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Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Five Fabulous New Year’s Eve Cocktails from Pinterest

December 28, 2013

It seems I have thousands of pictures of champagne and sparkling wine cocktails on my poor overworked MacBook. But that’s part of why I love Pinterest, because it collects all sorts of inspiration, and so beautifully. Here are five fabulous cocktails from my Bubbly Cocktails board on Pinterest, along with links to the recipes. Be sure to follow me for more!


1. Sloe Motion

This cocktail from The Continental Midtown in Philadelphia was featured in Saveur. Though the recipe is just three ingredients, quite often simple things have the most impact. Love the licorice garnish!

Plymouth's Sloe Gin gives this cocktail its name. Photo credit: Christopher Gabello.

Plymouth Sloe Gin lends this cocktail its name. Photo credit: Christopher Gabello.


2. Campari and Orange Sparkling Cocktail

I find Campari’s bitterness tough to take on its own. But when I tasted a cocktail by Paul Mant at Quo Vadis, which mixed the  Italian aperitif with orange, lemon and champagne, it started a whole new chapter. This easy drink from Cooking Light will show you just what I mean.

Campari, orange juice and sparkling wine make for a complex cocktail. Photo credit: Oxmoor House.

The Italian aperitif Campari, orange juice and sparkling wine make a deliciously complex drink. Photo credit: Oxmoor House.


3. The Kismet Cocktail

The combination of pomegranate and brut sparkling wine is a winner — just look at all the pins for my cocktail called the Lava Lamp. The Kismet, which means “fate” takes a sophisticated twist on that flavor combination by adding ginger and passion fruit. Pomegranate, ginger and passion fruit are all supposed to be aphrodisiacs… and in my opinion, champagne is too.

Pomegranate, passion fruit and ginger make for a thrilling winter cocktail. Photo credit: Maria Hunt.

The pomegranate, passion fruit and ginger Kismet cocktail. Photo credit: Maria Hunt.


4. The Antoinette

This cocktail from Saveur‘s article called Bubblicious is a bubbly take on the Bramble with prosecco mixed with blackberries, lemon, vodka and Cointreau. It’s poured at Oak restaurant in Dallas.

The Antoinette from Oak in Dallas. Photo Credit: Helen Rosner

The Antoinette from Oak in Dallas. Photo credit: Helen Rosner.


5. Christmas Cranberry Mojito

This gorgeous pin lead me to a blog called Style Celebration – Style Celeb for short – which shares all sorts of info on fashion, shopping, cosmetic trends, runway reports. A Tastemaker post shared this seasonal cranberry mojito, with cranberry juice, light rum and mint. It would be even more sublime if you sub some brut bubbly or prosecco for the sparkling water.

The Christmas Cranberry Mojito from Style Celeb. Photo credit: Roya Mirgoli of Style Celeb.

The Christmas Cranberry Mojito from Style Celeb.
Photo credit: Roya Mirgoli of Style Celeb.




Cocktail Recipes, Drinks, Pop Culture

Three French Cocktails for Bastille Day!

July 14, 2011

Even if you’re not French, Liberté, Egalité & Fraternité —  the rallying cry of the revolutionaries who stormed the Bastille Prison —  is a pretty good motto to live by.

There’s a je ne sais quois I love about French culture, idea of taking pleasure in sharing a meal made with fine seasonal ingredients with friends and embracing your own special style. I still get choked up when Les MisÃérables comes on KQED. To celebrate Bastille Day, I thought I’d share three of my favorite French-inspired cocktails.

1. The French 75

The French 75 – image from The Bubbly Bar

This spirited combination of champagne, lemon and either gin or cognac depending on the season, is a quintessential aperitif. As the story goes, it was created by WWI American officers serving in France who marvelled at the 75mm artillery guns that were still quite powerful and smooth The piquant quality primes your appetite. Since it’s warm outside, I’ll be making mine with gin. In cooler weather, switch to cognac.

1 ounce gin (like Citadel or G’Vine from France)

1/2 ounce homemade sour mix

4 ounces brut champagne, chilled

brandy-soaked cherry, for garnish

Add the gin and sour mix to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well-chilled and strain into a champagne flute. Top with the champagne and drop in the cherry.


2. The French Martini

French Martini – image courtesy Chambord

France has been the source of some amazing liqueurs  and mixers — Grand Marnier, Chartreuse, creme de violette and the new darling St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur. But few are as beloved as Chambord, the black raspberry liqueur in the spherical bottle that dates to the late 1600s. The company created a French martini as a marketing campaign and the cocktail has found an appreciative audience.

1-1/2 ounces Chambord flavored vodka

1/2 ounce Chambord Liqueur

2 ounces pineapple juice

fresh raspberries, for garnish

Add the vodka, Chambord and pineapple juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well-chilled and strain into a petite martini glass. Garnish with raspberries.

3. Kir Royale


The Kir Royale – image from The Bubbly Bar

This old favorite of mine honors Felix Kir, the former mayor of Dijon, France who was a heroic figure in the 1940s French Resistance. The regular Kir features white Burgundy (chardonnay) wine and crème de cassis; the upgraded Kir Royale is always made with champagne. Old Felix must have been an amazing guy to have such an elegant and enduring cocktail named after him.

½ ounce crème de cassis

5 to 6 ounces brut champagne, chilled

Lemon twist, for garnish

Add crème de cassis to a champagne flute. Top with champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.


Entertaining, Wine + Food Pairing

Think Pink: Delicious & Easy Valentine’s Day Food & Drinks

February 13, 2011

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Whether you’ve got a big Valentine’s dinner planned or not, I think it’s nice to be able to start your celebration at home. So I put together a gallery with some of my favorite, easy-to-make pink foods and drinks for Valentine’s Day.

Visit the recipes section at The Bubbly Girl for the Kismet Cocktail, Raspberry Royale cocktail, and the Chocolate Corks which are fudgey and moist since they start with a yeast based chocolate dough.

You could pick up ingredients for most of these recipes at Trader Joe’s, along with the super-affordable Blason Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé. The red Italian sparkler Brachetto d’Acqui is usually at BevMo or a larger liquor stores with a decent wine department.

To make the Jack Rose cocktail, add 1 ounce Pama pomegranate liqueur, two ounces applejack (or Calvados if you can’t find it) and the juice of half a lime to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake it until your hands are really cold, then strain it into a smallish martini glass.


Food + Recipes

Red Walnuts: The Unofficial Sweet-Heart Nut of Valentine’s Day

February 10, 2011

Livermore red walnuts grown here in California are a striking shade of magenta, as well as being delicious.

I love going to farmer’s markets. Even if my refrigerator is full, I love their energy and the chance discoveries.

My latest revelation is the Red Walnut – a really purplish, magenta colored version of the familiar tan nut. The ones I bought were fresh from Terra Bella Ranch in northern San Diego County, so they had a wonderful light and sweet nutty flavor. But what really sold me was the color.

A little sign explained that the nuts are the Livermore variety and said they hailed from England originally. But I did some research and tracked down the US Patent application that was filed by the University of California at Davis, where the Robert Livermore walnut was developed. The Livermore is a cross between a purple walnut variety and the standard Howard walnut. Robert Livermore was a supporter of the university’s programs and with having the unusual new walnut named for him.

Check out Terra Bella Ranch’s Facebook page to learn where to find them. Or if you live in a climate where walnut trees thrive, you can order your own Livermore red walnut tree from Dave Wilson Nursery.

Since most of the good phenolic acids, tannins and flavonoids in a walnut is in the skin or pellicule, it’s not hard to believe that the red walnut has some unique nutrients that aren’t found in the tan walnut. According to the walnut entry on World’s Healthiest Foods, Walnuts are a great source of gamma-tocopherol, a rather rare form of Vitamin E that has been shown to have very positive role in reducing heart disease risk. With that and other beneficial properties, is why I’m naming walnuts the sweet-heart nut of Valentine’s Day.

In case you’re wondering what to do with walnuts besides eat them, I’ve put together a collection of delicious walnut recipes on Foodily.

Celebrity Chefs, Food + Recipes

Vodka Salad Dressing and Other 80 Proof Recipes From Finland

July 22, 2010
Finnish celeb chef Sara La Fountain and one of her creations.

Finnish celeb chef Sara La Fountain and one of her creations.

Not content with customers that merely swill their spirits, many liquor companies are touting how great their stuff is in food recipes. Brown spirits are classics in the kitchen: Escoffier drizzled Grand Marnier into his famous Crepes Suzette.  It wouldn’t be tiramisu without a little coffee liqueur and who’d want to hork down fruitcake — or baba for that matter — without the rum?

Now though, white spirits are getting into the culinary act. Earlier this week, I met Chef Sara La Fountain, a Finnish food television personality and chef. She’s developed a series of recipes using Finlandia Vodka, to show how well it works with a variety of foods.

La Fountain had a sweet smile and appealing persona that reminded me of Euro version of Giada di Laurentiis. She’s a big deal in Finland, where she’s written a book and has her own line of culinary products available on her website, including hot pink aprons with graphic swirls.

She was paired up with Pekka Pellinen, a Finnish native who’s the mixologist for Finlandia. As he extolled the features and benefits of his brand, Pellinen had a noticeable accent, which one of the women at my table found alluring. Overheard: “I like his accent; he sounds dangerous.”

La Fountain and Pellinen had come up with four different pairings, but the Passion Fruit Lime Cocktail with a seared tuna salad drizzled with a miso and Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka dressing was my favorite bootleg match. The company shared the photos and recipes with me, in hopes that I’d tell you about them.

The fragrant and tart passion fruit pairs perfectly with light food like seared tuna.

The fragrant and tart passion fruit pairs perfectly with light food like seared tuna.

Lime Passion Fruit Cocktail
3 lime wedges, plus one more for garnish
1 fresh passion fruit
1-1/2 ounces Finlandia Lime Vodka
1/2 ounce Monin passion fruit syrup
soda water

Gently muddle the lime wedges and passion fruit in a tall, heavy cocktail mixing glass. Add the vodka, passion fruit syrup and crushed ice. Top with club soda and stir lightly Garnish with the lime wedge.

Your tuna salad with Finlandia Grapefruit Voda dressing won't look this good, but it will be tasty.

Your tuna salad with Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka dressing won’t look this good, but it will be tasty.

Tuna Salad with Miso-Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka Dressing
4 servings
8 oz Tuna steaks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 lb. baby greens
2 carrots cut into small sticks
4 oz sugar snaps peas, cut into small sticks
4 radishes, cut into thin rounds
4 tablespoons wasabi nuts, chopped into small pieces
For the Miso dressing:
3 teaspoons miso paste
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka
1 tablespoon water
salt, to taste
First cut the steaks into thick long strips and season with salt. Heat the frying pan with oil until very hot, fry the tuna strips for about 1 minute on each side until crispy brown. Next place the fried tuna strips in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, slice into thin slices. Next make the miso dressing. In a small bowl, add all the miso dressing ingredients and mix all together. Then plate the salad adding salad mix, carrot sticks, sugar snaps, radishes and wasabi nuts. Next add thin tuna slices on top of the salad and drizzle on some miso dressing.