NYE Drinks With a Twist

champagneAre you tired of serving the same champagne cocktails every New Year’s Eve?  I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m tired of drinking them!

Let’s face it, 2016 wasn’t a year that many of us would like to relive.  Between the circus of a Presidential election that has called the United States’ brand of democracy into question, the staggering number of terrorist acts perpetrated worldwide, and the deaths of some of the most beloved entertainers of our time, I think a few unique drinks are exactly what is called for to help give the boot to a year that’s left a rotten taste in most of our mouths.

vodkamartiniA simple and classy option is to stick with a straight forward cocktail served “on-the-rocks” or “up” like a Martini, James Bond style.   If your party is going to be one with low music and quiet conversation this is the type of drink to take it there.

My “Go-To” Martini Recipe

  • Fill cocktail shaker up halfway with ice cubes
  • Skewer 3 Martini Olives and Place in Chilled Martini Glass
  • Using a mister filled with dry Vermouth, give one short spritz over the olives
  • Add 1 + 1/2 to 2 Shots of Quality Vodka (I prefer Grey Goose L’Orange) to the cocktail shaker and give a couple of quick shakes
  • Strain vodka into glass over the skewered olives  enjoy

**Tip – If you like your martini dirty, add a cap of olive juice to the vodka in the cocktail shaker.  You can add (or substitute) pearl onions to your olive skewer if you prefer.

bluemooncosmoIf you want to shake up your boring martini affair and add some life to your party, change your music to something a bit more upbeat and consider serving one (or more) of the following variations:

Blue Moon Cosmo Martini

  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ½ ounces Grey Goose L’Orange vodka, well chilled
  • 1 ounce blue curacao
  • 1 ounce white cranberry juice
  • sugar (optional)
  • Place all in a shaker with ice and shake well.
  • Pour into chilled glass and garnish with a lime slice

**TipDip rim into cranberry juice then sugar.

Pomegranate Cosmo


  • 5 strips lemon zest
  • 5 strips orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (I use Superfine Bakers Sugar)
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 2-ounces pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3-ounces Grey Goose L’Orange Vodka
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, divided


  • Place 3 lemon and 3 orange zest strips in a cocktail shaker
  • Sprinkle with sugar and muddle
  • Add crushed ice, pomegranate juice, fresh lemon juice, and vodka
  • Shake well and strain into 2 chilled cocktail glasses
  • Garnish with pomegranate seeds, remaining 2 strips each of lemon and orange zest
  • Serve

**TipDip rim into pomegranate juice then sugar.

If you were the lucky recipient of an Echo Dot or other Alexa voiced Amazon assistant, for a holiday gift, you can source the tunes for your party using Spotify.  You can also stream music from Spotify.com thru your network connected devices, like your home theater or stereo.  My son turned me on to this music source and for a limited time you can subscribe to their premium “Unlimited Streaming” option for .99 for 3 months.

Hopefully these libations and tunes will help us all usher in a more festive 2017!

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It’s Looking Like a Maker’s Kind of Day

I know that not everyone drinks alcohol.  Some for health reasons, some for religious reasons, some don’t like the taste, some are underage, some did drink but stopped, some don’t know when to say “when” and were forced to stop, and some are supporting recovering spouses or friends so they no longer imbibe.  The reasons are many and I totally respect all of them.

This post isn’t intended for any of those people, unless they happen to be bartenders, frequent party hosts, or are just people who like to know what to serve guests of theirs who do enjoy a drink.

makersneatRegular readers of my blogs here and at www.extremeblondemoments.com know I love my wine, the Grey Goose L’Orange Cosmopolitan is my longtime favorite, I’m a fan of “umbrella drinks” poolside or on the beach, I love a shot of Maker’s 46 neat, my “usual” is a Maker’s 46 Old Fashioned, and I’m a huge horse racing fan so you know I love my Mint Juleps!

Old-FashionedWhen my husband asks if I want my usual, he knows that will involve him putting in a little more effort than just pouring me a neat shot of 46.  He’ll have to muddle a dark red Bada Bing cherry, in a few drops of Hella Bitters (citrus) ,then drop a single block of ice into the glass, cover it with a splash or two of simple syrup and top it off with a generous pour of Maker’s 46.

I saw a tweet from Maker’s Mark a few minutes ago that gave me a new spin on drinking my favorite just in time for The Belmont Stakes!  Have you figured out yet that I’m a Maker’s girl? 😉

makerspomegranateThe Trifecta With a Twist combines Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Lemonade and Pomegranate Juice with ice in a rocks glass and garnishes with either a twist of orange or a twist of lemon and a maraschino cherry – you choose.  I have all of those ingredients on hand and can’t wait to give it a try!

summersmashupAnother drink I found on the Maker’s Mark Twitter Feed, that I am anxious to try poolside, is the Maker’s Mark Summer Smash Up.  This sweet and fruity concoction combines Maker’s Mark with Triple Sec, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, & Grenadine and is garnished with a wedge of pineapple and a maraschino cherry. Bonus!  All of the ingredients are in my refrigerator!  Looks like it’ll be a great weekend. 🙂

makerspeachteaIf you’re an Iced Tea fan, there’s a Maker’s Mark cocktail for you too!

The Maker’s Peach Tea combines Freshly Brewed Iced Tea with Dekuyper Peachtree Liqueur and Maker’s Mark with a garnish of a fresh (or frozen) peach slice.  I would muddle the peach at the bottom of the glass with the bourbon before adding the ice, and mixing in the freshly brewed tea and peach liqueur.

makersmintjulepA post about my favorite bourbon drinks wouldn’t be complete without the Mint Julep being properly represented!  I like to make my simple syrup a few days before I plan to enjoy my juleps.

My Simple Syrup recipe is simple:  Combine equal parts extra fine baker’s sugar (I use C&H) with water in a saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved then immediately remove from the heat.  My usual measurement is 2 ups sugar to 2 cups water.  Cool the syrup then pour into a Rubbermaid type sealable drink container where about 5 stems of bruised (put leaves into a bowl and press a spoon firmly on the leaves to open them and release the oils) mint leaves have been placed.  Put the syrup into the refrigerator to chill 😉 for at least 24 hours to infuse the mint. If your simple syrup is for anything other than a julep, don’t use the mint.

Maker’s Mint Julep

  • 1-1/2 parts Maker’s Mark® Bourbon
  • Fresh mint
  • Mint Simple Syrup
  • Powdered sugar
  • Mint sprig for garnish
  • Club Soda


  1. Place a few mint leaves in the bottom of your glass and muddle with a splash of my Mint Simple Syrup.
  2. Fill glass with crushed ice
  3. Pour Maker’s Mark, another splash of simple syrup, and a splash of club soda over the ice
  4. Sprinkle top of ice with powdered sugar.
  5. Garnish with a mint sprig.

As I always do, I remind you that if you are going to drink, please:

  • Know your limit / drink in moderation
  • Never Drink and Drive
  • Designate a sober driver, know the local taxi company’s phone number and USE IT, ask the bartender or your server to call you a cab, use UBER or LYFT, or have a friend or family member on standby for you to call if you need a ride home

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. I may not write a blog post every day, but there are daily updates to my This Girl Loves To Eat community at: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood