Christmas Sweetie


We are having a very laid back holiday this year. We’re not doing the big bird meal, and it’s just the two of us, so we didn’t need to spend all day in the kitchen. I thought a very simple treat cocktail would be nice, but my sweetie is not a big fan of sweet drinks and I was not sure he would care for this. However, he is a big raspberry fan, and he asked for a second one, so it must be good! Merry Christmas!

2 oz vodka
1/4 oz raspberry syrup
1/4 oz white creme de cacao

Plum Clementine Shrub


One of my favourite bartenders, Bethann McLaren at The Harbord Room in Toronto, turned me on to shrubs awhile back. A shrub is a beverage made from fruit, sugar, and vinegar. You make the shrub first and then use it as a cocktail ingredient. I have been meaning to make my own shrubs since then but, somehow, it has never happened. But today in our local Asian supermarket I discovered packaged fruit vinegar drinks, and I realized they were basically cheater shrubs! I assume they must be widely available in Asian grocery stores. I bought the plum variety and it is pleasantly sour and subtly plummy. I decided to pair it with clementine, since I had some around.

Muddle half a clementine in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ice and

2 oz plum vinegar drink
1 1/2 oz gin

Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

Mixology Monday: Crabapple Jelly cocktail



One of my earliest memories is of sharing an apple with my mother. She would cut slices with a sharp knife: one for her, then one for me. I did not realize at the time that people bit into apples or that she used a knife because of her dentures; I thought this was the way everyone ate apples. My family drove to a local U-pick orchard every fall and it was a major highlight for me. When my husband and I bought our house, I wouldn’t say that the fact it had a crabapple tree in the front yard and a heritage variety apple tree in the back yard was a major selling point, but it didn’t hurt!

So when Frederic of CocktailVirgin set the Mixology Monday challenge this month, I knew I had to take part. This is a variation on two of my earlier cocktails, the Uisge Apple Sour and the Apple Jelly cocktail. I used my homemade crabapple jelly, but you can substitute any nice store-bought apple jelly. I added lemon juice for zip and Peychaud’s for added flavour and colour.

2 tsp apple jelly
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

Shake the jelly and juice together over ice. Then add

1 1/2 oz rye whisky
1 oz Berentzen Apfelkorn apple liqueur (you can substitute applejack or Calvados)
1/4 tsp Peychaud’s bitters

Shake well and strain into an ice-filled cocktail glass or, if feeling nostalgic, into a jelly jar. The jelly will likely settle a bit into the bottom of the glass, no matter how hard you shake. Consider it your end-of-cocktail reward!

Here is the MXMO roundup with all of the yummy apple drinks!

Mixology Monday