When Life Hands You Lemons…

You shake those babies up! The Lemon Drop martini is one of those wonderful sweet and sour bevvies that is perfect for a hot summer day. Even though we’re slipping into fall, I don’t think anyone will argue that a lemony libation is out of season. The best Lemon Drop we’ve had in a restaurant was at Bogey’s at the Hotel DeFuniak–a quaint little B&B (they still used actual keys when we were last there) with a room that is supposedly haunted. (If I’d only known that when I made our reservation I’d have requested that one, instead!) Todd won the drink order*,
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It’s Very Easy in the Keys

A couple years ago, at my now-sister-in-law’s graduation dinner and engagement, I ordered a delightful cocktail: the Key Lime Pie. It was dessert in a glass. And ever since then I’ve wanted to recreate it. This is a prime opportunity, don’t you think? Key Lime Pie martinis are quite common and I easily found 7 recipes within half a page of Google results. There was a unanimous agreement that vanilla vodka is the perfect base for this cocktail (and who am I to argue in the face of vanilla vodka?) but from there the ingredients diverged quite a bit. Some
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Have Your Dessert (Cocktail) First!

Not that I’d know anything about testing out a super-indulgent cocktail recipe before supper. And if I were to do such a thing, it’s only be to take advantage of the light. Let’s get down to the business of the G-cocktail, shall we? Which just happened to be inspired by a certain special-occasion dessert. For those unfamiliar, the groom’s cake is a particularly Southern wedding tradition that is, thankfully, spreading thanks to the global nature of wedding blogs and reality television. An alternative to the (frequently) dry, white wedding cake, the groom’s cake was usually chocolate but, really, these days can be any size, shape or
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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forest

When contemplating this week’s letter, the first thing to come to mind was Frangelico–the wonderful hazelnut liqueur that comes in a bottle shaped like a Franciscan monk, complete with a rope belt. But a single ingredient a cocktail does not make. So while supper simmers I have to ponder what else to put with the nutty Friar. Oooh, Friar? As in, perhaps, Friar Tuck? As in Robin Hood? This calls for some serious research via my DVD library. And I’m not talking about the Kevin Costner version, either. My favorite Robin Hood is the animated one from 1973. But how was this going to
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Beware the Hag With the Poisoned Apple

Welcome to the first of our new Alphatini series where we take a look at 26 varieties of the classic martini and come up with the best possible version of each, maybe even creating some new ones on the way. ~~~oOo~~~ A is for Apple If we, in our gin-soaked haze, remember nothing else from those early learning years it’s that A is indeed for apple. That big, red, juicy fruit purported to keep the doctor away with one a day, win us extra points with the teacher and even find the first initial of our true love in it’s
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50 Shots of America–Alaska

I think it’s safe to say that more people know more about Alaska these days (thanks to shows like Ice Road Truckers, Gold Rush Alaska and, of course, the Palin family escapades in and out of the political arena) than they ever did when all we had was Northern Exposure, Jack London and the Iditarod to shape our opinions of the 49th state. Back in Middle School (you may know of it as Junior High), we had a transfer student from Alaska and the one thing I remember her saying, difference-wise between there and here was that she was shocked
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50 Shots of America–West Virginia

Gold and Delicious I thought we were done with the east coast last time! Looks like I was mistaken. Again. Turns out the powers that be in the state of Virginia were having some issues within themselves while the country as a whole was in a bit of an uproar. The idea that Virginia was going to secede from the Union didn’t sit too well with some folks in the western counties so they decided they’d just take themselves out of it and create their own rival state government (which was happily acknowledged by the Federal powers that be). On
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50 Shots of America–Minnesota

Clouds in my Curacao Minnesota may well be the North Star State and the Land of 10.000 Lakes (actually 11,842–that just doesn’t roll off the tongue as easy) but after reading up on our 32nd state I’m more inclined to think of it as the shopping state! Did you know the first indoor shopping mall opened there and that Bloomington is currently home to Mall of America, a mall as big as 78 football fields?! Now that’s what I’m talking about! It’s also known as the Land of Sky-Blue Waters (Minnesota means cloudy water or sky-tinted water in Dakota) and
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50 Shots of America–Michigan

On the cruise last January one of the couples we shared our dinner table with was from Michigan. The demonstrated exactly where by holding up their right hand and using it as a visual aid. Apparently this is a regular thing for Michiganders as the lower peninsula does resemble a mitten. (The UP–Upper Peninsula–is sometimes considered the bridge.) Because of this, the name for today’s cocktail came before anything else: Talk to the Hand 4 fresh Cherries, 3 stemmed 3/4 oz Vanilla Vodka 1/4 oz Kirschwasser 1.5 oz Ginger Ale* Muddle the 3 stemmed cherries with the vodka and kirsch
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50 Shots of America–Maine

Have a drink with Louie the Lobster (a leftover party favor from my 30th birthday party where he and his buddies were Crawfish Impersonators–it was a Bayou-themed party) The Pine Tree State became the 23rd state of the Union on March 15, 1820, as part of the Missouri Compromise in order to balance the number of slave and free states. Before that, Maine was part of Massachusetts. Edna St. Vincent Millay, the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, was a native of Maine and wrote one of my favorite poems ever (and I’m not much for poetry)
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