Jul 292011

Recently a friend gifted me with a bottle of -for me- a brand new spirit: Veev acai liquor.  He had tried it on his own and was not impressed……said it had an earthy flavor, with almost chocolate notes.  I was intrigued.  Finding myself with an entire bottle of the stuff  plus pitcher and recipes, what does Shaker One do?  Why, invents her own concoction of course!

The Strawberry Acai


Fresh ripe strawberries muddled with chocolate mint leaves ( Yes, you read that correctly.  I have chocolate mint growing in The Balcony Bar garden), shaken over ice with Veev and a dash of chambord.  All I can say is this is my kind of health food!  Yum and yum.  Fruity with just a hint of sweetness…..you get a very subtle taste of the chocolate mint.  This one is a winner.  4 olives.

Now I must admit that when I tried a sip of the Veev straight I was skeptical.   It smelled like the jello shots I make for tailgating season.  Oddly sweet and indistinctly fruity.  It looks like vodka-completley clear, but does have a touch of sweetness to it.  I read the suggested recipes and was uninspired.  Now that I’ve given it a run I can see it playing very well with different fresh berry flavors….and perhaps even in a dessert martini.  You can read for yourself all the supposed heath claims for this “miracle fruit”.

Thanks Simon for sharing and inspiring!!  Now I’m off to take my *winkwink* vitamin……and no, I’m not wearing the bracelet.

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 202011

True Confessions Time:  Shaker One has an entire shelf in her fridge devoted solely to all things fizzy.  I use bookends to hold up the rows of bottles.  Mostly its a few varieties of proseccos, kept on hand for whenever the mood hits.  Currently there’s also that bottle of South African bubbly I’ve wanted to try but just haven’t found a reason to open, next to the bottle of Schlumberger White Secco.  And of course, the ever present emergency champagne bottle remains at the ready at all times (usually Moet).

Shaker One Life Rule:  Like pearl earrings or a little black dress, a lady always keeps a chilled bottle of champagne on hand for any emergencies.


Now I adore champagne cocktails, but sometimes one is in the mood for something a bit different…like:

Bittersweet Bubbly Cooler


Take a tall glass, add a splash of Chambord, a bigger splash of Rose’s Lime (or lime juice and simple syrup), a few dashes of bitters (like Angostura), add ice, fresh berries  top with sparkling wine and stir.

This is a unique take on the traditional champagne cocktail.  Not sweet, with a complex layered flavor that is still completely refreshing.  This is a great way to kill the last of the bubbly in last night’s bottle.  I shall make this one again very soon.

Pop your corks and enjoy!


Jul 152011

So I’m sitting at my desk doing work-related things and my doorbell rings.  Huh, not expecting anyone at 5pm on a saturday afternoon.  “Fedex delivery, we’re gonna need an adult’s signature for this”.

Well, technically I suppose I qualify.  But I didn’t order anything….and it seems to be booze.  Can it be?  Is the mythical Wine Fairy real??

I opened the carton and unwrapped some wonderful new ingredients:


Fruit infused dessert wines and bitters from a small manufacturer in Maine.  A few emails later, I discover to my delight that one of my Sisters, while in Maine, did a tasting and decided I needed to experiment with some fun new ingredients~!

I can’t wait to see how these play with summer fruits.  And two new bitters!  I do love the special magic that just the right dash of bitters can add to a cocktail.

Sorry, no wine fairy.  But even better~inspiration in a box, completely unexpected.  Stay tuned for what I dream up with these.

And thanks Lynda!!

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.





May 042011

So, aside from our obvious enjoyment of all things martini, the Shakers love a nice sparkling wine.  Champagne, prosecco, cava…..each of them do the happy dance on our tongues.

As a bit of a break from the stronger drinks, Shaker One would like to introduce you to the first in a series of all things bubbly.  Our favorite brands, tools, storage tips, bubbly friendly cocktail recipes….if it sparkles I’m determined to cover it.  The world of bubbly is infinite and magical, so we shall take our time with this journey.


But to begin-Blackberry Prosecco Cocktail:

Blackberry Prosecco Cocktail


Fresh blackberries muddled with just a splash of Cointreau or Triple Sec, topped with prosecco and a bit of orange zest.  I also threw in a few drops of Bitters, but if you prefer a sweeter experience leave those out. And of course you can use champagne or cava in place of the prosecco if you prefer.

Oh my,  I do love berries in bubbly….as when you’ve finished drinking the liquid you get to fish them out, plump and succulent from their marination.  They are the Crackerjack prize at the bottom of my glass.

Summer is just around the corner….the perfect time to stamp your libation passport with as many effervescent trips as you can take.  Cheers!

Dec 272010

Earlier this year, I was having dinner with clients at Ford’s Filling Station. While bellying up to the bar waiting for our table, one of the bartenders suggested I give a try to a vodka they had started to carry – Tito’s.

Tito’s vodka

“Tito’s” is not a name of a vodka, it is the name of that LA landmark, Tito’s Tacos.… or Tito Puente, the Latin jazz musician. Surely this was a jest.

Tito's vodka bottle

He then tells me it is from Texas. My home state which is the home of the best BBQ*, Blue Bell Ice Cream, Lone Star Beer, Whataburger and Tex Mex cuisine is now making vodka.

He met my dubiously raised eyebrow with a “trust me,” then poured a sample and I drank. To my surprise it was really smooth with a hint of a bite to remind you that this is indeed 80 proof. Well done, my friend.

I stumbled onto Tito’s again while at another client dinner, this restaurant has odd ideas of what they will and will not carry in their vodka’s, but this time they had added Tito’s to their selection. I had a couple dirty martinis and a glass straight on the rocks and was pleased with it all.

Turns out, Tito’s is a small distillery in Texas started by Tito Beveridge (with a name like that, how can you NOT be in the spirits game?) His handmade flavored vodkas won double gold in the World Spirits Competition and he has been handcrafting his vodkas ever since. Check out the origin of Tito’s on their site. I’m a fan.

Shaker One has concurred that this is a good permanent addition to the Shaker Bar. What we noticed is that this does well for a dirty martini, somewhere one of our stand-bys, Rain, just doesn’t succeed. Excellent, I say. I am after all, a dirty girl at heart.

The Shaker’s say check it out.

* This is my post and I’ll make that claim if I want to. ~Shaker Two, the Texan. 😉


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