Serrantro Margarita

Welcome to those who have just followed the link from my newsletter…

“Tis the time for summer barbecues and summer cocktails. 

Here are some pics from a recent BBQ I attended (more specifically, it was my sister-in-law’s birthday).  Along with these pics, you’ll also find a little cocktail recipe for a drink that I was making that afternoon/evening.  I cannot say that I am the one that came up with the idea.  A good pal, Anne Gray, brought the ingredients with the intention of putting me to work.  She asked for a margarita variation using serrano pepper and cilantro, and a margarita using serrano pepper and cilantro did I give to her.

Serrantro Margarita

1 1/2 oz. Lunazul Reposado Tequila

1/2 oz. Cointreau

1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

1/2 oz. agave syrup (1:1 agave nectar:water)

handful of cilantro leaves

1 round slice of serrano pepper

Directions: In a  mixing glass, muddle the pepper and cilantro in the lime and syrup.  Then add remaining ingredients with ice and shake well.  Strain over ice into a highball glass w/ optional salt rim.

Garnish: lime wedge

*This can easily be batched up to serve multiple people.  Just do a little math and increase the proportions accordingly.  For more specific instructions, just shoot me an email.



Indy Minded

For those of you who are of the independent nature, then your natural spirits and liqueurs of choice would be those that are made by independent producers.  Last month, Touch in NYC hosted the Indy Spirits Expo.  I had the pleasure of working for Square One Organic Vodka this day, and you can’t get more boutique and indy than Square One.  Made from organic rye harvested from the fields of Idaho, this brand is headquartered just outside of San Francisco, and their brand ambassador, H. Joseph Ehrman (of Elixir SF), is  one of America’s best barmen.

I had free reign over one of the bars at Touch.  I took full advantage and mixed up some great drinks (if I do say so meself.)  I’ve included the recipes below.  Please make sure you check out the Square One website:  You can buy it at Astor Wines and Spirits in NYC.

Square One Botanical Basil Gimlet

(Square One Botanical is the brand’s newest bottling.  It includes nearly a dozen different botanicals, many of which are in today’s new age gins.  It’s not a flavored vodka, and it’s not a gin.  It’s a unique spirit that is barrels of fun when blending cocktails.)

1 1/2 oz. Square One Botanical

3/4 oz. fresh lime juice

3/4 oz. agave syrup (equal parts agave nectar and water)

3 large basil leaves

Directions: Press the basil leaves in between palms of your hands, then place into mixing glass.  Add remaining ingredients with ice and shake well.  Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish: floating basil leaf

The Vanderbilt Avenue Martini

(this cocktail was created by me and is served at The Campbell Apartment Terrace in NYC)

1 oz. Square One Organic Cucumber Vodka

1/2 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

3/4 oz. pineapple juice

2 sage leaves

Directions: Slap 1 of the sage leaves in the palms of your hands and place into mixing glass.  Add remaining ingredients (except for last sage leaf) with ice and shake well.  Strain into chilled cocktail glass with *vanilla-infused cane sugar rim.

Garnish: 1 floating sage leaf

*to make vanilla-infused cane sugar: place 1 vanilla bean, sliced open, inside 1 mason jar full of sugar in the raw.  Allow to infuse for 24 hrs or until desired flavor.

square one botanical logo

More Aspen?

You asked for more, and you shall receive it.

The kind folks – and by kind I really mean Saintly – at Bombay Sapphire Gin so generously sent 3 rogue bartenders on a trip to high class upper-echelon Aspen, Colorado.  How did they expect myself, Duggan McDonnell (San Francisco), and Michael Flannery (Miami) to visit this city during the classiest festival of all time, The Aspen Food and Wine  Classic, and not make fools of ourselves?  The trust they must have in us crazy kooks. 

Well, I’m happy to say it all went off without a hitch.  Marvelously smooth, I say.  An experience  that I will never forget, save for the moment of complete ineptness when meeting face to face with Giada de Laurentis (does Everyday Italian on the Food Network ring a bell?).  This I would love to forget.  I froze, okay?  I don’t feel like discussing it any further, thank you.

Our digs were comfy, and the surrounding mountain peaks, pine trees (even Juniper bushes – very fitting!), and pleasant temperature were combined to create the most perfect setting.

Aspen is beautiful in the Springtime.  The sun shines through low, thick clouds; rivers and brooks rush along their ways, being fed by melting snowfall and crisp rain water.  I could see myself living here.

We competed in front of eager festival-goers, tended bar at the Sapphire booth inside the big tent, and attended all of the most exclusive dinners and parties during this 3-day affair.   We were actually there for 5 days in all.  Hey, ‘ya need ease yourself into these kinds of things.

I’ve included some pics below.  Please feel free to comment, or voice your concern, or how jealous you may be…whatever you’d like.

Wedding Cakes and Cocktails

I’ve just come in from New Orleans and a 4-day escapade of non-stop boozing and educating.  I’m beat, to say the least.

I will be posting much more about my adventures in New Orleans in the coming weeks.  Due to popular demand, in this post, I will be providing the cocktail recipes that were served at the Spirited Lunch at Antoine’s Restaurant this past Friday, July 10th.  The lunch was entitled “Wedding Cakes and Cocktails” and was led by the lovely Maria McBride from “Brides Magazine,” and yours truly created the cocktails and spoke about signature drinks for weddings.

Enjoy these yummy libations:

Spirited Lunch –Wedding Cakes and Cocktails


Pink Icing
 Created by:  Jonathan Pogash
3 watermelon chunks
1/4 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup (equal parts sugar:water)
1/4 oz. Grand Marnier
1 drop orange flower water
3 oz. Fantinel Rose Brut
Muddle the watermelon in the lemon, simple, Grand Marnier, and flower water in a mixing glass.  Add ice and Champagne and stir briefly.  Strain into a chilled champagne flute.  Top off with extra splash of bubbly. .  Garnish: pink sugar flower.   
True love  

Created by:  Jonathan Pogash
“Wedding Cakes and Cocktails”
3 lime wedges
8-10 mint leaves
1/4 oz. Grand Marnier
1/4 oz. Simple syrup
1 1/2 oz. 10 Cane Rum
1 oz. Mango Nectar

splash Fantinel Prosecco

 Muddle the limes, mint, and mango nectar in a mixing glass.  Add Rum  and ice and shake briefly.  Pour into a highball glass.  Top off with  splash of Fantinel Prosecco.

Garnish: Candied orange twist

Sweet Kiss

Created by: Maria McBride
“Wedding Cakes and Cocktails”
NAVAN Natural Vanilla Liqueur
Fantinel Prosecco

Black Currant Boiron Fresh Fruit Purée
Shake equal parts NAVAN and fruit purée in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Pour mixture into a Champagne flute. Top with Fantinel Prosecco.
Garnish: Lavender stem

Gearin’ up for NOLA

Don’t think I haven’t forgotten about you.  It’s just been one trip right after the next as of late. 

I’m prepping for Tales of the Cocktail this upcoming week, and trying to keep my head on straight.  I owe you a full explanation and dissection of my trip to the Aspen Food and Wine Classic, I know.  I’m pretty sure I won’t get to this until after Tales.  Pitty, isn’t it?  I know you’re anxious to see some pics.  I sure am, myself!

Happy 4th of July, by the way!  I don’t want to leave you empty-handed on this day, so I thought I’d include a drink I came up with for this festive weekend.  Yes, I know, the whole “Red, White, and Blue” themed cocktails is so passe, so please don’t cringe at the  fact that this drink is borne of the same ideal.

So sit back, put some shrimp on the barbey, and sip on my “Red, White, and Blue Collins”

1 1/2 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin

3/4 oz. Fresh lemon juice

3/4 oz. Simple syrup

4 bing cherries, pitted

6 – 8 blueberries

Directions: In the bottom of a mixing glass, muddle the fruit and the lemon juice and simple syrup.  Add the gin and shake briefly.  Pour into collins glass.  Top w/ club soda.

Garnish: 1 bing cherry


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