Tag Archives: sweet

Drink of the Week

Hotel NacionalHotel Nacional

  • 1 1/2oz Rum
  • 3/4oz Pineapple Juice
  • 3/4oz Lime Juice
  • 3/4oz Simple Syrup
  • 1/2oz Apricot Brandy

Shake in ice and strain in to a coupe.

No Garnish


Hello my Fussy followers! I know I haven’t written in quite a while, but sadly life simply got in the way of my writing.  Trips to Hawaii, San Francisco and Disney Land have been among my most recent endeavors so I have struggled to find time to document and write about cocktails etc (it’s a hard life, but someones got to do it!)

My parents are currently in LA from England and I have been out showing them all the great places to drink and eat in this town.  It has reminded me of a number of drinks I wanted to share with you all.  I have recently started to enjoy Tiki drinks in particular, and although the above drink isn’t particularly of this genre, it definitely has a little bit of a tiki vibe with the rum and pineapple.

Today is Mothers Day in America so I thought I would put up a drink I feel most mothers would enjoy. Plus it’s a really easy recipe to execute at home.

I have had this drink a few times in the past 2 months at Short Order next to The Grove shopping center.  I will undoubtedly be writing a post on them soon, seeing as their food is also fantastic (their Mac and cheese is divine).  The above recipe is perfect for the coming summer months, because it is pleasantly sweet and refreshing.

Take note, this is VERY easy to drink, almost like lemonade and if you’re not watching yourself you can get buzzed pretty quickly. (I am talking from experience of course!)

Anyway here is a nice simple recipe that is easy to make for your mom/mum today. Enjoy.

Happy Mothers Day!

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Drink of the Week

Drink of the Week

Acero

  • 2oz Rye
  • 3/4oz Lemon juice
  • 3/4oz Maple Syrup (Organic Grade B)
  • 1 Egg white

Garnish: Bacon piece

This drink was created by Greg Bryson for the new Fall menu that just rolled out at Hostaria Del Piccolo in Santa Monica (it will also be featured at their new location in Venice, which opens next month). The recipe was inspired by a drink called the Woodstock, which uses Gin as the base, orange bitters, Maple and Lemon juice.  I couldn’t find ANY notable history on The Woodstock i’m afraid, however the history of the Acero is simple. Greg wanted a drink using Maple Syrup for his Fall menu and after several variations found the above combination of ingredients to be the best! Hostaria Del Piccolo is an Italian Restaurant, therefore they named the drink ‘Acero’ which means ‘Maple’ in Italian.

I love this drink because it’s deliciously sweet, has a creamy texture from the egg white and the lemon balances with the Rye and Maple flavors perfectly.  The bacon garnish tastes great too, and the sweet salty pairing is a great combo.  It basically has a Whiskey Sour taste to it, only more autumnal because of the maple syrup.

I am told it does make a difference with the kind of maple syrup you use, Greg specifies to use Organic Grade B because other grades can end up being too sweet and throw the balance off.

Have a go making this at home (a great option for Thanksgiving dinner) or if you’re in Los Angeles, make a point to head over to Hostaria Del Piccolo in the coming months to try this and other great new drinks off of their menu.

ENJOY!

Leave a comment

Filed under Drink of the Week

Drink of the Week

Blueberry Thyme

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • 6 Blueberries
  • 2 sprigs of thyme

Garnish: Thyme Sprig floating on top

Muddle the blueberries and thyme in a glass, add the rest of the ingredients then shake in ice and strain in to a cocktail glass.

This drink was created by Greg Bryson, the new Beverage Director at Hostaria Del Piccolo in Santa Monica.  I tried it last week and found it to be absolutely delicious and perfect for the summer.  It is refreshing, sweet and has a gorgeous pink hue from the muddled blueberries.  The thyme gives an interesting scent and flavor to the drink without overpowering it.

I highly recommend heading in to Hostaria Del Piccolo (review coming soon) where you can get this and many other fresh ingredient concoctions on their new summer menu.  On week days you can have it made by Greg himself. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Drink of the Week

Drink of the Week

The Secret Garden Punch

image

Bottle Hendricks Gin (750ml)
350ml Fresh squeezed lime juice
400ml St.Germain Elderflower Liqueur
10 sprigs mint
1/2 Thin slices cucumber
1/2 bottle Prosecco (375ml)

Serve in a punch bowl over a large ice cube. Serves 15-20ppl

It’s memorial day here in the States so my lovely mixologist boyfriend Greg Bryson AKA FutureGreg decided to make another of his delicious punch recipes.  We’re by the pool having a bbq with friends and family so he felt inspired to whip up this recipe and gave it a great name (based on its lush green foliage appearance).

It is so tasty, refreshing, sweet and strong.  Great drink to sip on in the glorious sunshine…i’m certain i’ll be asking him to make it again over the summer.

Give it a try! It’s not hard to put together and you won’t be disappointed 🙂

Have a safe and fun Memorial day everyone!

2 Comments

Filed under Drink of the Week

Sprinkles at all hours?…Yes, please!

Sprinkles Cupcakes
9635 South Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA, 90210
310 274 8765
.

Unlike my usual reviews this is not for a fine Los Angeles restaurant, a fun filled Hollywood event or an exciting new Mixology bar. It is in fact a review about a bakery that serves “little pieces of Heaven” 24 hours a day, in the heart of Beverly Hills.  I am talking, of course, about the delicious Sprinkles Cupcakes.

I have been coming to this location (the original) since the first month I moved to Los Angeles, and the irony is that I don’t actually like cupcakes normally. I’m serious, cake in general is not my favorite dessert because it is often either too spongey or too dry for my tastes, and the style of frosting isn’t the same in the States as the butter icing I like in the UK.  I am true to my ‘fussy’ name when it comes to cupcakes.  So how did I end up at Sprinkles? Well, 4 years ago I saw an episode of ‘Girls of the Playboy Mansion’ in which Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend (now ex) Bridget went there and got a cute little box of cupcakes for a party, as well as mini ones for her dogs.

So in true tourist fashion, when I first move to Los Angeles it was one of the places I went to have my photo taken at.  I didn’t think i’d like it much but when I took my first bite I couldn’t believe what I tasted.  Sprinkles cupcakes are ALWAYS soft, moist and fluffy cakes with the most incredibly sweet but creamy style frostings. I became an instant fan, so much so that when I lived in the South Bay I would still drive the 35mins+ drive to Beverly Hills just to get my favorite (Vanilla Milk Chocolate) and drive back home. They really are that good.

Word to the wise, if you don’t like sugary treats so much then this may not be your thing.  The one complaint (that you’ll never hear from me) that i’ve ever heard of these cupcakes is that the frostings are too sweet, but I think they are just right and there are some other flavors like the Red Velvet with a less sugary cream cheese icing.

History

Sprinkles Cupcakes Company was founded by Candace Nelson and her husband in 2002.  After visiting ‘Magnolia Bakery’ in New York they decided they could do better and decided to open their own cupcake bakery in Beverly Hills. Candace is said to have stated;

 “It was time for cupcakes to stop being the back up dancer to cakes”.

After endorsements from celebrities like Paris Hilton, Tyra Banks and Barbra Streisand (one of their first customers) Oprah Winfrey got hold of a box and requested 300 more for her “Breakfast with Oprah” show in Chicago.  The next day sales went up 50% and have continued to have a stream of constant customers ever since.  The thing about this place, in my opinion, is that many people go there because of the press it gets, but almost everyone returns because of the product.  When the quality is there, people will come!

The bakery building itself is sleek and minimalistic in design, painted a simple chocolate brown with a neon pink ‘icing font’ Sprinkles sign in the far corner. The packaging is also simple and elegant and anyone who knows them would recognize the jagged edges of a Sprinkles sticker anywhere. The brand now has 10 locations throughout the United States, with plans to open in 15 more cities including London and Tokyo. The Nelsons also started a traveling “Sprinklesmobile”, a Mercedes Sprinter van that i’ve seen driving around.  They sell a line of cupcake mixes, t-shirts and other merchandise with their logo on at their stores.

New to the Beverly Hills location just this past week is the cupcake ATM. Wait, what was that? Yes, you heard me right. They added an ‘Automated Teller Machine’ that shoots out cupcakes instead of money.


Cupcake A.T.M

I couldn’t leave on my last visit without a purchase from the new ATM.  I thought I would document the occasion step by step for all those interested.  It’s pretty straight forward.  After waiting in line (and there will be a line) you get to a bubble gum pink machine that reads ’24hour Sprinkles’. A fun and girly song about Sprinkles cupcakes is playing, then you touch the screen and are given a list of your cupcake choices.

  1. Scroll through the choices of cupcakes available at the machine
  2. Click on the cupcake of choice. (I went for the Irish Chocolate seeing as it’s nearly St.Patricks Day.)
  3. Read the detailed description of cupcake you’ve chosen
  4. Confirm selection
  5. Pay with a debit or credit card
  6. Watch a live video feed of a suction arm collecting your chosen flavor
  7. Collect your beautifully boxed cupcake from the tray
  8. Enjoy it’s deliciousness!

                

They bake and fill the machine all day then an extra 600 is added to stock up through the night time.  Funnily enough my friend in the UK was shocked when I told her this and said “600? They can’t possibly expect to sell that many in a night”, from the looks of things so far 600 cupcakes may not be enough.

I was going to go the other night at 1am until I saw a tweet by blogger Caroline on Crack saying “wtf? This late? I wonder when there won’t be a line. @Sprinkles ATM has a line around the block! Insane.” It doesn’t surprise me that much.  There is almost always a line outside the Sprinkles bakery itself, partly due to the small size of the building but mainly because of the sheer number of customers.  I am told people are coming by at 3am after the bars close to get a sweet fix before they head home.  That’s actually sort of how this idea started too.  The owner would crave cupcakes in the middle of the night (not drunk though, she was in fact pregnant!) and would be upset that the store was closed.  She decided there should be an option to get them at all hours. Proved to be a genius move because now the ATM is in operation it is clear that it is going to be a success.
.

Flavors

The flavor option availability changes daily, although classics like Vanilla Milk Chocolate, Red Velvet and Black & White are always being made. They also try out new and seasonal flavors all the time and with St.Patricks day around the corner they created an ‘Irish Chocolate’ which is what I got on this trip.  It tasted like it had a subtle Whiskey flavor in the frosting as well as vanilla notes throughout the cake. There are too many options in rotation for me to review, although I think I have nearly tried every one of them.  The choices are in the picture at the bottom of this post and they put a little sticker next to those that are available that day. Check out their Facebook for daily deals too.

I am going to talk quickly about my favorite flavor here the The Vanilla Milk Chocolate.  This is the one I get by the box load for my birthday and parties, it is by far my favorite although the boyfriend finds this flavor to be on the sweeter side.  It comes with the option of sprinkles of no sprinkles. I always say do the sprinkles, but each to their own.

Vanilla Milk Chocolate– Madagascar bourbon vanilla cake with fudge milk chocolate frosting

The cake has a hint of vanilla to it and is soft and moist. The chocolate frosting is like no other i’ve found in the States. Sweet, creamy and fudgy. Pure chocolate decadence. It is just a perfect little cupcake and saves well too. These cupcakes don’t taste terrible the next day, my boyfriend actually prefers them a day old.  So there you have it. Sprinkles Cupcakes are so far the best i’ve found in the World.  In fact, my writing of this review has given me the bright idea to head back there right now and get one! If you’re in the area…I suggest you do the same.

2 Comments

Filed under Great Food

Drink of the Week

Make yourself a celebratory drink. ‘The Fussy One’ website has been up for 1 month today!

The Bellini

  • 2oz White Peach purée
  • Fill with Prosecco

Garnish: A peach slice (if desired)

Serve in a Champagne flute (original at Harry’s bar is served in a small tumbler – see picture)

You can buy peach purée or frozen peaches year round, however if you have the time it is easy to make your own.  Remove the skin and pits from ripe small white peaches, cut and blend them in a blender on medium until your smooth purée is formed.

This classic is refreshing, sweet and simple.  A celebratory drink that almost everyone has heard of, but for some reason gets ignored or forgotten about and plain champagne is used for toasts instead.  I like this so much more because it has that extra layer of sweetness from the addition of peach as well as the prosecco (sweeter with smaller bubbles than champagne.)

It is said to have been created by bartender Giuseppe Cipriano of Harry’s Bar in Venice Italy.  I have not yet found a book or historian to dispute these origins so am going to write about this version of history and hope it is correct. Harry’s Bar opened in 1931 and was a popular hang out for Ernest Hemingway who had his own table in the corner. Hemingway loved the bar so much he wrote about it in his famous novel “Across the River and into the Trees.” (Copyright 1950) I quote;

“Then he was pulling open the door at Harry’s Bar and was inside and he had made it again, he was home‘ (page 72)

Giuseppe’s son Arigo Cipriani wrote about his father’s drink invention at this bar in his book ‘Harry’s Bar- The Life and Times of the Legendary Venice Landmark’ (Copyright 1996) and claims the Bellini was officially created in 1948. He goes on to explain how Giuseppe’s love for the 15th Century Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini and in particular the pink hue of one of Bellini’s paintings inspired him to create the beverage.  Peaches are in abundance in Italy between June and September, and Giuseppe wanted to create something that captured their essence and transformed their beautiful fragrance in to a drink.  He pureed small white peaches and added prosecco (Italian sparkling wine).  Those who tried it raved about how tasty it was and so it became the new drink at Harry’s Bar (but only for the months the fruit was in season.)

In 1990 Arigo licensed the rights to the drink name to a Mr.Canella and was appalled when he came out with a ‘pre-mixed’ version of his fathers creation, adding raspberry juice to make it pinker.  In 1995 Cipriano won an arbitration against Canella saying it was desecrating the drink origins, his father and Harry’s Bar. Many publications still list this variation (with raspberry juice) as the original recipe, however Arigo argues it is not.

Having tried both, the recipe I have provided is the best in my opinion. Classic and simple.

Make it on a hot summers day and enjoy!

Thank you to all my readers for following me this first month, I have many reviews coming in the next few days as I have been out and about all week to tastings, events, restaurants and mixology bars. Oh the things I have to do for you all! 😉

Keep reading and bottoms up!

1 Comment

Filed under Drink of the Week

Drink of the Week

The Akira Kurasawa

  • 2 Japanese cucumber slices
  • 1 Shiso Leaf
  • 1 1/2 oz Pisco
  • 1/2 oz Negori Sake (unfiltered)
  • 1/2 oz Agave
  • 3/4oz Lime juice
  • Dash of Yuzu essence
  • Top off with Aloe Vera juice

Muddle fruit, Shake and Serve on the Rocks

Garnish: A cucumber slice

Created by Yuval Soffer of Neat, I had this drink for the first time this week-end and loved it. Yuval has chosen to play with some different Japanese flavors- the Sake, Yuzu essence, Shiso leaves and Japanese cucumbers create an interesting combination.  The event I attended had him using Pisco Porton which is actually a great Pisco with complex flavors, slightly earthy but smooth with residual sugars. It complemented this drink beautifully.  The drink is refreshing, light and sweet.  The Aloe Vera juice adds something really different and was a taste I don’t think i’d ever actually experienced before.  I know it’s a lot of fairly unusual ingredients to find for this recipe, but if you get a chance I strongly recommend trying it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Drink of the Week