"Gabrielle Holly spins her stories in a way that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster you'll never forget!"
~Paranormal Romance Junkies

Cocktail Recipes

Stop by each week for a new cocktail recipe!

Pina Colada a la Gabrielle
This pretty, tropical drink isn’t just for vacations and nights out. I played around with a couple of old recipes before I scrapped them all and came up with my own. This version uses fresh pineapple rather than pineapple juice. Trust me, Darlings, don’t bother with canned fruit. I’ll teach you how to select the perfect pineapple and slice it up.

·        Ice Cubes (I used a full standard tray – about 2-3 cups)
·        1 Cup Fresh pineapple chunks
·        ½ Cup rum (I used Bacardi Gold)
·        ½ Cup coconut cream (find the cans in the liquor department - I used Coco Lopez)
·        Sliced pineapple for garnish
·        Maraschino cherry for garnish
·        Add the ingredients to the blender in the following order:
o   Fresh pineapple chunks
o   Ice Cubes
o   Coconut cream
o   Rum
·        Pulse until ice is thoroughly crushed.
·        Serve in a glass with garnish.
How to Select the Perfect Pineapple: 
All pineapples are ripe when they hit the store, but the ones that are golden-brown are the sweetest. Look for a pineapple that seems heavy for its size. Look at the bottom and body of the fruit, it should look plump (not shriveled) and feel firm, but give a little to slight pressure. Pluck out one of the center leaves from the top – it should come out easily.
How to Cut a Pineapple
There are lots of great tutorial videos on YouTube. There are a couple of different ways to get at that fabulous fruit, but whichever method you use, REMEMBER to slice off a ring when you start and set it aside for garnish. Here’s a video on the method I prefer:

The Pirouline Cocktail
I’ve been such a good girl, I decided to treat myself to one of my favorite dessert combinations – nuts and chocolate. This delicious little after-dinner drink tastes like a candy bar in cocktail glass. Mm, I think I might just be in love (again).
  • 1 part Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
  • 1 part Bailey's Irish cream
  • 1 part crème de cacao
  • 1 part heavy whipping cream
  • ice

 (For two cocktails, I used 1/3 cup of each ingredient).

  • Shake – or vigorously stir – all ingredients with ice until VERY cold.
  • Strain into an iced glass.
  • Curl up with a good eBook.

Enjoy, Darlings!
xoxo ~Gabrielle

Chocolate Covered Grasshopper Cocktail
Though nothing makes my heart sing like a good Canadian whiskey, I do have a sweet tooth. Occasionally, I like to satisfy my cravings with a sugary after-dinner drink. This artistic little confection is definitely a “sipper” and even I can’t drink more than one.
Here’s my twist on a classic. The Chocolate Covered Grasshopper Cocktail incorporates lovely chocolate stripes for flavor and prettiness.
  • 1 ounce green crème de menthe (I used Mr. Boston)
  • 1 ounce white (clear) crème de cacao (I used Mr. Boston)
  • 1 ounce heavy cream
  • Ice
  • Chocolate “shell” ice cream topping (I used Hershey’s Shell)
The Glass
  • Chill martini glass in freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Squeeze a circle of chocolate shell topping – the approximate diameter of the martini glass rim - in a shallow dish.
  •  Dip the chilled martini glass rim in the dish to coat.
  •  Working quickly, tip and twirl glass while drizzling chocolate shell topping into the glass, creating a spiral from top to bottom.

The Drink
  •  Pour crème de menthe, crème de cacao and cream over ice and shake well or stir vigorously. This drink is best served ice-cold, so put some effort into it, Darlings!
  • Carefully strain into your prepared martini glass.
  • Admire your cocktail artistry, then enjoy!
 xoxo ~Gabrielle
My Bloody Valentine Cocktail (Vegan)
I love cocktails that double as snacks and the Bloody Mary is my favorite in that category. Some folks miss out on these crimson beauties because Worcestershire sauce – a traditional ingredient - contains anchovies, which vegans and those with seafood allergies want to avoid. And, one can never be quite sure of what a creative bartender might throw into the mix.
I’ve created a version that leaves out the Worcestershire sauce, but still has plenty of flavor.
  • 6 ounces vegetable juice cocktail (I used V8)
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon)
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 Tablespoons dill pickle juice
  • 2 ounces vodka (I used Stoli)
  • Ice cubes
  • Celery sticks and dill pickle spear for garnish
·         Pour the juice into a pitcher (I love my 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup for mixology).
·         Add pepper, celery salt, pickle juice and vodka.
·         Stir well.
·         Serve over ice and garnish with celery sticks and a pickle spear. I like to grind a little extra black pepper on top, just for prettiness.
Enjoy, Darlings!
The New York Cocktail
Ingredients (makes two):
·        4 oz blended whiskey (I used Windsor Canadian, of course)
·        2 oz freshly-squeezed lemon juice (I used lovely little Meyer lemons)
·        2 tsp sugar + extra for the rim
·        1.5  tsp grenadine (I used Rose’s)
·        Splash lemon-lime soda (I used Diet 7-Up)
·        lemon twist for garnish
·        Ice
1.     Pour whisky, lemon juice, sugar and grenadine over ice in a glass measuring cup.
2.     Stir well to chill.
3.     Add soda to taste (without it this cocktail is VERY SWEET!)
4.     Rub lemon rind around the rim of a martini glass then dip glass in sugar.
5.     Carefully strain cocktail into glass so as not to disturb the sugared rim.
6.     Garnish with the lemon twist.
Santa's Little Helper Cocktail
Christmas Eve usually finds me sitting cross-legged on my bed, buried beneath wrapping paper, ribbons, unwrapped gifts and unstuffed stockings. This year I finished my Yuletide duties early and had time to crank up the Christmas tunes, kick my feet up on the coffee table, and enjoy a little holiday cheer. I hope you’ve all been Naughty and Nice.
Happy Holidays Darlings!
Santa’s Little Helper
·        1.5 ounces Coffee-flavored Liqueur (I used Kahlua)
·        0.5 ounces Peppermint Schnapps (I used Phillips)
·        0.5 ounces heavy whipping cream
·        8-10 ounces strong hot coffee (I love Dunkin’ Donuts brand)
·        1 dollop whipped cream
For an extra festive touch, garnish with a candy cane!
Combine Kahlua, schnapps, whipping cream and coffee in a mug and stir lightly. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Sip while reviewing your Naughty & Nice list. Repeat as necessary.
The CranTini (Cranberry Martini)
Hello Darlings!
This week’s cocktail is the CranTini ~ a Yuletide twist on the martini. I adore cranberry juice cocktail as a mixer and this is such a pretty and festive drink, I just had to give it a spin.
And now, in the interest of full disclosure: I am not a fan of vermouth. I tweaked and tasted and tweaked some more and the version that’s most palatable for me has almost no vermouth… okay, that’s an overstatement. It had absolutely no vermouth. My husband liked the vermouth’ed version just fine.
My version also doubles the amount of orange liqueur and cranberry juice cocktail found in most recipes. I know, I know… it’s sounding less and less like a martini, but if I’m not sipping my standby Windsor & Diet Coke, I like my cocktails smooth and easy to drink. Traditionalists - feel free to keep the vermouth and reduce the measures of orange liqueur and cranberry juice cocktail by half ~ you won’t hurt my feelings.
The Cranberry Martini
·         1.5 ounces vodka (I used Stoli)
·         1 ounce orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier)
·         0.5 ounce dry vermouth (OR NOT, but if you want to… I used Martini & Rossi)
·         4.5 - 6 ounces cranberry juice cocktail (I used Ocean Spray)
·         1 Cup ice
·         Whole Cranberries & Orange Slice for garnish (optional)
1.     Combine vodka, orange liqueur, vermouth, cranberry juice and ice in a cocktail shaker then shake vigorously to chill. Alternative Mixing Procedure: I opted for the anti-007 stirred method.
2.     Pour into martini glasses and serve.
3.     If desired, garnish with a whole cranberries and an orange slice. (Highly recommended, just for prettiness).
Serves two-ish.

The Hot Toddy
This week’s recipe is all about curiosity. I’ve always wondered about the storied Hot Toddy. Until tonight, I wasn’t even sure what was in one. After some poking around in my mixology books and surfing the Internet, I learned that this seasonal drink has many versions. I wanted to stay close to traditional, but with a tweak or two to suit my taste. That said, I have to admit, Hot Toddies really don’t suit my taste at all. I found the cocktail a bit too medicinal-tasting for my liking. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised – I learned that this concoction is an old-school remedy for sore throats. But, I suspect its “medicinal benefits” have more to do with wanting an excuse to imbibe on a cold winter’s eve.
The Hot Toddy
1 cup strong tea
1 Tablespoon (+/-) honey
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 ounce alcohol (whiskey, rum, or brandy)
Lemon for garnish
Cinnamon stick for garnish
Cloves (optional)
·         Prepare a strong cup of tea.
·         While tea is steeping, add honey, lemon juice and alcohol into a footed mug and stir.
·         If desired, drop three whole cloves into mug (or a tiny sprinkle of ground cloves)
·         Stir in tea, garnish with lemon (wedge or curl) and cinnamon stick.
·         Serve hot
My husband and I experimented with a couple of variations on the theme:
·         We tried it with spiced rum and with Canadian whisky. My husband preferred the rum, I the whisky.
·         We tried the drink with and without the cloves and both agreed that the cloves were just too much and better left to the pumpkin pie filling.
·         He felt a Tablespoon of honey was too sweet – I thought it was just about right.
·         We both agreed that a full Tablespoon of lemon juice is a too much. It really did make the drink taste like a cough drop.
Overall, I’m glad I tried the Hot Toddy – if for no other reason than to satisfy my curiosity. However, the next time I’m in the mood for a hot cocktail, I’ll opt for my old standby – The Irish Coffee.
Hugs Darlings!
~~~ Gabrielle

The White Russian Cocktail á la The Dude 
I love "The Big Lebowski." Jeff Bridges plays The Dude with such earnest and I think his line, “Nothing is fucked here,” is a marvelously poetic version of “All is well.” It’s among my favorite movie quotes.
Check out this great moment from the movie then scroll down for my interpretation of The Dude’s signature beverage – the White Russian.

The White Russian – an Homage to The Dude

·         2 parts Good Russian Vodka
·         1 part Coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)
·         1 part Heavy Cream
TIP: A dear friend of mine put herself through college working as a bartender. She told me that the key to mixing a great drink is using plenty of ice. That’s especially true with this sweet cocktail.
Fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice. Pour in two shots of vodka and one shot each of Kahlua and cream. Stir while repeating three times “The Dude abides.”* Lick the swizzle stick.
*You may substitute the words, “El Duderino,” if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.

I enjoy a low-carb, alcohol-free version when I’m working. Just fill a tall iced glass with leftover strong coffee (cooled), add heavy whipping cream to taste. Stir in 1 Tablespoon (+/- to taste) of sugar-free Da Vinci Gourmet Kahlua Coffee Liqueur Flavored Syrup.
Enjoy Darlings!
xoxo ~Gabrielle


Irish Coffee

We've been flirting with winter in the Midwest. One day we're raking leaves in short-sleeved shirts, the next we need hats and gloves. We saw the first snow flurries yesterday and I had to bundle up for my walk this morning. The cold weather and the long weekend created the perfect excuse to pour a cup of Irish coffee. There are plenty of recipes out there for this classic, but this is how I enjoy mine.

Irish Coffee
1 cup strong hot coffee
2 ounces whisky
2-3 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon heavy whipping cream - floated

  Combine coffee, whisky and sugar in a coffee cup. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Float cream on top of coffee by pouring cream into a large tablespoon then gently lowering the spoon just below the surface of the coffee.

Stay warm Darlings!
xoxo ~Gabrielle


The Canadian Mountie

The end table by Gabby's favorite chair.

1.5 ounces Canadian whisky
0.5 ounces blackberry brandy
1 teaspoon sugar
0.5 ounces (freshly squeezed) lemon juice
1 lemon slice (for garnish)
Fresh blackberries (for garnish)

Combine whisky, blackberry brandy, lemon juice, and sugar. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour over ice and garnish with fresh blackberries and a lemon slice.

I used a wine glass, but I think this drink would also be nice served in a tall, narrow julep glass.

NOTE: If this cocktail is too strong for your taste, it's great mixed with orange juice!


The Dracula
1.5 ounces light rum
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
4 ounces cranberry juice cocktail
1 ounce lemon juice
1 teaspoon grenadine

Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake well, strain into an iced glass.

1 comment:

  1. cocktails - you are a woman after my own heart!!! LOVE cocktails. My favorites are the Cowboy, Midori Splice & Pina Colada