The Ultimate Bloody Mary Mix

The Ultimate Bloody Mary Mix

This mix will produce the most intensely flavored Bloody Mary you have ever tasted. The fresh tomatoes and beef broth add rich complexity.


2 tablespoons mixed peppercorns (red, black & white)
3 cups tomato juice
3 cups whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 cup beef broth (yes, beef broth!)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon celery salt
Juice of 2 limes


Grind the pepper in a coffee grinder until smooth. Transfer to a blender with all the other ingredients and blend for one minute.
Refrigerate until ready to combine with your favorite vodka.
The mix will keep for 3 days.

Americano & Negroni

The Americano Cocktail

It was originally known as the “Milano-Torino” because of its ingredients: Campari, the bitter liqueur, is from Milan and Cinzano, the vermouth, is from Turin (Torino). In the early 1900s, the Italians noticed a surge of Americans who enjoyed the cocktail. As a compliment to the Americans, the cocktail later became known as the “Americano”.


How to Make an Americano Cocktail

1/2 oz. Campari
1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
Club Soda or Pellegrino

Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice.
Add the Campari and Vermouth and stir.
Top it off with club soda or Pellegrino.
Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.




The Negroni Cocktail

Count Camillo Negroni invented it by asking the bartender, Fosco Scarselli, to strengthen his favorite cocktail, the Americano, by adding gin rather than the normal soda water. The bartender also added an orange garnish rather than the typical lemon garnish of the Americano to signify that it was a different drink.


How to Make a Negroni Cocktail

2 oz. Gin
1/2 oz. Campari
1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth

Add ingredients to empty mixing glass and fill with ice.
Transfer to tin and stir til chilled.
Strain into a chilled martini glass or into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with orange peel.

* If the Negroni is too strong for your liking, use equal parts liquor.

Limonata: A Perfect Labor Day Cocktail

For many, Labor day weekend marks the end of summer; but for me, sharing my Limonata cocktail with friends on Labor Day reminds me how wonderful a sunny, summer day can be.

1 ½ ounces Citrus Vodka
1/2 oz limoncello
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
3 generous mint sprigs


Add ingredients to empty mixing glass in this order:
Mint, syrup, lime
Muddle firmly but briefly
Top w/ vodka, limoncello & ice
Shake 20x & strain over fresh ice.
Top with sprite and garnish with mint and citrus.


Setting Up a Basic Home Bar


Setting up a home bar requires an initial investment in the proper home bar supplies. This includes bar tools, glasses, liquor, wine and the proper drink mix guide. Once you’re set up, you will reap the rewards for years to come.           





Bar Spoon
Doubles as a measuring spoon and a stir stick.   

Bartender’s Handbook
A handy reference of cocktail recipes.   

Bar Towels
Maintain a clean work area.   

Bottle Pourers
This is a must for mixing spirits.   

Bottle Stoppers
For when screw-top bottles annoy you.   

Cocktail Picks   

Cocktail Shakers & Strainers   

Corkscrew/Wine Opener
You don’t need a fancy one.   

Cutting Board
Large enough to be useful but small enough to store easily.   

Electric Blender
Handy for many cocktail recipes.   

Fresh Fruit
Always use fresh fruit.   

Be sure to have a good assortment.   

To grate spices like nutmeg and ginger.   

Ice Bucket, Ice, Tongs and Scoop    

    This is a must if you can’t measure accurately.   

Look for one that is easy to use.   

Margarita Rimmer   

Martini Pitcher
For the stirred-and-not-shaken drinks.   

Mixing Glasses
For building your drinks.   

Make sure it’s long enough.   

Napkins and Coasters   

Paring Knife
For cutting fruit garnishes.   

Rubber Spill Mat
Makes cleaning up a bit easier.   

Swizzle Sticks
Go for a variety (in size, color and shape).   

Sword Picks
For garnishes.   






Martini glasses     

Highball glasses       

Old-Fashioned glasses     


Margarita glasses     

Heavy-based Collins glasses     

Heavy-based rocks glasses      

Hurricane glasses     

Tulip-shaped champagne flutes      

Shot glasses     

Brandy/cognac glasses     

Beer mugs     

Gio’s Watermelon Cocktail

1/2 cup fresh watermelon
1 oz. maple syrup
2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon heavy cream


Add watermelon and simple syrup to mixing glass and muddle briefly.
Top with vodka, lime juice and cream, and fill mixing glass with ice.
Shake vigorously about 20x and strain over fresh ice into a tall glass.
Garnish with lime or watermelon.