Candied Rims for Cocktails

As you may have guessed from my recent Birthday Cake Martini post, I am a big fan of customizing beautiful, flavorful rims for cocktails.

In addition to the added visual interest, customized rims can add a great pop of coordinated flavor to your chosen cocktail. A great drink suddenly becomes memorable – garnishes can go a long way to establishing a”signature” drink for your wedding, party, or other special event.

While it’s not the most common application out there, I love to use crushed hard candy to rim cocktail glasses. They work particularly well for my taste in drinks (“Diabetes in a glass”!), and I love the way it looks. Candy color and flavor can either match or contrast with the drink, and bring a bit of sparkle to the presentation of it. Also, the possibilities are almost endless!

Use crushed peppermint candies or candy canes (Great for holiday drinks!), black colored hard licorice flavored candies (Ouzo shots!), fruit flavored candies for a jeweled look, hard caramels / toffees (perfect for a Candy Apple Martini!)… cinnamon candies, coffee flavored hard candy on a chocolate or Kahlua based cocktail…

See what I mean? Tons of possibilities!

Candied cocktail rims are quick and easy to do, and the technique comes in handy for my NEXT blog post 🙂 Have fun with it!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Candied Rims for Cocktails

Candied Rims for Cocktails
Print
5 from 3 votes

Candied Rims for Cocktails

If you’re ever looking to up your home bartending game, Candied Rims for Cocktails is a fun, tasty way to do so!
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Beverage
Keyword: bartending, cocktail rim, cocktails, Martini, martini glass, mixology
Author: Marie Porter

Equipment

  • Martini Cocktail Glass
  • 2 Plates

Materials

  • Hard Candies
  • Corn Syrup

Instructions

  • Crush your candies. I like to use a mortar and pestle, but there are many ways to do this – food processor, rolling pin, hammer, etc.
    You will want any chunks to be relatively small, or they’ll just fall off.
    Alternatively, you can crush the candies down to a powder, for a less chunky look.
  • Once candies are crushed, spread them out on one of the plates – you’ll want to use them fairly soon – moisture in the air will make the crushed candies sticky.
  • Pour a small amount of corn syrup onto the second plate. carefully twirl the very edge of a martini glass in the corn syrup, until the edge is coated the entire way around the rim.
  • Hold the glass above the plate and allow any excess corn syrup to drip off of the glass. Take your time – extra syrup will run down the side of your glass, not hold the candy securely to the rim!
  • Twirl the edge of the rim through crushed candies, gently pressing down to secure.
  • Fill glass with cocktail of your choice. Enjoy!
    Jolly Rancher Martinis


Candied Rims for Cocktails


Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!

Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

Birthday Cake Martini

Augh!

You guys know I’m the Evil Cake Overlord, and purveyor of all that is awesome about cake. You know that I swear by Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which is – quite simply – the most fabulous frosting that ever existed. I have never steered anyone wrong when it comes to matters of cake.

Here’s the thing: That “frosting” you buy in a can? Like… the “cream cheese” stuff? The stuff I would never personally put on a cake… ever?

I love it.

I have the most ridiculous sweet tooth ever, one that knows NO shame. While I would never use canned frosting on cake, it has other great uses… like making store bought gluten free cookies palatable. Melting some and drizzling it over ice cream is probably my guiltiest of pleasures. (Hear that? That’s the sound of my “cred” dying… ack! ).

With the new cake vodkas on the market, there’s another great use for it – I like to keep some on hand, for rimming martini glasses!
… which brings me to today’s recipe: Birthday Cake Martinis!

As I described in my Candy Apple Martinis post, today’s recipe is technically a martini cocktail, not a “martini”. It’s all good. Anyway, last year, I made a Dessert Pizza for my husband’s birthday. This year, I created this cocktail for him.


…And then I procrastinated for almost two months, only getting around to posting it when my own birthday was looming! I’m turning 33 tomorrow, hubby – as always – beat me to it!

Anyway, it’s been about a year since we first saw the UV “Cake” flavored vodka in a liquor store, which we had to buy – obviously. I don’t know what we were expecting, but we were kind of shocked when out mouths were greeted with the very clear, VERY accurate flavor of canned frosting.

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Birthday Cake Martini

Birthday Cake Martini


Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!

Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

Homemade Wine Slush Mix!

If you’ve ever been to a large trade show, home show, or – in our case this weekend, a Food and Wine show… chances are, you’ve seen a booth hawking wine slushie mixes. “Frappe Vino”, “Wine Slush”, “Party Slush Mix”, “Vino Slush”… there are a bunch of companies offering it. The samples are so good, it’s easy to drop the $12 or so for the 12 oz baggie of powdered mix. Trust me, we’ve done so… twice. That second time, I took a look at the ingredients and almost had a heart attack. I couldn’t believe what I’d just paid so MUCH for!

I was reminded of that this weekend, as the D’Marie company was once again set up with their wonderful wine slush. While we all loved the slush, I decided that I would set about to “reverse engineer” it. Cue jokes about “Dis Marie” bastardizing “Dat Marie’s” recipe…

Anyway… between the ingredient listing, listed weight, nutritional info, and the unused second bag sitting in our liquor cabinet… I didn’t figure it would be hard to do.

It wasn’t. 🙂

The ingredients are simple, and the technique is one of those “so simple, it shouldn’t be considered an actual recipe” deals. You, too, can make homemade wine slush mix at home! While matcha powder isn’t cheap, this recipe doesn’t take much at all – your wine slush mix should cost less than $1.50/batch!

Oh, and remember the citric acid you bought for my Quick mozzarella recipe? Well if you haven’t bought some, what are you waiting for? Cheese and wine slushes aren’t the only cool things you can do with it – more citric acid recipes are coming!

Oh, and that Czar of cakes competition? I won! Click here for photos of my cake entry. (more…)

Boozy Fun with Fresh Citrus Fruit

It’s a great time of year to purchase citrus fruits. Not only are most of them in season at the moment, but they provide a nice contrast to winter. Bright sunny colors and flavors go a long way to offset the “blah” outside.

Once you’ve squeezed some lemon on your meal, zested some orange into your dessert, or put lime in your Coke…then what?

Well, how about homemade “Sour Mix”? Citrus sugar? Citrus SALT? Citrus infused spirits / liqueur? Cocktails!

Yes, there is a lot of boozy fun to be had with fresh citrus fruits!

(more…)

Secret Caker Voodoo for Fabulous Holiday Entertaining

Remember back in October, when my husband made a Cake Wreck ?
Well, it wasn’t just his ADD that had him “like a kid in a candy store” at the cake decorating supply shop.

You see, lay people tend to have NO idea just how many cool things available to cake decorators, to really finish off a cake. Aside from all of the wrecky goodness we could find (Naked plastic babies, creepy Barbie torsos, etc), cake supply shops are also well stocked with what I like to refer to as “secret caker voodoo”.

From super concentrated food coloring in every shade you can think of, to various tools, molds, trimmings, and … well, everything… yeah. The sky’s the limit. It was always fun to work with clients who’d really let me play. You know the feeling you had when you were young, and someone gave you a BIG art kit filled with all sorts of pastels, markers, crayons, and paint – all new, pristine, and in a variety of colors? THAT… only grown up, and slightly more refined.

Anyway, more to the point… some of this “secret caker voodoo” can be used in non-cake ways, with spectacular results. Your secret arsenal to make everything just a little more fabulous when entertaining. Let me tell you about my favorite stuff …. (more…)

“Rum Runner” Trifle Recipe

I am a big fan of Rum Runners. They’re definitely up there among my favorite cocktails ever*.

As the weather gets cold enough to require jackets and gloves, I realize that this summer was sorely lacking in the Rum Runner department. Though it seems sort of out-of-season now, it’s something we’ll definitely have to correct NEXT summer. You know, as we lounge around on our deck and patio, NOT busting our backs all summer doing tornado cleanup and repairs!

While it may be too cold to pour up a fancy, tropical rum runner cocktail, it’s NOT too cold to whip up a dessert inspired by its flavors!

This was one of the first recipes slated for “The Spirited Baker“. In the course of multiple re-hashes of the layout, format, and groupings… I managed to forget to include it. Whoops! You’ll have to buy the book for the other 160+ awesome recipes!

This recipe seems involved, but it comes together quite easily! The cake should be made at least a day before serving, but can be made even further ahead than that! Feel free to tightly wrap the slab of cake in plastic wrap and freeze for a couple of weeks, allowing it to defrost for an hour or two before cutting it up.

While I like to make up my trifles fresh RIGHT before serving them, many people find that they get better by aging a day or two in the fridge – making them an excellent dessert for entertaining!

Rum Runner Trifle



Rum Runner Trifle


Interested in making wickedly delcious cakes? You’ll LOVE my second cookbook, Evil Cake Overlord! We’ve long been known for our “ridiculously delicious” moist cakes and tasty, unique flavors. Now, you can have recipes for all of the amazing flavors on our former custom cake menu, and many more! Bake your moist work of gastronomic art, then fill and frost your cake with any number of tasty possibilities. Milk chocolate cardamom pear, mango mojito.. even our famous Chai cake – the flavor that got us into “Every Day with Rachel Ray” magazine!

Feeling creative? Use our easy to follow recipe to make our yummy fondant. Forget everything you’ve heard about fondant – ours is made from marshmallows and powdered sugar, and is essentially candy – you can even flavor it! Order your copy here.

Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!

Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

Candy Apple Martini Recipe

Candy Apple Martinis!

While on our mini vacation this weekend, we indulged in a rare treat for us – a cocktail at a bar. Generally speaking, we’re far more apt to make cocktails for ourselves at home… it’s a very rare occasion that we have someone else do it for us.

Now, this is for a few reasons. For one, we’re frugal. We’re also not people-people, for the most part, and tend to stay away from (usually) noisy bars. The third reason has only really become an issue since I moved to Minnesota – it’s HARD to get what I want!

You see, I love martini cocktails, which have been my drink of choice since… jeez, turning legal (age 18, back home!). I developed even more of an appreciation for them during my training at the Toronto Institute of Bartending, and well… that’s my style. I’m not a beer drinker, and I’m not all that fond of commercial wines.

Also, as I may have mentioned in previous posts… I like my drinks to verge on “diabetes in a glass”. Save the “dry”, please. My absolute favorite is the Candy Apple Martini – my recipe for it follows!

So… what’s the problem?

Here’s the thing.. It seems that “martini cocktails” are a regional thing… and not popular here in Minnesota. Also, terminology gets in the way… so here’s a little lesson.

Martini:: Strictly speaking, a martini IS a cocktail (2 or more spirits/etc mixed), just not a “martini cocktail”. What constitutes a proper martini can cause heated debates among connoisseur and pedants, but generally consists of vodka and vermouth. NOT my thing!

Martinis have been around since 1763, when a German composer by the name of Martini liked to drink a mixture of dutch gin mixed with a dry white wine. The drink has a long and evolved history since that point, with many bits of the minutiae hotly debated.

Martinis / Traditional Martinis / Classic Martinis are approximately 2 oz of spirits, served in a shallow martini glass. While they may be accented by a splash of bitters, or other flavorings (olive juice, for example), there aren’t any liqueurs or mixes incorporated. Also, the only garnish for these drinks tends to go IN the drink – cocktail onions, olives, lemon peel. You would not see sugar rims, umbrellas, etc in a classic martini.

Flavored Martini: : A flavored martini is served the same as a classic martini – approximately 2 oz of alcohol, poured into the same shallow martini glass – however, it’s not straight spirits as a traditional martini is. Generally speaking, you would find 1 oz of vodka, and 1-2 oz of a flavored liqueur. Some examples would be:

Appletini – 1 oz vodka, 1 oz Sour Apple Pucker
Chocolate Martini – 1 oz vodka, 1 oz creme de cacao

Flavored vodkas may be used (say, vanilla vodka in that chocolate martini!), but there is not really any “mix” used, short of maybe a squeeze or splash of juice.

While the glass is the same, the presentation can be more fun – glass rims can be dipped in sugar, cocoa, crushed up candy canes… whatever. Garnishes are more likely to be on the outside of the cocktail (rim), than on the inside – apple slices, lemon wheels, pineapple wedges, whatever you want.

Many of the aforementioned pedants turn up their nose at the idea of flavored martinis actually counting as martinis… but, whatever. I’m not getting into that argument!

Martini Cocktails: Martini cocktails go a step further than flavored martinis, and incorporate 2-4 oz of mix – fruit juices, bar lime/sweet and sour, fruit purees, etc.

A more voluminous drink, these will be more in the 4-7 oz range, and are served in a large martini glass, or “martini cocktail glass”*.


I prefer martini cocktails to both traditional and flavored martinis, because I am not a fan of alcohol on its own – I like it as an ingredient that works together with others for a lighter, usually fruity drink. The other styles of martini are a little too harsh for me – I DO drink like a girl!

So, many of the bars I have been to in MN not only haven’t got large martini glasses, they’ve never heard of them. When you order a “Candy Apple Martini”, you’re apt to get something that’s missing the mix (cranberry juice, in this case!) entirely. Some places are nice about offering to make them – if they have the ingredients, that is – but I hate feeling high maintenance.

This weekend, the bartender cordially indulged my request, but carried on like I have NO idea what I’m talking about, etc. Sorry mister.. but YES, pineapple juice DOES belong in a French Martini!

Now, the weird thing is that I KNOW Cosmopolitans – a martini cocktail- are/were popular here, as a result of Sex and the City. Did they make they with no cranberry juice or something? Is Minnesota’s lack of true martini cocktails just a Minnesota/midwest thing, or are they tough to come by across the country? I don’t know! Tell me how this works in your area!

In the meantime, check out my favorite martini cocktail: The Candy Apple Martini!

A disclaimer: This is my own recipe for Candy Apple Martinis, the way I like them. They vary slightly from what I was taught: 1 oz unflavored vodka, 1/2 oz Sour Puss Apple, 1/2 oz Butter Ripple schnapps, 3-4 oz cranberry juice. Hey, it’s my blog, I’ll mess with recipes if I want to!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Candy Apple Martini

Candy Apple Martini



Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!

Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

Shot Tectonics – The Science of Layered Shooters

Layering shots is not only a pretty way to pour delicious drinks, it’s also a lot of fun. A bit of flavor mixology, some math, some experimentation, pretty colors… that’s always a recipe for entertainment!

It’s a shame that it seems to be a technique that’s gone out of favour – the fast paced environment of today’s clubs has put a kibosh on the previous popularity of layering. Bah! Let’s bring it back!




The keys to layering shots are:

1. Understanding the various specific gravity measurements of various liqueurs and spirits.
“Specific gravity” is a number representative of the density of a liquid. The lower the number, the less dense the liquid is. A few examples:

Water: 1.0
Grenadine: 1.18 (Heavier than water)
Southern Comfort: 0.97 (Lighter than water)

As always, Google is your friend! Just search “Specific Gravity” along with the name of an alcohol, and you’re bound to find the information you’re looking for. Write down the numbers of each alcohol you would like to play with, then arrange in order.

As a *general* rule of thumb, the alcohol content is inversely proportionate to the specific gravity. That is to say, the higher the alcohol content of a liquid, the lighter it is – and the lower the specific gravity reading will be. Like all rules, there are some exceptions to this. Also, cream based liqueurs tend to be lighter than non-cream based liqueurs of the same ABV. Again, there are some exceptions… experiment! It’s all in the name of science, afterall! 🙂

2. A careful pour
In addition to layering in order of density, you need to slow the pour of your liquids, as to not disturb the surface of the layer before it. There are several methods people use – pouring over the back of a spoon, pouring down the handle of a bar spoon, using a syringe, pouring over a cherry. My own preference incorporates a favorite style of pourer with spoon technique – see pictures and description below!

3. Mixing flavors in a pleasing way.
Each of the flavors that are incorporated into an individual shot will hit the tastebuds in rapid succession – you’ll want to pick flavors that go well together!

4. Choosing colors that contrast with each other.
All that effort figuring out the liqueur densities will be wasted if you layer liquids with a similar appearance. In addition to contrasting color, it can be really striking to layer clear liquids with cream based liquids.

So, now that you have the basic idea, let’s get started!

First, pick out a few liqueurs, spirits, and syrups (such as grenadine) in a variety of colors and ABV / Specific Gravity readings. Arrange them in order of specific gravity, from the heaviest to the lightest.

This photo shows my favorite type of pour spouts for liqueur bottles. It’s nice to have a bunch on hand, and they cost next to nothing. Pick them up at your local liquor store, or visit my favorite site for bartending supplies, Barproducts.com. Yes, the site is horrible.. but the products are great, there is a huge selection, the price is right, and they ship fast! No complaints here! Click here to go directly to this style of pour spout.

The thing that I like about this spout is that you can slow the flow of the liquid by placing your finger over the hole on the top side – gives you a lot of control!

Carefully pour your first layer, trying not to splash any on the inside of the glass, above where the top edge of the layer will be.

Position a spoon into the shot glass thusly. Yes, thusly. I know most places will tell you to pour it over the BACK (convex) side of a spoon, but that’s just crazy talk. Pouring down the concave INSIDE of the spoon gives you more control, IMHO.

Anyway, aim the spoon to be near – but not actually touching – the first layer of alcohol. The tip should touch the inside of the glass.

Carefully pour your second – lighter – alcohol on top. Keep the pour as slow as you can. I only had a teeny bottle of Bailey’s on hand for this photo – the small bottles like this are good for a slow, controlled pour. Otherwise, use the type of pour spout mentioned above, manipulating the speed by covering/uncovering the hole.

Continue carefully pouring your liquid until you reach the desired amount. This shot incorporated only 2 liqueurs – Creme de Menthe and Bailey’s, but 3+ layer shots are awesome too. Just divide up the height of the glass, eyeballing measurements as you go.

For a third – or subsequent – layer of liqueur, just repeat the above instructions, using a lighter liquid.

The photos below demonstrates what happens when you mess up a pour (banged the bottle off the lighting apparatus!). See how the shot corrects itself? This was over the course of about 2 minutes – given more time, it will have corrected to a sharp line, as if I hadn’t screwed it up. It didn’t last that long, though – it was tasty!

Pro tips:

– Chilling the ingredients changes the specific gravity readings. Liquids become less dense as they warm, and more dense when chilled. Feel free to play with this knowledge to make your desired creations work!

– If you mess up when trickling a layer into your shot glass, carefully finish pouring it, and set it aside for a few minutes. The layers should level out on their own. Hell, if you’re planning to serve a bunch of layered shots at a party or whatever, you can cheat a bit! Pour them ahead of time, not bothering to be too fussy about getting the layers perfect. Arrange the shot glasses on a platter and chill. They’ll settle out by the time you serve them!

– If you feel like adding some drama to your shot presentation, remember this: Your highest ABV liqueur/spirit will be on top. The higher the ABV, the more likely it’ll BURN! Yes! Feel free to light the top of your shots on fire! Use a lighter – not a match – to carefully light the top of the liquid aflame. Please observe basic fire safety common sense – hair tied back, no baggy clothes dangling into the flame, etc. Also, be careful with the flame – sometimes the flame can be hard to see!

– Give your spoon a quick rinse between layers if possible. Residue of previous layers can mess with your pour!

Ready to go? Try these traditional shot recipes, and stay tuned for some original recipes in the coming days!

Note: All ingredients are listed in order of pour. The first ingredient mentioned is poured first, etc.

B-52
Kahlua
Irish Cream
Grand Marnier

After Eight
Kahlua
Irish Cream
Creme De Menthe

Buttery Nipple
Butterscotch Schnapps
Irish Cream

Monkey’s Lunch
Kahlua
Creme de Banane
Irish Cream

Blue Eyed Blonde
Creme de Banane
Blue Curacao
Irish Cream

Green Eyed Blonde
Melon Liqueur
Creme de Banane
Irish Cream




Want to learn how to not only bake with liqueurs, but to make your own liqueurs at home? Check out our new cookbook, “The Spirited Baker – Intoxicating Desserts & Potent Potables! Click here for more information, or to order!

Join us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterStumble This!Digg ThisShare on RedditShare on Del.icio.us

Marie’s Favorite Mojito

I admit it, sometimes I get weird about my recipes. Sure, there are tried and true ways to do some things – like Mojitos – but when it comes down to it, personal taste has to rule over what’s considered “proper”.

I’ve done countless traditional mojitos.. muddling the lime, sugar, and mint.. but when it comes right down to it, I’m not a fan of carbonated water. (AKA club soda, soda water, etc). It just tastes like baking soda to me, not pleasant at all.

Of course, fresh mint and lime are hard to resist in the heat of summer, so I knew I’d have to tweak the recipe a little. Here’s MY tried and true version of the mojito!

(more…)