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Featured Cocktail of The Month


Yuletide Punch 


Serving a Holiday Punch is a most delightful custom, be it celebrating the first snowfall of the season with a couple of Tom & Jerry’s, or mixing up a bowl of Egg Nog to see the family through a long night of Christmas Eve tree trimming. Most countries have their own Holiday Punch traditions. There is Sweden’s Glogg, Britain’s Wassail Bowl, Germany’s Grossmutters Punch, and so on. Each one is traditionally served at a gathering of loved ones during the Holidays to accentuate the communal spirit of joy and happiness of the season.


Yuletide Punch is a fruit based lighter alternative to the traditional Nog, and a little less complicated to prepare. One of the obvious advantages of serving a batch punch such as this is most of the recipe can and should be seen to in advance. More than a matter of convenience, allowing the punch to rest allows its ingredients to intermingle, over night if possible, improving the recipe’s final draft, so to speak. Final assemblage, however, should take place immediately prior to serving – if possible just as the first guests are crossing the threshold. This keeps the bubbles from dissipating and the ice mold from over diluting the recipe before it can be enjoyed. Plus, the host is more likely to get out of the kitchen and join the party.




With a little imagination and pre-party organization it is possible to make a punch that looks great and tastes even better. Consider it when your next Holiday party approaches – I have always felt it is a wonderful way to provide guests a sumptuous drink, a bit of a gathering point or conversation hub, and help release the host a little from being tied to the bar. A few tips to remember:

  • Always use fresh, seasonal fruits and juices
  • Don’t skimp, always use premium spirits and wines
  • Don’t use small cube ice, make a large ice-mold; this keeps your Punch cold without diluting it and its easier to maneuver with a serving ladle
  • If using sparkling wine or carbonated beverages make sure they are well chilled and wait until the very last minute to add since the bubbles will soon dissipate
  • Make sure to chill your punch very well in advance as the ice ring is used to keep the Punch cold, not to chill room temperature ingredients
  • If using fresh berries always freeze them first to better maintain the look and shape of the fruit


3 bottles chilled champagne

1 liter Absolut Mandarin vodka

16 oz (500 ml) Marie Brizard Cassis de Bordeaux

64 oz (2 liters) white grape juice

16 oz (500 ml) fresh lemon juice

16 oz (500 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice

8 oz (240) simple syrup


Pre-mix vodka, cassis, white grape juice, fresh lemon juice, fresh orange juice and simple syrup in a large container, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (at least 3 hours, preferably over night). Transfer to a large punch bowl, add one pint each frozen blackberries and raspberries, 2 to 3 small oranges and lemons thinly sliced and quartered, fruit ice mold and chilled champagne just prior to serving. Serve in punch cups. Makes 24 servings. To make fruit ice molds, I use a Bundt cake pan. I begin by filling it ¼ full of water and add red raspberries, blackberries, orange and lemon wheels. I allow it tofreeze and add another layer, and so on, until it is full



Breast Cancer Awareness Month!


Created as the official 2018 Cocktail for the Helen David Relief Fund benefiting bartenders and their families affected by breast cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.



1 1/2 oz Absolut Pink Grapefruit
1 oz St Germaine Elderflower
1/2 oz Aperol
1 oz fresh ruby red grapefruit juice
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup

Shaken and strained over ice in a tall Collins or large wine glass. Garnish with a slice of fresh ruby red grapefruit and a sprig of spearmint. 








Valentines Day Specialty Cocktail
In The Modern Mixologist, Contemporary Cocktails book by Tony Abou-Ganim he features his "Cupid's Flip". Tony says this Valentine's Day cocktail, is a Valentine’s Day specialty cocktail. This is one, frankly, that deserves to be its own course— is a rich creation that marries chocolate, vanilla, and almond flavors in a creamy base. Since Valentine’s Day comes but once a year, I suggest you try mixing up a few of these to help set the mood.
Cupid’s Flip
1 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 ounce Amaretto Disaronno Originale
1 ounce Marie Brizard light crème de cacao
Splash of grenadine syrup
Heavy cream (whipped to firm)
Chocolate heart
Shake above ingredients in an ice filled shaker and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Float pillow of whipped cream, and rest chocolate heart on the pillow.









You would want to support all of these tropical flavors with a fruity, citrusy, clean, light vodka.

1 ½ oz (45 ml) Vodka

½ oz (15 ml) Campari

½ oz (15 ml) Cointreau

1 oz (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 oz (60 ml) pink guava nectar

½ oz (15 ml) light agave nectar (simple syrup)

Lemon slices and mint sprig garnish

In a mixing glass add vodka, Campari, Cointreau, lemon juice, guava nectar and simple syrup; shake with ice until well mixed. Strain into an ice filled Collins glass. Garnish with mint sprig and lemon fan.



The Wizard benefits from a
robust vodka with lots of character.
I look to the Old-World vodkas
of Eastern Europe, those made
from rye or potato.
2 oz (60 ml) vodka
1 oz (30 ml) Cinzano Bianco
B/c oz (15 ml) Yellow Chartreuse
2 dashes orange bitters
In an ice-filled mixing glass add
vodka, Cinzano Bianco, Yellow
Chartreuse, and orange bitters;
stir until well chilled. Strain into a
chilled, small (Nick and Nora–sized)
cocktail glass. Garnish with a thin
slice of orange peel.
The Wizard benefits from a robust vodka with lots of character. I look to the Old-World vodkas of Eastern Europe, those made from rye or potato.
2 oz (60 ml) vodka
1 oz (30 ml) Cinzano Bianco
1/2 oz (15 ml) Yellow Chartreuse
2 dashes orange bitters
In an ice-filled mixing glass add vodka, Cinzano Bianco, Yellow Chartreuse, and orange bitters; stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled, small (Nick and Nora–sized) cocktail glass. Garnish with a thin slice of orange peel.

Hot Buttered Rum hotbutterrum.jpg

Ingredients :

  • 1 pound light brown sugar
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


For each drink:

  • 1-1/2 ounces rum, preferably Mount Gay Eclipse
  • Boiling water, as needed


For the batter:Beat together the brown sugar, butter, spices and vanilla extract until well combined. Refrigerate in an airtight resealable container until ready to use.

For Each drink: Combine 2 heaping tablespoons of the batter and the rum in a warmed coffee mug. Add boiling water to fill to the top, and mix well. Serve with a spoon.


*Note: This must be served steaming hot, not lukewarm. It is best to make the batter in advance so the spices have an opportunity to mingle. Be sure to remove the batter from the refrigerator at least 6 hours before serving to allow it to soften. The recipe for the batter makes enough for 10 to 12 servings; refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 month, or freeze for up to 2 months..



Cable Car

Tony's Signature Cocktail

The Cable Car was created in 1996 as a signature cocktail for the Starlight Room, a stunning nightclub and cocktail lounge atop the historic Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco. Its name comes from the geographic location of its house of origin … One of the city’s landmark properties, the Sir Francis Drake is located along the world famous Nob Hill cable car tracks, and its Starlight Room is affectionately referred to as the lounge that can be found “between the stars and the cable cars.”

This cocktail is a simple balance of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, orange curacao, and fresh sour, served up in a cinnamon-sugar frosted cocktail glass. Founded in 1983, Captain Morgan is one of the top selling spiced rums in the world. Produced by the Serralles Distillery in Ponce, Puerto Rico, this rich, sweet rum is lush with flavors of nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon and vanilla – a combination that is nearly impossible to resist as a cocktail feature. For a slightly bitter element curacao is the perfect compliment for the spicy sweetness of this rum. Curacao is a generic reference to orange liqueur, and is a term derived from the island in the Dutch West Indies where some of the finest bitter oranges in the Caribbean are cultivated. The peels of these unique citrus were brought to Holland in the seventeenth century where the first orange liqueur was created. At present, this versatile liqueur is primarily produced in France, Holland and the United States, and still utilizes the aforementioned Caribbean peels.

Although a perfect selection for thawing out after a crisp evening’s cable car journey, this is a cocktail worth hoisting whatever the occasion. It has been some time since I left San Francisco, but this wonderful tipple lives on – rich, smooth and delicately spicy, the Cable Car found a home here in Las Vegas where it quickly grew in popularity, winning Bon Appetit Magazine’s 2002 Drink of The Year.


  • 1 ½ ounce Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • ¾ ounce Marie Brizard orange Curacaocablecar.jpg
  • 1 ½ ounce fresh lemon sour *


Directions: In an ice filled mixing glass add Captain Morgan, orange curacao and fresh sour; shake until well blended. Strain into a chilled sugar-cinnamon frosted cocktail glass* and garnish with an orange spiral – (Orange spirals can be easily cut fresh using a citrus zester, also known as a channel knife). Mixing 2 parts fresh squeezed lemon juice with one part simple syrup will easily make fresh lemon sour.

Hint: To sugar-cinnamon frost a cocktail glass, first chill the glass, rub the rim’s circumference approximately ¾ inch in depth with a lemon wedge, then dip into a bowl of superfine sugar – (regular granulated sugar does not adhere as well).






One of the more prominent stories surrounding the origin of the Negroni is as follows; In the early 1920’s Count Camillo Negroni, looking to get a little more kick out of his Americanos, ordered them with the addition of gin. He ordered this libation so frequently at bars and cafes in and around Florence that bartenders eventually named the drink after him.


  • 1 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 oz. Cinzano Rosso Sweet Vermouth


Directions: In an ice filled mixing glass (Martini pitcher), add Bombay Sapphire gin, Campari and Cinzano Rosso. Stir until well blended. Strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass. Garnish with a burnt orange twist.




White Peach Bellini

Barman Giuseppe Cipriani at Harry’s Bar, Venice invented this classic cocktail, in 1948. Giuseppe Cipriani named this drink after 15th century Venetian painter, Giovanni Bellini. Reportedly the pink glow that Harry admired in one of Bellini’s paintings was his inspiration behind this legendary cocktail

  • 2 oz. fresh white peach puree or Boiron fresh frozen puree
  • 3 oz. Prosecco sparkling wine


Directions:  Selected very ripe white peaches. Blanch peaches in boiling water for approx. 1 minute and transfer to an ice bath. Peel peaches and remove stones. Transfer peach to a food processor adding ¼ oz. fresh lemon juice for each peach. Sample. Sweeten to taste if needed, approx. 1 oz. of sugar per pound of peaches. (Hint: Add a couple of red raspberries for color) In a 16 oz. mixing glass add ice, 2 oz. peach puree and 3 oz. chilled Prosecco, roll the drink between the mixing glass and a mixing tin to blend, do NOT shake. Strain into a chilled champagne flute.




Pure Joy


  • 1.5 oz Belvedere Cytrus Vodka
  • 1   oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1   oz. simple syrup
  • 1   oz. Boiron Raspberry puree
  • Chilled lemon-lime soda


Directions: In an iced filled mixing glass, add Belvedere Cytrus vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup and raspberry puree ; shake until well blended. Strain into an iced filled 14 ounce goblet. Top with chilled lemon-lime soda, stir and garnish with a sprig of mint and a couple of fresh red raspberries dusted with powdered sugar.




Pumpkin Nog - a great holiday "Nog" 

Ingredients :

  • 1 fifth Southern Comfort
  • 12 jumbo eggs
  • 5 cups of whole milk
  • 1/2 lb superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    *1/2 cup pumpkin puree same as used in Pumpkin Pie


Directions:  Separate eggs. Set egg whites in the refrigerator.  In a mixing bowl, beat yolks until creamy.  Gradually add 1/4 lb of sugar, beating at high speeds until thick.  Stir in milk, Southern Comfort, vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin puree. Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.  Remove egg whites from the refrigerator and beat until soft peaks form.  Add remaining 1/2 lb sugar, beating until stiff peaks.  Fold te chilled Southern Comfort mixture into the egg whites.  Serve in a goblet, garnish with freshy grated nutmeg.




Tony's Martini

Ingredients :

  • 3 oz. Plymouth Gin
  • 2 dashes Noilly Pratt Vermouth

Directions:In an ice filled Cobbler shaker, season the ice with Noilly Pratt Vermouth and discard excess.  Add Plymouth Gin and shake until will chilled (10 seconds to a Waltz).  Strain into a chilled Cocktail glass and garnish with a blue cheese stuffed olive.



Primo Margarita


  • 1.5 oz. 100% Agave Tequila (Silver, Reposado or Anejo)
  • .75 oz. Cointreau
  • 2 oz. fresh lemon sour
  • Juice of a whole lime freshly squeezed with a TAG Citrus Juicer


Directions: Shake, strain into an ice filled Goblet (salt optional) Garnish with a lime wedge.





Ingredients :

  • 1.5 oz. 10 Cane Rum
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • Juice of one whole lime freshly squeezed with a TAG Citrus Juicer
  • 12-14 fresh spearmint leaves
  • Chilled soda water


Directions:In a Tall Highball glass, muddle simple syrup and mint leaves, using the TAG solid cherry wood muddler as the trick its to muddle just enough to release the oils from the mint leaves while leaving the mint leaves intact.  Add ice to your TAG Lewis bag, crushing it with your TAG Muddler.  Add crushed ice and rum.  Stir until the outside of the glass begins to frost.  Spritz with chilled soda water.  Garnish with a powdered sugar dusted mint sprig.




Ingredients :

  • 1½ oz. Belvedere Cytrus Vodka
  • ¾ oz. Cointreau
  • ½ oz. cranberry juice
  • ½ lime, freshly squeezed


Directions:Shake, strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass. Garnish with a spiral of lemon



Bloody Mary

Ingredients :

  • 1½ oz. Finlanda Vodka
  • 4 oz. Campbell’s tomato juice
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pinch of coarse ground pepper
  • Juice of ¼ lemon (freshly squeezed)


Directions:Build in an ice filled mixing glass, roll contents between mixing glass and tin and strain into an ice filled goblet. Garnish with a lemon wedge.



Irish Coffee

Ingredients :

  • 1½ oz. Jameson Irish whiskey
  • 2 sugar cubes
  • Freshly brewed coffee
  • Freshly whipped cream


Directions:In a heated Irish Coffee Glass muddle sugar cubes with coffee until sugar is dissolved. Add Jameson Irish whiskey and top with ½ inch collar of freshly whipped cream.



Helen's Tom & Jerry Batter

Ingredients :

  • 8 jumbo eggs
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tarter
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Hot water


For each drink:

  • ¾ ounce Appleton Jamaican Rum
  • ¾ ounce Hennessey VS Cognac


Directions:Separate egg whites and yolks. In a large mixer, beat yolks until thin, transfer to another bowl. Clean mixer and add the egg whites and cream of tarter, beat until stiff. Add powdered sugar and fold in yolks. Mix until batter is thick, but light.


In a pre-heated mug, add 1 heaping ladle of batter. Add rum and cognac. Top with hot water and dust with freshly grated nutmeg. Serve with a paddle or spoon.


Hint: At home I use a Kitchen-Aid 4.5 Quart Capacity Tilt-Head Mixer for making the batter.