It’s Coming Up Cocktails:: My Favorite Spring Sips

What better way to usher in a new season than to welcome it with cocktails?! Since I am still busy wrapping up my second book, Cocktail Italiano, I have cocktails on my mind all the time. These two spring sips are two of my favorites. They’re oldies but goodies.

The first, the Rare Fellow, is like taking a sip of spring harvest especially with its jalapeno garnish. The second, a Blood Orange Margarita, will be your go-to for the season I am sure of it. Who doesn’t love a great margarita? Enjoy and happy spring!

xx Annette

These two spring sips are two of my favorites. The first is like taking a sip of spring harvest, and the second will be your go-to for the season.

The Rare Fellow
serves 1

You will need:
– 2 slices of jalapeno pepper ( + 1 slice for garnish)
– 1/2 inch slice of ginger peeled and grated on a microplane
– 2 oz. of fresh orange juice
– 1/2 ounce Triple Sec
– 1 oz. Martin Millers Gin
– 2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice ( or lemonade)

To prepare:
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the ginger, orange juice and jalapeno slices. Add Triple Sec, Gin and lemon juice, along with ice, and shake until combined. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass and garnish with a jalapeno slice. *Option – For a sweeter version, lemonade can be substituted for the lemon juice.

Photo: by Moi

These two spring sips are two of my favorites. The first is like taking a sip of spring harvest, and the second will be your go-to for the season.

Blood Orange Margaritas
serves 4
You will need:

– 1 cup (8 oz.) freshly squeezed blood orange juice (about 7-8 oranges)
– ½ cup (4 oz.) freshly squeezed lime juice
– ¾ cup (6 oz.) tequila
– ½ cup (4 oz.) orange liqueur
– ¼ cup (2 oz.) simple syrup
– Blood orange slices, for garnish

To prepare:

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir well to combine.  Pour into chilled glasses over ice. Garnish with a slice of blood orange, if desired.  Serve.

Photo by:  Annie Eats

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Sungold Zinger Cocktail

Let’s just keep the tomato theme going this week, shall we?

Oma Blaise Ford is a self-confessed word and image freak who has spent her time over the past 18 years or so making magazines in the shelter and lifestyle arenas. She also happens to be one of my best friends.

Her recipe for a Sungold Zinger screams summer and is a nice, savory twist on a typical sweet summer cocktail. It tastes like a bright splash of summer in a martini glass.

Sungold Zinger
(recreated from the bar at Range in San Francisco)

You will need:

– 4 Sungold cherry tomatoes, plus 1 for garnish
– 2 oz Gin
– 3/4 oz Lemon juice
– 1/4 to 1/3 oz agave nectar

To prepare:

In a cocktail shaker, muddle cherry tomatoes to release juice. Add ice and shake with the rest of the ingredients. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a martini glass (you may need to stir the liquid in the strainer to get the whole drink into the glass). Garnish with a cherry tomato.

Notes: The tomatoes matter. (Don’t they always?) The rich sweetness and orangey color of ripe Sungolds make this drink. Range used No. 209 Gin, which I can’t find here, so I use Bombay Sapphire. Adjust the agave nectar depending on the sweetness of the tomatoes, the tartness of the lemon, and your taste. All my friends know I like my drinks on the tart side, so I usually lean toward the lesser amount.

images via Richard Swearinger and Oma Blaise Ford

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Backyard Bramble

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I just love a good, simple summer cocktail, and that’s exactly what this Backyard Bramble is. Of course this cocktail was inspired by Martin Miller’s gin, but it’s also a result of the glorious weather we’ve had in Italy. Not to mention the fabulous workshop attendees and my awesome team who have been helping me trek across Italy for photoshoots. Be sure to follow along on my Instagram for the latest behind the scenes; you’ll never guess what we’re working on!

In the meantime, enjoy this fantastic Backyard Bramble. Mix it up for a crowd and serve it at your next party!

Backyard Bramble
(or Martin’s Backyard Bramble if you use Martin Miller’s gin)

You will need:
– 6 oz Blackberries
– Large handful of mint leaves (approx. 12-16 leaves?)
– Juice of half a lemon
– 12 drops or so Meyer lemon bitters
– 4 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
– 12 oz Gin
– mineral water or club soda
To prepare: 
 
In a pitcher, muddle blackberries, mint, and lemon juice. Add bitters, St. Germain, and gin. Let sit in the fridge for an hour or so. Strain, and serve over ice topped with mineral water.
Serves 6-8 in small tea glasses.
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Where to go :: Barcelona, Spain

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As you all know by now, I spend the summer in Italy. This year, as in many years, Frank and I planned a road trip. This year, I wanted to take Mimi Thorisson’s Manger Workshop in Medoc, France in Bourdeax. So I looked at the map and decided that a trip to Barcelona, Spain would work nicely into the week. I was also interested in visiting Chateau Gudanes for a possible Style + Photo Workshop location. The chateau is located at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains, not the south of France which is Provence, very near the Spanish border, in fact. I determined its location would be a perfect halfway point to Medoc, France and work right into our driving plan.

Barcelona Canete is a must for Tapas Barcelona

Barcelona is a place I have always wanted to visit. With all my traveling, I can’t believe I have never been. It’s a lively city with amazing food and wine and is known for tapas (small bites), ham (Jamon Serrao), and fresh fish. It’s a gin drinking country, so my favorite cocktail, a Gin & Tonic, was a must.

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Visiting the Picasso Museum was a thrill; he’s one of my faves, and then heading to Gaudi Basilica, the Sagrada Famila, was incredible. To be honest I did not love it. It’s one of those structures you either love or hate. It’s a very controversial project in Barcelona, but it is a sight to behold nonetheless.

We were true tourists tromping all over the city and taking in the quaint streets and the endless graffiti. We could not get over how much energy this city emotes. I highly recommend a visit.

Barcelona

We also loved our hotel. It was chic and small, and the staff was incredible. It’s tucked into a side street in the Gothic part of town. Hotel Mercer was delightful.

Check out Mimi Thorisson’s Manger Workshop in the next post! xx

photos via: me

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Cocktail of the Month ::The Rare Fellow Cocktail

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Full disclosure: people never invite us to dinner. I am not sure why, but only a handful of our friends invite us. It may have something to do with what I do for a living, but believe me, I love coming to dinner, and I am very happy with anything that’s served.

Recently Frank and I were invited to dinner by an old friend, Lisa Burnett and her husband Bobby. Some of you may know Lisa; she is the owner of Inner Pieces and beautiful European Antiques showroom in Chamblee, and she’s also been a regular at Scott’s Antiques Market since forever. In fact, it’s where we met 17 years ago. Since then, we have become friends; she’s an amazing resource for me, and I actually shot some of my book Picture Perfect Parties at her location.

Bobby is an amazing guy, too.  He’s personable, interesting, and is a great cook, along with being an excellent host. He’s a rare fellow. We started dinner with an wonderful cocktail. So wonderful, in fact, that I am sharing it here with you today. I tweaked his recipe a little and renamed it the “Rare Fellow” in honor of Bobby. Dinner was delicious, oven baked branzino, with tomatoes onion, olive oil and lemon, and served with a celery and fennel relish. It was divine. Dessert was made by Lisa, a lemon chiffon piece of heaven.

Make this spicy and savory cocktail; it’s the perfect spring elixir.

The Rare Fellow
Serves 1

You will need:
– 2 slices of jalapeno pepper ( + 1 slice for garnish)
– 1/2 inch slice of ginger peeled and grated on a microplane
– 2 oz. of fresh orange juice
– 1/2 ounce Triple Sec
– 1 oz. Martin Millers Gin
– 2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice ( or lemonade)

To prepare:
In a Cocktail Shaker, muddle the ginger, orange juice and jalapeno slices. Add Triple Sec, Gin and lemon juice, and ice, shake until combined, Strain into an ice-filled highball glass and garnish with a jalapeno slice. *Option – For a sweeter version, lemonade can be substituted for the lemon juice.

Enjoy and Happy Spring!

Photo: by Moi

 

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