"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all." ~Harriet van Horne


Caramel Apple Martini - October's Martini

Published by: Kathy

  • Oct
  • 2

This autumn-inspired martini is like taking a bite out of chewy caramel apple…Except…it won’t stick to your teeth!

The martini portion of my food blog is the one that causes me the most stress…Unlike the food preparations, which are a natural part of my day/evening, making a martini doesn’t always fit into my schedule for the day.  (The reason is, that I am always ready to sample the food I prepare…morning, noon or night.  Martinis…not so much.)  In spite of my hesitation, the past few martini recipes have been prepared in the morning, when things are calm and quiet in the house and I can concentrate on my concoction.  Today is no different.  It is a Sunday morning and I am showered, dressed and ready for church…and I’m in the kitchen shaking up a martini…that I will taste…in my mouth….Did I mention it’s 10:30 a.m.?  This is wrong on so many levels.

Anyway, I promised you Martini Monday, so here it is!  I wanted my October martini to be reminiscant of the beginning of Fall and the things I associate with the (veeerrry) subtle change in weather.  I immediately thought of carnivals and Halloween. What popped up in my head next, were the deliciously gooey and chewy caramel apples I love to eat…Caramel Apple Martini sounded like the perfect intro into Fall.  I found a handful of recipes and most of them included butterscotch schnapps.  When I found caramel liqueur on the shelf at the liquor store, I decided to change it up a bit and keep with the caramel theme of the drink.  The finished product looks a little milky and wasn’t as sweet as I thought it would be.  (This was a pleasant surprise, since I am a traditional martini girl…Vodka… dirty, dry and cold enough to cause a brain-freeze!  Not crazy about the really sweet drinks!)  The sour apple schnapps reminds me of granny smith apples and is a nice offset to the sweetness of the caramel.  This would make a perfect after-dinner drink.



  • 1  oz. vodka
  • 2  oz. caramel liqueur (I used Bailey’s Caramel)
  • 1 oz. Sour Apple Pucker® schnapps
  • Caramel sundae syrup (for decorating glass)

Drizzle caramel sundae syrup around the inside of a martini glass.  Place glass in the freezer for at least ten minutes.  Prepare martini by placing vodka, caramel liqueur and sour apple schnapps in a shaker with crushed ice.  Shake for 30 seconds and strain into prepared glass.




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Grape Lemonade Martini - September's Martini

Published by: Kathy

  • Sep
  • 1

Just stick a straw in it and call it grape soda!

While doing some research for my Martini Monday blog post, at the local Total Wine liquor store, (Sadly, I love strolling the isles and and looking at all the pretty bottles.) I became intrigued and entranced by the hundreds of flavored vodka offerings.  While there is no excuse for some of the ridiculous flavors available, (e.g.: Cotton Candy, Gummy, Root Beer, Frosting, Cupcake, Bacon, etc.) there are some flavors that could really add a different twist to or enhance your favorite cocktails.  Nestled among the fruit varieties, was Grape vodka.  There were several brands available, but I won’t lie, the one I settled on was the prettiest shade of lavender.  I just knew it would make a beautiful girly-girl cocktail and I wasn’t disappointed!

My Grape Lemonade Martini, tasted more like grape soda, than grape lemonade…However, don’t be fooled by the comparison to adoloescent refreshments…This grape soda is all grown up and packs a punch!


Grape Lemonade Martini

  • 2  oz. grape vodka
  • 1/2  oz. triple sec
  • 1/2  oz. sour mix
  • 1  oz.  lemon-lime soda  (you can add an extra ounce, if you like)

Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and gently stir for a few seconds, long enough to give it a good chill.  (You don’t want to shake this cocktail, because it contains lemon-lime soda, and when shaken,  it will end up all over your counter, instead of inside your glass.)  Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a slice of lemon.


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Bikini Martini - August's Martini

Published by: Kathy

  • Jul
  • 22

I’ts a premature “Martini Monday”, once again!

I know that I said I would be posting a new martini recipe on the first Monday of each month…Well, when you’re retired, it’s hard to stay on a schedule. Every day brings a new adventure… No, seriously, I am going on vacation with my Mom and will be in the middle of the ocean somewhere, on August 1st.  (The first Monday in August.)  Therefore, I am posting my August Martini in July.

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over…School starts in a few weeks and Cracker Barrell actually has their Thanksgiving stuff out already!  Wait, not so fast!  I’m not ready for summer to be over yet. I’ve still got a little beach-time left in me.  So, in fond memory of the bikini I have not worn in 30 years (and will definitely NOT be wearing on my cruise), and out of reverence for the body that was once able to rock it…I present the “Bikini  Martini”.


  • 1  oz. coconut rum
  • 1  oz. citrus vodka
  • 2  oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2  oz. grenadine syrup
  • Maraschino cherries for garnish

Shake rum, vodka and pineapple juice in a shaker with ice.  Strain into a chilled martini glass.  Pour the grenadine slowly down the side of the glass.  (It will sink to the bottom of the glass, creating the appearance of a very cute bikini bottom. (It’s hard to see in my picture, because I used my dolphin martini glass.)   Garnish with marschino cherries.


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Star Spangled 'Tini - July's Martini

Published by: Kathy

  • Jun
  • 21

Martini Monday is coming early!

In order to give you ample time to hit the liquor store before the 4th of July, I am posting my July martini at the end of June. (If you prepared June’s posting, you should already have the Hypnotiq on hand.)  I am sitting here sipping on my first Star Spangled ‘Tini and it is soooo delicious!  It has a little pucker to it, so I will add the option of using sour mix instead of fresh lime juice to tone things down a bit. 


  • 1  1/2  oz. Hypnotiq Liqueur
  • 1  1/2  oz. mango vodka
  • 1/4  oz. fresh lime juice or sour mix
  • 1/2  oz.  grenadine
  • Blueberries and cherries or strawberries, for garnish

Chill glass in freezer.  Pour Hypnotiq, mango vodka and lime or sour mix in a cocktail shaker, filled half way with crushed ice, and shake well.  Strain into chilled martini glass.  Slowly add grenadine down the side of the glass, so it will settle to the bottom.  Skewer your fruit on a patriotic martini pick and gently drop into the martini.  Sip slowly and enjoy! 

Happy 4th of July, everyone!!  Be safe and drink responsibly!!

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Bluebird Martini - It's Martini Monday!!

Published by: Kathy

  • Jun
  • 6

Boy, have I had a good time researching this new monthly segment!

I could never have imagined how many different martini recipes I would find!  Not to mention how many of them I would get to prepare and sample!  When I realized how expensive this project could get, I decided to do an inventory of my liquor cabinet and determine what I already had on hand.  With a check-list as a reference guide, I narrowed my search to martinis that included the liquor I already had in stock…It was a good place to start and limited the purchases I needed to make.  Now the question was, would the recipes I found taste any good?  The smile on my face is proof…It was a tough job, but someone had to do it!!


  • 1 1/2  oz. Hpnotiq liqueur
  • 1 1/2  oz.  coconut rum
  • 1  splash lime juice
  • Flaked coconut, for garnish

First, prepare a martini glass by dabbing a little honey around the outside rim.  (Try to limit the rimming to the outer edge of the glass to prevent a mini-avalanche from falling into your drink.)  Fill a saucer with coconut flakes and then dip the rim of the glass into the coconut, slowly turning it to coat.

Place all liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker with crushed ice and shake.  Strain into prepared glass and be sure to drink responsibly…Martinis are powerful stuff!

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Cava Sangria

Published by: Kathy

  • May
  • 31

Up until six months ago, I had never heard of “cava”.

One day, while snooping through Facebook, I noticed a friend’s post… She said that she and her husband were just chilling out with a bottle of cava.  I consider myself to be a fountain of knowledge when it comes to alcholic beverages (no comments, please), but “cava” was not something I was familiar with.  I put the new word I had discovered on a shelf in my brain, until I came across it again only a few weeks later.  At Sam’s Club, there was a liquor vendor sampling…guess what?  CAVA!  It was approaching New Year’s Eve and she was pushing her Cava, to ring in the New Year.  Apparently cava is Spain’s answer to champagne!  I never knew!  I tasted a small cup of the sparkling wine and it was delicious!  The vendor told me that if I didn’t want to drink it straight, it would make a very good sangria.  I was sold!  I bought two bottles at a very reasonable price an stuck them in the wine cooler. 

Surprisingly, I was able to find several sangria recipes using cava.  I wasn’t crazy about any one recipe, so I disected three recipes and took ingredients from each, to create my personal Cava Sangria.


  • 2  bottles Spanish cava, chilled
  • 1  c. white grape juice
  • ¾  c. simple syrup
  • ½  c. triple sec (orange liqueur)
  • ¼  c. brandy
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Ice cubes, for serving

Stir cava, grape juice, simple syrup, triple sec and brandy together in a large pitcher.  Drop in some sliced strawberries and raspberries, so that the fruit flavor will infuse into the sangria.  Serve over ice garnished with additional strawberries and raspberries.



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