Ye asked and Ye Shall Receive

It’s the holidays, after all. 

I’ve included the 3 recipes I made recently on Fox News.  You can watch it here.

Enjoy them well and responsibly this holiday season!

Cranberry Spice Champagne (served at Bookmarks Lounge, NYC) – cranberries are a great anti-oxidant, and champagne is easy on the stomach – agave nectar is a great substitute for sugar, which should be had in moderation while drinking.

6-8 fresh cranberries

1 tsp. pumpkin spice agave nectar**

Splash fresh squeezed lemon juice

Moet & Chandon Champagne

Directions:  In a mixing glass, muddle the cranberries in the pumpkin spice agave nectar.  Add the lemon juice and champagne with ice and stir briefly.  Strain into chilled champagne flute.  Top off with extra splash of Champagne.

Garnish: 3 floating cranberries


**To make Pumpkin Spice Agave Nectar, for every 1 cup of agave nectar, add 3 tsp. store-bought pumpkin pie spice mix.


Pomegranate Fizz – again, pomegranates are great sources of anti-oxidants – citrus fruit is easy on the stomach, and egg whites add necessary proteins to your body.

1 1/2 oz. Plymouth Gin

1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice

3/4 oz. simple syrup

1 egg white

1 1/2 oz. Pomegranate juice

Directions:  First shake without ice the Gin and egg white and the lemon juice.  Then add ice and remaining ingredients and shake well.  Strain into Collins glass.

Garnish: Freshly grated nutmeg and lemon peel.


Ardbeg Bloody Scott (served at The Carnegie Club, NYC) – all of these ingredients replenish various things that may have been lost in your body after a night of drinking.


Serves approx. 15


3 oz. Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky

24. oz. Tomato Juice
24 oz. V-8 Cocktail Juice
1 Cup Ketchup (8 oz.)
3 pinches – Sea Salt

3/4 cup of lime mix (equal parts fresh lime and simple syrup)
9 dashes (pours) Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. Morrocan pepper (ground white pepper is a good substitute)
1 tsp.  ground black pepper
4 pinches of Cayenne pepper
Mix ingredients together, stirring often. Chill for at least 24 hours before serving


To make 1 serving:


Add 1 oz. Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky to highball glass w/ ice, and top w/ bloody mix.  Stir briefly.


Garnish: olives and lime wedge.


Happy Holidays from the Guru

I’m sick of it.  Sick and tired of this season they call the Holidays.  How’s that for a holiday greeting?

What if I was serious about beginning my post like that.  Funny?  I thought it was funny.  Maybe not. 

I’m no grinch.  I truly would like to wish you and your fams all the best and healthiest for this holiday season. 

Now onto some business: I would like to speak to you about a project that I have been working on for the past few months.  The kind folks at Welch’s Juices, yes, the juices you drank when you were somewhere between the ages of 3 and 13 years old (and hopefully still to this day!), asked me to create an entire line of signature cocktails using their Refrigerated Juice blends. 

What a doozy of a time did I have coming up with these drinks.  Tasting these juices on their own, I immediately saw their potential.  I experimented and came up with tons of great new drinks that I thought would span across all genders, all ages (those over 21, of course), and all seasons of the year. 

We had a cocktail launch event at The World Bar here in NYC.  Press, bartenders, and a relative who’s who of the bar biz showed up and sampled some of my creations. 

If you or any of your friends are wondering what libation to make for this holiday season, look no further.  I’ve included a couple of my recipes, along with pics, for some very festive Welch’s signature cocktails.  Also, please check out our friends at – they have a great interactive piece on festive cocktails from around the world.  You can click here to check it out.

Happy holidays – Happy Chanukkah, New years, Christmas, Kwanza, etc…

Cherry Smash

2 oz. Welch’s Tropical Cherry

1 1/2 oz. Woodford Reserve Bourbon

3 lemon wedges

Handful of mint leaves (approx. 8-10)

Directions:  Muddle the mint and lemon in the bottom of a mixing glass.  Add remaining ingredients with ice and shake briefly.  Pour into rocks glass.



Independence Sparkler

1 oz. Welch’s Strawberry Breeze

1/2 oz. Navan Vanilla Liqueur

3 oz. Moet & Chandon Champagne

Directions:  Add ingredients to mixing glass with ice and stir briefly.  Strain into chilled champagne flute.  Top off with a little extra champagne.

Garnish: Strawberry slice on rim of glass.



Here are a few more pics from the Welch’s Cocktail Launch at The World Bar in NYC:


For more recipes and images, you can email me.

Pics by Edward Smith Photography.

Jubilee Anniversary

Is that what they call a 75th year anniversary? Who knows. All I do know at this point is that yesterday was the Jubilee Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition. Yes, that dark time in the history of the U.S. ended 75 years ago.
The evening was saturated with various gatherings and engagements, stretching from sea to sea. One in particular – one that included the likes of Dave Wondrich, Toby Cecchini, and moi – was celebrated at NYC’s Back Room. This space was a true speakeasy – bookshelf door and all.
Wondrich demonstrated how to make Bathtub Gin (boy is he a cheapskate, isn’t he – can’t even bring a decent bottle of real gin!) Toby was making classic Manhattans at his bar station, garnished with his home-made maraschino cherries, of course (they’re divine, by the way!). And I was behind my bar station mixing up the classic Mary Pickford cocktail. I’ve included the recipe below, as well as a pic or two of the Back Room space.
Many thanks to DISCUS (Distilled Spirits Council of the US – for putting on what was the BEST Repeal Day bash of the evening! I hope to have some pics from the evening to post shortly…

Mary Pickford (star of the screen during the 1920’s)
1 1/2 oz. Light Rum (I like Oronoco)
3/4 oz. unsweetened Pineapple Juice
1 tsp. maraschino liqueur (I like Luxardo)
1 tsp. home-made Grenadine**
Shake all ingredients very well in a boston shaker filled with ice. Strain into a tea cup.
Garnish: bourbon-soaked cherries**


Home-made Grenadine:
1 part POM juice
1 part sugar
Cold version – use superfine sugar and dissolve instantly in POM.
Hot version – use granulated sugar and dissolve over heat.

Bourbon-soaked cherries:
Use store-bought canned or bottles DARK SWEET PITTED CHERRIES. Strain liquid out and let sit in your favorite bourbon – or whatever you have the most of in your liquor cabinet – for 24hrs. I add bitters to the mix, as well. If you have Jerry Thomas’ Decanter bitters, those work well (

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