Hot Buttered Rum Nog

Hot Buttered Rum NogNot gonna lie. The first time I heard about hot buttered rum I thought the idea sounded nauseating. But over the years, whenever I heard the term, I started wondering why I thought so because I certainly like butter well enough. And I definitely like rum. And the idea starting sounding more appealing.

When I finally decided to make my own, I looked up recipes and found it involved making a “batter’ so now it wasn’t so much nauseating as much as complicated. No wonder it took me so longer to warm up to this drink.

Happily, the “batter” is hardly complicated and the drink lends itself perfectly to different flavors. The creamy part is typically ice cream and so I used some of the egg nog ice cream I have in the freezer. And it turned out so well that now I’m thinking the pumpkin ice cream and chocolate ice cream I have may both needed to be tested too. Cheers!

Hot Buttered Rum Nog2Per Serving:
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 oz. Egg nog ice cream or egg nog
1 1/2 oz. Spiced rum
Pinch of cinnamon
Small pinch of nutmeg
6 oz. Boiling water

Combine the butter and sugar in a small bowl. Add the egg nog ice cream and whisk in the boiling water. Stir in the rum, cinnamon and nutmeg and garnish with whipped cream if desired.


Maple Daiquiri

Maple Daiquiri
The basic daiquiri is a wonderfully simple and tasty classic. Just three ingredients – rum, lime and sugar.

But those few components blend together so harmoniously. Much more fun, though, is the fact that it’s an easy drink to adapt.

I’ve made all sorts of fruity variations and frozen daiquiris are probably at the top of my favorite summer drinks list.

But now that autumn is here, I wanted a slightly deeper version. Using maple syrup as the sugar creates a nice twist and just a touch of bitters adds a little extra depth to the drink.

Serve it on the rocks for a slow sipper, or straight up if you prefer your cocktails high octane. Cheers!

Per Serving:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. Maple syrup
  • 1 Dash Angostura bitters
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Fill with ice, shake well and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

Cheesecake Martini


Yesterday was National Cheesecake Day and I celebrated with several dozen of my fellow food bloggers.

We each made our own perfect version of cheesecake and my Blueberry Ricotta Cream Cheesecake was definitely my ideal. But whenever I have a killer dessert, I start to wonder if I can turn it into a killer cocktail.

Ultimately, the basis of any cheesecake, baked or otherwise, is cheese and it happily works well in liquid form. The graham cracker rim is important here because a bite of that followed by a sip of the drink and you’re in cheesecake heaven.

Seriously, I needed someone to take this drink away from me and keep me from making a couple more. Cheers!

Per Serving:

  • 2 Graham crackers, coarsely crushed
  • 2 oz. Cream cheese
  • 2 oz. Vanilla ice cream (plus 1 teaspoon for rimming)
  • 1 1/2 oz. Vanilla vodka
  • 1 oz. Simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. Buttershots (butterscotch schnapps)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon lemon juice
  • Tiny pinch of salt
  1. Run the rim of a cocktail glass through the teaspoon of ice cream to get it wet.
  2. Add the crushed graham crackers to a shallow bowl and dip the moistened rim of the glass into the crackers.
  3. Place in the freezer for a few minutes to set.
  4. Combine the cream cheese, ice cream, vodka, simple syrup, buttershots, lemon juice and salt with either a hand mixer or a small food processor.
  5. Pour into a cocktail shaker, fill with ice, shake vigorously and pour into the prepared glass.

Frozen Fluffernutter Martini

Frozen Fluffernutter Martini

When I was a little girl, there were only two kinds of kid-approved sandwiches and both involved peanut butter.  The classic PB&J, of course, and the fluffernutter.  That ingenious combination of sweet marshmallow fluff and salty peanut butter was perfect on its own or with the addition of some sliced bananas.  OK, sometimes there was some chocolate hazelnut spread as well but the fluff was the constant.

I really hadn’t eaten either sandwich in years but I happened to find myself with leftover peanut butter from a recent chocolate and PB dessert recipe and a bit of fluff from whoopie pies back in the fall.  Ironically, I didn’t even consider making a sandwich but instead I hatched an evil cocktail plan.  You see, I also had a bottle of Smirnoff Fluffed Vodka on hand.  And evil is a fitting description for this drink, let me tell you.  Perfectly balanced and not overly sweet, it goes down way too easily.  Cheers!

For 2 Servings:
4 oz. Marshmallow fluff vodka
1 Banana, frozen
3 Tablespoons peanut butter
3 Tablespoons marshmallow fluff
1/4 Cup milk
Pinch of sea salt
Whipped cream, for garnish
1 Teaspoon peanut butter thinned out with 1 teaspoon milk, for garnish

Add the vodka, banana, peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, milk and sea salt to a blender.  Fill with ice and blend until all the ice has been crushed.  Pour into two chilled cocktail glasses, garnish with whipped cream and drizzle with the thinned peanut butter.


Spiked and Spicy Hot Chocolate

Spiked and Spicy Hot Chocolate

Happy Christmas! Even though it’s not my holiday, I can’t help but enjoy the music and lights and festivities of this beautiful season.

And, of course, the food. And the…um…drinks!

Starting off the day with a cup of hot chocolate sounds good but this rummy version might be more appropriate after dinner.

My mother always made a sponge cake on holidays and she’d serve it with big mugs of hot cocoa.

Her version wasn’t spiked but I see no reason not to chase away the chill with a little shot of rum. Cheers!

Per Serving:

  • 1 Cup milk
  • 2 oz. Milk chocolate
  • 1 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 3/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 Teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 oz. Spiced rum
  • Marshmallows for garnish
  1. Add the milk, sugar and chocolate to a small pot and cook on a low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate and sugar have dissolved.
  2. Whisk in the spices.
  3. Remove from the heat, stir in the rum and pour into a mug or glass.
  4. Stir in the marshmallows and they will begin to melt and enrich the cocoa.
  5. Serve hot and repeat!

S’mores Martini



Summer and s’mores just go together. The smell of roasted, slightly burned marshmallows conjures up memories of summer camp and long lazy kid days.

Of course, grown-ups can eat s’mores, too, but it’s kinda fun to drink them as well. If you don’t already have a bottle of marshmallow vodka, you need to get some. Right now. For one thing, you need it to make this drink and you do want to make this drink.

You can also use it to make a Frozen Fluffernutter and you want to make that, too. Drinking it straight from the bottle is also an option. Cheers!

Per Serving:

  • 2 oz. Marshmallow vodka
  • 1 oz. Chocolate liqueur
  • 1 oz. Creme de Cacao
  • 2 oz. Cream or half & half
  • 1 oz. Chocolate, melted
  • 1 Graham cracker
  • 3 Marshmallows
  1. Crush the graham cracker into a shallow bowl using your hands. It’s OK if there are some chunkier pieces.
  2. Place the chocolate into a second shallow bowl and microwave for a few seconds until melted.
  3. Dip the rim of a martini glass into the chocolate and then into the graham cracker pieces. Refrigerate for a few minutes to set.
  4. Add the marshmallow vodka, chocolate liqueur, creme de cacao and cream to a cocktail shaker.
  5. Fill with ice, shake well and pour into the prepared glass.
  6. Spear the marshmallows on the end of a skewer or long fork and hold over an open flame for a couple of seconds until the ends get toasted.
  7. Thread them onto a cocktail pick and garnish the drink.

Rummy Pistachio Milkshake


Rummy Pistachio Milkshake

Last week I had the good, and tasty, fortune to sample a new line of Häagen-Dazs gelato flavors. Yes, I realize it’s a tough job but I’m only doing it for all of you. Um, yeah, sure.

Anyhow, I ended up using most of the flavors to make mini crunch cakes but I still had some pistachio flavor left over in my freezer.

Tempted, though I was, to just eat it all standing up in my kitchen at midnight, I was equally in the mood for a boozy milkshake.

I already knew that spiced rum goes well with ice creams and gelatos and a bit of crushed up pistachios gave it a great, slightly salty bite.

I’m guessing that I don’t need to warn you how incredibly easily this goes down on a hot day, right? Cheers!

Per Serving:

  • 1 Cup pistachio gelato or ice cream
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1 1/2 oz. Spiced rum
  • Handful of chopped pistachios
  1. Wet the rim of a jar or glass with a bit of softened gelato and roll the rim around in the chopped pistachios.
  2. Add the gelato, milk and rum to a blender and pulse until smooth.
  3. Pour into the prepared glass and place in the freezer for about 20 minutes to firm up before serving.

Hot Cocoa Martini


So Thanksgiving is over. You’ve feasted and indulged and slept it off. And chances are you have some leftovers in the fridge to last throughout the long weekend. Back to reality, sort of, but not yet. Perhaps just a bit more indulgence before heading back to real life on Monday.

When I was growing up, hot cocoa was a Thanksgiving weekend tradition in my family. My mother would bake her famous sponge cake, make up a big pot of cocoa and we’d tuck ourselves under blankets on the sofa to watch Miracle on 34th Street or some other holiday movie.

Happy memories of simpler times. I miss that big pot of cocoa but my version, in less simple times, is kinda fun, too. Cheers!

For 2 Servings:

  • 1 Packet hot cocoa mix
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 3 oz. Whipped cream vodka
  • 1 oz. Buttershots caramel liqueur
  1. Bring the milk to a simmer in a pot and whisk in the cocoa mix until fully incorporated.
  2. Refrigerate for about 10 – 15 minutes to chill.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of the prepared cocoa to a cocktail shaker along with the vodka and caramel liqueur.
  4. Fill with ice, shake well and pour into cocktail glasses.
  5. Garnish with either whipped cream or marshmallows, if desired.

Carrot Cake Cocktail

Carrot Cake Cocktail

A few days ago, I got a package in the mail and it contained a whole lotta carrots.  This veggie largess was compliments of Grimmway Farms with whom I will be working on a project next month.  My immediate reaction was to get a tub of hummus and start munching away while I decided what else I could do with them.

Since there’s only so much hummus a woman can eat (I’m kidding, actually, because I go through a whole lot of carrots and hummus), I did all the expected things one would do with a big box of carrots.  I tossed them into salads, roasted them with butter and maple syrup and added them to pots of soup and stew.  But there were still more carrots.  With Easter approaching, should I make carrot cake?  Healthy carrot muffins?  I could, of course, but this was way more fun.  Cheers!

For Two Servings:
10 Baby carrots
4 oz. Cream or half & half
2 oz. Vanilla vodka
2 oz. Spiced rum
1 oz. Irish cream liqueur
2 oz. Butterscotch sauce (recipe follows)
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of cinnamon
2 Tablespoons easy cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)
1 Tablespoon finely chopped walnuts

Easy Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 Tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly until the sugar has dissolved.

Butterscotch Sauce:
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup heavy cream
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of sea salt

Note:  I noticed that many recipes for carrot cake martinis call for butterscotch liqueur but I didn’t have any and didn’t want to buy a whole bottle just for this recipe.  I found that making a butterscotch sauce worked jut fine and the remaining sauce is great over ice cream!

Carrot Cake Cocktail2Melt the sugar in a pot over a low to medium flame.  Do not walk away.  When the sugar has completely dissolved, remove it from the heat and add the heavy cream.  The mixture will bubble up.  Return to a low heat, add the butter, vanilla and salt and stir until all lumps are gone and the sauce is a light golden brown.

Prepare the glasses by dipping the rims into the cream cheese frosting and immediately rolling them around in the chopped walnuts.  Place in the refrigerator to set while you assemble the rest of the cocktail.

Add the carrots and cream to a blender and puree until the carrots are completely broken down.  Add the liquid to a cocktail shaker along with the vodka, rum, Irish cream liqueur, 2 tablespoons of butterscotch sauce, sea salt and cinnamon.  Fill with ice and shake vigorously.  Pour through a strainer into the prepared cocktail glasses.


Springtime Martini


Springtime MartiniHooray for the first day of spring! It may take a little while longer for the snow to melt and the cherry blossoms to flower but I’m happy nonetheless.

This winter has lasted way too long and I’m ready to celebrate its departure.

As I took the dog for a walk today, I stopped by the fruit cart vendor to see what he has on offer. For so many frigid and snowy days the past couple of months, he hasn’t been there at all, so I was pleased just at the sight of him.

There was a light breeze and I smelled citrus. And I knew the perfect way to toast the new season. Cheers!

Per Serving:

  • 2 oz. Gin
  • 1/2 oz. Orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. Pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. Lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 oz. Aperol*
  1. Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well.
  2. Pour into chilled martini glasses and garnish with lime.