Santa Monica, CA: Winter in Los Angeles can be a conundrum of weather patterns, from chill winds and temperatures below 50 degrees, to a scorching heatwave that makes an appearance in January. As the temperature drops this holiday season and the wind carries a chill on its back, Red O Santa Monica introduces New Corporate Executive Chef Marc Johnson and invites guests to come in from the cold to enjoy their New Winter Dinner Menu!
Launched by James Beard Award Winner Red O Culinary Director Rick Bayless, Red O Santa Monica has earned a reputation for elevating the authentic flavors of Mexico, enchanting diners with its commitment to sourcing ingredients from local farms while using sustainable practices to create dishes that are unrivaled in quality and taste. Red O Restaurants is excited to announce the addition of Corporate Executive Chef Marc Johnson, who now oversees every Red O kitchen and is at the helm of all menu development. Chef Johnson’s experience in the culinary arts has given him the foundation to rise-up the ranks at such kitchens as Mastro’s Ocean Club, Studio at the Montage Resort, and Cotton Row with acclaimed Chef James Boyce. Focusing on Red O Santa Monica, Chef Johnson is shaking things up with his passionate drive. “Joining Red O Restaurants has been an amazing opportunity to push the limits of what I can do creatively in the kitchen,” says Chef Johnson.
With a focus on flavors from Central Mexico, Baja and MexiCali, Chef Johnson finds a balance with Red O Santa Monica mainstays that guests have come to love, while introducing new menu offerings with a seafood focal point. Hearty or light, all of Chef Johnson’s dishes feature fresh, vibrant ingredients reminiscent of the beachy lifestyle South of the Border. From the sauces to the tortillas all made fresh daily, nearly 100% of the food prepared at Red O Santa Monica is made in-house. “A lot of labor and passion goes into the process of bringing the components of these dishes to life,” says Johnson.
Given that it is the season of sharing, guests are encouraged to pick several appetizers for the table in the To Start portion of the menu. Sample deliciously familiar Latin American favorites with a luxurious spin, like the Fresh Corn & Goat Cheese Tamales made with fresh ground corn masa, Laura Chenel goat cheese, and tomatillo salsa, or Mary’s Duck Taquitos, comprised of slow-cooked duck, tomato-arbol chile sauce, and wild baby arugula. Taste the vivacity of the Yellowtail Aguachile, featuring hamachi yellowtail sashimi, spicy lime broth, avocado, knob onion, cucumber, and orange, or the stand-out crowd pleaser, Carnitas Empanada, with fresh corn masa, house cheese blend, and avocado tomatillo salsa.
For those seeking a hearty, meaty meal to keep them warm on a cool, brisk evening, there are a number of choices From The Grill, such as the 18oz Prime Cowboy Ribeye, accompanied by fried sweet plantains, crema, traditional black beans, and mole negro. Opt for the ultimate extravagance with the Tablita for Two, featuring a grilled 32 oz prime tomahawk chop, one pound Maine lobster tail, tajin butter, black beans, Mexican red rice, pico de gallo, classic guacamole, flour and fresh white corn tortillas. Hankering for some Baja realness? From the Sea offers delectable mains from the briny blue, such as the Chilean Sea Bass, wild from the cold waters of the southern hemisphere, boasting a moist and buttery flavor. Warm up with what Chef Johnson calls “a good amount of heat” with the Shrimp Diablo with white rice, black beans, arbol chile, white wine, tomato garlic butter.
Traditional Entrées expand your perceptions and taste buds on authentic South of the Border cooking, with culinary feats like the Mariscos Chile Relleno, a personal favorite of Chef Johnson’s, featuring Maine lobster, prawns, house cheese blend, white rice, black beans, and ancho-citrus sauce, or the Pollo Asado, comprised of roasted Jidori chicken breast, street corn, black beans, and mole poblano. For that extra oomph! of richness order up the Braised Short Rib Enchiladas accompanied by red guajillo chile sauce, melted jack cheese, frisee, Mexican red rice and beans, or the perfectly cooked Carnitas in Red Chile Guajillo, with orange-guajillo chile sauce, black beans, and jicama-citrus petite salad.
Enhance your meal with Sides to Share, with options from Fried Sweet Plantains, with cream and queso fresco, or an elevated take on Mexican Street Corn, with Poblano chile, cotija cheese, and cilantro. For an extra zip of greens there are Grilled Broccolini, accompanied with cotija cheese, chile flakes, garlic, and cilantro, or the Sautéed Baby Kale & Brussels Sprouts.
No need to hire a babysitter as Red O Santa Monica even has something For the Kids, like the delightfully cheesy Monterey Jack Cheese Quesadilla with corn tortilla, jack cheese, guacamole, white rice, and black beans, or the Grilled Chicken Tacos, accompanied with corn tortilla, chicken breast, jack cheese, guacamole, white rice, and black beans.
Finally, conclude your meal by indulging your sweet-tooth with a Dessert, such as the decedent Tres Leches, a cake soaked in three milks, topped with whipped cream, fresh assorted berries, and mint, or enjoy the Just-Made Churros, served with chocolate and Cajeta dipping sauces, or the dessert inspired by winter itself, the Plantain Cake, with cream cheese frosting, roasted plantain purée, pepita-toffee crunch, and Mexican chocolate sauce. Of course, no dinner is complete at Red O Santa Monica without the signature Passion Fruit Butter Cake with grilled strawberries, passion fruit custard, coconut crumble and coconut ice cream.
Simultaneously, quench your thirst and warm the blood with any one of Red O Santa Monica’s Margaritas, the quintessential Mexican libation. There is the Signature Red O Margarita, comprised of Cabo Wabo Blanco, o3 Orange Liqueur, house-made limonada, served over ice with a salt rim, and The Grant Margarita made with El Tesoro Añejo tequila, Mandarin Napoleon, fresh lime and agave, served up with red citrus salt and gold dusted dried pineapple slice, and a shot of El Tesoro Paradiso Extra Añejo tequila on the side.
For unparalleled libations of a different nature, peruse the Cocktail menu and enjoy mixology at its finest, like with La Moda, made with Sauza Hornitos Black Barrel Añejo Tequila, chocolate bitters and raw sugar served over ice with orange peel and star anise, or the Honey on Fire with El Silencio Espadin Mezcal, habanero-honey, lemon, and yellow chartreuse, served tall. Vanilla Sky offers guests a departure from the norm by serving it warm, with Patron XO Cafe, El Tesoro Reposado Tequila, Licor 43, Angostura Bitters, fresh coffee, cream, and canella. Over a hundred Tequilas, Tequila Tasting Flights, Draft Beer, Wine, and nonalcoholic favorites like a selection of Daily Agua Fresca are also available.
Featuring views of the glittering Pacific Ocean, Red O Santa Monica offers an atmosphere of sophistication and warmth, uniting harmoniously as friends and family gather to experience Red O Santa Monica’s New Winter Dinner Menu!
Red O Santa Monica is open for Dinner every Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and every Friday and Saturday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm. For more information or reservations, please visit www.redorestaurant.com or call Red O Santa Monica directly at 213.458.1600. Red O Restaurants also has two additional locations in Los Angeles and Newport Beach.
The award-winning restaurateurs behind BURG worked with a great slush company in Brooklyn called Kelvin Slush to help create this cocktail. It’s a blend of:
Honestly? Even though I’ve studied wine and spirits, been certified by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET 2) and made plenty of cocktails with Vermouth I had never 1. Studied Vermouth in a single spirit tasting sans cocktail or 2. Looked into what makes a Vermouth. So, considering that most of my readers are wine 101ers I will start there and then move onto a comparative tasting.
Drinking and flavor profile of Vermouth from Serious Eats, “An aperitif wine is nothing more than a wine (naturally) served before a meal as an appetite stimulant. Aperitif wines are often bittersweet and herbal. Aperitif wines are also fortified, which means they’re blended with additional alcohol, usually grape brandy. Finally, they’re aromatized, or flavored with botanicals, such as aromatic herbs, roots, and barks.”
According to Wikipedia, “Vermouth is produced by starting with a base of a neutral grape wine or unfermented wine must. Each manufacturer adds additional alcohol and a proprietary mixture of dry ingredients, consisting of aromatic herbs, roots and barks, to the base wine, base wine plus spirit or spirit only – which may be redistilled before adding to the wine or unfermented wine must. After the wine is aromatized and fortified, the vermouth is sweetened with either cane sugar or caramelized sugar, depending on the style.”
Vermouth Tasting (Aromas and flavors separated by ;. Tasted against Italy’s Martini and Rossi Vermouth – open for some time – for comparison.)
La Quintinye Vermouth Extra Dry (France)
Brown sugar, caramel candy, floral, bark, peat moss; bruised lemon, orange, ginger ale, mild acid/burn. I would see this one lending itself nicely to a martini.
(Martini and Rossi brand: Same color, not as floral, more bruised citrus fruit, whiskey, whiskey cask; more tart in the front palate, hazelnut, with long lasting fruit.)
La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge (France)
More coffee-colored than the M and R. Cherry cough syrup, anise, scented soap, rose petals, milk chocolate, coffee liqueur; lovely viscosity, licorice, roses, plums, raisins, red grapes, chocolate. I could easily sip this with a slice or orange (to go with that great fruit) all by itself.
(Martini and Rossi brand: Bruised red fruit, band aids, bark; same bruised fruit and that nut quality – hazelnut and walnut this time – that I found in their dry vermouth.)
2 oz. Whisky
1 oz. La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge
5 drops Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Spiced Gin & Tonic by Tad Carducci, Tippling Bros.
1 oz. G’Vine Nouaison Gin
1 oz. La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge
3 oz. Powell & Mahoney Spiced Grapefruit Tonic*
.5 oz. Fresh lemon juice
Build in highball glass with ice. Stir and garnish with a slice of fresh grapefruit.
La Poire by Jacques Bezuidenhout, Wildhawk
2 oz. La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Extra-Dry
½ oz. Mathilde Pear liqueur
½ oz. Lemon juice
2 Dashes Orange bitters
Lemon wheel & Rosemary sprig for garnish
Build in a highball glass with ice. Stir to mix ingredients. Garnish with lemon wheel and a sprig of rosemary.
Pairing the La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge
(Readers) may be surprised to learn that a well-crafted, sweet vermouth will handle the complex salty, spicy, and sweet notes found in most Asian cuisine.
France’s La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge (SRP: $14.99 for 375mL) is a prime example of a vermouth that will balance out the spicy chili pepper found in Chinese dishes, particularly Schezuan-style cuisine. It will also cut some of the salty soy flavors in dishes like fried rice and Kung-Pao Chicken, while that same saltiness will cut the sweetness of the fortified wine, making it quite a perfect pairing. More about La Quintinye below:
- Crafted from 28 botanicals and a blend of white wines
- Fortified w/ Pineau des Charentes – a renowned fortified wine made by mixing fresh grape juice and Cognac from a single estate
- Deep amber red
- Nose of licorice, prune, vanilla and chocolate-toffee notes
Sweet palate – rich and intense with caramel, burnt vanilla and warm spiced notes.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com
I met Oscar when he offered his bartending talents to benefit the recent Speed Rack competition in LA (Here is the link for that article and a 9 second video of Oscar!) and I noticed him for several reasons. First, he seemed to be the only male bartender shaking up drinks in a pink bandana like the contestants, second, I sipped one of his concoctions and found his skills to be the best of the day, and lastly, for his engaging personality and enthusiasm.
So, of course I friended him on Facebook, and invited him into the Eve Wine 101 group there. This was his first comment on the group’s page:
“Happy to be a part of this group as an enthusiast – but seeking more knowledge to be a sommelier to go hand in hand with my cocktails. Nice to meet you all. We’ll have to get together sometime to talk about craft cocktails and proper utilization of wine in them, looking forward to it!”
That got me to ask Oscar to tell me more about himself and about his craft cocktails with wine.
E101: Tell me about wine in cocktails, any projects you have going, and can you give readers at least one of your own recipes?
OT: We are seeing more leeway into wines, fortified wines, and wine based aperitifs in cocktails. Take a look at my American Beauty in my cocktails folder and take Audrey Saunder’s 50-50 or go to Alpenz.com.
Eric Seed is a friend of mine and we are always talking about raising the guests experience by having them enjoy different cocktails at different parts of their meal and pairing them as well.
Right now I’m working on a project and new concept here in San Diego. It will be a high-end pacific rim fusion cuisine based lounge and restaurant with pairings with everything from wine, spirits, and even cocktails and molecular mixology.
Here’s a great recipe for this time of the season to awaken the palate but at the same time can also be used during and after dinner with differing proportions:
1 1/2oz Paumanok Cabernet Franc
3/4oz fresh lemon juice
1/2oz Dow’s Ruby Port
1/2oz Clove Syrup (24oz simple syrup 1 1/2oz whole cloves, boil the syrup and add the cloves as it simmers and infuse for about 15 mins. then fine strain and refrigerate)
4 Kirsh Brandied Cherries (Luxardo Aged Cherries work well too)
1 egg white
Dry shake (to emulsify egg) all the ingredients except the syrup and cherries. Muddle the cherries and syrup then combine the two mixtures in the shaker and shake with ice. Strain over a chilled wine glass (in the fridge or chiller). Garnish with grated Nutmeg. Cheers!
I also have a pumpkin spiced dram that I came up with over weeks and weeks of fine tuning, it works well instead of the clove syrup for a more earthy slightly sweeter and aromatic flavor for an after dinner drink, of course.
E101: You mentioned your cocktails folder, where would readers find that?
OT: Well, I was actually referring to my facebook and some humble offerings. I do have a website (mindfulmixology.com) however at this time it is going under construction for launch later this month. As a consultant I have many recipes and techniques according to what fits my guests’ and clients’ needs. I feel that it is an art that should be enjoyed by everyone so I like to include recipes, methods, and techniques. There are many gifted individuals out there with wonderful recipes and techniques but I feel that it has to serve a purpose.
When I craft a cocktail I am mindful of my guests and make something that would create an experience for them, I don’t necessarily make what I think is good based on my own tastes. If this was the case I’d be making so many more negronis! My goal is to offer a taste and a bridge into this wonderful world that I am a part of, just like wines once the bug bites there is no turning back with endless possibilities!
E101: I’m presuming by your recipe that you create your own syrups? Is that common?
OT: Actually, yes! Syrups and infusions are a very personal touch on cocktails. We are seeing more and more mixologists come out with their own syrups, tinctures, and liqueurs.
The thing is, until recently homemade “rectifications” were considered illegal in California. Thanks to the mixologist community and a recent law that was passed, we can now offer these with confidence at public venues.
Caraway infused Campari, black cardamom infused Sherry, black pepper and jalapeno infused Chartreuse, clove infused Cognac, chai tea infused Vermouth, and similar spirits are now being proudly offered in cocktails all around California.
We’re even seeing more bitters and tincture competitions, after all these are what balances and rounds the taste in a lot of cocktails while also playing a part in aromatics in our “back” soft palate. I strongly encourage everyone to try out a few at home and use them as building blocks to create even more for the likes of offering something unique at their holiday parties. Here’s an Idea:
Pumpkin Spice Dram:
24oz. Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale (there are better pumpkin ales but these are relatively easy to find and it works great in this recipe)
28oz. Brown Sugar (Dark)
20oz. Vodka (preferably pot distilled)
1 1/2oz. Pumpkin Pie Spice ( I prefer using the World Market brand)
Method: Pour the ale in a large saucepan and leave in the fridge overnight to release the CO2. Slowly bring the beer to high heat as the rest of the CO2 is released while adding the sugar and spices. At this point the beer will form a head so remove from heat and skim off the head. Allow to cool and add the vodka. Now use some cheesecloth or a fine strainer to remove any particles while pouring the contents in bottles. Leave in the fridge overnight and it will be ready to use.
E101: The photo I grabbed off Facebook for you references the Bartender’s Guild, what’s that?
OT: The United States Bartenders Guild is a branch of the International Bartenders Association which was officially founded during a meeting held at the Grand Hotel, Torquay, England, on February 24th, 1951.
I am proud to be a member of the USBG, we try to bring awareness in all areas of the craft even wines and cigars to our fellow bartenders and people involved in our industry. It’s a camaraderie of individuals that have looked at bartending as more than just pouring something from a bottle.
We have educational and social events that raise awareness about our craft so that we might in turn be better and have more to offer to our wonderful guests.
This is truly a great time to be involved in our world and we look to the future as more and more bars are including the culinary cocktail and offering things that are true and local to their community.
The truth is we lost a lot of our talent in our nation as Prohibition set in. Many were forced to close shop and head overseas. We are now experiencing a “second golden age” of cocktails. It is truly an exciting time as we are seeing so much more art and creativity from the heart! We were so behind from our international counterparts but now we are gaining great steam and progress.
Please feel free to go to usbg.org to find out more and hopefully fall in love (if you haven’t already) with our craft and appreciation to the finer things in life.
A votre sante, Oscar!
Newhall Refinery has kind of set the bar on the craft cocktail movement in Santa Clarita Valley. I applaud earlier efforts made by Mojitos, SAKE, Mixers and Roman Holiday. And, just so you know it’s not always Newhall Refinery for me, I also appreciate the cocktails at Le Chene, Salt Creek Grille, The Social and others. (And all of the vendors already signed up to participate in Cocktails on the Roof!)
But, though they all offer a Moscow Mule, a Manhattan, and the like, Newhall Refinery has raised the bar by offering spirits, liqueurs, juices and even techniques not always found on the everyday bar list. These include, from the current menu:
Hangar One Vodka
“Spanked” Basil leaves
Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey
White Orchard Syrup
Whistle Pig 100-proof Rye
Vya Sweet Vermouth
Cassis Noir De Bourgogne
Kimo Sabe Mezcal
Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
Hakushu 12-year-old Japanese Whiskey
Aloe Vera Juice
Shipwrecked Spiced Rum
Sam Smith Strawberry Ale
House made fruit leather
Ugly Monkey Moonshine
Fever Tree Tonic
Teelings Irish Whiskey
Suerte Blanco Tequila
So now, lets get to my review:
Bartender Peter Nguyen (Watch this 90-second YouTube slide show to see him in action.) used his expertise to make samples of several of the new cocktail menu items, utilizing every item in the list above. He “spanked” some basil to bring out its flavor, created an Aperitif that would tickle anyone’s appetite, shaved chocolate over the finale…and then some.
The 2016 Spring Cocktail list, and my comments on each that we sampled are noted with *, is below:
Sam Smith Strawberry Ale
½ oz. Cassis Noir De Bourgogne
*Can you say innovative? Adding a little fruit leather to this lovely fruit-filled libation was interesting and fun. Appealing to the child in us all, especially with the flavors of Jolly Rancher Strawberry hard candy that I got. Reminded me of a Mai Tai with a twist.
Barr Hill Gin
White Orchard Syrup
Aloe Vera Juice
Fever Tree Tonic
*One of my favorites of the night, this is not your average G & T. The aloe vera gave it a distinctly different and wholly appealing flavor. Peter called it “a spring G & T option” and I enjoyed it for its sweetness and crispy bite.
Ain’t Life Grape
Hangar One Vodka
White grapes (or red)
Spanked Basil Leaves
Lemon Juice (or ¾ oz.)
Blueberry, grape, blueberry
*Loved the used of green grapes, so refreshing. Subtler and less sweet for those that don’t want a sweet cocktail. This was another I would order again.
Evan Williams Whiskey
St Germain Liqueur
Cassis Noir De Bourgogne
*Make my brown spirit cocktail pink? Blasphemy! But…oh so good. I found it lingering on the palate, and Peter added, “Yes, it definitely lingers, and in the best way possible.”
Ancho Reyes Liqueur
Kimo Sabe Mezcal
Lime wedge, Orange Juice, Sprite
*This was the group’s favorite of the night. And Peter said they were probably going to serve it with a side of sliced cucumber and a dish of chile powder. Like a better Maggie from your fave Mexican restaurant, this one had just the right juxtaposition of fresh appeal and spice.
Tia Maria Coffee Liqueur
Mt Gay Dark Rum
Half n Half
*Dessert plain and simple – but not really. Peter called it “adult chocolate milk” and all I could think of was Kahlua and milk taken up a giant notch. For the person that doesn’t have room for dessert, but can’t resist it anyway, order this.
“Refine” your Wine
*Reminded me of a Bellini, but fresher and with the kick of juniper-cucumber –rose petal infused Hendricks Gin.
Cassis Noir De Bourgogne
Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
*We started with this little treat. And it did the job as, again the juxtaposition of heat (the chile liqueur) and sugar (cassis) tickled my taste buds into submission. I wanted this after dinner too. The flavors from the chile liqueur were very reminiscent of tamarind candy, and quite remarkable.
Around the World
– ¾ oz. each of
Whistle Pig, North American
*These I did sample, the last two require a little bit of water in my opinion to open up the flavors and reduce any harshness (often done) however, the Teelings did not. All excellent and definitely on my list when I can’t dare choose between the three. If you haven’t had these it’s a must.
(*We didn’t sample the Moscow Mule, Old Fashioned or Rye Manhattan as they are not new, just favorites that weren’t removed. I’ve ordered and enjoyed them several times and I’m happy they remained on the menu!)
Hangar One Vodka
Fever Tree Ginger Beer
Mint Sprig, Lime Wedge
Evan Williams Bourbon
Vya Sweet vermouth, divided
Rumors of beer flavored ice cream and an in-restaurant barrel aged Manhattan program…
Italy- “Amaro Montenegro is a clear, amber-coloured Bitters made from a variety of herbs from around the world, vanilla for a hint of sweet and orange peel for a spicy citrus taste. A special soaking and distillation process helps bring the flavors together and provide a bitter finish.”
I was sure that I’d had this Italian herb liqueur, Amaro Montenegro, before in cocktails. But nothing that was memorable until I stepped into a “wine and cocktail bar” in Playa Del Rey, Bacari PDR, and ordered what they called a Black Manhattan. We were completely enamored and asked the bartender to share his recipe:
2 shots Rye, 1/2 shot Amaro Montenegro, 6 drops/2 shakes angostura, Orange twist.
We are fans of the basic Manhattan and make it often at home. This is the recipe we learned from Master Mixologist William Perbellini during a mixology class at Bar Toscana in Brentwood.
2 parts rye, 1 part Rosso sweet vermouth, 3 dashes of aromatic Angostura bitters and 3 dashes orange bitters. (We go without the orange bitters at home.) Add one Luxardo brand of Maraschino cherry…use (orange) zest over the top and around the rim of the glass.
As you can see the only real difference is using Montenegro over sweet vermouth. Both are outstanding, but if you are a Manhattan fan you have got to try the flavor boost Montenegro lends to the cocktail.
It hovers near $25 a bottle (Total Beverage Solutions, Bev Mo and Total Wine), but I didn’t think about it until I had the Black Manhattan.
And here’s another to try, if you’re buying the bottle anyway:
Instructions: Pour one ounce of Montenegro into a wine glass or Champagne flute. Add four ounces of sparkling wine (Prosecco or cava both work well here). Garnish with an orange slice. (Drink, and repeat.)
More cocktails using Amaro Montenegro can be found here.
Eve’s Wine 101 Event Picks: American Wine Specialist course Feb 2016 (this is the one you can take with me, so let me know if you signed up: Eve@EveWine101.com), LA Essentials 2/20, Dry Creek Valley Tour in LA 2/20, Paso Robles Distillery Trail presents Fire and Ice 2/27, Food Fare 3/3, Taste of Solvang 3/16-20, Paso Zin Weekend 3/18-20 and Sierra Pelona Wine Fest 4/23.
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com
Lover’s Lagoon. McCoy’s Oceanfront at Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa, Fla.
Think of as a moonlit stroll on the beach — in a glass.
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz spiced rum
- 1 oz peach juice
- 1 oz pear juice
- 1 oz plum juice
- ½ oz blue curacao
- Stir all ingredients in a glass without ice.
- Pour mix into a chilled glass.
- Garnish with a mint sprig.
Fiery Mandarin. Lead Mixologist Eddie Garcia, jade bar at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Guaranteed to add heat to any romance.
- 2 oz Absolut vodka
- 1 slice jalapeno
- 1/3 of an orange zest
- 1 oz cranberry juice
- ½ oz lemon juice
- ¾ oz simple syrup
- Muddle jalapeno, add zest and liquids.
- Add ice, shake and double strain.
- Serve up in chilled martini glass with jalapeno slice garnish.
Fennel. The Umstead Bar, The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary, N.C.
Deceptively simple, this three-ingredient cocktail gets a romantic boost from aphrodisiac fennel.
- 2.0 oz Conniption Navy Strength gin
- .75 oz fennel syrup
- .50 oz lime juice
- Dash of fennel powder
- Mix first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
- Fill with ice and shake.
- Strain into a martini glass.
- Garnish with a dash of fennel powder.
- Hint for the adventure home mixologist: The Umstead adds candied fennel fronds to its garnish.
The Wink. Henry’s Hotel Bar, Harbor View Hotel, Martha’s Vineyard
The name of this cocktail says it all.
- 1 2/3 oz. gin
- 2 tsp. triple sec
- 1/2 tsp. sugar syrup
- 3 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
- 1/2 oz. absinthe, to coat the glass
- Orange twist
- Combine gin, triple sec, sugar syrup and bitters in a shaker over ice and shake.
- Strain into the absinthe-coated rocks glass.
- Finish with a spritz of orange zest and garnish with the orange peel.
As the Holiday season rolls around, we can’t help but look forward to the rich food and drink that are in abundance during this time of year. With our personal calendars at full capacity, every host needs a way to stand out from the crowd and make their party a memorable hit.
The answer – holiday beer cocktails. While every other dinner and party menu features wine, beer and tired punch bowls, Traveler Beer Company brings you tantalizing flavors with their Jolly Traveler holiday cocktails.
Jolly Traveler is an American craft wheat ale that is made with real orange, pomegranate and a hint of holiday spice, making it the perfect beverage choice for entertaining your family, friends or coworkers. While the shandy is enticing and refreshing on its own, it also serves as a great base for flavorful seasonal cocktails that are sure way to satisfy guests with something unexpected, yet delicious.
We invite you to try some of these Jolly Traveler Holiday Cocktail recipes, which can be found here and below:
- Holly Jolly Cherry
Fill a shaker halfway with ice.Add 1 oz. cherry brandy, .5 oz scotch and 2 dashes angostura bitters.
Stir and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Top with 3-4 oz. Jolly Traveler.
Garnish with a cherry.
- Naughty and Nice
Fill a pint glass halfway with Jolly Traveler.Gently top with Irish stout by pouring slowly over an upside-down spoon.
- Jolly Refreshmint
Fill a shaker halfway with ice.Add 1 oz. scotch and .5 oz white creme de menthe.
Stir and strain into a double rocks glass with a large ice cube.
Add 3 oz. Jolly Traveler.
Garnish with lemon zest.
- Traveling Winter Rum Runner
Fill a shaker halfway with ice.Add 1.5 oz gold rum, 2 oz apple cider and .5 oz lemon juice.
Shake and strain into an 8-10 oz. Collins glass filled with ice.
Top with Jolly Traveler.
Garnish with fresh cinnamon.
- Jolly Gin Juicer
Fill a shaker halfway with ice.Add 1 oz. gin, .5 oz raspberry liqueur and 1 oz. cranberry juice.
Shake and strain into an 8-10 oz. Collins glass.
Top with Jolly Traveler.
Garnish with a lime wedge.