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Tag Archives: amaretto

Broken Down Golf CartOrlando, FL – January 30, 2013

Late January and I found myself at a trade show in Orlando.  Orlando is as about exciting for trade shows as, well, let’s just say it wasn’t Vegas (sight of last year’s trade show).  I mean, the bars actually close!  On the flip side, I did actually get some golf in on this trip, which is always nice considering golf in January is a non starter in Wisconsin.

Sooo, late one night, as the bartenders were shutting down the hotel bar I found myself with two of my peers and staring at the green goo you see to the left.  We had just watched someone else order a Broken Down Golf Cart, and one of us (not me!) decided it would be a good idea if we had a round of them as well before calling it a night.  Being the team player I am, of course I went along for the ride.

Broken Down Golf Cart

  • 1/2 oz Amaretto
  • 1/2 oz Midori
  • dash lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Strain into a shooter glass and down it in one shot.

Despite the green swamp water appearance, this actually is a decent shooter.  The melon of the Midori plays well with the almond of the Amaretto.  It has a good beat and I can dance to it, so I’d give it an 8.



Christmas CocktailDecember 6, 2011 – The Twilight Lounge

 So my eternal quest for a the perfect cocktail that combined chocolate and peppermint flavors has finally ended.  Typically, my past efforts had way too much peppermint and were as tasty as mint Listerine.  Tonight, however, I toned down the peppermint, amped up the Bailey’s (it ain’t Christmas without George Bailey, is it?) and added enough vodka to give it some punch.  Oh, and the Amaretto?   Well that adds depth and helps to counterbalance the peppermint.  Thus, behold the George Bailey!

  George Bailey

  • 1-1/2 oz vodka
  • 1-1/2 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1/4 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1/4 oz Amaretto

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and gently shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Mmmm, delicious.  Just the right combination of mint, chocolate and nuttiness from the Amaretto, with the vodka providing a base to make this a cocktail and not just a girlie sipper.  So pop It’s a Wonderful Life into the DVD player and give it a whirl.  Let me know what you think!

Merry Christmas!

Day 346, Cocktails 353 & 354

If there’s one disadvantage to heading to my local hangout, Ivee’s on Main, for my 50th birthday it was that most of the guys there know me.  So when the offered to set me up with a stripper, I should have run, and run fast.  Crap, they couldn’t even come up with an ugly girl, instead settling for an ugly cross dresser.  I guess they figured after the shooters that I had been plied with I wouldn’t notice the difference.  But I did…

As for those shooters, two that I had were new and worthy of reporting here.  The first was an Ivee’s staple, the Cherry Bomb.  Very simple, really.

  Cherry Bomb

  • 1 oz Dr. Macgillicuddy’s Cherry Schnapps
  • 1 oz Red Bull

Mix them together in a shooter glass and down the hatch!

This is actually not too bad a shooter.  It is very sweet and picks up the unique Red Bull taste.  And it goes down very easy!

The second shooter I had that night worth mentioning is the Lunchbox


  • 1 oz beer
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz amaretto

Mix the beer and orange juice in a rocks glass.  Pour the amaretto into a shot glass.  Drop the shot glass with the amaretto into the rocks glass and then drink it down.

While the mix of ingredients sounds relatively gross, the combination works well.  The sweet orange juice and nutty amaretto combine nicely and the beer gives it a bit more bite.  And it’s not quite as deadly as an Irish Car Bomb (which was also consumed that night!)

So there you go, two shooters to celebrate your next birthday with!


Day 335, Cocktail 340

Every good movie (and, unfortunately, some not so good movies) deserves a sequel.  In the case of the Godfather, there were two sequels.  And hey, maybe if were lucky, there will be a fourth! 

So, Saturday’s cocktail is a sequel of a previous drink.  Our friend Patti was home alone this weekend with Greg out of town on family business.  So Gwen made plans for the three of us to go out to dinner and then karaoke.  Our dinner stop was Amici’s in Richfield.  We all had wonderful Italian meals, and of course, cocktails.  While Gwen and Patti had martinis (Bombay and Grey Goose respectively) I chose the Godfather Martini.  I know, it should not be called a martini, but I bit my tongue and ordered it anyway.  Essentially, this is the close cousin to the previously posted Godfather cocktail.  The Amici’s version is made with Dewar’s scotch while my Godfather uses Maker’s Mark bourbon.  Both, of course, have amaretto in them. 

So how was it?  Pretty good.  The proportions of scotch and amaretto (which I did not get) were just right, providing a nice balance between the smokey flavor of the Dewar’s and the nutty, almond flavor of the amaretto.  This is a slightly sweet cocktail, so be prepared for that if you are a boozy cocktail fan.  It won’t knock you over with sugar like some fruity ice cream drink, but it’s not like having a scotch on the rocks or Manhattan either.

As for the karaoke, well that went just fabulous as well.  Of course, after a cocktail or two, my singing always gets better!


Day 321, Cocktails 324 & 325

Patti and Gwen were out shopping Saturday when Gwen texted me “Patti wants to know if the bar is open?”.  Of course the Twilight Lounge is open!  If I’m awake (even at 2 pm on a Saturday afternoon) then the Lounge is open. 

So when the girls arrived I busted open a couple of tiki cocktails on them.  Hey, it was sunny and almost 40, which passes for spring around these parts.  I could see the tiki torches in mind, and in a few short weeks I’ll see them for real around the Patio Lounge and Swim Club.

My first cocktail was the Trader Woody, which is yet another TikiBar TV recipe (and is pictured above).

  Trader Woody

  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 1 oz amaretto
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • dash of lime juice

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a tiki glass and add cracked ice to fill the glass.

For this drink I used my Appleton Estate V/X rum and the Disaronno amaretto.  It’s a nice, basic tiki style drink with the rum and pineapple being the dominant flavors.  There’s a bit of nuttiness that normally would be provided by orgeat in this thanks to the amaretto.  By the time I was done with this I was thinking mai tai junior.

Patti and Gwen approve of the Trader Woody

The second cocktail is courtesy of Beach Bum Jerry’s Intoxica recipe book.  Called the Cesar’s Rum Punch, it was created by Joseph Cesar, the head bartender of the Grand Hotel Oloffson in Haiti in the 1960’s.  During its heyday in the ’70’s you could find Mick and Bianca Jagger, Michael York and other assorted celebrities at the bar.  Your first Cesar’s Punch was on the house, accompanied by the warning “You won’t like it here.”  Let’s see how we like it at the Twilight Lounge!

  Cesar’s Rum Punch

  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 2 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz grenadine
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice cubes.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a tiki glass filled with crushed ice.  Garnish with a pineapple wedge, maraschino cherry, lime and orange wheels speared together with a mint sprig.

The original recipe called for Rhum Barbancourt, which I did not have, so I substituted in my Appleton Reserve V/X.  I’m not sure that it makes that much difference as this has an almost overwhelming lime presence at first, followed by the fruitiness of the grenadine and then the rum.  And when I say overwhelming, I mean it.  This was in your face lime taste, although there was enough grenadine and bar syrup to tone down the sour component of the lime.  Overall, a fun drink, and it does break the typical tiki flavors of rum and pineapple.

After two tiki drinks the girls and I were in the mood for something different, and the night was still young (who am I kidding, it was still afternoon!).  So for the next two drinks you’ll just have to wait for the next post!


Day 266, Cocktails 267 & 268

My journey into brandy based cocktails continues tonight with a pair of drinks that are similar but different.  However, before I dive into the cocktails, a bit about brandy.

What makes brandy (as well as cognac and armagnac) different from other spirits is that it is distilled from fermented grape juice (essentially wine) rather than grains.  Typically brandy is clear and picks up its brown color during the aging process in oak barrels (with the occasional addition of caramel coloring to provide product uniformity).  The French, being French, have specifically defined two regions of production where from the product is known as cognac and armagnac.  These two spirits are brandy, albeit very good brandy.

One last tidbit regarding brandy that you should be aware of is how aging is designated.  Unlike us Americans or the Brits, who simply put the number of years that a whiskey has been aged on the bottle, the French decided to be clever and use designations.  Those designations are:

  • V.S. (Very Special) – aged for a minimum of 2-1/2 years
  • V.O. (Very Old) – aged for a minimum of 4-1/2 years
  • V.S.O.P. (Very Superior Old Pale) – aged for as long as 10 years
  • V.V.S.O.P. (Very Very Special Old Pale) – aged longer than V.S.O.P.
  • X.O. (Extra Old) – a premium brandy or cognac

Cute, huh?

On to the drinks.  My first is the French Connection, although it does not bear any relation to the Gene Hackman flick of the same name.  In fact, I’m pretty sure Popeye Doyle wasn’t drinking brandy, but that’s just a hunch.

  French Connection

  • 2 oz brandy
  • 1 oz ameretto

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to combine and chill.  Strain into a rocks glass with an ice ball or large ice cubes.

Well, that was simple, wasn’t it?  Very similar to the Godfather  and Godmother, this drink has a nutty, boozy flavor that will warm you up.  The sweetness that the amaretto imparts makes this a worthy after dinner drink to enjoy with your desert.

Next, I decided to strike out on my own with a similar, yet different cocktail.

  Orange Toffee

  • 2 oz brandy
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 drop English Toffee extract

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to combine and chill.  Strain into a rocks glass with an ice ball or large ice cubes.

Mmmm, delicious.  A nice brandy backbone with orange and just a hint of toffee, this is also a very nice after dinner drink.  Slightly sweet because of the Cointreau, you probably won’t be drinking these all night long.  But to enjoy with a cigar after a fine meal, well, that’s just living right.

You might be wondering why I used a mixing glass when the final product ends up in a glass with ice.  Two reasons.  The first is to get a good, thorough mixing of the ingredients.  If you try to do this in the rocks glass you’ll most likely end up making a small mess (or in my case, a rather large mess).  The second is to get that initial dilution of the cocktail with water melted from the ice, especially when you use an ice ball in the drink like I do.  If you don’t have that initial dilution you will knock yourself over with the strength of the drink and won’t have nearly as pleasant an experience as you should have.


Day 209, Cocktails 200 & 201

Well, it was an interesting week, to say the least.  A good chunk of my time was spent starting up a job search, which has me excited but also nervous.  I also spent a fair bit of time finishing up the new floor at the Twilight Lounge.  I’m glad that project is over and the new cork look floor looks great!    Finally, it was a whole bunch of other little things as we get ready for my mom Paula and Cookie’s visit to us for Thanksgiving.  Whew!

To celebrate the reopening of the Twilight Lounge our friends Greg and Patti came over for dinner.  It’s always fun to get together with them for good food, games, conversation and cocktails.  Inevitably, the evening goes much longer than planned and Saturday was no exception!

I started the evening off with the Caramel Apple and it went over well with Greg and Patti.  Greg noted that it would be a great cocktail to sip while smoking a fine, full bodied cigar.  Frankly, I agree!  After a couple of these tasty treats we moved on to dinner.  After dinner it was time for a liquid dessert and I broke out the Pecan Pie.  Again, a bullseye!  Even Greg enjoyed it, even though he doesn’t like pecan pie! 

As the night wore on the music got louder, the new floor was given a dance workout and a couple of new cocktails were invented and enjoyed.  The first came about as we were talking about blending flavors and sniffing some of the various liquors and liqueurs in the Twilight Lounge.

  Greg’s Kringle

  • 1-1/2 oz Kajmir
  • 3/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz Amaretto

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a coupe and garnish with an orange peel.

Yummy is the only way to describe this drink!  Greg’s immediate reaction was that it tasted like a kringle, a Wisconsin favorite.  He was right too.  This comes out slightly nutty, slightly vanilla and just the right amount of sweet to be a great after dinner cocktail.  We’ll be having this one again!

While Greg was enjoying his kringle, I was ready for more rye and orange flavors.  Here’s the result.

  No Name

  • 2-1/2 oz Russel’s rye whiskey
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz Domaine de Canton
  • 2 dashes Agnosturo orange bitters
  • 1 bar spoon bar syrup

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a large cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Again, another winner!  The ginger of the Domaine de Canton adds a new dimension to the rye and orange that is slightly exoctic.  The orange bitters help tie it all together and the bar syrup softens the rye just a tad but does not make this a sweet cocktail by any stretch.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t inspired with a name for this one — but I’m open to suggestions!  Give me your ideas and I’ll publish the winner and personally make it for you!

From this point on it got late enough and sloppy enough to switch to rum and cola’s…between the music and dancing we didn’t leave ourselves any time for proper cocktails.  All in all it was a great evening with great friends!



Day 125, Cocktails 122 & 123

Kind, gentle grandfather or ruthless killer?  Or both?  Or just a great actor? 

Whatever Don Vito Corleone was I love watching the Godfather movies, especially the original.  From start to finish there’s not a slow moment and even though I’ve seen it a hundred times the tension leading to Sonny’s death, Michael’s assination of the police chief and competing mob boss or the attempt on Don Corleone’s life while he’s in the hospital is always there.

When Gwen and I watch the Godfather we like to have a cocktail or two (that is, if we are not already into a bottle of Chianti or a Tuscan red).  What is better for watching the Marlon Brando and company better than these two drinks?

  The Godfather

  • 2 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 1 oz amaretto

Combine the bourbon and amaretto in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake, shake, shake to combine and chill.  Pour into a rocks glass filled with ice.  Garnish is optional, but if you want one I prefer a lemon or orange twist.

The Godmother

  • 2 oz Chopin vodka
  • 1 oz amaretto

Combine the vodka and amaretto in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake, shake, shake to combine and chill.  Pour into a rocks glass filled with ice.  Garnish is optional, but if you want one I prefer a lemon or orange twist.

Ok, one guess as to which one I drink and which one Gwen drinks!  Yeah, I thought you’d be stumped.  I like both of these, but the bourbon Godfather version is just a bit more boozy and to my taste since the flavor of the bourbon stands up to and blends with the amaretto.  The Godmother has an overall sweeter and nuttier flavor since the vodka provides a base but doesn’t really have any flavor of its own to add to the drink.

Fire up the DVD player, put in your favorite Godfather movie and mix up a couple of these.  Let me know how it turns out!