Cocktails

Frosty’s Chocolate Orange Martini

Last week, I stumbled across this old familiar Christmas friend at the Trader Joe’s checkout line.

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And it reminded me that I’d made a prize-winning cocktail inspired by the chocolate orange just two holiday seasons ago.

Me and my Frosty at the cocktail winner reveal.

That was me enjoying the spoils of my victory. Frankly, I’m sure anyone could have won with this as their inspiration:

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Such a beautiful sight! My welcomed re-acquaintance with the chocolate orange inspired me to post the recipe again for those of you new to the blog in the past couple of years. It takes a bit of effort in that you’ll need to prepare a cardamom simple syrup and acquire a chocolate orange of your own, but that’s not much of a hardship, is it?

Frosty’s Chocolate Orange Martini

2 shots orange juice
1 shot Stoli Vanil
2/3 shot white crème de cacao
1/3 shot Grand Marnier
1 shot cardamom-infused simple syrup
Finely grated Terry’s White Chocolate Orange
Granulated sugar
Slices of Terry’s Milk Chocolate Orange

Directions:
Chill a martini glass. Rim the glass with extra cardamom syrup, then duck it in a mixture of the ground chocolate orange and sugar. Shake up the first 5 ingredients. Pour into the martini glass. Garnish with a slice of chocolate orange on the side.

For tips on making the cardamom syrup, check out the Washington Duke Inn’s bar manager, Chris Thomas, mixing up the concoction back in 2012.

For the rim, the white chocolate oranges were ultimately chosen because they stuck to the rim a little better than the milk or dark chocolate and because they add festivity by mimicking a snow dusting. But white chocolate isn’t my preference, so I think it’s worthwhile to grate millk or dark chocolate instead, even if you sacrifice a bit of finesse on the final product. The choice is yours.

Enjoy! And tell me what you think.

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Nonfiction Bragging–Bloomberg Businessweek Quote!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a bragging post. This one is courtesy of my being quoted in a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article on the origins and staying power of RumChata.  You may recall that I reviewed RumChata back in 2012, and you can read that review by clicking on the picture.

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What did I have to say about RumChata for Bloomberg Businessweek? It’s just a quick quote on its versatility:

The drink also simplifies home cocktail making, says Eden Laurin, managing partner of the Violet Hour, a cocktail bar in Chicago’s hip Wicker Park neighborhood. Drinks with more than three ingredients are confusing to make, Laurin says, so having one spirit with several flavors is appealing. “It cuts out a step by already having cream, spice, and rum combined in pleasant ratios,” says Rebecca Gomez Farrell, a food and drink blogger in California.

Swing by the article to learn more about this unique–and fast-selling–cream liquor.

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1 Weekend, 8 New Raleigh Hotspots

Last summer, the husband and I moved away from the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina after spending eight years watching the cities expand and their food scenes skyrocket off the heat-charts. Seriously, the New York Times is obsessed with the place! So I was excited to head back for the weekend in mid-September—my head’s still spinning from the other side of the country over all the new foodie destinations that have sprung up just this past year.

Downtown Raleigh

Downtown Raleigh

While my husband gave a presentation at NC DevCon, I decided to spend my weekend exploring as many of downtown Raleigh’s newly opened spots as possible. Why Raleigh and not the rest of the Triangle? I had no car and was staying downtown. It’s that simple. I needed to focus on places I could walk to.

After our flight in, my first stop was Jose and Sons (327 W. Davie St.) for dinner. It’s the newest incarnation of one of my favorite Triangle restaurants, Jibarra, located in the fast-redeveloping Warehouse District right by the train depot.

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Jose and Sons is now more Southern-Mexican fusion, whereas it had been pure upscale Mexican food in the past. While I remain skeptical about the value of $8 guacamole—

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–and the shrimps and grits didn’t have nearly enough heat for me—

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–I have to give solid props to the Booze and Mango cocktail.

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That’s dessert in a glass, and it’s a beautifully balanced one, too. Vanilla rum, Grand Marnier, cream, and what Jose and Son’s calls a mango popsicle and I’d call a mango-flavored ice cube make for a worthy night cap.

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