Real Italian Limoncello From Scratch

I made this years ago and the longer it sits, the better it is, (I think).

  • 9 lemons, peeled thinly, no white,
  • squeeze lemon juice into a bottle and place  in the refrigerator*
  • 1 bottle vodka, plain – not flavoured

Okay, that is the hard part….Pour this into a container with a tight fitting lid and store in a cool, dark place for 20 days. Only the vodka and lemon skins.

Once a week, gentle move the peels in the container (do not open, just gently shake).

After the 20th day, boil 6 cups of water and add 3 1/2  cups white sugar. Stir this really well to dissolve the sugar. Strain the lemon solution and discard the peel. Add the lemon solution to the simple syrup and pour into clean and sanitized bottles. Make sure you have corks or similar tops.

This should be served really cold, in small glasses and sipped following a special dinner. In a word: YUM!!!!


*this way you will have freshly squeezed lemon juice for any recipe you may be making.

Frozen Black Coffee

You certainly do not have to go to a coffee specialty store to get your treat. Make this up, adjust to your liking and it is so inexpensive and delicious, you can simply say ‘thanks’ for saving you lots of money.


  • 2 1/2 cups strong black coffee (not instant please)
  • 1 1/4 cups basic sugar syrup *
  • sugar
  • Whipping cream
  • favourite liqueur

Combine coffee and syrup. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until crystals form.

Dip edge of tall glasses in cold water and then into sugar to frost.

Spoon coffee into glasses, add 1 oz. of your favourite liqueur, if using) and top with lots of whipped cream. Serve immediately.


This will serve 4.

  • simple syrup is equal parts of water and sugar, boiled until sugar is dissolved.  Cool down and store in refrigerator.

Summer Sangria

Well the warm summer days are coming (aren’t they?) and this is a lovely, fresh drink to consume on the deck with friends. Easy to make and delightful to consume. If you don’t consume alcohol change the white wine for a non-alcoholic white ‘wine’ and go from there. Easy.

  • 2 cups white grape juice, split
  • 1/4 cup berry sugar (very fine white sugar)
  • 1 bottle Chardonnay wine
  • 4-7  lemon mint leaves
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened apple juice
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
  • 1 bottle ice cold soda water (same size as wine)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored, sliced thin
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced

In a saucepan combine 1 cup of the grape juice and berry sugar over medium heat, stirring until completely dissolved. Add 1 mint leaf. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

In an 8 cup container combine the cooled down juice, remaining juices, mint leaves and wine. Refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, add about half of the grapes, lime slices from 1 lime, and pour half of the sangria into the pitcher and top with cold soda water.

Serve this in cocktail glasses, garnish with a lime slice and a few apple slices and a mint leaf.

ooohhhh this is truly delightful.

Tequila And Corona For Hot Summer Days

Today I have a new drink for you to make and share with a few friends on a hot summer evening on the patio with a few munchies. This must be served COLD and, when served with lime wedges, exquisite.


  • 1/3 cup fine sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup Tequila
  • 2 x 355 ml bottles of Corona, chilled
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. fine sugar
  • lime wedges

Boil together the sugar and 1/3 cup of the lime juice until the sugar completely dissolves (about 2 minutes).

Pour into a pitcher along with the remaining lime juice and Tequila. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 45 minutes to get cold. Remove from the refrigerator and slowly pour in the Corona and ice cubes just before serving.

Combine the salt and sugar on a small plate. Run a lime wedge around the rim of 4 glasses, then dip into the mixture. Pour in the tequila mixture EQUALLY in the four glasses, add a lime wedge and  you have just become a patio hero.

Make sure you have salty munchies such as chips, popcorn or crackers and cheese.

Sexy Scallop Martinis

These are a fabulous appetizer served in martini glasses. You can, if you wish, eat the scallops then drink the spicy vodka.


  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tsp. jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 12 large scallops
  • salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 4 sprigs of coriander

Combine vodka, lime juice and jalapeno pepper in a bowl.

Heat oil in a skillet over high heat and after seasoning the scallops with a pinch of salt and pepper, place in the skillet. Sear for about 2 minutes per side or until browned on the outside but still raw in the center.

Place the scallops on a board and cut into quarters. Add to the vodka mixture. Let marinate for 4 hours in the refrigerator, stirring to coat all sides.

Stir in the peppers and green onion.

Divide between the scallop mixture in 4 martini glasses, adding some of the marinade. Garnish with the coriander. Serve immediately.


Did I tell you everyone will LOVE this?


Citrus Cranberry Spritzers

This would make a great ‘signature drink’ when your guests first arrive. Just ask if anyone is taking medication that prevents them having anything grapefruit and adjust something for them, without making a fuss.


  • 2 cups fresh grapefruit juice (pink  or red is preferred)
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 2 cups cranberry juice (I prefer the white cranberry juice – not so acidic)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 cups chilled sparkling wine or mineral water for those not drinking.
  • Orange zest for garnish

In a large pitcher, stir together the grapefruit, orange and cranberry juices. Rim each of 8 glasses with some lime and dip into sugar. Place 2-3 ice cubes in each glass .

Stir in the lime juice and divide equally among the glasses about 2/3 full and top with the sparkling wine. Garnish with an orange twist and make a toast. Wonderful!

Try using a Blanc de Blancs Brut (cheaper than the others) but certainly just as tasty.


Engagement Martini

My niece just got engaged so this is for her and her man to celebrate with. Take a few minutes, light the candles, turn on some mood music and try this…..Terra, this is for you.


  • 1 part Vodka (I think Grey Goose is the best)
  • 1 part Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
  • 1 part Bols Apricot Brandy

Put in a shaker filled with crushed ice, shake for a few seconds, and strain into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with a cherry.

Make a toast for your future together (and damn the rest of the outside distractions),  make just one more and then …….dance the night away.

He is one lucky man but I guess he knows that already.


Tropical Hawaii Martini

Okay,with115 more sleeps to go, my mind sorta wandered to Hawaii…again!  Such fun..try this one and see if you don’t smile a lot. It takes only 4 items and you could swear you are already there once you consume it.

  • 3 parts Grey Goose Vodka
  • 3 parts white rum
  • 1 part Bols Coconut Liqueur
  • 1 part Bols Banana Liqueur

In a shaker filled with cracked  ice, shake all the ingredients well and strain into chilled martini glasses. Put on your bikini, flip-flops and dream…..

If you need a garnish (forget the umbrellas) add a slice of banana that you have dipped in lemon juice so it won’t turn brown . I, on the other hand, would prefer to dip it in the vodka.



Martini For Maui

I was looking at the calendar this morning and, oh my, the thought of Maui came to mind. Here is a signature martini to make and then…dream a lot, hope even more and start counting the days.


  • 4 parts Grey Goose Vodka
  • 2 parts spiced rum
  • 2 parts white rum
  • 1 part Blue Curacao
  • 1 part mango juice

In a shaker filled with crushed ice, pour in all the ingredients and shake for a good 10 seconds.

Strain and pour into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with a piece of mango and a maraschino cherry.


Now, doesn’t that make your mind wander to Maui?  Oh wait..why not plan a luau on the deck while we still have beautiful weather?

I’m on it.

Lemon Pie Vodka Martini

This is a classic martini with a wee twist….


  • 1 part Grey Goose Vodka
  • 1 part Lemoncella
  • 1 part whipping cream vodka
  • 4 drops Dry Vermouth


Pour into a shaker filled with ice and shake for 20 seconds. Strain into a well chilled martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Summer Martini

With a lot of company this summer, I have returned to the ‘signature’ drink mode. We used a martini to greet guests with and now it seems like a good thing to do. My reasoning? Just ‘cuz…

Always chill  your martini glasses and then start, this way the drink is always in “chill” mode. That doesn’t sound too hard, does it?


  • 2 parts Raspberry Vodka
  • 1 part Whipped Cream Vodka
  • 1 part Cassis

Pour into a shaker filled with crushed ice and shake for 20 seconds. Strain into the chilled martini glasses and add a couple of raspberries or, if you really want to go over the edge, a slice of fresh peach.







Butterscotch Cream Martini

It is a funny thing for us, when your company from another Province does not drink either wine or beer. So….back to making martinis. It has been awhile but I wanted to change it from one I made her the day before. I did not know just how really good it was going to be.

Oh yeah… is good.

  • 1 shot whipped cream vodka
  • 2 shots white chocolate liqueur
  • 1 generous shot of butterscotch schnapps


In an ice filled shaker add the ingredients above and shake for 10 seconds. Strain into a martini glass that has butterscotch swirls added.

Serve immediately and watch the reaction. Wow! It is truly yummy.