Drinks and Dishes for the 2017 Oscars

Neo Fresco
The 89th Academy Awards are upon us (tomorrow night). Wolfgang Puck is heading up the menu at the Governor’s Ball, so we’re including some of his recipes for the dishes being served that you can adapt for your own Oscar party. Of course, this is Drinkhacker, so we’re also giving you five cocktails to round out your evening.

Smoky Deviled EggsDeviled Eggs
Courtesy of McCormick Spices
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1/4 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. McCormick Mustard, Ground
1/4 tsp. McCormick Paprika, Smoked
1/4 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
2 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks; place in small bowl. Mash yolks with fork or potato masher. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, smoked paprika and seasoned salt until smooth and creamy. Spoon or pipe yolk mixture into egg white halves. For piping, you don’t need to buy cake decorating supplies; just stuff the filling into a plastic sandwich bag, snip one corner, and squeeze out the mixture from the hole. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve.

You can dust the tops with paprika if you wish. For a variation, add 1 Tbsp. of sweet pickle relish to the yolk mixture.

Roasted Nuts With Rosemary, Cayenne, Sea Salt, and Brown Sugar
Courtesy of Food Network
1 1/4 pounds cashew nuts
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp. cayenne
2 tsp. dark brown sugar
Spiced Nuts2 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until they are warmed through. Meanwhile, combine the rosemary, pepper, sugar, salt, and butter in a large bowl. Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary mixture until the nuts are completely coated. Serve warm for a sweet and spicy treat.

Stir Fried Chicken In Lettuce Cup with Thai Basil and Pine nuts
From Wolfgang Puck
3 Tbsp. peanut oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plum wine or sherryWolfgang Puck's Stir Fried Chicken
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. chopped peeled ginger
1/2 tsp. crushed chili pepper flakes
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
2 tsp. Wolfgang’s Asian Rib Sauce (see recipe below)
1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup each 1-inch cubes of yellow and red bell pepper
2 scallions, cut into 1-inch slices
2 tbsp Thai basil (if you can not find Thai basil substitute 1 Tbsp. each mint and basil)
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 head of romaine lettuce, leaves separated
4 Tbsp. (2 ounces) unsalted butter

In a 10-inch skillet or wok, heat the peanut oil until smoking. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and sear, about 1 minute on each side. Deglaze the pan with the plum wine or sherry and stir in the garlic, ginger and chili flakes. Pour in the stock and reduce by half (sauce will begin to thicken). Add the rib sauce, mushrooms, peppers, scallion, basil, and nuts, and cook 1 or 2 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is done. Stir in the butter and correct seasoning to taste. Spoon the stir-fried chicken onto the lettuce leave, arranging all the ingredients evenly throughout.

Wolfgang’s Asian Rib Sauce
From Wolfgang Puck
1 1/4 cups rice wine vinegar
1 cup honey
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup mirin (rice cooking wine) or sweet sake
2 scallions, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely chopped
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

In a 4-cup enamel or stainless steel saucepan, combine all the ingredients and cook, over medium-high heat until syrupy, 50 to 60 minutes. Watch it carefully because it may burn soon after thickening. Strain into a clean container and cool. Refrigerate, covered, and use as needed. It makes a great base for barbecue sauce.

Simplified Apfelstrudel: Baked Apple Pouches with Cinnamon and Raisins
From Live, Love, Eat! by Wolfgang Puck
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus 1/2 cup, melted unsalted butter
1 pound Fuji apples, peeled, cored, halved, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup golden raisins
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup coarse white bread crumbs
16 large egg roll skins
confectioner’s sugar, for garnish
vanilla ice cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the coarse bread crumbs, toast slices of white bread in the oven until crisp, about 10 minutes. Break into pieces and place in a food processor. Pulse the processor until the bread resembles large bread crumbs. In a sauté pan, over medium heat, sauté the bread crumbs in 1/4 cup of the melted butter until they are golden brown. Reserve the sautéed bread crumbs and the remaining melted butter separately. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter; pour off 1/4 cup of melted butter adding it to the remaining melted butter and set it aside.

Add the apples, sugar, raisins, lemon juice, and cinnamon and sauté, stirring frequently, until the apples are tender, about 8 minutes. While the apples are cooking, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cut 8 pieces of kitchen string, about 6-8 inches long each, and set aside.

In the sauté pan, divide the apple filling into eight roughly equal portions. Place an egg roll skin on a flat work surface with one of the points facing towards you. Place another skin on top, perfectly aligned with the first. Sprinkle dough with breadcrumbs. Spoon one portion of apple filling into the center of the wrappers and gather the corners up around the filling to create a pouch. Tie the pouch around the top with a piece of kitchen string. Don’t worry if some of the wrapper isn’t completely contained within the string. Don’t tie the string too tight. Transfer the pouch to the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients to make 8 pouches in all. Brush the pouches with the reserved melted butter. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake the pouches until their wrappers are golden and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pouches to individual serving plates and snip the strings off with kitchen shears. Dust each pouch with powdered sugar and and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Makes 8 pouches.

Note: There is a difference between egg roll wrappers and spring roll wrappers. If you use spring roll wrappers, you need to dampen them with warm water first to make them pliable. You will want to fry them in peanut oil, rather than bake because otherwise they won’t brown. They will taste just as good.

With your table set, serve up these cocktails to your guests.

Ciroc Cosmo
1.5 oz. Ciroc Red Berry
2 oz. cranberry juice
1 squeeze of lime
orange twist for garnishThe Seductress cocktail

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake and then pour into a martini glass. Lightly squeeze orange twist and rub around the glass rim before adding it as a garnish.

The Seductress
Courtesy iPic Theatres
4 oz. Piper Heidsieck Cuvée Brut champagne
½ oz. chilled passion fruit purée
½ oz. chilled ginger syrup (Add a Tbsp. grated fresh ginger to 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. Boil until thickened to a syrup consistency.)
1 oz. chilled Aperol
red rose petals for the garnish

Chill a champagne flute. Fill with 4 oz. champagne. Add chilled passion fruit purée, ginger syrup, and aperol. Gently stir. Top with a red rose petal before serving. 

Note: When you get the rose petals, be sure to ask the florist for edible ones. Yes, all rose petals are technically edible but you want to make sure the ones you use have not been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.

NEO FrescoZesty Pop
½ part Facundo NEO rum
½ part Chareau Aloe liqueur
¼ part St George Raspberry liqueur
¼ part simple syrup
½ part lime juice
Makrut Lime Leaf for garnish

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a Makrut lime leaf.

Rufino’s Zesty Pop
3 oz. Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio
8 raspberries
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juiceIn the Patch cocktail
1/4 oz. simple syrup
ginger beer

Add Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio to a cocktail shaker with ice. Add lemon juice, simple syrup, and 6 muddled raspberries. Shake well and strain in a glass over ice, before topping with Ginger Beer. Stir briefly and garnish with 2 remaining raspberries and a lemon slice.

Svedka’s Cocktail of the Year
1½ parts Svedka Cucumber Lime
¾ part simple syrup
¾ part fresh lime juice
1 strawberry (top removed)

Muddle strawberry in a cocktail shaker; add remaining ingredients and fill with ice. Shake well and fine strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Garnish with strawberries and a cucumber slice.

A Visit to “Traditionally Irreverent” Laughing Monk Brewery

Laughing Monk Flight

Laughing Monk Brewery, in San Francisco, California, celebrates its first anniversary this year on St. Patrick’s Day. Brewers Jeff Moakler and Andrew Casteel are both avid beer aficionados, having traveled in Belgium and starting out through home brewing. Jeff has several medals under his belt and worked as a Head Brewer for BJ’s Brewhouse. Their idea for Laughing Monk is to brew Californian and Belgian beers using local, in season, ingredients. For those versed in Trappist beers, a few of these will be recognizable styles.

Their building is in the Bayview area of San Francisco — an artistic place to visit. Every building is painted in vivid, bold murals. As expected of a new craft brewery, the room is small but offers a friendly atmosphere. They have a collaborative relationship with their next door neighbor, Seven Stills Distillery. A visit to one will get you $5 off at the other, so why not check out both?

During our visit to the tap room, we tasted all of the below. Thoughts follow.

Midnight Coffee Stout – This is supposed to be a medium body stout, but the body is a dark brown, brewed with Artis cold brew coffee. The ivory head darkens closer to surface. With a strong espresso scent, its heavy coffee taste carries through to the finish, with mild barley and chocolate flavors underneath and a slight acidity. 7.1% abv. A

Laughing Monk BreweryBook of Palms – When coconut and pineapple are first mentioned, many people automatically think “sweet.” However this Berliner Weisse is a sour beer. The pineapple in the scent is fresh, but tart upon taste. The coconut becomes pronounced on 2nd sip. This dry beer has a cloudy, bright yellow body and a light head—typical of a Berliner Weisse. 5.3% abv. B+

Evening Vespers – This is a Belgian Duppel with a reddish-brown body crowned by a white frothy head. The nice dried fruit flavors of plum/prune, raisins, and dates are not overpowering. The sweetness is light as well. 7.1% abv. A

Date With the Devil – The deep red body and thin, white head of this Belgian Quad are appealing. Its date flavor brings a natural sweetness that’s more pronounced than that in Evening Vespers but it’s not syrupy or overpowering. It is certainly not as bold as expected. 9.5 abv. B+

3rd Circle Tripel – Belgian Tripels are traditionally brewed with three times the malt as other beers. 3rd Circle has a nice golden yellow body, and a thick, white head, and slight dryness to it. You can taste a bit of tart hoppiness with acidity following. 8.7% abv. B

Mango Gose – Originally brewed in collaboration with the Pink Boots Society, this Gose won a Bronze medal at the California State Fair Beer competition for session beers. Its body has a bright yellow color and an effervescent head. Mango sweet-tartness fills the nose immediately and then follows through on the tongue. Its mild saltiness comes from sea salt. 4.8% abv. B

Karl the Fog – This is a Vermont (American) IPA. Right off, the grapefruit-like scent of the hops tickles the nose. If you like IPAs, then this golden yellow beer with a white frothy head will please you. It is heavy with Mosaic and El Dorado hops. 6.2% abv. A

laughingmonkbrewing.com

How to Use Infused Ice to Upgrade Your Cocktails

Anise Infused Ice

Infused ice is a fun way to add flavor to your drinks and add an eye-pleasing touch. To make infused ice, start by using distilled water to mitigate cloudiness. Add any fruit or spice (such as whole star anise, cardamom pods, or cinnamon stick pieces) to water in a pan and boil for a few minutes. This will infuse the ice with the flavor of the additive and also blanch fruits like strawberries, pineapples, and cranberries enough for them to be safely frozen. It’s the same process for preparing fruit to be put into gelatin. Cool the water. Then place a piece of the boiled fruit or a chunk of the spice used to flavor the water in each section of an ice tray. Fill the tray with the cooled water and freeze. Be aware that some spices like cloves, cinnamon, and anise may turn the water brown. The flavor is still packed inside.

Next use the ice in any beverage—alcoholic or not—in which you want to add that fruit or spice flavoring. For example: Throw a few strawberry or raspberry infused ice cubes in an iced tea for a nice fruit flavor which intensifies as the ice melts. Consider using a cinnamon, nutmeg, or anise cube in a rocks glass with your favorite whiskey. The trick is to not overdo the number or intensity of the ice cubes or the spices can become overwhelming.

Want to give it a try? Here are two professional cocktails from Stoli’s Elit Vodka that use infused ice which will give you an idea of how to be creative with the stuff.

Frozen TerrainFrozen Terrain
Created by Whitney Morrow, Beverage Director at Drumbar, Chicago
1 part Elit Vodka
½ part St. George Terroir Gin
¾ part Lillet Blanc
¼ part pear liqueur
1 cinnamon ice cube

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir. Strain into a rocks glass over a 2” x 2” cinnamon ice cube. To make the cinnamon ice cube: place 7 sticks of cinnamon into 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Place into large format ice tray with one sprig of rosemary and a thinly sliced piece of pear. Freeze.

Tickled PinkTickled Pink
Created by Ashtin Berry, Bartender at Ace Hotel Nola, New Orleans
¾ part Elit Vodka
½ part cranberry syrup (equal parts cranberry juice and sugar, cooked on low to thicken into syrup)
¼ part lemon
2 dashes orange bitters
champagne or club soda

Shake all ingredients with cranberry infused ice (made from cranberry juice) and strain into a coupe or flute. Top with bubbles (either champagne or club soda) and add a couple of cranberries and an orange twist.

Recipes for National Margarita Day, 2017

 

Brighter, warmer days are coming our way — eventually — so this is a perfect time to celebrate National Margarita Day (February 22). Margaritas are crowd-pleasers because of their bright flavor and for us they are always reminiscent of warm evenings out with friends. Invite those friends over, cook up a pizza pan full of your favorite nachos, and enjoy these five margarita recipes — two using tequila and three with smoky mezcal.

DeLeón Platinum Tequila Margarita
1.5 oz. DeLeón Platinum tequila
3/4 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrupTe Verde Margarita
salt

Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a salt rimmed margarita glass and garnish with a lime wedge before serving.

Té Verde Margarita
1 1/4 parts Montelobos mezcal
¾ part Ancho Reyes Verde
3/4 part strong green tea syrup (brew green tea with equal parts of water and sugar until it thickens into a syrup)
1 part fresh lime juice
5 mint leaves

Add all ingredients to a shaker. Shake and serve over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a mint sprig and a lime wheel.

Juan to Juan
1 part Montelobos mezcal
1 part Ancho Reyes OriginalFrose Margarita
3/4 part fresh lemon juice
1/2 part simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Pour into a coupe glass, garnish with a lemon wheel, and serve.

Frosé Margarita
2 parts Montelobos mezcal
1 oz. rosé wine
3/4 part fresh lime juice
1 part Jamaica concentrate syrup (hibiscus)
2-3 medium strawberries

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend with 1 1/2 cups ice. Garnish with half of a strawberry, a lime wheel,Rio Verde Margarita and grated Mexican chocolate on top.

Rio Verde Margarita
1 ½ oz. Milagro tequila
1 oz. Ancho Reyes Verde
1/2 oz. agave
3/4 oz. lime
fresh cilantro
tomatillo (grilled)

Muddle cilantro sprig and grilled tomatillo wedge with all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a salt rimmed glass. Garnish with spiked grilled tomatillo and cilantro sprig.

Cocktail Recipes for President’s Day 2017

Presidential Punch
These days all things presidential have many of us reaching for a drink. Thankfully, on President’s Day, February 20, we take a moment to reflect on two of the greatest leaders of America: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Let’s give them a toast with these three cocktails.

ObamatiniObamatini
1 oz. grenadine
1/2 oz. blue Curacao
1 oz. Tito’s vodka
2 oz. of Prosecco

First, rim a martini glass with sugar; pour the grenadine in. Then put the blue Curacao and vodka in a shaker and shake. Layer that mixture over the grenadine. Slowly add the Prosecco. Garnish with strawberry and blueberry on skewer.

Presidential Punch
1 1/2 oz. Milagro Anejo tequila
1/2 oz. Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
2 oz. sweet and sour mix
1/2 oz. orange juice
1/8 cup salt
1/8 cup chili powder

Mix the salt and chili powder. Rim a margarita glass with the mixture. Add all other ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake. Then strain over big ice into the glass and garnish with a jalapeño slice.

Ford’s FizzFord's Fizz
1 1/2 oz. Stoli vodka
2 oz. ginger beer
splash of lime juice
1 oz. cranberry juice

Add vodka, lime juice and cranberry juice into a rocks glass with ice. Stir add the ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Recipes: Valentine’s Day 2017 Desserts and Cocktail Pairings

Raspberry Vodka Blast Cupcakes

What a lovely tradition we have of giving sweets to the one we are sweet on! We want to make that easy for you with a trio of sweet recipes and paired cocktails to offer your loved one on Valentine’s Day. Single? Simply make them and treat yourself!

Van Gogh Raspberry Vodka Blast Cupcakes
Created by Dawn Belisle, Delights by Dawn
1 box white cake mix (like Duncan Hines)
1 box instant French vanilla pudding
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1 tsp sugar
2 cups Van Gogh Raspberry Vodka
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

For the White Chocolate Raspberry Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
4 oz. white chocolate melted and slightly cooled, but still pouring consistency
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup International Delight White Chocolate Raspberry Coffee Creamer
1/4 tsp salt

Coat 1/2 cup of raspberries with sugar and 1 tablespoon of Van Gogh Raspberry Vodka, set aside for about 10 minutes. Combine white cake mix, French vanilla pudding, eggs, vegetable oil, and 1 cup of Van Gogh Raspberry Vodka and the raspberry-sugar-vodka mixture from above. Mix on medium speed for about 1 minute. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 18 minutes at 350 degrees or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.

Once cupcakes have cooled and before adding the frosting, put the remaining Van Gogh Raspberry Vodka in a small, shallow bowl and dip the top of the cupcake in the vodka until the top is covered, but not overly saturated. Allow the raspberry vodka to soak in for about five minutes before frosting.

For the frosting, melt the white chocolate and let it slightly cool, it should be pouring consistency. Using a hand mixer, or if using a mixer use the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 1 minute.  Scrape the sides down. Put the mixer on low speed and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar. Next, quickly pour in the melted white chocolate and then beat again for 2 minutes on medium speed until creamy. Add coffee creamer and salt. Beat for an additional 1 minute until combined. Frost the cupcakes and decorate as desired.

We decorated ours with a raspberry in the center of each cupcake. If you use frozen raspberries or strawberries, be sure to drain them and pat them dry before using them to garnish the cupcake so they don’t bleed juice. That may be fine for a Halloween theme but not here.

Lapping TongueThe perfect cocktail to serve with these cupcakes is the Lapping Tongue.

Lapping Tongue
1 1/2 parts Jose Cuervo Especial Silver tequila
1/2 part lemon juice
1/4 part rich simple syrup (2:1, sugar:water)
1/2 part Creme de Cassis
1/2 part Campari
orange slice

Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel after expressing the natural oils over the drink and rubbing the peel around the rim of the glass.

Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake
By Carla Hall of The ChewChocolate Stout Bundt Cake
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened, divided)
2 cups sugar
1 cup stout beer (warmed)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder (plus more for dusting pan)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 6-cup Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons of butter and dust with cocoa powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, add the butter and sugar and cream until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the stout beer and beat until the butter is melted. Add the eggs one at a time along with the vanilla extract and beat until the mixture is smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. In a large bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, black pepper and salt and whisk to combine. Turn the speed down to medium-low and add the flour mixture until just combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the sour cream to incorporate. Pour the batter into the bundt pan and place in the oven to bake for about 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes before flipping the cake onto a baking rack and turning it right side up. Cut into slices and serve with the sour cream whipped topping.

Sour Cream Whipped Topping:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (chilled)
1/4 cup sour cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the heavy whipping cream and whip until medium peaks form. Add sour cream and gently fold to incorporate. Tip: Store cake wrapped in plastic wrap after serving. Cake will be good for 4-5 days.

We did not have a bunt cake pan so made this in a normal 9 x 12 inch baking pan and cut it into squares. This cake is heavy so a normal frosting would be too much. You, like us, may never have used sour cream in a whipped topping before but this one came out wonderful. It is not overly sweet, which tastes wonderful along with the peppery chocolate of the cake.

A Rose Story cocktail pairs nicely with the cake for pleasant dessert.

A Rose Story
Created by Hendrick’s Gin Ambassador Erik Andersson
2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
1 part rose petal jam
1/2 part lemon juice
1/2 part sugar syrup
1 part cranberry juice
1 part egg white

Double shake and pour into a champagne glass. Garnish with rose petals, a spray of orange bitters, and rose waters before serving.

Are you staying in to watch movies from the couch? This Valentine Popcorn Mix is just the thing.

Valentine Popcorn MixValentine Popcorn Mix
Courtesy of ReadySetEat
4 cups crispy corn cereal squares (If you use a mix of plain and chocolate, then just coat the plain ones as noted below and leave the chocolate as they are from the box.)
1 cup premier white morsels
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
8 drops red food coloring
1 bag (76.3 g) microwave popcorn
2 cups tiny pretzel twists, broken into pieces
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Line shallow baking pan with parchment paper. Place cereal in large bowl and set aside. Place morsels and oil in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high 30 seconds; stir. Microwave on high 30 seconds more or until softened; stir until completely melted. You can also melt the morsels in a pan on the stove by putting them in a small pan, then set it into a larger pan which is half filled with water. Heat on medium until morsels are melted.

Add food coloring to the melted morsels and stir until blended. Spoon mixture over cereal; then stir until well coated. Spread cereal mixture on pan, separating pieces. Refrigerate 5 minutes or until firm. Meanwhile, prepare popcorn according to package directions. Remove all unpopped kernels. Combine popped corn and pretzel pieces in an extra-large bowl. Place peanut butter in small microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high 30 seconds or until melted. Drizzle peanut butter over popcorn mixture; then toss to coat. Place confectioner’s sugar in large resealable food storage bag. Add popcorn mixture and shake to coat. Place popcorn mixture and coated cereal in large serving bowl. Add cranberries; toss gently to combine. Store leftovers in tightly sealed container.Montelobos’ Amigos Con Derechos

The perfect cocktail companion for the popcorn is the Montelobos’ Amigos Con Derechos (Spanish for ‘friends with benefits’).

Montelobos’ Amigos Con Derechos
1 ½ parts Montelobos mezcal
¾ part Cynar
¼ part St. Germain
2 dashes grapefruit bitters

Stir in a mixing glass with ice. Strain and serve up in a Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with grapefruit zest.

Recipes: 2017 Grammy Awards Cocktails and Food Ideas

Raspberry Tea Tini

This year’s Grammy Awards show is sure to bring out some of our favorite musicians in style and give us plenty of tunes to please our ears. Whether you’re couch dancing or cutting a rug on the living room floor, these cocktails and snack suggestions will rock the party.

To go with the anticipated tribute to Prince at this year’s show, we offer this cocktail inspired by him.

Cream
Courtesy of Coolhunting.com
2 parts Sailor Jerry rum
1 tsp. fig paste
1 tsp. condensed milk
4 parts cold brewed coffee

In a shaker tin, combine all ingredients. Hard shake and double strain over fresh ice. Serve immediately.

Maravillas
1.5 oz. Casa Noble Anejo tequilaMaravillas
.5 oz. Branca Mentha (We used crème de menthe for our version in the photo, which gave the cocktail a taste similar to a chocolate cherry mint candy.)
.5 oz. cherry liqueur (Luxardo works well)
.5 oz. Orgeat (Almond Syrup)
.5 oz. milk or cream chocolate bitters (Fee Brothers Is Good) Luxardo Preserved Maraschino Cherries

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well. Pour into a tall glass and place a cherry or two on top.

Pair a Cream or a Maravillas with blue cheese or brie on toast.

Ruffino’s Bubbles Over Bass
3 parts chilled Ruffino Prosecco
1 ½ part apple cider
1 part ginger liqueur

Combine ingredients into a flute. Lightly stir and garnish with a lemon peel.

Ruffino's Bubbles Over BassPair this cocktail with Mexican Wedding cookies or Russian Teacake cookies.

Betty Crocker Russian Teacakes
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup finely chopped nuts
¼ teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and the vanilla in large bowl. Stir in flour, nuts, and salt until dough holds together. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar; cool on wire rack. Roll in powdered sugar again.

Svedka’s Sweet SongSvedka's Sweet Song
1½ parts Svedka Vodka
1 part coffee liqueur
¼ cup vanilla ice cream
½ cup crushed ice
dollop whipped cream
melted chocolate

Combine ingredients except whipped cream and melted chocolate in a blender and blend for 20 seconds. Treat a sundae glass with melted chocolate drizzle, and dump blend in glass. Garnish and dust with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Striped straw optional.

It would be a fun touch to serve Svedka’s Sweet Touch with pieces of waffle cones dipped in chocolate.

Raspberry Tea Tini
1 ¾ oz. Van Gogh Raspberry Vodka
1 oz. sweet iced tea
¼ oz. fresh lemon juice

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.Dutch Caramel Vodka Bites

Dutch Caramel Vodka Bites
Created by Dawn Belisle, Delights by Dawn
1 12 oz. package of vanilla wafers
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 cup Van Gogh Dutch Caramel vodka
7 oz. melting chocolate (dark or milk)

Put wafers in a food processor and process until fine. If you don’t have a food processor put wafers in a sealable gallon food bag and use a rolling pin to crush until fine. Place wafer crumbs in a bowl and add confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup and Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka. Mix until well until combined. Using a small cookie scoop or a heaping tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll into a 1 inch bite-sized ball.

Melt the chocolate and then dip the bites into the chocolate until covered entirely. Place dipped bites on a wax sheet of paper to harden. To decorate, add sprinkles or colored sugar before the chocolate coating hardens. Store the Dutch Caramel Vodka Bites in an airtight container. Bites are best when made ahead of time and stored for 1 to 3 days to allow all the flavors to meld before serving.

Kim Crawford’s Perfect PitchKim Crawford's Perfect Pitch
1.5 oz. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
1 oz. Svedka Vanilla
1 oz. matcha tea syrup (1 part brewed matcha tea combine with 1 part white sugar until dissolved. Cool before using and store refrigerated.)
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. lime juice
1 oz. egg white
1 oz. cream Soda

Combine all ingredients in a shaker without ice and shake dry. Then add ice and shake again. Strain into a highball glass and pour soda in a careful stream toward the center of the glass. The head of the drink will rise above the glass lip just slightly when it is ready.

Something savory fits best with the Perfect Pitch so toast up a pan of breaded mozzarella sticks and jalapeño poppers. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce like ranch dressing or marinara sauce.

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