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???

I think what they really meant was chocolate-covered cherry day.  Generally that means a chocolate-covered maraschino cherry, sometimes infused with a liqueur of some sort or another.  The problem is; I detest maraschino cherries.  Like, ewww. There’s nothing natural about that brilliant pink (or worse, green) colour.  Uck.  I don’t understand maraschinos.  I don’t get the allure.  I think they’re gross.  Even the method of creating them is gross.  According to Wiki,

A maraschino cherry … is a preserved, sweetened cherry, typically made from light-coloured sweet cherries such as the Royal Ann, Rainier, or Gold varieties. The cherries are first preserved in a brine solution usually containing sulphur dioxide or alcohol, then soaked in a suspension of food coloring (common red food dye, FD&C Red 40), sugar syrup, and other components. Maraschino cherries dyed red are typically almond-flavoured, while cherries dyed green are sometimes peppermint-flavoured [I went ahead and Canadianized the American spelling]

First question: why would you do that to a beautiful Rainier cherry?

Della went so far as to make me my very own fruitcake for Christmas, believing (correctly) that my whole issue with fruitcake was the gross, wrongly-coloured (and flavoured) cherries.

So, how about a chocolate-cherry martini?

We’ve tried our hardest to share recipes whenever we can.  I thought, “hmmmm… maybe we could try making a chocolate liqueur, so I could brag about, and share the recipe here.”  Of course, I thought of it today, and the best-looking recipe I found is a two-week recipe.  Not so much.

Enter Godiva Chocolate liqueur.

But this is “Chocolate-filled cherry day” – whatever that means. For me, that at least means that if I’m having a chocolate martini, it has to include a cherry. Enter cherry liqueur. There’s an awesome-looking recipe for Sour Cherry Liqueur here!  Again, no time to figure it out.

I considered kirsch, which I tend to have on hand to throw into champagne, as required.  “Too sweet,” I though.  So, what about cherry brandy?

What a good idea.

In the end, I still needed a bit of voddy to water it down.

So, recipe:

  • 1 ½ oz Godiva Milk Chocolate Liqueur (so delicious. Like chocolate milk, only way worse for you)
  • 1 ½ oz cherry brandy
  • 1 oz vodka

Shake, pour into martini glass, garnish with a fresh (NOT maraschino) cherry.

Frankly delicious, in a creamy, bad-for-you kind of way.  It looked somewhat like this:

Chocolate-Cherry (okay, close enough) martinis, from: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/40/80025939_9a82ff757e.jpg

Did I mention my camera has officially died?  My lens cap (automatic) no longer opens automatically.  I tried taking a picture of the martini with my cell phone, but I’m apparently too silly, because it wouldn’t focus.

Sigh.

Happy New Year!

~Eva

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*rubs sleep from eyes*      *Yawn*               *stretch*

New Years Day. It should really be known as That Foggy Time After New Years Eve.

Luckily we have a little liquid gold to help us along: the cocktail classic, a Bloody Mary. I don’t know too many folks who make this their evening drink of choice, but for the morning hair of the dog it certainly does the trick.

RANDOM ASIDE NUMBER ONE: What the heck does “hair of the dog” mean anyways? Over to you Wikipedia:

It is a shortened form of the expression “the hair of the dog that bit you.” The origin of the phrase is literal, and comes from an erroneous method of treatment of a rabid dog bite by placing hair from the dog in the bite wound. The use of the phrase as a metaphor for a hangover treatment dates back to the time of William Shakespeare. Ebenezer Cobham Brewer writes in the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1898): “In Scotland it is a popular belief that a few hairs of the dog that bit you applied to the wound will prevent evil consequences. Applied to drinks, it means, if overnight you have indulged too freely, take a glass of the same wine next morning to soothe the nerves. ‘If this dog do you bite, soon as out of your bed, take a hair of the tail in the morning.'”

So say, hypothetically, you had a few cocktails last night. The bloody Mary can fortify you before you have to go to that hypothetically dreaded brunch with the in-laws. I will suggest this classic recipe:

Bloody Mary (courtesy of the New York School of Bartending):

1 oz. to 1 1/2 oz. (30-45 ml) vodka in a Highball glass filled with ice. Fill glass with tomato juice
1 dash celery salt
1 dash ground black pepper
1 dash Tabasco
2-4 dashes of Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. horseradish (pure, never creamed)
Dash of lemon or lime juice
Garnish with celery stalk.

May be shaken vigorously or stirred lazily, as desired. Garnish with a celery stalk; a skewer of olives, pickles, carrots, mushrooms, or other vegetables; or even meat or fish (salami, shrimp, etc.) and cheese. Occasionally, pickled asparagus spears or pickled beans are also used.

Personally, I would say that pickled beans are MANDATORY. I mean, a girl has to get her veggies somewhere, right? My version benefited from the bottle of Stoli kept in my freezer: 🙂

SLIGHTLY LESS RANDOM ASIDE NUMBER TWO:

The best Bloody Mary I ever had was at a diner called Enid’s in a polish neighborhood in Brooklyn, where I dined on biscuits and gravy and grits for the first time, and where the highlight of the decor was a large sparkly golden camel. Good times!

Happy New Year to you all!

~Deanna

Well, I’m back from Mexico, unhappily.  I would much preferred to be waking up this morning to a leisurely breakfast followed by a margherita on the beach than to darkness, rain, and … work.  Alas.

As promised, I have posted my recipe for whole-wheat multigrain bread just below this post.  Also, I seemed to have missed my post for Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day (November 19). Stay tuned… I’m going to “bonus blog” it when the moment is right.

After RC wrote up his impressive treatise to cappuccino, I was a bit intimidated by espresso day.  I have not sampled the perfect espresso in coffee shops around the world.  I’m not even much of an espresso drinker, but I do have one of those lovely Italian “twist together” espresso makers.

It was given to me by Clermont Boulanger, the father of a family I lived with in Jonquière, Quebec when I was 16 years old.  Every morning, Clermont would make café au lait for my friend Julie and me, to drink on our way to school.  It was the height of luxury.  Clermont gave me the espresso maker as a parting gift and I think about the Boulangers and my amazing, eye-opening time in Quebec every time I use it.

classic espresso maker

In honour of Espresso Day, I busted out my old faithful in the service of… (if you knew me at all, you’d already have guessed it) … an espresso martini.

In Mexico, I often drank one or two of these before dinner.  After drinking margheritas in the sun all day, I was generally a little groggy.  An espresso martini was the perfect solution: no falling asleep in my guacamole!

To make an espresso martini, you need:

  • 1 ½ oz freshly brewed espresso
  • 1 oz perfectly cold vodka (I know there are better kinds, but for mixed drinks, I go with plain ol’ Alberta vodka)
  • 1 oz Kahlúa

Pour espresso over ice in a martini shaker.  Add vodka and Kahlúa.  Shake like hell.  Garnish with a few coffee beans as desired.

Espresso Martini

Cheat: you could always buy a bottle of Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka and just shake it over ice.  It’s delicious. But I prefer my version.

Eva