Browsing Category



Make your Own Vermouth-Soaked Cocktail Olives

dry martini with stuffed olives

dry martini with stuffed olives

This is a time saver if you like to serve dry martinis at parties. At least three days before the event, you prepare your cocktail olives from scratch. It is really simple.

All you need is large Spanish olives and roasted peppers. Look for the Queen, Manzanilla or Sevillano variety. Try to buy olives that are not in brine. If you are in a hurry, you can use good quality roasted peppers in a jar as long as you rinse them well. But you will get a nicer texture if your roast your own sweet red peppers. Therefore, it is worth the extra time.

Once you placed your stuffed olives in Mason jar, fill the jar with dry vermouth and add lemon twist or juniper berries for flavor. At your party, you simply need to get your vermouth-soaked cocktail olives from the fridge, pour the vodka or gin in a cold martini glass and garnish with one and up to three olives to prepare the quickest dry martini.

If you are like my husband and prefer straight olives on your dry martini, simply skip the stuffing.

+ Homemade Cocktail Olives recipe at Imbibe
+ photo: Kyle May on Flickr


The Bubbly Bar | Book Review

naughty negroni drink recipe :: the bubbly bar by maria c. hunt

naughty negroni drink recipe :: the bubbly bar by maria c. hunt

In her book, The Bubbly Bar, Maria C. Hunt shared a vast assortment of champagne and sparkling wine cocktail recipes. I just bought the book; I did not have time to yet to try her recipes. With the wedding season, I think that many of you would like options to serve a bubbly concoctions.

One section of her book that I am sure you will not want to miss for entertaining this summer is the dessert corner. She proposed seven refreshing desserts make with Champagne or sparkling wines. A Lemon Ice transforms lemon sorbet into an elegant, grown-up dessert by adding Prosecco, vodka and a mint leaf to garnish. Otherwise, the Grapefruit Vanilla Granita made with brut rosé sparkling wine sounds divine to end a Sunday brunch.

If you are not familiar with Champagne and sparkling wines, Maria wrote an effective guide at the end of her book. To give you an idea of the type of cocktail recipes you will on her book, I scoured the Web and found the recipe of her Naughty Negroni on Canadian House and Home. The recipe of her Pure Passion drink recipe is published on the

About the Naughty Negroni Drink Recipe

As you can guess from the name, it is a twist on the classic Negroni. Although at first glance, I thought that is was similar to a Negroni Sbagliato that I introduced last year. But after checking, it’s quite different. A Naughty Negroni is made with 4 measures of Moscato d’Asti Sparkling Wine, a top-quality sparkling wine from the Piedmont region. Moscato d’Asti is superior and less sweet than Asti or Asti Spumante but make no mistakes, Moscato d’Asti is a sweet wine. She also keeps a half measure of gin from the classic Negroni recipe. A Negroni Sbagliato simply replaces the measure of gin by a measure of a Prosecco Brut (dry).

If you do not recall, the classic Negroni is one measure of gin, one measure of Campari, one measure of sweet vermouth (red vermouth) served with an orange slice. I prefer the tall Negroni where you pour some soda water over your Negroni. I usually will ask for a chaser of soda water because it is hard enough for most restaurants to serve a decent Negroni. The idea to try it with sparkling wine is appealing.

+ For Americans: The Bubbly Bar by Maria C. Hunt $11.55 USD [affiliate link]
+ For Canadians: The Bubbly Bar by Maria C. Hunt $15.87 USD [affiliate link]
+ Naughty Negroni recipe


Ornamental Vegetable Garden Cocktail Recipe

ornamental vegetable garden cocktail - recipe by the montreal botanical garden restaurant

figs with maple syrup cheese

Two weeks ago, I went to the media event for the launch of a beautiful terrace where you can sip tasty cocktails and eat tapas on the north patio of the Montreal Botanical Garden restaurant. There is no need to visit the Botanical Garden since it sits on a public access of the Garden. Cocktail time at the Garden happens from 4 to 8 P.M. from Thursday to Sunday during summer. On Friday and Saturday, live jazz performances starts at 5:30 P.M.

The tapas were delicious. Their tapas menu is 5 plates served with crispy seaweed. Each plate is composed of 3 appetizers. You can bring the kids since they have a nice selection of alcohol-free garden cocktails including a virgin strawberry martini and a virgin blueberry martini. We could taste 5 of their 13 botanical cocktails. My favorite one was the Ornamental Vegetable Garden. I like it so much that I asked for the recipe.

ornamental vegetable garden cocktail - recipe by the montreal botanical garden restaurant

Ornamental Vegetable Garden Cocktail
recipe by the Montreal Botanical Garden restaurant

  • 1.5 oz. vodka
  • 6 cucumbers
  • 1g mint leaves
  • 0.5 oz. of sugar cane syrup (simple syrup)
  • 0.25 oz. of  fresh lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz. of Triple Sec
  • Ice cubes
  • Mini cucumbers as garnish
  1. Muddle on a shaker the mint and cucumbers.
  2. Add the lemon juice, sugar cane syrup, vodka and Triple Sec. Add 5-6 ice cubes. Shake for 10 seconds.
  3. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a half piece of mini cucumber cut on the side.

+  Cocktail time at the Garden at the terrace of the Montreal Botanical Garden restaurant


Summer Cocktail: Flying Lotus

flying lotus recipe

flying lotus recipe

When I went to the Periphere media event at the Domison store last week, they served us a refreshing cocktail made with lychee. I felt in love with it. And thanks to @Clarah I can share the recipe with you. I predict that it will become one of your favorite cocktails this summer.

Flying Lotus recipe

recipe by Philippe & Emmet at Laika

Mix in a blender:

  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 2-3 mint leaves
  • 2-3 lychees (fresh, or canned without the juice)
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz sugar syrup (or cane syrup)
  • ice cubes

Favorite Summer Entertaining Cocktails

summer drinks for entertaining

summer drinks for entertaining

Five awesome hostesses on Twitter and I shared our favorite summer cocktails on the Daily Grommet blog. We all suggested easy to make cocktails.

Selecting my favorite cocktails was hard since I have so many. I selected the Tom Collins because it is fresh and most people like the taste. But instead of a slice of lemon as garnish, I prefer mint sprig. I feel it is fresher. But more importantly I grew my own mint. Therefore, there is no chance for me to run out of mint at the party.

Another suggestion

southside recipe

If you like lime, gin and mint, I suggest that you give a try to another fresh drink: the Southside. It is as simple to make than the Tom Collins. When you read the ingredient list, you have the impression that it is a gin version of the mojito. If you wish to intensify the mint flavor, use a muddler like in a regular mojito.

Southside recipe

  • 1.5 oz of gin (1 large measure of jigger)
  • 1 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice (1 small measure of jigger)
  • 2/3 oz  Sugar syrup (2 parts sugar: 1 part boiling water, stir until dissolved and chill)
  • 8-10 Fresh mint leaves
  • Soda water
  • Garnish: lime slice and mint sprig

Add all except the soda to a mixing glass with lots of ice.
Shake very hard to bruise the mint and release flavor and strain into a glass filled with crushed or cracked ice.
Top with a dash of soda and garnish with 1 large mint sprig, lime slice and 2 long straws.

More Summer Cocktails

Go see the French Martini! by Jennifer of Hostess with the Mostess, the Margarita on the Rocks by Kim of TomKat Studio, the French Vodka Slush Amy at ABCD Designs, the French 77 by Jen over at Second City Soiree, the Raspertini by Deborah at The Hip Hostess Blog, and my Tom Collins on the Daily Grommet. If you are looking for an appetizer to pair with a Tom Collins, try the Prosciutto and Sundried Tomato Rolls.


Easy to Make Cocktail Recipes for Mother’s Day

pink drinks by saq :: strawberry smoothie and cape cod recipes

pink drinks by saq :: strawberry smoothie and sparkling rose recipes

The Escape Cocktails by the SAQ is a good source for cocktail recipes. I select these 6 cocktails, either because they look girlie or should taste great. Select the one that will fit the taste of your mother or will pair the best with your menu.

+ You can start the brunch with a Strawberry smoothie that includes . After all, we need something that has no alcohol to fill up energy and vitamins. It contains apple juice, pineapple juice, strawberries, a banana, rose syrup and honey.
+ Then, you can sip a Sparkling rose made with vodka, cranberry juice, sparkling wine and a dash of vanilla extract.

Cranberry and Vodka Based Drinks

cranberry and vodka drinks :: recipe by saq

+ The Skyy Rosé is a rich, fruity cocktail. Its smooth taste comes from Skyy vodka, litchi juice, cranberry juice, a splash of 35% cream and one strawberry as garnish.
+ Cape Cod is a milder drink that you prepare with vodka, cranberry juice and tonic water. Garnish with 2 lemon wedges.

Dry Gin Cocktail Recipes

gin drink recipes by espace cocktails saq

+ The Mystery Martini refers to the old-fashioned herb liqueur since it is prepared with green Chartreuse. This is the stronger drink on my list. You will probably just serve no more than one per guest.
+ The Cucumber Collins adds style and a refreshing flavor to a classic drink. I like drinks with cucumbers. You start this drink by crushing cucumber slices with a muddler in a highball glass. For the rest, you prepare a classic Tom Collins and garnish with a cucumber spear.


Cinco de Mayo Drinks

cinco de mayo drinks made with tequila

cinco de mayo drinks made with tequila

Here are 5 tequila drinks that you can prepare to celebrate Cinco de Mayo:

  • A Paloma which mixes silver tequila with grapefruit juice, sugar, club soda
  • An El Diablo which mixes a 100% Blue Agave tequila with cranberry juice, freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup and a dash of ginger ale
  • The classic Tequila Sunrise that is super simple to make
  • Or go for the Mexican Flag drink. This drink comes in three shot glasses: a shot glass of fresh lime juice, a shot glass of premium tequila and a shot glass of sangrita. In fact, a sangrita is always served with a shot of tequila. The idea is that you alternately sip into the shot glasses, instead of chasing them.  Therefore, you could technically say that the Mexican Flag drink is a sangrita plus a shot of  lime juice. Get another sangrita recipe.
  • For the margarita lovers, I shared my tips on how to prepare the perfect margarita.

+ First two drinks:
+ photos: The Mexican Flag drink and the guitar: Tequila Herradura


Libations of Life by Dee Brun | Book review

libations of life by dee brun :: cocktail recipe book

libations of life by dee brun :: cocktail recipe book

If you are planning a girl night out or wish to laugh on Valentine’s Day party with your single friends, you should get this cocktail recipe book by Dee Brun. The subtitle of Libations of Life says it all; it is A Girl’s Guide to life one cocktail at a time. It is fun, refreshing and you will get to learn how to make cocktails that all women like.

We know that girls like to drink a Cosmopolitan. Here you get to choose between the Commitaphobe Cosmopolitan, the Good on Paper Cosmopolitan, the Control Top Cosmopolitan, The Butt Cleavage Cosmopolitan and Ya… I got carded Cosmopolitan. The classics are there from the daiquiri, the long island, the mai tai, the mojito, the manhattan, the margarita, the martini and so.

To give you an item of the tone of the book, I will let Dee speaks for herself. Watch her in this video where she demonstrate a cocktail recipe from her book.

+ For Americans: Libations of Life by Dee Brun $13.22 USD
+ For Canadians: Libations of Life by Dee Brun $14.56 CAD

Disclaimer: I met Dee Brun ia twitter last month. She sent me a copy of her book for review.


Chips are Not Only Made with Potatoes

having fun with chips :: chip recipes

having fun with chips :: chip recipes

Cooking your own chips is not complicated. What I like the most is that you can use vegetables, fruits and cheese to make your chips. You can serve them as a snack, an appetizer or a side dish.

Parmigiano Chips and parsnip chip recipes

I compiled a list of 5 favorite recipes for you to try:

+ A classic Baked Potato Chips by Martha Stewart
+ Apple Chips by Ricardo Larrivée. These chips are baked for about 4 hours.
+ Laura Calder used carrots, small beets and parsnip to make her vegetable chips
+ The Parmiagino chips by David Rocco. My friend Mel place a skewer on each chip before baking. It becomes adorable lollipops.
+ The well explained Parsnip chips that I spotted on the cooking blog My Husband Cooks


Pear Martini Recipe

pear martini :: pearfect times drink from yew restaurant and bar

Known as the Pearfect Times, this is the cocktail of the Year of En Route magazine. It comes from the bar of Yew Restaurant + Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver. It is a mix of lemon juice, pear purée, cane sugar, Absolut Pear and Beafeater gin. I will try to see if it best my all time favorite.

The best pear martini I tasted was from the bar of Kimonos restaurant and lounge at Walt Disney World Swan. I do not know if they are still making it but it is not on their online menu. I recommend the sushi at Kimonos. We ate there three nights out of seven.

+ photo: André Doyon for En Route


Ginger Basiltini Recipe

Ginger basiltini inspired by recipe at the girl and the fig

I wish I tried that cocktail when we went to The Girl & The Fig in Sonoma last January. Next time! In the meantime, I could ask my husband to fine tune our own Ginger Basiltini based on the recipe adapted by the LA Times. If we improve it, I will share it with you.

+ photo by Glenn Koenig for Los Angeles Times