
Dash of Peppermint Schnapps
1.5 ounces of Diet Cranberry Juice

Cocoa Press (available at The Hard Rock Cafe)
1 oz Amaretto
2 oz Bacardi Oakheart
3 oz Pumpkin real puree
14 oz Hot Chocolate
5 Marshmallows

Place 5 marshmallows (regular size) into bottom of press.  Add the first three ingredients then fill with hot chocolate.  Insert depressor and lid.  Slowly press the depressor to the bottom of French Press to smash marshmallows.

Pumpkin Smash and Winter White Cake
Pumpkin Smash and Winter White Cake

Pumpkin Smash (available at The Hard Rock Cafe)
1 ½ oz Pumpkin real puree infused syrup
4 oz Milk
3 scoops Vanilla ice cream

Blend ingredients. Garnish with Whipped Cream and Caramel Syrup.

Pomegranate Prosecco (available at The Hard Rock Cafe)
1 tbs Pomegranate Seeds
1 oz Finest Call White Sangria Mix
2 oz Santa Margarita Prosecco
1 Rosemary Sprig

Add Pomegranate Seeds and Sangria Mix into Champagne flute.  Fill with Santa Margarita Prosecco.  Garnish with rosemary sprig.

Pomegranate Prosecco

Candy Cocktails Recipe Book

Are you having a Halloween party? A Christmas party? Any other kind of party, in life, at any point in the future? Do you like booze? Do you like candy?  If you  have answered yes to any of these questions,  listen up: you’re going to want to hear this*. Candy Cocktails, people. That’s right … cocktails that taste like candy. Cocktails that are MADE USING CANDY. Enter: “Candy Cocktails: Fun and Flirty Drinks with a Sugar-Kissed Twist“.

(*If you did not answer, “Yes,” to any of the above questions, do not read on. Go here, instead.)

I received “Candy Cocktails” just in time for Halloween, but this cocktail recipe book by the Good sisters (curators of Fashionably Bombed) is chock full of fun and inventive cocktails for every holiday (Candy Cane Martini, anyone?). Holiday-themed libations represent only a small segment of this gorgeous little recipe book, however; in its pages, you will also find cocktail recipes highlight just about any kind of candy you can think of. Forget everything you think you know about dessert drinks … until you have sampled a Liquid Candy Bar, a Candy Fishbowl (yes, it has Swedish Fish “swimming” in it.  Shut. Up.), or a Pop Shot (yup, that would be a shooter integrating Pop Rocks), you know nothing.  Just imagine preparing a custom cocktail for your boyfriend/girlfriend/brother/sister/bestie/grandma/mailman based on his or her favorite candy. How much do I love this idea? (A lot.)

Candy Corn InfusionCandy Cocktails is going to have you “mixing outside the box,” if you will. I can attest to this because I found myself preparing candy corn infused vodka early this week. One of the really awesome things about this book is the fact that it gives you directions on how to create variety of sweet liquor infusions using at little as 1/2 cup of booze. Gone are the days of having to spend $17 a pop on multiple, giant bottles of random flavored vodkas that you know are probably only going to use once or twice to make that one cocktail you just had to have, on a whim (I mean, I don’t know many people whose “go-to” drink features marshmallow vodka, do you?). This section of the book is really quite practical and useful (as candy infused alcohol goes).

I prepared two Halloween inspired “Candy Cocktails” in the Plano branch of the Susie Drinks Dallas test kitchen.

Candy Corn CocktailFirst, the Candy Corn Cocktail,- hence the candy corn infused vodka. This drink was so pretty and festive, and just BEGGING you to serve it at your Halloween bash. It was not sickeningly sweet, and really, it was incredibly reminiscent of a lemon drop, with a subtle hint of something different. (You guessed it, genius … CANDY CORN!!!)

Peanut Butter Cup CocktailNext, the Peanut Butter Cup Cocktail, which was every bit as rich and decadent as it sounds. Interestingly (and only mildly disappointingly), this cocktail does not contain actual peanut butter cups (aside from the garnish). As the sisters point out in their book, sometimes the point is for the drink to taste LIKE the candy, as opposed to actually containing the candy. This blended concoction was comprised of vodka, crunchy peanut butter,  crème de cacao, and whole milk  (omg). This was 100% dessert, and they really nailed the peanut butter cup flavor. Nom.

If you are looking for a collection of really fun, unique cocktail recipes, getchoself a copy of Candy Cocktails: Fun and Flirty Drinks with a Sugar-Kissed Twist, today!

Available at Barnes and Noble (check out their nifty in-store pickup feature!), or on Amazon, for just $13.68.

Reyka Vodka Unleashes Fall/Winter Cocktails

unnamedA couple weeks back, Reyka Vodka mixed things up with a night of delicious cool weather cocktails with National Brand Ambassador Trevor Schneider and Barter Beverage Director, Rocco Milano.  We were treated to three delicious cocktails (recipes below).

Reyka Vodka is an Icelandic vodka that uses lava rock filtration (which is so much better than that Brita shit) and the process is all made possible using geo-thermal energy powered by a local hot spring.  Reyka is made in small batches to ensure each bottle is up to snuff.

750 ml bottle: $19.99
1.75 ml bottle: $29.95

For more information about Reyka and additional recipes, visit

unnamed-13Autumn Harvest (Created by Trevor Schneider)
2 oz. Reyka vodka
2 oz. apple cider
1/2 oz. velvet falernum
1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 dashes apple bitters
Grated cinnamon for garnish (optional)
Lemon wedge for garnish (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with freshly grated cinnamon and garnish with lemon wedge. 

Crimson Diamond (Created by Rocco Milano)
1.5 oz Reyka Vodka
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.75 oz Simple SyrupTop with red wine

Combine all ingredients except the wine into a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a champagne flute and using a bar spoon slow pour a red wine float.  

Basil and Lime (Created by Rocco Milano and on tap at Barter)
1.5 oz Reyka Vodka
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.75 oz Basil Syrup
.5 oz Amer Picon

Combine all ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously. Fill an 8 oz footed Collins glass with crushed ice. Strain the shaker into the Collins glass. Smack a basil leaf to wake it up and add for garnish.