The Traveling Bartenders That Sustain New Orleans’ Parade Goers

Shannon Paxton is standing in the middle of a New Orleans street, her T-shirt declaring her a “Hood Celebrity,” the smile across her face an invitation to the crowd growing around her.

“How you doing, queen?” she calls through the mix of locals, touri…

Shannon Paxton is standing in the middle of a New Orleans street, her T-shirt declaring her a “Hood Celebrity,” the smile across her face an invitation to the crowd growing around her.

“How you doing, queen?” she calls through the mix of locals, tourists, and curious passersby to a trio of friends, who immediately ask for “something with Hennessy.” Paxton says of course, and her hand disappears among the rainbow of pouches in the ice-filled wagon at her feet. She finds what she’s looking for and completes the transaction, handing off the pouch of Hennessy lemonade from the small cart filled with blood orange margaritas, Crown Apple concoctions, and Paxton’s own special, a bright-blue tropical drink she calls the Pussy Fairy.

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French 77

The French 77 cocktail is a bubbly mix of elderflower liqueur, lemon and Champagne! This spin on the French 75…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

The French 77 cocktail is a bubbly mix of elderflower liqueur, lemon and Champagne! This spin on the French 75 is a step above the classic.

French 77

Looking for a festive drink? Try the French 77! This champagne cocktail is a spin on the classic French 75 that adds St Germain elderflower liqueur. And dare we say it: it makes this classic cocktail even better. It’s bubbly and effervescent, with the floral undertones and the zing of fresh lemon juice. If you need a signature cocktail to impress your friends, this is the one.

What is a French 77 cocktail?

The French 77 is spin on the classic French 75 cocktail using elderflower liqueur, created by Simon Difford in 2006. Most sources say the original French 75 was invented in 1915 at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, earning it’s name because it was as powerful as a French 75mm field gun. A classic French 75 is made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and champagne.

The French 77 simply substitutes St Germain elderflower liqueur for the gin and simple syrup in a French 75. While the St Germain bottle might look historic, it’s a actually new product to cocktails: it was released in 2007. (Since Difford claims to have invented this drink in 2006, he may have used another elderflower liqueur product? We’re not sure.) The ingredients in a French 77 are:

  • St Germain elderflower liqueur
  • Lemon juice
  • Champagne, Prosecco or other sparkling wine

Making the drink is as easy as pouring it all in a champagne flute. Easy as that!

French 77 cocktail

How to make a lemon twist

A classic French 75 is garnished with a lemon twist, and it’s what makes the drink! Wondering how to do it? We have a way to make this classic garnish using no special tools. Here’s how to make a lemon twist:

  1. Cut the lemon width-wise into a circle.
  2. Run a paring knife around the edge to remove the peel, cutting away as much of the pith as possible. Remove the fruit and set aside.
  3. Cut the remaining peel circle so that it becomes a long strip. Twist it, holding it for several seconds until the shape is kept.

Choosing the sparkling wine

The traditional sparkling wine for a French 75 and French 75 is champagne. But we find it’s easier to find a great bottle of Prosecco! Prosecco is a little cheaper with a sweeter, more floral flavor. You can find a great Prosecco for $15 per bottle, but a good bottle of champagne starts at $30 to $40. Either way, make sure it’s “brut” which means dry. Here’s more about the different types of sparkling wine:

  • Champagne: French sparkling wine (most expensive choice). It tastes bubbly and fruity, with undertones of almond and orange.
  • Prosecco: Italian sparkling wine. It’s a little sweeter than champagne: fruity and flowery, with notes of apple, pear and lemon.
  • Cava: Spanish sparkling wine. It has more citrus notes, and is a little more savory and less fruity.
French 77

More champagne cocktails

Outside of the French 77, there are lots more classic champagne cocktails to try! Here are a few more favorites for when you want to open a bottle of bubbly:

When to serve a French 77

The French 77 is the ideal signature cocktail for any occasion! Try it as a:

Print
French 77

French 77


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The French 77 cocktail is a bubbly mix of elderflower liqueur, lemon and Champagne! This spin on the French 75 is a step above the classic.


Ingredients

  • 1 ounce St Germain elderflower liqueur
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 ounces Champagne, Prosecco or other sparkling wine*
  • Lemon twist, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pour the St Germain and lemon juice into a champagne glass. Fill it with sparkling wine.
  2. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Notes

*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

*1 750 mL bottle has enough for 6 drinks

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Poured
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: French 77

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

7 Festive and Fun Caribbean Christmas Drink Traditions

This year, I’m not dreaming of a white Christmas. I’m dreaming of pink sand, pastel-colored houses, fiery sunsets, a so-blue-it-hurts ocean that I can dip my toes into morning, noon, and night, and spending the day with a flock of flamingos. TL;DR: I a…

This year, I’m not dreaming of a white Christmas. I’m dreaming of pink sand, pastel-colored houses, fiery sunsets, a so-blue-it-hurts ocean that I can dip my toes into morning, noon, and night, and spending the day with a flock of flamingos. TL;DR: I am dreaming of the Caribbean, where across many diverse countries and cultures, Christmas festivities look a little bit different. Rather than mulled wine and eggnog, there’s coquito, fresh ginger beer, sorrel, and guavaberry. When it comes to festive holiday cocktails and mocktails, you really can’t beat Caribbean Christmas drinks.

Across Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and the ABC islands (a.k.a. Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao), to name just a few, you’ll find an array of holiday-inspired cocktails that make use of local ingredients and brighten your spirits. The main booze here is rum (To misquote Jack Sparrow, it’s the Caribbean, love! Of course there’s rum.) Rum is made from molasses and sugarcane juice. Many countries, from Jamaica to Barbados to Fiji to Peru, have their own takes on the traditional method, but these two ingredients are key to making rum.

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How to DIY a Champagne Tower for Your Your Best New Year’s Yet

Let’s face it: even the most well-thought out and well-intentioned New Year’s Eve plans are probably going to have to scale back in some way this year. One day, we promise, you’ll be able to overpay for tickets to a NYE event, sipping watered-own cockt…

Let's face it: even the most well-thought out and well-intentioned New Year's Eve plans are probably going to have to scale back in some way this year. One day, we promise, you'll be able to overpay for tickets to a NYE event, sipping watered-own cocktail after watered-down cocktail to make the most of the open bar before midnight rolls around. We can also promise (with almost 100% certainty) that such a New Year's will make you yearn for the years you spent it cuddled up on the couch, eating frozen Trader Joe's apps, and drinking all the sparkling wine your little heart desired.

For now, though, your pared-down gathering can get a little gussied up. And by a little, we mean with minimal effort and maximum effect. What are we referring to? A champagne tower, of course. Is there anything more over-the-top New Year's than a champagne tower? No, no there is not. And good news all around: it's not very difficult to do.

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Orange Chocolate Espresso Martini

Orange Chocolate Espresso Martini

As a coffee-lover, it’s no surprise that I also love cocktails that incorporate coffee into them. Espresso martinis, as popular as they are at the moment, have been a favorite of mine for years. This Orange Chocolate Espresso Martini is a variation on the original that is a liquid …

The post Orange Chocolate Espresso Martini appeared first on Baking Bites.

Orange Chocolate Espresso Martini

As a coffee-lover, it’s no surprise that I also love cocktails that incorporate coffee into them. Espresso martinis, as popular as they are at the moment, have been a favorite of mine for years. This Orange Chocolate Espresso Martini is a variation on the original that is a liquid version of the classic flavor combination of orange and chocolate. I particularly like to serve this drink around the holidays, but it’s enjoyable all year round.

The cocktail is made with chocolate liqueur, vodka, creme de cacao, espresso and triple sec. The espresso should be cold before going into the drink, so it doesn’t melt the ice when you’re mixing. Espresso will give you the best flavor, but cold brew coffee or other very strong coffee can be used in a pinch. There is plenty of chocolate flavor from the chocolate liqueur and creme de cacao, both of which add enough sweetness that you don’t need to add additional sugar to the drink. Triple sec, an orange liqueur, adds a nice orange flavor without overpowering the other ingredients.

The orange twist at the end of the recipe may just seem like a nice visual to add to the drink, but a twist is more than that. The twist is made of a 1/2-inch by 2 inch (approximately) strip of orange zest. The twist should be squeezed in half, expressing orange oil over the top of the drink before serving, before being dropped into the drink or laid over the rim of the glass. That orange oil coats the top of the drink and really gives the cocktail a bright, fresh orange aroma. In other words, you’ll smell orange, but still taste plenty of chocolate from the cocktail.

This recipe makes one cocktail, but you can easily scale it up to serve more. Don’t put more than two drinks at a time in your cocktail shaker, as it will be too full and too difficult to shake. If you are serving a crowd, however, you can prepare the martini glasses well in advance so you’re ready to fill them up when friends and family are ready to drink!

Orange Chocolate Espresso Martini
1 3/4 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
3/4 oz vodka
1/2 oz creme de cacao
1 oz espresso or strong coffee, cold
1/4 oz triple sec
Chocolate sauce, for garnish
Sugar, for garnish
Orange twist

Pour 2-3 tbsp of chocolate sauce onto a small plate, warming slightly if needed to make it a pourable consistency. Pour 2-3 tbsp of sugar onto a second small plate. Dip the rim of your martini glass into the chocolate sauce, then dip into the sugar. Set aside until ready to fill.

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously for 10-20 seconds, until cold. Strain into prepared martini glass.

Serves 1.

The post Orange Chocolate Espresso Martini appeared first on Baking Bites.

Peppermint Martini

The Peppermint Martini is creamy and minty fresh: the ideal winter cocktail! Step it up and rim the glass in…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

The Peppermint Martini is creamy and minty fresh: the ideal winter cocktail! Step it up and rim the glass in peppermint candies.

Peppermint Martini

Here’s a delightful signature winter cocktail: try the Peppermint Martini! This drink is creamy and minty fresh, a delicious combination of peppermint schnapps and chocolate liqueur. In fact, you may want to drink this any time of year! Of course, it’s perfect for the holidays. Cozy up with one by the fire, or drink it as a fun Christmas cocktail with appetizers. Either way, with a flavor of liquid candy canes, this one’s a total crowd pleaser.

What’s in a Peppermint Martini?

The Peppermint Martini is a spin on a flavored vodka martini that’s made with peppermint schnapps. As you may know, the vodka martini is barely related to the classic Dry Martini. It’s more of an excuse to make a flavored drink with vodka served up in a martini glass! This one combines peppermint and chocolate flavors with a rich, creamy body. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for a Peppermint Martini:

Peppermint martini

How sweet is this drink?

Shake these ingredients up in a cocktail shaker, and it comes out minty and creamy! This Peppermint Martini is just sweet enough, in our opinion (and we’re not fans of overly sugary drinks). While it can be considered a dessert drink, it’s not over the top. The sweetness comes mainly from the schnapps and the Creme de Cacao, so there’s no added simple syrup.

Prepping the Peppermint Martini glass rim

This Peppermint Martini is great as is, but if you’re entertaining it’s perfect with a peppermint candy rim! Here’s how to do it:

  • Crush the peppermint candies and add them a plate. Place them in a plastic bag and use the bottom of a jar, can, or rolling pin to break them into pieces.
  • Add a pool of grenadine to another plate. It doesn’t have to be much! Grenadine syrup is the glue that will hold on the candy. Place the outer edge of the glass in the grenadine and rotate. Hold the position of the glass constant and just rotate the stem so you get an even coating.
  • Don’t have grenadine? You can use water, too. Simply use your finger to wet the edge of the glass rim. Grenadine does a better job of adhering the candy, but water works.
  • Place the rim in the crushed candies and rotate. Then, do the same thing in the crushed candy! The grenadine will glue the crumbs to the rim.
Peppermint Schnapps

Make it dairy free or vegan

Want to make this a dairy free or vegan Peppermint Martini? All you have to do is substitute full-fat coconut milk for the heavy cream! It comes out with a slight coconut flavor, but it’s not overwhelming. The coconut fat works well as a substitute for the dairy fat. (Don’t use cream of coconut: the drink will come out much too too sweet!)

More about peppermint schnapps

Peppermint schnapps is what makes this Peppermint Martini! It’s a clear alcohol made by adding peppermint flavoring to a clear grain spirit. You can substitute white Creme de Menthe if you have it on hand. Here’s what to know about this type of schnapps:

  • What ABV is peppermint schnapps? Peppermint schnapps is sold in three different ABV levels: 15% ABV (30 proof), 30% ABV (60 proof), and 50% ABV (100 proof). Compare it to 40% ABV of hard alcohol like vodka.
  • What does peppermint schnapps taste like? The flavor is like a candy cane, with a spicy, boozy finish. The strength tastes almost like mouthwash!
  • How much does it cost? Peppermint schnapps is very inexpensive: a 750 ml bottle costs $8 to $10.
  • Are there any substitutes? White creme de menthe can work as a substitute: it has a gentler, more balanced mint flavor. Just make sure not to get the green Creme de Menthe (which makes the signature green color in a Grasshopper)!

Important: 100 proof schnapps

There are a few types of peppermint schnapps that you’ll find at stores and online: 30 proof (15% ABV), 60 proof (30% ABV), and 100 proof (50% ABV). As you might guess, 100 proof is very strong. If the bottle says 100 proof, skip the quantity in the recipe and add it to taste!

Peppermint martini

More peppermint drinks

The Peppermint Martini is one of our favorite minty cocktails! Here are a few more minty drinks that work as holiday cocktails and beyond:

Print
Peppermint Martini

Peppermint Martini


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

The Peppermint Martini is creamy and minty fresh: the ideal winter cocktail! Step it up and rim the glass in peppermint candies.


Ingredients

  • 1 ounce 30 proof or 60 proof* peppermint schnapps (or white Creme de Menthe)
  • ½ ounce** vodka
  • 1 ½ ounces Creme de Cacao
  • 1 ½ ounces heavy cream
  • Peppermint candies and grenadine, for the rim (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the rim: Crush the peppermint candies and place them in an even layer on a plate. On another plate, add a small pool of grenadine, or simply wet the rim of the glass with water using your finger (grenadine is easiest and works best). Run the rim of a martini glass in the grenadine first, rotating the glass so the rim is evenly coated. Then roll the rim in the crushed candies until evenly coated.
  2. Shake the drink: Place the peppermint schnapps, vodka, Creme de Cacao, and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice and shake until cold. Strain the drink into the prepared martini glass.

Notes

*Check the bottle before you make this drink! If using 100 proof (50% ABV) schnapps, use half the quantity and customize to taste.

**To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Peppermint martini

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

15 Best Champagne Cocktail Recipes to Elevate the Everyday

Most of the time, I want to enjoy Champagne or prosecco unadorned in a Champagne flute. It’s the simplest drink, yet the most elegant. For years, I’ve celebrated every anniversary, birthday, and obviously New Year’s Eve with at least one glass (and som…

Most of the time, I want to enjoy Champagne or prosecco unadorned in a Champagne flute. It’s the simplest drink, yet the most elegant. For years, I’ve celebrated every anniversary, birthday, and obviously New Year’s Eve with at least one glass (and sometimes, an entire bottle) of Champagne. But I have to admit: Champagne cocktails are really great. The first one I was ever introduced to was a French 75. If you’re skeptical of Champagne cocktails, this is a delightful introduction into the category—it’s made with simple syrup, gin, and lemon juice. Serve it in a Champagne glass and garnish with a lemon twist. I’m not the only one who thinks that this is a fabulous cocktail. “It’s light, citrus-forward, and contains all the bubbly. What’s great about this cocktail is how versatile it is. You can make it with pretty much any spirit of your choice: gin, vodka, tequila, cognac, the list goes on,” says Food52’s Resident Bartender.

With every Champagne cocktail here, you can always use a more budget-friendly sparkling wine instead. Here are our best Champagne cocktail recipes, ready to serve at the drop of a (top) hat.

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18 Festive Holiday Cocktails

Cheers to the holidays! I’ve rounded up my favorite holiday cocktails for you. Whether you’re hosting friends and family or looking for a festive drink to enjoy…

The post 18 Festive Holiday Cocktails appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

holiday cocktail recipes

Cheers to the holidays! I’ve rounded up my favorite holiday cocktails for you. Whether you’re hosting friends and family or looking for a festive drink to enjoy by the fire, you’ll find plenty of fun options below. Don’t miss this not-too-sweet holiday punch, or the mulled wine that makes your home smell like Christmas, or the fresh cranberry margaritas.

Looking for non-alcoholic options? Check out my hot chocolate, ginger tea (add a cinnamon stick) and hibiscus mocktail.

Before I go, here are some simple snacks and treats to round out your evening:

naturally sweetened punch recipe

1) Vanilla-Pear Holiday Punch

Reposado tequila or bourbon

“Made it tonight for our Christmas eve family time and a virgin version for my kids. So wonderful! Sent a jar to a neighbor friend and got rave reviews. Will be making this for years to come. I did sub in bourbon because that’s what I had. Such a beautiful drink either way. Thank you!!” – Malia

Learn how to make a New York sour cocktail. I sweeten mine with maple syrup instead of simple syrup, which tastes amazing! They're easy to make, too.

2) Maple New York Sour

Whiskey and red wine

“These cocktails were perfect for game night. The flavors were well balanced and the wine float presentation just adds that extra something. Our friends mistakenly thought we knew something about cocktails! Thanks, Kate!” – Leigh

Continue to the recipe...

The post 18 Festive Holiday Cocktails appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

‘The Japanese Art of The Cocktail’ Is More Than Just a Cocktail Book

Mixologist Masahiro Urushido’s debut recipe book, co-authored with drinks writer Michael Anstendig, is part cocktail book, part memoir. The Japanese Art of The Cocktail tells Urushido’s story while introducing readers to the cocktail recipes he’s creat…

Mixologist Masahiro Urushido’s debut recipe book, co-authored with drinks writer Michael Anstendig, is part cocktail book, part memoir. The Japanese Art of The Cocktail tells Urushido’s story while introducing readers to the cocktail recipes he’s created along the way. The final product is a book that embodies the spirit of Urushido’s New York City bar, Katana Kitten, a distinctly Japanese-American establishment that melds the cocktail traditions of both countries to create expertly made and wonderfully playful drinks.

For Urushido, the dream of becoming a bartender wasn’t always clear. The first part of the book chronicles his journey from growing up in the small village of Minowa, drinking his first canned whiskey highballs bought at a local convenience store as a teenager, and then moving to Tokyo to complete high school while working to deliver pizzas and bartend at a karaoke bar. A combination of fate and good luck led him to a job at Tableaux, one of Japan’s most revered fine-dining restaurants at the time, working as a food runner and then barback, slowly ascending the ranks. Eventually, he moved to the U.S. to attend a junior college and began on his journey toward opening Katana Kitten.

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Gingerbread Martini

The Gingerbread Martini is a creamy and spiced holiday drink! It’s the ideal festive Christmas cocktail for parties. Need a…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

The Gingerbread Martini is a creamy and spiced holiday drink! It’s the ideal festive Christmas cocktail for parties.

Gingerbread Martini

Need a festive Christmas cocktail? Try this Gingerbread Martini! This creamy cocktail is absolutely irresistible: just sweet enough and packed with cozy cinnamon, allspice and ginger. It tastes like a gingerbread cookie, but even better: with a little intrigue on the finish. It’s only 3 ingredients and the perfect festive cocktail for holiday entertaining. Here’s how to make it!

What’s in a Gingerbread Martini?

The Gingerbread Martini is an festive spin on the flavored vodka martini. It’s infused with big flavor from one homemade ingredient: Gingerbread Syrup! It’s an ideal Christmas cocktail or holiday drink anytime in December. You’ll need just three ingredients for this Gingerbread Martini recipe:

  • Vodka
  • Half and half (or heavy cream)
  • Gingerbread syrup

These three simple ingredients make magic in the glass: mostly because of the heavily spiced syrup! But it’s easy to make at home: here’s how!

Making homemade gingerbread syrup (and a substitute)

This Gingerbread Martini has the best cozy flavor because of the homemade gingerbread syrup! It’s a brown sugar syrup infused with fresh ginger, allspice berries, and cinnamon sticks. All you do is simmer the ingredients for 20 minutes. Give it a taste, and the flavor pops with an intensely spiced kick!

  • Homemade gingerbread syrup has the best flavor here! It takes just 20 minutes and we highly recommend it. Go to Gingerbread Syrup.
  • Purchased gingerbread syrup also works, but every brand has a different flavor and sweetness. Here’s a link to buy gingerbread syrup online.
Gingerbread Martini

Rimming the glass: a few options!

The most fun part of a signature martini? The glass rim! Aside from a festive look, they also add a hint of flavor and texture to the beginning of each sip. For this Gingerbread Martini we decided to rim the glass in festive sprinkles, which almost make it look like a wreath! Here are a few options for the glass rim:

  • Festive sprinkles: we used a mix of red and green Christmas sprinkles
  • Brown sugar: looks beautiful with a lovely golden brown color
  • Crushed graham crackers or gingerbread cookies: For these you’ll need a heavier bonder than water to get them to stick to the glass. Pour a bit of gingerbread syrup on a plate and dip the glass rim in that, then into a plate of finely crushed cookies.

Gingerbread martinis for a crowd

Are you making this Gingerbread Martini for a party? You’re in luck! You can make up to 4 martinis at once in a cocktail shaker. Simply prep all the glasses first, then shake up 4 drinks at a time. It works like a charm (no need to shake them each individually).

Gingerbread Syrup

Make it dairy free or vegan

Want to make this Gingerbread Martini dairy free? Substitute full-fat coconut milk for the heavy cream! The coconut fat stands in beautifully for the dairy fat. It does lend a coconut flavor, but it’s not overwhelming.

And that’s it! Let us know what you think of this Gingerbread Martini in the comments below.

More festive Christmas cocktails

This Gingerbread Martini is one of our favorite Christmas cocktails for the holiday season! Here are a few more that work well as signature holiday drinks:

Print
Gingerbread Martini

Gingerbread Martini


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

The Gingerbread Martini is a creamy and spiced holiday drink! It’s the ideal festive Christmas cocktail for parties.


Ingredients

  • 1 ounce* Gingerbread Syrup (homemade or purchased)
  • 1 ½ ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce half and half (or heavy cream or coconut milk, for vegan)
  • Sprinkles or brown sugar, for the rim (optional)**

Instructions

  1. Make the syrup: Make the Homemade Gingerbread Syrup in advance (or use purchased syrup).
  2. Prepare the rim: Place the sprinkles or sugar on a plate. Wet the rim of the glass, then roll the rim in the sprinkles or sugar until evenly coated.
  3. Shake the drink: Place the gingerbread syrup, vodka, and half and half in a cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice and shake until cold. Strain the drink into the prepared martini glass.

Notes

*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons. You can make up to 4 martinis at once in a cocktail shaker.

**Or, use crushed graham crackers or gingerbread cookies for the rim (dip the rim in a plate of gingerbread syrup to adhere them).

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Gingerbread martini

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.