Strawberry Martini

Strawberry Martini

You know I love a good cocktail. It’s Summer and it’s time for a great fruity drink that calls for sipping on the porch or by the pool. Summer is the best time to explore new drinks as the fruit is ripe and plentiful. If you are lucky enough to have a strawberry plant then you can pluck off a little white or pink flower from the plant and use as a garnish, or simply garnish with a ripe strawberry placed on the rim of the glass.

Strawberry Cassis Martini 2

Strawberry Cassis Martini

yield: 2 servings

4 fresh strawberries, (preferably large size) washed and dried

4-6 ice cubes

4 oz. quality vodka

2 tsp. crème de cassis liquer

2 tsp. fresh lime juice

2 tsp. sugar (preferably superfine sugar)

Prepare 2 martini glasses or other decorative glasses by chilling in the fridge.  Muddle 2 strawberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add in the ice, vodka, crème de cassis, lime juice and sugar. Shake vigorously about 10-12 times. Prepare the rim of the glasses by rubbing with lime juice around the rim and dip each one into sugar. Strain and divide the contents into the two chilled glasses. Garnish each glass with a fresh strawberry on the rim by making a small slit into the berry with a sharp knife.

Copycat Starbucks Blackberry Mojito Ice Tea Lemonade

Starbucks Copycat Blackberry Mojito Ice Tea Lemonade

Do you ever get mad when suddenly your favorite restaurant, establishment, grocery store etc. stop carrying a product you love? You know the feeling…you’re cruising along about your day and ready for something familiar or favorite and suddenly, WHAM you’re told “We stopped making that” or “We stop carrying that”. Excuse ME?! Like for real? I’ve been waiting all darn Winter long for a Blackberry Mojito Shaken Ice Tea Lemonade-whatever the heck that name of that darned drink- was. Uh huh. Now, I was craving that drink. CRAVING IT. I kept thinking okay, about Spring time they would start bringing it back. Nope. I inquired- They “decided” not to bring it back this year.  Well, that was not going to do, so I decided to play around with the recipe (I knew the components cause I asked one day while chatting up the Starbucks gal last year) and set up my lab/shop in my kitchen to experiment. I know the original mixture contains blackberry mojito green tea from Teavana, but I found this tea mix at Cost Plus one day and I think it is lovely. If you use a green tea based mint flavored tea you should be fine. After playing around with different measures this is what I’ve come up with. So for all of you Blackberry Mojito Ice Tea Lemonade lovers out there, this is for you.

Copycat Tea Setup



Copycat Starbucks Blackberry Mojito Ice Tea Lemonade

yield: one serving

3/4 Cup Mojito or Mint flavored  Iced green tea (follow package directions for making iced tea)

1/4 Cup store bought lemonade (I like Simply Lemonade)

1 1/2 Tbsp. Blackberry Syrup such as Torani or Monin



Fill a glass with ice, stir the iced tea, lemonade and syrup together. Enjoy~

New Years Eve Champagne Cocktails

I’m not one to go out on New Years Eve. This does not mean I don’t drink champagne; that is a MUST.  I’ve just never been one to go out and party on New Year’s Eve; for some reason I enjoy staying at home and making a special meal and celebrating with the ones I love.

With champagne.

I know that sounds incredibly boring. I love champagne. I know a lot of people do not really care for the taste of it, so I have made it my mission to come up with a few ideas for you. Yes, there was some serious tasting and research involved. Someone has got to do it. You see the lengths I go to for you?! . The first champagne cocktail is a turquoise sip. I just made that up.  Perhaps it is a rif on a blue angel-so I’ll just call it the New Years Eve Champagne Cocktail, or maybe I’ll call it the turquoise sip. That sounds kinda cool; or maybe it’s because it’s a Sunday morning and I just have had waaayyy too much champagne taking photos and making cocktails…yep, that’s it for sure.

The second cocktail is really a process and less of a recipe and that is filling a champagne flute with different flavors of sorbet or sherbet and then filling with champagne. You could totally use 7-up or a lemon line soda in place of in both these drinks so your young-ins can partake.  For the Turquoise sip; just remove the blue curacao and use blue Hawaiian punch instead.  I totally dorked out and forgot to rim the glass with sugar for the turquoise sip, but definitely do that with silver, blue or regular sugar if you have some.

turquoise sip champagne cocktail

New Year's Eve Champagne Cocktail

New Years Eve Champagne Cocktails

“Turquoise Sip”

yield: one drink

1 oz. pineapple juice (cold)

1/2 oz. blue curacao (1 Tbsp.)

sparkling wine or champagne

sparkling sugar for rim (optional)

In a champagne glass pour the juice and blue curacao, add the champagne and serve cold.

For kids Non Alcohol version:

1 oz. pineapple juice

1-2 oz. blue Hawaiian punch

7-up  or Sprite


Sherbet/Sorbet Cocktail

mixed sorbet cocktail

mixed sorbet cocktail prep

lime, mango, raspberry sorbet and champagne cocktail

sorbet champagne cocktail

Sherbet/Sorbet Cocktail

Per cocktail/mocktail

1 small scoop lime sherbet

1 small scoop raspberry sorbet

1 small scoop mango sorbet

Champagne, Asti Spumante, or sparkling wine (7-up or Sprite for non Alcohol version)

S’more Martini

Do you ever go blank when your waitress or waiter ask you what do you want to drink? You KNOW you want a cocktail; but you want something different or something fun and special. I love it when restaurants or bars carry a specialty drink list-and especially if they include a picture of the cocktail! It makes it easy to pick something you might not ordinarily order. I recently bought a really fun book with all kinds of specialty drinks; “Candy Cocktails” by Flannery Good and Katherine Good. I’m enjoying looking through the recipes and the pictures. This super fun cocktail is from that book. This would be a great drink to make for a fun girls night in! I even toasted my marshmallow indoors right over the stove.

smore martini 1

S’more Martini

recipe: “Candy Cocktails”

yield: one martini

milk chocolate, melted for rim

graham cracker crumbs, for rim

2 oz. heavy whipping cream

2 oz. marshmallow vodka

1 oz. creme de cacao liquor

1/2 oz. chocolate syrup

pinch of salt

1 toasted marshmallow for garnish

Rim a martini glass with the melted chocolate and graham cracker crumbs, and set aside. In a shaker with ice, pour the cream, vodka, crème de cacao, chocolate syrup, and salt. Shake vigorously and pour the mixture into the martini glass. Garnish with toasted marshmallow.

Note: you may make a larger batch ahead of time (by just mixing all the ingredients) and keep chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.

smore martini 2

smore martini 4

The “Painkiller” Cocktail

You’ve had one of those days haven’t you? Go ahead–take a sip of The Painkiller.

The Painkiller will make you forget  your day. Possibly the last 3 days matter of fact. I’ve been playing around with pineapple and coconut recipes the last week and happened to remember this cocktail and found it fitting to sip on while I’ve been recipe testing.

The Painkiller is the cocktail you want to reach for when life seems to have gotten you down. One sip and your mind wanders to a vacation spot with aquamarine blue waters, palm trees and warm soft breezes.

Your boss being a drip this week? take a sip…

The weather got you down? take a sip…

Is the laundry piling up even though you just did it? take a sip…

The Painkiller will make it all better. A least for a good half hour while you slip into a pineapple coconut dreamed filled serious coma nap on the couch….close your eyes and imagine that couch is a hammock swinging in the breeze~

p.s. If you have someone in your clan that does not partake in alcohol then omit the rum and add in some extra light coconut milk or coconut water with an optional splash of club soda.

The Painkiller 4

 Take a sip….you know you want it

The Painkiller Cocktail 2

The Painkiller 3

Painkiller 5

The Painkiller

4 oz. pineapple juice

1 1/2 oz. orange juice

1 oz. cream of coconut (also known as coconut cream)

2 oz. dark rum* (see note below)

*optional: 1 oz. light coconut milk

optional: garnish: fresh pineapple, orange slice, mint or sprinkle of nutmeg

*(I found I liked the cocktail with a splash of light coconut milk-which adds an extra creaminess)

1. In a cocktail filled with ice combine the juices and cream of coconut and shake vigorously. Fill a glass half way with crushed ice or small cubes and strain the juice mixture from the cocktail shaker into the glass. Pour in the rum and optional splash of coconut milk. Garnish as desired with pineapple, orange slice and/or cherry. Serve very cold.

Recipe update: I now make this with white rum instead (which now I prefer) and then add in a splash or (floater) of dark rum on top.

Mango Lassi

Are you mad for mango? I love mango. A few years ago I had one of the best mango smoothies (of my life) when I still lived in San Francisco, at a Thai restaurant. My son actually ordered it, (it was huge) so I ended up having about half of it. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant but it is on the corner right outside of the Broadway tunnel. Serve this in pretty glasses with a spicy Thai or Indian meal on a beautiful sunny day dining al fresco. It is bright and fresh.

Cheers to spring~


mango lassi 2

mango lassi

mango lassi 3

Mango Lassi with Coconut Milk


recipe: adapted from Cuisine at home magazine (April 2014 issue)

yield: (4 cups: 2-4 servings)


2 1/2 Cups diced mango (fresh or frozen) * I used a 12 oz. frozen pkg. and used it unthawed

1 Cup ice cubes (use a little less ice if using frozen mango)

3/4 Cup canned lite coconut milk

1/2 Cup mango nectar

1/2 Cup vanilla Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

3-4 Tbsp. honey

garnish: pinch of cinnamon



Puree mango, ice, coconut milk, nectar, yogurt, line juice, and honey in a blender or food processor. Garnish each lassi with a light sprinkling of cinnamon. Note: taste your smoothie; if it’s not quite sweet enough you can add a little more honey. Depending on how sweet the mangos are you may need to adjust.

Holiday Sparkling Pom Pom Cocktail

Are you afraid of the pomegranate?

Uh huh, that’s what I thought…

I was too until I found out they are really not that intimidating once you learn how to open one without having seeds fly all over your kitchen or getting hit by red juice. Just in case; maybe wear a red shirt. I came across a good tutorial on this website on how to open a pomegranate. You can “juice” a pomegranate if you like for its fresh juice or buy it in a jar. *See below on how to juice a pomegranate. I came across cherry pomegranate juice and decided to use that. Happy Holidays…

*How to juice a pomegranate (by Rachel Ray)

Roll the pomegranate on the counter applying firm pressure for about 1 minute. Roll it around so all sides get contact. Have a small pot or deep vessel available; insert a sharp paring knife about 1 inch deep into the side of the fruit. Holding the fruit over the vessel squeeze firmly with both hands using the heels of your hands to extract the juice into the pot.


Sparkling Pom Martini

Sparkling Holiday Pom Pom

recipe: food network magazine

yield: one cocktail

2 Tbsp. Lillet Liquor

2 Tbsp. pomegranate Juice or cherry pomegranate Juice

1 Tbsp. fresh pomegranate seeds

Sparkling rosé wine

Directions: (If you like your glass with a sugared rim-pour a small amount of juice on a plate and another plate place a small amount of sugar.  Dip the glass into the juice then dip glass into sugar). Combine 2 tablespoons each Lillet and pomegranate juice and 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds in a champagne flute or martini glass. Top with sparkling rose. Top with fresh mint leaf if desired.