Salted Peanut Butter Bourbon Cups

Salted Peanut Butter Bourbon Cups

Please raise your hand if this scenario sounds familiar:

Me (tipsy during a night out with friends): “I would LOVE to come to your (weird, hipster) Ugly Sweater, Non-denominational Holiday Party!  Yes, of course I will bring treats for everyone!”

Two weeks later…

Me (sober with a basket of chocolate chips, peanut butter, and bourbon) running into a friend at the grocery store:  “What?  Oh yeah!  No, I totally didn’t forget about your party.  Look, I’m prepping for it right now!  Yes, I got the Facebook invite.  8:30?  Tonight?  I’m so excited!  Can’t wait!”…

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Rum Caramel Coconut Cookies (Samoas with Rum)

Rum Samoas

Shots are not my forte.  I get calls for them every so often, but oftentimes, I don’t even have the ingredients fulfill the request (no Jägermeister, no flavored vodkas, and no schnapps of any kind).  One of the most perplexing shots has always been the Dirty Girl Scout.  What’s so dirty about it?  Vodka, Kahlua, Bailey’s, and white creme de menthe?  Sounds pretty tame to me.  But then again, I shoot whiskey.  …

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Malted Brandy Milk Punch Cupcakes

Malted Brandy Milk Punch Cupcake

Out-of-towners visiting my bar often ask “What do I HAVE to drink while I’m in New Orleans?”  The obvious and immediate answer is the Sazerac (as well it should be because it is the official cocktail of New Orleans).  I then go on to list a slurry of classic cocktails that were created here (Vieux Carré, Hurricane, Ramos Gin Fizz), but one of my favorites will always be the milk punch.  Traditionally made with brandy and maybe a bit of rum, there’s a bourbon version that is quite palatable as well.  Brandy or bourbon preference aside, while visiting a city filled with professional Brunch-goers, this New Orleans classic is a must….

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Mini Pumpkin Bundt Cakes with Sherry Chocolate Glaze

Sherry Pumpkin Bundt Cakes

Sherry is the hot thing right now in the beverage world, and I couldn’t be happier.  I love a Fino or an Amontillado Sherry with dinner.  An Adonis cocktail is currently my brunch favorite, and a pour of Pedro Ximénez after dinner will always be welcome.  All I’m saying is, give me Sherry, and I will be a happy lady….

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Gin-Poached Cranberry Bliss Bars

Gin-Poached Cranberry Bliss Bars

When I think of the holiday season, I can’t help but think about holiday shopping.  Visions of over-caffeinated moms herding hyperactive children through the mall come to mind, and this terrifying image has me steering clear of shopping centers for the next month.  But what if soccer moms were sipping martinis instead of grande lattes? …

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Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Whiskey-Maple Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin Whiskey Maple Scone Pan

Most people consider Saturday to be a day of celebration and merriment.   The nine-to-fivers pick Saturday to hold weddings, throw bachelor parties, or just to enjoy the end of the work week.  Everyone needs time to unwind and let loose, and for most, Saturday is the most logical day to do it.

To service industry professionals, however, it is the most challenging day.  …

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Gingerbread Cake with Bourbon-Molasses Frosting plus Tasting Whiskey

Gingerbread Bourbon Molasses Cake!

I am no book reviewer, and therefore, what I write is not meant to function as such.  Please allow me to simply share my excitement for one of the best new book releases in recent memory.

Tasting Whiskey by Lew Bryson was released a few weeks ago, and I was ecstatic when I received it in the mail.  Having had a bit of time to go through it, I can now say that this book is an instant classic.  It’s one of those references that every spirit and/or cocktail enthusiast will have in his/her library….

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Nutella & Espresso Mascarpone Cheesecakes

Nutella Espresso Cheesecakes Cup

Galliano knows how to party.  Last summer, the resurging liqueur crashed the Tales of the Cocktail opening party with a flash mob set to a Parliament soundtrack.  They recently hosted a bartenders’ bar crawl, bussing us around to some of the city’s finest watering holes to imbibe Galliano cocktails (big thanks to Jen Ferreira for arranging that).  Then there was the subsequent Harvey Wallbanger block party.

Now they’re making cheesecakes?!?!

Well, technically, I’m making the cheesecakes.  But the Italian liqueur did serve as my inspiration….

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Chocolate Cardamom Cupcakes with Blood Orange Liqueur Filling

Cardamom Solerno Cupcakes Bottle

If you aren’t familiar with Solerno, it’s time to get acquainted.  It’s a bold Sicilian Blood Orange Liqueur that beautifully enhances cocktails requiring a citrus element.  Having also had great success using it in a number of confections (petit fours, frostings, cakes, and candies), it has become an indispensable bottle in my liquor collection….

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Chocolate Bourbon Pumpkin Tart

Chocolate Bourbon Pumpkin Tarts

My favorite cocktail event of the Fall/Winter season is definitely Tales of the Toddy.  Every year, the best bartenders and the finest restaurants in New Orleans get together to create an evening filled with exquisite holiday cocktails and mouthwatering cuisine. You know what happens when bartenders get together to throw a holiday party?  In New Orleans?  It becomes THE BEST HOLIDAY PARTY EVER….

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