With all the juicing I've been doing lately, I've been attracted to cocktails with fruit. This is another Pinterest find from the website Bar None.  It was a solid recipe and I only have two tweaks: I would make this drink with regular vodka instead of blackberry flavored vodka.  
The flavored vodka added a syrupy element I didn't care for, 
and I enjoyed round 2 with the regular vodka a bit more. I also added more mint leaves so 
I could get a stronger mint flavor.

Blackberry Pineapple Smash Cocktail

5 blackberries
8 mint leaves
1/2 agave nectar
1 1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz lime juice
1 oz pineapple juice

In the bottom of a shaker, muddle 4 blackberries and 8 torn mint leaves with the agave nectar and lime juice.  Add the other ingredients and ice and shake vigorously.  
Strain into a glass and garnish with a spring of mint and a blackberry.

Cheers! XO Martha

Cantaloupe Martini
It may be March, but it's 80 degrees outside and I'm in a summery mood.  I found this drink recipe via Pinterest from a website called Bunky Cooks and it got me thinking about the cantaloupe sitting on my counter that's getting mushier by the day. I tweaked their recipe to make a single serving, and bumped up the portion of cointreau.  If the cantaloupe you use isn't super sweet, I might try using orange vodka instead of regular.  I love the use of a pinch of salt to bring out the sweet in the fruit.  I think this would make a great cocktail for a brunch or 
ladies luncheon.
Cheers! XO Martha

You'll need:
4 oz. cantaloupe puree
2 oz. vodka (or orange vodka)
1 oz. cointreau
big squeeze of lime juice 
(I used half a lime)
pinch of salt

Puree the cantaloupe in a blender until smooth.  Fill a cocktail shaker about half way with ice. Mix the cantaloupe puree, vodka, Cointreau, lime juice and salt together in the cocktail shaker. Shake well. Pour into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with lime slices.

    I don't know who this Sexy Sadie chick is, but she must enjoy a good cocktail...because this one doesn't disappoint.  I would be proud to have my name stamped on it and I'm wondering if I should re-dub this the Sexy Martha?   A few weeks ago I had a Sexy Sadie at the
Merc Bar in Soho.  Today I finally got the ingredients I needed to try and recreate this delectable beverage. I'm not sure if I got the proportions exactly the same as the Merc, but this is the way I thought it tasted best.  Shake one up and give it a pour!  

Cheers! XO Martha 


You'll need:
2 oz. Grey Goose La Poire Vodka
1 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1 oz. pear nectar 
Up to 1 oz. blackcurrant liqueur

First off the Merc Bar's recipe used Mathilde Blackcurrant Liqueur, but I could only find Creme de Cassis...which is also a blackcurrant liqueur.  I also used pear nectar instead of a home made pear puree.

Start by filling a shaker with ice.  Add the pear vodka, elderflower liqueur and pear nectar.  Shake vigorously, then strain 
into a martini glass.  Gently pour in the blackcurrant, which will sink to the 
bottom of the glass.  Do not put the blackcurrant in first and pour the 
rest on top...it will make the drink a muddled cloudy purply-red drink.  Just as delicious, but not nearly as pretty.  


Somehow St. Patrick's Day has lost it's way.
 It's not really about the Saint or even celebrating Irish-American's ethnicity.  Usually I think Hallmark is to blame, but in the case of St. Patty's I'm betting on liquor distributors taking advantage of a vulgar stereo-type...and it's worked.  St. Patricks Day is predominantly thought of as a day to drink.  

I'm pretty sure the Irish Cream and Irish Whiskey folks were in on the corruption of this holiday...the Midori folks just got lucky their liqueur was green and fit the bill, and that's why the most popular shot on St. Patrick's Day is the Shamrock Shooter.

                      Cheers! XO  Martha

Shamrock Shooter
2 oz. Midori Melon Liqueur
1/2 oz. Irish Whiskey (like Jameson's)
1/2 oz. Irish Cream Liqueur (like Bailey's)

Pour all the liquors into a shaker filled with ice.  Shake vigorously, then strain into a shot glass.  

(I personally think there could be less Irish Cream and more Irish Whiskey in this drink!)

By the way, I love these little shamrock shot glasses I found at the consignment shop.  They remind me of the Irish Coffee glasses my parents had, back in the day!

      Irish Coffee, a great concept, easy to make, easy to drink...but very difficult to photograph.  Forgive my pictures of "falling cream" but that's what Irish Coffee does, and it makes it taste delicious, fun to look at, and difficult to capture on still film.  You really must serve it in a clear glass so you can have the full experience and watch the cream stream into the dark coffee.
      I remember my father making a big show out of concocting Irish Coffee for guests at the dinner table.  He warmed the glasses by lighting the whiskey on fire for a bit.  We'd dim the lights and ooh and aah.  I also remember loving the smell and wanting very much to like the taste, but I was nearly 30 years old before I started liking coffee (let alone coffee with whiskey) so I never actually enjoyed the few sips I was allowed to take as a child. 

Irish Coffee
Strong Black Coffee
Irish Whiskey
Brown Sugar
Heavy Cream

Cheers! XO Martha

Click to read about how The Beuena Vista Cafe in San Francisco perfected the Irish Coffee...great tips and fun story.
Some folks like to pre-heat their glasses by pouring hot water in the glass ahead of time, or lighting a bit of whiskey on fire before filling their glasses.  I don't pre-heat my glasses but find that the whipped cream must be very cold to float on top properly.

Fill a glass 3/4 full with coffee.  Add a tablespoon of brown sugar, stir and dissolve. Add a shot of whiskey.  Gently pour whipped heavy cream to float on top of the coffee.  Many recipes suggest pouring the cream over the back side of a spoon to help it land gently.  I just spoon the cream delicately on top.
Martha's St. Rita

Pinterest and the Communal Pantry's Pinterest boards in particular, are HOT!  So we've decided to take our favorite pics and recipes and see if they taste as good as they look on the computer.  I (naturally) had to try a cocktail and this one combined my love of the Margarita and St. Germain...
it is divine, although I thought the recipe needed a tiny bit of tweaking for my tastebuds to be completely happy.

Follow the St. Germain recipe, but bulk up the St Germain to 1.25-1.5 parts and add at least 1 part lime juice.

XO Martha

click picture to link to the St Germain website
Ever since whiskey school my husband has been inspired and empowered to think he  could be a master bartender.  One of his favorite new hobbies is "reading" cocktail recipe books.  His new "Bible" is The PDT Cocktail Book written by bartender Jim Meehan of the PDT Bar in the east village.  He spends a lot of time finding recipes with his favorite liquors.   Top on the list are: whiskey, tequila and aperol.  It's no surprise he sussed this drink out...and you know what, I thought it was pretty darn good.

Eclipse Cocktail
    Created by Leo Robitsheck, New York Winter 2009

2 oz. El Tesoro Anejo Tequila
.75 oz Aperol
.75 oz Cherry Heering
.75 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled, Del Maguey Vida Mezel-risned coupe glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist.

The St. Germain Tabel at the SOBEWFF, Sunday 2/26/12
Wandering about the tents at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF) that distinctive St. Germain bottle popped right out at me and drew me over.  For others the draw was a rather risque photo (below) with the tag line "Bottoms up..."  It went with their signature cocktail the Hummingbird, quite light and refreshing, but one I passed on to the big guy to drink since it's got champagne and Martha just can't do champagne (a story for another day!)  Enjoy the pic and the fab recipe!  XO Martha

Keep in mind this photo was taken on my little foodie adventure to the South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF), so the disposable cups were not my idea of creative food staging.  The folks from POM Wonderful had one of the best cocktails under the tents.  I only drank one (darn it) but I walked away with the recipe created by Chef Marc Forgione and I plan to use it often.
Enjoy! XO  Martha

Pom Thyme Margarita
1 oz Pom Wonderful Pomegranate juice
2 oz of 3 Amigos Tequilla
2 tsp thyme-infused simple syrup*
1 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp freahly squeezed lime juice

Assemble all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well with ice.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a fresh thyme sprig.

*Thyme infused simple syrup is a combination of fresh thyme, water and sugar.  Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, add one cup of sugar and 6 springs of fresh thyme.  Stir the ingredients together until the sugar completely dissolves.  Let the syrup cool down and strain to remove the thyme.