Mar 172012

Shakers One and Two would like to wish all of our friends a safe and happy drinky day.  And while neither of us are really much for the whole green beer thing, we somehow found a way to put a little Irish in our evening.


The Irish Coffee Martini


3 ozs strong brewed coffee, cooled

2 ozs whiskey

1 oz vodka

1/2 oz simple syrup (or use raw sugar/brown sugar in the cocktail shaker if you prefer)

Heavy cream whipped with about a teaspoon of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons Baileys


Apologies for the poor photo quality, but Shaker One was too anxious to taste this to fool around with fancy photo taking.

I love Irish Coffee.  This is all that is right about a perfect Irish Coffee but chilled.  The vodka takes a bit of the whiskey bite out without losing the flavor.  The Baileys give the heavy cream topping an amazing depth.  I over whipped the cream here, which doesn’t make for a pretty drink.  But it tastes amazing.  You can either sip it as is and the coffee part grabs some of the cream with each sip, or stir it up for a drink that Starbucks can only dream of serving.

Thankfully St. Patrick’s Day comes only once a year, or these would become a dangerous habit.

Shaker One gives this 4 3/4 olives.

Now go find your leprechaun!


Dec 292011

I freaking LOVE Christmas. I love the decorations, the food, the drinks, the friends, the gifts and I adore some of the seasonal favorites that are brought out this time of year ingredient and product wise.

Peppermint ice cream, eggnog, panattone, pumpkin this and gingerbread that… such deep, spicy, rich flavors that come out. It is like a beautiful holiday parade of flavors that, I think, is unmatched at any other time of the year.

Now, I know we focus on martinis and other festive drinks here at The Red Shaker.. and I am not adverse to extolling the virtues of hot toddies, mulled ciders and wines, wassail and eggnog spiked with all sorts of tasty liquors, but today, I am going to take over The Shaker and share one of my favorite Christmas morning breakfasts – and one I had neglected for a few years (BAD me!)

Eggnog French Toast.

Oh yes, that glorious, creamy, rich beverage is not just for sipping anymore. Mix that stuff with a couple eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, pinch-o-nutmeg and soak some cinnamon raising bread in it and you have yourself and amazingly decadent version of the classic. I top with a touch of real maple syrup and a side of sausage and it’s a Christmas miracle on a plate, my dears.

The other rendition I have is with another holiday product – panattone.

If you have not tried this lovely Italian sweet bread, you are missing out. You can find it in Italian markets and even your regular grocery stores packed in a box. You can try to make it, but it is a lengthy process that will test your patience (it has to rise for almost a day) but so worth it. You can only imagine, in addition to the traditional ways it is served – that this lovely, slightly sweet bread, would make ROCKIN’ French toast. (I don’t use the eggnog for this one, that would be overkill – which is good in a shaker, but not on a plate.)

As we take a bit of time to wish everyone a very merry, happy and glorious holiday season, enjoy the moments with family and friends.

And keep shaking it up while we get ready to ring in 2012!

Dec 052011

Today marks the anniversary of the end of a dark chapter in our Nation’s history~Prohibition.  <shudder>
I don’t even like to say it out loud.  Imagine, criminalizing the cocktail. But it happened children.  For 13 terribly sober years the thirsty citizenry suffered under the 18th amendment.  Thankfully repealed by the 21st amendment in 1933,  the 18th Amendment was relegated to the ash heap of history.  The country could once again tip a glass without fear of arrest.

So do your patriotic duty as an imbibing American today~ have an adult beverage to celebrate a freedom we won’t allow to be taken away from us ever again.

“Sweet land of liberty………(wiping away tear)”

Nov 302011

The other night Shaker One was in the mood for an adult beverage but wanted to try something different.  So off I went to rummage around in the bar, fridge and pantry…….nothing grabbed me.  Until I poked my head in the frezer and spied  some Haagen Dazs raspberry sorbet.  Suddenly I remembered my lovely bottle of Creme de Mure and inspiration struck!


Now I’ve used sorbet in place of ice in several martinis before.  You get some of the flavor of the sorbet itself as well as a lovely texture to the drink……thicker in an almost fluffy way.  I love that technique.

So into the shaker went:

2 large spoonfuls raspberry sorbet

1 shot Creme de Mure

3 shots vodka

2 shots fresh lemon juice

Shake, strain and finish with a dash of lemon bitters.  Now that may sound like a lot of lemon juice to you, but trust me- you need the bite of citrus to balance the syrupy sweetness of the Creme de Mure as well as the sweet sorbet.  This is a lovely drink, sweet without being at all cloying or “dessert-y” and the raspberry marries with the blackberry liquor beautifully.  Though I think it would make a lovely light after dinner option in place of dessert.  I loved the slightly slushee, slightly foamy mouth feel that the sorbet produced.  You can see it here:

Raspberry Sorbetini~ I’d give this one 4 1/2 olives.  We’ll have to get Shaker Two to give it a try and chime in.




Aug 152011

“Every night, in every city around the world- it happens……”

If that sounds familiar to you, then you’ve already met my new personal hero:  Zane Lamprey, host of the show that is pretty well the Olympics/Super Bowl/Indy 500 of drinking:  Three Sheets.  I know, I know….I’m a bit late to this party.  This show has sat in my hulu queue for the better part of a year, but I just never found the time.   Well, nasty summer cold + weekend feeling like crap= tons of free time to catch up on some entertainment options.  And after re-watching all of my favorite zombie movies, it was time for a virtual cocktail.  Because that’s yet another lame by product of feeling like crap:  no desire for actual cocktails.  Which, when you’ve got a martini blog, can be a problem.

{The management would like to apologize for the week off of drinking/posting last week.  I hope you were all able to carry on without me.  Thank you for your patience and we will now resume our regularly scheduled imbibing}

I have to admit, Shaker One is a sucker for cooking/travel tasting shows.  Bourdain, Ramsey…give me a chef and a half hour and I’ll happily sit for any of it.  Some are great, some less so.  But in reading the synopsis for Three Sheets I thought, hmmm-a show devoted to sampling cocktails from around the globe?  How could this not be fantastic?


And it is my friends, oh my yes it is.
First off, Zane is an excellent host.  He’s funny, warm, adventurous and makes a real effort to seek out what is unique and/or special in any locale, all while being totally respectful to the country and it’s people.  And the man’s liver has got to be bulletproof.  Even in my wild imbibing college days, I couldn’t keep up with him.  And that’s saying something.  How he’s made it through 4 seasons of this without ending up on the transplant list is beyond me.  So far I’ve worked my way through the first season and part of the second, vicariously sampling all that is weird, wonderful and wet in a glass.

If you enjoy travel and cocktails, this is the show for you.  I look forward to the rest of the series.  Zane Lamprey, I owe you a drink if we ever cross paths.



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 252011

Next up is an absolute favorite bubbly for both Shakers.  Another fantastic discovery by Shaker Two, this one is a bit of a splurge (in the $50 and over category).  Worth it for a special dinner or celebration.  Really an elegant wine, it creates a fine shower of tiny bubbles in your glass.  Shakers One and Two really love this one.

Marc Hebrart Cuvee Reserve



You’ve seen us rave about this in a previous post.  Shaker one feels this one is even more enjoyable than Moet White Star.  Worth the splurge.


Go ahead, you deserve it!

Mar 312011

Sadly, both Shakers have had to take  a bit of a hiatus from Shaking and tend to other things… but we felt we had neglected the shakers, vodka and our faithful followers long enough so we are sneaking in a mid week oasis of tastiness and relaxation.  Yes The Shaker Girls are back!  It’s March.  It’s 75 degree sundress weather.  The sun is setting, casting streaks of deep pink and scarlet across the sky and we are dipping our shaking toes back into the cocktail waters.

In a somewhat unorthodox departure from our martini theme, we are tasting some proseccos.  First up: a lovely rose from Mendocino California called Etoile!  Bottled by the people at Domaine Chandon, this shy girl splashes into the glass with a pale blush as if we’d told an off color joke.  Light, subtle and a fresh compliment to our mini appetizer feast.  Oh, did we not mention the tasties?

Domaine Chandon Etoile Rose

A walk back to some of our favorites:  cheezy poofs (petits gougeres), caramelized onion tarts (and Shaker One has finally cracked the perfect pastry crust!) and one new entry-eclectic endive spears with spicy/bacony/slightly sweek smoky filling and a balsamic glaze drizzle.   Yeah, we had at them.  Yum.  (I am not sure how Shaker One comes up with some of these combinations, but I think she would kick the snot out of those TV chef wannabes… and I am not just sucking up because I want more of her cooking. 😀 )

gougereonion tart

And then we moved on to dessert:   Sliced strawberries over a pool of meyer lemon curd with fresh whipped  cream.  And with it?

meyer lemon curd

OMG Shaker Two-where did you find this gem???  One sip and both Shakers flipped.  A surprisingly delightful spumante:  La Montecchia.  You can be sure we’ll both be hunting down more of this.  Delicious~!

Overall, the evening was a lovely catch up session and planning of things to come as big changes are in store in Shaker Land. Ought to be exciting and fun… stay tuned and we promise we won’t be away so long next time.

<One side note about the Etoile bubbly.  Though it is in a normal champagne style bottle, it has a beer bottle type cap on top.  No cork.  Shaker one was dubious, but it did not seem to have any effect on the flavor/effervescence at all.  I shall remember this one for tailgating.  Very easily opened with a regular bottle opener.>

Sep 132010

Please pardon the chaos here at The Red Shaker as we migrate to a new web host…. it is Shaker Two’s first time migrating hosts and things don’t always go as smoothly as one might like when you are learning on the fly.

I think I have everything moved over and all the photos are now visible again (cuz, THAT didn’t cause a bit of frowning and grumbling with a whole collection of dead image links.)

Still have to get all the formatting back – or I might even change it, we will see which way the wind blows.

In the meantime, please forgive our silence, both Shakers have been bizzy little bees with work, other work, finishing a half marathon (yes, I will still bask in the afterglow thankyouverymuch.)

More to come soon, friends…. neither Shaker can do too long without a martini in some form or fashion.


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