Cocktail Recipes

Blue Hawaii

The Blue Hawaii is the ultimate bartender blue drink. [Full Disclosure: I love blue cocktails. LOVE THEM. I’m incredibly biased on this subject.] It was created in 1957 by famous Hilton Bartender Harry Yee, whose passion for tiki is known around the world. The story goes that a liquor rep from the Bols company brought Harry their new version of blue curaçao and asked him to create a signature cocktail to help market the liqueur. Harry used ingredients already familiar to tourists seeking a tiki experience in Waikiki: pineapple and rum.

While many people think of this as a sweet cocktail, it is actually meant to be dry and citrusy, almost verging on too sour. The vodka in this drink keeps the proof high and the drink dry, while the lime and pineapple contribute a tropical feeling. Feel free to up the amount of sugar syrup if you’d prefer. I don’t think Harry would mind much.

Blue Hawaii

1 oz Rum

3/4 oz Vodka

1 1/2 oz Pineapple

1/2 oz Lime

1/2 oz Lemon

1/2 oz Blue Curaçao

1/4 oz Rich Sugar Syrup (2:1)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker tin with ice. Shake well, about 40 seconds.
  2. Double strain into a Collins glass packed with ice. Garnish with a chunk of pineapple and cherry.

My version of the Blue Hawaii keeps the focus on the original dry style but makes three significant changes: it switches Pisco in for vodka, adds coconut, and adds Green Chartreuse. This creates a much more herbaceous and complex cocktail, brimming with the same tropical flavors guests are used to when they see an electric blue drink.

Chartreuse is a 110 proof French liqueur made from 130 secret ingredients. Only two monks know the original recipe (c. 1605) and oversee the oak cask aging of this botanic spirit.

Rosecrest Pool Pass

1 oz Rum

1 oz Pisco

3/4 oz Green Chartreuse

1/2 oz Lemon

1/2 oz Lime

1/2 oz Cream of Coconut

1/2 oz Blue Curaçao

1/4 oz Demerara Syrup (2:1)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker tin with ice. Shake well, about 40 seconds.
  2. Double strain into a coupe glass packed with ice. Garnish with a lemon peel and cherry.

Cocktail Recipes

The Porn Star Martini

Created in 2002 by Douglass Ankrah at the Townhouse Bar in Knightsbridge, this cocktail is everything you’d want in a drink. Complex, a little sweet, a chaser of chilled champagne—what’s not to love? The Porn Star Martini is the most popular cocktail in the UK and is gradually gaining fame in the United States. Ankrah describes the drinks as “pure indulgence, sexy, fun, and evocative” and I cannot help but agree.

The vanilla and passionfruit combination creates a complex but approachable flavor profile. This makes it perfect as a beginner cocktail for your friends and family who want to explore the cocktail world but aren’t quite ready to branch out into unknown spirits quite yet.

Porn Star Martini

2 oz Vodka

1 1/2 oz Passionfruit Puree

3/4 oz Lime

2 tsp Vanilla Syrup

Chilled Champagne or Prosecco

  1. Combine all ingredients into a shaker tin without ice. Give it a good shake without ice, about 20 seconds.
  2. Add ice to the shaker. Shake well until frosty, about 40-50 seconds.
  3. Double strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with half of a passionfruit.
  4. Pour a shot of chilled champagne. Enjoy side-by-side with the cocktail or as a chaser after you’ve finished the drink.

The Porn Star Martini is, in my mind, perfectly suited to be transformed into a Pisco Sour riff. The vanilla and fruit flavors complement the sweet grape nose of the pisco, and the egg white folds into the thick passionfruit to create a silky, sensual cocktail.

Porn Star Pisco Sour

1 1/2 oz Pisco

1/2 oz Vodka

1 oz Passionfruit Puree

1/2 oz lime

1/2 oz lemon

1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup

1 egg white (about 3/4 to 1 oz)

  1. Combine all ingredients into a shaker tin without ice. Give it a good shake without ice to thicken the egg white foam, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add ice to the shaker. Shake well until frosty, about 50 seconds.
  3. Strain directly into a coupe glass. Garnish with either a lemon peel or a dash of angostura bitters.
  4. Pour a shot of chilled champagne. Enjoy side-by-side with the cocktail or as a chaser after you’ve finished the drink.
Cocktail Recipes


The Cosmopolitan is a cocktail that utilizes the same flavor profile as the margarita, the daiquiri, and the sidecar with an objectively more fabulous presentation. The frothy, lightly pink cocktail should be, as its creator Toby Cecchini describes, “an ephemeral delight.” It isn’t a drink that sits heavy in your mouth; it isn’t a cocktail that wants too much of your time. Think of the Cosmo as a fleeting pleasure—the first sip tight with acid, followed by a lovely roll of sweetness before—POOF!—it’s gone. Always cherish your cosmos. They are a rare drink that forces you to appreciate it in real time. 


2 oz Citrus Oil Steeped Vodka 

1 oz Cointreau 

1 oz lime 

1 ½ oz cranberry cocktail 

1 tsp Rich Simple Syrup (2:1)

  1. Combine the peels of 1 lemon with 4 oz vodka in a jar. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, allowing the citrus oils to soak into the vodka.
  2. Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker tin with ice. Shake well, about 40 seconds. 
  3. Double strain into a large coupe or martini glass. 
  4. Peel off one long strip of lemon. Express the oils of the peel over the cocktail and place on the lip of the glass. 

While most people credit Toby Cecchini with the creation of the Cosmo, he will argue the opposite: the Cosmo isn’t his creation, but rather a drink that he merely tweaked. It was Toby that introduced the idea of using Cointreau specifically as the orange liqueur in the Cosmopolitan, citing his margarita build as the template for his choices on what to change. Switching Cointreau in for the cheap triple sec and fresh lime instead of sweetened lime cordial breathed life into what was a sweet, cheap drink. 

Like Toby, I don’t think big changes need to come to the cosmo to make it into a beautiful drink. The addition of a Hot Pepper Vodka brings some serious heat to this drink, while the tart pomegranate works in tandem with cranberry to continue the fruit forward flavor the Cosmo is known for—and while the mezcal wash is optional, it’s arguably my favorite part of the drink.


¾ oz Hot Pepper Vodka

¾ oz Pisco

¾ oz Pomegranate 

½ oz Cranberry Cocktail

½ oz Lime

½ oz Cointreau 

¼ oz Luxardo Maraschino 

Bar Spoon Rich Sugar Syrup

Mezcal Rinse

  1. Combine all ingredients, except mezcal, into a cocktail shaker tin with ice. 
  2. Rinse a coupe glass with mezcal. Be sure to discard any mezcal that has settled in the bottom of the glass. Set aside. 
  3. Shake the cocktail well until the tin has frosted in your hands, about 40 seconds. 
  4. Double strain into the mezcal washed glass. Garnish with a lemon peel and enjoy while listening to “Young Woman’s Blues” by Bessie Smith.

Hot Pepper Vodka

½ cup vodka

5-7 hot peppers of your choice (such as serranos, fresnos, jalapenos, chipotle, etc.)

  1. Add whole peppers to vodka and seal with lid. 
  2. Check your infusion every 2 minutes until it has reached your desired heat level. Strain out pepper and discard. 

NOTE: Hot peppers can take minutes to infuse, so you’ll want to watch this one! While I prefer to keep my peppers whole, you’re welcome to open them to speed up the process, but you’ll want to stay vigilant with your checking about how long it is infusing.


La Paloma

The Paloma is your ideal drink for when it is hot hot HOT outside 🔥 The Paloma is traditionally comprised of one part tequila and three parts grapefruit soda. To make this cocktail a little more fresh, I’ve switched some of the grapefruit soda out for ruby-red grapefruit juice and only added the soda as a topper at the end. (You can also use a regular seltzer water if you want!) Grapefruit has a lower pH than lime, so the acid content has been boosted up with a half ounce of lime juice and rounded out with a tiny bit of simple syrup.

La Paloma

  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1⁄2 oz lime
  • 1⁄4 oz simple syrup
  • Grapefruit peel
  • Grapefruit soda

-Combine all ingredients except soda in a shaker tin with ice.
-Shake well.
-Pour contents of shaker tin directly into a tall Collins glass.
-Top with grapefruit soda. Swizzle with bar spoon to combine all ingredients together. Garnish with either a lime wheel or grapefruit slice.


Happy Drinking

Thanks for joining me! Be looking for new food and drink recipes to satisfy your inner cocktail nerd.

“I’m very type-A, and many things in my life are about control and domination, but eating should be a submissive experience, where you let down your guard and enjoy the ride.”

-Anthony Bourdain
Sherry Sour

Sherry and tequila are one of my favorite combinations, whether it’s shaken with lime or stirred in a Negroni riff. Sweet, sour, nutty, and dry, this version of a sherry sour has added complexity from falernum, a clove and lime flavored liqueur hailing from the Caribbean.

Sherry Sour

1⁄4 oz falernum
3⁄4 oz honey
1 oz fresh lemon
1⁄2 oz añejo tequila
1 oz amontillado sherry

  1. Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake vigorously for about 40-60 seconds, until shaker tin freezes in your hand.
  3. Double strain through a fine sieve into a stemmed cocktail glass. Garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel.