Month: July 2015

Anne’s Spicy Bloody Mary


Last week some fellow retired teachers took me on a retirement holiday.  We rented a fishing cabin near Manistee, went tubing down the Little Manistee River, had campfires, and in general behaved badly, as girls sometimes do.  It was a much appreciated reconnection with pals.  “The Queen Mum” of our group, Anne, brought the ingredients for her famous Spicy Bloody Mary’s, which we all enjoy…some more so than others, but that is a different story.  One of her secrets is to add horseradish and dilly beans (instead of celery), to give the drink a little extra pow!  It is a wonderful beverage to have with friends.

2 oz Vodka 
4 oz Spicy Tomato juice
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
teaspoon of horseradish (with juice squeezed out)
dilly bean or dill pickle (spicier the better!)
slice of lime for garnish
Shake ingredients well with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker.  Strain into a Collins glass with ice cubes.  Add a couple of dilly beans and/or a dill pickle spear, along with a slice of lime as a garnish.  If you don’t have barware, simply add everything to a tall glass with ice, stir and enjoy!  No need to be fancy with a Bloody Mary.

Iroquois Hotel’s Mackinac (Moscow) Mule


July is definitely vacation month for the Kochmanski household.  While on our recent trip to Mackinac Island, I discovered the French 75, and Chris was all about the Mackinac Mule.  Personally, I think he liked the amazing copper cup it is served in, not to mention the spectacular view of the Straits of Mackinac, Round Island Lighthouse, and the constant stream of ferry boats.  To be completely honest, you need to have a taste for ginger beer for this one.  It is an easy refreshing drink to make. Enjoy!

1.5 oz vodka
.25 oz lime juice
4 oz ginger beer (you can also use ginger ale, but won’t have the same kick!)

Combine vodka and ginger beer in a copper mug or highball glass filled with ice.  Add the lime juice, stir and garnish with a lime slice.

Mackinac Island’s French 75


The Iroquois Hotel on Mackinac Island has arguably one of THE most romantic veranda cafe’s in the USA.  On a bright sunny summer day, we watched the ferries (Shepler’s, Star, and Arnold) going back and forth to the mainland, the sailboats coming in for the Chicago/Mackinac sailing race, fudgie’s eating fudge on the docks, and of course Lakes Huron and Michigan in all their glories with light houses, waves, beaches, freighters…..The restaurant, The Carriage House, had many refreshing cocktails to choose from.  The one that was the tastiest to me was the French 75.  It is a simple summer cocktail, easy to make, and wonderful for those of us who love sparkling wine!  Here is the recipe:

1 oz Gin
.5 oz simple syrup
.5 oz lemon juice
Brut champagne or sparkling wine

Combine gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled and strain into a glass. Top with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist to serve. Think of Lake Michigan when you have this cocktail!

Lynne’s Michigan Manhattan


Last weekend in Petoskey, MI, the bartender at our hotel (The Perry Hotel) made me a Michigan Manhattan.  It is a specialty of the bar there, and what a tasty treat that was!  He used Traverse City Whiskey for the main spirit, which is the Michigan version of bourbon, made in Traverse City, MI.    (If it isn’t from Kentucky it can’t be called bourbon!)  I am looking forward to trying my hand at this when we get home.  Since we don’t have Traverse City Whiskey, I am going to substitute my favorite Manhattan spirit, Bulleit Rye.

Here is the recipe:

2 oz Traverse City Whiskey (or Bulleit Rye)
.5 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz Michigan cherry juice (or Marachino liqueur)
3 dashes orange bitters
2 fresh pitted Michigan cherries (or Luxardo cherries – if you want to be fancy!)

I prefer to make this cocktail on the rocks. Put several ice cubes in a cocktail glass. Pour in the ingredients, stir, and add a couple more ice cubes. Enjoy!!

The Strawberry Sparkler Cocktail


We are heading to Petoskey, MI for 4th of July this year.  We were able to get a last minute cancelation for a room overlooking Lake Michigan at The Perry Hotel, perfect for fireworks viewing!  To go with this, of course, I started searching for an appropriate cocktail to indulge in.

The recipe for The Strawberry Sparkler Cocktail is great for a holiday gathering, since it makes more than what two people should responsibly enjoy.  With that said, if you use a bit of math, you can adjust the ingredients to a smaller group with no worries.  It is perfect for the season, since Michigan strawberries are excellent right now!

Chris and I both wish everyone a very happy 4th of July!  Enjoy and stay safe.  Here is this week’s cocktail:

6 oz of Tequila – Blue Agave works well!
2 oz of DeKuyper Strawberry Liquor
1 bottle of Rose (or Champagne)
4 oz of Limeade
strawberries (or strawberry)
2 tbsp of sugar
Cut 1 pint of strawberries into quarters and freeze for at least an hour. Once frozen, place three pieces into the bottom of each champagne flute. Fill each glass about two-thirds of the way full with champagne. In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, strawberry liquor, limeade, and sugar. Shake vigorously and strain, dividing equally between the flutes. Garnish each with a lime wedge. Serves 10.