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March Cocktail

March Cocktail

March Cocktail
6 oz Ventura SpiritsHaymaker” Vodka
2 oz fresh lime juice -save rind to moisten glass rims
1-2 T Ojai Jalapeño Jelly
10-20 fresh mint leaves
Sugar -for glass rims
1 can of “Langers” organic ginger sparkling water
Fresh mint
Edible flower
1. Juice limes
2. Moisten glass rims, then run through sugar
3. In a cocktail shaker: combine ingredients except bubbly water
4. Use a knife or muddler to incorporate Jelly & mint
5. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds
6. Pour into sugar rimmed cocktail glasses & top off with “Langers” organic ginger sparkling water, or your favorite
7. Garnish with mint & an edible flower -I used homegrown arugula flowers


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Pickled Asparagus



Makes 5-6 quarts

Surprisingly crunchy & delicious like a great pickle can be-
Eat alone, cut them into your chopped salad, serve with cheese,
or use as a ‘swizzle stick’ in your next Bloody Mary!

Wash 6 quart-size jars
Sterilize jars & lids

Wash all ingredients-
You’ll need;
Asparagus- about 5-6 clusters
Break or cut off asparagus ends, allowing asparagus to stand in jar; about 3/4″ from top.
18 sprigs of fresh dill – 3 per jar
12 cloves fresh garlic – 2 per jar
6 small Peppers – 1 per jar (Habanero, Serrano, or Jalapeño; dried or fresh)

Fill clean, sterilized  jars with raw ingredients; asparagus, dill, garlic & Peppers.

In medium sized pot, boil until salt is dissolved:
6 c. water
2 c. apple cider vinegar
6 T. kosher salt

Using a ladle, fill jars with hot liquid-
Always remember to leave about 1/2″ at the top, as per canning instructions.

Seal jars.
When cooled, store jars in refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.
(you can also make with fresh green beans instead of asparagus)


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Muddled March Madness

Refreshing Cocktail

10 ounces Habanero Infused Tequila (previous recipe in Jelly Blog)
5 oz Fresh Meyer’s Lemon Juice
(I like to roll the whole lemon, juice it then throw in at least part of the remains in the shaker for added zest flavor)
3 ounces Agave Nectar
Muddled Basil; 20 leaves
(fresh mint, or lemon grass are great too)

Shaken till herbs are bruised
 & serve on a stem-

Garnish each glass with:
sugared rim
1 thin lemon zest curl
paper thin slice of Habanero Pepper or Mediterranean Apricot,
depending on your crowd.


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Lemon Drops with Candied Myers Lemon Peel

My Meyers lemon tree has been more plentiful than any other year- just chocked full of beautiful, colorful fruit-
In honor of Spring, & the dinner party I’m going to this evening- I’m creating a new cocktail, a special Lemon Drop Martini!

What you’ll need:
2 saucepans
1 fresh organic lemon- washed and peeled, careful not to get any pith, just the yellow zest
2 c. cold water
2 1/2 c. organic raw sugar

Put cold water & zest in a saucepan & bring to a boil.  Pour off water and repeat this process 3 times.  Drain & set aside.

In another saucepan add:
2 c. organic raw sugar
1 c. water

Whisking to help dissolve sugar & add the lemon zest, bring to a boil over medium heat.
Lower the heat & simmer until the peels get tender & translucent- this will take about 15 minutes.
Pour off liquid & save.  Let candied zest cool.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl toss the lemon zest with the remaining 1/2 c. organic raw sugar.   Shake off excess sugar.
Store zest in an airtight container until you garnish the Lemon Drop with it.
This will store well for a few weeks- NOT! If you’re at all like me you’ll eat it all!

Meyers Lemon Drop…

6 lemons, juiced
4 T. sugar syrup (saved from recipe above)
7 fresh basil leaves
4 shots Kettle One Vodka (or your favorite)
Martini Shaker
sugar rimmed glasses
twist of Candied Myers Lemon Peel

Mix lemon juice, sugar syrup & vodka & basil in the martini shaker filled with ice.
Shake 7 times to mix & bruise the basil.  Pour into sugar rimmed martini glass & float a candied lemon peel
& a small sprig of basil to garnish-

*I also like to use Jalapeño or fresh mint in place of the basil for this cocktail-


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Bitter Poetry

I love Tonic Water & ‘Q Tonic’ is so delicious- I met Molly from Q Tonic @ The Fancy Food Show last month.

Pairing Quality ‘Q TONIC’ with your favorite Spirits to broaden the enjoyment of a cocktail (or mocktail), makes perfect sense to me-

I am blogging this recipe in honor of the First Annual Ojai Wordfest Gathering

March 19-27 Ojai, CA.

Cocktail developed for Q Tonic by mixologist Jerri Banks

Bitter Poetry

1.5 oz Junipero Gin
1 oz Fresh Orange juice
½ oz Acacia Honey
½ Teaspoon Freshly Grated Ginger
2 Dashes Fee Bros Orange Bitters
1 oz Q Tonic
1 orange twist
Glass: Cocktail/Martini

In cocktail shaker, add all ingredients except for tonic.

Add ice, shake well and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Top with Q Tonic.

Garnish with an orange twist.


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…in the heat of passion

This is my translation of the tantalizing cocktail at “Milk & Honey” in Santa Barbara, where I had my first Habanero-infused cocktail & got instantly hooked!

4 shots of Habanero-Infused “Sauza Plata” Tequila (or your favorite)
1/2 c. Fresh Passion Fruit Puree
4 Fresh Limes, juiced
I piece of thinly sliced fresh ginger
Agave nectar to taste

Run water over glasses, chill in freezer while you make the cocktail.
Place all ingredients except the garnishes in the cocktail shaker.
Shake about 10-12 times to dissolve  the agave nectar & bruise ginger.
Pour into chilled cocktail glassed, garnished with sugared rims & a twist of lime.
Serve up.


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Last week I was in San Francisco for the Fancy Food Show & I had the pleasure of  an amazing evening & a lovely meal with friends at the infamous “Grand Cafe” on 501 Geary Street.

…if someone blindfolded you going in, once through the Grand Entry- you’d open your eyes & feel like you’d arrived in Paris- the sculptures, the cuisine, the ambiance…

My mouth waters just thinking of this tantalizing cocktail-


2 oz Reposado Tequila
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Squeeze Lemon Juice
.5 oz Agave Nectar
Muddled Basil- 3 leaves
Jalapeno- fresh 2 thin slices
Shaken till Bruised
Served on a stem

recipe compliments of
Gregory Nasser
Assistant General Manager
Grand Cafe – Hotel Monaco San Francisco
501 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Filthy Farmgirl Martini

This is for a very special friend of mine that could use a little TLC & a strong drink this week-

4 oz Gin
2 T. Dry Vermouth
5 T. Olive Juice

1 t. Ojai Jalapeño Jelly
5 Large Olives

Rinse two Cocktail Glasses with water and place in the freezer for a few minutes while you prepare the drink.

Fill your Martini Shaker with the above ingredients, including the olives.

Shake hard about 10 times, helping the Ojai Jalapeño Jelly dissolve.

Remove Cocktail Glasses from freezer and pour out any excess water.

Promptly fill the glasses with Cocktail & serve it up with a prepared appetizer & a wink~



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Party like Murphy… Martini


Simple version;

2 T. Ojai Habanero Jelly
2 shots Kettle One Vodka
Garnish with a Bleu Cheese stuffed olive, a cocktail onion or a lemon zest curl~

In your Martini Shaker, shake the Ojai Habanero Jelly with the vodka & ice until the Jelly has dissolved completely.  Then strain off any Pepper bits with a tea strainer.  Garnish.

notes; this recipe can be toned down with a very light, sweet juice, or make it ‘dirty’ by using the juice from the olive jar-

The recipe I prefer involves making fresh cranberry sauce & saving the left over liquid for future martinis.


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Suze’s Camping Meyer Lemon Drop Martini

I went camping in the Santa Ynez Valley with my brother & the Santa Barbara Trail Riders-
On that outing I had my first lemon drop made in a pickle jar, & what a tasty cocktail it was!

You’ll need;
a large jar with a lid- like a pickle jar that cannot smell of pickles!

  • Juice of 12 lemons-(my favorites are Meyers)
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 12 fresh mint leaves, washed (you can use fresh basil, or lavender instead)
  • 10 shots vodka-
  • Ice cubes
  • Sugar-rimmed martini glasses

Wash the lemons, then roll them a few times on a cutting board or counter top, to activate the oils in the skin- Squeeze the lemon juice into the large jar & then toss in the remains of the lemon, skin & all.
Add sugar, mint, vodka, and lots of ice and shake it until you see the sugar has dissolved.
Be sure to test the cocktail to adjust the ingredients to your liking-
Pour into sugar-rimmed martini glasses, sugar rimmed blue-enamel camping mugs, or whatever you have available
Garnish each with a fresh sprig of mint-

It’s hard to keep enough made- It’s refreshing like lemonade, but WAY more fun to start the
evening with…


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Hot Crantini…

Hot Crantini

For the holidays I make cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries, orange juice, sugar, lemon zest & a cinnamon stick.
I save the sweet juice that I pour off of the cranberries.  I refrigerate the juice & then add it to Jalapeño Infused Vodka or if I don’t have that handy I add a few tablespoons of Ojai Jalapeño Jelly or  my new Habanero Jelly
I shake it with ice in a martini shaker, strain it & serve…  It’s been a hot holiday hit!