Monthly Archives: October 2010

Spirited Halloween Cocktail Recipes

Word has it Halloween is right around the corner. That’s right, the day where kids can’t wait to stuff their face with candy and adults (along with some non adults) like to pour alcohol down their throat. For many adults the hardest thing for us to come to grips with is the fact that as we get older holidays are less and less appealing to us. Then there are those of us that refuse to be left out on the fun. While dressing up in cute little fairy costumes and spider man outfits may not be necessarily “cool” anymore, you can still have fun on Halloween with a little creativity and a bit of “liquid courage”. Below are a few Halloween cocktails from around the web sure to make your Halloween a night to remember, or better yet to forget.

2 oz. SKYY Infusions Citrus
1 oz. Mango Nectar or Juice
0.5 oz. Orange Juice
0.5 oz. Fresh Sour*

Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously and pour into a goblet glass and garnish with a slice of orange and a mint leaf laid flat on top. *Combine 0.25 oz fresh lime juice and 0.75 oz simple syrup.

vampires-elixirVampire’s Elixir
1.5 oz. Pinnacle Raspberry Vodka
.75 oz.   Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
1 oz.    Half and Half
Strawberry Syrup

Dress strawberry syrup on the inside and rim of a chilled martini glass.  Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass.  Garnish with vampire teeth.

Black Widow
1.5 oz. SKYY Infusions Raspberry


0.5 oz. Triple Sec
2 oz. Pomegranate Juice
Squeeze of Fresh Lemon Juice

Raspberry Syrup

Draw a spider web on the inside of a chilled martini glass with raspberry syrup.  Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass.  Garnish with plastic spider.

Red Zombie
1.5 oz. SKYY Vodka
3 oz. Tomato Juice
0.5 tsp. Finely Grated Horseradish
1 tsp. Barbeque Sauce
3 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce
3 Dashes Tabasco Sauce
0.5 tsp. Finely Chopped Chipotle en Adobo
red-zombiePinch of Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Generous Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Pinch of Celery Seeds
1 Celery Stick
2 Large Green Olives
2 Lychee Fruits

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass.  Garnish with green eye balls, laid across the rim of the glass*.
*Cut the end of a stalk of celery so it measures 5-6 inches long and split the stick in half lengthwise.  Slide the green olives into two lychee fruits to make eye balls and push the thin celery stick through both as garnish.

apple-punchWicked Witch Apple Punch
1 750 ml bottle SKYY Infusions Passion Fruit
1 750 ml bottle Sparkling Apple Cider
1 64 oz. bottle Cranberry Juice Cocktail
1 Liter Ginger Ale
2 cups Pineapple Juice
Red Apple Slices

Combine all ingredients in a large black witch’s cauldron with ice and stir.  Garnish with large slices of red apple floating on top and dry ice.

October Screwdriver
3 oz Blavod Vodka
3 oz Orange Juice
Another classic redone thanks to Blavod Black Vodka. Pour orange juice in a collins glass filled with ice. Float Blavod vodka on top to create the desired effect. Garnish with a candy corn speared straw.

1 1/2 parts Kahlua
1/2 part Martell V.S. Cognac
1/2 part Hiram Walker Triple Sec
1/4 part fresh lemon juice
1/2 part simple syrup
Blood orange wedge for garnish

Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled, half sugar-rimmed martini glass and garnish with orange wedge.

Candy-Apple Cocktail (Not Pictured)

1½ ounces Veev Acai Spirit
1 ounce apple cider
½ ounce apple liqueur
¼ ounce simple syrup

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain over ice into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a caramel-covered apple slide

Recipes compliments of Common Man Cocktails, Skyy Vodka, and Blavod Vodka. Check out some other recipes from Blavod to keep you in the Halloween spirit. Don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook.

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Posted by on October 29, 2010 in Holidays


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The Darker Side of Vodka: Blavod Vodka Review

It’s that time of year again. That’s right Halloween is just around the corner and for many of us, it’s an excuse to look and act insane without the usual stares. Then there are those like myself that see it as just another reason to get creative with my drinking habit. Is it any wonder that Halloween is the nations 3rd largest drinking holiday? In honor of “All-Hallows-Even” I felt it only necessary to review the worlds first and ONLY “Black Vodka”.

Sexy, sleek, sophisticated, stylish. Dark, secretive, exclusive. These are all words that are often associated with the color black so it’s no wonder that in the age of invention that someone was smart enough to add color to the #1 selling spirit in the world. Blavod vodka is the worlds first and only black vodka and comes to us from the United Kingdom. You won’t find any American produced black vodkas because government regulations in the U.S. say domestic distillers can’t call a spirit vodka unless it is “without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color.” Lucky for us the “Brits” use less strict regulations. Over the past few years, several colored vodkas have crept into the market such as Three Olives Purple, Ciroc Coconut, and the UV flavored vodka series, but unlike those brands, Blavod offers a non flavored black hue without taking away from it’s authentic and natural taste of premium vodka. Right about now you’re probably asking yourself, what do they use to give Blavod it’s unique color without affecting it’s taste. Blavod’s hue derives from Black Catechu which are extracts from the heartwood of Burmese catechu acacia trees which give it its black color without interfering with the vodkas natural, taste or smell.

Tasting Notes: It’s natural black color tends to try and influence you into smelling and tasting things that are not there. Spooky right?  This one starts out smooth but hits you with a bit of a spicy finish. It’s comparable to several medium grade vodkas on the market such as Smirnoff or Russian Standard.

Final Thoughts: As far as vodka goes Blavod is a satisfactory compliment to any cocktail but more importantly can easily survive without the “Black Vodka” gimmick on taste alone. It’s unique color only adds a wow factor for those of us looking for something different the next time we’re at the counter at our favorite convenience store. The ability to make cool looking cocktails alone is worth the $17.99. One of Blavod’s best features is it’s ability to create wonderful layers. That combined with it’s color make it obvious first choices for excellent Halloween themed cocktails such as the “Black Widow” and Ghosts in the Graveyard” which you can find along with several other recipes below.

Black Widow
2 oz Blavod Vodka
3 oz Cranberry Juice

The Black Widow is Blavod’s answer to the cape codder. Pour cranberry juice in a highball glass filled with ice. Float Blavod vodka on top to create the desired effect.


October Screwdriver
3 oz Blavod Vodka
3 oz Orange Juice
Another classic redone thanks to Blavod Black Vodka. Pour orange juice in a collins glass filled with ice. Float Blavod vodka on top to create the desired effect. Garnish with a candy corn speared straw.


Ghosts in the Graveyard
2 oz black vodka
2 oz coffee-flavored liqueur
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
Pinch of nutmeg

In a glass, combine vodka and creme de cacao, and set aside. Place a scoop of ice cream in a highball glass, and slowly pour vodka mixture over ice cream. Garnish with nutmeg.

Berry Scary Martini:
2 oz Blavod Vodka
2 oz Cherry Juice

Fill shaker with ice and both ingredients. Shake well and strain into a chilled Martini glass.

Visit for more recipes and the latest on upcoming events with Blavod.
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Posted by on October 22, 2010 in Reviews, Spirits, Vodka


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Adventures in Rum: Rumfest 6 Recap

Better late than never right? Here are some excellent photos to recap you on an Orlando tradition thrown in downtown Orlando’s party central also known as Wall St. Plaza. All you can drink rum was consumed throughout the day at Rumfest 6. There were over 13 different rums represented  for “sampling” including: Bacardi, Don Q, Tommy Bahama, and more. That combined with perfect weather and fitting live reggae music on stage made for yet another classic event. With no shortage of music, alcohol, and free spirits, you can see why Rumfest is as popular as it is here. Didn’t make it this year? Don’t worry there is always next year. Check out  Wall St. Plaza for information on next years extravaganza , other upcoming events, and the rest of the photos.






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Posted by on October 18, 2010 in Rum, Uncategorized


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Bacardi Introduces Reserva Limitada Founder’s Blend Rum

/PRNewswire/ — BACARDI announced today plans to release its exclusive BACARDI Reserva Limitada rum in the United States, on sale this fall at select retailers of fine spirits and wines.  Until now, this rare reserve was available in scarce quantities in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Aruba.  Referred to as the “Founder’s Blend,” BACARDI Reserva Limitada was originally created by the BACARDI Maestro de Ron (Rum Master) as a personal blend for the Bacardi family in honor of BACARDI founder Don Facundo Bacardi Masso.  It was first released to the public in 2003 to celebrate the inauguration of the BACARDI Visitors Centre at the BACARDI distillery in Catano, Puerto Rico.

Individually bottled, numbered and sealed by hand with a cork finish, BACARDI Reserva Limitada consists of the finest BACARDI rums rested in lightly-charred American white oak barrels between 10 and 16 years.  Each barrel is hand selected for its durability and is periodically inspected to ensure it imparts exceptionally developed flavors to the spirit.  The result is a remarkable, deep golden-hued rum with dark reddish undertones and a character symbolized by exquisite aromas of vanilla, oak and dried fruits that possesses a rich, smooth taste and velvety finish.

The conception of BACARDI Reserva Limitada was the result of good fortune when BACARDI Maestro de Ron Luis Planas was drawn to place a few choice barrels of rum aside to age.

“It was almost as if Don Facundo himself was telling me, ‘Luis, keep aside some of those barrels because from there something good will come,'” said Planas. “I began to blend the resulting liquids and the end product was something only a house pioneering in rum could develop.  That is what we now proudly bring to the United States.”

According to Joaquin Bacardi III, Bacardi family member and head of the company’s business operations in Puerto Rico where BACARDI Reserva Limitada was conceived and is produced, “BACARDI Reserva Limitada was created to commemorate the patriarch of our family.  Until now, to get a bottle, U.S. rum lovers had to travel to our distillery in Puerto Rico or one of just three other Caribbean islands.  It’s fulfilling we can now bring this truly exceptional spirit to rum connoisseurs in the United States.”

Initially, just 1,000 cases (six 750ml bottles per case) of BACARDI Reserva Limitada will be available in the United States, with additional quantities expected to be released to the U.S. in the future, based on availability.  BACARDI Reserva Limitada will be sold in select bars, restaurants and fine wine and spirits retail outlets throughout the United States with a suggested retail price of $110.00.

BACARDI Reserva Limitada has received global recognition and awards, including:

  • International High Quality Trophy: Monde Selection, Belgium
  • Excellence Award: Puerto Rico Products Association, Puerto Rico
  • Gold Medal: Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition, Miami
  • Gold Medal: Aged Rum, World Spirits Awards, Austria
  • Silver Medal: San Francisco World Spirit Competition, San Francisco
  • Grand Gold Award: Monde Selection, Belgium
  • Gold Award: Beverage Testing Institute, Chicago
  • Silver Medal: San Francisco World Spirit Competition, San Francisco
  • Gold Medal: Beverage Testing Institute, Chicago
  • Silver Medal – Golden Caribbean Blended 12 Years: International Wine and Spirits Championship, London
  • Grand Gold Award: Monde Selection, Belgium
  • Platinum Award: World Beverage Competition, Geneva
  • Silver Award – Gold Rums: San Francisco World Spirits Competition, San Francisco
  • Silver Award: World Beverage Competition, Geneva

About BACARDI Rums

In 1862, in Santiago de Cuba, BACARDI revolutionized the spirits industry when founder Don Facundo Bacardi began producing his remarkable light-bodied, smooth rum – BACARDI, the world’s favorite premium rum brand and the most awarded premium rum in the world. Today, BACARDI Rum is produced in Puerto Rico following the production legacy set forth by Don Facundo – crafted in a five step distillation process, aged in American white oak barrels, and filtered five times for unparalleled quality and smoothness.  For more information visit:

About Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.

Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. is the United States import and distribution arm of one of the world’s leading spirits and wine producers. The company boasts a portfolio  of some of the most recognized and top-selling spirits brands in the  United  States  including  BACARDI®   rum,  the  world’s  favorite and best-selling  premium  rum,  as  well as the world’s most awarded rum; GREY GOOSE®  vodka,  the  world-leader  in super-premium vodka; DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch  Whisky,  the number-one selling blended Scotch whisky in the United States;  BOMBAY  SAPPHIRE®  gin,  the  top-valued premium gin in the world; CAZADORES® blue agave tequila, the number-one premium tequila in the world; MARTINI®  vermouth,  the  world-leader  in  vermouth; and other leading and emerging brands.  For more information, visit

SOURCE Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.


Posted by on October 14, 2010 in Press Releases, Rum


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Cocktail of the Week: Pumpkin Margarita

Fall is finally here so it’s time we start drinking like it ! Here is this weeks cocktail feature, a delicious and festive pumpkin margarita. Enjoy.

1.5 oz Don Julio Anejo Tequila
1 oz Hiram Walker Pumpkin Spice Liqueur
1 oz Orange Juice (or Triple Sec if you prefer a stiffer drink)
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
Sprinkle of Cinnamon
Orange Wedge

Add tequila, Pumpkin Liqueur and OJ into a shaker and shake well. Pour over ice. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and garnish with an orange wedge.


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Celebrating National Vodka Day !

For those of you unaware, October 4th is National Vodka day, and not everyday at 5 pm contrary to popular belief. For some of you I’m sure there has been  a circle around this day in your calendars for quite some time. Chances are the last time you went out to your favorite drinking establishment, the popular mixing spirit was flowing heavily. Vodka has been the main beneficiary of the popularity that came with the advancement of cocktail mixology over the last two decades. Been to a package store lately? You now have approximately 300 brands to choose from. Here’s a brief history lesson to keep you educated while planning how you will spend this wonderful and highly under rated holiday.

Vodka is the worlds most consumed spirit, accounting for a quarter of worldwide spirits sales. Three billion liters are sold each year. The name “vodka” is a diminutive form of the Slavic word voda (water), interpreted as little water. It’s origin can be traced back to Russia and Poland, both of which claim it’s creation. Prior to the mid 1950’s the spirit was rarely consumed outside of Eastern Europe and was originally introduced as a way to combat illness

Vodka is the easiest and cheapest spirit to produce, and with so many competitors in the market companies are constantly working to create the next big thing in the industry, thus the explosion of the flavored vodka market. Chocolate, whipped cream, blueberry, cranberry-lemonade, and cucumber are just some to name a few in a category that is getting larger and stranger everyday. There are even salmon and bacon flavored vodkas going into production as we speak. Soon we’ll be able to have a complete seven course meal completely in liquid form. For all of you anti flavored vodka fanatics, don’t worry, the “odorless”  and “tasteless” neutral spirit is still the main seller. The irony though is that anyone who truly believes vodka is odorless and tasteless isn’t into ultra premium vodkas. With a good vodka, you can taste the complexities that make it differ from one another. While most prefer to drink vodka iced cold, for  tasting purposes it is best served at room temperature.

Enough history lessons, how about some drinks? Below I’ve provided a few of my favorite vodka brands, in no particular order as well as some excellent recipes to get your holiday started.

Ciroc – (France)- $32- Grapes based- 5 times distilled. Nice nose, lemon, lime, citrus, almond, fruity, nutty, pepper, lemon lollipop, crisp, intense, light, pleasant, spicy, long finish.
Stoli Elite (Russia)- $60– Wheat & Rye based- 4 distillations. Freeze filtered. Balanced, smooth, burns, easy drinking, hard to drink, good finish.
Belvedere (Poland)- $35– Gold rye based, artesian well water- 4 distillations. Smooth, clean, light, balanced, anise, pepper, white pepper, grain, intense, vanilla, full bodied, long, silky finish.
Russian Standard (Russia)- $25 – Smooth, sweet finish, rough, clean, intense, exciting, classic.
Van Gogh (The Netherlands)- $28– Wheat, corn & barley- three distillations. Clean, smooth, bitter, complex, spice, fire, biting, rich, intense.
Svedka (Sweden)- $16– Winter wheat based, spring water- 5 distillations. Light, clean, soft, very fine, perky, smooth, crisp, feminine, grain, vanilla, spicy, dusty, peppery, sweet, berries, nutty, peppers, medium bodied, hot finish.
Sobieski (Poland)- $12- Rye based, spring water- 8 times distilled. Subtle, smooth, clean, delicate, almond oil, vanilla, peppery, sweet, anise, mineral, metallic, medium bodied, hot, spicy finish.
Ketel One (The Netherlands)- $26– Wheat based. Clean finish, anise, vegetal, smooth, intense, soft & subtle, neutral, bitter.


1 1/2 oz Vodka
4 oz Cranberry
1 oz of Orange Juice
1 Lime wedge
Pour all ingredients into a highball glass over ice. Add the lime wedge and serve

Moscow Mule

2 oz Vodka
2 oz of fresh lime juice
8 oz of Ginger Ale (or Ginger Beer)
Add all ingredients together over ice and serve.


1 1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 of a lime cut into 4 wedges
2 Teaspoons of sugar
Place the lime wedges at the bottom of an 8 oz glass, pour sugar over top and muddle ingredients. Add ice and pour vodka over ingredients. Serve.

Try some of the Absolut Pitcher recipes here courtesy of Special thanks, a great resource on current vodka brand in the market.

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Posted by on October 3, 2010 in Daily Holidays, Vodka


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