Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The One and Only Black Orchid Syrup, tonight in Sessions!

The fantastic Black Orchid Syrup makes her return tonight in Sessions. This stunning French black vanilla tea reduction with sour cherry is a taste sensation never paralleled - and not to be missed. These are tonight's specialty cocktails:

Come in, try these delectables, and then allow me to take you on a journey of International intrigue, mystery, and taste sensation. Make it one you'll never forget!

I'll see YOU at the Island!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Which one did you LOVE? Choose your syrup!

Sessions today is up for a fun new spin. Today I'm bringing back many of the syrups we've seen in the last few weeks, and in your Sessions, you can choose which syrup you'd like to use... or several, if you want! These are the specialty ingredients I have available today:

Exotica: A bitter chocolate orange delicacy.

Maple-Apple-Cinnamon Reduction (Bitch Syrup): in the one and only Black-Hearted Bitch.

Rose Syrup: Floral, delightful, springtime in a glass!

Black Orchid Orgeat: My special recipe orgeat with almond milk, almond extract, and pure cane sugar.

and, the amazing Black Orchid Syrup, a french black tea, vanilla and sour cherry reduction.

Choose any (or several!) for your sessions tonight... come and taste them all! Custom create several totally different cocktails! And we're reprising that fantastic grog, the Black-Hearted Bitch!

Only with Black Orchid Sessions, and only at Forbidden Island!

I'll see YOU at the Island!


Photo Credit: Bill Mai Tai Graff. The cocktail is a Sessions cocktail created for him with Prickly Pear called "Zazz... in the Desert."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A handful of stunning Sessions photos

Gabriel Hurley, Paul McMillan and Shelby Keller Miller, of took some amazing shots last Wednesday of Black Orchid Sessions cocktails, and I wanted to share these gorgeous shots with you:

The Mask of the Red Death.

A custom cocktail created during Sessions for Jen Erlichman. Her instructions: "Make me something really GOTH." This cocktail delivers, in amazing deliciousness... Prickly Pear Puree with fresh squeezed cranberry juice, sour cherry, rum and allspice. The presentation is the best part... set a 151 doused orchid aflame in the cocktail glass and allow to wilt, then pour this cocktail over.

Look for a video on YouTube soon with the entire show!


Another of our Sessions Bookholders, Dave Hildebrandt, has been requesting cocktails based on each of the planets in the solar system. This is Neptune, with custom made Black Orchid Orgeat, Leopold Brothers New York Sour Apple Liqueur, and Blue Curacao.

Flaming presentation during Black Orchid Sessions.

Three amazing shots of a custom bowl created on request for Sessions Bookholders... Sour Cherry, Mango and Demerara rum with cinnamon made this cocktail a huge hit!

Tonight at FI - DJ Tanoa spins 50s and 60s vinyl for your swingin' and jiving pleasure. Come cut a rug with me! I'd love to have a dance partner!

I'll see YOU at the Island!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A little Irish for your cocktail glass

Spring has sprung here in Sunny California!  The sun is shining, and green cocktails are flowing…  this is what I have dreamed up for your imbibing pleasure tonight in Sessions.

Special Ingredient: Spearmint-Lime Syrup.  Fresh lime juice and mint together in this refreshing syrup – it’s not just for Mojitos anymore!

This week’s special cocktails:


Irish Eyes Are Sparkling

Fresh mint and lime muddled in our delightful spearmint-lime syrup. Add Jamesons Irish Whiskey, the sparkle of champagne, and the luck o’ the Irish for a festive treat, as green as the Emerald Isle herself.

The Orange and the Green

A Collins like you’ve never tasted before. Hangar One Mandarin Vodka, fresh mint, lime and Grand Mariner are a marriage that brings harmony to the cosmos… and to Ireland.

I’ll see YOU at the Island!


Photo Courtesy of the excellent ladies of

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sessions V: Black Orchid Orgeat

Monday was a blast… opened up Forbidden Island for a video and photography team from to shoot some great photos of Black Orchid cocktails, and video of myself creating some of the most exciting Sessions creations to date.  You’re going to love these videos!  I’ll have more information as the release date gets closer.   Spread the word… if the Sessions cocktail you create with me gets chosen, you just might have it featured in the video series!

Today  I’ll be creating custom cocktails with Black Orchid Orgeat, an almond syrup made with almond milk.  Orgeat is one of the four ingredients that go into that most classic of tropical cocktails, the Mai Tai.  Come on in and try the Black Orchid version!  Here are this week’s specialty cocktails:

Black Orchid Mai Tai

Trader Vic Bergeron created the Mai Tai in 1944 right here in the Bay Area.  The Black Orchid version of this classic cocktail, with two rums, and fresh lime is indeed "Mai Tai Roe Ae" Tahitian for "Out of This World!"


S.S. Lurline Cocktail

Board the S.S. Lurline in San Francisco Bay and begin your trip to the Islands!  This cocktail with Black Orchid Orgeat, Lemon, Grand Mariner and bourbon is poolside perfection.  Aloha!




I’ll see YOU at the Island!



Mai Tai photo credit:  Check ‘em out!

S.S. Lurline Photo Credit:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sessions IV: Exotica Syrup

Just got back from an amazing weekend in Ft. Lauderdale... my good friend the Bargoyle (Michael Sullivan, from Connecticut), turned 40 this weekend and decided to have his 4-0 bash at the famous Mai Kai Restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale. The Mai Kai is my absolute favorite place on Earth... and the perfect Polynesian paradise. The Mai Kai IS everything that is Tiki. Unbelievable cocktails with secret recipes, being made the same since 1956; a bar with tikis and rain pouring down the windows, and serving maidens in micro-mini sarongs and bikini tops; a huge, dark and glorious dining room with a live Polynesian dinner show, and wonderful food from a Chinese oven; a stunning Lanai with streams and waterfalls and ancient tikis; all in the glorious tropical weather of Florida. It simply is the most amazing place on Earth.

The exciting thing is, I get to come home to another world famous and glorious Tiki lounge - Forbidden Island! While I was in Florida, I dreamed up some new cocktails with one of my exciting syrups, a bitter chocolate orange syrup called "Exotica." This syrup is... just... wow. Fresh from Florida, here they are:


The tropical beach at sunset. The sound of distant drums and the call of the conch. Bird calls, exotic vibraphone, Latin percussion, strong cocktails. Perfect Mid-century escapism was encapsulated in sound by the father of this amazing musical genre, Martin Denny. This cocktail is in honor of him. (Bitter Chocolate with orange, a taste of strong coffee, several rums and citrus juices).


Dress your strawberries up in chocolate, and go, go-go girl! Fresh strawberries, chocolate and bitter orange muddled to pure perfection, then topped with champagne.

Join the growing ranks of Sessions Bookholders, with all of their custom designed recipes in a tiny composition book, sitting here on our shelves at Forbidden Island. At the end of Sessions, each Bookholder takes all of those recipes home to keep. Learn the art of excellent mixology! Become the one everyone invites to parties because you'll be behind the bar! Just a few Sessions and you'll have the tools to have a great time at home and at parties, plus a book full of unique and innovative recipes to share. I want you to have a good time with me at Forbidden Island, and at home in your home bar, creating new specialties.

Come and try the fabulous Exotica syrup! Also, it's the first Wednesday of the month, so it's time for Otto's Grotto... exotica tunes, surf, 60s grooves, and more. Special guest DJ Jab also makes an appearance tonight. Don't miss it!

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