Category: Happy Hour

pomegranate martini

Who is PUMPED about the return of Mad Men this Sunday?  ME!  That’s who!  It’s a good thing too, because I experienced my first real time Walking Dead season finale last Sunday.  No more of that until October.  So Mad Men will just have to keep me entertained, for the next couple months at least.

It’s no secret that The Mr  and I are big craft beer fans.  But, you can not simply drink a beer (even a really good craft beer) while watching Mad Men.  Even a nice glass of wine won’t rise to the occasion.  It simply must be a cocktail.

Am I wrong?

No.  I’m not.  You know it’s true.

Ideally, that cocktail should be a good old fashioned martini. But, I’m going to totally girl out and say that I just don’t like good old fashioned martinis.  Shaken, stirred, dirty, or otherwise.  I just don’t like them.  Never been an olive fan.  Why would I order a drink with one in it? (I know I probably just lost a little “grown-up” credibility there…)  I do, however, enjoy specialty martinis on occasion.  You know, the kind of brightly colored thing with some sort of tongue-in-cheek name that guys roll their eyes at…a girly drink.

And that, my friends, is what I have for you today.  Behold, the Pomegranate Martini!


Doesn’t it look luscious!  My friend Gretchen made these for us at her house one night last fall.  I fell in love with it and made them all throughout the holiday season.  I know the pomegranate makes it seem a little Christmasy but, you know what?  It ‘s April.  It was raining and 39* in Charlotte today, and I was wearing my down jacket.  So,  it kind of felt like Christmas in the South today.

Feels like Christmas?  Drink a Christmasy drink is what I say!

Regardless of the current season or weather, give it try.  It’s appropriate year ’round, really.  Here’s what you’ll need:


Pomegranate juice, Cointreau, Absolut Mandarin, and pomegranate seeds…plus a asecret ingredient that we’ll discuss later.

Well, maybe not SO much later as the “secret ingredient” is actually the first thing you put in the shaker.  Gretchen’s recipe calls for 2 tbsp of frozen lemonade concentrate.  Trader Joe’s carried it the fall, but I couldn’t find it today.  The only lemonade concentrate I could find was at main stream grocery stores.  Regardless of the brand, the first ingredient listed was high fructose corn syrup.   Number one…gross.  Number two…it’s against the rules. So, I found this at Earth Fare and tried it instead:


Mango sorbet!  I’m telling you – this stuff is G.O.O.D.   I had to put it back in the freezer quickly so that I didn’t eat the whole pint…I calls to me from the freezer even now.  But back to the martini…

I loved it last fall with the lemonade concentrate, but I think I love it even more with the mango sorbet.  The sorbet just seems to give it a richer, more complex flavor.  Either way, you are in for a treat.  So whether you choose to use lemonade concentrate or mango sorbet, put a couple tablespoons of it in the martini shaker.


Add 1 whole shot of Absolut Mandarin…


1/2 shot of Cointreau…


3/4 c of pomegranate juice…


and give it a good shake.


Garnish the bottom of your martini glass with pomegranate seeds…


and pour.  The seeds at the bottom are beautiful in the glass and like a tart, vodka soaked little treat at the end. The Mr says they are like the prize at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box.    And, lest you worry this drink might be too girly, The Mr was seen to throw back several throughout the holiday season…although he claimed that it was just to get to the pomegranate seeds at the bottom of the glass…


Now sit back, sip, and enjoy a little Don Draper and company.  You’ll thank me later!


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This I Know

I am for apres ski.  I’m not certain yet whether I am for skiing, but I am most definitely for apres ski!

Exactly what is apres ski, you ask?  According to Wikipedia it means “after skiing” and

“refers to going out, having drinks, dancing, and generally socializing after skiing. It is popular in the Alps, where skiers often stop at bars on their last run of the day while still wearing all their ski gear. The concept is similar to the nineteenth hole in golf.”

I mentioned that this week would be my first attempt at skiing… as in EVER!  On Day 1, I smartly went to Ski School in the morning and spent the afternoon playing in what I called the “baby pen.”  That was fine.  Day 2, however, was a different story.  I spent the morning on the bunny slope at the very bottom of the mountain at Deer Valley.  I had a blast doing that, and was gaining confidence in my ability to slow myself down and stop when I wanted rather than solely by flattened terrain.

After lunch BG, who had been “babysitting” me on the bunny slope all morning, assured me that I was ready to try something more and took me to the closest “green.”  I repeatedly asked him “So, because this is a green it is not any steeper than what I have been doing?”  To which he repeatedly replied “Right.  It will just be longer.”  Does anyone else sense the foreboding here?

I started getting nervous when the chair lift for this particular run went more than just a little higher than the one for my precious bunny slope.  And, by “more than just a little higher” I mean 1200 FEET HIGHER!!  I know it’s no double black diamond, but this is the highest elevation I’ve been to and not been on an airplane…and we all know how much I LOVE that.  May I just say that BG was woefully mistaken in his assessment of the slope of this so called easy green run?  It was considerably more steep than the bunny slope.  To make a long story short, there was great crying, wailing, and gnashing of teeth and we WALKED down from 8400 feet…except for the portions where I scooted on my butt for 10-15 yards at a stretch.

Once at the bottom, after our 45 min descent , I had just enough time to do a couple more runs down the bunny slope so that I didn’t completely wig out and give up on skiing altogether right then and there before meeting up with the rest of the family for our apres ski at the Stein Eriksen Lodge.  Little did I know that to get there, we had to ride a chair lift that went even higher than the last one.  I don’t know exactly how much higher, but it was enough…to COMPLETELY FREAK ME OUT!

Once again, great crying…wailing…gnashing of teeth…

At least this time, I was assured a shuttle ride down the mountain since BG’s mom does not ski and had to arrive at the lodge by shuttle.  We took our apres ski in Stein Eriksen’s Troll Hallen Lounge.  Once in the door I ordered a glass of Pinot Noir so fast that I don’t even remember the name of the vineyard.

Maybe I don’t remember the name of the vineyard because I was having a hard time reading the wine list through my red, swollen, and bloodshot eyes and basically rattled out something that sounded like “Pinot Noir” to the patient server.  There are no tasting notes on it because, honestly, my nerves were so frazzled at that point that I finished the glass in about three swallows.

The apres ski menu had something for each of our thirst cravings.  BG, of course, had a beer… some brand of oatmeal stout

while his dad had some sort of amber.

His mom enjoyed a virgin Bloody Mary, which was apparently very good but quite spicy,

and his sister had an adult coffee beverage.

For our snacks we split two bowls of Chef Zane’s Spicy Nuts and a big ole pot of New York White Cheddar and Stout Fondue!

Talk about cheesy goodness…

I tell ya, if the wine hadn’t started to cheer me up by then the fondue would have certainly done the trick!  I do love a good fondue!  So, if you are skiing Deer Valley in Utah, and are into good food at a ridiculously high elevation, the Troll Hallen Lounge in the Stein Eriksen Lodge is a must.

Finally, after two glasses of wine and a gigantor pot of beer-based cheese, I finally managed to smile again.

Like I said in the beginning, I do not know yet whether I am all for skiing but, THIS I know – I am most certainly for apres ski!

Cheers, y’all!

Wine Girl

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Cocktail Hour – Candy Cane Swirl

Where has all the wine gone?  I better get back on it or I’ll never live up to my pseudonym.  I promise…Uncorked! will return next week.  This week, however, something a little more apropros for the holiday season – a holiday cocktail!

We will be hosting friends for dinner tomorrow night and I want to have a a festive beverage available for them.  I searched the internet for days…well, maybe not DAYS per se, but it was while.  I finally found something that sounded yummy, festive, not too sweet, and didn’t require multiple varieties of alcohol to prepare.  Of course, before I serve it to friends, I have to give it a test run and see if I like it.

It’s called a Candy Cane Swirl.  The Ingredients:

The Equipment:

The recipe didn’t call for it, but I like to put a little ice in the martini shaker to make sure that it’s nice and cold.

Then you add the cranberry juice

Next up – Grenadine

And the kicker…please note the Raspberry Infusion version…not plain.

Then…Shake-shake-shake…Shake-shake-shake…Shake your cocktail, shake your cocktail (if you haven’t guessed by now, that should be sung to the tune of Shake Your Booty).

Now this IS the holiday season.  Every thing is more glitzy and sparkly during the holiday season, and your cocktail glass should be no exception. Before your martini glass can be filled with this red concoction, it must first be festooned… um, rimmed.

I tried to make my own peppermint rimmer by smashing candy canes, but just ended up making a huge mess and never could get the pieces small enough that they would stick to the glass effectively.  If anyone has any tips on DIY candy cane rimmers (or any other variety of rimmer for that matter), I’d love to hear them.  But for now, Crate & Barrel to the rescue!

To get the rimming sugar to stick you must first moisten the edge of the glass.  I use a bowl or large food storage dish, fill it with about 1/8 inch of water and dip the top of the glass in like so.

For me at least, this is the neatest way to get this done and keep the water localized to the edge of the glass.  Then you dip your glass in the rimming sugar and twist it around.

(My martini glasses are too wide to fit inside the rimmer container, so I have to pour it out into a larger dish.)  Look how pretty!

First we festoon…Then we pour

Add a splash of lemon-lime selzter

and the piece de resistance

Voila!  A Candy Cane Swirl!

Here’s the mix:

 Candy Cane Swirl

• 3oz cranberry juice
• 1 oz SKYY Raspberry Infusion Vodka
• 1 oz Grenadine
• Splash of lemon-lime seltzer
• Rimming sugar (optional)
• Candy cane for garnish

Combine cranberry juice, vodka, and Grenadine in a martini shaker and shake.  Pour into rimmed cocktail glass.  Add a splash of lemon-lime seltzer.  Garnish with a small candy cane.

I sipped on mine while I wrapped all of these.

Wrapping is much more fun with a cocktail!  I highly recommend it.

Cheers, yall!

Wine Girl

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