Apr 242011

Shaker One here.  I enjoy a good flip.  And by flip I am referring to a cocktail shaken with an egg white to create a foamy “head” on top.  In addition to the head, you also get a sort of velvety mouth feel to the drink itself.  I find it lovely.

But there are many who have an aversion to the idea of using raw eggs in any form.  For this there are foaming products which are supposed to create the same result without the accompanying danger of salmonella.  I’ve long been curious about their efficacy and on my last trip to The Candy Store (Beverage Warehouse) I picked up a bottle to try.

Foaming Substitute

My liquid guinea pig?  The Spicy Lemon Drop.  Feeling a bit scientific, I threw a few dashes of our new friend Frothee into the shaker with the ice and ingredients as instructed.  <shakeshakeshake>

Spicy Lemon Drop Flip Foamy

It poured out into the glass with a somewhat more subdued head than I get with an egg white, but still noticeable.   And as I raised the glass to my lips I noticed a subtle smell.  Not quite plastic, not quite chemical, but also not quite pleasant.  Hmmmm, maybe it just has a bit of an odor.  I forged ahead.

Gahhhh~there was that oddness in the taste as well!  I got about 1/3 of the way through, trying to tell myself that I’d get used to it.  It isn’t overpowering, but because I could smell it as well as taste it with each sip, I found it mildly repugnant.  My poor lovely Spicy Lemon Drop, sacrificed down the drain in the name of science.  (a moment of silence in deference to his service please)

Conclusion:  Frothee-darken my shaker no more.  I’d sooner risk raw egg ramifications.  If you’re pregnant or immune compromised I would not recommend a flip.  But then if you fall under those categories perhaps you shouldn’t be having a cocktail to begin with.  I’ll stick to my egg whites to get a good foam.

And now I’m off to wash the taste of Frothee from my lips.  Gahhh.

Feb 272011

Luigi Bormioli SON.hyx Crescendo 10-1/4-Ounce Martini Glasses, Set of 4

  • 10-ounce Martini, Set of 4
  • Luigi Bormioli?s proprietary material called SON.hyx allows the glasses to be extremely break resistant and transparent.
  • 25 Year Guarantee!  The guarantee covers chipping on the rim or foot as well as any discoloration or cloudiness resulting from dishwashing.
  • Innovative glassmaking techniques produce perfectly smooth rims and edges
  • 25 year guarantee covers rim and foot chipping as well as discoloration

SON.hyx produced glassware is an exciting fusion of elegance and technology.  In addition to having ideal bowl shapes, fine rims, and beautifully drawn stems that are synonymous with Luigi Bormioli, glassware made in SON.hyx is extremely brilliant in color, has a beautiful sound, maintains its clarity after thousands of industrial dishwashing cycles, and possesses an extremely high level of durability and strength.  Like all Luigi Bormioli Italian glassware, SON.hyx glasses are dishwasher sa

List Price: $ 36.00


Feb 202011

Oggi 8-Ounce Stainless Steel Martini Goblets, Set of 2

  • Set of two martini goblets
  • Made of stainless steel
  • Design ideal for martinis, gibsons, giblets and Manhattans
  • Use for holidays, parties and every day
  • 8-Ounce capacity

With innovative designs and contemporary finishes, Oggi’s kitchen, bar and bath wares are truly tomorrow’s house wares today. Oggi’s Stainless Steel Martini Goblets are no exception. Goblets are made of durable stainless steel. With their unique look these goblets are sure to grab everyone’s attention. Set of two. Goblets have a 8-ounce capacity and are ideal for martinis, gibsons, giblets and Manhattans.

List Price: $ 16.95


Jan 022011

Waring Pro WM007 Professional Electric Martini Maker

  • Electric martini maker for preparing the perfect martini at home
  • Polished stainless-steel 20-ounce cocktail shaker with built-in strainer
  • Simple touchpad operation; Shake or Stir options; green olive “on” light
  • 1-ounce shaker cap for adding ingredients; cleans easily by hand
  • Measures 10-4/5 by 7 by 15 inches; 5-year limited motor warranty

It¿s easier than ever to prepare the perfect martini with the Waring® Professional Martini Maker¿the ultimate in convenience and class! Simply add your favorite martini ingredients using the 1 oz. shaker cap, turn it on and watch the green olive light up, press Shake or Stir, and you¿ll get the timeless cocktail just the way you like it! The polished stainless steel 20 oz. shaker adds a dash of sophistication and the built-in strainer makes sure every pour is dignified and delicious.

List Price: $ 150.00


Nov 302010

Prodyne MP-9 Stainless Steel and Pewter Martini Picks, Set of 6

  • Stainless steel shafts with pewter decorative heads
  • Upscale design lets you entertain in style
  • Holds any cocktail garnish in place
  • A perfect accessory for any party
  • Makes a great gift

Serve the perfect martini with these exquisite high quality Martini Picks. This fun set features stainless steel shafts with decorative -inch happy hour-inch heads crafted of fine pewter.

List Price: $ 21.25


Jul 232010

The (belated) arrival of true summer weather is met with varying degrees of enthusiasm from the two Shakers.  One thing we can agree on is that dinner tastes better outdoors.  Last night Shaker Two put together a lovely spread to officially open the Patio Bar for the season.

We dined on grilled rib eye steaks in a coffee rub (Shaker One was in heaven over this rub), herbed potatoes, grilled corn on the cob and a fabulous salad with candied pecans, goat cheese, mango and a poppy seed dressing…..yum.

We finished up our relaxing meal with a sabayon meyer lemon tart with fresh strawberries from Shaker One.

hope you all enjoy your weekend……oh, what??  You want to know if we had drinks?  Why yes, as a matter of fact we did!  how did you guess?

Shaker One as been gorging on fresh strawberries this season, so when I came across a couple of martini recipes involving strawberries and balsamic vinegar how could I resist??

First up was the Balsamic Vinegar Martini:

Simple and very pretty, but basically a vodka martini up with a lovely garnish.  As written 2 1/2 olives.

The Shakers decided to muddle this up with some extra balsamic and it was tasty!  3 1/2 olives muddled.

Next  is the Balsamic Martini by Jacopo Falleni:

4 1/2 olives.  This is a must try.

I must admit this sounded like a rather odd combination to me, but I was curious enough to mix it up.  Shaker Two and I each took a sip and our eyes grew big and round.  Mr. Falleni- you are a genius.  This is beyond delicious.  The vanilla and lime (I used vanilla vodka instead of the vanilla rum he recommends) marry perfectly with the strawberries and balsamic and the balsamic glaze adds the perfect touch.  This is a fabulous martini, really creative and well worth the bit of effort in assembling/muddling.  Oh, we skipped making the cute sword garnish from the rind of a spaghetti squash like he did.

The Shakers are off to discover more recipes that embrace the flavors of the season……check back soon for more summer mixing and muddling~

Jun 212010

Recently a dear friend and faithful reader sent out a Saucy SOS (see above), a Mixology Mayday, a Desperate Call for Cocktail Assistance.

And what was the emergency?  Well, he was in the throes of despair after trying unsuccessfully to mix himself a cosmo at home for the first time.   In all honesty I’ve not made nor ordered/drank a cosmo in several years.  For me they hearken back to the late 90’s (when Shaker One was just twelve*wink wink*).  I remember when they were my drink of choice at stylish uptown bars.  Well, me and every other 20-something gal trying to be cool.  Now, as with shoulder pads, I think enough time has passed that we can revisit this retro classic cocktail (wow, the 90’s are now retro?).  It is, after all, a tasty beverage and should not be besmirched by its association with a certain fashion harpy film that shall not be named.

“John”- we’ll call him that for the purposes of this post- “John’s” problem: limited home mixology experience meets unlimited online recipe options with conflicting ingredient ratios.  It has happened to the best of us at one time or another.  As Shaker Two and I have learned, out of many failures a great success can be born.  And we’ve mixed many abysmal beverages since starting the blog-sometimes wondering if the “recipe” authors bothered to sample their creations.  Early followers of the blog will recall many “salvage-tinis”.  I assembled the cast of characters.

I hunted a few trusted recipe sources and hit upon the following  to start with:

The Esquire Cosmo

Hello 1997.  I’ve just come out of the Wayback Machine! Very light in color and flavor.  Perhaps a bit sweet-which for many cosmo drinkers would be a selling point.  For me- 2 1/2 olives.  Your mileage may vary.

The Self Avowed “Perfect” Cosmo

First of all, a cosmo does not contain fresh mint.  Even as a garnish.  Cleverness for cleverness’ sake is not cool.  Mint at your own risk.

Pretty~ and it matches my kitchen!  As for the taste? A thousand times better.  The fresh lime juice makes a huge difference for me.  And the quantities here seem more balanced. The Howard Hughes in me loved the precision of the recipe (whatever you do, don’t add the ingredients in the wrong order!!!  Something terrible will happen I’m sure!!).  I garnished with lemon zest strings just for fun.  Go ahead and use a lime wedge or slice.  Still not sold on the inclusion of mint here.  This is really nice- maybe 3 1/2 olives!  I’d do this again.

I’m a firm believer in coloring outside the lines, so don’t be afraid to adjust the lime/triple sec/cranberry quantities to get your desired level of sweet or tart. I prefer the use of fresh lime juice over Rose’s, but that’s just me.

You could make a summer project out of discovering the perfect cosmo recipe for yourself…..so many options to choose from.  Small note:  I used regular vodka, but the inclusion of a quality citrus vodka would be nice (The Balcony Bar just happened to be out at the moment).  And some people prefer cointreau to triple sec.  Pick your orange liquor of choice, I won’t judge. Quick addendum- I just dashed a bit of Fee Bros. Bitters into the “Perfect” Cosmo and now I’m in love .  4 olives w/ bitters~!

Ok “John”- get out your shaker and give it a try!  Bonne Chance!

Jun 182010

{scene one-views of a farmer’s market.  Fresh produce in vivid colors piled high}

Shaker One gazes lustfully at the fruit on display.

{scene two–The Balcony Bar}

Shaker One: “Look what I got today! ”

Shaker Two:  “‘OMG- cherries!”

Shaker One: “These must be a martini.”

<insert  frenetic montage of mixing,cutting, pouring, muddling, etc…….>

Cherries Jubilee Martini

~roasted cherries muddled with vanilla and regular vodka and shaken with whipped heavy cream~

Cherry Jubilee martini

Shakers One and Two: “mmmm creamy, but needs more cherry flavor!”

3 olives, but with potential for improvement.

<insert 2nd mixology montage>

Cherry Pie Martini

~roasted cherries  muddled with cinnamon infused vodka, regular vodka and a splash of lemon~

Cherry Pie martini

Shaker Two:  “This needs cherry liquor”

Shaker One: “It really does.  Looks like there will be a trip to the Candy Store in the near future”

Shaker Two:  “The cherry martini concept has potential, it just needs work…….”‘

Shaker One:  ” I’m gonna start a cherry vodka infusion, too.”

2 3/4 olives with potential.

Narrator: Stay tuned for further adventures in delicious cherry-ness.

Fade to drunk.

Jun 132010

After far too long away from the Balcony Bar, Shakers One and Two got together to celebrate (somewhat belatedly)  two very important events:  Shaker Two’s Birthday and the one year anniversary of The Red Shaker Blog!  Awww, they grow up so fast don’t they?  It seems like just yesterday we were picking out a name…….

Back to the shaking shenanigans.  We were joined by two lovely guests to help us try out a few new martinis.  On the menu, some old favorite treats from the first year of the blog:

Gougeres, shrimp cocktails, stuffed mushrooms and vichyssoise! (YAY!! some of my favorite niblets from the Shaker One kitchen!! ~Shaker Two)

Stuffed Mushrooms

Gougeres, shrimp, vodka


We began the evening with a champagne toast.  If you’re looking for a lovely bubbly, this is the one to try. Marc Hebrart Brut!

Our first ‘tini of the evening was The Pineapple Basil Martini

Pineapple basil martini

“Refreshing” “The basil made the pineapple taste more mild” “An interesting touch”

Shaker One and our two guests enjoyed this a bit more than Shaker Two (who is not the biggest basil fan out there)

3 3/4 to 4 olives from S1 and guests, 3 1/2 from S2.

Next up: Rosemary Ruby Cocktail

Rosemary Ruby Red Cocktail

I know, I know- it’s from Rachael Ray.  Cast aspersions at will.   I can guarantee you neither Shaker One nor Shaker Two has ever been considered perky.

The consensus here was enjoyable, but a bit too sweet.  It needs to have more grapefruit flavor, perhaps a splash of lime juice to brighten it up and definitely dial way back on the simple syrup.  Pleasant, but as one taster put it “it smells better than it tastes”.

As written 3 olives…..needs improvement.

We moved on to a take on The Rosemary Lemonade Cocktail– martini style.   I found this recipe in the comments section here

Rosemary Lemonade Cocktail

A refreshing cocktail, but needs more lemon.  We all agreed it would be fantastic over ice as a summer sipper.  Shaker One says this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship with iced tea for an herbal Arnold Palmer.

As written 3 olives, over ice 3 1/2 +

We ended the evening with a special birthday cake made by Shaker One. (soooooo awesome and soooo tasty!! I hated to cut into it!!)

Martini cake!!!

All in all a  lovely evening and a wonderful double celebration.  Thanks to Jenna and Lyndsey for helping us taste, rate  and mark our first year of martini madness.  Here’s to another year of searching out the best things you can put in a martini glass.

Apr 132010

{scene: living room of Shaker One’s Pad}


Shaker Two: “Hi, what’s that martini with the Lillet and the St. Germain…?  You know??  The Lillet site is giving my iphone error messages in French.”

Shaker One:  “How civilized, hmmmm-might be the Parisian….lemme look it up……”

Shaker Two:  “Use the search engine tool on the top of our blog!”

Shaker One: “Oh cool, I wondered if we had one of those…….ah yes, The Parisian- 2 shots voddy, 1 shot St. Germain, 1/2 shot Lillet Blanc.”

Shaker Two: “Excellent- the bartender got it right!  Thanks Shaker One~”

Shaker One: “Have fun.”

*puts phone down, walks over to bar*

Shaker One: “Well I have to have a drink now, don’t I?”

The Stripeycat:

{fade to black}

Shaker Two here…. I arrived home this evening after a night out with the boss talking business, projections plans and whatnot, while consuming a disgusting amount of vodka. Not being in the mood for a dirty martini, I opted for one of my standby’s from the blog – the Parisian.
The aforementioned conversation truly DID take place as I was trying to remember the exact ratios of Lillet Blanc, vodka and St. Germain. Stupid flash sites were not cooperating with my iPhone (damned Flash) and I was really craving it.. so Shaker One was a drunken lifeline in this case.

As far as the aforementioned “search” function…look to your top right and you can do a search of the entire blog for ingredients, links, keywords, etc…. a very handy thing, indeed.

Many thanks to Shaker One for being there when I needed her.


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