June 22, 2012

What I’m Drinking: The Italian Spritz

This is another summer favorite featured in Wine Cocktails (following up the Cactus Berry below), a continental number that’ll go down in a lovely manner while you sit outside under the bright bright sun. It’s also a drink that can be enjoyed year round and is a standard (many would say the standard) in the pre-dinner hour, the apertivo hour, the time when Italians gather at the bar for snacks and a little imbibing. It has been known to cause some disagreement (not too heated mind you, but friendly disagreement) due to the garnish. Depending on where you’re at, you might get a green olive, an orange slice or twist, or something else altogether. I go for the orange slice, but am friends with many who go other routes. There’s no need for tempers during the hot months. In the spirit of this friendliness, this recipe is for two.

Serves 2

3 or 4 ice cubes

3 ounces Aperol

6 ounces chilled prosecco

2 orange slices for garnish

1. Add 1 or 2 ice cubes to two flute glasses (skip this if your Prosecco is super chilly). Add the Aperol.

2. Fill the glasses with the prosecco and stir gently. Garnish with the orange slice.

June 18, 2012

What I’m Drinking: The Cactus Berry

It seems like summer is upon us (at least everywhere outside of my little corner of the northwest, as it’s, oh, 50 degrees and cloudy here. Which might lead you to think I’m complaining. But I’m not. Cause I know July and August will be wonderful and everyone living outside of here will be melting, melting, like a bad witch. Not that I want everyone to head this way duing those months, though. A few, sure, but not everyone. The bars would be too crowded. But I digress). Which means it’s time to start focusing the sipping on seriously refreshing liquid solutions. And when I want refreshing and light and summery stuff, I usually start by browsing Wine Cocktails, which is a book of my very own. It’s full of prescriptions for the summer months (not actual prescriptions, for those head-shaking pharmacists in the room. But I think you know what I mean), including the below number, the Cactus Berry. A relative of the Margarita (another fine sunshine-y drink), the Cactus Berry goes like shoes and socks with spicy food and rising temperatures. This recipe’s for two, cause summer’s more fun in pairs.

Serves 2

Ice cubes

3 ounces Merlot

3 ounces white tequila (blanco, yo)

1-1/2 ounces Cointreau

1 ounce fresh lime juice

2 lime slices for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the Merlot, tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. Shake exceedingly well (as if you were shaking cactus thorns from your hands).

2. Strain the mix into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the lime slice and serve.

PS: I think using Herencia Tequila or Dos Manos Tequila will make your summer even more memorable.

May 18, 2012

Wine Cocktails and the Savvy Lush

If you drink wine, like charming ladies, enjoy reading jolly and informative writing about drinking and drinks (and really, why would you be here if not?), live in the mid-west, want to learn about wine while feeling like you’re hanging out with the rad-est wine teacher ever, or all of the above, then I strongly suggest you visit the Savvy Lush. But who (or what, I suppose), you might ask, is the Savvy Lush? Well, she’s a woman with an incredible knowledge about wine. And it’s knowledge picked up the right way: by drinking a lot of wine, starting with a trip in her youth to Italy (which is the finest way to start, of course). On her site she details reds and whites, skanks and snobs, and more in convivial and bubbly style. She also has a “Guest Swiller” section that she’s kicking off, and right now there’s a bit of wine cocktails talk from me. But don’t let that keep you from her blog–bookmark it and read it regular. With a glass of wine in hand of course.

PS: Naturally, as the cool kids do, you should follow her on the Twitter, too. And the Facebooker.

June 25, 2010

Wine Cocktails in the O.C.

These days, everyone wants to go Hollywood (welcome to Hollywood, what’s your dream). Or is it Bollywood? I get confused now and again. Of course, I also picture Hollywood as filled with Carole Lombards and not a bunch of over-tanned floozies, so I may be a little out of touch. But no matter, because either way you serve it up, Wine Cocktails is making a summertime hit in the land of lovelies. Not via a Greyhound bus tour, as you might expect, but via a very nice article entitled “Cocktails bring the beach home” that was in the O.C. Register. The article, by the witty and friendly Cathy Thomas, isn’t just about the W.Cs., but does have a lot of drinks from it, as well as quotes from yours truly. So, why not transport yourself by going and reading it. Right now. Or very soon after now.


PS: I fully realize that Hollywood isn’t in the O.C. But how much fun would we have just had in the above paragraph if I would have started it by saying “These days, everyone wants to go to Santa Ana?” Not nearly as much.

August 25, 2009

Wine Cocktails and Washington Spirits Article in Wino Magazine

If you don’t already know, Wino magazine is not a magazine catering solely to drunken reprobates. Though they probably are okay with that readership, too. It’s really a magazine all about Washington wines. And it’s free, and you should pick up every copy you can, cause the guys that put it out are fine fellows and very devoted to their wines (so devoted they drink about a cask a week. Ba-dump-bump). After a few glasses with Doug, the editor-in-chief, this summer, I convinced him that wine lovers would also be wine cocktails lovers with the right edging on, and also convinced him that the magazine should highlight a few of the fantastic new Washington spirits distilleries in an upcoming issue, because they’re new and deliver delicious product and need to be more known.


Little did I know that he’d be okay with me writing the article (I was okay with it, because it meant I got to visit the Pacific and Soft Tail distilleries and hang out with Mark and Dennis, the friendly and super knowledgeable distillers) and that he’d put a big review of the new book Wine Cocktails in the same issue as the article. Holy booze-tastico friends, that makes for a heck of an issue. Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a hard copy (it’s free), but Wino also puts most of the articles on their site, so you can read the Wine Cocktails review and Be Still My Heart (the article about Pacific Distillery and Soft Tail Distillery) right from the safety and comfort of your work desk, or home desk, or couch if you’re all wireless’d up. There is also a recipe using Pacific’s Voyager gin and Absinthe Pacifique and a recipe using Soft Tail’s grappa after the article (forget the recipe header that says “Wine Cocktail recipes”–these aren’t necessarily that, but are necessarily tasty). While at the Wino site, I suggest checking every nook and cranny out, especially the online only A Bottle a Week feature (cause wine is healthy and you need more). But enough of me–head on over to Wino and start swilling.

August 19, 2009

Get Wine Cocktails and Me at Poco This Thursday

Hello . . . hello . . . is it Wine Cocktails you’re looking for? If it is, you’re in luck, cause as I alluded to below (in the S.F. Part I post), I’m making a few wine cocktails from the book of the same name this Thursday at a sweet bar called Poco here in Seattle (which is named in full Poco Wine Room, but which has recently expanded to be Poco Wine and Cocktails Room, making it the ideal match up for above-mentioned book). The basics are thus (and you can see more on this Facebook page, if that’s your thing):

When: This Thursday, August 20th

Where: Poco, 1408 East Pine Street, near the intersections of Pine, 15th & Madison, Seattle

What: Wine cocktails demos, copies of the book, actually wine cocktails to drink

Who: You, one hopes. And me.


It’s $20 to get in, but for that you get your very own copy of the book (which I’ll of course sign if you want) and two drinks, so it’s a dandy deal. And, Poco is a really nice spot. All of which means you should, as the song says, come on down, have that drink. I’ll be happy to see you for sure. And while the below isn’t one of the featured drinks, it should at least whet your wine cocktails appetite.



May 8, 2009

Cocktail Video: Maibowle on Fox 25 Boston

Hey, check me out on Fox 25 Boston, talking Wine Cocktails with my pal Gene and making up Maibowles for some early morning drinking (and while checking out the fun, well, hopefully fun, stuff you should know that I had just flown into Boston the night before, and my flight was late, and, even though it was a “direct” flight from Seattle to Boston we had a layover in Philly, and they managed to lose my luggage–though I was always on the same plane–and so I was wearing the same clothes from flying the day before, which means I was in shorts and smelled a bit, and had to use a different shaker and all that cause my bar tools were in my luggage, and well, I know I’m complaining, but I also know you want the backstory, and so you’re getting it, but what I really want to say is, “damn you US Airways, how can you stink so much?” I did end up having lots of fun on the TeeVee though, and hopefully didn’t look too sleepy):

The Maibowle’s genius, too, and you should have one this weekend, with mom, who will love it, or just with yourself. And then, come back next week for Italy, Part III: This Time It’s Countryside.

April 17, 2009

Cocktail Video: Perseverance

Here it is, what you’ve all been waiting for, the second “I promise to write about Italian drinks and food soon” post. Yay! And I do promise. But, since it’s Friday, and I need to hit up the drinks before too long, this is again a short post leading into a video. But what a video! It’s for the Perseverance cocktail, which is again (as with the Bishop below) from Wine Cocktails, sported on How2Heroes, that food and drinking video bonanza site, and directed, produced, shot, and co-scripted by the boy genius himself, Fargo’s favorite frolicking son, Bradley Kosel. But this video co-stars those stage-and-screen scenesters, wife Nat and heartfelt Harry (who was last seen in Paradise). Yeaping yimmeny! Don’t sit around people: hit that play button (wait, wait, wait–feel free to make yourself a drink first. Then hit that that play button)!

PS: Holy historic halfwit! I completely forgot above to say the Perseverance contains rosé wine, maraschino liqueur, vodka, and Peychaud’s bitters. Which you might want to know before even clicking the video. Forgive me pals, I’m plum embarrassed.

PPS: Yes, I am getting paid by the exclamation point.

PPSS: Nicole, really, I’ll talk up Italy soon. With pictures. It’ll be bella. You’ll like it.

Rathbun on Film