Thanksgiving Cocktails are a Generational Tradition


That we carry on from our parents to our children.

This year’s cocktails.

Fall Figroni

love the flavors of dried fruits in the fall, love figs all year round, best when they’re fresh but much more richly flavorful when dried.

To make this cocktail I muddled sliced California Calimyrna Dried Figs in an ounce and a half of the vermouth in a cocktail stiring pitcher, let that sit and marinate for awhile.   Then add very good ice, an ounce and a half of a mild gin and an ounce of a wonderful Amaro, Cynar.

The gin we purchased at Palate Wine and Spirits in Newburgh

Also सफेदgroni Bianaca Negroni


Inspired by Indian cuisine, flavored with Cardamom this white Negroni called by the Hindu,  सफेद, Saphed, or Italian Bianca it tests the boundaries of what rightfully can be called a  Negroni. Yes purists would protest loudly but we love this drink nonetheless.

Created with a very smooth and harmonious Catskill Distilling Company Peace Vodka More



The “GW Six Oh” a Very Special Hudson Valley Cocktail for a Very Special Birthday


We drank and ate and laughed and played,  a weekend of fun and friendship at cherished Long Beach Island Loveladies beach, with best friends Gail and Marc, part of a year long celebration of Gail’s 60th birthday.

Of course an original cocktail just for Gail Wagner was in order. “I love your cocktails,” were Gail’s words, “but they are too sweet for me.” Well ok, I can make dry cocktails, and crafted this Sherry Martini with Hudson Valley Tuthilltown Spirits Indigenous Fresh Pressed Apple Vodka, Lustau Almacenista Fino Sherry from, Artisan Wine Shop, Beacon, and the very fine 1830 Antoine Amédée Peychaud bitters, accented with raw almond stuffed black olives. The result … ” Yum!  Very delicious and not sweet!” called the GW Six Oh!

The recipe:

For each cocktail

2 oz  Tuthilltown Spirits Indigenous Fresh Pressed Apple Vodka

1/2 to 3/4 oz Lustau Almacenista Fino Sherry

Canned Pitted Black Olives Stuffed with Raw Almonds

3 drops of  Peychaud Bitters

  1. Chill a martini glass or four with ice and water or in your freezer
  2. Stuff a bunch of good black jumbo olives, the pitted kind in a can with raw almonds put two on a toothpick
  3. Add ice to a shaker and the vodka and sherry and shake well
  4. Let it sit for a moment as you empty the ice water from the cocktail glasses or   pull them from the freezer and place the stuffed olives in each glass
  5. Gently pour the cocktail over the olives and add three drops of the bitters
  6. Toast sip and smile

Blogs and Pages

My 60th Birthday Celebration

Tuthilltown Spirits

Made with 100% Hudson Valley apples grown at selected local orchards, it is so smooth and delicious.

Sherry and Vodka Available at

Artisan Wine Shop Beacon




At After Ella’s There Are Great Cocktails


If you know Beacon, then you must know Ella’s Bellas the fabulous gluten free bakery and cafe, but you may not know what happens at night, after 6:00, at “After Ella’s.”

It is fun and chilling,  “a collaboration project between Ella’s Bellas and More Good featuring craft cocktails designed with More Good Syrups & Mixers” by the master Jason Schuler.

We’ve been here twice and enjoyed the drinks and the casual easy vibe.

The bartenders are alert and cordial ready to dive into conversation and booze. There are small plates to be enjoyed, savory or sweet, from Ella’s kitchen and accomplished staff.

Some nights there is more actions with DJs or Oyster-men. All good fun.

After Ella’s

418 Main St
Beacon, NY 12508
(845) 765-8502

Drink More Good


This Hudson Valley Cocktail Will Warm You with the Sun of Spain

Spanish Warmth

To warm my bones on a cold chilly night, I created this sumptious cocktail that brings together the fine flavors of a well crafted Hudson Valley whiskey and warmth from southern Mediterranean Spain.

This cocktail is a variation on the venerable Manhattan. The crisp deep flavors of Taconic Distillery rye, and the colorful notes of the P. Quiles Vermouth Rojo say clealy this is not your dad’s Manhattan.  Stepping in to round out the drink, adding balance and another flavor element, the Lustau Amontillado dry sherry is the finishing touch to perfection.

Paul and Carol Ann Coughlin and Gerald Valenti are the exciting people who create the wonderful Founder’s Rye Whiskey, in a bow to the history of our region it is named for our “Founding Fathers.”

From the finance industry to farming was a move driven by a longing to work the land which brought the Coughlins to purchase a Duchess County farm with fertile fields and natural spring water. Here with Gerald Valenti they founded Taconic Distillery.

Farm Land

Distilling great whiskey is no easy feat, there are many steps which must be executed with precision,  and of course the very best ingredients must be used. This rye is created to the highest standards, aged in virgin American white oak barrels it has bold, smokey, spicy, yet surprisingly smooth, flavors with a mildly sweet finish.

It is a strapping base for the vivid mouth filling flavors of Primitivo Quiles Vermouth Rojo.  From the Alicante province south of Valencia on the Mediterranean sea, this aromatized and fortified wine is made with the efficacious Monastrell (Mourvedre) grape and a secret recipe of botanicals, Wonderful as an apéritif, fabulous for cocktails. Created by one of the greats of Spanish wine, Senor Don Primitivo Quile. His bodega (wine cellar not a NY convenience store) in Monovara, has existed since the 1700’s.

Primitivo Quile

If you think of vermouth as awful tasting stuff stuck in the back of a cupboard or bar, you are right and wrong. Yes crappy cheap vermouth that is allowed to spoil does taste awful. But fine vermouth like this one, stored cold is a wonder to behold.  There are so many fabulous Vermouths available today, just waiting for you to discover and fall in love.

These two liquors would easily make a perfect cocktail, but they were each a little too dominant. I sipped and realized that one more element was needed.

Of course it had to be of equal stature, and a fine Spanish sherry seemed like it would be just the right thing.  You see like vermouth, sherry is a much maligned drink. It is not just for cooking, the better sherries are truly divine.

In the warm Andalusia region in southern Spain with coasts on the Mediterranean and Atlantic Bodegas Lustau was founded by a humble man José Ruiz-Berdejo in 1896. This winery has come to be regarded as the finest producer of sherry in the world.  The Amontillado Los Arcos Solera is a dry sherry with nutty, honey flavors, crisp and delicious.


Spanish Warmth

The recipe:

1 1/2 oz Founders Rye

1 1/2 oz  Primitivo Quiles Vermouth Rojo.

1/2 oz  Lustau Amontillado Los Arcos Solera

Very cold spring water ice

stir well over ice, server straight up or on a large spring water ice rock.with a twist of lemon.

Cheers! Enjoy!


Taconic Founder’s Rye can be found at many better liquor stores in the area.

Primitivo Quiles Vermouth Rojo was found at the exceptional Suburban Wines in Yorktown Heights.

The  Lustau Amontillado Los Arcos Solera we found at the excellent Artisan Wine Shop in Beacon.




The “Bunueloni” a Unique Cocktail from a Very Unique Filmaker

BunuelMartiniI think Luis Bunuel would have been very comfortable here today in the Hudson Valley.  We enjoy his outlook on life.

He once said.  “If you were to ask me if I’d ever had the bad luck to miss my daily cocktail, I’d have to say that I doubt it; where certain things are concerned, I plan ahead.”

And as are we with a drink of his own design. Negroni # 80 “The Bunueloni”


Bunueloni with Olives



Cocktails in Grand Central

Cipriani Dolci Serious Drinks

If you find yourself with some time before your train back north there are some nice places to enjoy a cocktail before your departure.

We were in the City for a day of shopping, strolling movies and dinner. A little celebration for our 30th wedding anniversary. It was about 8:45 and our train was not departing until 9:24.

We tried The Campbell Apartment, a fabulous bar and restaurant set in what was once the private office and salon of 1920’s tycoon, John W. Campbell. But, the patrons were three deep at the bar and the noise level was too loud. Campbell Apartment

The Campbell Apartment

So we wandered across the hall to Cipriani Dolci, both are easily accessed from the Vanderbilt Avenue entrance of Grand Central.  Here we found an uncrowded bar and enjoyed two excellent cocktails.

Cipriani Negroni

A classic Negroni

We have a special place in our heart for the Cipriani establishments, they bring back sweet memories of sipping Bellinis at Harry’s Bar in Venice.

Harrys Bar in Venezia

Our first visit to Harry’s was in June of 1985, the year we were engaged and married.

Cipriani Dolci

The Campbell Apartment

The Cipriani Negroni


South of the Border, Down Peekskill Way

Taco Dive Bar GuacamoleSouth of the Putnam-Westchester border that is, you will find fabulous Mexican fare, cocktails and beer at the newly opened Taco Dive Bar by the river, near Riverfront Green and the Peekskill Train Station.

Restauranteur Louie Lanza, has another winner with this fun and fabulous place, and to that we say muy bien, gracias!

We started with a cocktail and a beer and the instantly fresh house made guacamole,  pico de gallo and chips.

Taco Dive Bar Cocktails

The menu is small plate appetizers and salads, and a bunch of delightfully creative tacos which we devoured. Up until now our favorite places for Mexican were in Mexico or our beloved Taqueria Autentica down in Bloomfield, NJ. We thrilled to now have Taco Dive Bar as well.

Taco Dive Bar Kitchen

Lanza brings 25 years of experience creating successful restaurants in New York City, and as they say “If you can make it there…” It shows, this place is perfect at every point, the staff is friendly, engaging and effective. Thanks Emily and Zachary (Hope I got your names right)!

Taco Dive Bar Dining RoomThis place rocks! The music is loud, but that drowns out the trains blairing horns.Taco Dive Bar Beer Oculto

Many beers, standards and originals, several on tap many more in bottle and can. Great cocktails, and a good selection of wines, if that’s your pleasure.

Taco Dive Bar Beef Brisket TacoFood is delicious and creative, Brisket taco was crispy onions was Diana’s favorite. Gluten free is indicated.

Lanza and his wife Joni have a farm in Garrison and source as much as possible locally. I hear that their first restaurant in Peekskill, Hudson Room, has been a great success. I’m embarrassed to say we have not been their yet, but will be soon.

Taco Dive Bar Beer Bottle Lights

Taco Dive Bar

55 Hudson Ave, Peekskill, NY – 914-788-TACO


The Stockade Cucumber Lime Bitters Saketini Perfected

Stockade Bitters SaketiniWith a little more tweaking we got this one just right.

A saketini with the delicious Stockade Farm and Apothecary Cucumber Lime Bitters.

For each cocktail:

2 oz well chilled sake – Momo Kawa Silver

1/2 oz sweet white vermouth – Cocchi Americano,   Carpano Bianco or Atxa bianco

8 drops of Stockade Cucumber Lime Bitters

Stir over spring water ice, server up with a slice of cucumber and lime and a couple more drops of bitters.



Three Delightful Cocktails with Stockade Cucumber Lime Bitters

New Saketini

We have been a big fan of Stockade bitters since we discovered them back in May at the Cold Spring Farmers Market. A new crafter out of Kingston, NY began producing a whole line of homegrown herbal elixirs, tinctures, bitters, kombucha and fresh pressed juice just a few months ago.

We love their Orange Clove Bitters, and just tried their new Cucumber Lime Bitters in these three cocktails.

Perfect Dry Martini

This may be the most perfect “dry” vodka martini I have ever tasted, good premium vodka stirred over ice and about 8 drops of Stockade Cucumber Lime Bitters in place of the vermouth.

Most people I know like their martini’s “dry” meaning little or now vermouth.  Which is really because they have been served martinis with poor quality or spoiled vermouth. Bad vermouth tastes like pain thinner, who would want that in their cocktail. A very good vermouth like Dolin Blanc makes the vodka come alive, as did even more so, this bitter. It has a light open airy taste with subtle scents and flavors.

You see cucumber and lime in a lot of Asian cuisine and I bet these bitters would be perfect in Japanese, Thai or Vietnamese dishes, but  what really came to mind was using these bitters for a Saketini. Yes! Easy simple.

Use a moderately price Sake like Momo, no need for the expensive stuff, but don’t go cheap. We used Momo Kawa Silver, craft made in Oregon by Greg Lorenz. Don’t use the creamy Nigori.  I just put the sake in the freezer for a couple of hours to get it nice and cold then add about 8 drops of the bitters, more if you like, garnish with a line and cucmber slice or a leaf of mint. Note: stirring over ice dilutes the sake to much so I use the freezer to make the drink cold.

New Saketini
These were both great but the absolute winner was this one, made with Sake, vodka, Employees Only Grenadine and Stockton Cucumber Lime Bitters.

This requires some careful measurement, 2 oz sake, 3/4 oz premium vodka, 1/2 to 3/4 oz grenadine — Must Be Employees Only, you can buy it online. Stir this vigorously over ice and pour straight up or over a big rock, add 6 drops of the bitters and there you have it. Garnish with a lime, and if you like more tart, squeeze just a little lime juice in. Your guests will love this.

Sweet Asian Delights

Stockade Bitters are more subtle than some, you can use them liberally, they come in a good sized bottle for the price so you are free to bitter on!

Look for Stockade Farm & Apothecary at the Cold Spring Farmer’s Market in Cold Spring, NY and the Woodstock Mower’s Market in Woodstock, NY!