From Cocktails

The Perfect Manhattan

On Booze – Sean’s Notes

Perfect Manhattan Straight up and on the Rocks

Whiskey for me is more of a Winter Drink. My personal preference is for American Whiskeys, and in particular, Bourbon.  There are many to choose from, but Maker’s Mark or Jack Daniels is what I usually have. If I drink it neat or on the rocks, I don’t mind following each sip with a Beer Shot (don’t judge me).

For a Whiskey Cocktail, try a Perfect Manhattan. I  don’t mean “Perfect” as in “it’s so fabulous, Darling”. It’s called that because it is made with equal parts Sweet Vermouth and Dry Vermouth. If you ask a Bartender for just a regular Manhattan, it will be made with Sweet Vermouth only. So Perfect or not, your choice is really just a matter of personal preference of how you like your Manhattan. So try it both ways, its not hard work.

Three things to Remember when making a Manhattan:

1) Use American Rye or Bourbon (otherwise it’s called something else)

2) All Manhattans take Bitters

3) Whiskey Cocktails are stirred and not shaken ( shaking “bruises” the whiskey, meaning too much water is added to the drink)

Here is how I make a Perfect Manhattan.

Perfect Manhattan

3 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth (Italian)
1/2 oz Noilly Pratt Dry Vermouth (French)
1/4-1/2 oz Cherry Syrup from Garnish Jar (try Bada Bing Cherries from Tillen Farms)
A couple of Dashes of Angostura Bitters

Add ice to a Cocktail Shaker and add the ingredients. Stir. Strain and serve in a Cocktail Glass or you can pour entire contents of the Shaker into a Highball Glass if you prefer it on the rocks.

Garnish with a Cherry


On Making Lemonade

Josephine's Feast Lemonade

My daughter Josephine often sells an organic lemonade on Sunday’s at the Southampton Farmers Market. And in the City, her friends Noah and Micayla have a stand on Mercer Street in Soho where they cornered the market on one of the first 99 degree days of summer. Who can resist?

Both refreshing and satisfying – hand making lemonade is as good for the soul as it is for drinking on a hot summer day. It’s easy to do , and can be made in no time at all. Further, the customization possibilities are endless. Sliced strawberries, cherries, and even mellon balls can be added for a seasonal blend. Mint sprigs or lavender honey produce something a bit more sophisticated – maybe lending itself to a splash (or more) of vodka or even tequila.

For the best lemonade – there are a few steps to follow to guarantee a superb result.

Lemons on Table


12 organic lemons
1 cup sugar
Filtered water


1 – Roll the lemons between the palm of your hand and the counter – this action breaks down the fibers making the juicing a bit easier and some say it renders more juice.

2 – Cut the lemons in half and squeeze – it you have an electric juicer or a group of friends this goes faster. I use on old corning glass citurus juicer – suits me just fine.

3 – Bring 2 cups of cold water to a boil and dissolve the sugar.

4 – Add the strained juice of the 12 lemons – or simply remove the pits and keep the pulp – your choice.

5 – Add two scoops of ice to a heat stable pitcher & pour the lemonade “syrup” over ice. This will cool down the temperature of the “syrup”.

5 – Adding more cool water and additional ice to fill the pitcher.

Options (and they are endless)

• Mint springs or muddled mint

• A splash of orange juice to further sweeten the lemonade

• A hand full of berries – it gives the lemonade a pink glow.

• Sliced cucumber and/or fresh coriander

• Mellon or watermelon balls

I like to make a cocktail using fresh lemonade a few slices of serano chili and tequila – garnish with a cucumber spear & corriander. Very refreshing on a hot day.

So Cupid walks into a Bar


So Cupid walks into a bar – assuming a guy with wings could get a drink at a bar – what would he order? I believe he would have to be in Venice. The Venetians are tolerant of so many legendary characters that I am quite sure Cupid would have no problem being served. After all, didn’t Casanova escape from Piombi Prison in Venice with the aid of his paramours – the only prisoner to escape the Doge’s prison…ahh love and Venice!

Harry's BarHarry’s Bar, where the classic Belini was created, is the best in Venice. The world for that matter. Here’s a take on this favored cocktail inspired by the thought of Cupid strolling into Harry’s Bar in February when Blood oranges are in season:

Cupid’s Choice

12 oz Prosecco
3T Blood Orange Marmalade
1/4t Grenadine –even the traditional Bellini had a hit of raspberry or cherry juice to give the cocktail a pink glow.

Simply pour 12 oz of Prosecco into a cocktail mixer and stir in the Blood Orange Marmalade and grenadine. Strain and serve straight up in a champagne flute or over ice in a highball glass.

A non- alcoholic version can be made with club soda adding a touch more marmalade for a light refreshing beverage.

Wild Turkey-tini with Fresh Pressed Apple Cider


Sean making CiderSean just pressed 6 bushed of apples in his cider press – so we are blessed with an embarasasment of delicious heirloom apple cider. He’s thinking of making some hard cider but in the meantime I came up with a Wild Turkey-tini in honor of the bird we will be eating on Thursday.




Wild Turkey-tini

2 oz wild turkey bourbon
2 oz fresh apple cider
2 dashes of bitters – I prefer Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters
One Maraschino Cherry for garnish – I prefer Tillen Farms

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a shaker with ice – and shake vigorously. Strain and serve in a martini cocktail glass . Garnish with a maraschino cherry

Josephine’s Feast! Seville Orange Marmalade Cocktail & Breakfast Martini

I’d eat marmalade every day if I could. As a child I loved the golden strands of orange rind on my toast – even better if my grandmother made my breakfast.

But as I’ve gotten older my taste for breakfast has changed and perhaps a Marmalade Cocktail is one of the loveliest ways to start a lazy Sunday. Created at the Savoy Hotel in London in the 1920’s this is a fabulous cocktail that can be made with any flavor marmalade but as a traditionalist – I’ll make mine as it was made historically by the bartender Harry Craddock with a strong English style Josephine’s Feast! Seville Orange Marmalade

The Marmalade Cocktail

4 teaspoons JF Seville Orange Marmalade
2 Shots Bombay London Dry Gin
½ Shot Lemon Juice
Garnish with Orange zest

Ice down a favorite martini glass by filling it with crushed ice and water.
Mix the first 3 ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake or stir – your choice.
Empty the prepared glass of ice and water.
Strain the cocktail into the well chilled martini glass
Garnish with a a piece of Orange Zest
(Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass)
Interestingly this recepie is said to serve 6!

Another Variation on this theme is the Breakfast Martini. This cocktail is a bit sweeter due to the addition of Cointreau or Triple Sec.

The Breakfast Martini

2 Shots of Gin – I’m a Beefeater gal just like the Queen Mother
¾ Shot Cointreau or Triple Sec
¾ Shot of Fresh Lemon juice
1 Tablespoon full of Josephine’s Feast! Seville Orange Marmalade
Lemon Twist for a garnish
Ice down a favorite martini glass by filling it with crushed ice and water.
Mix the first 4 ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake or stir – your choice.
Empty the prepared glass and strain the cocktail into the glass
Garnish with a Lemon Twist

This cocktail serves one and can easily be doubled for companionship.

Thick Cut Seville Orange Marmalade