Rosemary’s Love Potion #4

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love potionThis is Rosemary’s famous Love Potion #4. It’s not only delicious; it’s very cool. (Use caution with the dry ice.)

Raspberry Syrup:

7 fresh raspberries

1 tbsp. sugar

1 lime

2 oz. cranberry juice or grenadine

Use a muddler to crush the raspberries and combine with the sugar and freshly squeezed juice of the lime and 2 oz. of grenadine. Strain to remove pulp.

2 oz. Raspberry Vodka (Absolut, or Stoli)

2 oz. Triple Sec or Cointreau

Add ice to a martini shaker and then add 2 oz. of the strained raspberry syrup.

Pour in 2 oz. of Raspberry Vodka and 2 oz. of Triple Sec or Cointreau

Cover the shaker (this is important) and shake it until it’s VERY cold. Pour into martini glass.

Carefully, using tongs, add dry ice pellets to drink.

Serve to someone you love. Happy Heart Day!

Gin Tonic in Caceres, Spain

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Caceres plaza mayor g & t

Gin Tonic and people watching on Plaza Mayor in lovely Caceres, Spain is such a nice way to while away a Spanish hour (or three). I’m missing those moments. To be noted: in Spain, they don’t call these a Gin & Tonic. They’re called Gin Tonic. When you order one on Plaza Mayor in Caceres, Spain (and a few other places, I discovered)–the waiter brings an ice-filled glass (with lemon slice), a small bottle of tonic water and the entire bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin. Then he pours the gin in your glass, and waits for you to say “when”…. I can’t recall a bar in the USA where the drink has ever been served this way. Oh, whoops. I almost forgot to say “when”!

Summer Time and the Drinkin’ was Easy…

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September already…memories of a fantastic summer…delicious times…delicious drinks…
In no particular order, some of my favorite thirst-quenching moments:

At Spoon and Stable, one of the newest bars and restaurants to open in Minneapolis this year: a cocktail that was too pretty to be called a Mexican Firing Squad

One way to beat the morning desert heat in Palm Springs, California: start the day with the Bloody Mary at Cheeky’s (there’s a monkey somewhere in there too). The spicy cocktail goes great with a “flight of bacon.”  You heard me. They offer flights of bacon from their “bacon bar”: kaffir lime, jalapeño, apple cinnamon, brown sugar….

Another new bar and restaurant to open in 2015 in northeast Minneapolis: Betty Danger’s Country Club


Cast Iron Shrimp in spicy butter sauce–best accompanied by Betty’s classic fantastic margarita, followed by a ride on the ferris wheel!

There really is nothing like sunset on Lake Superior with wine (in a thermal sippy cup).


Downtown Minneapolis: The Butcher and the Boar serves up lots of great beer, but also puts together a pretty refreshing mojito.

A Cosmo at Copley’s in Palm Springs: such a nice way to cool down in the desert evening (Cary would approve)

At the Lavender Festival at Highland Springs Resort & 123 Farm in California: a delicate lavender margarita made by a handsome bartender…what could be better?

Classic Cosmo (or three) at the Martini Bar at Chicago’s Knickerbocker Hotel–made by a bartender who knows what he’s doing: he has been shaking martinis up for almost 20 years there.

Quite possibly the best Moscow Mule ever served (to me): at Palm Springs Escena Golf Club

Another great Cosmo (do we see a pattern here?) with a gorgeous view: Whistling Straits Golf Course in Kohler, WI

Santa Fe, NM: Selecto Lounge in the Hotel St. Francis is a Great Gathering Spot


Located in the Hotel St. Francis in Santa Fe, the Selecto Lounge and Bar is a popular and cozy bar where locals and hotel guests start meandering in before 5 p.m. every day. If you want a table or a seat at the bar, get there early. Cocktails are shaken and prepared by a bartender who never loses his cool–even when the place is packed and he’s the only one taking orders, mixing ’em all up and delivering them to customers. The drinks are delicious–I tried the Agave Way, the Spicy Selecto (not spicy), and the Smoked Sage Margarita. My fave? My sister’s fave? The Agave Way.

The “Smoked Sage Margarita” (above) had a hickory smoked salt rim which I liked–something perhaps worth a try next time we make margaritas at home.

The “Spicy Secreto” (above left) I did not find spicy at all. It was good, but the hands down winner was the Agave Way (the pink drink above).

Next time, I want to try the Bruleed Cherry Old-Fashioned. I’m on an Old-Fashioned taste test. Searching for the perfect Old-Fashioned cocktail…stay tuned. (I think I found it in Wisconsin!)

Quebec City’s Winter Carnival Drink: Caribou

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The Carnival’s traditional drink  called “Caribou” was invented by Ti-Pere who has since passed on. Today, during the Carnival, festival-goers can visit a museum in Old Quebec where all of his collection of Carnival memorabilia is on display. Visitors can also sample the “Caribou” he created.

In Quebec City, Ti-Pere is said to be the inventor of the famous winter carnival drink called "Caribou"

In Quebec City, Ti-Pere is said to be the inventor of the famous winter carnival drink called “Caribou”

Caribou Recipe for 10 people:

3 oz. vodka

3 oz. brandy,

12 1/2 oz. Canadian Sherry

12 1/2 oz. Canadian Port

Guaranteed to warm you to your toes.

Warm up at the Ice Hotel bar in Quebec City

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Ice Hotel in Quebec City

Ice, ice. Ice, baby. When you’re at the Ice Hotel bar in Quebec City, not only are the glasses made with ice, the entire bar is made of ice. In fact, the whole building is made with ice. The signature drink is a concoction prepared with vodka and Cidre de glace (Ice Cider)–and it’s guaranteed to warm you to your toes. A very good thing.

DSC_0164Quebec City’s Hotel de Glace (Ice Hotel) is open from January 2 to March 23, 2014.  It truly is a hotel; with some 44 theme rooms and suites. While I did not feel the need to sleep there,

folks who have stayed the night say it’s most certainly a “once in a lifetime” experience. As for me, I prefer sipping an icy cocktail and then retiring to a room where a fireplace won’t melt the walls.

During the day, the Ice Hotel is filled with families, singles, and men and women of all ages visiting (there is an entrance fee) and wandering around the dazzling premises. At one point, I was by myself taking photos of the check-in desk when a friendly couple (who thought I was alone I’m sure), offered to take my photo. It’s that kind of place. Because the hotel and its bar are also a tourist atttraction, a woman of any age would certainly feel comfortable here (unless of course, she’s not dressed warmly enough). Forget fashion, embrace that pair of long underwear, and enjoy the Ice Hotel’s bar. It’s an unforgettable experience.