Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Robby's Afternoon Medicine

Robby's Afternoon Medicine

    To celebrate my little brothers (Jenny's brother but now i consider him my brother now as well) birthday I decided to dedicate this Cocktail to you Mr. Robby Limas.  I am so happy to have this man in my corner, I look up to him in a different way then people do.  He shows the strength, sweetness, and spice that makes a man a man.  Like this Cocktail, Robby stands out above the rest (I would be lying if I didn't say you are my family and I know you are going to be the best at whatever you decide to do). Thank you Robby for letting me be part of your amazing family, and your journey through life, I have your back in anything you ever need.  I love you little brother and happy birthday.
    With the ingredients in this Cocktail I decided to use the best for the best.  When choosing the Vodka I picked out my favorite, Tito's Handmade Vodka.  When choosing the fruit you always want to pick the freshest available (if you can ask your produce person if they know how fresh the fruit is).  Strawberries should be a bright red and firm (you don't want to use soft, dark spotted strawberries).  Same with the kiwi fruit, you want semi firm fruit that when you press your finger against the skin it gives a little (just like a ripe avocado feels).  I like using a premade Tri-Pepper blend which you can find in any spice section of your favorite grocery store.  Using fresh lime juice is always best I also found that you can substitute using the 100% lime juice (you know the juice that comes in the bottle shaped like a lime) it lasts longer than keeping fresh limes in your fridge.  
    Now it is time to give you the recipe for this amazing Cocktail.

  • 1 1/2 oz Vodka

  • 1 whole lime juiced

  • dash of Tri-Pepper blend seasoning

  • 1/2 fresh strawberry sliced in quarters

  • Sliced Kiwi for garnish

    Chill Martini glass with ice water and set aside.  In Cocktail Shaker add Vodka, lime juice, Tri-Pepper blend, and Strawberry, muddle until strawberry is crushed, you aren't trying to make strawberry mash, just trying to break up the strawberry.  Add ice to Cocktail Shaker and hard shake for 5-10 seconds.  Discard ice water from Martini Glass and strain Cocktail into Martini Glass.  Garnish with your sliced Kiwi Fruit.  Now its time to enjoy your Cocktail.  Always remember that you are making Cocktails to enjoy, and best way to enjoy  is with friends and family.  Life is to short not to give thanks to the people around us that make a difference in your life.  Never dwell in the past, life is a gift so always live in the present.  LOVE LIFE and Friends, never let the little things get in your way, if you think life is getting hard, call a friend and tell them you want to celebrate them, invite them over and ENJOY a Cocktail with them and always remember to LAUGH

Sunday, June 26, 2016



    "I've never tasted anything so clean. They made me feel civilized." From Ernest Hemingway novel Farewell to Arms, to the most famous James Bond line "Shaken not Stirred." And even my favorite "He just knows how I like my Martinis... Full of Alcohol." by the perfect Mans-Man Homer Simpson.  The Martini has become one of the most Iconic Cocktails in the World.  The history of this fantastic Cocktail has more stories than quotes about it, but no matter what version you want to believe one thing is for sure, this Cocktail has and will forever be the best way to taste the perfection of the Alcohol in it (all the original versions contained Gin.  It wasn't till the early 1950's that Vodka became popular.)  Nowadays, you will find Thousands of Cocktails calling themselves a "Martini" (you have your Appletini, Lemon Drop Martini, Chocolatetini, or any other drink special someone comes up with when they can't think of an original name) those names usually have to do more with the Cocktail Glass then the ingredients.  
    When it comes to mixing the Martini (this part is VERY important to follow), NEVER shake Gin Martinis (shaking a Gin Martini bruises the Juniper used to make the Gin and will ruin the flavor and integrity of the Cocktail).  When shaking a Vodka Martini you are wanting to shake it so that when you pour it into your chilled Martini Glass it looks almost as if a layer of ice is sitting in the glass.  When chilling the Martini Glass the best way is fill the glass full of ice and add water or soda water to it (adding the carbonated soda water helps chill the glass a little faster than plain water), let the glass chill while building your Cocktail and dumping out the ice water before finishing the Cocktail.
    When building this Cocktail I do believe that the Alcohol used should be of better quality (just because you are actually enjoying the Vodka or Gin at its truest form so going cheap will not give you the experience you deserve while drinking a Martini).  So, when choosing a Gin or Vodka (I prefer Beefeater Gin for its drier taste and Ketel One or Titos as my Vodka).  The Dry Vermouth you use is up to you, the prices for Vermouth can be fairly inexpensive to more than the Liquor you have chosen (so I normally go for the cheaper since you really are just "washing" the Martini Glass before you finish building the Cocktail).  The Green Olives are obvious but the way to make your Martini stand out is try stuffing your Olive with an ingredient that compliments the Cocktail (Blue Cheese, Garlic, Jalapeno, or Anchovies are a few) experiment and find what ingredients fit your taste buds.  
    You are now ready for the Ingredients to recreate your version of the fantastic Cocktail

  • 2 oz of your favorite Gin or Vodka

  • Dash of Vermouth to "wash" your Martini Glass

  • 2 Green Olives for garnish

    Chill your Martini Glass by filling it with ice water.  In Cocktail Shaker add Alcohol, if using Gin take a spoon and stir 20 times to chill the Gin.  If using Vodka hard shake for 5-10 seconds.  Dump the ice water out of the Martini Glass and add your dash of Dry Vermouth, swirl around the glass and discard.  Strain your chilled Alcohol into Martini Glass and garnish with Green Olives (I really think Blue Cheese stuffed Olives taste best).  As always remember to enjoy your new Cocktail with close friends and family.  Cherish everyday by laughing, loving, and smiling with people who make you feel good.

     I know what you are thinking, wait what about the other true types of Martinis? I will give you the quick run down for each one

Dirty Martini- Instead of Dry Vermouth create this cocktail by using equal parts of Olive juice and Vodka (2 oz of each) for an Extra Dirty Martini use 2.5 oz of Olive Juice to 2 oz Vodka

Wet Martini- When making a Wet Martini add a little bit of Dry Vermouth to the Cocktail Shaker (more Vermouth makes it wet)

Dry Martini- When making a Dry Martini use a very small amount of Vermouth if any.  Some times just riming the glass with a napkin dipped in Vermouth is best

Extra Dry Martini- When making an Extra Dry Martini just wave a napkin that has Dry Vermouth on it over the Martini Glass.  The less Dry Vermouth the better.

Gibson- Yes a Gibson is still a Martini, instead of Olives the Gibson uses a Cocktail Onion as its garnish.

Vesper-  Try this version made with equal parts Gin, Vodka, and Lillet Blanc (I use a dry white wine in place of this) and garnished with a Lemon twist.

    There you go and ENJOY any of these versions with all of your close friends and family members!!!!  

Sunday, June 19, 2016



    Coming out of New Orleans, this Cocktail is absolutely one of the most complex and refreshing Cocktails I have had in a long time.  My good friend Ben moved down to Louisiana and had a Sazerac for the first time and it made me want to share this amazing Cocktail with all my friends, so thank you Ben for enjoying great Cocktails and inspiring me to share this Cocktail with everyone.  This Cocktail asks for a specific type of bitters "Peychauds" (comparable to Angostura biters, but with a lighter body, sweeter taste, and more floral aroma).  What makes this Cocktail stand alone from other great Cocktails is in it's preparation, it uses two Old Fashioned glasses, with the first being swirled with a dash of Absinthe, while the other Old Fashioned glass is used to build the Cocktail which is then strained into the Absinthe washed glass.  
   Now, you need to know the ingredients needed to recreate this fantastic Cocktail.  When I make my Sazerac I use Rye Whiskey (in New Orleans you may find Cognac being used in some variations of the Cocktail) typically I choose Old Overholt Rye or Bulliet Rye (Old Overholt Rye is a very tasty under $20 bottle of Rye Whiskey).  Next you NEED Peychauds bitters (this is the only time you will here me say don't change this bitters in your Cocktail, it makes the Cocktail).  Absinthe is used in this Cocktail but sometimes this can be very costly, so there are a few substitutions you can use Pernod or Herbsaint are most common (Herbsaint is most common in New Orleans due to the absence of absinthe in the U.S. between 1912 to 2007).  Always use your homemade Simple Syrup (recipe in earlier Blog).  I use a lemon twist for my garnish for the fresh aromatics it gives off.
     And now you are ready for the recipe for the Sazerac Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz of your favorite Rye Whiskey

  • 1/4 oz Homemade Simple Syrup

  • Dash of Absinthe for washing the glass

  • 2 dashes of Peychauds Bitters
      In an Old Fashioned Glass wash with Absinthe (this means pour a dash of Absinthe into glass and swirl around a few times). Add ice to glass and set aside.  In second Old Fashioned glass, add ice, Rye Whiskey, Simple Syrup, and Peychauds Bitters.  Dump the ice and Absinthe out of the first Old Fashioned glass, pour prepared Cocktail from second glass into the first chilled glass.  Garnish with Lemon twist.  Finally since we are recreating a New Orleans staple you really need to ENJOY this Cocktail with close friends and family.  Life happens and we as people should never let a day slip away from spending time with people that make our life better and happier.  Love Life Always!!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hess's Kumquat Refresher


    My Best friend Matt Hess was my inspiration for this cocktail.  For some reason I knew he would enjoy a cocktail with Kumquats, this drink is a lot like him, kinda silly (just say the word Kumquat without smiling), down to earth (this is how Thyme is grown), and someone who has always brought out the best of times (what happens when you enjoy this cocktail with friends and family).  When we think of how we should spend time with loved ones, he has always been my go to.  I wanted to show my home skillet (inside joke for us) that ever since I have been able to call him family, my life has just been outstanding and I can't wait for all the great times we will have.  So, when you make this cocktail, find your friends that have been there through thick and thin and see how many amazing memories you can make and enjoy.
    Now, is when I explain to you what you need to repeat this delicious cocktail.  You are going to need Vodka (as always I enjoy Tito's Handmade Vodka), when it comes to Thyme and mint, try and get the freshest available (if you grow your own, make sure you wash it before using it, even if you buy it from a local Farmers Market, always rinse off the Thyme before using).  Fresh Kumquats should be firm to the touch and bright orange with no bruising or dark spots, always use your handmade Simple Syrup (the recipe is in an earlier blog so feel free to use that as a cheat sheet for yours). 
    Alright, now I think you are ready for the measurements used in this Cocktail.

  • 1 1/2 oz Vodka (use your favorite Vodka)

  • 2 Kumquats cut in half 

  • 2 fresh mint leaves and 2 Thyme leaves pulled from the stalk
  • 1/2 oz Homemade Simple Syrup

    Rim your Rocks glass with Mint for Aromatics, Once you've rimmed the glass add Kumquats, Mint, Thyme, and Simple Syrup to glass and give a quick muddle (you don't want to muddle so the Mint and Thyme turn into mush, just muddle enough to help bring oils out of Herbs).  Add ice and Vodka to Rocks glass, pour Cocktail into Shaker and give hard shake for 5 seconds.  Pour entire Cocktail back into Rocks glass.  Finally, ALWAYS enjoy these Cocktails with your family and friends.  Please don't forget that life is supposed to be enjoyed every day, even if it is for an hour make sure you always take time to sit back and enjoy yourself!!!!!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Strawbasil Fields


    What hot Summer day doesn't consist of Strawberries and Basil.  No matter where you live, Summer doesn't happen until fresh strawberries are picked and Basil is grown.  When you combine these two flavors together, your taste buds receive some of the most refreshing sensation you will experience.  When I first came up with this cocktail a few years ago, people thought I was crazy because I added a pinch of fresh ground pepper.  What most people don't understand is that the pepper will bring the natural juices from the Strawberry as well as open up the Basil.  It ended up being a match made for the ages.
    Now that you know the history, it is time for me to share the ingredients needed to remake this refreshing, mouth watering, delicious cocktail.  We always start with the fresh ingredients, if you are lucky enough to have your own Strawberry and Basil plants, then you already have the freshest around (if your a normal human then getting your produce from a local farmers market or local grocery store will do).  When choosing a fresh Strawberry remember these tips to make sure it is the freshest you can get (Firm to the touch,bright red, free of bruising or mold, and the caps should be bright green and fully attached to the stem).  For the Basil always look for fresh vibrant green leaves with no dark spots of withering (you can store your basil by layering it in damp paper towels in a zip lock bag for up to four days).  For the best part of the cocktail, the vodka ( I will always stand by Titos Handmade Vodka) choose the perfect one for you but never go to cheap because of the hangover the super cheap vodkas give you (you know the one's that are named after a time of day).  Pure sugar cane is best to use in this recipe and not your homemade Simple Syrup because fresh sugar cotes to the Strawberries bringing out extra sweetness.  Always use your fresh lime juice you have in your bar, and with the black pepper I really like to grind my own into the cocktail because I know exactly how much I am putting in.
    I think you are ready to get the recipe for this amazing Summer Cocktail.

  • 2 oz of your favorite Vodka ( I choose Titos)

  • 2 Basil leaves torn in half

  • 1 Fresh Strawberry cut in quarters

  • 1/2 oz Pure Sugar Cane

  • 1/2 a lime juiced

  • Dash Black Pepper (2 grinds on a grinder will work) 

    Always rim your glassware with Basil to bring out more aromatics, in Old Fashioned glass, put the Strawberry, Basil, Sugar, Black Pepper, Lime juice, and a dash of water (this helps dissolve the sugar).  Muddle lightly to break up the Basil and Strawberry (we are not trying to make Jam, just releasing the flavors), add your Vodka and ice, pour mixture into Cocktail Shaker and hard shake for 5-10 times.  Strain Cocktail into an iced Old Fashioned glass and garnish with Fresh Strawberry slice.
     Finally, as always remember to enjoy your cocktails with people that make you happy and ALWAYS ENJOY LIFE.  Life is to short not to enjoy an amazing cocktail with the ones we love!!!!!  

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Turn Down For What!!!


   With the Holiday weekend coming up I really wanted to share a cocktail that means a lot to me, especially when it comes to spending a weekend with friends and family.  The weekend began June 13, 2014, a weekend that would change a group of men's lives forever.  It was my brothers bachelor party and one of the greatest celebrations any of us would experience.  This cocktail I created was because of my brother Nic Angell.  Like that amazing weekend we all had in Lake Tahoe, this cocktail will be sure to add memories (lots of them) with any group of people you decide to spend the Holiday weekend with.  We sometimes forget what celebrating really means, and then something happens inside that takes us back to pure happiness (with all of the crazy things going on in the world I believe that everyone needs to stop sometimes and just spend time with people that really matter to you), this cocktail will remind you that joy comes from celebrating with people you truly want to be around.  Trust me, you will have stories upon stories, and who knows maybe you will have a memory of a celebratory weekend like the one I will never forget thanks to my older brother and his friends.
    Now that you know the history behind this wonderful cocktail, I will share with you what you will need to recreate it.  First I will start with the liquors we will be using and the importance of good spirits.  When it comes to the Vodka (I really like using Titos because it is very smooth and made in Texas not imported so the price isn't inflated) if you have your own favorite Vodka please feel free to use it.  When choosing a Rum for the float ( I love Appleton Estate Reserve because of the slight fruit hints you get from the aroma mix well with the fresh fruit juice) you want to choose one that has great aromatics and a slight fruit to vanilla taste.  Again, Cointreau is a very good Triple Sec so unless you are drinking it "neat", Triple Sec adds the same flavor.  Always use fresh fruits when available, Fresh Grapefruit juice is really good but, you can find cans of 100% grapefruit juice that work just as well.  Personally, I enjoy Dole Pineapple Orange juice in my cocktails just because its almost impossible to get really good fresh Pineapple juice.  Always use your homemade simple syrup (recipe in an earlier Blog) that you already have stocked in your bar. 
    I think you are now ready for the recipe of this fantastic cocktail.

  • 1 1/2 oz Vodka

  • 1/2 oz Triple Sec (Cointreau if you want)

  • 1/4 oz Grapefruit Juice

  • 1/4 oz Pineapple Orange Juice

  • 1/2 oz Homemade Simple Syrup

  • 1/4 oz Dark Rum for float  

    In a cocktail shaker, add Vodka, Triple Sec, Grapefruit Juice, Pineapple Orange Juice, Simple Syrup, and ice.  Hard shake for 5-10 seconds, pour entire mixed cocktail into Pint Glass and top with more ice.  With the back of a spoon, slowly pour Dark Rum over the top of the cocktail.  Garnish with a lime twist or orange slice (this garnish can change depending on your preference).  Finally, make a cheers with the family and friends you are enjoying the cocktail with and remember ENJOY LIFE!!!!!!