Unearth some Creepy Cocktails this Halloween ⚰️🍷

‘Kayso I’m browsing through my copy of The Essential Bartender’s Guide and I’m noticing a number of drinks having Halloween-appropriate names. (Because I’m apparently on a Halloween tear this year. LOL.) My mistake was searching for similarly-themed cocktails…hours later I had tell myself to STOP. Here are some of my favorites.

The Wolf Bite
1/2 ounce​ Midori melon liqueur
1/4 ounce absinthe
1 ounce pineapple juice
1 splash lemon-lime soda
1 dash grenadine

In a cocktail shaker, pour the melon liqueur, absinthe, and pineapple juice. Fill with ice. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds then strain into a tall glass. Top with a splash of lemon-lime soda, and add a drizzle of grenadine.

Corpse Reviver #1
2 oz brandy (cognac)
1 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz applejack

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Corpse Reviver #2
3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
Dash of absinthe or pastis

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Corpse Reviver #3
1 oz brandy (cognac)
1 oz Campari
1 oz triple sec
1/2 fresh lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Death in the Afternoon
1 oz absinthe or pastis
5 oz chilled sparkling wine

Pour absinthe/pastis into a champagne flute and top with sparkling wine.

(I was served this at the Dickens Faire one year and they called it “The Edgar Allen Poe”.)

1-1/2 oz tequila
3/4 oz crème de cassis
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
Ginger ale

Shake tequila, cassis, and lime juice with ice. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with ginger ale and garnish with a lime wheel.

(Strega is the italian word for witch.)
1 oz light rum
1 oz Strega liquor
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp orgeat (almond syrup)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a spring of mint or a cherry.

(More than one of these will turn you INTO a zombie!)
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz pineapple juice
1 tsp brown sugar
1 oz passion fruit syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 oz gold rum
1 oz 151 Demerara rum
1 oz white rum

Dissolve sugar in juices. Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass. Garnish with a spring of mint.

Vampire’s Kiss Martini
(Right up my alley…)
3/4 oz raspberry liqueur, divided (plus more for rim)
Red sugar, for rimming
1-1/2 oz vodka
1-1/2 oz sparkling wine

Rim a cocktail glass with red sugar: Wet the rim by dipping it in a shallow dish of raspberry liqueur then roll it in red sugar until evenly coated.
Pour the vodka and half of the raspberry liqueur into the glass. Top with sparkling wine. Pour the remaining raspberry liqueur over the back of a spoon so it floats on top of the drink.

Nightmare on Bourbon Street
Cinnamon sugar
1-1/2 oz bourbon
1/4 cup apple cider
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1-2 Tbl maple syrup
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
5 oz sparkling hard Honeycrisp apple cider

Rim a cocktail glass with the cinnamon sugar. In a cocktail shaker full of ice combine the next six ingredients and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain into glass and top with the Honeycrisp apple cider. Serve with cinnamon sticks, rosemary, and apple slices, if desired.

Witch’s Brew Lemonade
2 oz Empress 1908 Gin
2 oz sparkling lemonade
2 oz curaçao

Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour in gin and top with the sparkling lemonade. Very carefully and slowly pour the curaçao into the glass, letting it settle on the bottom. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Black Widow Smash
8 fresh blackberries
1-2 tsp rosemary
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1-2 Tbl honey
1-1/2 oz tequila
Orange bitters
Sparkling water

In a cocktail shaker or glass jar muddle together the blackberries, lemon juice, and honey. Add the tequila and a couple dashes of bitters. Strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice. Top with a splash of sparkling water and stir gently. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Now for a couple in my favorite color.

Absolut Masquerade Cocktail
1-1/2 oz Absolut Vodka (any good vodka will do)
2 oz black currant juice
1/2 oz chartreuse

Stir ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Black Widow Cocktail
2 oz black vodka (see below)
3 oz cranberry juice

Pour the cranberry juice into a tall glass filled with ice. Float the vodka on top by pouring it over the back of a spoon to disrupt the flow.

This drink is made with Blavod vodka. I wasn’t able to find it anywhere near me BUT I did find a recipe for making your own black vodka:

To one (750-milliliter) bottle of vodka add:
10 drops blue food coloring
10 drops red food coloring
8 drops green food coloring
Shake well.
NOTE: You may have to shake the bottle again before pouring a drink because the food coloring will likely settle.

OR – and this might be a better option if you’re looking for a more opaque black – use black gel food coloring. (Hey, I just happen to have some of this in my cupboard. Quelle surprise.)

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Game Time Snacks

‘Kayso, I finished working out just before Monday Night Football kicked off (Cowboys vs. NY – GO COWBOYS!!), and I was a little hungry. I wanted a snack. Hmmm…let’s see what’s in the ‘fridge: leftover biscuits from yesterday’s brunch, 3-pepper gouda, arugula, and I had two lovely Cherokee Purple tomatoes sitting on the counter. Bingo! Added some Avocado Chipotle Lime mayonnaise and I was off and running…

A few minutes under the broiler.

Voilà! The sweetness of the biscuits was a perfect compliment to the spicy arugula, cheese, and mayo. YUM!

Paired with a cocktail of botanically-infused vodka over ice. Perfection.

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Edible Delights::Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

One of our neighbors gifted us a boatload of cherry tomatoes. We’re right in the middle of our yearly heatwave so I knew these wouldn’t keep for long. What to do, what to do, what to do? I know: roast ’em!!!

The recipe is so simple. Dump the tomatoes in a large rectangular baking pan (single layer, please). I cut up a large onion and scattered it on top, along with three garlic cloves (halved). Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I also sprinkled plenty of Chef Josef’s Garlic Herb Seasoning Blend on top. (Chef Josef’s was one of the vendors at this year’s Sunnyvale Art & Wine Festival.)

Bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes, or until the tomatoes have “popped”.

That’s it! This is great as a side dish, over fish or chicken, spooned onto big slabs of sourdough, or tossed with pasta…

I added about 2/3 of the roasted tomatoes to 1# of cooked pasta
(I used a combo of orecchiette and farfalle).
Then threw in some arugula and feta (which made it a bit creamy).
Serve hot or warm.

Bon appétit!

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August is the Sunday of Summer*

Yep, tomorrow not only marks the Autumn Equinox (Mabon) but it’s the end of Summer for many. For us in the Bay Area our Summer extends through September into October – sometimes into November. In fact, Summer doesn’t really hit its stride here UNTIL August. (90s are forecast for the coming week. Hot days mean warm nights which I absolutely LOVE!)

BTW, have I mentioned how much I’ve missed sunbathing? It’s been years since I’ve had a tan and I must admit I’m loving the way it looks – especially since I’m LIVING in shorts these days. LOL

Corn, heirloom tomatoes, and other seasonal produce are still in great abundance at our Farmers Markets. (Yay!) Next week it’s back to Excite Ballpark to see another SJ Giants game, and mid-September will be enjoying the last of the local Art & Wine Festivals.

Summer lingers on…

To celebrate the Autumn Equinox I made another Mabon Apple Cake, except I added a couple handfuls of raisins and about 1/2 cup of chopped pecans to the batter. Really made a difference in both the texture and flavor!

Enchanted Living‘s Autumn 2022 (The Vintage Witch) Issue included a recipe I HAD to try:

I used almond milk instead of coconut milk
– and added a healthy splosh of bourbon. Yum!

Merry Mabon everyone!

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* “August is the Sunday of Summer” by MaK Cov.

A Summertime Feast – Courtesy of our California Farmers

Huzzah to California’s Farmers/Growers!!

What we snagged at the Farmers Market.
Everything here was used in our Feast.

Store-bought hummus with baguette slices
Fresh organic strawberry margaritas
Roasted organic corn-on-the-cob with chipotle mayo and cotija cheese
Roasted veggies (eggplant, red onions, summer squash, sweet peppers, and studded with garlic cloves)
Roasted yellow potatoes with arugula and feta cheese
Mothership Tomato Salad
Sirloin Steak (Yes, I cook for meat eaters. ≋;> )
Espresso served over gelato (vanilla and chocolate)

Some of these photos were taken in haste and turned out a bit blurry. My apologies…

Not included in our Fourth of July Feast but something I’ve whipped up a couple times this summer.

Roast Veggies & Pasta Bake

Any vegetables can be used here. During the colder months I might try this with winter squash, mushrooms, carrots, onions, and perhaps parsnips. Anything goes, really. The key is to roast each vegetable separately in a baking pan. It normally takes about 30 minutes in a 350° oven, but some veggies may take less (or more) time. Just keep an eye on them.

4-5 heirloom tomatoes, sliced in chunks or quarters
2-3 onions, sliced in half-moons
2-3 summer squash, sliced in half-moons
1/2# dried penne
A boatload of shredded mozzerella
Grated parmesan (fresh)
Salt and pepper

Note: Roasting the vegetables can be done a day ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble the bake.

Preheat oven to 350°.

I like to roast the tomatoes first so the onions can cook in their juice. Arrange tomatoes in a foil-lined baking pan, drizzle with EVOO, season with salt and pepper, and pop in the oven. Once the tomatoes have roasted to your liking spoon them into a container – but leave the juice! Next up: the onions. Again drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Bake these until they soft and golden brown. Spoon them on top of the tomatoes (You’ll be mixing all the veggies together anyway.) Treat the squash the same way: drizzle with EVOO and season. These may take a bit longer than the others depending upon the size of the pieces. The squash should be soft and slightly browned. Add to the tomato/onion mixture along with whatever juice is left in the pan.

Cook the penne in boiling water according to directions on package. Meanwhile, spoon your veggie mixture into a 9×11 greased casserole dish. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the veggies. Toss well. At this point I like to throw in a couple (or three…or four…) good fistfuls of the mozzerella and toss again to thoroughly incorporate. THEN I cover the entire top with more mozzerella and finish off with a layer of parmesan.

Into a 350° oven it goes for about 30 minutes or until the cheese starts bubbling.

Bon Appétit!

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