Splash o'Cran

  • Absolut Pear Vodka
  • Sparkling Cranberry Juice
  • Ice

A refreshing summer drink on the sweet side. Great for a 5 o'clock happy hour on the weekends along with some salty snacks.
Fill glas with Ice Cubes, pour one shot of Pear Vodka over it, fill with the Cranberry Juice and stir.
The color of the drink is nice so some sprig of green from the herb garden to decorate the rim of the glas might look nice.

Magic Grappa

I brought a bottle of this Grappa back from a Rome trip in 2012 and this was the best Grappa I ever had! Yes - 'had' - it's gone. Empty.... buhuuuu! Worse, I can not seem to get it here in the US of A. I guess I have to plan another trip to Italy. I guess it would be worth it.

Single Malt Scotch

For years I have been buying myself every year a nice bottle of Single Malt Scotch for the Christmas Holidays. Every year a different kind from a different region. Last time around I decided that I would be able now to settle for my favorite. It is from the Islay region, a small island off the west coast of Scottland (the four main regions are Highlands (with Speyside and Islands), Lowlands, Islay and Campbeltown).
The Islay Scotchs do have a disctinct flavor, setting them appart from the family. There is an aroma of Peat and Sea in them (really intense in the Laphroaig Single Malt) that is very special and sitting in front of the fireplace on a cold winter night and putting my nose in a glass of old Single Malt Whisky is very high up on my list of cozy things to do. Oh yes.. sorry, my favorite of course is the Lagavulin Single Malt (16 year old).

Heart-warming Gluehwein

  • 1 bottle (1L) of Red Wine (Cabernet works well)
  • 1.5 fl oz (30mL) Dark Rum
  • 1 cup sugar (or more to taste)
  • 3 Oranges (and peel)
  • Peel of 1 Lemon
  • 4 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 8-10 Cloves

Here is a cozy drink for the cold and snowy season (German 'Glueh'='Glow' - so Glow-wine). The trick is to prepare and serve it nice and hot, but not boil all the alcohol out of it. The easiest way to do this is to prepare a concentrated essence of the drink upfront (using about 2-3 cups of the wine) and add the rest of the wine/rum  later shortly before serving.

Prepare a spice bag with the cinnamon sticks (broken in pieces) and the cloves (cut in halfs). Peel Lemon and Oranges (wash thoroughly before peeling then use a sharp peeler and just take off the outer peel without taking any of the white stuff underneath). Finish peeling the Oranges, cut the inside into 1/4" slices and set aside.

Now create the essence bringing about 2 cups of wine with the spice bag, the lemon and orange peel and the sugar to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 10-20 minutes (I like to add a small squeeze of lemon too). Turn the heat off and add about half of the rum.

Before serving, add the rest of the wine in a medium size pot, cut the orange slices in quarters and add to it, add the essence, the rest of the rum and heat it all up without bringing it to a boil. If needed add some more sugar to taste.

Black Manhattan

The 'Dr.Pepper' of strong alcoholic drinks!

  • 2 parts Bourbon (I recommend Buffalo Trace)
  • 1 part Ramazzotti (Italian digstivo bitter, may also use Averna)
  • 3 large ice cubes
  • Cherry for garnish

Add ingredients with 2 ice cubes in cocktail shaker and shake (not too vigorous or the drink gets a little foamy, which you don't want). Strain over the third ice cube in a whiskey glass. If you want you can garnish with the cherry on a tooth pick.