Jul 222011

This one is sort of a Shaker take on a strawberry mojito.   Muddled fresh strawberries, mint leaves, simple syrup, shaken with ice, vodka and lime juice……

A more girly martini perhaps.  Sweeter with just a subtle hint of mint coming through.      Next time I’d go heavier on the lime.  I feel like it’s missing something to pull it up into the really fantastic range.   Plus, I can’t help but compare any strawberry martini to the Strawberry Jalapeno superstar.   Still, tasty and refreshing.   A pleasant summer sip.


3 3/4 Olives

Jul 082011

Shaker One back with more spicy sips.  Those of you who enjoyed the Spicy Pineapple martini, fasten your seat belts.  This drink is going to wake up your taste buds.  Still searching for ways to use up my enormous bag of fresh jalapenos and finding myself firmly in the midst of strawberry season, what’s a Shaker to do?

Why, make a Strawberry Jalapeno Martini of course!

Now, you may think this sounds like an odd combination.  And it sort of does.  But trust me on this one.  It became an instant favorite of mine.

Fat juicy strawberries, chunks of fresh jalapenos (seeds in)and a bit of simple syrup muddled up.  Add ice, vodka, lime juice and shake that liquid maraca~

I garnished with pretty things, but the key here is to toss a few of the jalapeno seeds into the martini glass.  This is an outstanding drink.  Really subtle and fresh.  You can add more jalapeno if you want to up the heat, but I like it balanced so you don’t lose the fantastic flavor of the fresh berries.

I’d give this South of the Border Seductress 5 olives.

Shaker Two-what do you think?

Jul 012011

The June gloom in Southern California has finally abated and warmer weather is upon us.  Lately Shaker One has been on a spicy/Mexican food kick.  I bought an enormous bag of jalapenos and made seriously fantastic pico de gallo which I’ve been putting on just about everything.  But my proseccos or even my lambruscos just didn’t seem like the right beverage to accompany all these tasty taco treats.  Not in the mood for a margarita, not tempted  by the Pacifico in the fridge……..I spied a pineapple and had a flash of inspiration.

The Spicy Pineapple Martini

Chunks of jalapeno peppers, fresh cut pineapple, the juice of one lime and simple syrup muddled up.  Added vodka, a bit more lime juice, ice and shake that baby like a  maraca~

Garnished with a sliver of jalapeno pepper (seeds removed this time), this is a really fantastic cocktail.  Totally refreshing.  All the tart sweetness comes from the natural juice of the pineapple and you get just a hint of heat on the finish from the jalapeno without being overpowered.  The lime juice provides the perfect bridge between the two flavors.  I love this.

4 1/2 olives.


Can’t wait for Shaker Two to give this a try and tell us what she thinks.  Hasta luego!

Jun 242011

Recently at one of our Shaker Nights we were asked by a guest what a flip was, how one flipped, why and what exactly it brought to a cocktail.  This brings about the whole “yeah or nay” on raw eggs debate.  Wars were fought over less.

So, salmonella scares aside- a flip (adding egg whites to a shaken cocktail) is simply a way to add body and create a foamy top to the drink.  Shaker One thinks you do achieve a more smooth mouth feel with the egg whites, but it in no way affects the overall flavor of your drink.

Which do we prefer?  We of course decided to do a head to head taste test (so to speak).

Spicy Lemon Drop vs. Spicy Lemon Flip:

And the verdict?  The Shakers both enjoy them either way.  Certain martinis lend themselves to the foam.  The Earl Grey MarTeani, for example, suffers from the absence of the egg if you leave it out.  The Spicy Lemon Drop can be enjoyed equally either way.   Bottom line, like so many other things it comes down to personal preference.  Flip or don’t.  Whatever floats your boat.


Just stay away from the Frothee.  :/

Jun 172011

Shaker One here.  I was recently invited to join a friend for a little tuesday happy hour fun at a place I had not tried yet-The Westside Tavern (downstairs).  He promised delicious cocktails including a Watermelon Flip, which intrigued us both.  Sadly, when we got there the bar did not have the watermelon drink available.  But we consoled ourselves with two other tasty beverages.

Nothing like walking up to the bar to meet your friend and they already have your drink waiting for you.  A Grapefruit Rickey .  This is a really nice not overly tart version of the classic rickey.  St. Germain is added to soften the tang of the grapefruit juice.  A fantastic summer sipper.

Next up was our replacement for the watermelon flip:

The Strawberry Tarragon Flip



Wow.  I think I’m glad they were out of watermelon.  Fresh strawberries and tarragon muddled with lime juice, vodka, simple syrup and pasteurized egg whites-shaken, strained into a martini glass and garnished with a spanked tarragon leaf.  What?  You don’t spank your herbs to release their essential oils?  Naughty, naughty tarragon.

This cocktail knocked my socks off.  Subtle and airy.  You could taste the freshness of the ingredients and no one overpowered the others.  I could have put away several of these.  Easily.  I look forward to crafting this at home.  Though I’ve used thyme, rosemary, basil, cilantro, and of course mint in cocktails, I’d never thought to add tarragon.  I can’t wait to try tarragon with other fruit/booze combinations.

Sadly it was a school night, so our happy hour sipping stopped there.  But I will be back to sample the rest of their cocktail menu another time.  A great spot to grab well crafted drinks before/after a movie and super convenient location smack dab in the middle of the West Side.  Now I’m off to buy some tarragon.

Jun 112011

Shaker One here to apologize for failing to acknowledge  two very significant milestones:

1. A belated Happy Birthday to Shaker Two!  No party pics to post, as her relocation means postponing the celebration until she’s back for a visit.

and 2.  Last week marked the 2 year blog-versary of The Red Shaker.

Wow, two years of sipping, sampling, slurping, slurring, snarking, and snickering over all things cocktail.  Thanks to all of you for your love and support.  Last year real life interruptions made for extremely sporadic postings from us both.  But we’ve gone back to a regular posting schedule (look for us weekly-at least) and hope you continue to join us on our journey of libation exploration.

Now get to scheduling that trip Shaker Two, so we can throw a proper party!


Jun 102011

Hot weather makes Shaker One crave juicy summer fruits…..strawberries, melons, all so refreshing and juicy.  One bite of the deep pink flesh of a ripe watermelon brings me back to being a kid in the summer…..sitting on the curb eating it right out of the rind, feeling the juice drip down our arms.  And for some of us, trying to duck out of the way of our brother’s seed spitting skills.

I’d brought home a baby watermelon with the very best of intentions.  Fruit salad you shall be my dear!

Until it was 6pm and 85 degrees.  Somebody needed a watermelon martini.  A few minutes later, with the help of my trusty immersion blender~et voila!



Fresh Watermelon St. Germain Martini


3 shots vodka (I used Titos)

3 shots strained fresh watermelon juice

3/4 shot St. Germain

dash of lemon juice


Shake over ice, pour into glass and garnish with a bit of the lovely flesh.  I promise this one won’t drip down your arm.





Jun 032011

Ah lemon, is there anything this beautiful sunny citrus can’t do?  Precious little, according to the Shakers.  Shaker One adores all things citrus.  And no better citrus on earth than the beloved Meyer Lemon.  Sadly this seasonal beauty eludes us for part of the year.  Each late winter/early spring Shaker One juices, zests, preserves and curds pounds of the gorgeous golden orbs.

What is curd?   Well, take a handfull of lemons, some eggs, some butter, some sugar and a bit of alchemy and you have a lovely custardy velvety substance known as “curd”.  Usually something one spends serious time at the stove stirring and stirring, thanks to a post at Apartment Therapy- the Kitchen, you can now make this easily in your microwave!  Now often this deliciousness is poured into tarts or pies.  But what does a Shaker do with her curd? Why, she makes martinis!

Feeling creative one night and rooting through her fridge, Shaker One spied a small bottle of meyer lemon curd and thought: this should really be a martini!  And behold- the Lemon Meringue Pie-tini was born.


Equal parts vodka and curd shaken over ice (either plain or vanilla if you prefer a sweeter end result).  Creamy and tart/sweet.  Shakers One and Two give this lovely creature 4 3/4 olives-both the sweet vanilla version and the regular slightly more tart girl.  If you use a regular lemon curd we would recommend you opt for the vanilla vodka…it needs that extra kick of sweetness that the Meyer version already has.  And if you wanted to get fancy, you could even add an egg white to get the ‘meringue’ layer on top.  But don’t stop at lemons~try key limes, regular limes, blood oranges……whatever citrus you have on hand.  Not as sweet as many dessert martinis, it makes the perfect end to a summer dinner.


May 272011

Shaker One here.  The other day as I ran through the market to grab dinner ingredients a small basket of the blackest shiniest berries drew me to them with their siren call.  Not knowing what I’d do with them was irrelevant.  I had to have them.

Into the fridge they went and I didn’t give them another thought.  Until later that evening I had a Eureka moment.  A martini recipe literally popped into my head:

The Blackberry Lime Martini

Blackberry Lime Martini

Muddled fresh blackberries, simple syrup, equal parts fresh lime juice and Rose’s lime, a dash of lemon, the Super Secret Ingredient and of course-vodka.  This poured out into the glass with a lovely shade of inky purple/pink.

Wow.  One taste and I was hooked.  I sent up the Shaker Signal to Shaker Two to run up and grab a taste.  The verdict?  At least a 4 1/2 olives.  Yum~  Slightly sweet, slightly tart, a perfect balance.  This one is good.

I’d pat myself on the back, but I’m too busy mixing up another round.  Put this one on your summer drink to do list.  You won’t regret it.

May 202011

If you haven’t noticed, Shaker One has been on a bit of a flip kick of late.  Something about Spring makes the foamy lightness enticing to me.  I’m finding myself taking all sorts of “regular” cocktails and flipping them. Since I’ve already had my failed experiment with Mr. Frothee,  I’ve decided to stick with egg whites.  I am finding a big difference in the head that results from a regular shaker vs. a Boston style shaker.


Tonight’s victim?   A classic Vodka Gimlet.  <Forgive me Raymond Chandler>

Wanting just a light cocktail to end the weekend, I threw the usual suspects into my regular shaker, added ice, one egg white, and gave the whole thing a shaking like I was trying to force a confession out of it.  Vigorous though my efforts were, when I poured it out into the glass, it was only moderately foamy.  Huh.  Now, I usually use a Boston style shaker for all things flip.  Tonight I just happened to grab the shaker in front in the bar.  I suspect that the extra room in a Boston shaker allows more movement of the ice and liquids, resulting in increased foam volume.  I shall need to do some further research to back up this theory.

The cocktail itself was quite enjoyable, despite it’s pittance of foam.  At the last minute (and after the photo) I shook just a dash of bitters onto it……very nice!  It added a good balance to the tart sweetness of the Rose’s Lime.  Tough to beat a classic gimlet.

Next up in the exploration of all drinks flip~ Meringue:  Breaks Down or Holds Up?


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