Monthly Archives: November 2012

Friday Feature Cocktail: Peppermint Mocha Martini

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is already the first day of December! December means snowfall, the holidays, and my favorite-Peppermint Mocha Lattes. I am not normally a latte drinker, if you hand me a regular coffee from any diner I will enjoy it just as much as a fancy coffee brewed from any ‘must go-to’ café, but once the holidays roll around I crave Peppermint Mocha Lattes! I blame this addiction on my college days when I would be up all night writing papers and cramming for finals before the holiday break (don’t be fooled, I was not an over-achiever, I just had a horrible problem with procrastination), and these lattes were my secret weapon for staying awake.

Now when December is here I can relax, sip happily and toast to the holiday season with my favorite holiday combo of Peppermint and Mocha mixed together in a cocktail.

Peppermint Mocha Martini

Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for at least ten seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Another delicious way to make a boozy twist on the Peppermint Mocha Latte is by adding Kahlúa’s holiday limited edition, Peppermint Mocha, to your coffee or hot chocolate. Their Peppermint Mocha offering is amazing and I highly suggest stocking up on it before it’s gone!



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See ya next year Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving, full of family, friends, food, and of course, booze! I personally couldn’t have had a better Thanksgiving week, and am already looking forward to next year’s Thanksgiving. But now that I have had a few days to mourn Thanksgiving’s end, I am ready for the Holiday Season! Here in CT there have been rumors of snow for tomorrow (we already had 6 inches a few weeks ago, but luckily I missed that storm as I was in Kansas City for BarSmarts Live, you can read about that trip here)

This Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Midnight Martini is perfect to enjoy during the cold weather!

Tonight to prepare for the cold (and possible snow) to come I plan on cozying up by a fire with a nice Caramel Apple Midnight Martini. This is a great recipe for the winter, and also a great martini to serve at holiday parties, which are sure to start popping up shortly!

Caramel Apple Midnight Martini

Shake with ice and serve in a chilled martini glass.

Enjoy and bring on the Holidays 🙂


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3 Must Have Thanksgiving Drinks!

Hiram Walker Pumpkin Pie Martini, perfect for Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I for one am extremely excited! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and while I do love Christmas and the ‘season of giving’, how can you beat a holiday that is comprised of eating, drinking, watching football and then napping when all of those activities become too strenuous?! The answer is you can’t…

Here are 3 cocktail recipes that fit in perfectly with the activities of the holiday:

The Pumpkin Pie Martini: You all know the joke…and especially on Thanksgiving it’s completely acceptable to ‘have your cake (pie) and drink it too!’

Combine ingredients in shaker w/ ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into martini glass. Garnish and serve.

The CosmoWHIPolitan: If pumpkin isn’t really your thing, this sweet treat is the perfect drink to accompany a day of feasting.

  • 1 part Hiram Walker Whipped Liqueur
  • 1.5 parts Hiram Walker Triple Sec
  • 1.5 parts Cranberry Juice
  • .5 part fresh lime juice

Shake all ingredients in shaker and strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with an orange twist.

The Pumpkintini: If pumpkin is your thing, but you need to save more room for the actual dessert, this martini is a little less sweet than the Pumpkin Pie Martini…but still delicious!

  • 1 part Absolut Vodka (Regular or Vanilia)
  • 1 part Hiram Walker Pumpkin Spice Liqueur

Shake and strain into a martini glass. Sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon.

Enjoy and happy feasting/drinking/napping everyone 🙂


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BarSmarts Advanced Kansas City: Part 1

Kansas City view from the hotel!

In the hallway outside of Spectators Bar in Kansas City, over 130 anxious BarSmarts students are rattling off ingredients and drink names from flash cards and work books, getting in any last minute cramming  they can before they are off to take their BarSmarts exams (BarSmarts is a bartender education and certification program that was created by Pernod Ricard USA and BAR, for more information look HERE). In just a few hours, in the same bar they are standing outside of, the tests will be over and the BAR Partners (Dale DeGroff, Doug Frost, Steven Olson, F. Paul Pacult, Andy Seymour and David Wondrich) will be buying everyone a celebratory shot of Jameson, as promised by Doug Frost during the morning’s General Session. Today wasn’t solely about passing the exam; it was about the information and celebration of the cocktail community. (Although passing and becoming BarSmarts certified, as well as a member of the USBG, is a prize that everyone was hoping to receive!)

Steve Olsen and Paul Pacult leading the tasting

The morning started with the General Sessions, and from 9-11 am, Steve, Doug and Paul took the group through an extensive blind tasting of 6 spirits(all 6 spirits were from Pernod Ricard’s amazing portfolio, so don’t feel too bad for these guys), refreshing everything these students had been practicing in the weeks leading up to the test. The BAR Partners have turned the process of blind tasting into an art form, identifying each individual scent and flavor of the spirits. The students had clearly done their homework, and were shouting out what they could detect within the spirits as well, and they all sounded ready to ace the blind tasting portion of their exam.

Andy Seymour and Dale DeGroff discussing bar tools

From 11:30-1 Andy, Dale and Dave took us through a history lesson of cocktails and bar tools. I was never a huge history buff when I was in school, but I could’ve listened to these guys for hours.Their knowledge of the industry and the culture of the cocktail community was incredible, and their passion to share this information with everyone made listening even more enjoyable (although the punches that Mr. DeGroff and Mr. Wondrich made to accompany their discussion made listening more enjoyable as well!)

Wondrich and 2 bottles of Jameson ready to make punch!

After the morning sessions were over it was time for lunch, which was simply a large room full of nervous bartenders rushing to finish their sandwiches so they could squeeze in some more studying before the exam. I have never seen a more serious group of bartenders, which goes to show just how important passing their certification was!  Just before 2 o’clock it was time for the tests…

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Celebrating Veteran’s Day with a ‘Homecoming Hero’

Today I will be raising my glass to toast our veterans, and those who are still serving our country. As the granddaughter of two WWII veterans, and a friend of many who are still serving our country today, I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all who have/are/will serve!

This one’s for you:

Homecoming Hero

Serve over ice in a rocks glass, garnish with a cherry.

Cheers and thank you veterans!


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Friday Feature Cocktail: The HW Trifecta

As I mentioned a couple weeks back, I was put in charge of planning the cocktail menu for my annual pre-Thanksgiving dinner that I will be having with my old pals I went to college with (way back in the day). In my quest to find the perfect drinks for a Thanksgiving Day celebration, I have turned my colleagues into my guinea pigs as I experiment with the various liqueurs, schnapps and spirits we have hanging around at the office bar (don’t worry I don’t have to twist their arms too much to do this for me)!

This week I decided to see what would taste better with Hiram Walker Pumpkin Spice Liqueur, Hiram Walker’s Peppermint Schnapps or Original Cinn Cinnamon Schnapps. After experimenting and polling the coworkers, a combination of all three was declared the winner, and The HW Trifecta Shot is this week’s Friday Feature Cocktail Shot.

The best of Hiram Walker in one delicious shot!

The HW Trifecta

Shake with ice and pour into shot glass.

This shot, like the Fluffy Pumpkin Pie Shooter, is a very sweet one, so this would also work great as an after dinner liquid dessert if you’re too full from the turkey and stuffing to even touch the real desserts (I know, who am I kidding, there’s always room for the dessert).  Since Thanksgiving is a time for indulgence, you might as well indulge with your drinks!



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