Sogni D’Oro “Golden Dreams”

Inspiration can be sparked in any moment at anytime for me.  It is my favorite thing when creating cocktails because I never know when something will randomly inspire me!  I was fortunate enough to be sent to Italy for my job to research and tour wineries for the new restaurant opening of Rossoblu, rough life huh!  Luckily it isn’t hard at all to find inspiration when walking through a beautiful vineyard in Italy.  On one beautiful day in Alba, as we were getting a tour of the winery from the family of wine makers the Aunt was telling us how wine has always been around her, her whole life and it is in their blood.  The family’s wine making traditions and culture were so beautiful and very much still alive everywhere we turned.  She said that her grandmother used to give her as a child honey, milk and Moscato wine to put her to bed. Haha! Well yeah that will definitely do the job! Gotta love Italians!  Instantly, in that moment I knew that it would make a fabulous cocktail but for an adult!   A few changes were necessary to balance the cocktail so we added bourbon and switched out to a less sweet dry prosecco!  Behold one of my all time favorite and interesting recipes the Sogni D’Oro which translates to “Golden Dreams” in Italian.  It makes me happy that this cocktail was inspired from an old family recipe and tradition.  Enjoy!

Inspiration can be sparked in any moment at anytime for me.  It is my favorite thing when creating cocktails because I never know when something will randomly inspire me!  I was fortunate enough to be sent to Italy for my job to research and tour wineries for the new restaurant opening of Rossoblu, rough life huh!  Luckily it isn’t hard at all to find inspiration when walking through a beautiful vineyard in Italy.  On one beautiful day in Alba, as we were getting a tour of the winery from the family of wine makers the Aunt was telling us how wine has always been around her, her whole life and it is in their blood.  The family’s wine making traditions and culture were so beautiful and very much still alive everywhere we turned.  She said that her grandmother used to give her as a child honey, milk and Moscato wine to put her to bed. Haha! Well yeah that will definitely do the job! Gotta love Italians!  Instantly, in that moment I knew that it would make a fabulous cocktail but for an adult!   A few changes were necessary to balance the cocktail so we added bourbon and switched out to a less sweet dry prosecco!  Behold one of my all time favorite and interesting recipes the Sogni D’Oro which translates to “Golden Dreams” in Italian.  It makes me happy that this cocktail was inspired from an old family recipe and tradition.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:


Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Heavy Cream
  • 3/4 oz. Honey Syrup 
  • 1 oz. Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon 
  • 2 1/2 -3 oz. Prosecco  (Dry)
  • 1 oz. Club Soda  

Instructions:

Grab you shaker tin and add the heavy cream, honey syrup, and bourbon to the tin, add ice and shake for 10-15 seconds.  Then add the prosecco and club soda and pour the cocktail out with a Hawthorne and fine strainer into your desired fizz style glass making sure you pour just the right amount to make a mound of foam and fizz on top!  Next, to be extra fancy I sprinkle edible gold dust on top!  Serve and enjoy! 

Honey Syrup: 3 parts honey to 1 part hot water, stir the hot water in the honey until mixed.  

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Four Roses Bourbon:   The name Four Roses came from a story when the founder Paul Jones Jr. became infatuated with a lovely Southern belle.  When he saw her at the grand ball she was in a beautiful gown with a corsage of four red roses.  He later married the girl and named his beloved Bourbon "Four Roses" after that glorious night at the ball with his beautiful Southern belle.  This delicious Bourbon is an beautiful golden Amber color with notes of pear, apple, honey, flowers, and gentle spices.

Prosecco: Any brut prosecco will work! The drier the better!  

 

Hey Mambo!

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"Hey Mambo!  Mambo Italiano!..." I know it's been awhile but I am glad you came!  I have been super busy opening up another awesome restaurant with Chef Steve Samson.  Rossoblu his Bolognese concept in downtown Los Angeles.  For the opening menu at Rossoblu I wanted to play around with some newer aged cocktails that are pretty simple.  I wanted to make an ordinary drink unordinary.  I often get inspired by a certain flavor in an Amari and this time it just so happened to be the kola flavor in Luxardo's Amaro Abano.  It immediately made me think of my "youth" and all the Cuba Libre's I used to drink when I was 21.  I thought how cool would it be to make a cocktail taste like it's has kola in it but it doesn't!?  So here you have it my rendition of an Italian Cherry Cuba Libre -No Kola just Amaro!  This is a perfect end of the summer sipper that is refreshing and that everyone will love!  Imbibe! Hey Mambo!   

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 Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 oz. Lime juice
  • 1/4 oz. Simple Syrup  
  • 3/4 oz. Angostura White Oak Rum 
  • 3/4 oz. Luxardo Amaro Abano  
  • 3/4 oz. Luxardo Cherry Sangue Morlacco
  • 1/2-1 oz. Club Soda  

Instructions:  

Add all ingredients besides the club soda to your shaker tin.  Next add some ice and shake for 2-3 seconds. Then add your club soda and then strain out into chilled glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and cherry and ENJOY! 

A little background on my preferred spirits: 

Angostura White Oak Rum:  Currently the leading standard rum brand in Trinidad and St. Vincent, White Oak remains one of the flagship products of Angostura's impressive rum portfolio. It's Light bodied, slightly sweet with tropical and vanilla notes.

Luxardo Cherry Sangue Morlacco:  First produced in 1821, a cherry brandy made from the marasca cherry which is known to be more sour and tart.  The name Sangue Morlacco means Morlacco blood and was named by the poet, Gabriele D' Annunzio and represents the battle defending the borders of the Dalmatian people with the Republic of Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries. Dark red hue, sweet, sour, tart  and delicious!

Luxardo Amaro Abano:  A medium bitter digestivo made from the maceration of basil, cinnamon, orange peel, kola, condurango and cardamom.  Was first produced in 1952 in Veneto.  

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Cruella DeVille

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"Cruella DeVille, Cruella DeVille if she doesn't scare you no evil thing will..." If you are a Disney fan like I am it is very hard to forget that crazy "witch"!  Trying to make those cute lil Dalmatian puppies into fur coats!  The movie was adapted from a 1956 Dodie Smith novel and in 1961 Disney made their cartoon version, which is my favorite!  Then in 1996 a live action remake with Glenn Close as the evil villainess!  Also, word on the Hollywood street is that Emma Stone is starring in a movie about Cruella herself!  They made need this cocktail in a shot!  I'm available!  Love to hate her but growing up this movie was a favorite in our house and although we were always scared by Cruella she was definitely fun to watch!  Halloween is right around the corner and I wanted something spooky but still very stylish!  Disclaimer: NO Dalmatian puppies were harmed during the making of this cocktail!  

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Egg White
  • 3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 oz. Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur 
  • 1 oz. Beefeater London Dry Gin 
  • Scrappy's Aromatic bitters with Activated Charcoal tablets

Instructions:

Crack an egg and separate the yolk out and drop the egg white in your shaker tin.  Next, measure and pour all other ingredients in the tin.  Then without ice dry whip all ingredients in a circular whipping motion for 5-10 seconds.  Add ice and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.  The tin should be frosty and very cold to the touch.  Next, double strain with a Hawthorne and fine strainer out all the ingredients catching any ice chips into a chilled coupe glass. Lastly, drop on or spray some Scrappy's Aromatic bitters (mixed with Activated Charcoal tablets making the bitters very black) with a stencil making 9-10 Dalmatian spots!  Serve and enjoy!

A little background on my preferred spirits and inclusions: 

Beefeater London Dry Gin:  First produced in 1820 by distiller James Burroughs and still made with same recipe today in Kennington, London.  The Beefeater recipe contains juniper, Angelica root, Angelica seeds, coriander seeds, liquorice, almonds, lemon peels, Seville oranges, and oris root.

 Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur:  First created in 1821 by Girolamo Luxardo and the original recipe is still used today.  Distilled from the pits, leaves, stems and skins of Luxardo family's own sour Marasca cherries.  Then aged in Finnish ash wood for a year resulting in a beautiful dry and slightly sweet liqueur with complex notes of cherries and rosewater.  Also, the Luxardo family company was founded in Zara, a port city on the Dalmatian coast!  How perfect!

Activated Charcoal Tablets:  I use Nature's Way activated charcoal.  An all natural absorbent that helps trap toxins and chemicals from staying in the body! Win win!

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"Picture it, Sicily..." Sophia Petrillo

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While contemplating what my next blog post should be about, I recently was given a gorgeous tiki bar (more info on the bar and who it came from below) and as soon as I saw it, all I could think about it was the Golden Girls!  Which happens to be one of my all time favorite tv shows!  The original Sex and the City!  Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and of course my homegirl Sophia!  Sophia Petrillo is a sarcastic, sharp witted, straight shooting little old Sicilian lady that lives in Miami.  Now what would Sophia drink?  She is Italian, lives in Miami, has a beautiful Lanai to drink a fun and refreshing cocktail...so let's embrace those last few warmer days and nights we have with a fun tiki style cocktail!  Here I have a fantastic Italian Mai Tai variation made with the lovely Amaro Montenegro that takes the place of the Curaçao, trust me it is fantastic!  Picture it...The Sophia Petrillo! 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 oz. Lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. St. Vincent Almond Orgeat (shake well before using)
  • 3/4 oz. Amaro Montenegro 
  • 1 1/2 oz. Diplomatico Exclusiva Riserva Rum

Instructions:

Take out your jigger and shaker tin and measure out and combine all ingredients into the tin.  Dry whip all ingredients without ice in the tin for 10 seconds making sure all ingredients are combined.  Next add 4-5 medium sized cubes and shake for 5 seconds and then with your strainer pour out into a chilled double old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice.  You can make crushed ice by filling a gallon plastic bag with ice, seal it and then cover the bag with a towel and then pound the ice and cracking it into small pieces.  I use a muddler but anything heavy and sturdy will do!  Lastly I grab 1-2 mint sprigs and place on my palm and give them a nice slap and shake, this awakens the mint and brings out the aroma!  Place the mint sprigs in the crushed ice and serve.  Enjoy!   

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A little background on my preferred spirits and inclusions: 

Amaro Montenegro:  An Italian digestivo made in Bologna, Italy founded by Stanislao Cobianchi in 1885.  It is made with 40 different herbs including rose hips, vanilla and orange peels.  It is named after Princess Elena of Montenegro.  Stanislao must of fancied her...

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Venezuelan Rum:  A copper pot distilled funky and fun Venezuelan rum made from molasses.  That is aged for 12 years in small oak casks making it a deep rich amber color.  Flavor notes of brown sugar, toffee, oranges, raisins, chocolate and cinnamon.  The distillery is located on the northern slopes of the Andes mountains.  This rum is one of the most awared rums in the world!

Almont Orgeat syrup:  I use St. Vincent brand but most speciality liquor stores will have  some sort of Orgeat syrup. 

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I was lucky enough to inherit this beautiful three seat tiki bar from my parents good friends (Thanks Jim and Toni!) and it came from his Uncle Gary.  Gary Fraser aka Uncle Gary was one hell of a guy!  He was in the first ever Navy Seal group appointed in 1961, he created the original SEAL logo, he was a Casanova to the ladies and he loved Campari and bar culture.  I never got a chance to meet Uncle Gary but I feel very privileged being the recipient of his gorgeous tiki bar and it seems fitting that a fancy bar wench like myself have it now.  Hope he likes that too.  Here is an amazing article about him check it out. ❤️

 http://www.shadowspear.com/2016/02/seal-team-one-plank-owner-remembered/