Saturday, June 24, 2017

What a Twist!

Dinner was Suzi's Mexican Lasagna, drink of the night was Scott's top shelf golden margarita.  After dinner, another drink was called for, but another margarita just didn't fit the bill.  Without switching gears too much, Scott came up with something a little different... a "twist" on the margarita, if you will.

"What a Twist!"

2 oz Gold Tequila
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
Juice of 1/3 orange
Dash Orange Bitters
Orange Peel Twist for garnish

Shake first four ingredients over ice. Strain and serve up in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange peel twist.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pairing Wine With Pie

As we approach the holidays, many of you might find this information very useful.  I know we will!

As you’re choosing wines for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and other holiday events over the next few weeks, this guide may come in handy. 

  • Sauvignon Blanc for Key Lime Pie
  • Riesling for Apple Pie
  • Chardonnay for Pumpkin Pie
  • Champagne/sparkling wine for Apple Crumble
  • Pinot Noir for Peach Pie
  • Rose for Lemon Meringue
  • Merlot for Chocolate Cream Pie
  • Petite Sirah for Blueberry Pie
  • Syrah for Cherry Pie
  • Muscat/Muscato for Pecan Pie

Whatever you drink or eat this holiday season, do so responsibly and decadently. 
Happy Thanksgiving!

For more on this and other wine pairings, check out:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Decadence Is What You Make It

Decadent drinks start with premium booze.  That's pretty simple.  But, that isn't the extent of it.  The art of decadent mixology is about creating decadence, or better yet, not even considering anything less than decadence in every drink.  Decadence is what you make it.

Scott and I recently returned from a vacation to Fraser, Colorado.  It was a three week trip all told, but ten glorious days in the Rocky Mountains.  While we did enjoy drinks and meals at a few local establishments, and we did  avail ourselves of the local cuisine (yes, much to my surprise, Rocky Mountains Oysters are real...I always thought it was a joke,) most nights we cooked in and made drinks from our own mobile bar.

Before leaving the Keys, we stocked up on 4 bottles of Ron Zacapa rum, the best rum in the world.  It's not easy to find outside of the Keys, so we weren't taking any chances.  Our mobile bar also included a bottle of El Dorado rum, a bottle of Grey Goose and a large Skyy.  When we got to Fraser, we picked up a bottle of Stoli Blueberry Vodka, a couple nice bottles of red wine and 2 bottles of bubbly.  Found a bottle of Orange Bitters in the spice cabinet of the rental house.
That was pretty much the extent of our bar.

Since we were cooking in about half the time, we had some basic ingredients in the 'fridge.  Juices, limes,celery and other assorted fruits and veggies, olives and hot sauce provided ingredients and garnish.  In addition, the rental house had a very well stocked spice cabinet.  Using these basic ingredients, we managed to create and enjoy quite a few Decadent Drinks.

Here are some of our Rocky Mountain Vacation Decadent Drinks -

Rocky Mountain Martini (Blueberry Martini)

As soon as we got to the mountains, the notion of rocky mountain oysters struck us as funny and the jokes just went on and on.  We found a local restaurant serving them, actually tried them (this story will be told at a later time) and the jokes just didn't stop.  At some point we decided that Rocky Mountain - anything - just meant it was made with balls!  

So, a Rocky Mtn Martini is like a regular martini, but made with balls! ... or blueberries. 

Simply shake Stoli Blueberry vodka on ice, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with 2 blueberries.

Enjoy!  (Best if served while enjoying a view of the Rocky Mountains.)

Goose Balls

Again, it's all about the joke...  
One thing our mobile bar did not include was vermouth.  So, martini's with Grey Goose, a tiny splash of olive juice, and 2 olives became Goose Balls.

The jokes about "Rocky Mountain" drinks even included the bartender at Smokin' Moe's Tavern in Winter Park, the proud server of the aforementioned "oysters."
Something of a mixologist himself, Austin whipped up his specialty, cherry-limeade, for our enjoyment... which we promptly garnished in the appropriate manner... much hilarity ensued ...

Angry Orange

This is a good example of making any drink a Decadent Drink.
Basically a screwdriver.  But, use good vodka, premium "not from concentrate" OJ, and add half a dozen good shakes of some orange bitters, and it becomes so much more than a boring old becomes the Angry Orange.

Watermelon Mojito's
Another classic example that decadence is what you make it.

Last day in Colorado, we were trying to eat and drink up the ingredients of our kitchen before packing up to start the road trip home the next day.  With a little premium rum remaining, good fresh watermelon from the local market, limes, and some dried mint found in the spice cabinet, Scott made us a couple batches of Watermelon Mojito's.  Yes, he is tending bar in his Star Trek was a good vacation!

Hot Tub Bloody Mary's

Normal Bloody Mary's, made with V8 juice and Louisiana Hot Sauce, garnished with olives and celery ... 
Best when enjoyed while soaking in a hot tub looking at the Rocky Mountains.

Elk Shots
Then there were Elk Shots.  We found these fabulous shot glasses that just scream "Rock Mountains!" 
So, shots of "Somethin' in the somthin'" were mixed: some rum, OJ, POM, lime and orange bitters. 
Pour into Elk shot glasses and ... antlers up!  
Antlers down...

Last Day Happy Hour Sangria

It's the last day of vacation, and there is still half a bottle of red wine.  Instead of pouring it out, why not make a Last Day Happy Hour Sangria?

Use the remaining half bottle of red wine, add a good big shot of the last of the blueberry vodka, mix in some orange and pomegranate juices, muddle in a handful of blueberries, squeeze in some lime wedges and add ice.  Serve in a glass made for 2, add 2 straws, cheers!

John Denver Iced Tea
Iced Tea and Vodka with a lime wedge.  Simple as that.  But, brewed, mixed and enjoyed  Rocky Mountain High.

We would love to hear about some of your own Decadent Drink ideas and creations.  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Who Pooped In The Pool?

Yeah, you read that right.  "Who pooped in the pool" is the newest decadent drink for island imbibement.

Inspired by a recent iguana has decided that the branch directly above our pool is his toilet seat.  Therefore, you guessed, that makes the pool the toilet bowl.  Pretty disgusting.  Had to drain the pool when we realized what was happening.  Now we have to keep it covered to protect it from iguana guano.

True story.

So anyway, Scott came up with this drink idea to serve as the cocktail for a recent Game Night.

It was a big hit!

Who Pooped In The Pool
Equal Parts:
White Cranberry Juice (Mango Peach, White Grape or any mostly clear juice, but White Cran is best)

Shake over ice or stir in pitcher.  Strain and pour into cocktail glass. Squeeze a lemon wedge, but discard.
Add a Tootsie Roll Midgee.

(TIP: Don't let it sit too long.  Once the tootsie roll starts to melt it kinda looks like sewage.)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Strictly For Medicinal Purposes

As the always eloquent W.C. Fields used to say, "It's strictly for medicinal purposes."

The cold and flu season is in full swing across the country.  Some reports are saying this year's flu will be the worst in years.  Even the colds going around are hard to shake, leaving it's sufferers coughing long after other symptoms are gone.

Everyone is urged to be diligent in trying to prevent contracting and spreading the flu.   Here are some tips to help:
1. Wash hands often
2. "Dracula" cough/sneeze
3. Get plenty of rest
4. Blow your nose regularly
5. Gargle
6. Drink plenty of hot liquids

We especially like #6.  To help you comply, here is Scott's Hot Toddie recipe.  Guaranteed to make you feel better, or at least not care so much that you feel poorly.  They are delicious and can even be enjoyed when you are healthy and just want to knock the chill off.
Stay warm, practice good habits, try and stay healthy, and enjoy plenty of hot beverages this winter.

Dr. Scott's Hot Toddy

1 T. Honey
1 T. Lemon Juice
2 Oz. Bourbon Whiskey
Boiling Water
Lemon Slice (garnish optional)

Mix first 3 ingredients in large mug.  Fill with boiling water.  Stir well.  
Garnish with lemon slice.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Fun Drinking Quotes

“Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” 
― Ernest Hemingway

“I drink to make other people more interesting.” 
― Ernest Hemingway

“Here's to alcohol, the rose colored glasses of life.” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.” 
― Frank Sinatra

“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.” 
― Benjamin Franklin

“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” 
― W.C. Fields

“A lady came up to me one day and said 'Sir! You are drunk', to which I replied 'I am drunk today madam, and tomorrow I shall be sober but you will still be ugly.” 
― Winston S. Churchill

“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.” 
― Dorothy Parker

Albert: "Oh, yes, sir. But alcohol sort of compensates for not getting them.” 
― Terry Pratchett

“I went out with a guy who once told me I didn’t need to drink to make myself more fun to be around. I told him, I’m drinking so that you’re more fun to be around.” 
― Chelsea Handler

“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.” 
― Ernest Hemingway

“I don't have a drinking problem 'Cept when I can't get a drink.” 
― Tom Waits

“Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so?
There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.” 
― Drew Carey

“I like to change liquor stores frequently because the clerks got to know your habits if you went in night and day and bought huge quantities. I could feel them wondering why I wasn't dead yet and it made me uncomfortable. They probably weren't thinking any such thing, but then a man gets paranoid when he has 300 hangovers a year.” 
― Charles Bukowski

“I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.”
― Dorothy Parker

“Come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.” 
― William Shakespeare

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hey, careful man, there's a beverage style.

The Dude himself would love this festive twist on his beloved beverage, the White Russian. 

This "Caucasian" is simply the classic recipe, but instead of milk or cream, substitute eggnog.

Holiday Russian

1 oz Grey Goose Vodka
1 oz Kahlua Especial
2 oz Eggnog

In a highball glass, or your favorite holiday glass, pour liquors.  Add ice and eggnog.  Stir.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.  Enjoy.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Happy New Year!  We hope everyone had a safe and happy celebration last night and wish you all peace and prosperity in the New Year. 

So, it’s a little after noon, Sunday morning, New Year’s Day.  Considering the Feder’s party last night and today’s cocktail, Scott says we have been tipsy more than half of the year so far. 

We enjoyed a lot of  festive bubbly last night, said goodbye to 2011 and rang in 2012 with family and dear friends.  Today is football, Hoppin’ John, collard greens and, of course, Bloody Mary’s are the drink du jour. 

Sunday Morning Bloody Mary's

In preparation, set the following items out on your counter:

Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
Skyy Vodka
Worcestershire Sauce
Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce
Horse Radish (optional)
A-1 Steak Sauce
Lime Wedges
Black Pepper
Bloody Mary Mix (Scott is partial to Major Peter’s.  Don’t bother with a spicy mix, you can add your own spices to taste.)
Large Mixing Glass
Tall Serving Glass (Beer Glass or Hurricane Glass are perfect)
Celery Stalks
Cocktail Shrimp (optional)

Rim serving glass with seasoned salt.  Fill glass with ice. 
Add 1 jigger of vodka. 
Using drops to suit taste, add Worcestershire, Hot Sauce, and Horse Radish.  Pour a small amount of A-1 into it’s own cap, then from cap, pour 1 drop into the glass (a little goes a LONG way.)  Squeeze lime, add olive and a dash of black pepper.  Fill nearly to brim with bloody mix, leaving about a ½ inch for the celery garnish.  Pour liquid back and forth from serving glass to mixing glass several times until well mixed.  Add celery stalk and a straw if desired. 

For a really nice touch, and to add some substance, you can garnish with a cocktail shrimp as well.

Well, Scott has just mixed up another round, so it's time to go watch some football and get ready for some black eyed peas. 

Happy New Year!  Cheers!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tiny Bubbles

‘Tis the season for bubbly…  There are few drinks as festive as a glass of champagne.  For decadent occasions, we highly recommend splurging on a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, yellow label.  It will probably run you around $50-$60, which is considerably cheaper than Dom Perignon, and a better buy for the money in our opinion.

While a good champagne is wonderful all by itself, we sometimes like to have fun and get a little creative with the bubbly.  For the following drink ideas, a less expensive bottle will work just fine. 

We are partial to Cava, the Spanish bubbly.  It is closer to the taste and quality of French champagne, but tends to be much less expensive.  A good inexpensive one that we like is Poema Cava, which you can probably pick up for about $12.  In that same price range, Korbel is always a good choice for a California bubbly, as is Freixenet Cordon Negro.  You can choose brut or extra dry.  The extra dry is a bit sweeter than the brut.


This one involves Hpnotiq liqueur, which is an exquisite blend of premium vodka, fine cognac and natural tropical fruit juices.  It is a lovely shade of blue, comes in a frosted bottle and is quite yummy all by itself as well as great in cocktails.  Look for the “HQ” on the label.
Fill a tall fluted glass about ¾ full of bubbly.  Add a splash of the Hpnotiq, just enough to turn the liquid a nice golden blue. 

Divinely Dangerous

For this one, we use X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, a sensuous blend of ultra premium French vodka and rich blood oranges, mingling with mangos and passion fruit.  This one is the prettiest shade of pink and also comes in a frosted bottle with a large "X." 

Suzi tried this one out on the DIVA's one year, served at brunch along with her famous breakfast casseroles.  We hadn't yet named it, so she asked the girls to help come up with a name.  Of course, they immediately dubbed it a DIVA drink, and so it became Divinely Dangerous.

Fill a tall fluted glass about ¾ full of bubbly.  Add a splash of X-Rated, just enough to turn the liquid a lovely golden pink.  You can also add a strawberry for garnish. 

Raspberry Champagne

This one is particularly elegant and very tasty, using Chambord Liqueur. 

Fill a tall fluted glass about ¾ full of bubbly.  Slowly pour in a splash of Chambord, so that the pretty purple liquid pools slightly in the bottom of the glass, giving the bubbly a layered look.  Drop in one or more fresh raspberries for garnish.

Blooming Bubbly

For this one, you will need to find a jar of Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup.  We get them at a little boutique here in Islamorada, but you can order them on-line.  They are exactly what the name implies…hibiscus flower blooms soaking in sweet syrup, and they are delicious! 

Place one hibiscus flower in bottom of fluted champagne glass.  Add a few drops of the sweet red syrup, then fill the glass with bubbly.  As you watch, the bubbles from the wine will actually cause the flower bud to open up into a full blossom in the bottom of your glass.  When you finish the drink, you can eat the sweet flower.

We were first introduced to candied hibiscus flowers and bubbly one Valentines Day that we spent out on the boat.  It was quite festive and very romantic.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

“I would rather be in a boat with a drink on the rocks than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.”

There is a saying here in the Keys, “I would rather be in a boat with a drink on the rocks than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.”  Whether you are on a boat or just in your own living room, “on the rocks” is the simplest way to enjoy
a premium liquor. 

In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, we are partial to rum.  After years of extensive taste testing, we have settled on what we deem to be, in our experience, the best rum in the world.

Funny story about how we came to find this particular rum.  Our brother Ken shares our love of fine rum, and when he visits us in the Keys, we normally consume mass quantities.  On a visit years ago, he picked up a bottle of Anniversario Pampero at one of our local Key Largo liquor stores, and we all agreed that it was, quite possibly, the best we had ever tasted (and it is still our 2nd favorite.)  Upon returning home, Ken was unable to find it in Tennessee.  A few months later, Suzi’s parents were visiting, and Ken asked if they would pick up a bottle for him.  So, one day, we went to the liquor store where he had originally bought it and they were sold out of it.  Not to be daunted, we went to another store.  They were also sold out.  At the third liquor store to be sold out, we finally asked, jokingly, “Has there been a run on Anniversario rum this week?”  To which the store clerk replied, “Funny you should ask that.  As a matter of fact, there has been.”  It seems that John Travolta was in town (he keeps a place at a resort in north Key Largo) and apparently he always buys everyone on his staff a bottle of Anniversario rum when he’s here.  Apparently, he buys every bottle on the island!

We were very disappointed and feeling bad about letting Ken down, when the store clerk pointed out another bottle of rum that was just a little bit more expensive and said that for his money he thought it was the best rum out there.  On this recommendation, we bought two bottles, one for Ken and one to keep.  And so we were introduced to Ron Zacapa 23 Anos Rum from Guatemala, the best rum in the world.

Ron Zacapa On The Rocks

Half fill a high-ball rocks glass with ice
Free pour Ron Zacapa 23 Anos Rum, enough to cover about half of the ice
Gently shake glass

This rum is far too good for a lime, and friends would never ever under any circumstances let friends mix Zacapa with Coke.  But, if you are ever in Key West with Suzi, don’t be surprised if she splurges for a Zacapa Mojito at El Meson de Pepe’s outside bar on the way to Mallory Square for the sunset celebration.  They make the best mojitos and they have Ron Zacapa on the bar…sometimes you just have to do it.

If you want to spend the money, the Ron Zacapa XO is also a wonderful rum.  It is more than twice the price of the 23 year old, and for our money, we say buy it once to taste it and to get the pretty decanter, then go back to the 23 anos.

As mentioned, Anniversario Pampero is our second favorite rum.  Considering it's only two years old compared to 23 year old Zacapa, it has amazing character.  It also has a nice bite, in contrast to Zacapa's incredible smoothness.  But, sometimes you want the bite! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Have you met the bar?

Allow us to introduce you to our bar.  Subscribing to the philosophy that life is too short to drink cheap liquor, we stock a pretty top shelf bar.  Cocktails don't always require the finest booze, but don't slum it too much.  Remember, life is too short...

Meet the regular players:


Top Shelf:  Ron Zacapa 23 anos.  Anniversario Pampero. 

Mid Shelf:  Bacardi Gold, Captain Morgan's, Malibu Mango, Malibu Coconut, Myers's Dark (Coruba Dark is preferred if you can find it.)

Skyy (Scott says "It's the only way to fly...")
vs. Grey Goose (This is a running debate around here.  Scott says Goose is just popular and overpriced.  Suzi kinda likes it.)

Tanqueray No. 10.
Bombay Saphire.

Top Shelf:   Herradura Anejo
Mid Shelf:  Jose Cuervo Gold
Crown Royal

Top Shelf:   Knob Creek.  Woodford's Reserve
Mid Shelf:   Maker's Mark

Grand Marnier.  Kahlua Especial.  Disaronno Amaretto.   Bailey's Irish Cream.  PAMA Pomegranate Flavored Liqueur.  Limoncello.   Hpnotiq.   Chambord.  Blackberry Brandy. 
Hot Damn Cinnamon Schnapp's.  Dry Vermouth.   Sweet Vermouth. 
Angostura Bitters.  Agave Nectar.   Simple Syrup.

Trul Absinthium 1792.  Trul Absinthium Red.  Trul Absinthium
Le Muse Verte. (Our favorite Czech and French high thujone
Absinthe's, ordered from
You will have your own favorites and preferences, so feel free to substitute brands as you see fit.  The only rule is that you use good liquor.

Of course, you will need the proper bar tools and glassware.  A good shaker is a must.  Big Boy highball glasses, chilled soup bowl "up" glasses and frozen beer glasses are necessary.  Daquiri/girly drink glasses are helpful, as well as a wide assortment of toothpicks, stirrers, straws and proper garnishes.  (When we get to Absinthe we'll have to talk...)

The next thing you should know is that math is not too involved.  Scott generally free pours and eyeballs his measurements.  Mixology is as much an art as it is a science.  In our experience, the best cocktails are the ones you have a "feeling" for, rather than a strict, measured recipe.  Method of mixing is just as important (i.e. "shaken, not stirred" or "bruising" the liquor instead of simply mixing it.)  For those needing numerical volumes, this is about as good as it gets:          

1 Shot  = 1 oz
1 Jigger  = 1 1/2 oz
"Short Shot" = about 1/4-1/3 of a shot
"Splash" = fairly self-explanatory
"Threaten" = literally 1-3 drops
"Parts" = ratio for mixing large quantities

Happy mixing!  Cheers!