Olive Poppers

I saw these made on a cooking show a couple of years ago.  It was one of those where the directions were incomplete and vague.  This is my version.  We use several different types of olives so it becomes a Forest Gump, box of chocolates thing.

Makes about 2 dozen

Time:  20 minutes active, 1 hour 45 minutes total

  • 1 Cup flour


    Olive Poppers

  • 1/3 Cup cheddar cheese – shredded
  • 2 Tbls. cold butter
  • ½ Tsp. cayenne
  • ½ Tsp. salt
  • ¼ Cup plus more water
  • Assorted olives
  • 4 Tbls. white sesame seeds
  • 4 Tbls. black sesame seeds
  1. To the bowl of a food processor or mixer fitted with a dough blade/hook, add the flour, cayenne, salt, butter and cheddar cheese.  Pulse a few times, scrapping down the sides until the butter is in little grains.
  2. Add ¼ cup water and pulse to combine.  Add additional water, 1 Tbls. at a time, pulsing after each, until a dough just forms.
  3. Turn the dough onto plastic wrap, form into a log and refrigerate for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450o
  5. While the dough chills, drain the olives.
  6. Combine the sesame seeds in a small dish
  7. Cut the dough into coins and flatten with your fingers.  Wrap dough around individual olives.  Roll the poppers in the sesame seeds and arrange them on a parchment paper covered sheet pan.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Cool slightly and serve.

The Aviation Cocktail

A classic, pre-prohibition cocktail, created to honor the brand new heroes of aviation.  It was invented by Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York sometime in the early 1900’s.  He included it in his 1916 book Recipes for Mixed Drinks.  I have changed this recipe to conform to his original.  I also found that, depending on the sweetness of the lemon juice, 2 – 3 drops of lemon bitters works well.DSCN1224

  • 2 oz. Plymouth Gin
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • ½ oz. Crème de Violette**
  • 2-3 drops of lemon bitters – optional
  1. Chill cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Add all ingredients to shaker
  3. Shake well with ice 10 – 15 sec.
  4. Strain into chilled glass

** Not Creme Yvette, which is purple but tastes different

Dry Martini with Gin and Lillet

I decided to play with my Dry Martini.  Using the St George Botanivore Gin, I substituted Lillet Blanc for the vermouth.  The result is a very pleasant drink.  Goes well with our Olive Poppers.

Olive Poppers

Olive Poppers

  • 2 oz. St. George Botanivore Gin
  • 1 oz. Lillet Blanc
  • Dash Orange Bitters
  • Lemon Zest

Martini Lillet

Dry Martini with Lillet

  1. Chill a martini glass with ice and water
  2. Add all ingredients, except the Lemon Zest, to a mixing glass and stir with ice
  3. Strain into chilled glass and garnish with the lemon zest


I Hate You Gary Bar Nuts

I like this recipe because you do not roast the nuts with a sticky coating.  The nuts are roasted plain and the topping is added.  Thus, they don’t clump as badly.  By the way, it’s not my fault if you can’t stop eating them!

  • 1 cup each plain, unsalted pecans, walnuts, cashews and almonds
  • 2 1/2 Tbls unsalted butter melted
  • ¼ cup brown sugar or brown WheyLow
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbl. honey
  • 1 Tbl. Angostura Bitters
  • 1 Tbl. course sea salt or kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350oF
  2. Spread nuts in a single layer on a full sheet pan and roast for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl thoroughly combine the brown sugar, butter, cayenne, cinnamon, honey, and bitters.
  4. Add the warm nuts to the sugar mixture and stir to evenly cover the nuts.
  5. Sprinkle the salt over the nuts and stir again.  If you think they need more salt, try stirring them more before adding additional salt.
  6. Serve warm.  Any leftovers will keep on the counter top in a sealed container for a few days before they completely glue together.

Smokin’ Nail

I generally use a blended malt scotch for this cocktail.  The smoked chai tea really plays along with the background Drambuie.  This requires a Smoke Gun.

Smokin' Nail

Smokin’ Nail

  • 2 ozs. Scotch
  • 1/2 ozs. Drambuie
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 dash Jerry Thomas Bitters – sub Angostura
  • 1 tsp. Chai tea

  1. Smoke tea in gun with the tube placed in a lidded decanter.  When decanter is full of smoke, remove smoke tube and seal.
  2. Chill a single old fashioned glass with ice and water.
  3. In a mixing glass, muddle lemon zest with the Drambuie and bitters
  4. Add Scotch and ice.  Stir to chill.  Strain into smoke filled bottle and reseal.  Give the drink a few good shakes in the smokey bottle.
  5. Pour drink over fresh ice in the chilled old fashioned glass.
  6. You can use the smokey bottle for 2 or 3 drinks.

Single Malt Scotch

Justin suggested I put in Scotch drinks.  So, this is my favorite.

  • 12 year old Single Malt Scotch, such as Cragganmore
  • Big Ice such as large cubes or a ball that nearly fills the glass
  • Heavy rocks glass
  1. Put ice followed by Scotch into the glass

Suggested pairings:  Beautiful woman, large leather chair, good cigar, pool table, dim lights….