What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Irish Cream Espresso Martini! Head out for “Date Night” that begins with Happy Hour Specials and you’ll notice one of the most popular crafted cocktails these days. It continues to bring raves from bartenders as well as patrons. It’s called the Espresso Martini, which is simply an iced coffee concoction created for adults. It is a sipping cocktail made with alcohol, espresso, and coffee liqueur, with a cream liqueur option. Shaken, not stirred. Recently I overheard a customer tell the bartender she wanted the martini shaken 27 times before he poured it into the classic v-shaped martini glass. By the serious expression on her face, I’m sure she was counting. For this at-home version, I chilled the ingredients overnight to make crafting a breeze.
IRISH CREAM ESPRESSO MARTINI
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce coffee liqueur
2 ounces Irish Cream liqueur
2 ounces Irish Whiskey
2 ounces prepared cold espresso
In a 16-ounce cocktail shaker, combine vodka, coffee liqueur, Irish Cream liqueur, Irish Whiskey, and prepared espresso. Add approximately six ice cubes. Tighten lid and shake until well combined and chilled. Strain crafted cocktail into two martini glasses. Serve immediately.
Dining Outside the Home: Bistro 821 in Naples, Florida! Located in the heart of historic Olde Naples along Fifth Avenue, not far from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, Bistro 821 awaits you. Whether you choose a charming indoor table for two or alfresco dining along the thoroughfare, excitement grows among the pulse of activity. Look around; notice the ambiance of European architecture. Peruse the world-class menu as you sip on a crafted cocktail of choice. There’s a lot to be said for enjoying the mood, quality, and atmosphere. These are the times we remember as special. Small plates make great beginnings for a taste of seafood. Graze through a salad as the conversation flows before deciding on a main course entree. Experienced servers are happy to answer any questions you may have. Before the evening comes to a close, save room for dessert, a specialty coffee, or the perfect nightcap.
Dining Outside the Home: Griggsby’s Station in Greenfield, Indiana! Located within walking distance from the museum home of Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley, Griggsby’s Station is a farm-to-table gastropub open for homestyle dining at your leisure. It got its peculiar name from one of Whitcomb’s poems by the same title. Outdoor dining encourages a spirit of camaraderie where everyone is either your neighbor or your friend. Check the blackboard for daily specials on gourmet food and spirited drinks. What you see written there promises to be robustly flavored and go well together. On occasion, live music is a treat for the evening, especially as the weather becomes warmer and people like to mingle. Look for the bright lights and the buzz of excitement. It’s right there on Main Street.
Dining Outside the Home: Avalon Gastropub in Kapaa, Kauai! When a waiter at another restaurant tells you where he goes after a hard day, you sit up and take notice. Avalon Gastropub is a trailblazer for this genre on the island. It is a place that offers a casual, yet refined atmosphere. The top-notch food and drink selections step up the freshness and creativity of the daily menu. Crabmeat Crostini is one of those delectable special features. The chef recommended Scotch Egg features a soft boiled egg wrapped in pork belly sausage. It’s one of several tantalizing small plates, that’s for sure. Some crafted cocktails aim to tickle the palate with smoke-infused alcoholic beverages, such as the Jalapeño Smoked Margarita shown here. It actually comes to the table in a smoker box. Talk about a multi-sensory experience.