Dec 312011

Over the holidays I was gifted with a bottle of bubbly unfamiliar to me.  Described as “Russian champagne”, it sat in my fridge waiting to be sampled.  Last night I opened it and shared an early New Year’s toast with a friend who had tasted it before in his travels to Eastern Europe.


This is one of the loveliest bubblies I’ve tasted.  It has a slightly floral nose, almost as if it’s been sprinkled with a bit of St. Germain and rosewater.  Though it’s a bit on the sweeter side, the sweetness is a fruity one not a sugary one.  We went through this happily, wishing we had another bottle.  I will be thanking my friend not just for the lovely gift of the bottle, but more for introducing me to what will surely be a favorite celebratory beverage.

I just hope The Candy Store carries this.

Aug 032011

Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend a private event at a great bar/restaurant on Hollywood Blvd- The Five 0 Four.  Located near the Walk of Fame, this is a charming and boisterous Cajun/Creole themed place where it’s always Mardi Gras.  The gorgeous outdoor patio seating transports you away from the bustle of Hollywood and into a happy vacation mood.  And because it’s in Hollywood, the people watching is unparalleled.

I sampled several cocktails through the course of the event.  First I started off with a Pimm’s Cup.  Now Pimm’s is a fairly recent discovery for me.  I had it for the first time at Le Cafe Deux Magots in Paris in a pimm’s and champagne.  Delicious!  So I was anxious to try the cocktail that’s a ubiquitous English refresher.  And I loved it.  It is the perfect  light cocktail on a warm summer evening.  I’ll be making this at home without a doubt.

Next I was feeling adventurous so I ordered a Sazerac.  As the server warned me, it is something of a whiskey martini and quite strong.  I must admit that this one was lost on me.  It wasn’t the drink (it was well made), it’s just that I’ve never acquired a taste for the brown boozes.  If you enjoy your whiskey, this is a drink for you.

I missed trying their Hurricanes, though those that did certainly appeared to be enjoying them.  Towards the end of the evening I was in the mood for something a bit different and asked the bartender what he recommended.  I received one of my favorite answers, “want me to make something up for you?”.  Yes and yes.  Say hello to Petey, the charming bartender who can put together one hell of a drink:


I knew I was in good hands when I saw him spank the mint.  He made up a lovely St.Germain cocktail on the spot!  I wish I remembered what he put in it, as I’d order it again and again.  Oh well, I’ll just have to make another visit and see if he can repeat the deliciousness.  I so appreciate finding a bartender who will happily go off menu and have fun with it.  A great drink to end the night with.

Thank you Five O Four for a memorable evening.  I know where to go when I need a little taste of the Mardi Gras spirit in my week.  Until next time, Shaker One out.

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 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 062011

One of the most interesting thing in life is how it changes both in small ways and on the larger scale. The latter is the scale of Shaker Two’s big change, which is a move to another state. Now, not to fear, this blog will still be going and plans are in place and being formulated on the most fun way to keep bringing you all the crazy martini recipes and fun we have been writing about since 2009.

So, in light of Shaker Two’s imminent departure, we put together a So Long, Shaker! Shake

Shaker Two Says A Sip For The Hostesses~John joins us via skype

A few of our friends joined in both locally and via Skype and we revisited some of the favorites from the blog this far and, wow, they were just as tasty this time as they were when we first made them pair that with some of our favorite recipes and it was a night of fun, food and – of course – martinis.

First off is the Spicy Lemon Drop.

We first wrote about this in July 2010 and included it in part of our Founding Fathers 4th of July Shaker Night. This was a summer favorite with a lovely kick to a somewhat traditional lemon drop.

This was a hit with the guests and there might have been more than one consumed by a few.

As drinks were flowing, the table was set with a veritable buffet of tasty bites ranging from smoky cheezee poofs (gougeres), vichyssoise, red pepper puff pastry rolls, grilled vegetable wraps, an assortment of cheeses and fried chicken from KyoChon.

Next up is the Citrus Bliss.

Shaker One spent lots-o-time juicing citrus for these bad boys and is it worth it. The fresh citrus takes this drink from good to *SLURP*.

Third on deck is the Balsamic Martini created by Jacopo Falleni.

This one has some really amazing flavors going here and it was well worth revisiting it.

To round out the evening and to somewhat taper the spice from the KyoChon chicken (YUM!!! Thanks, Simon and Bill!) we ended with a Shaker Two favorite – the Parisian. In honor of Shaker One’s quickly approaching firtst trip to Paris, we thought this beautiful drink would be a nice addition.

All in all, this was a lovely night of friends, memories and cocktails.

Dec 132010

It is no secret that the Shakers hold St Germain elderflower liqueur near and dear to our hearts. It has been a go-to ingredient for a number of our concoctions and a lovely addition to champagne and prosecco nights. In light of this, when Shaker One read on Caroline on Crack that The Wine House was hosting an event featuring our beloved drink we were all over it. We met up with honorary Shaker, Jenni, and settled in for the fun.

This was our first event at The Wine House, though Shaker Two especially, is no stranger to its amazing wine selection. Two of LA’s top bartenders, Aidan Demarest of the newly launched Spare Room Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel and Damian Windsor of The Roger Room along with rep Chad Wiltgen came up with a good cross section of drinks.

We started out with the Winter Punch mixed up by Chad Wiltgen. This was a lovely concoction of St Germain, Aperol, grapefruit juice and lemon zest. Flavors were nice and the Aperol, Campari’s lighter cousin, encouraged Shaker Two to give herbals a try again (we all remember her reaction the last time she tasted one.) Overall,

Shaker One gives this one 3 olives

Shaker Two bestows 3.5 since it made something she previously viewed as foul a contender for trying again at some point.

Next up was what we viewed as the star of the event – the French Pear Martini.

Hello, darling! St. Germain, spiced-pear vodka, fresh lime juice and a dash of Angostura Bitters… simply lovely. Shaker One, in all her diabolically brilliant mixology glory suggested a splash of something bubbly would even add to this already gorgeous drink. Must try that soon!

We both gave this one 4.25 stars *slurp*!

We are rather glad that we had those two first, as the next drink – the Flak Jacket – was a bit of a disappointment. Now, Shaker One is not a tequila fan unless it is in a margarita so already this was met with a bit of skepticism from her. Shaker Two and Shaker Jenni can appreciate a good sipping tequila and that is about the only thing that made this one palatable to the group. Sadly, the tequila is just too overwhelming for the St Germain, Grand Marnier, orange zest and bitters. Thankfully, they used Partida Anejo for the tequila, so it was smoother than some of the harsher brands, but this drink was still a bit of a disappointment.

Shaker One:

Shaker Two: 

Next on deck was the 40 oz Punch from Damian Windsor.

This was a larger quantity drink for parties (or a bender) consisting of sparkling wine, St. Germain, run (he chose Plantation 5 year Rum), orange and lemon juices. This was not bad, but it was a tad…. boring. Shaker Two thought it tasted like the church punchbowl before the naughty boys spiked it. Slightly pleasant, but we felt that it was a bit too diluted as far as flavors went. Perhaps half the amount of sparkling wine to start.

Shakers gave this one 2.5 olives.

Now for the drink that caused raised eyebrows from both Shakers (neither of which are particular gin fans) and had us thinking we need to revisit the spirit, The English Afterthought. It was not that the drink particularly stood out as a whole, but the flavors were nicely melded and the Plymouth Gin provided a nice accompaniment to the St. Germain, blueberries, ginger and Ginger Beer. We all felt it needed a little bit more sweet to counteract the sour, but not much. The color was lovely and the muddled blueberries looked inviting. We are going to revisit this one or a variation of it – AND gin.

The final drink was another pleasant surprise. Aidan Demarest came up with The Spare Key. This one was a mixture of St. Germain (natch) Woodford Reserve Bourbon, fresh lemon and POM Wonderful. Well done on blending the flavors. You got the slight bite of the bourbon, but it was tempered and complimented with the other flavors. Shaker Two might have toned down the POM a bit – but even that is being nitpicky. Shaker One is looking to revisit bourbon and its possibilities (this solidified it after her sidecar a week or so ago) so score another plus for our mixologists this evening!

Overall, a fun night out and a hop back into the saddle for the Shakers who have been deprived of Shaker fun for a while.

May 232010

The Shakers just came back from a surprise birthday for a friend of ours, Simon (aka the Simonster) In honor of him notching another year on his belt, Shaker One created a lovely custom ‘tini for our friend.

The Simonstertini is a delicious concoction of grapefruit juice, lemongrass syrup, St. Germain and a few other ingredients that blended into a delightful drink. As a nod to Simon’s insane metabolism, we added in some “tape worms” made of long strands of grapefruit zest. Anyone who knows Simon knows his slender frame hides a rather freakish ability to down vast quantities of calorically dense food without normal human repercussions. In other words, we secretly hate him. 😉

The party was a fun affair and loaded with a number of Simon’s favorite take-out items, including Taco Bell, Popeye’s fried chicken, KyoChon, and pizza. Simon brought some amazing carnitas nachos he had made (he thought he was coming to dinner with a couple friends.) The decor was ocean themed in honor of Simon and Jenni’s impending trip to the Bahamas. There were shots of Crown Royal downed and a truly entertaining game of Celebrity played – the three round version for even more silliness, natch.

Special thanks to Jenni for planning the get-together, George for hosting, Kara for the Celebrity suggestion and the rest of the group for a fun evening.

Happy birthday, Simon!!!

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.

Feb 222010

The Shakers have come up with a new signature martini:

The Love Potion #9 (working title)

Inspired by the Velvet Kiss and couple of our favorite ingredients (Lillet Blanc, St. Germain) we’ve created a tasty tini to melt your heart……literally.

3 oz Vodka
2 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz St. Germain elderflower liquor
1 oz lemon juice
splash of simple syrup (optional)

Shake above over ice, strain into a martini glass and gently drop in a frozen heart. Yes, that’s a frozen heart of berry puree you see floating in the glass.

This martini is meant to be sipped slowly. The flavor changes over time. You start out with a nice citrus-y top note, but as the drink matures you start to get a more pronounced Lillet flavor and near the end, the berry puree heart melts to color and flavor the last half of your drink. This is a martini to savor, enjoying the layers as they develop.

Shaker 1 gives this a 4 1/2 olives

Feb 142010

Hello and Happy Valentines Day to all our Shaker pals. Shakers 1 and 2, being single gals, decided the very best way to celebrate this holiday would be with good friends, good tinis and of course, ZOMBIES!!!!

So we gathered a small crowd of discriminating palates, assembled a menu of zombie and valentine appropriate tinis and screened “Zombieland”.

Thanks to everyone for bringing such tasty snacks. We hovered ’round the table and hoovered up the treats. Yum.

First up- The Zombie Martini:

After searching the web for zombie themed drinks, we decided to pass on all the “colorful/creative” (read gross) “bleeding brain” type tinis and just go with a classic. We basically took the recipe for a traditional zombie cocktail and shook it up martini style. A mild martini, heavy on the fruit juices. One guest said it would make a good breakfast alternative to a screwdriver. You could easily speed up this zombie by altering the booze to juice ratio, but this was a nice way to begin the evening. Guests rated this from 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 olives.

Next up was another in our Teani Series- The Chai Teani:

We infused rain vodka with chai tea (Stash Chai Spice Black Tea from Trader Joe’s). We then shook that with heavy cream, simple syrup and a dash of cinnamon. This was delicious, though all agreed that we’d gone just a tiny bit heavy on the cinnamon (*Shaker 1 holds up her hand to take responsibility for this, I just can’t control myself with cinnamon*). This was a very good teani, with complex spice layers coming through. I still think we need to play with the recipe a bit more and perhaps even foam up the cream first to give it more body. Though Shakers 1 and 2 agreed it wasn’t up to the level of the Earl Grey Teani, our consensus rating was 4 olives.

Last up for the evening was a martini created especially for Valentines Day. We let our guests name it and the result:

The Velvet Kiss:

This is a seductive martini. Rich red color, perfumed aromas of elderflower, deep berry base; with a splash of prosecco at the end. It lived up to it’s name. Delicious, layered flavors, not too sweet, a sexy drink any day of the year.

We gave this 4 3/4 olives.

This was the hit of the evening. In fact, as our Valentines gift to you, here is the recipe:

-Take about a cup of frozen mixed berries, add a splash of triple sec and let thaw.(why a whole cup? Because you’ll want more than one of these)
-In a shaker, muddle about 1/4 cup of the berry mix (I use an immersion blender to really get the juices flowing)
-add ice to the shaker
-add the following: 2 shots premium vodka
1 shot Chambord
1/2 shot St. Germain elderflower liquor
-shake well, strain into martini glass and pour in a splash of prosecco or champagne.

Serve this to your sweetie and we will not be responsible for the results (though you will thank us later).

A special thank you to all of our wonderful guests for making this a super fun Shaker night.

Oh, and the movie? Shaker 1 gives Zombieland a double tap!

Happy Valen-braaaaaaaainnsssssssssssssssss………………..


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