Peppermint Twist

On the eleventh day of Christmas my bartender made for me, a Peppermint Twist so yummy…

I got this recipe from my sister; I’m not exactly sure where she got it. This turned out to be exceptionally good. You can’t go wrong with chocolate and peppermint.

Peppermint Twist
Printer-friendly recipe
Makes 1 large or small 2 cocktails

3 oz crème de cacao (dark)
2 oz cream
2 oz peppermint schnapps
Crushed peppermint candies

Put peppermint candies in Ziploc bag and crush into small pieces; put on plate.
Line glass rims with crème de cacao, press into crushed peppermint candies. Shake ingredients with ice; strain into glass(es).

Note: the original recipe calls for the drink to be served in two vignette Port wine glasses. Our bartender suggests either pouring the entire drink into a highball glass or into two rocks glasses or 2 martini glasses.

Vesper Martini

On the seventh day of Christmas my bartender made for me, an (almost) authentic James Bond martini….

Both Mr.Surly and I are big James Bond fans. So when it came to Day 7, I immediately thought of agent 007. We have a bar book we bought that contains the authentic drink of James Bond, with directions straight from Ian Flemming’s Casino Royale.

The drink’s name is derived from Vesper Lynd, the double agent James falls in love with. Russian vodka is used to symbolize Vesper’s ties to the Russians. The orange twist is used to compliment the Lillet Blanc, which is made from oranges and a combination of french wines and is a substitute for vermouth. Our bar book said to garnish with an orange to compliment the Lillet blanc, even though Bond asked for a thin slice of lemon peel. (Click here to watch the scene from Casino Royale where Bond (Daniel Craig) orders the drink).

Bond prefers his martini served in a champagne coupe** but not having those, we opted for a martini glass. I love the look of the champagne coupes, I must add some to my stemware collection.

Mr.Surly claimed this drink; I had a sip and it was really, really good. But also very, very potent, so one drink and you’d be feelin’ real good.

We didn’t have Gordon’s dry gin, but we used Bombay Sapphire which is a dry London Gin, so at least it’s British, which I feel is appropriate.

For vermouth we used Martini and Rossi dry vermouth.

Vesper Martini
the (almost) authentic James Bond drink
Printer-friendly recipe
makes 1 martini

2 oz gin (Gordon’s to be authentic)
¼ oz vodka (Russian vodka to be authentic)
1/3 oz dry vermouth (Lillet Blanc to be authentic)

Shake with ice, strain into martini glass or, to be authentic, a champagne coupe. Garnish with a twist of orange (lemon to be authentic).

UPDATE: We have made this cocktail a lot since this post and I have modified the recipe as below (basically, I just took it straight out of the Casino Royale book by Ian Flemming. Below is the recipe I use for 1 drink.

Vesper Martini
3 oz Gordon’s Dry Gin
1 oz Smirnoff Vodka
1/4 oz Lillet

Put all ingredients in ice-filled cocktail and shake well. Strain into champagne coupe.

**Note** Mr.Surly was able to find Lillet blanc (which is a french after dinner wine) and bought some Gordon’s gin. My goodness what a difference it made to this drink. It’s so smooth you don’t even taste any alcohol. To keep it on the dry side, use just a splash of Lillet. To make it a bit sweeter add 2 splashes of Lillet. Ever since he brought these home he has had one as his cocktail ever evening.

**Update 2: I finally got my champagne coupes. See them here.

Source: Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide by Mittie Hellmich

Crème Brulée Martini

On the third day of Christmas, my bartender made for me, a classic crème brulée martini…

I know there seems to be a martini theme going on with my cocktails, but I promise there are some drinks served in punch cups and rocks glasses. In fact, I think tomorrow is my first non-martini.

I found this drink too sweet for my liking, but my MIL(mother-in-law) and SIL(sister-in-law) loved it. I was never a big fan of Frangelico because I don’t like the taste of hazelnuts.

I don’t think any of the men got to try this drink because my MIL and SIL kept taking turns sipping it down. It didn’t last long.

We did a rim of festive green holiday sugar, but a cinnamon sugar combo rim would also be delicious.

Crème Brulée Martini
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serves 1

2 ½ oz Smirnoff vanilla vodka
1 ½ oz butterscotch liqueur
1 ½ oz Frangelico liqueur
1 ½ oz Caramel Bailey’s
Cinnamon, for garnish

Shake ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into glass. Add a dash of cinnamon if desired.

Note: A cinnamon sugared rim can be substituted instead of the dash of cinnamon.

English Pear Martini

One the first day of Christmas, my bartender made for me, an Absolut perfect pear martini…

I have found a new favorite vodka–Absolut Pear. Any cocktail my sister-in-law used this alcohol in was delicious. This martini is like drinking a ripe pear with a hint of pineapple (oh, how I love pineapple). Too bad pears are out of season; a fresh pear slice or even a big chunk of pineapple that had been soaked in vodka would make a great garnish. Also, a light sprinkle of cinnamon to finish it off as well. This is definitely a drink I’m going to bookmark and enjoy over and over.

Pear Martini
Printer-friendly version
makes 1 (8 oz) martini

2 oz Absolut Pear vodka
1 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 oz pineapple juice
¼ oz lime juice
½ oz simple syrup*

Shake ingredients together in cocktail shaker, strain into chilled glass. Garnish with a lime twist (or even better a pear or pineapple slice), if desired.

*to make simple syrup, mix equal parts sugar and water and heat until sugar is dissolved. We used a couple Tbls of each and microwaved in 30 second intervals, stirring each time; just because we didn’t want to bother with the stove.