Jul 042010

Rather then toss tea into the Bay, The Red Shakers opted to revisit an old friend and start our festivities with the Earl Grey MarTEAni. As the whistling and bangs from neighbors lighting off fireworks began, we gathered to celebrate the 234th birthday of declaring our independence.

After a long couple of weeks, a relaxing night was very much welcome. The Shakers combined forces to make a little snacky assortment of French Fries, tri-tip mini-tacos with cumin cream and roasted peppers, macaroni and cheese and roasted corn with jalapeño butter and cockdoggies – a lovely little tapas style dinner.

The Earl Grey MarTEAni did not disappoint second time around, but we also had to add another martini to our roster of recipes, so onto a new recipe:

The Pineapple Drop Martini

This was a tasty concoction that was light and not too overpowering in either sweetness or pineapple. The lime was a nice counter to the natural sugars in the fruit.

The Shakers concur, this one rates 4 olives. A really nice summer drink.

Next on deck is a Shaker One Creation (and people, let me tell you, she has moments of sheer genius)

Spicy Lemon Drop Martini

This zippy, kicky concoction is a huge dose of awesome. The perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Basically, it is a cayenne and lemon simple syrup mixed into a martini. Smiles all around and taste buds overwhelmed with glee.

4 3/4 olives for this one.

Dessert was a spectacularly patriotic duo of red, white and blue dipped strawberries and red, white and blue mousse. Both were festive additions to our little celebration. Kudos to Shaker One (as always) for being so creative with the presentation!

Our evening draws to a close and the fireworks are bursting in air. Happy Independence Day and cheers to you.

Oh, and one more thing.. be gentle with martini glasses when drying… those stems can break when you least expect them. This is when you appreciate that lovely first-aid kit your mom said needed to keep around. 😉

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.


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