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Sweet Shots on Valentine’s Day

In honor of Valentine’s Day, some of my favorite “sweet” shots…

Valentines1 Valentines2 Valentines3

July 19th is National Daiquiri Day

Who knew July 19th was National Daiquiri Day? I didn’t until today, so unprepared to mix anything I thought I’d be lazy and post an article I shot the drinks for Santé Magazine, which first appeared in June 2009, written by Naren Young. The lead recipe and opening spread is a rather tasty strawberry daiquiri. It was one of my favorite articles back then, and was also when I first really got into shooting cocktails. And as for clean up—it did have its fringe benefits.

Click here for PDF of article

Strawberry Daiquiri
2 oz Barbancourt Reserve Speciale Rhum, 1/2 oz fresh lime juice, 1/2 oz strawberry syrup (see the PDF), lime twist garnish


Plum Blossoms

The Plum Trees (or Prunus mume) are in full bloom outside the studio once again, and I was feeling inspired to go shoot the blossoms this morning. They smell wonderful as well, and in years past the branches have been heavy with fruit—hoping for another good crop this year and may have to collaborate with a pastry chef and do a follow up post. Back in 2008 I was doing a studio shoot on Gin drinks for Santé Magazine and we decided to clip some of the blossoms for a pretty garnish and give the cocktails a little extra color. To check out some more pics (and order prints 😉 go here.

Absolut Sangria

Today’s assignment:

Absolut Sangria
3 parts sparkling white wine
1 part Absolut Grapevine
1 part fresh lemon juice
1/2 part Hiram Walker Triple Sec
1/2 part Martell Cognac
1 can of peaches in light syrup
6 cinnamon sticks
6 green grapes halved
4 fresh strawberries halved
6 lemon wheels

Stir over ice in a pitcher…enjoy 😉

Mixing it up with Hiram Walker

The studio has recently been transformed into a bar as I finished a fantastic project mixing and shooting 60 cocktail recipes for Hiram Walker, and these are just a few of my favorites.

Blue Hawaiian

Blue Hawaiian

2 parts Malibu Coconut;
2 parts Pineapple Juice;
1 part Blue Curacao

Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a pineapple slice.

Cinberry Fizz

Cinberry Fizz

1 part Hiram Walker Original Cinn;
1 part Cranberry Juice;
2 parts Ginger Ale

Build in a Collins glass over ice.

Citrus Peach Fuzz

Citrus Peach Fuzz

1 part ABSOLUT Citron;
1 part Hiram Walker White Peach Schnapps;
1 part Cream;
Fresh Peach slices

Pour all ingredients into blender; cover with crushed ice and blend until smooth. Pour into a Hurricane glass and garnish with a fresh peach slice.

Ginger Basil Kurrant Martini

Ginger Basil Kurant Martini

1 Fresh Ginger Slice, Muddled;
1 1/2 oz Absolut Kurant;
1/2 oz Hiram Walker Triple Sec;
2 Basil Leaves, torn;
1/2 oz Simple Syrup;
3 Lemon Squeezes, discard

Lemon-Ginger sugar rim. Muddle ginger. Combine ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into martini glass.

Hazelnut Cappuccino

Hazelnut Cappuccino

1 1/2 parts Hiram Walker Hazelnut;
5 parts espresso

Pour into a cappuccino or Irish coffee cup. Top with whipped heavy cream and grated hazelnuts.

Kir Royale

Kir Royale

1 part Hiram Walker Creme de Cassis;
4 parts chilled Mumm or Perrier Jouet Champagne

Serve in a champagne flute. Garnish with lemon twist if desired.

Melon Mojito

Melon Mojito

3/4 part Hiram Walker Melon Liqueur;
1 1/2 parts Dark Rum;
12 Mint Leaves;
1/2 Lime; 2 tbsp. Simple Syrup (or 4 tsp. sugar).
Top off with Club Soda

Muddle mint leaves and lime in tall glass. Cover with simple syrup and fill glass with ice. Add rum and club soda; stir. Garnish with lime and mint.

Peach Margarita


1 1/2 parts premium tequila;
1 part Hiram Walker Peach Schnapps;
1/4 part Hiram Walker  Triple Sec;
1/2 part lime juice

Shake or blend with ice (I added a few slices of fresh peach in the blender for color and texture), and pour into salt-rimmed margarita glass.

Raspberry Pom

Raspberry Pom

1 part Hiram Walker Pomegranate Schnapps;
1 1/2 parts premium tequila;
4 fresh raspberries;
2 lime wedges

Muddle 3 red raspberries and 2 limes wedges in cranberry juice. Add ice, then Pomegranate Schnapps and Tequila. Serve in an old fashioned glass. Garnish with a raspberry and mint sprig.

One last piece of pumpkin pie please…

Well at least to drink, and I wanted to get this shot of the Pumpkin Pie Martini recipe posted given the holidays and all the pumpkin pies around these days. This particular cocktail really does taste like you are drinking a piece of pumpkin pie, and the fresh ground nutmeg and clove garnish along with the fresh puree may be the best way to enjoy your desert and digestive all at once, although my baker friends may argue otherwise!

Pumpkin Pie Martini

Pumpkin Pie Martini

1 oz Oval Vodka

1 oz Frangelico

1 tbs. pumpkin puree

1 oz heavy cream

1 oz simple syrup

Ground nutmeg and ground cloves for garnish

Vigorously shake ingredients in an ice shaker until thoroughly blended and frothy; pour into a chilled martini glass and lightly dust with ground spices.

Chocolate Seduction

In the spirit of the upcoming Valentine’s Day this Sunday, I thought I’d share this cocktail shot for an Oval Vodka campaign, which included 14 different cocktails for every occasion including Father’s Day, Tax Day, St. Pat’s, just to name a few. This particular drink was rather tasty and will be sure to please (forget the flowers guys).

Chocolate Seduction
1.5 oz Oval Vodka
1.5 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
1 oz heavy cream
grated dark chocolate for garnish

Chill a medium sized (5 oz) martini glass; combine vodka, chocolate liqueur and heavy cream in shaker fill with ice; shake vigorously to blend and foam; strain into chilled glass. Garnish by “dusting” with chocolate.

"Chocolate Seduction" with Oval Vodka

"Chocolate Seduction" with Oval Vodka