happy hour: White Lily

December 30, 2011

White Lily and Mai Tai at Morimoto Waikiki

Wow, a long blog break has ensued. I blame work, holidays and a little thing called Pinterest. More on that later. On top of keeping up the blog, I need to update my website and my blog design. Maybe the coming year will allow. It has been my most busy and creative year to date but I think my best creation yet will show it’s face in 2012.

It’s New Years weekend. Friends, family, noise makers and… cocktails. A couple of weeks ago I was at Morimoto in Waikiki and tried their White Lily cocktail. It’s fresh and citrusy and is concocted from unique yet available ingredients. I’m not sure of the exact measurements, but the menu stated:

White Lily
shochu (Japan’s other indigenous alcoholic beverage, but unlike sake, shochu is distilled. Available and BCLC)
calpico (a beverage made from non-fat milk with a citrus tang)
yuzu (a japanese citrus, sub in mandarin)
fresh lemon

It was served in a martini glass, so my best guess would an ounce of shochu, 2 ounces calpico and a squeeze of both mandarin and lemon. Shake it up and serve with a flower floating on top.

Check back for more on Morimoto and The Modern hotel in Waikiki.

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happy hour: Summer Sweetness

August 5, 2011

Summer Sweetness
makes 1 cocktail

1 small peach, sliced
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz gin
2 oz gingerale or ginger beer or soda

Muddle the peach—reserving 1 slice for garnish—along with the lime juice.

Add the gin, and fill the shaker with ice.

Shake for 10 seconds then strain into a cocktail glass.

Top with gingerale or soda!

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happy hour: Mint Julep

May 20, 2011

The only thing edible in my garden right now is mint. And with the Kentucky Derby being a May thing, it only makes sense to add the julep to your May long weekend cocktail list.

mint julep


4 cups bourbon
2 bunches fresh spearmint
1 cup distilled water
1 cup granulated sugar
Powdered sugar


To prepare mint extract, remove about 40 small mint leaves. Wash and place in a small bowl. Cover with 3 ounces bourbon. Allow the leaves to soak for 15 minutes. Then gather the leaves in paper toweling. Thoroughly wring the mint over the bowl of whisky. Dip the bundle again and repeat the process several times.

To prepare simple syrup, mix 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of distilled water in a small saucepan. Heat to dissolve sugar. Stir constantly so the sugar does not burn. Set aside to cool.

To prepare mint julep mixture, pour 3 1/2 cups of bourbon into a large glass bowl or glass pitcher. Add 1 cup of the simple syrup to the bourbon.

Now begin adding the mint extract 1 tablespoon at a time to the julep mixture. Each batch of mint extract is different, so you must taste and smell after each tablespoon is added. You are looking for a soft mint aroma and taste-generally about 3 tablespoons. When you think it’s right, pour the whole mixture back into the empty liter bottle and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours to “marry” the flavors.

To serve the julep, fill each glass (preferably a silver mint julep cup) 1/2 full with shaved ice. Insert a spring of mint and then pack in more ice to about 1-inch over the top of the cup. Then, insert a straw that has been cut to 1-inch above the top of the cup so the nose is forced close to the mint when sipping the julep.

When frost forms on the cup, pour the refrigerated julep mixture over the ice and add a sprinkle of powdered sugar to the top of the ice. Serve immediately.

from Food Network, Recipe courtesy Bill Samuels

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happy hour: Pretty in Pink

April 21, 2011

For easter, how festive.

Pretty in Pink Cocktail

1 oz vodka
.5 oz cointreau
3 oz homemade lemonade
splash grenadine

Happy LONG weekend!

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happy hour: Japan Green Tea-Ni

March 18, 2011

Here’s to you Japan.

2 ounces vodka
6 green tea bags or 3 tablespoons loose tea
1-½ ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce agave nectar
Lime, mint for garnish


1. Infuse a 750ml bottle of vodka with teabags (or drop a teabag in the 2 oz). This is a great morning activity. Let stand all day.
2. Mix all ingredients except garnishes in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 15 seconds. Strain into a martini glass.
3. Add lime zest, drop in a few mint leaves.

> Back to the blogroll

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happy hour: Grapefruit Blossom Apertif

February 18, 2011

This one comes from food52 – a great recipe resource with weekly recipe contests.

Grapefruits are on the ready, cheap and cheerful this time of year in local markets.

2 tbsp pink grapefruit juice
2 tbsp elderflower syrup, or elderflower soda
5 ounces Viognier white wine

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happy hour: California Condo

February 4, 2011

California Condo Cocktail

Happy Friday! Next week on the blog… “on the road: Encinitas, California”.

California Condo Cocktail

1 oz gin
4 oz champagne
2 oz freshly squeezed tangerine juice
2 oz pineapple juice

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happy hour: Shave & a Haircut

October 22, 2010

via www.sailorjerry.com

Not for the dainty.

Shave & a Haircut

1 part rum
2 parts cola
3 parts stout

Combine the rum and cola and top off with the stout, serve in a highball glass.

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happy hour: Pastis

October 15, 2010

Beth Campbell Creative has been on a strict “no time to blog” diet. Which brings me to today’s Friday Happy Hour – no mixing required. Pastis, an anise-flavored liqueur and apéritif from France was first commercialized by Paul Ricard in 1932 and is still widely popular in France, especially in the south. Pastis is normally diluted with water before drinking which results in the liqueur’s appearance changing from dark transparent yellow to milky soft yellow, a phenomenon also present with absinthe and known as the “ouzo effect”. A beverage that understands the importance of colour. Santé!

One year ago today, Uruggne, France

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happy hour: French 75

October 1, 2010

Don’t you just love it when your friends greet with you a cocktail that took more effort to prepare than opening a screw top?

French 75 – for one (for one? oh well, make more)
1 lemon
1 ounce gin
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 cup ice cubes
dry sparkling wine

Slice peel from lemon in long, thin spiral. In cocktail shaker, combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Add ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain into chilled Champagne flute and top with sparkling wine.

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happy hour: Tides Tavern, Gig Harbor

September 10, 2010

Cucumber Cosmo
Fresh limes and cucumbers muddled with vodka, triple sec & shaken with cranberry.

Deck Day Tonic
Citrus vodka, grapefruit juice, tonic float. Garnish with lime on the rocks.

It’s sunny somewhere?

Tides Tavern

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happy hour: Grownup Popsicles

August 6, 2010

from www.thekitchn.com

Campari Citrus Popsicles
makes 10-15, depending on the size

Grapefruit Pops
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 cups grapefruit juice
1/2 cup Campari

Orange Pops
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 cups orange juice
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup Campari

Mix the water and sugar together in a small pan over a low heat, and bring up to boil until the sugar dissolves. Allow the simple syrup to boil for 4 minutes, remove from heat and cool (makes a little over 1 cup).

Combine the citrus juice and Campari and add 1 cup of the cooled syrup. Adjust to taste: for the grapefruit pops, you may want to add a tablespoon or two extra syrup if you prefer them less tart. Remember, the mixture will taste slightly sweeter in liquid form than it does when frozen.

Pour into popsicle molds and freeze at least 8 hours or overnight. To remove, run the molds quickly under hot water, and gently pull out the pops.

from www.thekitchn.com

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happy hour: Canada Day Cocktail

July 2, 2010

Red and white, crisp and not too sweet. Perfect for a summer day. Let’s pretend Canada Day wasn’t 14 degrees and raining shall we?

from www.southernliving.com

Cava Sangria

Yield: Makes 4 1/4 cups

mint leaves
1 bottle sparkling wine, chilled
3/4 cup white grape juice, chilled
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/4 cup orange liqueur
* Garnish: fresh sugar cane sticks

1. Press mint leaves against sides of a large pitcher with back of a wooden spoon to release flavors. Stir in sparkling wine and next 3 ingredients. Serve immediately over ice.

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happy hour: The Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai

March 19, 2010

Mai Tai at the House Without at Key, Halekulani

Here, coconut palms sway, birds do sing and the Royal Hawaiian stands out from blocks away — a pink and green garden oasis nestled among Waikiki’s high-rises. The hotel re-opened a year ago last November after extensive renovations.

Joni Mitchell wrote the familiar “Big Yellow Taxi” (1970) after her first visit to Hawai’i. As the song goes: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. With a pink hotel, a boutique and a swinging hot spot. Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

True, but I’m pretty happy with what they’ve got down at the Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian. There is much debate over the origin of the Mai Tai, but to me the cocktail is Hawaii in a glass. Aloha.

Mai Tai, Royal Hawaiian

1 ounce Barcardi Silver rum
1/2 ounce Orgeat syrup (made from almonds, sugar and rose water or orange-flower water)
1/2 ounce orange Curaco
1 ounce orange juice
2 ounces pineapple juice
1/2 ounce Whalers dark rum

1. Combine all of the ingredients except the Whalers Dark Rum in an old-fashioned style glass over shaved ice. Carefully pour the dark rum on top.

2. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a parasol with a skewered Maraschino cherry and fresh lime wedge.

Mai Tai taste test, Chucks Steakhouse & Hau Tree Lanai, Moana Surfrider

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happy hour: ginger tea

December 18, 2009

It’s Friday and instead of ditching my computer for a festive evening, I’m face down in a mug of NeoCitran.

I have a feeling I’m not alone. ‘Tis the season after all.

Here’s a Holiday Happy Hour Horror recipe:

Ginger Tea
To make 4 cups of ginger tea, start with a 1 inch piece of ginger. Peel the ginger and grate it coarsely or slice thinly.
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the ginger. Reduce the heat and simmer the tea for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the strength you like.
Pour off the tea, or strain if necessary. Sweeten it with a little honey, and a squeeze of lemon.

Categories: happy hour.


happy hour: Goodbye Mimosa

December 11, 2009
Colour of the Year

Colour of the Year

Hello turquoise? Pantone has unveiled the Color of the Year for 2010: PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise. I must admit I was a little more excited about 2009′s PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa. Hopeful, sparkling, versatile, and representing both a cocktail and a beautiful tree (I have one in my yard!). What could be better?

From Pantone on Turquoise: “Combining the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green, Turquoise evokes thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a languorous, effective escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of wellbeing.”

Ok, I’m sold. Full story here.

happyhour-3In honour of my friend, Pantone 14-0848 Mimosa, I remind you of this sparkling cocktail, perfect for the holiday season. It doesn’t get any easier than this: part OJ, part bubbly, and you’re in business. Best enjoyed in your 2010 turquoise jammies.

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happy hour: it’s your birthday

December 2, 2009

You know who you are. Kick it old school or new school.


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happy hour: Kir Royale

November 27, 2009


Continuing with my previous post, I found that many people in France enjoy a Kir as an apéritif. Originally the wine used was Bourgogne Aligoté, a lesser white wine of Burgundy. Apparently the wines now used are based on region and the bartender’s choice but often you’ll find a Chardonnay-based Burgundy, like Chablis. In most restaurants, about a 1/4 oz. of cassis is poured in first, and topped with wine.

A Kir Royale is made with champagne instead of wine, and I like to add the cassis last so it floats at the bottom.

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happy hour: Wish I Was Here

November 20, 2009

It’s a rainy, blustery afternoon. If I had the choice, I’d envision my Friday evening going something like this:

X2 Resort Koh Samui, Thailand

X2 Resort Koh Samui, Thailand

I guess I’ll just have to try their “national cocktail” instead:

Siam Sunray Cocktail Recipe
30-40 ml. of Smirnoff vodka
30 ml. of coconut liqueur
15 ml. of syrup
¼ cm. of Thai chilli pepper
3 slices of young ginger
1 Kaffir lime leaf
3 slivers of lemon grass
3 drops of lime juice
Soda water

Crush the small Thai chilli pepper, young ginger, Kaffir lime leaf, and lemon grass together in a shaker to bring out the aroma and flavour of the Thai herbs.
Add syrup, lime juice, Smirnoff, and coconut liqueur, and shake well.
Strain into a glass with ice; top up with soda water; garnish with chilli, lemon grass and a slice of lime.

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happy hour: Dark & Stormy Cocktail

November 13, 2009

Dark and Stormy cocktail

Dark and Stormy cocktail

Ginger beer.
Lots of lime.
Use vodka instead of rum, and you’ve got yourself a Moscow Mule.
Happy Friday.

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happy hour: DRY Soda (part deux)

October 6, 2009



Had a closer look at DRY’s website. Not only is the design on the ball (they’ve received their fair share of design awards), but they’re up to some pretty neat things. Turns out I wasn’t far off base on my instinct to create a cocktail – check out the recipe page!

Created by Jared Scarr & Andrew Lanier | Crush Restaurant – Seattle, WA
2 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz. fresh cucumber juice
3/4 oz. agave nectar
4 mint leaves
1 oz. Cucumber DRY Soda
Serve: Tall Rocks Glass
Garnish: Cucumber slices and mint leaves

Pairing recipes here. A fun idea for a non-alchoholic event.

Categories: flavor of the week, happy hour.

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happy hour: Gentleman Jim’s Real Ginger Ale

September 11, 2009

Gentleman Jim's Real Ginger Ale

Gentleman Jim's Real Ginger Ale

TGIF. It seems as though the summer heat has re-joined us and I have the perfect thing for a Friday afternoon. If you live on Vancouver Island and you haven’t heard of Phillips Brewery, you probably don’t get out much. Their label design never disappoints, their website is unique and fun and they are always coming out with new products and packaging. You’ll see them at your favorite restaurants and events – it’s Beer Fest this weekend! But lets talk about this brew. I heard about it through a Phillips tweet, and knew I had to try some. I am certainly not qualified to offer a review of Gentleman Jim’s Real Ginger Ale, all I can say is great colour, real ginger flavor and GET SOME!

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