Tag Archives: cocktails

Restaurant-Style Bloody Mary

How to make a Restaurant Style Bloody Mary

The Bloody Mary.  It is THE quintessential brunch beverage, yet I only have them at a restaurant.  Brunch and Bloody Mary’s go hand in hand.  We are going to make a restaurant-style bloody mary at home.  I made a killer batch of bloody mary’s last weekend and they were hands-down one of the best I’ve ever had.

First things first, we are making it from scratch.  The difference is remarkable when you don’t use a store-bought mix.  The drink tastes MUCH fresher and brighter, which if I’m being perfectly honest, can be dangerous.  I’m usually a two drink max kind of girl and I had two drinks in no time flat.  Consider yourself warned, because they go down Very Easily.

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Caramel Buttered Bourbon

This post is sponsored by Four Roses Bourbon. The content and opinions are mine and not shared by the sponsor.


It’s Opening Day and what better way to celebrate than with a little bourbon?  Four Roses Bourbon wants to help you celebrate Opening Day with a Bourbon Cocktail and the idea was to incorporate ball park food.  I love a good hot dog as much as the next girl… but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to combine a hot dog and bourbon.

So, I started thinking about what I love about bourbon and it’s the caramelly smokiness that gets me.  An old-fashioned is my drink of choice, so I am *quite* familiar with bourbon.  Ahem.   Which leads me to the question “what do I eat at ball games that I can combine with bourbon?”. Answer: Caramel Corn.   The flavors are already there and I wanted to come up with a drink that would enhance the flavor profile of the bourbon without masking it.

The Girl and I love baseball and lucky for us,  the Grapefruit League is here.  We take road trips all over Florida to watch Spring Training games and now Opening Day is finally here!  Growing up in Ohio, the Cleveland Indians have always been my team.  I know you are only supposed to have ONE favorite team, but I must divulge this bit of info:  I lived in NYC for 17 years, how could I not root for the Mets?  I’ve been to more Mets games in the old stadium than all the other games combined!  (Don’t even talk to me about the Yankees…)   We take it pretty seriously, as you can see.  

On to the recipe!  There are only 2 elements to this libation, making it pretty easy to whip up if you are having a few people over.  You can easily double or triple the simple syrup recipe, put it into a nice little pitcher, set out your bottle of Four Roses and your guests can help themselves!   The Bourbon and the Buttered Caramel Simple Syrup.  That’s it!  (BOOM… Mic Drop)




Caramel Buttered Bourbon
Serves 2
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 6 ounces (4 shots) Four Roses Bourbon
  2. 1/2 TB unsalted butter
  3. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  4. 4 TB light brown sugar
  5. 4 TB water
  6. granulated sugar for rim of glass / caramel corn for garnish
  1. Combine butter, vanilla, sugar & water in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and let it continue to simmer for 5 - 8 minutes, until sugar has completely dissolved and syrup has thickened just slightly.
  2. Pour 3 ounces (2 shots) of bourbon in a glass and add syrup to taste. Stir to combine. Garnish if desired.
  3. Suggestion: start with 1 tablespoon of syrup, you can always add more to taste.
  1. A word on ice: I use a muffin tin to make large ice cubes for my drinks. They are the perfect size for the glasses I have and they don't water down the drinks as quickly as smaller cubes.
  2. Because there is a smidge of butter in the syrup- if you add ice, the drink will get a bit cloudy. There's nothing wrong with your drink, it's just the butter getting cold.
Added Bonus
  1. I had some simple syrup left over and I also had leftover ham from Easter... Throw a splash of bourbon into the syrup, and glaze the ham with that magical concoction!
  2. You're Welcome.
Pook's Pantry http://www.pookspantry.com/
#Opening Day @4RosesBourbon

Hard-Pressed Bourbon

A few days ago I had the good fortune to spend time with family members I haven’t seen in awhile and met some new ones for the first time.  Those of us that live far away from the rest of our clans aren’t able to be a part of each others daily life, so the chance to gather in one place for a few hours is extra special.

We had a lovely afternoon sharing food and stories, laughing and catching up with each other.  At times we are all so busy in the day-to-day that we fail to take a few minutes to just say “hi” to people we care about.
It was a chance for all of us to do just that and make a few more connections on Facebook, of course!

Connecting over food is a common experience for everyone on every continent, of every color and every religion.  It is good for us to acknowledge the commonality that ties us all together instead of focusing on the differences that fracture us.   Food is definitely one of those common denominators   It is an integral part of almost every celebration from birthdays to weddings, holidays, family gatherings, get-togethers with friends, etc.

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I’ll have what she’s having…

I’m not really sure why,  but when I think of strawberry daiquiris, I think of the 80’s.   Things like parachute pants and rubber bracelets,  big hair and Duran Duran.  Considering I was barely a “tween” in the mid-80’s and not yet the cocktail connoisseur I am today, there really is no basis for this. 

But, here’s the thing… no one seems to tip back fruity drinks with little umbrellas anymore, everything is a “skinny” something or another now.  Not that there’s anything wrong with watching your caloric intake, but sometimes a girl needs a drink.  A proper drink- made in a blender, served in a pretty glass with a little garnish.

I’m sure most of us can’t even remember the last time we had one (unless of course that’s because you had MANY), which is a shame because it really is one of those great summer drinks.
Well, I intend on bringing this little libation that could back into the spotlight.

If you’ve never had a strawberry daiquiri made from actual strawberries, then you are in for a treat.  The drinks made from that bottle of  chemical-laden red stuff can not begin to compare with one made from fresh ingredients.  The sweet fragrance of ripe strawberries filling your kitchen is enough to start your mouth salivating.

There will be no sickly sweet, artificially flavored mixes that are a most unnatural and slightly unnerving shade of red.  Just berries, rum, some sugar & a splash of lime juice blended with some ice & you are well on your way to one of the best things you can put in a glass.

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My Lost Shaker of Salt…

Vacation.  Just the word alone makes us feel lighter, happier and less stressed.  Why is it that we allow ourselves things on vacation we rarely would otherwise?


We indulge in foods we normally deprive ourselves of, we sleep late, we are a little more laid back and allow ourselves a few adult beverages with colorful umbrellas peeking out of them or in my case, a salted rim.

Coming back to reality from vacation is rarely a pleasure, but what I’m trying to learn is how to have a “vacation” frame of mind even when I can’t get away.

Not that I’ll be quitting my job and spending my days on a beach, as lovely as that sounds, but trying to allow myself a bit more leeway when it comes to certain things.

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Hibiscus Champagne Cocktail for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Hibiscus Champagne Cocktail

With Valentine’s Day upon us,  I wanted to do a special drink for those of us who will not be amongst the throngs of people in crowded restaurants with overpriced dinners and less than stellar prix fixe menus.

I had been given a jar of  hibiscus flowers in syrup as a sample at a food show and I’ve been dying to try them out in something,  but I needed to exercise restraint and wait for just the right thing…  Well friends, today is the day!

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Catching Snowflakes On My Tongue…

As I write this,  I’m looking through my living room window watching the snowflakes swirl about in the gray sky. 
Normally, this would elicit a groan from me but I feel I cannot begrudge Mother Nature a few flakes…  it IS January after all and we’ve had more than our fair share of unseasonably warm temperatures.

Catching snowflakes on your tongue is something we all did as kids,  but THIS kind of snowflake is much tastier.

A few years ago, I was trying to come up with an idea for a drink that tasted more like dessert than a cocktail.   I did, and it was dubbed “The Snowflake” but then…  marshmallow vodka came on the scene and I became obsessed with somehow incorporating this into the drink.  So, I’ve slightly modified it from it’s original version and made it more of a cocktail.

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Thai One On… Again (and once more after that).

I am starting to think I missed my calling as a mixologist…   I enjoy coming up with new drinks and playing around with flavors to see what the end result is and there is no pressure to get it right because I’m just having fun.  Luckily there have been no casualties as of yet and surprisingly no bad drinks either.
The “Thai One On” post featured the flavors of Thailand and I adore those flavors.  They are complex yet so clean and they hit every part of your palate.  I thought  “Why not make a drink with that flavor profile?”

So I started thinking of what goes together and what flavors I enjoy…   It is fairly straight forward, nothing too complicated,  yet unusual.

This is a drink I plan to break out when I want to impress. It is light and goes down quite easily… perhaps a little too easily.

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Get this Girl a Drink.

Summertime is for enjoying time outside with friends and family, both of which are on their way to stay with me at this very moment.  To get the festivities underway, I’ve made a Summer Sangria.  It’s light & fruity without being overly sweet.

It is quick & easy to make and because it’s made by the pitcher you aren’t stuck making drinks all night for your guests.

This sangria goes well with any BBQ food, try it the next time you find yourself outside with the people you love.

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Cocktails Anyone?

If you are anything like most of the people I know, you enjoy the occasional libation… I bought a watermelon a few days ago and my first thought aside from devouring that ice cold coral flesh (with a little sprinkle of kosher salt) was cocktails!  A watermelon mojito is the perfect thing to have in hand when it is blazing hot outside.   It is fruity, light and refreshing.

For my watermelon mojito I use a watermelon rum,  but if you can’t find that just use a plain light rum or experiment with whatever sounds good to you. (Bacardi makes a red peach rum or a dragonfruit rum that would be delicious).
What’s the worst thing that can happen?  If you don’t like it, pour it out and crack open a beer…

The inspiration for the drink came from a recipe for Watermelon Daquiris by the Domestic Goddess herself, Nigella Lawson.

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