Tag Archives: cocktail

the savior

The Savior Cup is a great way to redeem a lousy bottle of wine!

The Savior Cup is a great way to redeem a lousy bottle of wine!

You know when you take a chance on a reasonably priced white wine you’ve never heard of before only to be woefully disappointed by your spontaneous decision making? Well I have this happen quite often. It got me to wondering, how can I save this bottle of wine. The obvious is to use it for cooking, but adding shitty wine to a nice dinner is not the wisest thing to do when you’ve put all that time and effort into a meal. Finally, the other day I came up with a way to revitalize your shitty wine. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you – The Savior.

The Savior is not a cocktail but rather a “cup” because it is based on wine. “Cup. A beverage made with wine, usually iced, and with flavoring herbs.” – Francis Andrew March 1906

The Savior Cup
1 ounce ginger liqueur
3 ounces sauvignon blanc
1.5 ounces soda water
garnish with cucumber, ginger and lemon or orange wheel.

Add the cucumber and ginger to the cup first. Next add the ice followed by the citrus wheel. Then poor the remaining ingredients over the citrus wheel. Its really that simple. Enjoy!

spicy pomelo punch

Spicy pomelo punch

Spicy pomelo punch

It’s that time of the year for huge juicy pomelos! The obvious thing to do would be to make a pomelo paloma especially if you like tequila. I decided to do something a little different. Here’s the recipe I came up with yesterday thats a bit more unusual but super delicious!

spicy pomelo punch
1 small sprig of rosemary (leaves only)
2 dashes crushed red pepper flakes
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fine white sugar
2 ounces dry gin
2 ounces fresh pomelo juice

Place all of the ingredients into a shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously until well chilled and combined. Strain using a hawthorne strainer and fine mesh strainer into a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with pomelo slice and rosemary sprig. Enjoy!

rye ginger sling

The spiciness of the Rye Whiskey compliments the ginger so nicely.

The spiciness of the Rye Whiskey compliments the ginger so nicely.

My mentor Andrew Willett recently posted his  Rye Ginger Sling as his “drink of the week” on his blog Elemental Mixology. I decided to try it and ended up falling in love with it – no surprise as it’s roots have been around for more than 100 years! It’s super simple to make and doesn’t require many ingredients. The Rye Ginger Sling is also easily adaptable by making it into a charged sling by serving it over the rocks with the addition of an ounce of soda water. Here’s how you make it:

Rye Ginger Sling
4 coin sized slices of fresh ginger
1-2 teaspoons fine white sugar
2 ounces Rye Whiskey (If using higher then 100 proof I recommend 2 teaspoons of sugar)

Muddle the sugar and ginger together. Add whiskey then ice into a mixing glass. Stir until well chilled and diluted. Strain using a hawthorne strainer and a fine mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail goblet. Garnish with a strip of ginger. Enjoy!

baleen kitchen in redondo beach

Photo by Gloria Plascencia
We recently visited the waterfront Baleen Kitchen in Redondo to check out their new menu. Fresh, holiday libations started off the evening! This is the Anti-Oxident Mojito with Appleton Rum, Pomegranate juice, muddled blackberry, raspberry and mint. Cheers!

Mezcalero - Mezcal, Aperol and strawberries.
Photo by Wade Hammond
Mezcalero – Mezcal, Aperol and strawberries.

Photo by Wade Hammond
As a starter we all shared the decadent Duck Carnitas served with slaw and crepes. We had them earlier in the year and have been dreaming of them ever since. They are perfect for the holidays or any other time. I freakin love these things!

Photo by Wade Hammond
The First Course was the Baleen Garden and was delicious. It was baby beets, farrow, tomato, quinoa, avocado, pea shoots, almonds with a soft lime vinaigrette. The texture of the farro, quinoa and almonds made this salad very unique. I would love to eat that for lunch everyday!

Photo by Wade Hammond
The Second Course was a gorgeous Crab Salad full of avocado, haricot vert, and lollo rossa. They use both soft-shell crab and fresh Dungeness for this dish.

Photo by Wade Hammond
The Third Course of Roasted Black Sea Bass with roasted mushrooms and sweet potatoes in a fabulous aromatic broth was mind blowingly good!

Photo by Wade Hammond
Last but certainly not least, server Alain Inoue presented our Fourth Course – the GIANT “Tommy Hawk” Ribeye!

tommy-46Photo by Wade Hammond
The Tommy Hawk ribeye was quite impressive, tender, delicious and oh yeah – huge!

Photo by Gloria Plascencia
As you can see, a fun night was had by all! Book your upcoming holiday celebration at Baleen Kitchen or stop in for happy hour with snacks and cocktails!

Baleen Kitchen is located in beautiful Redondo Beach, CA at The Portofino Hotel right on the harbor at 260 Portofino Way. (310) 372-1202

Christmas Day they will have their famous À La Carte Brunch and “Build Your Own” Bloody Mary and Mimosa Bar from 6:30am-1:00pm. Then a 3-Course Dinner from 1:00pm-10:00pm adults $59 with wine pairing $70/$22 kids.

NYE They will have a fabulous 5-Course Dinner from 5:00pm-11:00pm for $85pp with wine pairing $110.

irish cream posset

Not your usual Irish Cream!

Not your usual Irish Cream!

As a bartender (and I think most bartenders would agree), I’ve never been a huge fan of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Sure, it’s ok in coffee or a milkshake but it’s never something special that I would even think of stocking in my home bar. In fact, the process used to manufacture Bailey’s is just as contrived as the fictional signature on the bottle: R.A. Bailey. The product wasn’t released until 1974 and served to solve the “problem” requiring a bartender to actually mix fresh, good, quality ingredients together in a mixing tin. In other words, Bailey’s is merely a time saver.

It wasn’t until I began learning about possets and we made the original recipe for an Irish Cream Posset, that I understood what was sacrificed by creating processed versions of this classic for reasons of convenience and marketability. If you want to really impress your guests with an after dinner drink or simply experience something great that most bars don’t provide, try mixing your own Irish Cream Posset! It’s not hard or even time consuming and the reward far exceeds on-the-shelf products. I’m guessing it will change your opinion about this classic as it did my own. Let me know what you think.


In a mixing tin (shaker) goes:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ounce organic heavy cream
1 teaspoon fine white sugar
2 ounces Irish malt or pot-stilled whiskey  *I used Powers

Fill the shaker with ice, seal and shake vigorously to mix, chill, dilute and aerate. Strain into a goblet and finely grate fresh nutmeg on top. You won’t believe how good this is! Cheers!

*Powers Irish Whiskey, unlike Jameson or Bushmills, uses 70% pot-stilled whiskey in their gold label, yielding a much more complex and true expression of the malt even though it is still a blend.