Spicy Jalapeño Martini #carnivalcocktail

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Spicy Jalapeño Martini

In the spirit of the circus/carnival party I had recently, I decided to include a themed cocktail for the festivities. I was eating some nachos with cheese sauce piled high with pickled jalapeños at my party when it hit me that I didn’t come across jalapeño cocktails all that often. Probably the most common kind is a jalapeño margarita but outside of that, I’d never really heard of one. I’m sure they are out there, but I decided to see what I could some up with.

I started with a standard dirty martini recipe and replaced the olive jar juice and olives with jalapeño juice and slices of jalapeños. It turned out really good! If you like a little spice and the flavor of pickled jalapeños, you’d probably love this drink.

Spicy Jalapeño Martini

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 oz. pickled jalapeño juice from jar
  • 1-5 drops hot sauce (I used habanero hot sauce)
  • 2-3 slices pickled jalapeño

Instructions

  1. Put all of the ingredients, except the sliced jalapeños, in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake hard about 4-5 times and strain into a chilled martini glass.
  3. Garnish with several jalapeño slices.
http://shaneskillercupcakes.com/2015/06/spicy-jalapeno-martini-carnivalcocktail/

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The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Just in Time for the Finale! #review #giveaway

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a Mad Men fan for years. As difficult of a time as the 1960s (and now ’70s) were, Mad Men has always made this decade seem so sexy and cool. I’ve had a long time love affair with mid-century decor and watching Mad Men is like TV porn for me.  The costumes are so specific and structured, the sets are so stylistic and unique, and although the food of the ’60s isn’t featured on the show as much (outside of alcohol, so, so much alcohol), the food of the ’60s was also very interesting.

When I find a cookbook from this era, I get really excited. The colorful, yet desaturated photography of the time made the food look almost plastic, and in some cases unappetizing, but I still feel a sort of whimsy when I see the recipes from so long ago.

One book that captures both the recipes of the time and the show Mad Men is The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin. This book delves into the food and drink that appears on the show. Featuring recipes from some of the restaurants and bars mentioned on Mad Men, and cookbooks of the time, The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook gives us a nice sample of of the cocktails, entrees, and desserts of the ’60s. Many of the recipes are paired with a show reference, history of the dish, or a suggestion for a character from the show. This is a cookbook that informs you of the past while teaching you the recipes. I love that!

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While there is a lovely section of full-color pictures from some select recipes, this cookbook is more focused on print information than photographs of the final products. What that means is the book is packed with more than 70 recipes that represent mid-century eating and drinking and the stories that go with them. Speaking of drinking, over 25 of those recipes are cocktails alone, which isn’t a surprise when you consider alcohol is one of the most consistently prevalent things on Mad Men.

One of the recipes I tried from the cookbook was the Manhattan. I love Old Fashioned cocktails, just as Don Draper does, but since I’ve had those before, I decided to try the Manhattan. It’s a similar cocktail, using whiskey and bitters, but with less ingredients and not nearly as sweet.

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 Manhattan

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish

Pour whiskey, vermouth, and bitters into a mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry.

**recipe reprinted with permission


This version of the cocktail is from the Oak Bar on Central Park South in New York where Don and Roger Sterling stop for an after-work drink in season 1 episode 7.  One thing that makes this cookbook unique, especially for a Mad Men fan, is that it points you to the episode that the drink or dish appeared, or could have appeared, in the show.

Continue reading »

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24 Days of Advent Calendar Fun: Days 17-18

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IMG_5179Today’s post is covering Day 17 and 18 in the Advent Calendar of Fun. Yesterday was a mellow day and today was a fun one.

Day 17

I gave my grandma more candy yesterday so not much happened with it other than that.

Day 18

Today though, was “Have a Christmas Cocktail” Day! Whoo-hoo! My grandma loves alcohol or as she calls “kick-a-poo juice.” Doesn’t matter what kind: wine, beer, mixed drinks, etc., it’s all good. So I knew she’d appreciate a day where our activity was drinking an alcoholic drink.

It’s a bit cold here today so I chose to make Hot Buttered Rum for us. Never made it before, but now I don’t think I could live without it. I used, I believe, a Rachael Ray recipe from the Food Network website. It was delicious. Although I don’t know how spices, butter, rum, brown sugar and honey couldn’t be delicious. It’s a tad strong (although I did put a little more rum than called for because my bottle was almost empty), so if you don’t like strong drinks, add less rum. I also chose to substitute dark rum for the spiced rum. It should be good with spiced rum too but dark just sounded better to me today.

IMG_5170I didn’t have glass mugs so I used my dad’s beer steins. Doesn’t matter what you drink it out of, it’s going to be good.

I used slightly less honey than was called for and it was still pretty sweet. I might leave out some of the brown sugar next time.

IMG_5167In the next few days we’ll be baking again, so don’t miss it!

If you’ve missed any of the previous days, here are the links:

You can find instructions for how to make this advent calendar at Holiday Crafts and Creations.

**The snowflakes in the title image are from www.obsidiandawn.com and www.graphicssoft.about.com**

 

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