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?

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.

Jul 232010

The (belated) arrival of true summer weather is met with varying degrees of enthusiasm from the two Shakers.  One thing we can agree on is that dinner tastes better outdoors.  Last night Shaker Two put together a lovely spread to officially open the Patio Bar for the season.

We dined on grilled rib eye steaks in a coffee rub (Shaker One was in heaven over this rub), herbed potatoes, grilled corn on the cob and a fabulous salad with candied pecans, goat cheese, mango and a poppy seed dressing…..yum.

We finished up our relaxing meal with a sabayon meyer lemon tart with fresh strawberries from Shaker One.

hope you all enjoy your weekend……oh, what??  You want to know if we had drinks?  Why yes, as a matter of fact we did!  how did you guess?

Shaker One as been gorging on fresh strawberries this season, so when I came across a couple of martini recipes involving strawberries and balsamic vinegar how could I resist??

First up was the Balsamic Vinegar Martini:

Simple and very pretty, but basically a vodka martini up with a lovely garnish.  As written 2 1/2 olives.

The Shakers decided to muddle this up with some extra balsamic and it was tasty!  3 1/2 olives muddled.

Next  is the Balsamic Martini by Jacopo Falleni:

4 1/2 olives.  This is a must try.

I must admit this sounded like a rather odd combination to me, but I was curious enough to mix it up.  Shaker Two and I each took a sip and our eyes grew big and round.  Mr. Falleni- you are a genius.  This is beyond delicious.  The vanilla and lime (I used vanilla vodka instead of the vanilla rum he recommends) marry perfectly with the strawberries and balsamic and the balsamic glaze adds the perfect touch.  This is a fabulous martini, really creative and well worth the bit of effort in assembling/muddling.  Oh, we skipped making the cute sword garnish from the rind of a spaghetti squash like he did.

The Shakers are off to discover more recipes that embrace the flavors of the season……check back soon for more summer mixing and muddling~

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. 😉


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