Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Black Orchid Club Cards – Weeks 1-3

Here is a recap of  the first three Black Orchid Club cards, for you puzzlers out there:

Week One:  Song of Delilah

Week 2: Valmont



Week 3: Rhapsody in Blue

 Rhapsody In Blue200frontI’ll see you TONIGHT, for Week 4, at the Island!


Week 3 Recap: Rhapsody in Blue

Thank you, everyone, who came out for week 3 of the Black Orchid Club, and to those of you following and playing along with us on Twitter!

Rhapsody in BlueThe featured cocktail was Rhapsody in Blue.  Rhapsody is a twist on 1920s style gin cocktails, with the addition of fresh ginger and muddled fresh blueberries, and a ginger simple syrup, which I make with fresh juiced ginger (try squirting that in your eye – ! ).   I use Martin Miller’s Dry Gin, one of my favorite gins.

It was also International Flight Lounge, with DJ Jab – so along with our cocktails we had the swingin’ 60s sounds of lounge, Ye Ye, French Pop and go-go fabulousness!

For those of you who missed it, this is the card from week 3:

Rhapsody In Blue200back

Rhapsody In Blue200front

Tonight is week 4, so I’ll see YOU at the Island!


Friday, November 20, 2009

A few photos of Black Orchid Club, week 3 - Rhapsody in Blue

Thanks, Crease Monkey, for the excellent photos!

A lovely photo of the sign outside Forbidden Island

Suzanne (me!) with 5 Rhapsody in Blue cocktails and Fezzilla

Rhapsody in Blue

Rhapsody in Blue, with card and fortune!

More details about week 3 coming up!

I'll see YOU at the Island!


A Kosher Thursday: Meshugga Beach Party

And then along comes Thursday… and Meshugga Beach Party at Forbidden Island.  What a blast we had!  These local to Alameda fellas (and one lovely gal) were hands down fantastic, as usual.  I really love this band.  If you’re not familiar with Meshugga Beach Party, they play surf versions of traditional Jewish tunes.  Too much fun!  Of course, I was making cocktails like crazy, but I did manage some photos:



Meshugga Mel asked me to create a cocktail for him with Slivovitz for their appearance at Forbidden Island… I took the challenge and came up with the Suffering Shlemiel (shown below), with Slivovitz Kosher Plum Brandy, more Brandy, Cherry Heering, Bourbon, and Ginger Ale. Mel’s comment on the cocktail:

“I had a chance to preview the Suffering Shlemeil last night, and I have to say, not much suffering involved - an amazing feat of mixology. Of course, I suspect the true suffering comes from drinking too many!”  --Mel Waldorf


We also had a special guest in the house, MiMi Le Meaux, burlesque dancer extraordinaire.  Here she is pictured with Melissa, cocktail waitress at FI:


Next up – details about week 3 of the Black Orchid Club, and photos of the Rhapsody in Blue!  Stay tuned!

I’ll see YOU at the Island!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Photos of Week 2: Valmont Cocktail

Here are a few photos of the Black Orchid Club last week.

The Valmont Cocktail:

Valmont Cocktail

As we mentioned last week, our very first person in would get something extra special… in this case, the first person was actually a couple!  Here they are with their two Valmont Cocktails, and the special treat they earned for being first in… a sneak peek at one of our Holiday specials, a cocktail I call St. Nick’s Whiskers:


A partially enjoyed St. Nick’s Whiskers (fresh rosemary, fig preserves, Flor de Cana 5 year and St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram):


A few more:

DSC00852   cramer

DSC00856 DSC00858DSC00867

I’ll see YOU at the Island!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tomorrow! Week 3 of the Black Orchid Club!

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow...

We've got something very special planned! If you're interested in earning your wild cards, tomorrow is a day NOT to miss! Not only that, but we'll have cookies. Yes, really.

I'll see YOU at the Island!


Week 2 Recap: Valmont Cocktail

It has been a whirlwind week! Last Wednesday was week 2 of the Black Orchid Club, and the featured cocktail was the Valmont Cocktail. The Valmont is a sparkling cocktail, made with Square One Cucumber Vodka, fresh muddled cucumber, lemon juice and orange flower water, with a Demerara sugar cube soaked in Forest Floor bitters and a champagne top. My inspiration for this cocktail came from the wonderful delicate aroma of the Square One Cucumber Vodka... that with a dash of orange flower water left me dreaming of the decedent halls of Versailles and the intrigue of a play that I adore, Les Liaisons dangereuses. The irresistible and wicked character of Valmont only seemed a fitting namesake for the cocktail.

Last week, we tweeted about some special extras for week two of the Black Orchid Club. The first person through the door got a special surprise... in addition to the Valmont and the collector card of the evening, the first person in (well, in this case, the first couple in), also got a special exclusive taste of an upcoming holiday cocktail special of mine called St. Nick's Whiskers. Everyone who came in last Wednesday also got a special sneak preview view of the collector card for week four.

Even more fantastic secrets will be revealed tomorrow, for week 3 of the Black Orchid Club! Don't miss it!

I'll see YOU at the Island!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Week 2: Tonight!

Tonight is week 2 of the Black Orchid Club. Don't forget that if you have a placeholder card from Week 1 (i.e, you didn't get a Song of Delilah card), you can come into the bar tonight and pick up your second run of the first week's card - just show me your place holder when you order. Also, along with tonight's cocktail and card, you will get a special sneak peak of the card for Week 4! Don't miss it!

I'll see YOU at the Island!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vampires, Bananas, and the world's only Theremin lounge band

Like none other! I spent another Saturday cocktailing, and Saturday nights
are unlike any other night at Forbidden Island. A totally different crowd comes
in on the weekends, and it's fun to see many people discover the place for the
very first time. After about 9pm it picked up and we were slammed until after 1am.
The best part of Saturday, though, was the fact that there was another event happening on the island - a dance sponsored by PEERS called Le Bal des Vampires (The Vampire Ball), that is an annual event for PEERS, and happened to be taking place in Alameda. The beauty of it was that after the dance, several of the vampires decided to take a quick side trip over to FI before the sun rose... in all of their multi-century finery (I saw vampires in every sort of costume, from medieval to 18th century French to modern), the vampires remained to drown themselves in the Two Crazy Redheads Bowl (Click here to see video), and about three rounds of Banana Mamacows. Note to self: When expecting vampires, be sure to have extra bananas on hand.

As we rolled into Sunday, it was time for an afternoon with Project Pimento, the world's only theremin lounge band! I really love Project Pimento, and it was a great treat to see and hear them while I was working shakin' up that rum. We were busy (no surprise with a great band like this), but I was glad I did have a chance to shoot a few quick photos.

You know you're working in the right bar when one of your regulars produces bongos and starts jamming with the band:

Even more mania is coming up for week 2 of the Black Orchid Club... stay tuned!

I'll see YOU at the Island!


Friday, November 6, 2009

Week One: Song of Delilah

…and we’re off!  Week one of the Black Orchid Club features the Song of Delilah.


The Song of Delilah is a cocktail featuring Licor 43, (a delightful Spanish liqueur with vanilla, spice and citrus notes), pomegranate, honey and fresh banana nectar.  My inspiration for this cocktail came to me one evening while listening to one of my favorite albums, Rains in the Tropics, by the incomparable Gene Rains.


Our very first card holding member of the Black Orchid Club is Tracey Lee, who arrived just after opening.  Here is Tracey with her card, cocktail, and as you can see, she’s number one!tracyleenumber1    The evening went on with lots of excitement and many participants.  We now have 61 card holding members of the Black Orchid Club…  scroll down through the blog to see photo of the Initiates!

If you are not yet following the Black Orchid Club Twitter, be sure to add it.  There will be special perks and prizes for those who follow the Twitter feed (and clues and inside information will be there too).


For those of you who didn’t make it in on Wednesday, this is what card number one looks like:




Photos of some of the first night members of the Black Orchid Club:

DSC00679  DSC00680


DSC00684   DSC00689



DSC00691    DSC00696






Mai Tai (Bill Graff, on the left above), brought up the rear as the LAST person to order the Song of Delilah on Wednesday.  Rock on Mai Tai!

I’ll see YOU at the Island!