Monthly Archives: November 2010

It’s Tea Time!

It’s Tea Time over at Served Raw, where they recently chose to feature four boozey punches highlighting different tea varietals, including one featured a couple of times on Cocktail Culture as a festive winter beverage, the Burroughs Festive Plum Punch. They also featured some mouth-watering recipes from The Bon Vivants, The Dizzy Fizz, and Cocktail Virgin Slut. But don’t just take my word for it. Give Served Raw’s article a read and see how the different varieties of tea pair up in punches. Here’s how they explained the tea time musing:

Booze makes everything more interesting, including tea time. These four recipes, created by experts and test-driven by us, prove that the best way to take your tea is with a heavy-handed pour of liquor, mounds of fresh fruit and heaping spoonfuls of simple syrup.

Here’s the recipe for my Earl Grey and Beefeater 24 punch contribution once again, if you’re looking for a recipe for an upcoming holiday party – it is a surefire way to impress your holiday guests and friends!

Burroughs Festive Plum Punch

1 part Beefeater 24 Gin
1 part Sloe Gin
1 ½ parts lemon juice
½ part orange juice
¼ part simple syrup
1/8 part marmalade
1 ½ parts Belvoir spiced berry cordial
3 parts chilled Earl Grey tea
2 parts Prosecco

Mix first 8 ingredients in a punch bowl and chill with ice. Add Prosecco and garnish with berries, citrus wheels, plums, and grated nutmeg.


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Happy Thanksgiving!

Ha, how I love the turkey wearing his Chuck’s… Wishing you, your family, and friends a very Happy Thanksgiving and smooth jump start to the holiday season. Now, go eat and drink up!!!


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Over the River…

Yup, this is pretty much the extent of my drawing capabilities. I even managed to capture the tailwinds! Watch yourself, Dr. B! 😉

11/29/10 Update: I’ve added in another “original” Original Cinn recipe that found its way into my inbox and onto the ‘interwebz’ over the weekend from The Pegu Blog. Please view the recipe link below.

…and through the woods just to make it to the Bradley International Airport. Then into security lines to be patted down by TSA, through the gate, up in the air, across 2,500 miles, and gain back two hours (I couldn’t think up a preposition that worked for that last tidbit…). All to make it to sunny Phoenix, Arizona for the Thanksgiving holiday and a couple of days of R&R. I’m sure I’ll be checking in on my email at some point, but please don’t fret if I don’t respond to you right away.

In the interim, I wanted to share a few “original” Original Cinn recipes that I have seen appear in the online cocktail community this month. I hope you’ll find these recipes calling for the new 90-proof Hiram Walker cinnamon schnapps as appetizing as I have and give them a try on this holiday weekend.

  • Santa Fe Barman Chris Milligan offers up the CINN-ful Celt
  • The Intoxicologist is in and serves up this remedy shot – adorably named the Cinnamini Bun
  • Doug Winship of The Pegu Blog created the “sweet and pleasantly spicy” Gin ‘n Cinn cocktail


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Photo from

I know I started writing about Thanksgiving and some holiday cocktails a few weeks ago, but this past Friday, it really hit me. I was walking to a meeting in New York City and heard that ruminating jingle of the Salvation Army holiday donation bells and I totally freaked out. Thanksgiving, and the start of the holiday season madness, is literally one week away. S#(t!

So now I’m mentally gearing up for Thanksgiving in the next two days and what comes to mind but the beautiful cornucopia decorations that seem to traditionally be associated with this holiday. And it’s dawned on me – isn’t a punch recipe a liquid cornucopia of sorts? (I think I may need to trademark that!) A combination of robust ingredients and all-natural flavorings, I’m finding that Hiram Walker’s liqueurs are going to be a welcomed addition to those most basic holiday punch recipes.  And, elevated by Dave Wondrich’s new book, Punch, recently hitting shelves, it seems punch is officially back in style!

Here’s a hearty recipe I’m anxious to try over Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday party season, although I’m hesitant it may be a little too heavy after what I assume will be another filling turkey dinner this weekend. I guess we’ll never know until we try!

Hiram Holiday Eggnog Punch

  • 1 part Hiram Walker Amaretto
  • 1/4 part Kahlúa
  • 5 parts Eggnog (I’m open to brand recommendations here, it seems everyone has different taste buds with this stuff…)

Top with whipped cream and grated nutmeg for garnish.

Do your family and friends have any drinking traditions for the Thanksgiving holiday? Please feel free to share your stories!



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He’s baaaack…

Yes, the wonder boy is back in action, starting promptly at 12:01 Friday morning, along with Ron, Hermione, and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. It’s the beginning of the end for the Harry Potter series of movies and, while I unfortunately don’t have tickets for tonight’s midnight showings, I’m giddy with excitement to see the new flick.

Every wizard needs his own boiling brew, so here’s a hot drink potion with warming cinnamon spices that even smarmy Professor Snape would stir up.

(Snape’s) Cinn and Pom Tea

  • 1 part Hiram Walker Original Cinn
  • 1 part pomegranate juice
  • 3 parts hot tea

Serve hot in a mug.

Alternately, you can chill the tea and build this drink in a Collins glass over ice. Simply refreshing!

Cheers to more movie and cocktail magic!


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¡Ay, que rico!

Falling perfectly in time with Día de los Muertos, NOTCOT has the full scoop on a fantastic looking Kahlúa event at New York City’s Zarela, where the rum-based coffee liqueur unveiled its newest ad campaign. Definitely give NOTCOT’s article a read for exclusive pictures of the Kahlúa cocktails, food pairings, and decorative ambiance that sets you directly in the heart of Veracruz, Mexico, where Kahlúa shares its deeply-rooted history.

Or, you can go directly to the fun stuff:

Screenshot of the new Kahlúa delicioso videos on


A visit to to the new Kahlúa website brings you to a series of delicioso videos that allude to the culture and spirit of all things Veracruz, including Kahlúa itself. There are also interactive links ranging from simple-to-make Kahlúa cocktails at home, to a downloadable new iPhone application.

What I’m finding most exciting through all this is the new holiday Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha. The limited edition product boasts a blend of 100% Arabica coffee beans, dark chocolate and cooling peppermint; I’m sure it’s warming qualities will come in handy for a spiked hot chocolate during the chilly winter months ahead of us. Mmmm….as the title implies, que rico indeed!


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The Walker Blackberry Cosmo

Ah, the cosmo.

I know that Sam has previously defended the cocktail, and I honestly have no qualms with it either. As a matter of fact, I’m happy to share another cosmopolitan variant today, that calls for the flavorful substitution of Hiram Walker’s Blackberry Brandy in the place of just plain ol’ vodka.   Here we find the Walker Blackberry Cosmo, which I’m finding to be a welcomed twist on what is surely (whether you like the color or not) considered a cocktail classic. Oooh, I’m thinking this can be a fun addition to bring to the Thanksgiving table!

Walker Blackberry Cosmo

  • 2 parts Hiram Walker Blackberry Brandy
  • 1 part Cranberry Juice
  • 3/4 part Hiram Walker Triple Sec
  • 3/4 part Lime Juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Are there other spins on the cosmopolitan that you like to serve? I’m always open to hear your exciting cocktail recipes!


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The Cinnamon Sidecar Strikes Again!

Are you familiar with the website Served Raw? If not, well, what are you still doing here? Go give them a read!

Wait, actually, don’t go yet! Let me tell you some more about them first.

San Fran-based Served Raw is all about sharing what’s new, crafty, and distinctive in the food and cocktail scenes, whether it be interviewing the “Genius” minds behind the stick or offering suggestions for inventive food and party tips. The Cinnamon-forward “Cidecar” recipe I wrote about last week, featuring Hiram Walker Original Cinn, is back in action again today; yet this time, I’m thrilled to say that Served Raw’s “Raw Bar” has the full scope of this new recipe’s ingenuity.

Ok, now go ahead and give their site a peek. 🙂


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A Lesson in Blended Scotch

I’m sure many of you have all sampled a blended Scotch whisky before, but have you ever tasted the individual components that make the whisky’s final blend?

Chivas Regal 18 with the different malt components tasted during the live Chivas tasting event: Islay 18, Longmorn 18, Grain 18, and Strathisla 18

A group of influential Scotch and spirits bloggers had the opportunity to do just that thanks in part to the team behind Chivas Regal. In early October, on a blustery afternoon in New York City that just had “Scotch” written all over it, many of us gathered together live in New York City where we were guided in our Scotch adventure by Chivas Brothers  Global Brand Ambassador Alex Robertson. I was lucky enough to be invited to the Eventi Hotel in NYC to participate in the live component and monitor the chat room feed throughout Alex’s highly educational tasting.

Meanwhile, throughout the country (Well, world actually. We had people participating in Canada and, ironically, in Glasgow, Scotland!), bloggers alike logged in to a chat room set up by Chivas to watch and listen to the action as it happened in New York. And on our way we went! Alex was our fantastic guide to breaking down the Chivas Regal 18 into its various 18-yo malt components and “rebuilding” it to better understand what makes up the final blend.

So what happens when you have one blended Scotch whisky, four regional malt components, and participants spanning time zones at least eight hours apart? Well, why don’t I just leave that to the experts…Here are the blog posts I’ve come across to date following the event, that all provide some fine-tuned insight (in no particular order). If I’m missing a post, please holler at me and I will add it on to this accruing list.

  • Geoff at Drink Spirits seemed to have a blog post updated within mere minutes of the tasting’s final slainte!
  • Blair at Good Spirits News compares whisky samples to The Beatles
  • 2500 miles wasn’t enough to keep Scotch Hobbyist Jeff from participating in the tasting
  • Hal of A Muddled Thought takes “A look at the blend behind Chivas 18”
  • Half the Whisk(e)y Apostle duo was live in NYC, but both authors provide invaluable insights
  • The gentlemen behind Whisky Party rallied the troops and whetted our appetites for the tasting ahead
  • Update 12/9/10 – NY Drinks Examiner Robert Haynes-Peterson remembers “Ol’ Blue Eyes” himself, Frank Sinatra, with a toast to Chivas 18.

I must also add that we had a fantastic cocktail created especially for this live event from PDT’s Lindsay Nader. Here is the delightful recipe:

The Crooner Fizz

  • 2 oz Chivas Regal 12
  • .5 oz Chairman’s Reserve Rum
  • .5 oz lemon juice
  • .5 oz raisin syrup

Add all ingredients to a champagne flute and top with Perrier Jouet Champagne.


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