Fresh grapefruit, anyone?

One of my favorite recipes (and inn guests as well) in my cookbook The Art of Breakfast is the Grapefruit Brûlée. And somehow I always find myself inspired to transform breakfast creations into cocktails for the “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” part of the day. I think it comes from the beautiful colors that fresh fruits provide. The brûlée recipe is a cold grapefruit half, a chilled vanilla cream sauce and it gets topped with raw sugar and torched (I love to use my torch). So how did I transform this into a cocktail? Quite simply. Fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit, vanilla vodka and a brown sugar rim. DELICIOUS!

Grapefruit Brûlé Cocktail

Grapefruit Brûlé Cocktail

My Favorite Cocktail: a French Gimlet

Those who follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter know that I love to post cocktail photos. But for me, it’s all about the creation. About mixing fresh flavors, citrus, herbs and sometimes, colors. And just like with cooking, I get inspired by colors when I think about creating a fun cocktail. But sometimes it’s all about the flavor. Sometimes the most flavor can be found in a cocktail with next to no color. That’s where my French Gimlet comes in. It’s a twist on the classic Gimlet, which is gin or vodka with fresh lime. My favorite French version dresses it up with the addition of the French elixir, St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur.  It’s sweet, floral and VERY aromatic. It works quite well with citrusy cocktails.

Just three ingredients go into this one – vodka or gin (like any Gimlet), St. Germain and fresh lime juice. I prefer gin in this one – the floral notes of the St. Germain offset the herbaceous notes of the gin, creating a beautifully balanced concoction!

If you like a less tart cocktail, use more St. Germain. If you like tart, like grapefruit, follow my recipe:

1 ¾ ounces Hendrick’s or Bombay Sapphire Gin

¾ ounces St. Germain elderflower liqueur

¾ ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

Pour all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime peel or lime slice.

Sip and savor!

1496112_10201644122718917_273197985_oNote: There are less expensive elderflower liqueurs on the market but what I’ve tasted is inferior, so it’s worth spending the extra $$ for St. Germain.

Creative infusion du jour…round two…

This is a Roasted Tomato Bloody Mary. I started with Twenty 2 vodka (high proof spirit). I roasted Roma tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. When dark and caramelized, I added them to a mason jar, tossed in some black peppercorns and filled the jar with Twenty 2 vodka. I let the jar sit in the fridge for about 72 hours, then strained and added filtered water (remember, this is 160 proof!!!).

So to my Bloody Mary today I added a splash of Twenty 2 chile pepper infused vodka, some Mrs. T’s mix, horseradish, lime and spicy banana peppers for garnish and ice. And here you are. Happy Sipping!

Tasting the Twenty 2 Vodka Infusions…

So this was my first taste of the lemon infusion I made a few days ago. I added cranberry juice, Twenty 2 vodka and my Twenty 2 lemon infusion. The result was a bright, not too sweet version of the classic Cosmo, but with lemon instead of orange.

Happy Sipping!

Let the Twenty 2 Vodka High Proof Spirit infusion testing begin…

So I began with several mason jars…and Twenty 2 Vodka‘s High Proof Spirit

The fun includes:

  • toasted marshmallow
  • oven roasted tomato and peppercorn (great for Bloody Marys)
  • grapefruit basil
  • pineapple
  • raspberry
  • blackberry
  • blueberry thai basil
  • lemon
  • chile pepper

Anyone who follows me knows that I like to use the torch in the kitchen. So I decided to burn some marshmallows to infuse. That’s where it started. There are marshmallow flavored vodkas out there but I wanted to try making my own, but with my favorite Maine spirit, Twenty 2. I like a good Bloody Mary now and then (think I learned that from my parents, thanks mom and dad!) and most of all, I love citrus and basil. Oh and let’s not forget about the sweet and spicy cocktails, so I had to do a spicy infusion!

The last five need another day or two and I’ll post about those later!

Next up? Cocktails using the infusions! Stay tuned…

Infusing with Twenty 2 Vodka’s High Proof Spirit…

So I’ve just begun to experiment with infusions. This one is grapefruit and basil with Twenty 2′s High Proof Spirit, made for infusions! I used the peel, some fruit and a few basil leaves. We’ll see what happens soon…stay tuned!

Looking for a colorful, citrusy cocktail?

If you’re like me, every now and then you like to sip on colorful cocktails that are fun and beautiful as well as tasty. I decided to buy a bottle of Hpnotiq, a French combination of fruit juices, French vodka and a touch of Cognac. So I decided to combine it with fresh lemon and St. Germain. I used 2 parts Hpnotiq to 1 part vodka, 1 part St. Germain, 1 large fresh squeezed lemon. I think next time I might even add a touch of Blue Curaçao for a deeper shade of blue. It’s a nice sweet and tart cocktail!