Saturday Spirits: Lollipop Sparkling Cocktails

Wow! It has been a couple weeks since I’ve last shared a Saturday Spirits. I didn’t quite mean to go on a hiatus… but, it happened. Anywho, I’m bringing you one awesome cocktail today, so the wait will have been worth it. A few weeks ago I created these Lollipop Sparkling Cocktails for my “Hey Girl-Ryan Gosling Themed Birthday Party.

Sparkling Lollipop Cocktail // A Well Crafted Party

First I made lollipops using Raft Botanical Cocktail and Soda Syrups for the flavoring. This was my first successful time making candy… and, boy it is fun, easy and TASTY. I discovered that patience really was the key to making candy right. Well, that and a candy thermometer.

Once your lollipops are done the hard part of this cocktail is completed. All that is left is creating a tasty rimming sugar and pouring your favorite sparkling wine! These make for a really festive cocktail. There are quite a few recipes and how to’s below. Don’t let them intimidate you. The whole process is much easier than it sounds when you look at a huge blog post.

Sparkling Lollipop Cocktails // A Well Crafted Party

How to Make Lollipops

To make lollipops you just need a few essential tools. I made my lollipops with molds because I wanted to have a very precise look to them. However, you could use this powdered sugar method as well! For flavoring I really wanted to avoid using artificial or concentrated flavoring. I opted to test out creating the pops out of my Raft cocktail syrups and was thrilled with the way they turned out. (Affiliate Links Below)

Tools: 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
  • 1 3/4 Cup Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Raft Botanical Cocktail Syrup (I used Lemon Ginger for one set & Hibiscus Lavender for another)
  • Extra sugar and syrup to create rimming sugar

Directions: 

  1. Prep your candy molds by spraying with vegetable oil (non flavored!) and placing the lollipop sticks.
  2. In a saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and water over medium to medium-high heat. Stir to keep it from overheating or sticking. Burnt sugar will quickly make happy candy-making time into throwing out a pan and dealing with a stench time.
  3. Heat the sugar, stirring, until the candy thermometer reads just about 305 degrees. You don’t need to keep the candy thermometer in there the entire time, but once it starts to boil a bit it is a good idea to get that in there. You don’t want it to get past the hard-candy stage. Once the thermometer reads 305 go ahead and add in the Raft syrup. Stir into the mixture and watch the thermometer closely.
  4. Once the thermometer reads between 310-320 degrees remove the mixture from the heat. using a spoon pour the mixture into the molds. Be very careful… liquid candy burns are not a pretty thing. You’ll want to do this part while the mixture is hot, I recommend buying several lollipop molds. I ended up making about 24 lollipops per batch.
  5. Once the candy has cooled the lollipops are ready to eat! We stored ours on wax paper in a sealed container for about 2 weeks and they still tasted awesome. Though, try to keep them separated as they will stick together. You can also just buy some candy wraps and wrap them up nicely!

Sparkling Lollipop Cocktail // A Well Crafted Party

How to Make Rimming Sugar

A good sparkling cocktail needs some sugar to it. The lollipop will give the cocktail sugar and flavor… but, it won’t be immediate. The rimming sugar helps drive the flavor until the lollipop can do its magic. It also looks pretty too!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1- 2 teaspoons Raft Syrup
  • Lemon zest (use a microplane and it takes no time at all!)

Directions:

  1. Mix ingredients well… breaking up any clumps that might have formed from the liquid
  2. Lay out flat on a plate or baking sheet until mixture has totally dried. It can then be stored in an airtight container for about a week or so.

Sparkling Lollipop Cocktail // A Well Crafted Party

Lollipop Sparkling Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Use the lemon wedge to ring around the glass and dip onto a plate with rimming sugar.
  2. Drop a lollipop into the glass
  3. Pour in the sparkling wine!
  4. If you’d like a little more kick then add in 3/4 oz of Limoncello Liqueur

Saturday Spirits: Beergarita

Disclaimer: I was sent beer to try in a few cocktails for my Saturday Spirits series. So Beertails for all! All content is my own! 

Beergarita // A Well Crafted Party

Last weekend the family and I enjoyed our last camping trip of the season. I happy to say that we tried to take as much advantage of summer as possible by going out and enjoying the great outdoors many weekends this year. Most years we just end up looking back over the Summer and going, “where did it go?!” This year we can safely look back at a bunch of memories of beach trips, camping trips, and more. I am already looking forward to NEXT year’s camping trips and have been filling my Amazon wish list with fun new camp gear I want to buy!

My friends joke that if anyone would bring the bar to a campfire it would be me… and, they aren’t wrong. Last camping trip I made a tasty little bourbon and iced tea sipper. This time around I chose to do a Beergarita!

What is a beergarita you ask? Well, it is a Margarita with BEER in it! Beer can give an extra little something to a classic margarita by adding in more flavor and by giving it some carbonation. I like to make beergaritas when I am making big batches of margaritas.

We made this Beergarita with Tecate Light. While any style of lager will work well, I liked that this is a full flavor lager that reminds me of Mexcio. Check out my favorite way to drink Tecate that I posted WAY back when the blog began.

Beergarita // A Well Crafted Party

Beergarita // A Well Crafted Party

Beergarita Recipe

Makes a pitcher of drinks… or if you are camping like us, this makes 44 oz of cocktail put into a 48oz sealable container. This works to continually mix the cocktail without needing to stir it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lager style beer – you’ll use an entire can or bottle (we used Tecate Light)
  • 8 oz Tequila
  • 8 0z  Triple Sec
  • 8 oz Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice (approximately 2 lemons)
  • 3 oz Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice  (approximately 2.5 limes)
  • 3 oz Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice (approximately 2 oranges)

Directions: 

  1. Combine all ingredients into a pitcher or sealable container (with a little room)
  2. Sitr mixture well to combine (or shake)
  3. Serve over ice in a glass with a salted rim and a squeeze of lime!

Other Margarita recipes you might like:

And, if you love a good margarita as much as I do then you’ll want to snag this beautiful printable from A Fabulous Fete “Know when to Give Up and Have a Margarita“—it is framed on my desk at work for nice reminder!

What do you think about the Beergarita?

Saturday Spirits: Frozen Wine Cocktail

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Update: So, this is a really simple cocktail that I was super excited to make… a few days after making this and posting it I was going through my Pinterest boards and realized I pinned a cocktail recipe nearly exactly like this… I must have thought I dreamed it up after pinning late at night!  When something is two ingredients it isn’t quite a recipe, but I don’t like the idea of taking someone else’s idea without credit. So, while I’m keeping my list of ingredients I used and ideas for other frozen wine cocktails, I’ve removed my “directions” and instead you’ll find a link to the blog that I must have originally gotten the idea from. You’ll want to check out their blog anyways… it is awesome!

My camera broke this week as I was in the middle of a Halloween photo shoot. I’m sorta crushed. My camera is my friend! Thankfully, I have this lovely cocktail to get me through the pain.

These photos don’t really do this little cocktail justice at all. I’ll have to fix that… It won’t be hard, this simple cocktail will now be a staple in my home. It takes only two ingredients! So, grab yourself a bottle of wine and a bag of frozen fruit and get to work!

Two Ingredient Frozen Wine Cocktail

Ingredients:
– 6 oz wine (I used Sokol Pinot Gris)
– approximately 2 cups frozen fruit (I used strawberries for the pictured cocktail- I also tried a version with peaches. Peaches in the drink were the best, but both were great!)

Directions:
Check out the post by Dessert for Two “Peach Wine Slushies

That’s it!

Some combinations I’d suggest:
-Pinot Gris and Frozen Peaches
-Moscato and Frozen blueberries with a little lemonade
-Lambrusco with frozen mixed berries
-Sweet Riesling with frozen strawberries

What combination would you make?

Saturday Spirits: Lemon Ginger Drop Cocktail

Disclaimer: I attended a tasting of Raft Syrups and received a sampling of their syrups. This post is not sponsored by Raft. I happened to really enjoy the syrups and have created a recipe (or few!) using their syrups. Enjoy!

Lemon Ginger Drop Cocktail // A Well Crafted Party

Botanical Syrups and Kindred Spirits

A few weeks ago I was invited over to the home of the creators of Raft Botanical Cocktail and Soda Syrups with a few blogging friends for the opportunity to try some of their syrups and cocktails made with them. I was incredibly inspired by the passion and dedication of the women behind Raft Syrups. They spoke about their syrups and the process of creating and selling them with such authentic enthusiasm.

If you’ve ever read Anne of Green Gables then you’ve read the term ‘kindred spirits.” That is exactly how I felt sitting down with a few of my blogging buddies and Sook & Roslynn of Raft. I was reminded of the line:

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables.

Anyways, we tried SEVERAL tasty drinks that night. (Many of which you can actually find the cocktail recipes over on the Raft website. ) Admittedly, the tasty drinks might have contributed a little to the warm fuzzy feeling that I got from the evening. However, I’m going to think now and forever that I’ve found another pair of kindred spirits out there.

Lemon Ginger Drop Cocktail // A Well Crafted Party

Lemon Ginger Drop Cocktail

Upon tasting their Lemon Ginger Syrup the first thing I thought was…. wow, this would make for an AMAZING lemon drop. And, because I like to toot my own horn, I WAS RIGHT.

The lemon drop is a funny drink for me. Typically they are too sickly sweet for me to enjoy. However, when mixed with  just the right proportions of sweet and sour, I am in love. The ginger syrup gives the lemon drop just the right mixture of sweet and sour… and, as a bonus, a fun little kick of ginger at the end. If you like a little spice in your cocktail then definitely try this drink.

Lemon Ginger Drop Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Limoncello Liquer
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Ginger Raft Syrup
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 slice of lemon for rimming your glass
  • Ice
  • Shaker
  • Martini Glass
  • Granulated Sugar mixed with lemon zest for rim
  • Candied Ginger for Garnish

Directions:

  1. Using a sliced lemon, rub lemon juice around the edge of your cocktail glass. Dip the glass onto a plate covered in granulated sugar mixed with lemon zest. Set glass aside.
  2. Pour the vodka, limoncello, lemon ginger syrup, and juice of the lemon into a cocktail shaker full of ice. SHAKE! Strain liquid into the rimmed martini glass.
  3. Garnish with a candied ginger.

Enjoy!

Lemon Ginger Drop Cocktail // A Well Crafted Party

 

More about Raft Syrups: Raft Botanical Cocktail and Soda Syrups are made in Portland, Oregon. The syrups are not only just about quality ingredients and great flavor… but, also about a healthy well-being! Check out the Raft About page to learn more about why they are creating these syrups. It is a good read, I promise! They currently stock three different syrups: Hibiscus Lavender, Lemon Ginger, and Smoked Tea Vanilla. The syrups are stocked in some stores throughout Portland and can be purchased ONLINE! These would make a fantastic gift for anyone building their bars.

Want even more recipes using Raft syrups? Check out these links:

Saturday Spirits: Gin, Thyme, and Quick Pickle Fizz Cocktail

This cocktail must be one of the strangest concoctions I’ve come up with yet. But, I was really craving a savory and smooth cocktail that utilized some of the yummy produce that my husband’s garden was giving us. At first I tried some muddling of these awesome cucumbers that he grew. But, the cucumber was much too bitter for a good cocktail. That is when I realized they were PICKLING cucumbers. Duh. So, a quick pickle happened and then the magic of this drink came together. If you are looking for a savory and smooth cocktail — good for brunch or a nice lunch on the lawn — then I’d challenge you to give it a shot.

 

Gin & Thyme Fizz Cocktail with Quick Pickles

This cocktail is made with egg white. Egg whites give a cocktail a creamy and rich texture along with some pretty awesome looking foam. Use your best food handling practices when working with raw eggs at all times. Clean hands, freshest possible eggs, and safe handling. Typically when using egg whites in a drink I like to shake up the drinks ingredients without ice to make sure the foam is the best and then I add ice, shake a bit and pour into a glass. Because I wanted the thyme and quick pickle to impart some flavor in this drink I chose to shake it all together with ice. It still worked great.

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Cocktail Glass- I used a rocks glass
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Ice
  • Fine Mesh Sieve
  • 1 Egg White
  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Simple Syrup
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 Quick Pickles (recipe below)
  • 2 Sprigs of Thyme

Directions:

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour over the gin, simple syrup, and lime juice. Add in 1 sprig of thyme and 1 quick pickle.Finally add the egg white.
  2. SHAKE LIKE CRAZY! Shake it up really well so that the quick pickle and thyme really infuse the drink with flavor and so the egg white gets nice and frothy.
  3. Strain the cocktail into a glass. You can do this drink up in a martini glass, or like I did, on the rocks in a rocks glass.
  4. Garnish with quick pickle and sprig of thyme

Quick Pickle Recipe

Quick pickles are not pickles that will last for a long time in your pantry. I like to make quick pickles the same day or the day before I’m going to eat them. Make at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before you need them.
Ingredients & Supplies

  • 1 Medium to Large Sized Bowl
  • 2 Pickling Cucumbers cut into spears
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Water (Boil before use)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

Directions

    1. Put vinegars, water, and sugar in bowl and stir until sugar dissolves.
    2. Add cucumber spears to bowl, make sure vinegar solution covers all spears.
    3. Sprinkle with salt, cover and set in fridge.
    4. Test for a crunchy, slightly acidic and slightly sweet pickle after about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Plateau de Fruits de Mer

Fruits de Mer // A well Crafted Party

Fruits de Mer is a seafood platter of raw and/or cooked shellfish usually served on a bed of ice. A long time ago I saw a beautiful fruits de mer platter in one of my favorite events books and have wanted to throw a party with a fruits of the sea platter.

Right before my Mohs Surgery to remove my skin cancer I really needed a good excuse to be distracted for the evening. I invited friends over for a big meal and made the above platter as an appetizer… boy, let me tell you. We didn’t need the meal! I actually made enough seafood for TWO of these large platters. Then we followed it up with steaks and veggies for dinner and then something for dessert. I’ve never been so full in my life!

Making this platter was much less intimidating than I originally thought. I used precooked crab and lobster… it would be even better with fresh shell fish, but it wasn’t readily available in my area. The whole thing was still delicious, but someday I plan to make it with all fresh shellfish. I’d also like to pair it with ceviche someday! YUM. Below is how I made this dish… know that it is completely easy to customize this dish to your cooking comfort level and your tastes. If you go to a great fish purveyor you can even asked for your lobster to be steamed and your oysters shucked… then there is NO work for you and your guests are completely wow’d!

Fruits de Mer // A well Crafted Party

Plateau de Fruits de Mer:

Great appetizer for a dinner party or can even be served as hors d’oeuvres at a cocktail party. One large platter will serve 4 easily. I served this dish with a tarter sauce, cocktail sauce, chile lime sauce and butter.

To Build Platter (Just Like Above):

Cooking directions below this list!

  • Ice: Cover a large platter or bowl with ice.
  • Crab Legs: Add cooked and cooled crab legs to platter.  It is also helpful to go ahead and pre-crack the crab legs so it is easy for your guests to take out the meat.
  • Lobster claws: I was fortunate enough to find lobster claws already cut and pre-cracked for me! While I believe fresh lobster would have been even more amazing… the convenience of these little suckers was too good to pass up! I did go ahead and boil them quickly in a flavorful broth (see below) and then cooled quickly before placing on the platter.
  • Shrimp: I got the largest sized raw, shell on (deveined) shrimp. After cooking I peeled the shrimp and placed on the platter. Easy peasy!
  • Oysters: I spent all day looking up how to shuck oysters. I’d been SO excited about shucking oysters. However, the whole foods that these puppies came from cleaned and shucked them for me! I just got them same day and kept them on ice until serving! So, no directions below on how to shuck oysters… but, check out this oyster shucking resource if you’re in the mood to get your shuck on!
  • Cucumbers filled with spicy salmon: This was a creation of my own. They turned out pretty good… though, next time I’ll go with a sashimi grade salmon rather than cooking my salmon first.

 

Cooking Directions:

Crab, Lobster, and Shrimp:

  1. Get a large ice bath prepared and put to the side.
  2. In a large pot bring 2 gallons of water, 1 pint vegetable stock, 3 Bay Leaves, a Tablespoon of black peppercorns, and 1/2 bottle of dry white wine to boil.
  3. In batches cook the seafood. If cooking from live you want to do about 10 minutes for your lobster and crab. Move directly to ice bath once finished. For pre-steamed crab and lobster you’ll be infusing the shellfish with flavor and heating it back up to temp for about 8 minutes. Transfer to the ice bath. Finally, cook the shrimp. The shrimp will be dense and pink in about 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp to ice bath. Peel once cooled. Bring the liquid to a boil again between each batch.

Cucumbers filled with spicy salmon:

Ingredients:

  • two cucumbers, cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch portions
  • 10 oz of cooked salmon shredded (or, use sashimi grade salmon diced!)
  • 1 Tablespoon Siracha
  • 1 Tablespoon of Mayo (I used kewpie mayonaise)
  • Juice of one lime
  • Sprinkle of cilantro for garnish

Directions:

  1. Using a melon baller or spoon take out most of the center of the cucumber portion. Leave a little on the bottom to hold in the filling.
  2. Mix the salmon, siracha, mayo, and lime juice together in a bowl.
  3. Fill the cucumber portions with mixture.
  4. Sprinkle on the cilantro and enjoy!

 

What would you think if you went to a party and saw a Fruits De Mer? Would you ever try one at your own dinner table?

Saturday Spirits: Tangerine Thyme Margarita from Mint & Mirth

Tangerine Thyme Margarita from Mint & Mirth // Featured on A Well Crafted Party

 

Tangerine Thyme Margarita from Mint & Mirth // Featured on A Well Crafted Party

I’m excited to have a local guest bartender for today’s Saturday Spirits! The minds behind Portland Wedding and Fine Event Bartending Service, Mint & Mirth are here to share their Tangerine Thyme Margarita. Mint and Mirth was a recent winner of Oregon Bride Magazine’s “Best New Wedding Vendor” of 2014. Their work has been featured on Snippet & Ink, Green Wedding Shoes, and Offbeat Bride.

I’m a sucker for a good drink with thyme. I can’t wait to make this drink this weekend!

Tangerine Thyme Margarita

from Mint & Mirth

Ingredients:

Ice
3 ounces Altos Tequila
2 ounces tangerine juice
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
0.5 ounce orange liqueur
Crushed thyme salt for rim
Sprig of thyme for garnish

Directions:

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add tequila, lime juice, tangerine
juice, simple syrup and orange liqueur. Cover and shake until well
chilled.

Rim a chilled glass with crushed thyme salt and strain margarita into
the glass. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and enjoy!

Connect with Mint & Mirth:

Website: mintandmirth.com
Facebook: facebook.com/mintandmirth
Instagram: instagram.com/mintandmirth

** This is not a sponsored post. I have appreciated Mint & Mirth’s work for a while now. They were gracious enough to send over this awesome recipe after I requested it! Thank you to Mint & Mirth!**

It’s Blackberry Thyme! Featured on InComplete Magazine

Blackberry Thyme Cocktail featured on InComplete Magazine

Mmmmm… It’s Blackberry Thyme!

Well, it is blackberry time here in the Pacific Northwest. The Farmer’s Markets are overflowing with delicious looking berries. I created a Blackberry Thyme cocktail to be featured on the amazing InComplete Magazine! Go check it out and let me know how you like it!

Open Faced Prosciutto Sandwich

Open Faced Prosciutto Sandwich // A Well Crafted Party
There is nothing quite like a good sandwich. This sandwich is no exception. It is super simple to make, and freaking full of flavor. A big part of the flavor punch is due to the great ingredients. Believe me when I say that sometimes it makes a HUGE difference whether you buy quality ingredients over value priced items. Making a big stew? A few value items aren’t going to make a huge difference. But, when you have an item like this sandwich where there are few ingredients and you aren’t going to be changing the flavor profiles with a ton of seasoning and cooking… quality ingredients is where it is at.

Take for instance the butter in this sandwich. Sure, I could go with just any ole butter. But, a nice rich Irish or European style butter will lend a nice base for this sandwich. Heck, a great butter on a piece of bread with a sprinkle of salt is a treat in itself!

Open Faced Prosciutto Sandwich // A Well Crafted Party

Open Faced Prosciutto Sandwich with Fig Spread and Black Pepper Cheddar

This recipe tells you how to build an individual sandwich. The amount of sandwiches you can make depends on the size of the bread that you buy and the amount of prosciutto comes in a package. Because these things are not standard, I didn’t elect to dictate serving size.

*Some links are affiliate links. Purchases made from affiliate links help support this blog. Thank you for your support!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Spread butter on thick slice of bread.
  2. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Spread fig spread onto butter
  4. Top with slice of black pepper cheddar
  5. Top with slide of prosciutto
  6. Enjoy!

We enjoyed these at a picnic along with my open-faced crab sandwiches. But, these would also be fantastic made in miniature and served as appetizers at your next party!

Open Faced Prosciutto Sandwich // A Well Crafted Party

Saturday Spirits: Twists on the Martini Recipe

Greek Martini and Other Twists on the Classic // A Well Crafted Party

Image taken by Portland photographer Macey Snelson of Motormouth Studios

Last week’s post featured one of my all time favorite cocktails… a simple, classic martini! I also shared a bit of the terminology surrounding martinis. I could drink a classic martini almost every time I want a drink. However, every now and again I like to mix up my martini a bit with one of the following “twists” on tradition.

  1. Martini with a Twist: This is actually pretty much considered a classic. But, because I typically prefer olives… this is mixing it up for me. When I want a different flavor than olives I’ll make the classic martini and add a lemon twist. Nearly any bar, any where will have the ingredients to make this cocktail. (A twist is just a piece of citrus zest that garnishes a cocktail.) How to Make a Lemon Twist: I love this Bon Appetit article that shows three ways to make a lemon twist.
  2. Dirty Greek Martini: (pictured) One of my favorite greek restaurants serves their dirty martini subbing greek olives instead of the traditionally used pimento stuffed green olives. I like to do vodka in my greek martini! This cocktail might be best made at home since most bars aren’t going to carry greek olives. How To Make a Dirty Greek Martini: Pour 2 oz vodka, 3/4 oz dry vermouth, and 1/4 oz greek olive juice over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake at least 45 seconds. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with greek olives.
  3. Gibson: A Gibson Martini is traditionally a Gin martini garnished with a pickled onion. This is a super traditional drink—most bars will be able to easily whip this up for you. How to Make a Gibson Martini: Pour 2 oz of gin and 3/4 oz dry vermouth over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake for at least 45 seconds. Stain into a martini glass. Garnish with pickled pearl onions.
  4. Dirty & Spicy Martini: A dangerously good sipper if you like it hot… I tried this martini at a bar that had their own pepper infused vodka. You can easily make it at home, but some bars may have the fixings for this as well. How to Make a Dirty & Spicy Martini: Pour 2 oz pepper infused vodka, 3/4 oz dry vermouth, and 1/4 oz olive juice over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a pepper and olive!
  5. Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives with a Dry Martini: When I know a bar has freshly stuffed blue cheese olives I will ALWAYS order this drink. They have to be freshly stuffed though… I haven’t met a jarred blue cheese stuffed olive than I’ve liked yet. How to make Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives with a Dry Martini: For the martini I like to keep it very dry and clean. First you’ll want to prep your olives. I typically get large pimento stuffed green olives, pop out the pimento’s and stuff with blue cheese using my fingers. I then pour 1/4 oz vermouth into a chilled martini glass, swish around the glass and pour out. Then pour 3 oz of vodka over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with your freshly stuffed Blue Cheese Olives!
Greek Martini and Other Twists on the Classic // A Well Crafted Party

Image taken by Portland photographer Macey Snelson of Motormouth Studios

There are a ton of variations of cocktails that are based off the basic martini recipe. Changing up garnishes and/or portions can easily switch up a drink.

Tell me…. do you like martinis? If so, what is your martini order? Comment below!

PS: Don’t miss out on your opportunity to win an awesome new wireless speaker! Check out my current giveaway for your chance to win!

Open Faced Crab Salad Sandwich

Open Faced Crab Salad Sandwich // A Well Crafted PartyOpen Faced Crab Salad Sandwich // A Well Crafted Party Open Faced Crab Salad Sandwich // A Well Crafted Party Open Faced Crab Salad Sandwich // A Well Crafted Party

Hot summer days and sandwiches just go well together. We recently headed out for a summer time picnic (yep, back there again… I just really like picnics!) and I wanted a couple of easy, but tasty sandwiches to serve. This is one of the two sandwiches I made for the afternoon.

Open Faced Crab Salad Sandwich

Makes approximately six sandwiches.

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 oz crab (you can use freshly cooked crab or canned crab
  • juice of a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of mayo
  • diced radishes & green onions for garnish
  • butter
  • salt & pepper
  • sliced crusty bread

Directions:

  1. Mix the crab, lemon, mayo in a bowl and set into a container
  2. Spread a thin layer of butter on a slice of crusty bread
  3. Top the bread with the crab mixture
  4. sprinkle a garnish of radish and green onions
  5. Enjoy!

I served these with a zesty side of green bean salad.

Saturday Spirits: Classic Martini

There is just nothing like a classic martini. A smooth, ice cold martini is my idea of a perfect night cap. My personal order is a shaken, dirty and dry vodka martini served up. However, I’m not too picky… I’ll drink them a variety of ways depending on my mood and supplies.

The thing that I learned as a bartender is that there are not a lot of people comfortable ordering martinis. Often people would slide up to the bar and that they’d like a martini and then they’d be stumped by questions about the drink. It is good to know the differences between the terms so that you know what you like. No bartender wants to make you a drink you don’t enjoy.

I’m sharing with you today some martini terminology and my recipe for my classic martini. Just gonna put this out there… there are a LOT of different ways to make martinis and there are a lot of “classic martini recipes” hanging out in the web. I’d say, test them and figure out what YOU like. That is the important part of all this anyways. Also, check back next week where I share some fun variations on the martini.

Classic Martini

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Gin or Vodka
  • 3/4 oz dry vermouth
  • ice
  • shaker and/or long spoon
  • fine mesh sieve (or strainer)
  • Martini glass (TIP: Throw your martini glass into a freezer for a nice frosted glass.)
  • Garnish: olives or lemon twist

Directions: 

  1. Pour your gin or vodka and dry vermouth over ice in a shaker
  2. Shake or Stir the ingredients and ice- (I like shaking it because I feel like it makes it nice and icy!)
  3. Strain the ingredients into a martini glass
  4. Garnish  your martini with a lemon twist or olives- (I’m all about the olives.)

Martini Terminology

What the heck does all that stuff mean anyways? Well, here are my definitions!

Dirty: Made with olive juice. I start with about 1/4 oz and sometimes, when I am feeling like having a really dirty martini I up the olive juice to 1/2 oz.

Dry: Less vermouth! When I make my dry martini I take my vermouth down to 1/4 oz. Though, if you want very dry just omit the vermouth entirely.

On the Rocks: Served over ice.

Perfect: A martini using 50% dry and 50% sweet vermouth

Shaken: Ingredients shaken over ice.

Stirred: Ingredients stirred with a bar spoon with ice for about 45 seconds or so. This doesn’t “agitate” the ingredients.

Up: Served in a martini glass with no ice.

Wet: This term isn’t used often…. but, just in case you LOVE vermouth this one is for you. This means that you’d like the vermouth upped in your drink.

With a Twist: Served with a citrus twist (typically lemon) instead of olives. Adds a bit of the smell and taste of the citrus oils to your drink.

Am I missing anything? What is your favorite martini order? Comment below!

 

Real Party: Picnic Birthday Party

Real Party: Picnic Themed Birthday Party // A Well Crafted Party

This year my home parties have been pretty laid back due to busy schedules and tightening of budgets. But, being me, I still wanted to celebrate our milestones in some fashion. The picnic-themed party that I hosted for my husband’s birthday this year fit the bill for an easy, but fun event.

Picnic Birthday Party Menu:

Sandwiches: 

  • Pressed Italian Sandwiches
  • veggie sandwiches that I created that had carrots, olives, hummus, and cucumber layered on a flat bread
  • Chicken Salad Sandwiches
  • Rosemary Ham and Brie Sandwiches (SO GOOD– I’ll be sharing the recipe for this one soon!)

Chips: Sweet Potato and Kettle Chips — I just bought these chips at Trader Joes and then put them into paper bags that I had printed labels on.

Salads:

Dessert: We finished off the meal with a dessert of spiked ice creams.

Drinks: Signature cocktails, beers, and lemonades made for easy beverages

Real Party: Picnic Themed Birthday Party // A Well Crafted Party

Real Party: Picnic Themed Birthday Party // A Well Crafted Party

Real Party: Picnic Themed Birthday Party // A Well Crafted Party

Real Party: Picnic Themed Birthday Party // A Well Crafted Party

Real Party: Picnic Themed Birthday Party // A Well Crafted Party

Real Party: Picnic Themed Birthday Party // A Well Crafted Party

Finally, a selection of lawn games such as a ring toss, bocce ball, and badminton kept everyone entertained.

*Edited to add this bit of awesome info:

Picnic Party Favors

Guests left the part with their very own Emergency Picnic Kit! I shared the kit, directions for making your own, and free printables over on Today’s Creative Blog! Check out the blog to learn how to make your own Emergency Picnic Kit party favor!

Hopefully this post and the posts that come out of this party serve to be an inspiration to you!

What would you want to include in a picnic birthday party?

Fire Roasted Corn on the Cob with Amaize Corn

Disclaimer: I was offered compensation for my work on this post about Amaize Sweet Corn. The below idea for how to cook and eat Amaize is my own. All opinions are my own. Thank you for reading, sharing, commenting, and interacting with sponsored posts on my page. This helps support this blog and keeps original content coming your way!


Fire Roasted Corn from A Well Crafted Party

Little known fact about me… I went to high school in the middle of a corn field. My senior shirt had a caricature of my entire class (all 40 or so of us) in the middle of corn with the caption “Children of the Corn!” Besides being a little bit creepy… it was great growing up with farms all around us! I was raised on tasty corn on the cob, creamed corn, sweet corn, pop corn and the likes. While I don’t eat as much corn as I used to, I do like to dress up salads, garnish tacos, or just eat a perfectly cooked corn-on-the-cob in the hot summer months.

When I received a box of Amaize, a sweet corn, right before heading out camping I knew that I wanted to try roasting it over a fire. Pretty much everything tastes better over a fire while camping. But, I gotta say, cooking over a fire isn’t always the easiest! The heat is constantly changing, you have to make sure your food doesn’t catch on fire, and you have to sometimes deal with smoke. These corn on the cobs were SO worth it though!

How to Make Fire Roasted Corn

Ingredients:

  • Corn with husks (I used the Amaize Sweet Corn)
  • Contained fire with grill grates positioned above it. (Tip: Make sure the fire is burning completely and fairly consistently. I usually wait until some of my wood looks more like charcoal before throwing down some food on the grill.)
  • Tongs
  • Sharp Knife & Cutting Board
  • Butter & Seasonings of Choice (I used salt, pepper, and an italian seasoning blend)

Fire Roasted Corn a How To from A Well Crafted Party

amaize-fire-roasted-corn-cutcorn

Fire Roasted Corn from A Well Crafted Party

Directions:

  1. After your fire is burning fairly consistently (not huge flames!) put down the corn husk and all on a grill grate above the flames. That is right… you don’t need to peel back the husks, don’t need to de-silk the corn, and you don’t need to wrap it in anything. Bonus, if you accidentally drop an ear in the dust it won’t matter because it is protected by a husk! Don’t worry if your husks are getting a little singed. Your corn will still be great unless the husks begin to come off completely.
  2. Roast for approximately 1 hour— rotating your corn every 10 to 15 minutes. This is absolutely not precise! Fire burns at different temps depending on a lot of different factors. Test the corn by squeezing with your tongs or sticking a fork in them. If it feels like there is some give or juice comes out then it is a safe bet that they are done. When I feel like the corn is done I typically pull one out and cut it up to test. If it isn’t quite done then you can always wrap the corn in foil and cook it a little longer.
  3. Using tongs, put a corn on the cob on your cutting board. Slice off the back end of your corn.
  4. Then, holding the corn husk firmly at the top of the corn, squeeze the corn out of the husk. (Saw this little corn trick via Instructables using microwaved corn. It totally works on roasted corn as well! Changed my life.)
  5. Doctor your corn with butter and seasonings… enjoy!

Fire Roasted Corn from A Well Crafted Party

 

More About Amaize Sweet Corn:

  • Amaize Sweet Corn was created using traditional, natural breeding methods through hybridization meaning this corn is never genetically modified. (Non-GMO)
  • The corn is sweet and crunchy… it didn’t get gross and mushy after cooking!
  • The corn had a 22 year development period. Seriously, so cool to think about how many different variations and flavors were created to get to this sweet and crunchy corn.
  • Amaize is available from June to September and is currently being sold for a limited time exclusively in Portland at New Seasons Market.
  • Follow along on their Facebook page to learn more!

PS. Please be careful of fires this time of year and pay attention to your local burning laws!

What do you like cooking over a camp fire?

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