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Posts from the ‘cocktails’ Category



Twitter: @burns_nancy

Challenges 2017: ( here are the links to all the books read)

  • Time to say goodbye to 2017 and look at the results:


Most looking forward to 2018 – #DealMeIn2018

  1. Jay host a refreshing challenge each year.
  2. It give me the opportunity to read short stories
  3. …and essays!
  4. I will be joining his challenge for sure!
  5. I will be making my  ‘to read list’ soon!


My favorite of the year – #AusReadingMonth @Bronabooks

  1. …here is the reason why:  ‘Wrap-up AusReadingMonth’


Most difficult: #HLOTRreadalong2107

  1. Read-a-long @Brona’s books
  2. I decided to leave my comfort zone and read all 4 of Tolkien’s books.
  3. Brona had to nudge me along at times…but I did finish the books!


Most funThe New Yorker Magazine

  1. I tried reading the New Yorker Magazine the week it arrived!
  2. I failed miserably (read only 5 issues since June 2017).
  3. But is was the most fun….because I never knew what I would read!


Most intoxicatingCocktails and Literature

  1. I stumbled upon National Daquiri Day this summer.
  2. After some investigation I found more links between
  3. …cocktails and writers and even WWI  weapons!


Most disappointingModern Library’s Best 100 Novels List

  1. I had high hopes for this challenge.
  2. Some of the choices
  3. …I doubted if they were worthy to be on the list!
  4. I read 20 books and enjoyed only…4    (20%)


Most surprising – Read Ireland challenge

  1. Again, I stumbled  into this challenge via
  2. …the History Book Club group on Goodreads.
  3. I throughly enjoyed Irish plays, non-ficton, fiction!
  4. No one can tell a story like an Irishman!


Most work – Nobel Reading Challenge

  1. I started this challenge 3 years ago.
  2. Every chance I had I searched for a new book for this list.
  3. Now, sadly, I just cannot find the enthusiasm I once felt.
  4. I ‘m afraid this challenge will be dropped in 2018.
  5. There are too many other genres ( poetry) I want to discover!


Here are my top 5 in 3 catagories:


  1. Cloudstreet – T. Winton
  2. The African Queen – C. S. Forester
  3. The Slow Natives  – T. Astley
  4. The Dry – J. Harper
  5. Bleak House – C. Dickens


  1. Milligan, L. – Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell
  2. Franklin, R. – Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
  3. Lamb, K. – Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather
  4. White, R.C. – American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant
  5. Meade, M. – Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This


  1. Le pouvoir au féminin – Badinter, E.
  2. Passagère du Silence – Verdier, F.
  3. Ça ira (1), Fin de Louis – J. Pommerat (play)
  4. Dans la tête de Marine Le Pen – M. Eltchaninoff
  5. Le diable est dan les détails – L. Slimani

Soixante-quinze: French ’75’ Cocktail

  1. Here is the last post for #CocktailsTellStory!
  2. In November…. I have been looking for
  3. … reason to use my VSOP Calvados.
  4. This cocktail originated at the front during WWI in France.
  5. It was introduced to America by war correspondent Alex Powell.
  6. The French 75 Cocktail is a tribute to the
  7. 75mm artillery piece that the French fielded in World War I.
  8. The French air squadrons in WWI had their drinking rituals.
  9. The “75,” was inspired by these flyers returning from battle.
  10. Trivia:  The power and efficiency of the French 75mm guns made
  11. them well trusted among their crews, which earned them
  12. …a particular affection.
  13. They were dubbed Mademoiselle Soixante-Quinze (Miss Seventy-five)
  14. ….and appear on numerous French propaganda cards.


Ingredients:   Gin  – Calvados brandy –  grenadine or absinthe (or both)

  • 60 ml   VSOP Calvados
  • 30 ml   gin
  • 1/2 TB  (7.5 ml)  grenadine  (no absinthe in my bar…)
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) lemon juice
  • Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice
  • Shake, strain into chilled cocktail glass with lime wedge
  • Garnish: lemon twist
  • Glass:  elegant stemmed liquer glass (small)



  1. Taste:
  2. I would NEVER  serve this cocktail as an aperitif….
  3. …it would probably be better as a ‘pousse café‘ (after dinner drink).
  4. This is my own personal advice
  5. ….because this cocktail can
  6. be as POWERFUL  as the gun it is named after!
  7. It is a drink  meant to be sipped.
  8. You will feel you can face down disaster (WWI)
  9. …or swear undying love!

Who Pays the Bartender?


Ingredients:   Prichard’s Key Lime rum – tonic

Glass: small wine glass

  • 3 fresh mint leaves crushed in the glass
  • Add ice and…
  • 60 ml   Prichard’s Key Lime Rum
  • 60 ml   Fever-Tree tonic  ( I just filled the glass to the top!)

Garnish:  spig of fresh mint



  1. Absolutely delicious!
  2. The crushed fresh mint leaves give the cocktail  a “je ne sais quoi” !
  3. I added in a second cocktail the juice of 1 lime ( not in orginal recipe)
  4. It improved the taste with just the ‘tang’ a lime can give.
  5. I discovered the Fever – Tree tonic  by accident!
  6. It is an An aromatic and pink-tinged tonic.
  7. A blend of South American angostura bark,
  8. ….cardamom, pimento berry and ginger.
  9. This give the cocktail a beautiful pink glow!
  10. Let’s face it….with just a little creativity you can enjoy
  11. …an unforgettable  aperitif
  12. …instead of the “same-old, same-old”  beer or house wine.


Who pays the bartender?

Bar Calculator:

  • I was curious what this cocktail would cost in a bar?
  • Here are my conclusions:

@Home price?

  1. 1 lime 58 eurocent
  2. Pichard’s Key Lime Rum – 12.95  euro 700 ml ( bottle)
  3. 60 ml rum 1,11 euro
  4. 100 ml Fever-tree tonic 69 euro cents (1,39 euro 200 ml bottle)
  5. total cost cocktail2, 38 euro  ($2,81)
  6. No tips (20%)  and No employee wages

@Bar price?

  1. 15% of a drink’s price goes to paying for the drink
  2. 85% goes to employee wages, rent, and other operating expenses.
  3. Pour cost 15% = 2.38 euro
    Gross margin 85% = 13.48 euro
    total bar cost: 15,86 euro  ($18.70)

Service charge  (tip):

  • Excellent service or in a swanky bar = 20%
  • Average service 1,70 euro ( $2,00)
  • TOTAL  COST:  @home = 2,38 euro ( $2, 80)
  • TOTAL COST:   @good bar 19 euro  ($22,44)
  •  = cocktail + 20% service charge
  • You can make 6,7 cocktails at home for the
  • …price of 1 in a bar!
  • OMG !!

Don’t  forget…you pay for the view as well!  (Park Hayatt Tokyo Bar)



Kir Royale

Medici Fountain, Jardin du Luxembourg

  1. If there is one cocktail that has a
  2. special place in my heart….it is Kir Royale.
  3. It was my first ever cocktail.
  4. I was 18  studying in Paris for two months.
  5. One evening we were escorted to La Comédie française.
  6. It was Molière Le Misanthrope and
  7. honestly…I didn’t understand much of it.
  8. But later we went to a café and I met ‘Kir Royale’ !

Kir Royale:  sparkling wine (or champagne) + crème de cassis liqueur

  1. The Kir Royale—is named after Félix Kir.
  2. He was the mayor of Dijon who helped popularize the white-wine version of the drink.
  3. I’m using  Joseph Cartron Crème de Cassis de Bourgogne.
  4. Crème de Cassis was one of Hercule Poirot’s favorite drinks!

  1. I’m using sparkling wine:  Blanquette de Limoux instead of champagne.
  2. Blanquette de Limoux was first  made in a Benedictine Abbey in SW France.
  3. This wine  predates champagne and
  4. ….is in fact France’s oldest sparkling wine.
  5. Thomas Jefferson loved it, and served it to guests when he was president.
  6. Jefferson was America’s first oenophile.
  7. At his home at Monticello, his household consumed about 400 bottles of wine  per year.
  8. All came from Europe, because in the early 19th century
  9. …wine grapes couldn’t yet be grown in North America.

Blanquette de Limoux:

  1. Limoux is the birthplace of high-quality sparkling wine production in France.
  2. Grape: 100% Mauzac known as blanquette due to the white coating on its leaves.
  3. Taste: beautiful dryness matched up with a zing of apples.
  4. It is a  lovely glass of sparkling that’s much
  5. ….more interesting than any cava or prosecco.


  1. Jefferson insisted the wine be delivered in  bottles, not casks.
  2. In this way the bottles were at least secure and c
  3. couldn’t be watered down or filched by unscrupulous merchants or
  4. thirsty crew members.


N@ncy’s bar:

  • 2/3 c  sparkling wine (160 ml)
  • 1 TB crème de cassis  (15 ml)
  • There are also those that prefer…
  • 2 TB crème de cassis (30 ml)  to
  • 1/2 c sparkling wine (120 ml)
  • ...too rich for me…but you may like it.
  • Glass: champagne flute or champagne coupe
  • Garnish: optional….I don’t need a lemon twist with this drink.


France’s best kept secret…wines from Languedoc!


  1. Elegant and easy….with just 2 ingredients.
  2. Taste: this Blanquette de Limoux tastes much more tart
  3. ..than my trusty Martini prosecco!
  4. It is also twice as expensive.
  5. The black current liqueur balances perfectly to
  6. …produce a  unforgettable  cocktail!
  7. I feel 18 again!
  8. If you have a bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge
  9. …you are always ready for a celebration!
  10. Excellent choice for a festive cocktail for Christmas
  11. …or New Year!






Lavender Sapphire Collins


  • This cocktail is similar to the all-time gin classicTom Collins.
  • Dry gin, lemon juice, sugar and  tonic (or soda water)
  • It is essentially a lemonade spiked
  • with a healthy dose of the juniper spirit.
  • But the lavender makes this drink sparkle
  • and Bombay Sapphire Dry Gin…
  • the  botanicals  in the gin are nicely balanced and
  • soft enough to allow the lavender to peak through the mix.
  • My first challenge was making the syrup.


Rich Simple Lavender Syrup:   –> read this then forget it!

  1. Ingredients:
  2. Cold Water (1 part )
  3. Granulated Sugar (2 parts)
  4. Saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cold water and sugar to a boil.
  5. Turn the heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves completely ( 3 to 5 min)
  6. After boiling…
  7. I added 2-3 TB of fresh lavender and let this sit approximately 20 to 30 minutes to infuse.
  8. Using a wire mesh strainer, strain out the flavoring before using or storing.
  9. Let the syrup cool to room temperature
  10. …then pour into a tightly sealed, clean glass jar.
  11. Store in the refrigerator.


Lavender Sapphire Collins

  • 3 TB  (45 ml)  Bombay Sapphire Dry Gin
  • 2 TB lemon juice ( I just used juice of 1 lemon…)
  • 1 TB lavender syrup ( ..this was a disaster!)
  • USE elderberry syrup instead
  • ….or other store bought simple syrup.
  • 1/3 c tonic ( I used 1/2 of small bottle)
  • Pour ingredients into a long drink glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish:  a lemon wheel



  1. Sparkling, refreshing…slightly bitter, bright.
  2. It is cocktail you can linger over.
  3.  A gin tonic lover might flirt with this drink
  4. …as a summer alternative.
  5. This is an excellent choice for a drink with brunch.
  6. It is less ‘shock and awe’  than a  Bloody Mary.
  7. This recipe was created by Bombay Sapphire.  (view website)
  8. It  really is a lovely gin for the cocktail.


Last thoughts:

  • I will NEVER  make my own syrup again.
  • The kitchen was a mess, sticky fingers and
  • …you have to be very careful not to ‘over simmer’ this concoction!
  • Never again!
  • I invested in a very good French elderberry liqueur St-Germain.
  • …and will use it where ever the cocktail calls for ‘simple syrup’.


Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail

  • Bermuda…home of the…
  • Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail


The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club began “under a calabash tree” in 1844, founded by British army officers and Bermudian sailing enthusiasts. The “royal” was added to the name in 1846, after Prince Albert became a patron of the private club. In the 1940s, Trader Vic popularized its namesake cocktail.

  1. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is a mixture that has a good tropical flavor.
  2. This recipe takes a few minutes to make, and serves one.

N@ncy’s Bar:


  4 basic ingredients:    Rum- lime juice – Falernum – Cointreau

  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) rum (1/4 c)
  • 2 tablespoon (= juice of 1 lime) fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp  Cointreau  (2 dashes)
  • 2 teaspoons Falernum
  • Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice
  • Shake, strain into chilled cocktail glass with lime wedge

  1. My drink does not have the amber hue you see in this photo.
  2. That is the difference between using ‘Barbados Rum’
  3. …and what I  had in the cupboard… clear ‘Bacardi Rum’.

What is Falernum?

  • Falernum can be hard to find, but it’s not impossible.
  • It is a a ginger- and lime-flavored syrup
  • defined flavor of cloves, ginger and almonds
  • …commonly used in the Caribbean/ West Indies.
  • Falernum is worth acquiring because it’s a popular ingredient in many tropical drinks.



  1. Tangy, lime juice is the dominant taste…and
  2. …more refreshing than a tropical sea breeze!
  3. If I make it again I would use a better quality  rum....
  4. …for instance Barbancourt.
  5. It has a taste like butterscotch and is worth the investment!

  1. With this cocktail in hand…you can hear hear the wind in the rigging
  2. …and the rush of water past the hull!
  3. Now, let’s go sailing….and win that regatta!








  1. This is the simplest and most elegant summer cocktail!
  2. No messy bar….
  3. just  1 part puree fresh peach to
  4. 2 parts sparkling wine.
  5. I used Martini Prosecco.
  6. For a quick ‘mocktail’  just replace wine with sparkling cider.
  7. 1 peach puree = 70-80 ml
  8. and I just….filled up the glass 1 small bottle (200 ml) prosecco.
  9. Some recipes call for the Bellini include a bit of Grand Mariner or
  10. …raspberry liqueur (like Chambord)…but that is optional.
  11. Garnish:  peach wedge and a sprig of fresh rosemary


  1. The Bellini was invented sometime between 1934 and 1948
  2. ….by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy.
  3. He named the drink the Bellini because its unique pink color
  4. reminded him of the toga of a saint in a
  5. ….painting by 15th-century Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini.
  6. Unfortunately my Bellini was not pink…..but still tasted heavenly
  7. If you do not want to pay 15 euro’s  ($17,–)….
  8. + 15% service charge at Harry’s bar in Venice…
  9. just make them at home!
  10. This is one of the favorite cocktails of
  11. Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, Orson Wells and Roger Moore.
  12. It is said Cipriani invented the Bellini to help his pal Hemingway
  13. cut back on…his martinis!
  14. Hemingway at Harry’s Bar (1949-1950)
  15. Hemingway became more or less a regular at the bar
  16. …while writing  Across the River and Into the Trees.

  1. It’s summer…..peaches are on sale!
  2. Enjoy this delightful cocktail….before the Fall and Winter set in!
  3. #LiveLifeToTheFullest

Last thoughts:

  1. Daiquiri was Cuban seduction and powerful.
  2. Bloody Mary was like a plunge into a cold ocean…..shock and awe.
  3. Brandy Crusta was like a dark mahogany wall-paneled den full of books
  4. ….it warms the cockles of your heart.
  5. But the Bellini….
  6. those fresh peaches are mother nature’s way of saying
  7. …. you deserve a treat!

BELLINI idaho-peaches




Saturday cocktail: Brandy Crusta


  1. It’s a summer Saturday afternoon.
  2. The sun is still warm yet I notice even now
  3. …the days are getting shorter.
  4. Time to continue searching for the perfect summer cocktail.
  5. I’ve added a new item to my home bar….ice crusher.
  6. It is the greatest little gadget!


  • The Brandy Crusta was first created  in the 1850’s by an Italian.
  • Joseph Santini opened his ‘Jewel of the South‘ Saloon in New Orleans.
  • The recipe has 4 basic ingredients + lemon juice.
  • 45 ml  brandy
  • 14 ml  Maraschino Cherry liqueur
  • 22 ml Grand Marnier (or Cointreau)
  • 22 ml  lemon juice
  • dash of bitters ( I used Fernet-Branca)
  1. I poured the ingredients in a wine glass filled with crushed ice.
  2. Others use a cocktail shaker..shake with ice, strain and serve.
  3. I prefer to leave the ice in the glass….to keep the drink cool
  4. …and not TOO powerful.


  • The taste is exquisite…
  • …a perfect after beach drink.
  • Just sit back, sip and enjoy the sunset!




The Bloody Mary Book

  • Author: Ellen Brown
  • Title: The Bloody Mary Book
  • Published: 2017
  • Trivia: National Bloody Mary day is January 1
  • ….I’m a little late celebrating!
  • #20BooksOfSummer



  1. Well, here is a book ‘HOT OFF THE PRESSES’
  2. If you ‘google’  around the internet you will probably
  3. …discover  the same
  4. anecdotes I have included in this blog post.
  5. Let’s see if Ellen Brown had something new to say!


Remedy for hangover:

  1. Salt and spices replace lost electrolytes
  2. while the vitamin C, vitamin B6
  3. …and lycopene ease the havoc that
  4. overindulgence has wrought on the body.
  5. You are better off with a ‘Virgin Bloody Mary’
  6. on the day after!



  1. I like a Bloody Mary quite simple, lots of ice, a garnish of with celery
  2. I’m not crazy on the wacky garnishes you see – bacon, prawns and the like.
  3. I do like a vodka Bloody Mary
  4. …which is definitely the more standard version.



L/R:      Hemingway and his wife Mary, Nancy Hawks, Spencer Tracy, George Jessel, unknown.

  • There are many stories about the origin and naming of the Bloody Mary
  • …as there are variations on the recipe.


  1. Pete Petiot:  bartender at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, 1921
  2. Story:  Petiot named the drink ‘Bloody Mary’ after a woman who sat at the bar for
  3. …long hours pining for a boyfriend who seldom kept appointments with her.


  1. Colin Field: head bartender of Ritz Paris’s Hemingway Bar, 1950’s
  2. Story: The doctors had forbidden Hemingway to drink.
  3. Mary his wife  had taken this seriously and placed Ernest under close watch.
  4. Stealth and cunning were needed…and the bartender devised the ingenious mixture
  5. …a drink packed with alcohol that could not be detected on the writer’s breath!
  6. Hemingway was so pleased that he got the better of his ‘bloody wife’ that he
  7. …named the drink after her, Bloody Mary!


  1. History: Queen Mary
  2. Story: Some attribute the name to notorious Queen Mary Tudor
  3. who executed hundreds of Protestants in the name of
  4. Catholicism during her short five-year reign from 1553 to 1558.


Entertaining trends:

  1. Look at this appetizing display in a café bar  for DYI  
  2. Virgin Bloody Mary’s    (no alcohol)

 Here is a Bloody Mary at the Breakwater in Stonington Connecticut….
…I’ll have to work on my garnishes!  Thanks Kathy for the snapshot!
Bloody Mary Cocktail
  • 50 ml vodka
  • 100 ml fresh tomato juice
  • Dash balsamic vinegar
  • 6 drops of Tabasco
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 shot fresh lemon juice (15 ml)
  • 2 pinch ground pepper
  • 2 pinch  salt
  • Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain into an
  • ice-filled long drink glass garnish celery and lemon wedge!

First impression?  

  2. ….and I LOVED  the sound of a real cocktail shaker
  3. filled with ice…and ingredients!
  4. It was just exciting!
  5. ps….I just finished my cocktail
  6. …and would love a second one…but I will restrain myself!
  7. Next week…..a new cocktail…a new blogpost!

Shot glass:



Hemingway Daiquiri

  • Flordita Bar  ‘La Cuna del Daiquiri’ (1955)  (King of the Daiquiri)
  • where the Hemingway Daiquiri was created.
  • L/R: Roberto Herrera, Byra ‘Puck’ Whittlesey, Jack ‘Bumby’ Hemingway (eldest son)
  • Spencer Tracy, Ernest Hemingway and Mary Hemingway (wife).


National Daiquiri Day  19 July

  1. I love books….and a good wine.
  2. But I never really entered the world of cocktails.
  3. Now is the time to find the stories, facts behind the recipes
  4. …with just a touch of irreverence.


UPDATE: 20 July 2017  ( …the day after)

  1. After my very first Daiquiri…I cannot fathom knocking back a
  2. 4 or 5  of these cocktails on a lazy, steamy Havana evening.
  3. This was Hemingway’s daily routine while in Cuba
  4. …mornings spent writing and afternoons spent fishing!
  5.  The Daiquiri is not a sweet swirl in the mouth but
  6. …more  ‘pucker up those lips’  kind of frappé.
  7. You could relax with this drink for an  hour on a…hot summer evening!
  8. If I made it again….
  9. I’d increase maraschino to 1 tsp or 2 tsp
  10. …just to take the bite off.
  11. But that is just my own preference.
  12. PS:  I need a cocktail shaker  with integrated strainer.
  13. The ‘bar’ in my kitchen was a disaster.
  14. Limes, grapefruit rolling around and ice cubes that
  15. …would not stay in my improvised shaker.
  16. It was a mess.

This is my choice:  Leopold Vienna cocktailshaker 500 ml rvs

LEOPOLD COCKTAIL SHAKER 9200000015352535_1

Hemingway Daiquiri:

  • 3 ¾ oz White Rum (110 ml)
  • 2 oz fresh lime juice (60 ml)
  • 2 oz fresh grapefruit juice (60 ml)
  • 6 drops of maraschino liqueur (1/4 tsp)

Blend well with ice.  Serve in a large chilled goblet.


UPDATE: 02 Aug 2017 –  easy recipe!  less measuring….

  • Juice of 1 grapefruit
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 40 ml rum
  • 2 teaspoons maraschino cherry liqueur
  • I made this to celebrate Peter O’Toole’s birthday today!




  1. Cocktail historians tell us that the Daiquiri was invented around 1900.
  2. An American mining engineer by the name of Jennings Cox
  3. stationed in the southeastern Cuban beach town of Daiquiri
  4. was preparing to entertain some visiting friends from the States.
  5. To his horror, he discovered that he’d run out of gin.
  6. Cox did have a goodly amount of rum, sugar, and limes.
  7. So he just put those ingredients together…shake…strain….serve!

  1. The cocktail was perfected by C. Ribalaigua
  2. ….bartender and owner of Havana’s La Florida Bar.
  3. Hemingway began frequenting the Flordita Bar in 1932 during
  4. …visits to Havana from his home in Key West.
  5. In 1937  the bar named a Daiquiri after him.
  6. … it is time to relax and enjoy
  7. …some french cheese, crackers  and my cocktail!