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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Academy Awards Inspired Cocktails

Tonight is the 83rd annual Academy Awards event and for many socialites this is their equivalent to a sports fans Superbowl party. I’m a big fan of the awards myself but it wasn’t until I got heavily involved in the spirits industry that I realized just how serious tonights festivities are for some. That being said, Grey Goose, the super premium vodka brand has created some delicious academy award inspired cocktails just in time for your gathering tonight. In addition to those offered by Grey Goose I have added a few can’t miss suggestions as well. Enjoy

The Fighter: Grey Goose L’Orange Prize Fighter

1 ½ oz Grey Goose L’Orange Flavored Vodka
1 oz fresh blood orange juice
½ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
¼ oz cranberry juice
1 thin slice of jalapeno

Place jalapeno and simple syrup in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and muddle well.
Add ice and remaining ingredients, and shake vigorously.
Strain into a chilled martini glass with a sugared rim and present with a slice of jalapeno.

Black Swan: Grey Goose L’Orange Pirouette

1 ¼oz Grey Goose L’Orange Flavored Vodka
1 oz fresh lemon juice
¾ oz crème de violette
¾ oz simple syrup
1 dash peach bitters

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake vigorously.
Strain into a chilled martini class and present with an edible orchid.

Inception: Grey Goose La Poire Elderflower Dream

1 ½ oz Grey Goose La Poire Flavored Vodka
1 ½ oz fresh ruby red grapefruit juice
½ oz premium elderflower liqueur
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake vigorously.
Strain into a chilled martini glass, and present with a grapefruit twist.

The Social Network: Grey Goose Le Citron Status Update

½ oz Grey Goose Le Citron Flavored Vodka
½ oz St. Germain
1 oz grape juice
½ oz pear puree

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake vigorously.
Strain into a rocks glass filled with cubed ice. Garnish with 2 grapes on an olive pick.

The King’s Speech: Grey Goose Royal Passion

2 oz Grey Goose Vodka
1/3 oz vanilla flavored (Monin) syrup
1 fresh passion fruit
3 small fresh pineapple chunks
Fresh lemon squeeze

In a cocktail shaker, muddle fruit. Add all other ingredients, shake vigorously and double strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a half a passion fruit floating on top.


*None of the above tickle your fancy? Or were they just a bit more complicated then what you’re prepared for? Here are some great classics that work perfect for most any gathering, and especially the academy awards.

The Classic Margarita

2 oz Don Julio Blanco
1 oz Cointreu
1 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt for Garnish

Combine tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Moisten rim of Margarita or other cocktail glass with lime juice or water. Holding glass upside down, dip rim into salt. Shake and strain drink into glass and serve.

The Perfect Martini

2 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
2/3 oz Dry Vermouth
Olive for Garnish

Fill a mixing glass to the brim with ice.Splash over the vermouth, stir once and strain the excess liquid leaving the ice in the glass. Pour over the Bombay Sapphire, stir carefully but rapidly for 20-30 seconds until ice cold. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with an olive.

The Traditional Manhattan

2 oz Rye Whiskey (Rye was the originally used style of Whiskey)
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
2-3 dashes of Angustura Bitters
Maraschino Cherry for Garnish

Poor ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir and strain into your glass of choice.


*What Oscar party would be complete without some champagne?

The Kir Royale

Chilled Champagne (Your choice !)
1/2 oz Creme de cassis

Pour iced champagne or sparkling wine into a large chilled wine glass, add 1/2 ounce of crème de cassis, and stir gently.Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

The Bellini

3 oz puree from canned California Cling Peaches
Chilled Champagne
Dash lemon juice
Maraschino liqueur (to taste)

Pour in your peach puree followed by your champagne. Top off with a dash of lemon juice and drizzle your maraschino liqueur.

Hopefully these recipes will help make this years Oscar party one that your guests will be talking about for a while, at least till next years ! If you enjoyed these please feel free to bookmark us, or join us on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest news, reviews, and recipes we have to offer. Class Dismissed !


 
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Posted by on February 27, 2011 in Events, Gin, Vodka

 

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Press Release: Knob Creek to introduce its first-ever Single Barrel Bourbon

February 16, 2011

Knob Creek® Single Barrel Reserve Demonstrates Continued Innovation and Leadership in the Super-Premium Bourbon Category

Clermont, KY (February 16, 2011) – Nearly two decades after Booker Noe, grandson of Jim Beam and sixth-generation distiller, first introduced Knob Creek®, the distillery unveils its first-ever single barrel bourbon, Knob Creek® Single Barrel Reserve. In keeping with Knob Creek’s philosophy that handcrafting superior quality bourbon is worth the effort, the new Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is naturally aged for a full 9 years and bottled at 120 proof (60% alcohol by volume).

Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is carefully hand-selected, barrel-by-barrel, to be a unique expression of Knob Creek’s rich, mature flavor. Naturally aged in new, charred American Oak barrels, Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is bottled at near barrel proof to maintain its strong, rich flavors and aromas. Unlike other bourbons, which are blended together from multiple barrels to create a uniform taste, each barrel of Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve, once hand-selected, is cut with water and bottled individually in order to preserve its integrity and unique flavor profile. This process allows for variations in taste, color and aroma in each batch of bourbon.

“We pay close attention to the barrels we select for Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve as we want to ensure that we’re bottling an extraordinary bourbon with a complex balance of aroma and taste,” said Fred Noe, seventh-generation Beam family distiller and son of Booker Noe. “I recommend enjoying this new bourbon neat, on the rocks or cut with a bit of water in order to best appreciate its depth and fullness of flavor.”

Incredibly smooth and nuanced, this new bourbon features even more of the rich wood and signature vanilla, caramel and smoky notes that bourbon lovers have come to expect from Knob Creek, the world’s number one selling Super-Premium bourbon.

“Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is the latest innovation in our bourbon portfolio,” said Rob Mason, U.S. director of Bourbons at Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. “We are especially thrilled to introduce our first single barrel bourbon offering, and to further strengthen our already-established credibility in the Super-Premium category.”

Initial reaction from bourbon experts to the new expression has been extremely positive. John Hansell, Publisher and Editor of Malt Advocate, wrote: “This is a stylish, big, broad-shouldered bourbon with a thick, sweet foundation…peppered with spice…and dried fruit.”

Kevin Gray, editor at CocktailEnthusiast.com notes: “Knob Creek drinkers, and bourbon fans in general, would do well to secure a bottle.”

Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is available in limited quantities and retails for a suggested price of $39.99 for a 750ml bottle. For more information about Knob Creek and Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve, go to www.knobcreek.com or visit us on Facebook® at www.facebook.com/KnobCreek.

About Knob Creek®

Knob Creek® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is aged nine years at a sophisticated 100 proof (50% alcohol by volume), and is named after the small town in Kentucky where President Abraham Lincoln was born. Knob Creek is the only brand that puts as much effort into our passions as you do into yours – handcrafting extraordinary bourbon with intriguing taste and bottled in unique flask shaped packaging, which has helped make it the number one selling Super-Premium bourbon in the world. Knob Creek is part of The Small Batch Bourbon Collection®, credited with driving growth in the bourbon category at the high-end. Today, these ultra-premium bourbons continue to grow at a faster pace than premium bourbons. For more information on Knob Creek, visit www.knobcreek.com.

About Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.

Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. (“Beam Global”) is one of the world’s largest premium spirits companies, encompassing a portfolio of nearly 100 brands (including eight of the world’s top-100 premium spirits brands), more than a dozen global operating and commercial facilities and 3,500 employees worldwide. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for our brands, including Jim Beam® Bourbon, Sauza® Tequila, Canadian Club® Whisky, Courvoisier® Cognac, Teacher’s® Scotch Whisky, Maker’s Mark® Bourbon, Laphroaig® Scotch Whisky, Cruzan® Rum, Hornitos™ Tequila, EFFEN® Vodka, Larios® Gin, Whisky DYC®, DeKuyper® Cordials and Knob Creek® Bourbon. Growth through innovation is a key strategy at Beam Global, with Red Stag by Jim Beam® Bourbon, Cruzan® 9 Rum, Maker’s 46™ Bourbon and Courvoisier® 12 Cognac and Courvoisier® 21 Cognac all being launched as new products over the past two years. Beam Global is part of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE:FO), a leading consumer brands company. For more information on Beam Global, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, visit www.beamglobal.com and www.drinksmart.com.

CONTACT:
Julia Vinyard
DBC PR+New Media
beam@dbcpr.com
202-292-4567

Dan Cohen
Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.
Dan.Cohen@BeamGlobal.com
847-444-2587

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2011 in Press Releases, Whiskey

 

Press Release: SKYY SPIRITS UNVEILS TWO NEW EXOTIC FLAVORS TO ITS ALL NATURAL SKYY INFUSIONS® LINE: DRAGON FRUIT AND BLOOD ORANGE

First Nationally Available Dragon Fruit & Blood Orange All Natural Infused Vodkas Hit Stores This Month

SAN FRANCISCO (February 1, 2011) – Expanding its innovative, award-winning line of vodkas made with all natural ingredients, SKYY® Vodka introduces new SKYY Infusions® Dragon Fruit and SKYY Infusions Blood Orange – the first of their kind available nationwide.  Inspired by exotic locales and current culinary trends, these new infusions blend authentic dragon fruit and blood orange with SKYY’s premium distilled vodka, creating two alluring, distinctively different spirits.  All Natural SKYY Infusions Dragon Fruit, which has already been awarded a Gold Medal by the prestigious Beverage Testing Institute of Chicago, and SKYY Infusions Blood Orange join the brand’s existing line of unexpected flavors, which includes Pineapple, Ginger, Cherry, Grape, Citrus, Raspberry and Passion Fruit.

SKYY takes the vodka category in a bold, tantalizing direction with the introduction of All Natural SKYY Infusions Dragon Fruit – an all-new superfruit experience.  An upgrade from acai and pomegranate, dragon fruit is a superfruit that boasts a unique and unexpected flavorful taste direct from a lush rain forest.  An intoxicating blend of premium vodka and real dragon fruit, this latest SKYY Infusions variety offers an exotic cocktail experience reminiscent of the fresh, sweet taste of juicy red berries.

“We were intrigued by dragon fruit because it is a superfruit with a unique taste profile, which is something both consumers and bartenders are looking for in their spirits choices right now,” said Andrea Conzonato, Chief Marketing Officer, Skyy Spirits. “With our entire SKYY Infusions line, we are focused on innovation, developing products that deliver a sensory experience that no ho-hum, boring flavored vodka can match.  Given its exotic flavor and the fact that it was unexplored in the vodka category, dragon fruit was a natural fit.”

As indulgent as it is stunning, the dragon fruit heralds from South America and Asia, but appears as if it has been grown and picked right out of a mythical world.  The dragon fruit has a dark pink rind dancing with green and yellow tendrils.  Once sliced, an unexpected white or pink fleshy interior with tiny edible seeds becomes visible. The dragon fruit’s multifaceted flavor profile is quickly replacing more mainstream fruits, with non-alcoholic dragon fruit juices and flavored waters popping up in markets nationwide.

All Natural SKYY Infusions Dragon Fruit exudes a bold, sweet taste with the tantalizing aroma of candied tropical berries, followed by a wave of exotic fruits and a complex blend of savory spice and zest.

All Natural SKYY Infusions Blood Orange is an alluring blend of premium SKYY Vodka and real blood orange, displaying the natural sweetness; deep, refined complexity; and mouth-watering juiciness of the sinful blood orange.  It has an enticing aroma of sweet orange zest followed by hints of spice and caramel.

Native to Italy and Spain, the blood orange’s unusual crimson-colored flesh embodies a delicate balance of sun-drenched succulent juiciness and complex bittersweet flavor, creating a multi-sensory taste experience bursting with the essence of sweet, fresh oranges.

“Orange is the third most-popular vodka flavor in the U.S., but when SKYY does an orange, it is anything but ordinary,” continued Conzonato. “We explored the farmer’s markets and focused on the most exotic and flavorful orange possible – blood orange.  Then, we made our vodka all natural and infused, which brings out the ripe, juicy taste of the real fruit.  Those bored with old, tired orange-flavored vodkas will want to try All Natural SKYY Infusions Blood Orange to experience something unlike any other.”

Both All Natural SKYY Infusions Dragon Fruit and SKYY Infusions Blood Orange will be available nationwide starting in February in 50ml ($1.99 MSRP), 750ml ($18.49 MSRP) and 1L ($26.49 MSRP) sized bottles.  The launches will be supported by a fully integrated marketing campaign featuring advertising, social media activities and on-/off-premise promotions.

All Natural SKYY Infusions, the line ranked #1 in taste by the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI), was originally launched in five flavors – Citrus, Cherry, Grape, Raspberry and Passion Fruit, in April 2008 by Skyy Spirits. A year later, SKYY introduced SKYY Infusions Pineapple, which quickly became a nationwide centerpiece of classic and contemporary Tiki cocktailing. In 2010, SKYY Infusions Ginger, another BTI Gold Medal winner, made its debut, making the delectable, sweet taste of ginger readily available to any bartender or consumer. With the introduction of its eighth and ninth Infusions, SKYY Infusions Dragon Fruit and SKYY Infusions Blood Orange, Skyy Spirits continues its high standard for ultra-premium, all natural infused vodkas developed on the principles of quality, innovation and style.

The entire SKYY Infusions collection can be enjoyed simply on the rocks, with club soda, with 7UP® or in a myriad of other delicious, sophisticated cocktails.  Learn more at http://www.facebook.com/SKYYVodka or Twitter: @SKYYVodka.

# # #

About Skyy Spirits, LLC
Skyy Spirits, LLC is the US-based wholly owned subsidiary of Gruppo Campari (Reuters CPRI.MI – Bloomberg CPR IM) and is the eighth-largest spirits company in the US.  Launched in 1992 with the introduction of its flagship brand, SKYY® Vodka, Skyy Spirits has grown exponentially, building a portfolio unrivaled in its quality, innovation and style, making it a top choice among distributors, retailers and consumers.  Skyy Spirits manages Gruppo Campari’s portfolio in the US of such leading brands as SKYY® Vodka, SKYY90®, All Natural SKYY Infusions®, Campari®, Wild Turkey® Straight Kentucky Bourbon, American Honey®, Russell’s Reserve®, Glen Grant® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Cabo Wabo® Tequila, Espolón™ Tequila, Ouzo 12®, X-Rated® Fusion Liqueur®, Frangelico®, Carolans Irish Cream®, Irish Mist® Liqueur and Jean-Marc XO Vodka®.  Skyy Spirits is also the exclusive US distributor of Cutty Sark® Scotch Whisky, The Glenrothes® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Auchentoshan® Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Glen Garioch® Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Flor de Caña® Rum, Midori® Melon Liqueur, Hibiki® Whisky and The Yamazaki® Single Malt Whisky.

Skyy Spirits was founded and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. More information on the company can be found at www.skyyspirits.com, www.facebook.com/skyyspirits, Twitter: @SkyySpirits and www.camparigroup.com.  Please enjoy Skyy Spirits brands responsibly and in moderation.

About Gruppo Campari
Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A., together with its affiliates (”Gruppo Campari”), is a major player in the global beverage sector, trading in over 190 nations around the world with a leading position in the Italian and Brazilian markets and a strong presence in the USA and Continental Europe. The Group has an extensive portfolio that spans three business segments: spirits, wines and soft drinks. In the spirits segment its internationally renowned brands, such as Campari, Carolans, SKYY Vodka and Wild Turkey stand out. It also has leading regional brands including Aperol, Cabo Wabo, Camparisoda, Cynar, Frangelico, Glen Grant, Ouzo 12, X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, Zedda Piras and the local Brazilian brands Dreher, Old Eight and Drury’s. Its wine segment boasts the global brand Cinzano, as well as important regional brands including Liebfraumilch, Mondoro, Odessa, Riccadonna, Sella&Mosca and Teruzzi&Puthod. The soft drinks segment comprises the non-alcoholic aperitif Crodino and Lemonsoda as well as its respective line extension dominating the Italian market. The Group employs over 2,200 people. The shares of the parent company, Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A. (Reuters CPRI.MI – Bloomberg CPR IM), are listed on the Italian Stock Exchange. www.camparigroup.com

Contact:  pr@skyy.com

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2011 in Press Releases, Vodka

 

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New Amsterdam Gin Review

“Before New York was New York, it was New Amsterdam. Now the essence of the city has been distilled into the classic New York spirit”. Today’s review is courtesy of New Amsterdam gin, the gin which pays homage to the 17th century Dutch settlement which we now know as New York city. Unfortunately if you live in the area or are visiting, you might have a hard time finding the distillery because it’s actually based out of Modesto, California. Being a fan of gin, and a bigger fan of experimentation/innovation I have mixed feelings about this product.

Aroma: First to hit the nose will be the hints of juniper that gins have come to be known for, however it’s quickly replaced by strong hints of citrus, very much like that of a citrus flavored vodka.

Taste: Though gin connoisseurs will probably disagree, New Amsterdam gin actually has good flavor, and comes off very smooth. It’s hint of juniper and overload of citrus makes you almost forget it’s a gin your drinking which depending on the drinker can be good or bad. If you are looking for a gin to drink straight (not many of us left out there) or to mix in a martini this might not exactly be for you. The lack of gin familiarity that comes from heavy juniper will leaving you with something to be desired. However its unique taste does match perfectly with fruit based cocktails. The buzz of this gin is growing and rightfully so but trying to compare it to a Bombay Sapphire or Hendricks would be like comparing apples to oranges. At it’s economy friendly 12-15$ range however, its perfectly acceptable for daily consumption or while rationing your more traditional gins.


Grade: B-
(Based on its overall taste and like-ability, sorry gin lovers)
Price: 12.99


UNION SQUARE

2 strawberries
Sprig of basil
2 oz New Amsterdam Gin
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz agave nectar

Muddle strawberries with the basil until fully mashed, add all other ingredients, and shake with ice vigorously, strain into martini glass and garnish with half strawberry.

L.E.S. (Lower East Side)

2 1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3/4 oz Honey
Lime Wedge

Combine all ingredients except wedge in a chilled cocktail shaker and strain into a martini or highball glass and garnish with a wedge.



Little Italy

2 oz New Amsterdan gin
1 1/2 oz limoncello
1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 oz club soda

Combine all ingredients except the soda in a shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously and strain over an ice-filled high ball glass OR as a martini, strain into a martini glass. Add soda last as a float. Garnish with a lemon wheel or top with lemon zest.

Electrolyte

2 1/2 oz Gin
1 tsp Sugar
1 oz Pineapple Juice
2 Slices of Watermelon (or 2 oz Watermelon Juice)
Splash of Lemon Juice

Muddle the watermelon slices and combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add plenty of ice. Shake vigorously for eight seconds. Pour contents into a highball glass and garnish with a watermelon slice.

Photos and recipes courtesy of New Amsterdam Gin. As always we recommend you become a fan on Facebook to stay current on our latest reviews and recipes. Class Dismissed !

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2011 in Gin, Spirits

 

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It’s Never Too late: Last Minute Valentine Cocktails

Never too late to let her know you love her. Though you might be scrambling around looking for ideas and ways to put a smile on her face this February 14th, feel comforted in knowing I have provided a few simple suggestions for you here. Here are a few delicious last minute Valentines Day cocktail recipes. Enjoy.

Silk Rose
1 oz     Tequila Rose
1/2 oz     Milk
1/2 oz     Butterscotch Schnapps
1/2 oz     Banana Schnapps
1/4 oz     Half & half
Mix in shaker with ice and strain into small martini glass.

Valentine Crush

1 oz. Absolut Citron
1/4 oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 oz. Raspberry Puree
Fill to top with Segura Viudas Sparkling. Pour Absolut, Grand Marnier and raspberry puree into chilled flute. Slowly add sparkling wine, filling to the top of the glass.

Pama Kiss

1 1/2 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
3/4 oz. Premium Sour Apple Vodka
1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice

Blushing Lady
1 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
2 oz. Super Premium Vodka
1 oz. Pink Grapefruit Juice
Lemon Wedge
Sugar, for garnish

Rub a wedge of lemon around the rim of a martini glass and dip the glass into a plate of coarse sugar. Set it aside. Pour the remaining ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into the garnished martini glass. Garnish with mint leaves.

Kisss From a Rose
1 1/4 oz     Tequila Rose
3/4 oz     Strawberry Liqueur
Shake with ice and strain into a 5 oz. cocktail glass. Garnish with a strawberry.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2011 in Valentines Day

 

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Liquid Love: Valentine’s Day Cocktails

Who says Valentines Day has to be all about big teddy bears, heart shaped chocolates and big bouquets of flowers. Nothing against those that love receiving these gifts, but sometimes all it takes is a nice candle-lit dinner and a delicious drink to set the mood for you and your loved one.  Here are some cocktails that will have you falling in love at first sip:

Chocolate Strawberry
1 oz Tequila Rose
1/2 oz Milk
1/2 oz Chocolate Liqueur
Fill with hot coffee and top with whipped cream.

Red Velvet Martini
1/2 oz. Van Gough Dutch Chocolate Vodka
1/2 oz. Stoli Vanilla Vodka
1/2 oz. Raspberry Liqueur
Splash of Godiva Chocolate Liqueur

Pour all ingredients into a martini shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass rimmed with sugar and drizzled with white chocolate and raspberry sauce.

French Kiss

3/4 oz. Godiva White Chocolate liqueur
3/4 oz. Godiva Dark Chocolate liqueur
1/2 oz. Ketel One Vodka
1/2 oz. Captain Morgan
3/4 oz. Chambord
Pour all ingredients into a martini shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass drizzled with chocolate sauce. Garnish with a fresh strawberry on the rim.


Chocolate Covered Kiss

1 1/2 oz. Stoli Vanil Vodka
1 oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liquor
3 oz. Cream
Serve in a chocolate swirled glass. Garnish with a chocolate duo stick and fresh chocolate shavings.

The Peacock
2 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
1 oz. Premium Citrus Vodka
Splash Cranberry juice
* Splash of Sour Mix

Don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook !

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Holidays, Valentines Day

 

Cocktail of The Week: The Pama Kiss

Valentines Day is only a few days away. So in tribute I thought it only fitting to feature a sexy and seducing cocktail compliments of Pama Liqueur. Serve this to your significant other this Valentines Day and you will have them eating out of your palms.

Pama Kiss

1 1/2 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
3/4 oz. Premium Sour Apple Vodka
1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice

Mix all ingredients and pour in glass of choice. To garnish, dust some raspberries with sugar and slide onto stirrer.