Looking for a New Year’s Eve party cocktail?

Here is a fun, festive martini – The Blue Snowflake


Malibu Rum*
Cream of coconut
Pineapple juice
Blue Curacao
Sambuca, white
Coconut flakes (for rimming glass)

Rim chilled martini glass:
Squeeze dollop of coconut cream in center of plate
place generous amount of coconut flakes on a separate plate
Hold glass by stem, tilt and dip rim in coconut cream, spin until edge is well coated
Then, use same technique and drag rim slowly thru coconut flakes, until well coated

In a cocktail shaker:**
Fill 1/4 with ice cubes
3oz Malibu rum
1oz pineapple juice
1 tsp cream of coconut
1/2 oz blue Curacao
Dash of sambuca (too much will overtake the drink)
Shake well and pour, with the ice, into martini glass


*coconut flavored vodka can be used instead
**you can turn the martini into a frozen version, just by blending it

December 2014 Drink of the Month

Just in time for Christmas (yup, I said “Christmas”)…


This martini is quick and easy and sure to be a hit!


Peppermint liquer
Light Cream
Sambuca, white
Candy cane
Red raspberry syrup (schmukers plate scrapers brand works best)

Prep martini glass with raspberry syrup. Place tip of syrup bottle in bottom of glass and with slow even pressure squeeze as you swirl up to the rim.

Starting from rim to base causes syrup to run and streak glass.

1) fill cocktail shaker with ice
2) add 3.5oz peppermint liquer, 1oz cream, 3 drops sambuca
3) shake vigorously until well chilled
4) strain into martini glass
5) garnish with candy cane

Come visit me at The Horseshoe Grille – I’ll make one for you.

Blackberry Simple Syrup

imageA staple for your summer cocktails

12oz fresh blackberries

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

3/4cp water

1/4 cp + a pinch of granulated sugar

bring to boil, then simmer 25mins, stir gently every so often

let cool, then strain into bowl using wire tight mesh sieve, gently press til all juice is through

will hold in fridge for a week



White Cucumber Melon Sangria

White Cucumber Melon Sangria


1.5 Liters Sauvignon Blanc
1/2 cp honey
1 small honeydew melon (seeded and sliced)
1 seedless cucumber (sliced into wheels)
2 limes (sliced into wheels)
24 fresh mint leaves

Place melon, cucumber, limes, mint in container
Add honey, gently mix with wooden spoon
Add wine last, gently stir with wooden spoon
Refrigerate overnight

Use in the first 48 hours

Smoke ’em, if you got ’em

Last night, when the insomnia set in, I found myself trying to read any and all news articles on-line.  (I was hoping I would bore myself to sleep!)  Instead, I came across an article of great interest to me.  This article was about the latest trend in cocktails.

Being a bit of a “booze nerd” (is that an oxymoron?), I couldn’t help but get sucked right in.  This new trend happens to be about “smoked cocktails”. If you checked out my Drink of the Month for April, Smokey Waters, you know why this trend intrigues me.

Gin meets Smoked Paprika

Gin meets Smoked Paprika

When it comes to cocktail menus, I believe they should reflect the flavor of the restaurant and its patrons.  Bartenders are the “liquid chefs” of the restaurant.  The advantage we have over our kitchen counterparts – we directly interact with the guests.  We can get opinions, requests, feedback and actually sample concoctions regularly.  Getting the guest involved in the creative process is not only fun, it is a valuable tool.

Personally, I like to create cocktails that push the envelope, daring you into trying something out of your comfort zone.  This past winter, I added a drink dubbed When Pigs Fly to the Horseshoe Grille menu.  Maple infused bourbon, dark crème de cocoa surrounded by a chocolate rim dipped in crunchy bacon was a surprise for the palate.

Ingredients should be fresh, flavorful and unique.  People are paying greater attention to what they put in their bodies.  Restaurants are responding by creating gluten-free menus, low-cal menu options, etc.  Drink menus are following suit.


Fresh fruits, spices and herbs have made their way out of the kitchen and once again, back on the bar.  The one downfall, these ingredients drive up price.  Especially with the recent drought and poor grow season driving produce prices through the roof!  Take the lime crisis as an example.  Right now, limes have become so scarce and expensive ($1 a piece) they are like green-gold.

So, as summer slowly approaches, I look forward to using smoked salts, sugars and spices along with charred fruits and aromatic herbs behind the bar at the Horseshoe Grille.

What do you look for in a cocktail?

Xoxo, Amy