Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rain, Go-Go Boots, Fresh Juice and it's Tuesday!

It's raining... but that doesn't stop the girl who dreams up cocktails while squeezing fresh juices in white go-go boots and a beehive. Actually, I love the rain. It's lovely to look out at over a cocktail glass.

I'm putting the finishing touches on this week's Black Orchid Sessions cocktails. One thing is for sure, they are GORGEOUS! The focus ingredient for tomorrow is Prickly Pear pureee with organic Lemongrass and Citrus. The psychedelic vibrant hue of these cocktails is to die for, and the taste is out of this world... far out, man! You're gonna love 'em.

Specialty Cocktails for February 24, 2010:

Barbara Eden

Hot Pink, curvy, and full of pep, this delightful and exciting mix of rums with prickly pear puree, falernum, citrus and lemongrass truly is from another world... a world shaped an awful lot like a genie's bottle. Cheers, Master!

Aztec Stargazer

Prickly pear and agave tequila go together like stars and the moonlit sky... add the kiss of coconut and pineapple and transform them into a taste sensation that is truly out of this world!

In addition to these delights, I can't wait to custom create cocktails with this exciting focus ingredient. Ooooh, I'm thristy already!

Also, tomorrow Otto celebrates his completion of the Kill Devil Rum list, and JenTiki completes the Kill Devil List for the SECOND time!

I'll see YOU at the Island!

-- Suzanne

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It is GORGEOUS out… perfect time for a cocktail!

It’s GORGEOUS out today!  Stunning!  Sunny, warm, breezy… I love California.  All this sunshine has me thinking about refreshing cocktails, and what exactly I should be mixing up this afternoon.  I’ve already got the batch of Rose Syrup ready for Black Orchid Sessions tonight – with two fantastic cocktails being featured, as well as some other ideas I have rolling for floral delights.  In addition, I’m working on a new secret ingredient… Passion Pomegranate.  Prepare to start looking for those socks that got knocked off!

This week in Sessions:   Rose Syrup.  Delightful, floral, reminiscent of spring…  and delicious!  Here are the two featured cocktails for tonight:

Initiate's Offering - The most earnest of initiates offers up her soul... and it is full of rum and roses. Muddled mint, rose syrup, lime, Rhum Barboncourt and champagne make a delightful cocktail.

Food of the Angels - Rose and Cardamom infused vodka in a luxurious blend of rich cream, rice milk, condensed milk and coconut. Heavenly.

Of course, the best part is sitting down and working with me directly to custom create a cocktail just for you...

I’ll see YOU at the Island!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love is in the air at the Island!

FI Valentine Menu 2010 full

Stop by today for our special, just for lovers menu.  We’re introducing Bowls for two today, including our classic Scorpion Bowl sized down to share, and a new bowl called the Candido Cocktail for Two, with Passion Fruit, Honey and Pomegranate.  Some other new delectable potables as well…  come and see me!

All the best wishes for a Valentine’s day filled with love, happiness, and great cocktails!


I’ll see YOU at the Island!



Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  I hope that those of you who are in love are enjoying it, and those of you who are not can find a good place for a nice cocktail… because that’s really where all the romance is, anyway.

Last night was the 1st Annual Alameda Zombie Crawl… and while the zombies were moving slowly, it was a raging party.  By 7:30 Forbidden Island was completely overrun with the undead, and they were fueling themselves with $6 Zombies.  A makeup artist was on site to zombify those who came as civilians.  Here are a few photos of the insanity:

Bill "Mai Tai" Graff

A thirsty zombie

Undead and Hungry

A hungry zombie

Time Warping zombies

Zombie drinking zombies

Zombies on Sherman Street headed for the 51 bus

Airborne zombies while the 51 bus sped up and flew by (The bus driver had seen enough horror movies to know better than to stop for 50 zombies!)

As you can see, even the undead know how to have a good time.  Of course, some of those zombies might be feeling even more undead this morning!

Until we meet again, living or not…

I’ll see YOU at the Island!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Sessions Week I - Thank you!

What a good time I had Wednesday for week I of Black Orchid Sessions! Thank you to everyone who sat down with me directly and worked with me to create those custom cocktails... there were a few that were really innovative and original, and that I definitely wouldn't have been able to dream up myself, but WOW, were they tasty! Mel Waldorf of Meshugga Beach Party asked me to see what I could do with the secret ingredient (an Organic Maple Syrup, Apple Cider and Cinnamon reduction) and his beloved Slivovitz... quite the challenge if you've ever tasted it! I came up with a cocktail with gin, the Slivovitz, the maple-apple reduction and some limoncello... amazingly delightful, and you couldn't even taste the Slivovitz! Just got a little bit of the plum notes with the lemon. I also created a bourbon based cocktail with Black Maple Hill bourbon, which was rich and wonderful, and several others with various different spirits. The true challenge of the evening, however, was when someone asked me to come up with something using Hangar One Chipotle Vodka and the maple apple reduction... something one would really NOT think would work. With the addition of grapefruit juice, campari, and Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters, we came up with a unique and fantastic cocktail. I can't wait to make another one!

For those of you not quite in the know, Black Orchid Sessions is a new, innovative and fun way to learn more about the art of Mixology by working with me directly at Forbidden Island to create custom cocktails. Each week, a focus ingredient will be announced (last week it was the apple-maple-cinnamon reduction, next week rose syrup; see a list of all the planned specialty ingredients below)... but here's the fun part: You come in, sit down with me, and get to taste the special ingredient of the week. After that, we'll talk about its characteristics, and how we can creatively use it in a brand new cocktail... you tell me what you like, what you feel like, and we'll put it together right there on the spot! You get a special little notebook to keep all of your custom created recipes in, and at the end of the Sessions, you can take it home and keep all of your recipes! Any questions you have about how to create a good cocktail, where to find ingredients, or anything similar - well, you've got my full attention during your session and the sky's the limit! In addition, if you like, I'll send you home with a small container of the special ingredient for the week, so you experiment in your home bar with creating new cocktails, based on what you learn in our Sessions. We want you to have a blast at home AND at FI with those new cocktailing skills you're learning.

Every week, there will be a new, unique ingredient to try... the possibilities for innovative Mixology are endless, and the possibility for fun even more so! Just like this week when I was challenged to create a cocktail with maple and Chipotle vodka and came up with something I'll likely be making in my home bar, (wish I had one right now as I type!), I'm positive some AMAZING cocktails will result from this drinking and mixing adventure. Ah! My mouth waters just thinking about it!

At the end of the six weeks, I'll put together a list of cocktails that were created in Sessions, and we'll have a contest for the best... the most original, the tastiest, barkeeps choice, and the one with the craziest name... and those cocktails will be featured on a special evening with YOUR name on the menu.

Need a little more delicious enticement? Here's a list of upcoming specialty ingredients:

Rose Syrup
Prickly Pear, Lemongrass and Citrus
Bitter Chocolate and Orange Peel
Orgeat (Almond), with a rum base
Pomegranate Honey
Black Orchid (French Vanilla and Black Tea with Sour Cherry)
...and perhaps even more!

Sound good? Well, don't miss it! Come and see me on Wednesday nights at Forbidden Island, 1304 Lincoln Ave in Alameda, CA, 5pm 'til Midnight. Remember your Black Orchid Club VIP cards are valid for 10% on your entire check Sunday through Wednesday (and it just so happens I work on all of those days), so bring your friends!

I'll see YOU at the Island!


Photo Credit: Sparkling Future Cocktail. Photo by William Anzenberger Photography

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Black Orchid Sessions… tonight at 5pm!

First of all, I’d like to say thank you to each and every one of you who were a part of Season I of the Black Orchid Club.  It was such a treat to create all of these cocktails and this game for you, and fabulous to share them with you each week.  Thank you, thank you!

This week, Black Orchid Sessions begin… and I couldn’t be more excited about what’s on the horizon.  This week’s special ingredient is a maple syrup, apple cider and cinnamon reduction called “Bitch Syrup,” so named for the signature cocktail it was created for, the “Black-Hearted Bitch.”  Here are this week’s cocktails:

Black-Hearted Bitch

Goslings Black Seal and Lemon Hart Demerara give this grog style cocktail its name.  With the addition of the specialty ingredient, notes of apple and maple, with hand squeezed grapefruit and a dash of Maraschino Liqueur, this cocktail may make you forget her... or she may haunt you forever!

Bitch’s  Revenge

The taste of revenge is sweet... and it has hints of bourbon, orange, lemon, apple, cinnamon and spices.  Served up with a flamed orange peel.

Bitch’s Redemption

An effervescent delight with gin and a lemon that makes maple and apple seem angelic.  A good cocktail can mean redemption for us all... or not!  But you'll have to taste it to find out!

Of course, you can also sit down with me for that custom made cocktail…. right on the spot, using the specialty ingredient and anything else you can dream up (that we’ve got behind the bar). 

I’ll see YOU, tonight, at the Island!



Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What an awesome 13 weeks! Reckoning Party tomorrow!

...and here we are! 13 weeks have passed, and the Black Orchid Club has been such a complete blast. Tomorrow is the Reckoning Party, where all the prizes will be awarded and you'll see EXACTLY how many people really did have every single Black Orchid cocktail. I'll tell you one thing, it blows my mind. :)

Awards begin at 7:30pm, so be sure to be here tomorrow by then, and bring all of your cards. You must present your cards to win!

In case you need a checklist, here it is:

Week 1: Song of Delilah
Week 2: Valmont
Week 3: Rhapsody in Blue
Week 4: Pumpkin Delight
Week 5: Bora Bora Tea Punch
Week 6: Bavarian Yule
Week 7: Kiss of the Tiki
Week 8: Alta California
Week 9: Cape Verde Collins
Week 10: Taj Mahal Twilight
Week 11: Howard Street Cocktail
Week 12: Beseme Tamarindo
Week 13: Black Orchid

Wild Cards:

3am Atlantic
Girl From Alameda
Cherry Blossom Fizz
Island Bitters

We've also got DJ Otto for Otto's Grotto, and his special guest Johnny "Big Hands" Bartlett (The Phantom Surfers, The Barbary Coasters, Hillsdale Records), spinning wax for your dancing pleasure. AND it's Baby Doe's birthday!

Looking forward to a fabulous night all around.

I'll see YOU, TOMORROW, at the Island!