On the Rocks: New Year’s Eve Edition.

One of these years I’m going to throw the perfect New Year’s fete. The cocktails would of course be of the utmost importance. (Especially if you want your guests to beg you for a repeat 365 days later…) I wouldn’t want them to be too champagne heavy – although some sort of bubbly would be a must – and unique enough that you’ve never experienced them before. Something like these…

– 16 pieces bubblegum, preferably Double Bubble, cut in half
– 2 cups vodka
– 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
– 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
– 1 tablespoon simple syrup
– 1/2 egg white or 1 tablespoon pasteurized liquid egg white
– 1 cup ice

In large airtight container, combine bubblegum and vodka. Seal and allow to infuse, stirring every 6 hours, for 24 hours. Pour vodka through fine mesh strainer, discarding bubble gum. In cocktail shaker, stir together 2 ounces bubblegum-infused vodka, lemon juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and egg white if using. Add ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.

:: cocktail recipe and photo via epicurious

– 1.5 oz cherry-infused Woodford Reserve Bourbon
– 1.5 oz cherry-infused Graham’s Six Grapes Port
– Ice cubes

To garnish: 3 spirits-soaked cherries

For the cherry-infused spirits:
– 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted
– 8 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
– 8 oz Graham’s Six Grapes Port

Put 1/2 cup of cherries into each of two clean jam jars. Top one jar with bourbon and the other with port, and store them in the fridge for a week. To serve, strain the alcohol (reserving the cherries) and combine the bourbon and port in a highball glass over ice (Plonk shakes it with ice and strains into a martini glass). Garnish with the spirits-soaked fruit. Serves 1.

:: cocktail recipe and photo via Men’s Journal

– 2 cups lemonade
– 2 cups orange juice
– 3 cups pineapple juice
– 2 cups gingerale
– 1 to 1 1/2 cups vodka
– pineapple spears for garnish
– fresh cranberries for garnish
– ice cubes

Combine the first 5 ingredients and keep chilled until ready to serve. Serve over ice cubes. Garnish with pineapple spears and cranberries. Serves 6-8.

:: cocktail recipe and photo via Dragon’s Kitchen

– 3/4 cup sugar
– 3/4 cup water
– 1 1/2 cups packed mint leaves, plus 12 mint sprigs, for garnish
– 6 limes, cut into wedges
– 2 cups light rum
– Cracked ice
– 3 cups Champagne or sparkling wine

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and cook over high heat just until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool to room temperature. In a large pitcher, combine the sugar syrup with the mint leaves and lime wedges and muddle well with a wooden spoon. Add the rum and stir well. Strain the drink into another pitcher. Fill tall glasses with cracked ice and pour in the drink, filling them about two-thirds full. Top with Champagne, garnish with the mint sprigs and serve.

:: cocktail recipe via Food & Wine


New Year’s Eve.

I always set my expectations too high for New Year’s Eve. Fine, I always set my expectations too high for every holiday. It’s a sickness, I tell you!

This year most of my friends seem to be doing their own thing – from attending a mystery dinner to having people over for a chill night in. I, however, remain undecided and only know that it must include the fab black cocktail dress I plan on wearing!

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?

:: photo via ffffound


To Resolute or Not to Resolute.

So, resolutions… are you for or against them?

I always have a few in the back of my mind and one that’s been around every year since I turned about 15 – stop over-analyzing and over-thinking every little thing to death. Since it’s still around you can guess how that one works out year after year.

But this year I’m venturing down a new path. I’m making an attempt at changing my entire outlook. (So really, it’s more of a permanent change than a resolution.) This year I’m planning on not worrying about the future. Not how I’ll get there or when I’ll arrive. I’m just going to focus on the journey. I feel like a lot of the time I’m waiting around for my life to start, when really it’s happening all around me and passing me by every single day.

What’s your New Years resolution for 2009?

:: image via ffffound


Monday Goodness: Merry Belated Christmas.

I got to work at 7:30 and had to spend only two hours working off someone else’s computer before my beloved MacBook showed up via FedEx (and sporting a new screen and logic board)! Seriously the best Monday of the year.

Yet I still have mixed feelings because…
… I didn’t get to share my last few days of
Gift Lists
… I didn’t get to wish you all a timely Merry Christmas
… I didn’t get to get any work done while in PA

But at the same time…
… my hard drive arrived back to me intact
… I had a lighter carry-on on my 6:00 am flight back yesterday
… belated Merry Christmas wishes are nice none the less

Merry Belated Christmas!

I hope you and yours had a lovely little holiday. I’ll be sharing more about mine a little later on.

:: photo via ffffound


Round Up: Gift Tags.


On the Rocks: Top 10 Christmas Cocktails.

Welcome to the Top 10 Christmas Cocktails version of On the Rocks! Grab some hot buttered rum or a glass of mulled wine and settle in. Because I’ve found ten of the best classics and the best newbies for you to savor this holiday season!

– 25ml Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
– 25ml Krupnik honey vodka liqueur
– 25ml Cranberry Juice
– 15ml Lemon Juice
– Dash Egg white

Shake all ingredients with ice and fine-strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with an apple fan.

:: cocktail recipe and photo via ednbrg

– 1 oz Monin gingerbread syrup
– 2 oz Bacardi Big Apple rum
– 2 oz apple juice
– splash of lemon juice

Place 1/2 cup of simple syrup and 4 tablespoons of graham cracker crumbs on separate plates. Dip outside rim of martini glass into simple syrup, then into graham cracker crumbs several times to ensure coverage. Set aside. In a cocktail shaker, combine rum, gingerbread syrup, apple juice and lemon juice. Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into rimmed martini glass. Garnish with red apple slice.

:: cocktail recipe and photo via Cocktail Times

– 8 large eggs
– 4 egg yolks
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 5 cups whole milk
– 1 1/2 cup Mount Gay Eclipse Rum (or dark rum)
– 1 cup 80 proof Kentucky straight bourbon
– 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
– 1/2 tbsp freshly grated nutmeg
– 2 cups whipping cream
– 2 tbsp superfine sugar

In a mixing bowl, whisk egg,s yolks and granulated sugar until smooth. Pour into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in milk, gradually, blending well with each addition. Heat slowly over very low heat, stirring steadily, until the mixture reaches 160 – 170F on an instant read thermometer. The custard should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you draw your finger across the back of the spoon, the line will remain distinct and the custard sauce is done.

Pour the custard through a fine-meshed sieve into large bowl. Stir in vanilla, rum, bourbon and nutmeg. Let mixture cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least three hours and or up to one day.

Just before serving, whip cream to very soft peaks, beating in, superfine sugar as you go. Gently fold into custard mixture until incorporated. Serve from a chilled punch bowl or ladle into individual martini glasses, garnishing with grated nutmeg if desired.

:: cocktail recipe and photo via Cocktail Times

– 1 lb light brown sugar
– 1/2 lb unsalted butter (softened)
– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
– 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl beat together softened butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract and spices until well combined. Refrigerate in an airtight reusable container for up to a month, or place in your freezer until ready to use.

To make Hot Buttered Rum: In a pre-heated coffee mug combine 2 heaping tablespoons batter with 1 1/2 oz. Mount Gay Eclipse Rum. Top with boiling water and stir well to mix. Serve with a spoon.

Hint: It is best to make the batter in advance so the spices have an opportunity to mingle. Be sure to remove batter from refrigerator at least 6 hours prior to serving to allow it to soften.

:: cocktail recipe and photo via Cocktail Times

– 1 large lemon, cut in half
– 1 medium orange, cut in half
– 16 whole cloves
– 3 cups apple juice
– 1 cup rum
– 1/2 cup honey
– 4 cinnamon sticks, 2 inches long
– 1/4 tsp ground ginger

Cut two slices (1/4-inch thick) from each lemon and orange half. Insert whole cloves into slices; set aside. Squeeze juice from reminder of fruit halves into a medium non-reactive saucepan. Stir in apple juice and honey; mix well. Add cinnamon sticks, ginger and reserved fruit slices. Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Add rum. Serve immediately in a heatproof serving bowl. Makes 6 servings.

:: cocktail recipe and photo via Cocktail Times

– 175 mL (3/4 cup) cranberry juice
– 90 mL (3 oz.) simple syrup
– 175 mL (6 oz.) orange liqueur, such as Cointreau
– 750-ml bottle Champagne, chilled
– 18 fresh cranberries

In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine cranberry juice, simple syrup and orange liqueur. Shake well (until the shaker is covered with condensation). Strain mixture, dividing it among six Champagne flutes. Add Champagne, dividing it among glasses. Garnish each drink with 3 cranberries skewered on a cocktail pick. Makes 6 servings.

:: cocktail recipe and photo via YourHome

– 1 bottle full-bodied red wine, like cabernet or merlot
– 1 cinnamon stick
– 2 cardamom bods
– 6 to 8 cloves
– 6 to 8 golden raisins
– 1 pinch nutmeg
– 1 vanilla bean or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 3/4 cup white sugar

In a small saucepot, simmer wine and all other ingredients except sugar over low heat for about 30 minutes. Do not let the wine come to a boil. After 30 minutes, stir in sugar until fully melted. Take wine off heat, strain out solids, and serve while hot.

:: cocktail recipe and photo via Appetite for China

– 1 quart heavy cream
– 10 ounces store-bought sticky toffee pudding (see Note)
– 6 eggs, separated
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Cognac
– 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark rum
– 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a container with a tight-fitting lid, pour the cream over the sticky toffee pudding. Cover and refrigerate for 2 days. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Stir in the Cognac and rum. Strain the infused cream through a fine sieve, pressing on the solids. In a medium bowl, whip 3 cups of the infused cream until stiff. Fold in the egg-yolk mixture. In a large bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the salt on high speed to stiff peaks. Fold the beaten egg whites into the whipped cream. Refrigerate the eggnog until chilled, about 2 hours.

:: cocktail recipe and photo via Food & Wine

– 2 oz whiskey (I used bullet)
– 1 oz simple syrup
– Light 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice seasoning (I used McCormick)
– 2 oz pumpkin purée water
– 1 egg, whole

Combine all into a shaker filled with ice and shake very hard to emulsify the egg. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice (try this with crushed ice and without ice too) and top with a straw and 4-6 seasoned pumpkin seeds.

:: cocktail recipe and photo via Mark Sexauer’s Cocktail Blog

– 1 cup sugar
– 4 cinnamon sticks
– 3 lemon slices
– 2 cups pineapple juice
– 2 cups orange juice
– 6 cups dry red wine
– 1/2 cup lemon juice
– 1 cup dry sherry
– 2 lemons, sliced

Boil the sugar, cinnamon sticks, and 3 lemon slices in 1/2 cup of water for 5 minutes and strain. Discard the cinnamon sticks and lemon slices. Heat, but do not boil the remaining ingredients. Combine with the syrup, garnish with the lemon slices, and serve hot.

:: cocktail recipe and photo via use real butter