Seduction Meals is about food + romance and the premise that everyone should learn to master one dish that is their signature dish—a Seduction Meal, to enchant and captivate that special someone in your life...
Cold beer and drinks on the rocks are more of a summertime pursuit. This time of year, it's nice to warm up with fortifying hot beverages like these. They make for a fabulous treat after a romantic stroll through your own personal winter wonderland. Don't be afraid to indulge a little! Just click on the titles below for full recipes.
If there's a time for wine then there's also a place. The most
common situations where you will choose wine include personal use or a
bottle for someone else. The perfect wine for the moment you get off
work is different from the one you may choose for a special Seduction Meal, and once again different from what you might bring as a dinner guest. There are, of course, a few moments when wine is just not
appropriate. Here is a cool infographic with a few tips from Wine Folly, an online resource that offers online wine courses, wine videos, and media that delivers the world of wine to the web. Thank you Wine Folly for allowing us to share this with our readers!
On a summer evening, with the right person, you can turn up heat with these two tantalizing tequila cocktails: a Heated Affair and some Southern Heat. Need I say more?
SOUTHERN HEAT, created by Jacques Bezuidenhout
1 1/2 oz Partida Blanco Tequila
3/4 oz Cointreau
1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
6 slices of cucumber skinned
2 to 3 slices of Jalapeno'
1/4 oz simple syrup
In a mixing glass muddle the cucumber, Jalapeno, lime juice and simple syrup. Add the ice, Partida Blanco Tequila and Cointreau. Shake and strain over fresh into an Old-Fashioned glass and garnish with cucumber slices fanned out.
HEATED AFFAIR, created by Jacques Bezuidenhout
2 oz Partida Anejo Tequila
6 oz Hot Spiced Apple Cider*
First prepare the Apple Cider: In a pot add Organic Apple Juice and winter spices like Cloves,
Cinnamon Stick, All Spice, and Orange Peel. Start off by adding a few
cloves one cinnamon stick etc so as to find the right-spiced apple cider
flavor. You can always add more spice later. Bring everything to a low
heat for about 15 mins. Taste for flavor. When the desired flavor is
reached then take off stove. Strain out all the spices and orange peel.
Next: In a small warm wine glass add Tequila and hot apple cider. Float heavy cream
Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner and if you plan things right, you will be enjoying all things Mexican on this special day. From sombreros to margaritas to Mezcal and everything in between, the fifth of May is a day when Americans like to explore the cuisine and culture from our neighbor to the South.
With history dating back to the days of the Aztecs (when Tequila was called "pulque") the most recognized spirit of Mexico is Tequila, and so we would like to share five major points everyone should know about Tequila compliments of Partida Tequila:
What exactly is Tequila?
The word "Tequila" has a number of meanings. It is the name of a town in the state of Jalisco in central Mexico. Tequila is also the name of the region where the spirit is made. And of course, Tequila is an alcoholic beverage made from the blue agave plant, and is also considered the "national drink of Mexico."
What is Tequila made from?
Tequila is made from the agave plant. Agave is part of the lily family, and can grow up to 15 feet tall. Because of its prickly texture, many people assume that an agave plant is a cactus, but that's not the case at all. And most importantly, the blue agave plant is the source of premium Tequila.
What is the difference between Tequila and Mezcal?
Tequila is a type of Mezcal made in the Tequila region of Mexico with strict production designations specific to the region.
What's the story with the worm?
Some Tequila and Mezcal producers began inserting a worm into the bottle as a marketing gimmick. However, quality Tequilas have always been worm-free!
What are the different types of Tequila?
There are multiple types of Tequila with different aging which generally takes place in wood barrels. These are typically referred to as "marques." Different brands usually have the following:
Blanco (sometimes called Plata or Silver) which means un-aged
Reposado which is aged between 2 and 11 months
Añejo, which is aged for at least one year.
Extra Añejo Tequila, Some, but not all brands have "extra anejo" which is aged at least three years.
It's the weekend. Why not invite that special someone over for an enticing drink and chocolate dipped strawberries before your hot night on the town? Here we have three creatively seductive cocktails to consider:
1 part Vida Blanco
4 fresh raspberries
3/4 part fresh lemon juice
3/4 part sugar syrup
Drizzle chocolate in the bottom of a rock glass as desired. Combine the
other ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Strain the
mixture and pure carefully and gently into the chocolate lined rock
1 oz. X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
0.5 oz. SKYY Infusions Passion Fruit
0.25 oz. Campari
Your Favorite Champagne
Mix together first 3 ingredients, Top with Champagne, serve in a flute. Garnish with slice of orange The Berry Kiss
1.5 oz. AGWA de Bolivia Coca Leaf Liquor
5 oz. chilled Prosecco
fresh lime juice
fresh blackberries and raspberries
Combine AGWA, lime juice and chilled Prosecco and shake, garnish with fresh Blackberries and Raspberries
With names like Love Triangle, Manhattan Love Story, Oriental Passion and Midnight Rendezvous--you can't help but be a little flirtatious and suggestive when serving these cocktails!
Oriental Passion / Serves One
.75 oz Averna Limoni 1.5 oz Death's Door Gin 1.5 oz Passion Fruit Nectar 1 dash simple syrup 2 dash Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake well. Strain into a chilled
cocktail glass. Top with bitters. cocktail glass Garnish: Orange Twist
Love Triangle / Serves One
2 oz Averna 1 oz White Rum 1 oz Pomegranate juice .5 oz orange juice .5 oz lemon juice splash of pineapple juice
Method: combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously
over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a pineapple
Manhattan Love Story / Serves One
1.5 oz New York Whiskey 1 oz Dry Sake .5 oz ginger liqueur 2 dash peychaud bitters
Method: Combine all ingredients in a glass martini glass. Garnish with an orange peel Midnight Rendezvous / Serves One
1 meyer lemon 1 oz Averna Amaro 1 oz orange flavored vodka 2 oz ginger beer
Method: Muddle blackberries in a shaker, add the juice of 1 meyer lemon, Averna, and orange flavored vodka and shake over ice. Strain over ice in a highball glass an add ginger beer. Garnish with blackberries or an orange wheel.
If rum is your preferred taste here are a few suggestions for cocktails to serve at the start of your next romantic meal for two. All with a bit of a twist using rum, the first is a cocktail called The Sidecar: A classic cocktail traditionally made with Cognac, orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Marnier or another triple sec), and lemon juice. Here we use Rum and an orange liquor. Next we have a Rum based Creole DAiquiri and the classic Pompadour.
CLÉMENT SIDE CAR / Serves One
1 1⁄2 oz. Clément V.S.O.P. Rum
1 oz. Clément Créole Shrubb
3⁄4 oz. fresh lemon juice
Mix all ingredients together in a shaker, pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a twisted lemon peel
CLÉMENT CRÉOLE DAÏQUIRI 1 1/2 oz. Clement Premiere Canne 1 oz. Clément Créole Shrubb 3⁄4 oz. fresh lime juice dash of orange bitters
Pour al ingredients into a cocktail mixer and
briskly shake the ingredients to blend well. Strain into a chilled
cocktail glass and garnish with a sliced orange.
CLÉMENT POMPADOUR / Serves One
1/2 ounces Clément Rhum agricole V.S.O.P.
1 1/2 ounces A. Hardy Coq D'Or Pineau des Charentes
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Pour Clément Rhum Agricole V.S.O.P., the Pineau des Charentes, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and cracked ice into a cocktail mixer and briskly shake the ingredients to blend well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.
What is one of my favorite things about summer in the city? Rooftop bars. After a sweltering summer day, after work cocktails on a rooftop where the breeze is cooler and the view is stunning is the perfect way to relax with friends or a lover. Only problem is that Manhattan is full of them, and some are
A word of warning: anything situated on a rooftop is no cheap night out. Prepare to pay for the view!
107 Rivington Street, Lower East Side (between Ludlow and Essex Street)
If you can get past the difficult doormen and make your way through the slick hotel to the penthouse, you'll be rewarded with three-floors of views. The third floor even has a large hot tub if you're not too shy! Call ahead before planning your night, as the space frequently tends to host events.
33 W 37th st, Midtown East (between 5th and 6th Avene)
The star attraction at this bar, situated on top of the Strand Hotel, is its view of the Empire State Building, standing literally right in front of you in all its glory. The perfect place to take out-of-towners looking for the New York wow-factor without the escalated drink prices.
On the fifth floor of the W Downtown Hotel is this ultra-modern rooftop bar with a metallic warped ceiling and wraparound terrace for warm nights. Great views of the construction going on at Ground Zero, soon to be a view of the Freedom Tower, and never too crowded. The menu features items from the BLT Bar & Grill.
17 W 32nd St, 14th Floor (between 5th Ave and Broadway)
I hesitate to even mention this one, because it is (supposedly) such a secret, but thank god, this bar hidden on the 14th floor of La Quinta Inn in Koreatown proves that there IS such thing as a non-pretentious rooftop bar. After you recover from the shock of the reasonable drink prices, look up and see the Empire State Building towering above.
145 E 50th St, 31st Fl, Midtown East (between Lexington and 3rd Avenue)
At the top of the Kimberly Hotel lies this bar with 360 degree views of Manhattan. The atmosphere is charming with string lights and a breathtaking view of the Chrysler Building. Come back in the morning to try the very popular brunch.
I bet you didn't know that Tuesday, February 22nd was National Margarita Day. A celebration In honor of this beloved libation that has enhanced our lives since the '30's. So who exactly invented the margarita and how did it come about? You can go to WikiPedia for a collection of tales on the origin, however, there are so many we'll never know for sure. Nonetheless, the Margarita has earned its place as one of Americas all time favorite cocktails.
Since Seduction Meals is all about food & romance I have to say this tale of its origin is my favorite:
The year 1938, the place, Ensenada, Mexico. Danny Herrera, a renowned Mexican bartender who worked at the Riviera del Pacifico Hotel and Casino was completely in love with Marjorie King, an American actress who hated taking tequila pure. Tequila was also the only liquor that her body could tolerate. Thus, with the intention of wooing her, Herrera used his ingenuity to bring together flavors to meet Marjorie's tastes, until he finally found one of the world's most famous drinks. (Sigh!)
OK, so back to National Margarita Day... So iconic is this salt-rimmed drink, it now deserves its own day of celebration. And with that, BAR meets BAKER as mixologist Tomas Delos Reyes and Allison Robicelli (creator of booze-laced cupcakes and owner of Robicelli's baked goods), each created their own twist on the Strawberry Margarita. By Tomas we have the Fresa Breeze Margarita, and by Allison we have Fresa Breeze Cupcakes.
So I present to you the CAKETAIL! Paired together the Caketail is a romantic story of the marriage between the margarita and the cupcake. One being a beloved libation that has enhanced our lives and happy hours for many years. The second, a tempting dessert of sugary heaven that has appeared in bake shops all over the world. And as in the case of Magnolia Bakery--inspires people to stand in very long lines to partake in this treat.
Fresa Breeze Margarita: by Tomas Delos Reyes
2oz Partida Blanco Tequila
1/2oz agave nectar
3/4 fresh lime juice
2 tsp diced cucumber
Mint sprig (optional)
Muddle strawberries and agave nectar in a shaker. Add ingredients and shake over ice. Strain over ice and top with diced cucumber. Garnish with mint sprig (optional). Pair with:
Fresa Breeze Cupcakes: Makes 12 cupcakes
3/4 stick butter, melted & cooled
1/4 heavy cream
1/4 cup Partida Blanco tequila
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Zests of 2 limes
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 tsp Partida Blanco Tequila
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 package cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 large container strawberries, stems removed and chopped
1/4 cup seedless cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp Partida Tequila
One Lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
Strawberry Salsa: 1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
For Cake: 1. Preheat oven to 350. 2. Beat eggs until well mixed, then add butter, cream, tequila & salt. Mix until combined. 3. Sift together flour, sugar and baking powder. Add to wet mixture and stir until smooth. 4. Divide amongst 12 cupcake tins and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the tops just spring back when touched.
Cream Cheese Frosting: 1. Beat together tequila, softened butter and cream cheese on high speed until light and fluffy. 2. Add powdered sugar 1/2 a cup at a time, beating well after each addition. 3. Once all sugar is added, beat for an additional 3 minutes to incorporate air.
To assemble: 1. Strain salsa, reserving liquid. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of each cupcake with the liquid. 2. Frost cupcakes with the cream cheese & tequila icing. Using a teaspoon, scoop out an indentation in the middle of each cupcake. 3. Place a heaping spoonful of the strawberry salsa in each indentation. 4. Garnish with a sliver or lime.
Enjoy a late afternoon sweet soiree, as you toast to each other with a Chambord French Sparkle that will tickle your tongue with bubbles of delight. Follow this with a luscious bite of chocolate layered cake beautifully decorated with fresh berries.
I recently attended an event with party planner and style expert, Cathy Riva presented by Driscoll's Berries, where I was introduced to these recipes.
Go ahead, indulge! It's a sweet temptation well worth it.
French Sparkle Recipe courtesy of Chambord
1 1/2 oz Chambord flavored vodka
1 oz champagne
2 oz mango nectar
Finish with a fresh blackberry or raspberry
Shake vodka and mango nectar with ice and stain into a chilled champagne glass. Top with champagne.
Mixed Berry Be Mine Chocolate Cake Recipe Courtesy of Cathy Riva
While searching for some new vodka recipes I came across the Grey Goose site and fell in love with many of their Holiday creations and thought I'd share them.
La Poire Pear Flirtatious, Intriguing & Elegant--you know you want some!
Ingredients: Creates 6 drinks. 6 parts GREY GOOSE® La Poire Flavored Vodka 1 part lemon juice 2 tsp sugar 1 small, ripe pear - peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch dice 1 bottle sparkling moscato (or other sweet sparkling wine)
Place the lemon juice, sugar, pear and GREY GOOSE La Poire in a bowl and stir well to combine until sugar is fully dissolved.
Divide the pear mixture into six champagne glasses.
Fill each glass with moscato. Present with crystallized ginger or mint sprigs.
Tip: Using a juicy variety of pear such as Anjou or Bartlett will accentuate the pear flavors.
La Poire Ginger Joy Deliciously vibrant, this cocktail comes alive with some of winter's
most beloved flavors.
2 parts GREY GOOSE® La Poire Flavored Vodka 1/2 part premium ginger liqueur 1 part simple syrup 1 part fresh lemon juice
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass.
Present with a pear slice or crystallized ginger.
Tip: A fresh pear garnish adds a juicy, luxurious touch to this cocktail. Keep the ripe slices of fruit from turning brown by coating them with a squeeze of lemon.
Apple Crisp Martini A quintessential fall martini.
Ingredients 2 parts GREY GOOSE® L'Orange Flavored Vodka 1 lemon wedge 1 tbs cinnamon sugar 1/4 small apple diced 1/2 part simple syrup 1/2 part Tuaca® Liqueur 3/4 parts fresh lemon juice
Rub the lemon wedge around rim of martini glass then roll into the cinnamon sugar.
In a cocktail shaker, muddle together the diced apple and simple syrup.
Add ice and the remaining ingredients. Shake well until the outside of the shaker is frosted and beaded with sweat. Strain into the prepared martini glass.
La Poire Cranberry Sparkler Add festive color to this light, delicious cocktail by freezing
cranberries and limes into ice cubes. Such careful touches elevate
simple drinks and create a memorable experience for your guests
Ingredients 1 1/2 parts GREY GOOSE® La Poire Flavored Vodka or GREY GOOSE® Vodka 1 1/2 parts club soda 1 1/2 parts cranberry juice
In a chilled rocks glass filled with ice, add GREY GOOSE La Poire.
Top with club soda, and add a splash of cranberry juice.
Present with cranberries on a cocktail pick or a lime wedge.
Ingredients: 2 parts GREY GOOSE® Le Citron Flavored Vodka 2 mint leaves 3/4 parts simple syrup 3 parts sparkling cider 1/4 part Green Chartreuse (optional) apple chip
In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint leaves and syrup.
Add ice and GREY GOOSE® Le Citron Flavored Vodka, shake well until the outside of the shaker is frosted and beaded with sweat.
Pour into highball glass and top with sparkling cider. Garnish with apple chips.
TIPS: Mint and apple blend to create a refreshing afternoon highball.
Experiment with fun festive garnishes to complement this wintry
cocktail. Try chocolate covered candy sticks, peppermint sticks or fresh
sprigs of mint. A cocoa rimmed glass would also add a rich hint of
Ingredients: 1 1/2 parts GREY GOOSE® Vodka 1 part peppermint schnapps 1/2 part simple syrup 1/2 part cream
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add all ingredients.
Shake vigorously, and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.
A delicious libation that can be made ahead
of time so you can enjoy the party with your guests, right where
you should be!
A Pitcher of Acai-Blueberry Mojitos
28 oz Van Gogh Acai-Blueberry Vodka
14 oz Lime Juice, fresh
7 oz Simple Syrup
Directions Muddle mint leaves, blueberries and simple syrup in a pitcher. Stir in Van Gogh Acai-Blueberry Vodka and lime juice. Then add ice and top with club soda. Serve in a highball glass garnished with a mint sprig or skewer of blueberries
One of the BEST happy hours in New York City, in my humble opinion,
takes place on Grove Street and seventh avenue at a small restaurant called Mercadito,
between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00. The mixologist at this place is a
rock star! I tried to get the recipe but without success, however I do have the ingredients. I will try my hand at recreating this in another post. Take a look at this incredibly sexy Cucumber Margarita. I opted for no salt but hear the cumin salt on the rim is quite good.
Cucumber Margarita or Pepino el Pyu
Tequila blanco, cucumber, lemon, hoja santa, cumin salt
Mercadito prides itself on making each drink to order. No pitchers and no mixes. The Red Sangria is just amazing and the Cucumber
margaritas is like no other. I am hooked! And while I go on about how
great the drinks are, the food is quite good too. Here is a photo of their Ceviche Trio Platter and both drinks.
Callo Bay scallops, watermelon, pico de gallo, serrano
Camarón Shrimp, pico de gallo, tangerine, roasted jalapeño, citrus-guajillo broth
Dorado Mahi mahi, avocado, tomato, orange-chile de árbol broth
Roja Sangria red wine, jimador blanco, guava, cinnamon
Blanca Sangria white wine, brandy, pineapple, elderflower
you have been here yet, try do visit Mercadito in the summer when they
have the extra outdoor space. The place is so small in the winter you
might not get in!
I just read this interesting post on the Wine Enthusiast Magazine by Kim Mack: Ten Wine & Music Collaborations and thought I'd share it
It's an unwritten rule that a successful party requires alcohol and a great soundtrack. But who knew that so many musicians (specifically those in the rock n'roll category) have a hand in wine production? Here are ten wine and rock pairings that may surprise you:
1. Wines That Rock, the brain child of rock business managers RZO and Mendocino Wine Company, has three wines in release that were inspired by iconic classic rock recordings: Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon, The Rolling Stones' Forty Licks Merlot, and Woodstock Chardonnay. According to winemaker Mark Beaman, "With Wines That Rock our focus is to combine these two sensory based experiences into a meaningful sum that is greater than its parts. Think of it as a sort of audio aromatherapy."
2. Dave Matthews' Blenheim Vineyards, established in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2000, features European varietal wines
3. Mick Fleetwood, drummer and co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, produces award winning Private Cellar wine, a collaboration with various wineries including Casa Cassara and Firestone.
4. Maynard James Keenan of Tool and A Perfect Circle channels his considerable passion into his role as owner and winemaker at Merkin Vineyards and Caduceus Winery in Jerome, Arizona, where he produces the award winning 2005 Nagual Del Sensei.
5. The Rock'n Roll Wine organization produces monthly wine tastings paired with live rock music in cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Guests sip and swirl while enjoying bands like Dashboard Confessional and Everclear.
6. Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain is co-vintner and consultant at delaCain winery in California's Sonoma County, where their first release was the 2007 Chanconne Pinot Noir.
7. Metal rocker Geoff Tate of Queensryche is an apprentice winemaker at Three Rivers Winery in Walla, Walla, Washington. His energetic Insania red and white blends capture the essence of rock and roll.
8. Il Palagio, Sting's 16th century villa and vineyard in the Tuscan Hills in the Chianti region of Italy has a Super Tuscan in the works.
9. Mick Hucknall of Simply Red's aptly named winery, Il Cantante ("The Singer"), is located on the slopes of Sicily's Mt. Etna and features three wines, including the standout Etna Rosso.
10. Landmark Grill and Lounge in Chicago, Illinois offers free wine tastings with a rock and roll theme. Most recently, wine lovers tasted to the sounds of Led Zeppelin and Bob Marley.
Here's a little seduction facilitating cocktail in celebration of Cinco de Mayo: the Tingling Tequila de Cacao This drink balances the richness of crème de cacao and agave with citrus juice, and is given additional aroma by the bitters. A special surprise is the tingling sensation the Szechuan Buttons impart. With a slight but noticeable flirtatious tingle on the finish this splendid experience is sure to elicit surprise and delight.
Szechuan Buttons (aka Sechuan Buttons, Sichuan Buttons, Toothache plant) are an unusual food in that their primary use is not nutrition or flavor but rather to impart a sensation to food and drink. They possess a slightly bitter, herby flavor that isn't unusual, but a few seconds after consuming them something very interesting begins to happen inside your mouth:
Eating a few tiny petals from a Szechuan button (pinched off between thumb and forefinger or cut using a knife or shears) will lead to a tingling sensation...almost like mild voltage or bubbles from an effervescent beverage popping on the tongue. It is similar to (but much more intense than) the tingling imparted by Szechuan peppercorns, which is how this flower gets its Chinese name, despite originally being from Africa. Read Moreabout Szechuan Buttons and their use.
When preparing your Valentine's Day romantic meal for two, be sure to spend the time needed to get all the details just right. Select a menu you will both enjoy. Pair your dishes with luscious drinks, champagne, or wine to perfectly complement each course . Next pay attention to the ambiance: the lighting, the music you select, the presentation per course, and the table setting--it all adds up to create the perfect magic you strive for on this special occasion.
ROMANTIC VALENTINE'S DAY DINNER
Love in the Afternoon Champagne Cocktail Jumbo Shrimp with spicy Cocktail Sauce Beef Tenderloin with White Peppercorn Sauce
Garlic Mashed potatoes
Steamed Asparagus spears
Dessert: Petit Fours or Chocolate Hearts served with Port
We begin this romantic meal for two with a sparkling champagne cocktail called Love in the Afternoon, created by Champagne expert and author Marcia Hunt. Select the perfect appetizer to complement this course, but save plenty of room for the main course, a delicious recipe from Dean & DeLuca: Beef Tenderloin with White Peppercorn Sauce.
MAIN COURSE Beef Tenderloin with White Peppercorn Sauce
DESSERT Petit Fours or Heart Chocolates Petit Fours These delicious treats can be ordered online at Dean & Deluca: Valerie Confections turned the finest ingredients into
elegant and modern interpretations of the classic confection. Four
delicious flavors can be found under the bittersweet chocolate that
enrobes them all:
Lemon cake layered with tart lemon ganache and topped
with candied lemon peel
Ginger cake layered with white chocolate
ganache and topped with candied ginger
Bittersweet Chocolate cake
layered with creamy milk chocolate ganache
Almond cake layered
with bittersweet chocolate ganache and topped with a roasted almond
For the Love of Chocolate Collection- $30 Say "I Love You" with our rich chocolate Valentine's collection. A collection of our red raspberry hearts, rich chocolate ganache blended with sweet red raspberries in a shimmery shell.
When it's time to turn down the lights, turn up the sound system, put up your feet, and ease into the comfort of your home--there is nothing like being served a refreshing drink as you settle into the moment. Whether you serve your cocktails with simple finger foods to share together, or you both step into the kitchen to prepare the evening's Seduction Meal, here are a few ideas to tempt you.
This Valentine's Day find love at first sip with seductive libations from the "Classic and Vintage Artisanal Spirits Portfolio." Following are several love-themed cocktails from Averna Amaro, Armagnac Casterede, G'Vine Gin, Rhum J.M, Sombra Mezcal and Tuthilltown Spirits which are the ideal way to celebrate with your sweetheart.
2 oz Sombra
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz grapefruit juice
1/2 oz St. Germain
1 bar spoon of agave nectar
3 cucumber slices
Method: Add the cucumber slices, citrus and agave nectar to a mixing glass and muddle. Add spirits then ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.
Happily Ever After
1 3/4oz Rhum J.M. Blanc
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4oz Cherry Heering
1/4 oz Averna
2 Dash Rhubarb Bitters
1 Dash Whiskey Barrel Bitters
Method: Combine all ingredients except bitters into an ice filled shaker. Shake and Strain into an crushed ice filled cocktail glass, drop bitters into glass and stir.
1.5 oz G'Vine Floraison Gin
.5 oz Chambord
.25 oz Simple Syrup
.25 oz fresh lime juice
.75 lemon juice
Method: Combine all ingredients in a glass mixing pint. Stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
1½ oz Sombra
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz passion fruit puree
3 muddled cucumber slices
1 bar spoon of agave nectar
1 oz House Ginger Beer
Method: Add the lime, agave nectar and cucumber slices to a mixing glass, then muddle Add the rest of the ingredients, then ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice .Garnish with a slice of cucumber and a pinch of ground chili
1 oz Rhum J.M Gold
1 oz Clement Creole Shrubb
.75 oz Lemon Juice
2 oz grapefruit juice
Method: Build in an old fashioned glass over ice old fashioned. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
Be Mine Mojito
1.5 oz G'Vine Nouaison Gin
.5 oz Simple Syrup
.5 oz fresh lime juice
3 mint sprigs
Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker.Shake well. Strain into a highball glass. Garnish: mint sprig
As you prepare your romantic meal for two this Valentine's Day--what better way to express your love and desire than with chocolate? A favorite
culinary aphrodisiac of many, chocolate contains phenylethylamine - the
same chemical released in your brain when you fall in love, leading to
an excited feeling of infatuation.
This Valentine's Day
try a romantic cocktail party for two with a tempting invitation to
experience any of the seven luscious chocolate cocktail recipes below. I don't know about you, but I want to try each and every drink; you can almost taste the tantalizing pleasures with names like Raspberry White Chocolate Truffle, Hearts Afire, White Chocolate Martini, Chocolate Covered Cherries, Peanut Butter Cup, Death by Chocolate, Almond Joy Martini. Enjoy the moment as you savor that lovin' feeling shaken and stirred.
Chocolate Covered Cherries & White Chocolate Martini
Peanut Butter Cup & Raspberry White Chocolate Truffle
Raspberry White Chocolate Truffle
1-1/2 oz Van Gogh Raspberry Vodka
1/2 oz White chocolate Godiva
1-1/2 oz White crème de Cocoa
1 oz Raspberry Liqueur
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker and shake over ice. Strain into glass. Garnish with raspberries on a pick.
2 oz Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
4 oz Hot Chocolate
3 Roasted marshmallows on small skewer
Pour Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka into a mug and add hot chocolate. Garnish with home-roasted marshmallows on a skewer or whipped cream. (Always use caution when handling hot liquids).
White Chocolate Martini
1 oz Van Gogh Vanilla vodka
2 oz White Chocolate Liquor
1 oz Cream
White chocolate shavings or white cocoa powder
Roll rim of martini glass in white chocolate shavings or white cocoa powder. Add all liquids in a shaker and shake over ice. Strain drink into a martini glass.
Chocolate Covered Cherries
1 oz Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate vodka
1 oz Van Gogh Black Cherry vodka
1 oz Crème de cacao
3 Maraschino cherries
Swirl chocolate syrup around inside of martini glass and place maraschino cherries in the bottom of the glass. Add liquids into a shaker with ice and shake. Pour into martini glass.
Vida Tequila When
you are in touch with your inner Tequila desires, you will come to
understand the lure of premium tequila and its exquisite taste. These
blends are made for pure self-indulgence. Sipping is the norm.
Anything else would undermine this gift of quality, taste and pleasure.
2 parts Vida Blanco
1/2 part Grand Marnier
1/2 part fresh lime juice
the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes or crushed ice.
Strain the mixture or pour into a salt-rimmed margarita or martini
glass. To get the salt to stick to the glass, pour fine salt on a
plate. Run a lime wedge along the lip of a martini glass and lightly
press it against the salt.
The Sea Fizz
1 part Pernod Absinthe
1/2 Part Simple Syrup
½1/2 part lemon juice
1 egg white
Add all ingredients to shaker except egg white. Shake. Add egg white and shake vigorously. Serve in a rocks glass.
Clément Créole Eggnog
2 oz. of Rhum Clément Créole Shrub
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 oz Rhum Clément Première Canne
1 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup of coconut milk
In a large shaker, combine ingredients over ice, and vigorously shake Garnish with sprinkled nutmeg and a cinnamon stick. Cointreau Teese
1 1/2oz Cointreau
3/4oz Apple juice
1/2oz Monin violet syrup
1/2oz)Fresh lemon juice
Mix all ingredients together. Frost ginger around the rim of the glass
2.5oz irish cream liqueur
Pour the ingredients into a tumbler glass. Add finely grated dark chocolate sprinkled over the top
5 Parts Plymouth Gin
4 Parts Lemon Juice
3 Parts Simple Syrup
a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a
chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with 7 leaf mint leaf.
2 Parts ABSOLUT Vodka
2 Parts Lemon Juice
1 Part Saffron Sugar Syrup
4 Dashes Cointreau
2 Dashes Orange Juice
Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Bessito (originally served at Asia De Cuba, New York)
1 oz. X Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 oz. Grapefruit Juice
Makes one drink: Mix all ingredients. Top with Champagne, serve in a flute.
PAMA Champagne Dream
1 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
1 oz. Fresh Orange Juice
3 oz. Champagne
1 drink. Assemble the first three ingredients in a cocktail glass with
ice. Slowly pour in the Champagne while stirring very gently to retain
bubbles. Strain into a Champagne flute and garnish with an orange zest.
2 parts X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 parts SKYY Infusions Passion Fruit
0.5 parts Passion Fruit of Mango Puree (or orange juice)
Mix all ingredients. Top with Champagne, serve in a flute.
Between the end of December through New Year's Eve there are many reasons to
celebrate. A toast to your health, your love, your life, and happiness. Here you will find an array of cocktails to bring on good cheer. Happy Holidays & here's to a great 2010!
1 1/2 oz Clement V.S.O.P Rum
1 oz. Clement Creole Shrubb
2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain and serve. Tie beautiful flower at top of the stem.
Clement Mai Tai
1 1/2 oz. Clement V.S.O.P Rum
1 oz. Clement Creole Shrubb
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
2 oz. pineapple juice
A dash of Grenadine
Mix all ingredients together. Garnish with lime wheel, and pineapple stick garnish. Clement Side Car
2 oz. Clement V.S.O.P Rum
1 oz. Clement Creole Shrubb
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
Mix all ingredients. Garnish with sugar rim and lemon wheel
1 1/2 oz. premium Tequila
1 oz. Clement Crerole Shrubb
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
Mix all ingredients in a shaker with crushed ice. Strain and serve.
Pink Fusion (originally served at Carlucci Lombard, Chicago)
1 oz. X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 oz. SKYY Infusions Citrus
Splash of Fresh Lemonade
Makes one Drink: Mix all ingredients together. Top with Champagne, serve in martini glass with lemon twist.
Pernod Absinthe: The Green Fairy
1 part Pernod Absinthe
1 part water
Juice of I lemon
1 tsp egg white
1 dash bitters
Makes one drink: Shake thoroughly with ice and strain into cocktail glass.
3 Parts Cognac
1 Part Vermouth, Sweet
2 Dashes Orange Curacao
1 Dash Bitters
Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with 1 whole maraschino berry.
2 Parts Tequila
10 Parts Cream
2 Parts White Cacao Liqueur
1 Part Grenadine
Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
A recipe for a refreshing summer cocktail sent to Seduction Meals by Robin:
• 1 Bottle of white wine (Albarino)
• 1/2 cup Peach Schnapps
• sugar (to taste, depending on how sweet you prefer your Sangria)
• 2 peaches, sliced (frozen peach slices work well)
• 1 sliced ripe, ruby red grapefruit
• 2 pears, sliced (slightly firm, not quite ripe)
• 1/2 liter of ginger ale or club soda (ginger and grapefruit is interesting together)
Looking for interesting rum drinks to go with your next Seduction Meal?
Chi - Chi Cocktail
Ingredients: 2 oz Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum 1/2 oz Monin blackberry syrup 4 oz Pineapple juice
Method: Fill cocktail shaker with ice, add ingredients, and shake well. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry and/or pineapple wedge.
skinny pina colada
Ingredients: 1 oz Pineapple juice 1/2 oz Kalani coconut liqueur 1 1/2 oz Mount Gay Silver
Method: In a mixing glass add all ingredients listed above, add ice, shake and strain over fresh ice into a high-ball glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge
The Silver Lining
Ingredients: 1 oz Ruby Red grapefruit juice 3/4 oz St Germain Elderflower Liqueur 1 1/2 oz Mount Gay Silver Top with Tonic water
Method: In a mixing glass add all ingredients except the tonic water, add ice and shake and strain over fresh ice into a highball glass. Top with tonic water and garnish with a thin slice of grapefruit
There are certain moments in history when America has proven itself to the world: Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon; the US Men's Hockey team beating the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics, and this year Michael Phelps winning 8 gold medals. One such moment; however, never got the recognition it deserved. In 1976, a small American winery bested the exalted French wines of the time and sent the wine industry into a tizzy--putting California wines on the map for good. Since its premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Bottle Shock has won the hearts of critics and festival audiences alike. Based on a true story, Bottle Shock chronicles the events leading up to the famous "Judgment of Paris" tastings, told through the lives of father and son, Jim and Bo Barett. A former real estate attorney and novice vinter, Jim Barrett (Bill Pulman) sacrificed everything to realize his dream of creating the perfect hand-crafted chardonnay. Meanwhile in Paris, struggling wine seller Steven Spurrier came up with an idea for a publicity stunt to help his floundering shop. Little did Spurrier and Barrett realize they were about to change the history of wine forever.
Enter Steven Spurrier (Rickman), a British expatriate trolling Napa in
search of bottles for his upcoming wine tasting event arranged to take place
in France, pitting his favorite French wines against up-and-coming vintages from California. His goal: to promote the diversity of offerings in his
failing Paris wine shop. Spurrier is surprised by the quality of the
wines he encounters, among them Barrett's Chardonnay. But Barrett, put
off by Spurrier's snobbish attitude, refuses to participate in the
contest. Against his father's wishes, Bo delivers two bottles of
Chateau Montelena Chardonnay to Spurrier for the contest, just as the
wine salesman is about to board a plane back to Paris.
The move angers the elder Barrett, but he is far more devastated when he discovers that his entire vintage, though exceptional in taste, has mysteriously turned brown. It's the last straw for Barrett, who decides to have the discolored wine hauled away, quit the business and beg for his old job back. But when Sam looks up a viniculturist who explains that the discoloration is a rare but temporary condition--a result of the Montelena winemaker's perfectionism--the race is on for Bo and Sam to tell Barrett the good news before the wine gets dumped and Chateau Montelena falls into the hands of its creditors.
"Wine lovers won't just sip but guzzle a lot of this down." Robert Koehler, Variety
"Be on the lookout for "Bottle Shock," a hugely entertaining movie fresh out of Sundance and the film festival circuit. It's a winner". Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Magazine
"Bottle Shock is more than the story. It is also about people who love their work, care about it with passion and talk about it with knowledge" Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Judgment of Paris TIME June 7, 1976
Americans abroad have been boasting for years about California wines, only to be greeted in most cases by polite disbelief - or worse. Among the few fervent and respected admirers of le vin de Californie in France is a transplanted Englishman, Steven Spurrier, 34, who owns the Cave de la Madeleine wine shop, one of the best in Paris, and the Academie du Vin, a wine school whose six-week courses are attended by the French Restaurant Association's chefs and sommeliers. Last week in Paris, at a formal wine tasting organized by Spurrier, the unthinkable happened: California defeated all Gaul.
The contest was as strictly controlled as the production of a Chateau Lafite. The nine French judges, drawn from an oenophile's Who's Who, included such high priests as Pierre Tari, secretary-general of the Association des Grands Crus Classes, and Raymond Oliver, owner of Le Grand Vefour restaurant and doyen of French culinary writers. The wines tasted were transatlantic cousins - four white Burgundies against six California Pinot Chardonnays and four Grands Crus Chateaux reds from Bordeaux against six California Cabernet Sauvignons.
Gallic Gems. As they swirled, sniffed, sipped and spat, some judges were instantly able to separate an imported upstart from an aristocrat. More often, the panel was confused. "Ah, back to France!" exclaimed Oliver after sipping a 1972 Chardonnay from the Napa Valley. "That is definitely California. It has no nose," said another judge - after downing a Batard Montrachet '73. Other comments included such Gallic gems as "this is nervous and agreeable," "a good nose, but not too much in the mouth," and "this soars out of the ordinary."
When the ballots were cast, the top-soaring red was Stag's Leap Wine Cellars' '72 from the Napa Valley, followed by Mouton-Rothschild '70, Haut-Brion '70 and Montrose '70. The four winning whites were, in order, Chateau Montelena '73 from Napa, French Meursault-Charmes '73 and two other Californians, Chalone '74 from Monterey County and Napa's Spring Mountain '73. The U.S. winners are little known to wine lovers, since they are in short supply even in California and rather expensive ($6 plus). Jim Barrett, Montelena's general manager and part owner, said: "Not bad for kids from the sticks"
Rosé wines are getting more and more consideration from American drinkers then ever before. Regarded as somewhat feminine drinks 5 to 8 years ago, wine lovers from all horizons and genders have realized how pleasing rose wines can be and how versatile they actually are when it comes to food pairing.
It is often heard from would be rosé-drinkers that the style of wine they enjoy most is one that is "not too sweet". Nowadays, rosés are indeed made on the dry side, far, far away from the "blush" white zinfandels and their cloying sweetness. Rosés are now for the most part, lively summery wines, elegant, and of course a touch "feminine," and pair well with various kinds of dishes from seafood to risotto, nicoise salads to roasted chicken with herbs and paella.
Today we will take a look at one of the most respected wine regions that produces some of the best Rosé in France--the Provence region. Located in southeastern France on the Mediterranean sea, la Provence is know for its warm climate, sun-drenched fields, and savory dishes. A food lover's heaven, Provence is known for its unforgettable flavors. Dishes are cooked with love using the best indigenous ingredients such as olives, olive oil, fish (some of the best being Loup and Rouget), lamb, as well as local fruits such as peaches, apricots and melons, and of course its wines. La Provence is indeed home of the best expressions of some of the fuller bodied and driest French Rosés.
When selecting the rosé of your choice it is important to understand the difference between "sweet" and "dry". A wine can be dry, as opposed to sweet, if it contains a very small amount of diluted sugar, so small it is not perceptible by our senses. But this is not the only reason one can feel some sweetness to a wine. It is also important to understand that two identical wines with the same amount of residual sugar can taste more or less dry depending on their acidity level. Indeed, the higher the acid, the driest the wine. Example: when mixing water and sugar, the result is a very sweet, almost undrinkable liquid. Here the acidity of the drink is very low. Add some lime juice to the mix. By boosting the acidity of the drink, the sweetness becomes much less perceptible.
Conclusion: when a wine is drier than another it does not mean that it contains less sugar. Its acidity might simply be higher. Provence wines tend to ally the best of both worlds: low residual sugar and high acid, for a very dry style of wine.
So what Rosé would I suggest for your Seduction meal? Try the 2007 Commanderie de Peyrassol Rosé
The Commanderie de Peyrassol is located in the heart of Provence, near routes traveled by Crusaders in the early Middle Ages. It was founded by the Knights of Templar who were dedicated to protecting the Crusaders en route to, and in, the Holy Land. The first recorded harvest took place in 1256 and wine-making has continued uninterrupted throughout the centuries. The current proprietor, Francoise Rigord, has been making the wines at Peyrassol since 1981 and has now been joined by her son, Francois. The estate is surrounded by 165 hectares of Mediterranean forest with 65 hectares of vineyards being cultivated on this dry, rocky clay and limestone based soil. No synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides are used in the vineyards.
The 2007 Commanderie de Peyrassol Rosé is made from a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault. A pale watermelon-pink color, the nose exhibits aromas of orange peel, lime and dried flowers. The wine is full bodied on the palate, dry, well balanced with flavors of tangerine and strawberries. Acidity is high. The wine finishes on notes of caramel. It is a definitely very good showing and a great value as well.
So for your next Seduction Meal pair your 2007 Commanderie de Peyrassol Rosé with your favorite Bouillabaisse, Salad Nicoise, Ham or Proscuitto, Roast Chicken, or Mezze Vegetable dishes.
Cost: About $16 a bottle.
Where to find it? Contact importer Neal Rosenthal 800.910.1990 firstname.lastname@example.org
A mojito is traditionally made of five ingredients:
white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime, carbonated
water and mint. When preparing a mojito, lime juice is added to sugar
(or syrup) and mint leaves. The mixture is then gently mashed with a
The mint leaves should only be bruised to release the essential oils
and must not be shredded. Then rum is added and the mixture is briefly
stirred to dissolve the sugar and to lift the mint sprigs up from the
bottom for better presentation. Finally, the drink is topped with ice
cubes and sparkling water, and mint leaves and lime wedges are used to
garnish the glass.
For a tasty side dish to snack on while enjoying your Mojito, try jazzy mango chicken wings. Cuba is the birthplace of the Mojito, although the exact origin of this classic cocktail is the subject of debate. One story traces the Mojito to the 16th century when the cocktail was known as "El Draque," in honor of the English Explorer and Trader Sir Francis Drake. If this is indeed true, the Mojito could be considered as the world's first cocktail. The Mojito was made with "tafia," a primitive predecessor of rum, with the other ingredients used to hide the harsh taste. The drink improved substantially in the 19th century, with the introduction of copper stills and the aging process that led to the modern form of rum. Some insist the Mojito's name comes from mojo, a Cuban seasoning made from lime and used to flavor dishes. Perhaps as a reference to its lime ingredient, the drink became known as the cocktail with 'a little mojo' - in Spanish, 'mojito'. (source: wikipedia)
mojito recipe for 1 mojito from Mount Gay®
1 1/2 oz. Mount Gay® Rum Eclipse Silver 12 fresh mint leaves 1/2 lime 2 tbsp. simple syrup (or 4 tsp. sugar) Top off with club soda Garnish: lime wedge and sprig of mint
Muddle mint leaves and lime in tall glass. Cover with simple syrup and fill glass with ice; add Mount Gay® Rum and club soda; stir well. Garnish glass with lime wedge and sprigs of mint.
Note: Simple syrup is made by stirring granulated sugar into hot water in a sauce pan until the sugar is dissolved and then cooling the solution. Generally, a ratio of two parts sugar to one part water is used.
We all know how sexy it is to serve up a finger-licking delicious appetizer for two and this recipe for mango chicken wings is no exception. Serve this up with two chilled rum cocktails like the Bajan Star Shine below, and you are set for a fun evening appetizer, a midnight snack (if you have the foresight to marinate earlier in the day), or late afternoon delight.
jazzy mango chicken wings recipe from Mount Gay Rum
note: leave time to marinate the chicken overnight, or at least 4 hours
10-12 chicken wings jerk seasoning fresh mango or pulp ½ cup Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
Marinate chicken in jerk seasoning and mango pulp, Mount Gay Eclipse Rum, salt and pepper overnight. Pre-heat oven to 350 F and bake for 25-30 minutes. Garnish with fresh herbs and mango slices.
bajan star shine
Ingredients for one drink:
1 oz Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum 2 Slices of Star Fruit cut in fours 1 tsp of Grapefruit Marmalade 1 oz Guava Nectar 1/2 oz Simple Syrup* Juice of one key lime or one quarter ounce of bottled key lime juice
Method: In mixing glass, muddle the quarters of Star fruit well. Add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into chilled cocktail glass or coupe filled with cracked ice. Garnish with slice of Star Fruit.
*Simple syrup is made by stirring granulated sugar into hot water
in a sauce pan until the sugar is dissolved and then cooling the
solution. Generally, a ratio of two parts sugar to one part water is
On a hot summer day, serve up a a cold margarita and pair this refreshing cocktail with your favorite spicy foods such as chipotle crab cakes, steak
quesadillas, empanadas with habanero sauce, or creamy guacamole and
chips. If you want the best Margarita available, make it with fresh ingredients and select a premium tequila. And for goodness sake, stay away from pre-made Margarita mixes.
2 oz silver tequila 1 oz premium Cointreau 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice coarse kosher salt lime wedge
Place a thin layer of salt onto a small plate. Rub the rim of a cocktail glass with lime juice. Holding the stem of the glass, rotate the rim in salt. Its best if the salt is only on the outside of the glass. Fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice. Place all ingredients in a shaker. Shake well. Strain into the glass, garnish with lime wedges if you like, and serve.
Put all ingredients except the 3 lime wedges into a shaker. Squeeze 2 of the lime wedges into the shaker. SHAKE WELL! Rim outside of glass only with lime. Salt only the outside of the glass. Add fresh crushed ice to glass. Strain mixture over ice. Squeeze remaining lime wedge in glass.
Watermelon Margarita Recipe
1-½ oz. tequila ¾ oz. triple sec ¾ oz. Midori 2 oz. sour mix 6 oz. cubed, seeded watermelon 8 oz. ice
Blend all ingredients together; serve in a 14-ounce glass. Garnish with lime and watermelon wedge.
Cabo Waborita Margarita Recipe
1 oz. fresh lime juice 1 oz. triple sec 2 oz. Sammy Hagar's Cabo Wabo tequila
Mix in a shaker over ice. Serve in salt-rimmed glass.
Albuquerque Style Margarita Recipe
1 lime, cut into wedges Coarse or kosher salt 1 (6 ounce) can frozen lime concentrate 3/4 cup tequila 6 tablespoons Triple Sec 1 (12 ounce) can lemon-lime or grapefruit soda 3 to 4 cup ice cubes Lime twist for garnish Lime peel for garnish
Rub rim of each cocktail glass with lime wedge; swirl glass in salt to coat rim. Combine half of each of the remaining ingredients, except garnishes, in blender container; blend until ice is finely chopped and mixture is slushy. Pour into salt-rimmed glasses. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Garnish, if desired.
When I think of Spain I think Tapas and Paella--two signature dishes adored by many. Once you try paella you'll fall in love with this famous rice dish; and to top it off, its surprisingly easy to prepare, the recipe below was done in half an hour, which makes this a great choice for a quick seduction meal.
If you've never had paella (shame on you!), and want to try it first, there are many restaurants that specialize in this dish. One of my favorite places is El Quijote in New York,
next door to the famous Chelsea Hotel. Their Paella Valencia is served
with chorizo (a spicy sausage), chicken on the bone, clams and mussels,
roasted piquillo peppers, and saffron-colored rice. Valencia con
Langosta is served with Lobster. Other favorites in New York include El
Faro in the west village and the smaller, trendier Boqeria in the Flat
There are three main ingredients to good paella: the rice; the toppings (usually chicken, seafood, and/or vegetables) which with the broth flavor the rice; and saffron and "sofrito" (see below), the foundation for the dish's wonderful flavor and color. One piece of advice that always holds true in cooking: always use quality ingredients, and this is especially true for a good Paella.
There are a few secrets I found to ensure your dish is the best it can be:
1. Use a paella pan. A round shallow pan, called a paellera, with a large cooking surface that allows the rice to spread evenly along the bottom and easily absorb the flavors of the broth and the ingredients set on top. A delicacy of this dish is to discover the caramelized rice at the bottom of the dish. Be sure your stove (or outdoor grill) entirely heats up the bottom of the pan, otherwise you will have to rotate the pan to evenly distribute the heat.
2. Use a medium grain rice, preferably Spanish Calasparra or Bomba rice. If you can't find this rice, Goya has good rice and is easily find in local supermarkets.
3. Create a delicious "sofrito", a well cooked and fragrant sauce the serves as the foundation of flavor. Typically this is made with sauteed tomatoes, garlic, paprika and sometimes peppers.
4. If you can, get hold of some saffron. I know its expensive but its worth it. In addition to the sofrito, the saffron is an important part of the color and flavor of your paella. If you can't find saffron, don't worry, you can find medium grain rice that already has saffron in it, but you will sacrifice some flavor.
Paella Recipe Serves 6
1/3 cup olive oil 1 red bell pepper 1 orange pepper 4 Tbs garlic, chopped 1 whole chicken breast bone in, cut in 4 parts 2 thighs, each cut into 2 parts salt and pepper 2 cups Calasparra rice, or other medium grain rice 1/2 tsp saffron threads 1/4 lb of cooking chorizo, in 1/4 inch slices* 2 cups chicken stock 2 cups shellfish stock (I used clam juice) 1 tsp parsley, chopped 6-8 pieces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined About 10 clams and 10 mussels, scrubbed
* I couldn't find cooking chorizo, so it is not shown in the photo, but I love the flavor this imparts on this dish.
garnish Chives, snipped with scissors Lemon wedges
Preparing the Meal When cooking paella, there is no need to use the cover of the pan. Most pans do not come with covers for this very reason.
Preheat a 15" paella pan at high heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil, 1/2 of the garlic, and sliced peppers. Salt and pepper the chicken and add chicken pieces, frying
over high heat until golden. Remove to a platter. Add the chorizo and stir fry about 10 minutes. Stir in the rice and half of the saffron for about 2 minutes. Place the chicken back in the pan. Add the chicken and shellfish stock and simmer.
In a separate bowl or mortar, mix the remaining garlic and saffron, parsley, a tsp of water, and a dash of salt (I prefer sea salt) - mix well. Add the mixture to the pan and place the seafood in the pan. Mussels and Clams first, then shrimp on top. At this point you no longer need to stir the ingredients. Add salt and pepper and cook for 3-10 minutes or until the shrimp is a nice pink color.
plating the dish Remove some of the seafood and chicken pieces to get to the rice. Place 1 cup of the tasty rice on each plate. Arrange chicken and seafood on top of the rice, and add a few pieces of the spicy sausage on top. Add the colorful pieces of pepper all around and garnish with chives (or chopped parsley) and a wedge of lemon. Serve immediately with a tall glass of
Red Sangria Serves 6
1 bottle, about 3 cups, of dry red wine 1 orange, sliced in wheels 1 lemon, sliced in wheels 2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 1/4 cup caster sugar 1/2 cup brandy
garnish: ice to serve sliced lime wheels, cut 1" slice, and slip the lime over the glasses edge
Place the orange, lime and lemon slices in a glass pitcher. Add the lime juice, orange juice and caster sugar, stir with a wooden spoon to mix all ingredients. Add the red wine and brandy, stir. Chill in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours letting all of the flavors blend and settle in. Just before serving add ice cubes to the pitcher, stir the sangria and serve
Hot Tip: With the tag line: The Best of Spain in America; LaTeinda.com is a good resource for all you paella needs..
The culinary and mythological virtues of pomegranates have been extolled in art and literature since the time of the Ancient Greeks. Clearly, this exotic fruit has withstood the test of time for a reason. Famed for its lively color and refreshing juice, pomegranates add
beauty and flavor to appetizers, entrees, desserts and beverages.There are many wonderful recipes using pomegranates that are worthy of a Seduction Meal. Try a few before deciding upon your favorite as there is surely one that will add sparkle and a boost of love to your romantic soiree.
Featured are three cocktails using PAMA liquor: The Blushing Lady, Pama Passion, and Champagne Dreams.
The Blushing Lady
1 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur 2 oz. Vodka 1 oz. Pink Grapefruit Juice Lemon Wedge Course sugar, for garnish
Rub a wedge of lemon around the rim of a martini glass and dip the glass into a plate of coarse sugar. Set it aside. Pour the remaining ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into the garnished martini glass.
Go to the bottom of this post for the other two recipes.
Halibut Rolled with Pomegranate Stuffing recipe from the Pomegranate Council -- serves 4
1 large or 2 pounds firm-fleshed, 1/2 inch thick halibut 1 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup olive oil or butter 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup chopped walnuts 1 cup pomegranate juice or 3 tablespoons pomegranate paste 1 tablespoon slivered candied orange peel 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
fish in cold water. Pat dry with paper towel and rub both sides with 1
teaspoon salt. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large frying pan and brown onion
and garlic. Add all ingredients except the saffron water and lime juice
and cook for 3 minutes. Mix well and remove stuffing from heat.
oven to 400 degrees. Lay fish out on the baking dish. Place a layer of
stuffing on one end of the fish about 1 inch long and gently roll from
the stuffing end and pin closed if necessary. Pour the saffron water,
the rest of the oil, and the lime juice over the fish. Place in the
oven and bake 10-15 minutes (until the fish flakes easily with a fork),
basting from time to time.
Arrange the fish on a serving
platter. Pour the sauce from the baking dish over the fish and garnish
with walnuts and pomegranate seeds.
Pomegranate and Papaya Salad withGinger Dressing recipe from the Pomegranate Council -- serves 6
Pomegranate seeds add lively color, flavor and crunch to this ginger-spiked salad.
1 medium pomegranate 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 clove garlic, chopped finely 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger or a generous 1/4 teaspoon powdered 1 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup olive oil 2 heads endive, separated into leaves 3 quarts baby lettuce or other torn lettuce leaves 1 medium papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green part of green onion
Separate seeds from skin and pulp of pomegranate (you should have about 3/4 cup seeds); reserve. To make dressing, mix lemon juice and next 6 ingredients; whisk in oil. Reserve. On a large serving platter, arrange endive leaves like spokes with tips pointing out. Toss papaya with 1 tablespoon dressing; reserve. Toss lettuce with remaining dressing; mound over endive leaves. Top with reserved papaya; sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, then with green onion.
For a main dish--try adding a mound of crab or lobster salad in the center.
CHAMPAGNE DREAMS 1 ounce Pama 1 ounce Cointreau 1 ounce Fresh orange juice 3 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine
Assemble the first three ingredients in a cocktail glass with ice. Slowly pour in the Champagne while stirring very gently to retain the bubbles and chill the mixture. Strain into a Champagne flute and garnish with an orange zest.
PAMA PASSION 1 1/2 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur ¾ oz. Peach Schnapps Orange Juice and Lemon Lime Soda Splash Grenadine Garnish with a lime
I love Cointreau's campaign "Be Cointreauversial" starring Dita Von Teese. Everything about her is cointreauversial: her personality, her provocative grace, her style--a controlled combination of elegance and daring sensuality. Take note and step into the New Year with dazzling festive drinks that will set the stage for your intimate party for two. Be creative, sexy, seductive, and by all means, be like Dita!
Dazzle and delight your lover with the Cointreau's elegant B52, or try the funky Cotton Candy Vida. If you prefer the more traditional holiday libation, you will both find yourself licking your lips, or each others, when imbibing on the wonderful World Bar Egg Nog.
If hot is more your style, the Inverno is a contemporary adaptation of the traditional Quentao, a
Brazilian variation of the hot toddy that is served when the winter
months begin in June. This drink is perfect for cuddling by the fireside with
someone special and dreaming of warmer days, or better yet...igniting hot flames of passion together.
Or, you can stay simple yet sparkling with PAMA and champagne,
or the Cointrea Rose, a refreshing sparkler created
by master mixologist Dale DeGroff. This was the official drink
poured at this year's Chefs & Champagne party celebrating the 20th
Anniversary of the James
Beard Foundation so you know it will meet your high standards of culinary excellence.
The drinks above are Cotton Candy Vida, a Magarita, and Cointreau's stylish B52. And the featured drink here is the Gourmet Vida.There are a few more listed below. Cheers to you and yours and have a seductively HOT holiday. Happy New Year!
2 oz VIDA Blanco-Guajillo-Cinnamon-Thyme Infusion 1 oz Torrontes syrup 1 lime squeezed 1/2 oz passion fruit
Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled and salted-cinnamon-sugar rimmed martini glass. Float a sprig of fresh thyme on top.
Preparation: Infuse 1 bottle of VIDA Blanco with 1 dried-seeded-chopped guajillo chike, 7 sprigs of fresh thyme and 3 rough-chopped cinnamon sticks. Let sit for 3 days. Strain.
On a low flame, reduce 2 bottles of Torrontes (aromatic Argentinian wine) to 1 bottle. Add equivilent of 1/2 bottle of white sugar and reduce by 1/2 again. Cool/refrigerate.
Make a mixture to rim the glasses with 2 parts superfine sugar, 1 part cinnamon powder, 1 part kosher salt.
2 1/2 oz of Cointreau 2 1/2 oz of Irish cream liqueur
Pour the ingredients into a tumbler glass. Top with grated dark chocolate sprinkled over the top.
Cotton Candy VIDA
1 oz Blanco VIDA 1 tablespoon Cotton Candy Floss Sugar Mix
Mix Vida and cotton Candy Sugar Mix. Pour in a martini glass. Fill the rest of the glass with Sprite or Fresca
1 1/2 oz Sagatiba Pura 1 oz blackberry 1 1/2 oz apple juice a finger of fresh ginger 1 tablespoon of honey 2 cloves dash of ground cinnamon
Simmer all ingredients in a saucepan on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Strain into an Irish coffee glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick
Just when you think you've tried every martini there is, comes the very delicious PAMA Martini. Serve this with your favorite appetizers before indulging in your main course Seduction Meal.
1 1/2 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur 1 1/2 oz. Premium Vodka 1/4 oz. Orange Flavored Liqueur
Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass.
1 oz Cointreau 2 oz tequila .5 oz lime juice
Shake and strain into a salt rimmed margarita glass and garnish with a slice of lime.
Cocktail created by Dale DeGroff. Yield: 2 servings
For many gourmands foie gras is an exotic delicacy and special treat. The last decade has seen a gain in US popularity of serving foie gras seared hot with a sweet and tangy garnish. I found this recipe on Cointreau's web site and thought it was a good one to share for a potential New Years Eve starter served with the perfectly paired champagne drink, the Champs-Elysées.The dish should be prepared the day before as the recipe calls for the marmalade to marinate over night and the Cointreau cured foie gras to marinate for 12 hours.
Seared Cointreau Cured Hudson Valley Foie Gras For 8 Appetizer Servings Served with Pickled Onions and Fennel Tempura
Marmalade: Combine 2 cups (450g) fresh kumquats, seeded and thinly sliced with 1 cup (230g) granulated sugar--marinate overnight 1 cup (25cl) plus 2 Tbsps Cointreau 2 Tbsps rice wine vinegar 2 Tsps fresh ginger, peeled and minced 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds, toasted in dry skillet
1 - Place kumquats, sugar, rice wine vinegar and ginger in saucepan
over medium heat; bring to boil; reduce heat; simmer about 1 hour; cool.
2 - Stir in Cointreau and seeds; reserve in refrigerator.
Cointreau cured foie gras: 1 (1 1/2 lb.) (700g) grade A foie gras, separated into lobes coarse salt 3 cups (75cl) Cointreau
Preparation: Place foie gras in non-reactive bowl; season; cover with Cointreau; marinate 12 hours
Cointreau glaze: 1 Tbsp. (30g) unsalted butter 1/2 cup (115g) white onion, peeled and minced 1/2 cup (12cl) Cointreau 1 cup (25cl) veal or duck demi glace reduced over heat to 1/4 cup (60g) salt black pepper, freshly ground
Preparation 1 - Heat butter in skillet over medium heat; add onion; cook until lightly browned; deglaze with Cointreau; burn off alcohol. 2 - Add stock; lower heat; simmer 5 minutes; strain; season; reserve, keeping hot.
Bringing it all together: Heat skillet over medium heat; slice foie gras into 3/4" (2cm)medallions; criss-cross with knife; sear on all sides until golden;drain; drizzle with glaze; serve with marmalade and a glass of Champs-Elysees.
1 oz Cointreau 1 oz strawberry liqueur Piper Heisieck champagne
Pour Cointreau and strawberry liqueur into the glass. Fill up with champagne.
Overlooking the United Nations and its beautiful gardens, and nestled at the base of glitzy Trump World Towers is the unique and elegant oasis -- The World Bar. Noted for one of the world's most expensive cocktails aptly named "World Cocktail" you get a sense of the luxurious extravagance you
might experience. At $50 a glass The World Cocktail is a combination of
Remy XO, Pineau des Charentes, Veuve Clicquot, and a secret blend of
other ingredients mixed at your table and
crowned with 23-karat liquid gold.
If you live in NYC treat your date in style at this lavish lounge to explore a few house cocktails, a bit of coquetry and, I am sure, some titillating conversation. NightLife Ratings quotes "..This bar creates a scintillating ambiance for that special someone that
you want to impress".
To start the evening off right, invite your date to your place for a few small bites and the quintessential Holiday Cocktail-- "The World Bar Egg Nog" made with Mount Gay Rum. A perfectly prepared libation that will have you both licking your lips to savor each and every drop.
The World Bar Egg Nog Single Serving
1 large grade AA egg, separated 2 tsp. superfine sugar 1 oz. heavy cream 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 oz. Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
Directions: Separate the egg into two bowls. Beat the yolk until stiff. Beat the egg whites with 1 tsp. sugar until peaks form. Slowly fold the white and yolk mixtures together and set aside. Separately, beat the cream with the almond, vanilla, and 1 tsp. sugar in a bowl until stiff. SLOWLY fold in the cream with the egg mixture. Add Mount Gay Eclipse and stir gently. Refrigerate overnight, or serve immediately over ice in a martini glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg and cinnamon.
The World Bar Egg Nog (serves 18-20)
10 large, grade AA eggs, separated 1 cup superfine sugar 3 cups heavy cream 2 cups Mount Gay Eclipse Rum 6 tsp. pure almond extract 6 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1 tsp. Freshly grated nutmeg 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Directions: Separate the eggs into two bowls. Beat the yolks until stiff. Beat the egg whites with half the sugar until peaks form. Slowly fold the whites and yolks together. Set Aside. Separately, beat the cream with the almond, vanilla, and remaining sugar in a bowl until stiff. SLOWLY fold in the cream with the egg mixture. Add Mount Gay Eclipse and stir gently. Refrigerate overnight, or serve immediately over ice in a punch glass or martini glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg and cinnamon.
Select one or two of these appetizers to serve with your Holiday Egg Nog and play some sultry tunes to start the evening off right.
Tequila and food pairings--now that is something to explore. In Mexico Tequila is typically served with food as tiny shots, similar to how Russians enjoy vodka in between bites. When pairing Tequila with food you want to serve a premium tequila that is made for sipping. I recently discovered a wonderful ultra premium tequila called Anejo VIDA Tequila--a blend for the true tequila aficionado.
The finest tequilas are made from 100% blue agave
plant juices and are
best enjoyed slightly chilled and straight, offering a pure, clean
taste. For those who prefer mixed drinks instead of drinking neat, there are many tequila cocktails including the most recognized tequila drink-- the margarita. VIDA has created a collection
to exotic recipes you can serve with your meals such as the Beso de la Manana, Vida Rojo, the
Green Tequilatini, Gourmet Vida, and their signature drink the East Coast
V. Watch for upcoming cocktail recipes.
At the same time that I discovered VIDA tequila, I also found this GREAT new
cookbook called Fiesta Latina. I want to make every dish in this book!
Armed with VIDA in one hand, and Fiesta Latina in the other, you
are sure to create a Seduction Meal for your significant other that will always be remembered. VIDA offers three distinct premium blends that will perfectly complement the fabulous recipes you will find in Fiesta Latina.
Three VIDA Premium Blends and Suggested Recipes
VIDA Anejo (Extra-Aged) - Rich & Clean this is the finest of the three
styles. Vida's Anejo Tequila is meant to be sipped. This will go well with the Lobster Chipotle Crab Cakes, or the Sirloin Steak Tiradito with Traditional Chimichurri, or one of my all time favorite dishes (not in the cookbook) but served at Mi Cocina in NYC: Chile en nogada, a poblano chili
stuffed with a pork picadillo flavored with raisins, lemon and almonds sitting on top of a walnut cream sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. What I wouldn't do to get my hands on that recipe...
VIDA Reposado (Aged) - Sweet & Smoky this pairs well with pork and chicken dishes such as Roasted Chicken and Saffron Lobster Mashed Potatoes, or Roasted Duck Ropa Vieja Quesadillas with Spicy Guacamole, or to compliment the sweetness of the Sweet Corn Arepas Topped with Dulce de Leche Ice Cream.
VIDA Blanco (Silver) - Pure & Smooth Blanco tequila goes best with Seafood and Citrus based foods such as Fiesta Latina's Lobster Mango Ginger and Lemongrass Ceviche or Crispy East Coast Oysters with Sweet Fufu and Saffron Aioli or Marinated Lobster Tail and Scallop Pinchos.