Cocktail O’Clock: Olives + Tequila?


We’re big fans of dirty martinis here at Endless Simmer, not to mention pickle-tinis, and pretty much any other way to salty up a cocktail. What we’d never heard of before was an olive-and-tequila concoction.

With National Tequila Day just around the corner (July 24, as you surely know), it’s about time to take a look at the Mexican martini.

This Austin, Texas speciality comes to us by way of Tex-Mex cantina El Original in New York City and we have to say this one looks worth trying.

Mexican Martini 

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A No-Fuss Holiday Drink: Candy Cane Martini

I received an email yesterday from one of my best friends, asking me for my opinion on holiday drink recipes. I was appalled—each recipe contained things like schnapps (multiple kinds per recipe), chocolate liqueur and sugar. No offense to Emily and those of you who like these cocktails, but for me, liqueurs are for my morning coffee and all lead to bad hangovers and a lot of vomiting if I consume them in large quantities in the evening.

My drinking plan for the 2012 holiday party season has been as follows: dirty martini, sipped slowly, accompanied by as many olives as humanly possible so I wouldn’t be wasted on an empty stomach (I know—bah humbug). But then Platinum 7x Vodka sent me the best holiday present ever: vodka and a recipe for this no-fuss, no-bullshit martini. It might be hangover-free too; this stuff is distilled 7 times for maximum smoothness. So if you’re hosting a party and want something festive without all the bullshit–throw a candy cane in your vodka. I know I will!

7X-mas Tini

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Horror Movies, Here We Come: Halloween Popcorn and Cocktail

With Halloween falling in the middle of the week this year, and a Frankenstorm a-brewing, it’s definitely time for a classic horror movie fest. You’ll need Kubrick’s The Shining, Spielberg’s Jaws, and any Hitchcock film—plus a big bowl of popcorn and some frightfully delicious cocktails to get into the spooky spirit.

Our take on an espresso martini is inspired by the delicious version we order at Lucca on Hanover Street in Boston. It’s a combination of vodka, espresso, slightly sweet Kahlua and a splash of velvety Baileys Irish Cream. While sipping the eerily dark libation, we nibble on decadent sweet and salty popcorn that incorporates two of our favorite guilty pleasures: peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. The combination of the nutty, sticky sweet crunch of the popcorn with the exhilarating zing of the drink is the ideal combination for any movie gathering, especially on a chilly weeknight.

Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Fluff Popcorn

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Pumpkin Gone Wild! Top 10 Ways to Use Pumpkin

Do you hear those crisp leaves crunching underneath your feet as you walk to your car in the morning, holding your favorite brand of pumpkin coffee in your hand? Are apples the only fruit that you pack in your lunch for the next month, yet you know you won’t get sick of them? Then you love fall, too. But before we go too far into fall, let’s focus on the hallmark food of the season: pumpkin.

Pumpkin pie and bread are great…but it’s time to mix it up a bit. Enjoy…

10. Pumpkin Pie Martini

Don’t tell me you didn’t think we’d have some form of booze on here. I know, some of your are cringing thinking of “ruining” a glycerin-induced regular martini with the sweet taste of pumpkin. Well then you go ahead and drink your regular martini. The rest of us will enjoy the pumpkin…and not feeling like we have to call poison control.

Recipe: Life’s Ambrosia

9. Pumpkin Pie Dip

There is a dip that neighbors make every year for fruit. It has cream cheese, sugar, and peanut butter in it. I’m not complaining, but I think they could also mix it up and try this pumpkin dip. I’ve had this before, and in addition to fruits and graham crackers – pretzels are a great instrument in carrying the dip. Plus – sweet and salty.

Recipe: The Girl Who Ate Everything

8. Pumpkin Tagliatelle

There’s a restaurant in Philly that makes the best pumpkin pasta I’ve ever had. And I’m dead-set on returning this fall. However, for those of you that can’t enjoy it at the restaurant: this tagliatelle looks awesome. Used the right way, pumpkin adds a buttery, nutty flavor to the pasta. Yum.

Recipe: The Little Things

7. Pumpkin-Caramel Mousse Cakes

Pumpkin. Caramel. Mousse. I’m sold.

Recipe: Bakers Royale

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Cooking with Grandma

Whenever I watch the investigative crime show CSI, I always stop and think, “This is nothing! If that team wants to solve a REAL mystery, they ought to try cooking with my Grandmother!” Hey Grissom, what’s the difference between a smidgen and a pinch? And you guys are pretty liberal with that Fingerprint Dust. You ever heard the term, “Waste not, want not”?

In his cooking books, Paul Prudomme lovingly describes how as a child he worked at his mother’s side, learning her methods and techniques, while proclaiming his gratitude and love for her guidance and patience. My grandmother on the other hand, graduated with honors from the chain smoking, martini drinking, ‘No Measuring’ school of cooking, where the term “A little bit of this and a little bit of that” was the universal code for “I don’t know how much I used, so stop asking!” My earliest cooking memories involved my grandmother’s instruction on how to work the wheel of her Zippo in order to light the next filter-less Chesterfield. These little, white fire sticks, I learned, are essential time-monitoring devices, and were relied heavily upon during the preparation of a dish. “Two more smokes and that bread will be done rising!” she’d tell me.

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Attack of the Oreo…Cocktails!

I’ve never been one of those people who can’t say no.  I have no problem saying it.


{In school}

Can you copy my test? I think not.

Lunch money?  Ain’t got none (clearly our school system is failing).


{As an adult}

Need help moving?  I’m busy that day.

Oh, I also can’t help you paint your house.  I got a thing.

Yeah, I can’t babysit your kid ’cause I don’t wanna.

Your birthday is coming up?  I’m no good at cakes.

Also, I have given to a charity already this year, so not today, seedy people who approach me at the gas station.


Yeah, there’s a lot more stuff to say no to as an adult. But, when your co-worker of 5-plus years asks you to make some of your “very delicious Oreo truffles, pleeeaaasse” for her son’s wedding on a budget…sometimes you gotta suck it up and say yes.

Months go by and I’m dreading it and dreading it. Ugh.  Today is the day. OK, so I’m gearing up to make a million truffles, but clearly I need to make a stop at the liquor store to get through this madness.  I texted my brother updating him on my situation.  Then he said the best thing ever.

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Cocktail O’Clock: Antipasto in a Glass

What’s better than a martini? A martini with prosciutto and bleu cheese stuffed olives.

Spotted at: Zavino, Philadelphia.

(Photo: ML)

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