Cocktails 101 – Simple Syrup

Simple Syrup

A staple in any beverage makers repertoire, and just like it’s name, Oh so simple to make.  Simple Syrup is 1 part sugar to 1 part water. 

Bring 1 cup water to boil in a pot, add 1 cup granulated sugar.  Stir until it dissolves and remove from heat. 

Ever try to add packets of sugar to a refreshing glass of iced tea.  It seems like you can never get it sweet enough and that granulated sugar poured over the ice cubes just never melts.  Now if you had simple syrup, you could pour your desired amount and have a perfectly dissolved and sweetened glass of tea.


But as a bartender, simple syrup can be the difference between and ordinary drink and a tasty cocktail. 

Mint - Spearmint

For me the beauty of simple syrups is that you can make them any flavor you like.  I usually use whatever is in season, or I have an abundance of.  Or I duplicate the flavors to add depth to my cocktails.  I also like to experiment with herbs and spices to come up with different combinations and discover new twists on my old standbys.

Cinnamon & Clove Simple Syrup

Some of my favorite things to flavor my simple syrups with are lemons, cinnamon, mint, ginger and cloves.   Start with your favorite flavors, then try your favorite herbs.  Don’t be put off  because it doesn’t sound like it goes together.  You’d be surprised what you discover. 


SIDEBAR:  If you are dieting, diabetic, or just watching calories, a low cal alternative can be made with Splenda. 

#1 Version:  Substitute a portion of your sugar for splenda.  You need half as much splenda for every part sugar. . . .So . . . .

Boil 1 cup water, add 1/2 cup sugar – remove from heat then add 1/4 cup Splenda. 

This allows you to control the sweetness and your calories, while still adding unique flavors.


Published in: on August 31, 2011 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Happy Hour @ 1102

Pineapple Mojitos

We have a couple more weekends of summer, and here is a refreshing cocktail to perk up your outdoor time and labor day cookouts.

6 mint leaves

4 Big Pineapple Chunks

2 teaspoons Brown Sugar

2 ozs Dark Rum

1 dash Pineapple juice

Crush the Mint, Pineapple and Brown Sugar in the bottom of a shaker.

Add Rum and Shake with Ice

Fill a Highball Glass with ice

Strain Cocktail over the ice and garnish with a mint spring and pineapple chunk

Cal:  166    Carbs:   9 g      Protein:   0     Fiber:    0     Sugar:    8.8 g

Fat:    0      Sat Fat:  0        Cholesterol:   0

Published in: on August 26, 2011 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Cocktails 101


Classic Mojito

 Cuba is the birthplace of the Mojito. Traditionally a Mojito is made with 5 ingredients:  White Rum, Sugar, Lime Juice, Mint, and Sparkling Water.  Its combination of sweetness, refreshing citrus and mint flavors are intended to complement the potent kick of the rum, and have made this clear highball a popular summer drink.

Published in: on August 24, 2011 at 9:00 am  Comments (2)  


When I sell liquor, its called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on Lake Shore Drive, its called hospitality”  Al Capone

Published in: on August 15, 2011 at 11:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Birthdays – A Time for Celebration!

Even if you don’t entertain or socialize often, most people can usually come up with an excuse to get together for a celebration. Holidays, Anniversaries and Birthdays.

Well today is my daughters birthday and I am devoting my blogs to her.


What better way to let someone know you care about them than to acknowledge their birthday. It can be in the simplest forms, a text, a phone call, or a card. Doesn’t it put a smile on your face when you receive the acknowledgement? The simple fact that they remembered or even knew it was your birthday, can make their day.

Our modern technology has made it easy for us to remember, with FB reminders, alerts on our phones and in our PDA’s. So why wouldn’t we take advantage to make someone special day, just a little more . . . special?

These days give us many ways to celebrate, with a special meal. It gives us an opportunity to try out that recipe that looked good. Try that new recipe or cocktail with a friend or family member. Have a get-together, break the habit of the day to day grind and have some fun.

My daughter doesn’t live here anymore, and of course, I’ll text her and call her, but I wanted to do something a little more “Special”. . . so . . . let me tell you a little bit about the things that make her special to me. . . her Mom.

One of many things Jazmine and I have in common is our love of writing. I remember enrolling her in a writing class one summer back in Buffalo, NY @ Canisus College. What kid wants to spend their summer writing, but. she seemed to enjoy it. I’d like to think that encouraged her in the writings that she does today.

Last year when I wanted to share my European Vacation with friends, she suggested I start a blog. I had no clue how to start – she helped me get through it. Answering all my stupid questions and encouraging me along the way.

Now I have two blogs, this one and “All roads lead to . . . “, my travel blog. Jazz has a travel blog, TravelJonez. It has tips on gadgets, food and wine, as well as resort and location reviews. Visit it sometime, it is funny, entertaining and informative. It is linked on my blogroll to the left. (Also read my tribute to her on All Roads Lead to . . .)

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAZZ! I know you will celebrate, with Good Food, Good Fun, and Good Friends. I look forward to seeing your pictures, hearing about your friends, and sharing in your food and wine choices for this your 31st Birthday. I will also have a cocktail in your honor!

Happy Birthday . . . Love MOM!

Published in: on August 13, 2011 at 6:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Happy Hour @1102

Well, it’s Friday and even if  you’re working tomorrow – it is Happy Hour somewhere!   So whenever your “Friday” comes, you might want to try one of the cocktails, wines or beer featured in my Happy Hour Blogs.  I’m going to make this a regular feature of  “The LOST Art of Socializing!”  So stop by frequently and enjoy!

Published in: on August 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tripping the Light Fantastic

This is a common theme in my blogging experience here as well as my travel blog “All Roads Lead to . . .”   Therefore, there will be frequent post that explain this phrase, so that you, as my readers, will understand, and hopefully begin to look for an opportunity to “Trip the Light Fantastic” on a Daily Basis.

Today, I’m simply going to post John Milton’s poem – where to the best of my research – seems to be where this phrase or a variations of it, originally came from.  

The phrase is from the mind and pen of John Milton and appeared in his lyric poem L’Allegro, published in 1645. The Italian title can be translated as “the cheerful man”, and the poem is directed to the goddess Mirth:

Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee
Jest, and youthful Jollity,
Quips and cranks and wanton wiles,
Nods and becks and wreathed smiles
Such as hang on Hebe’s cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek;
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides.
Come, and trip it, as you go,
On the light fantastic toe;
And in thy right hand lead with thee
The mountain-nymph, sweet Liberty;
And, if I give thee honour due,
Mirth, admit me of thy crew,
To live with her, and live with thee,
In unreproved pleasures free …

 For  more info on “Tripping the Light”  read my blog entry from “All Roads Lead to . . .”  post for July 19, 2001 – Day 1 EXTRAVAGANZA – Tripping the Light

Published in: on August 7, 2011 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Introduction to “LOST”

Good Food, Good Friends, Good Fun

This is what “the LOST Art of Socializing!”  – LOST for short – is about. 

Some of my best moments in life revolve around the times I spend with my friends.  When they are not physically here with me, I’m reminded of their individual likes and dislikes, as I watch a movie, taste a new cocktail, cook or eat a delicious meal or appetizer.

My life revolves around the next event, trip, party or get-together with the people that put a smile on my face, share similar interest and bring positive energy.  Forever looking for the opportunity to “Trip the Light Fantastic!”

This blog will highlight those things that get me from one point to another.  It will have Food, in the form of ideas, pictures and receipes.  Drinks, I’m always looking for a new cocktail to try, or make at home.  Movie and Book quotes and reviews.  Friends – the people in my life (you get to know them through my stories and pictures), the people I meet and the things that really are the socialization of my life.

This blog is still developing, so please feel free to agree or disagree with my opinions, improve on my receipes, give me suggestions for new things to try, and or new places to see.

So . . . Come, and trip it, as you go, On the light fantastic toe

                         –      John Milton 1645

Published in: on August 2, 2011 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment