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A toast for the holidays…or any day

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A toast for the holidays…or any day

Blue Angel Vodka Blue BAM

Blue Angel Vodka's Blue BAM. Photo courtesy Blue Angel Vodka

I love trying unique cocktails, experimenting with new brands, new liqueurs, new ingredients. Whether it’s for the holidays or just for a fun evening with friends any day of the year, I enjoy creating cocktails — from the classical to the whimsical. Here are a few of my favorite cocktails — complete with recipes for you to make at home.

Blue Angel Vodka’s Blue BAM

The Blue Angel Martini (BAM) is the signature drink of Blue Angel Vodka, a new, ultra-premium vodka created by master distiller Maurice Kanbar. The soft, smooth vodka is an affordable luxury for discernible vodka drinkers. By using the blue curacao – try Blue Angel’s own Blue Angel Curacao – you add a festive touch to the martini.

3 oz. Blue Angel Vodka
Dash Blue Angel Curacao

In a shaker, combine vodka and curacao with several ice cubes. Shake vigorously, then strain into chilled martini glass. For a variation, add a little lemon-lime soda. To get creative, garnish with edible Silver Foil.

Blue Angel Vodka, 750 ml bottle, $19.99.

St-Germain and Champagne


St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur. Photo courtesy St Germain

One of my favorite liqueurs is St-Germain. This artisanal liqueur is created from handpicked elderflower blossoms. It has a sweet fragrance and tastes as sweet as it smells. It comes in a gorgeous bottle to boot! My favorite spirit of all is Champagne, so combining Champagne with St-Germain is a perfect cocktail.

Pour 1/2 shot St-Germain into a chilled Champagne flute, top with Champagne, and stir lightly. Float half a strawberry or a few raspberries.

St-Germain is online at

Hpnotiq Heaven

Hpnotiq Heaven

Hpnotiq Heaven. Photo courtesy Hpnotiq

There’s something captivating about a lovely blue drink. Hpnotiq is the ultimate “blue” drink — a mix of exotic fruit juices, premium vodka, and cognac. You should always drink Hpnotiq thoroughly chilled or over ice. It mixes well with a variety of other liquors. One of my favorite winter drinks is Hpnotiq Heaven.

1 oz Hpnotiq
2 oz Champagne
1 oz Chambord
Pour chilled Hpnotiq and Champagne into a Champagne flute. Slowly add Chambord. Garnish with cherries.

Find Hpnotiq online, with a complete list of recipes, at



Tuaca. Photo courtesy Tuaca Liqueur Company

Tuaca Sidecar

Tuaca is one of the most elegant liqueurs you’ll find. I had it the first time at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona. The bartender at Il Terrazzo, the fine-dining restaurant at the resort, suggested I try Tuaca. I’ve been in love ever since. It was definitely a wow moment.

The vanilla citrus liqueur dates back to Renaissance Italy. Tuaca creates a great, classy drink. The Tuaca Sidecar was a creation by a bartender at Vault 244 Bistro in Albany, Oregon. If you’re in Albany, stop by for a Tuaca Sidecar and check out the awesome food while you’re at it. If you want to create your own Sidecar, you’ll need:

1 1/2 oz Tuaca
1 1/2 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz Orange juice
1/2 oz Triple Sec
Pour into a sugar rimmed martini glass.

Read all about Tuaca and get some drink ideas at

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