Spring Sprung Mocktail

So… a major hiatus on the cocktail front. My husband has end stage lung disease and we are waiting for a transplant. In the meantime he has had to quit drinking booze, and I joined him on the wagon. It was not hard to quit, but it is hard to wait. We have been waiting since last fall, and now Spring has come again, and with it the urge to make yummy drinks. 

  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lime, fine strained
  • 1 jigger mango nectar
  • 1 jigger lemon iced tea

Shake well over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Charge with San Pellegrino limonata.

MacLaren Street Cocktail

I have been neglecting this blog due to family health issues and, recently, getting ready for an office move. My company has been working out of a Victorian house on MacLaren Street in Centretown, Ottawa, but it was no longer meeting our needs. We are moving to more conventional office space that is downtown and very suitable, but losing the character – the stained glass, fireplaces, staircase and windows that actually open. This was our last full week in the MacLaren location, which we will miss. 

The whole time I have been doing this blog I have been working weekdays in this unique space. To commemorate the occasion here is a cocktail with blood orange juice, because it’s that time of year, and a few things that play nicely with it.

  • 1 oz pisco
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice, strained
  • 1/2 oz blood orange juice, strained
  • 1/2 oz orgeat (almond syrup)
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/4 oz Galliano

Shake over ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Labnaha cocktail



I have been remiss with this blog, due to personal issues and, amazing to me, an unexpected treat: a trip to Mexico last month, to attend my niece’s wedding. Thanks to her and her husband’s generosity, we had a marvellous week of pampering at a lovely resort on the Riviera Maya, including a catamaran ride, a tour of the Mayan ruins at Tulum, and, most magical of all, a swim in a cenote. This drink reminds me of the amazing colours and tastes of that magical week. “Labna ha” is Mayan for “holy water,” which we were told is sort of a generic way to refer to all cenotes. Swimming in the cenote was easily the most magical thing I have ever done; if you get a chance, please take the plunge (literally and figuratively).

  • 1 1/2 oz tequila (100% agave)
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice, fine strained
  • 1/2 oz orange juice, fine strained
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz blue Curaçao 
  • 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc

Shake ingredients well over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. 

Pêche et gingembre

You know the drill – shake well over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Sorry about the photo quality or lack thereof; I was not going to blog this and then my hubby told me he liked it. Asian fruit vinegar drinks are my secret weapon these days!

Apple Feni cocktail 

I like to fish and I like to drink cocktails, so when I saw a fish-shaped spirit bottle at our local liquor emporium, on sale no less, I had to have it. I then read up on feni, which is a liquor made in Goa, India from cashew apples, the fruit of the more famous (around here, anyway) nut. It has a very strong taste and aroma, and I thought for a cocktail that I would lighten it with apple. Even with the added apple flavour, the nut taste comes through. The liquor I used is called Fish and Feni; apparently fried fish and feni go together like a horse and carriage.

  • 1 oz cashew apple feni
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz apple vinegar drink (purchased, as I did, in an Asian grocery, or you can make an apple shrub)
  • 1/4 oz apple syrup (purchased, or recipe here)

Shake well over ice and strain into cocktail glasses.

Caramelized Pineapple Mai Tai

Don’t pay the ransom – I’ve escaped! I know I have not been posting cocktails on this blog for awhile. It’s summer and that means other stuff is getting done. But it has been hot, and my mind went to classic hot weather cocktails like the Mai Tai. It gets a bad wrap because of tiki chic and paper umbrellas, but it is a great summer drink. I heard on the Mixology Talk podcast about a Mai Tai made with caramelized pineapple purée, and I have been dreaming about it since then. I used Martha Stewart’s recipe for the pineapples and just whizzed them in my blender, syrup included. Feel free to order the purée though if you are in the U.S., which I am not. I used two kinds of rum, orgeat syrup, Cointreau, lime juice and ginger bitters to round out the drink. 

  • 1 oz aged rum
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 1/2 ounces lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce orgeat syrup
  • 2 heaping teaspoons caramelized pineapple purée
  • Three healthy shakes of Dillon’s ginger bitters

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice; strain into a wine glass filled with ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Vanilla Ice cocktail

Not named after that guy, but after the ingredients. Really. I usually try to avoid making cocktails with difficult to obtain ingredients, but I am quite taken with this ice syrup. It has a lot of possibilities. This is a light refreshing summer drink.

Shake over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Charge with about 1 ounce of sparkling water. Serve with a pretentiously large ice cube.

Ice ice baby! (Okay I had to do it)