Cocktails and Calories


All the things we tested...

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We have a continual dilemma when we are making a new drink. We are very conscious of the calories contained in any drink, yet the truth is that most high-calorie drinks. . . well, a lot of them just taste better! That’s not a coincidence.  For example, one of our favorite additions in a drink is a liqueur. They are generally flavored with fruits, creams, or other items, and have sugar added also. Just for the record, we are not going to stop recommending them in some of our drinks. Everything in moderation.

Another think that drives up the calories is the content of the alcohol you are using. For example, 80-proof vodka has 64 calories per 1oz. Going to the other extreme, 100-proof vodka, which is 50% alcohol has 82 calories per 1 oz.

So what ingredients can you look for in a cocktail or martini that will increase its likelihood of being lower-calorie? Here’s a list of some items to look for:

  • Lemon or lime juice – 1/2 oz: 10 calories
  • DaVinci or Torani’s sugar-free syrups: 0
  • Orange juice 6 oz: 84 calories
  • Cranberry juice cocktail 8 oz: 136 calories
  • Light orange juice 8 oz: 50 calories
  • Light cranberry juice 8 oz: 40 calories
  • Light lemonade 8 oz: 5 calories

The good news? A standard martini has 160 calories (2.5 oz). A Green apple martini? 148 calories for 1 oz of vodka, sour apple, and apple juice.

A few other tips include adding stevia to a drink to sweeten it up. Always drink responsibly by drinking slowly and not more than you should. Also, have a glass of water between drinks.

Here are a few links that provide calorie information on what you are drinking tonight.

Calorie information by type of alcohol

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You won’t get stung by this Jelly Fish Martini


These jellyfish had washed up on Port Melbourn...

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Many people love the beach. You might be planning a trip for your local beach, the Atlantic, Pacific Coast, or the Gulf Coast. Maybe somewhere tropical or beyond. We love the beach like most people. Once, our family was at a beach, enjoying the sunshine. Our toddler played innocently in the water while we soaked in the sun. Suddenly, a crisis hit. No, not a shark.  Jellyfish. He was stung multiple times. We knew nothing of the danger he was in, but a nurse nearby thankfully did. She kept us all calm while removing the stingers, then proceeded with the proper treatment. He was perfectly fine, and ready to go in a few hours.

April is when Jellyfish first begin showing up in waters, & are found in every ocean. Thankfully, not all species are toxic as we found. They did, however, inspire our latest drink.

The Martini Maidens were up one night creating another drink. This drink does not sting, and it sure isn’t toxic! However, when we finished with it, we looked at it and remarked that it looked just like a jellyfish in a martini glass. Hence, the Jellyfish Martini! We heard such comments from some of our taste-testers as ‘Every sip is different!’, ‘You could marinate something in that drink!’, and many more comments. ‘Wow!’ came back a lot. We’ll take that as a compliment!

To make this, you need to do mix the following: (Remember to chill the glass first)

  • 2 tbsp Red Pepper Jelly (we used Blue Willow Inn brand)
  • Dash of Chipotle Tabasco

Pour these into the bottom of your martini glass.

Then mix together:

  • Martini & Rossi Vermouth – 1 part
  • Million Vodka – 2 parts

Shake together and pour on top of the jelly/Tabasco mixture.

You can garnish with a jalapeno pepper or cube of cream cheese. Serve an abundance of chips and salsa or guacamole as a side dish, combined with great company, and you have taken the sting out of any rough day. Enjoy!

Chill Out! Chill your Glass before Serving that Martini


I always enjoy cocktails and martinis at home with family or friends. We are casual, relaxed, just out to enjoy the evening. We don’t get caught up in following all the procedures that we would expect when out at a bar or restaurant. One night, the two Martini Maidens were out to test some others’ fine martinis. It made us realize something we wanted to pass along, because we had gotten too lax at home on one crucial step to making your own cocktail or martini: chill the glass. The difference it makes is like drinking a PBR versus a Samuel Adams. It’s like eating my cooking instead of Emeril’s or Rachael Ray’s. Take my word on that. You haven’t seen me on my own cooking show. . . have you?

The great news is that this is so easy to do, you will take the time after reading this (if you don’t already). You need just a few items to get started:

  • The glass, whether it is a martini glass, highball, or cocktail glass
  • Water
  • A freezer, refrigerator, or ice bucket (in that order, ideally)

If you have a freezer with the room available, entertain your guests with hors d’oeuvres while you complete the steps. Otherwise, you will need to prepare a few hours in advance.

  • First, rinse the glass with extremely cold water. Be sure the entire glass is wet, but shake off any excess water. If you have a freezer, leave the glass in for at least 10 minutes.
  • If you prepare in a refrigerator, you can speed the process by also filling the glass to the rim with ice cubes. It is not as effective, but is better than serving in a glass that is at room-temperature. If possible, prepare this up to several hours in advance.
  • Your third option is to use an ice bucket or similar product to chill the glasses. Be very careful if you choose this option, as it can make the glass more fragile and prone to breakage.

Once you are ready to serve your drink, remove the glass and serve your drink into the chilled glass immediately. Enjoy!

Espresso Triple Sec Martini


Ghirardelli Square, in San Francisco, California.

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If you are feeling the pressure and stress of completing your taxes, we have the perfect solution for you. We have created our very own Espresso Triple Sec Martini that is guaranteed to make things a lot more enjoyable while you work on the last-minute details before Tax Day. Maybe you are staying up late to get the last documents to your accountant’s office. Feeling the stress because you are wondering how to pay for that last bill?Perhaps you are the accountant, and cannot wait for this season to end. . . because of all the rest of us!

We created the Espresso Triple Sec Martini for each of you, and for those who love Espresso Martinis. We looked at a lot of recipes. We wanted to offer something with a little different flavor than what we had found, and wouldn’t give up until we were satisfied with the perfect blend.

Here is how we make our Espresso Triple Sec Martini:

  • Stirrings Espresso Liqueur – 1.5 oz (136 calories)
  • Godiva Chocolate Liqueur – 1.5 oz  (156 calories)
  • Stirrings Orange Triple Sec – 1.5 oz (111 calories)
  • Heavy Cream, to taste (45 calories per tablespoon)

We prepared this drink by gently shaking it to make sure the ingredients were thoroughly mixed. It is important to prepare your Martini glass in advance to enjoy it to its fullest. Be sure the glass has been properly chilled for several hours to best enhance the flavor.

Top it with a nice piece of Ghirardelli or Bailey’s Chocolate on the side for a drink that is sure to help you relax and unwind, with a nice treat at the end! And don’t forget. . . you have until April 18 to file this year. Enjoy!

So you haven’t had a Dirty Martini? We have some thoughts for you


We posted a few days ago about the Dirty Martini and its popularity. As mentioned, it was the very first martini I ever had. After some discussion with friends, we discovered that some people haven’t had one, or are interested in a few recipes. There is a standard recipe, but with everything in life, people like to throw in their opinions and make some variations! We are not the IBA, so we are going to throw out some thoughts for you who are interested. (NO disrespect to this fine organization!!)

Our previous article, noted above, lists the ingredients and requirements for a Dirty Martini per the IBA (International Bartenders Association).  Here are some links to others’ versions, which may look strikingly similar. Or not. If you like to be strict with your version of the Dirty Martini, definitely go with the original recipe. Otherwise, enjoy a few options below. No matter what, enjoy a nice Martini this evening. Relax and enjoy your weekend with friends or family. That”s what we have on our agenda!

All Recipes version

About.Com – includes a video

Epicurious.com

Dirty Cajun Martini

Dirty Horniti

Dirty Martini with Bleu Cheese Olives

The Color-Changing Martini

The French Martini

So. . . the Purists of the Dry Martini are offended by now. And that’s okay. We wanted to make some options available that maybe you haven’t found yet for your list. Let us know which one you like best.  You can always email us at MartiniMaidens@yahoo.com, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. We love hearing from you!

That Martini looks so Dirrty!


You may wonder by now why we haven’t discussed the Dirty Martini. Good question, with a simple answer. The recipe can be found anywhere, it is likely the most common martini, and when we post a new drink it is always something that we honestly created ourselves.

However, there are some things worth mentioning about the Dirty Martini that we thought we would discuss for review.

It calls for gin and dry vermouth, with a five-to-one ratio of gin to vermouth, with a splash of olive juice added. The Martini then turns cloudy, hence making it turn ‘dirty’. The olive juice gives the dirty martini a unique and tasty flavor.

The fictional spy, James Bond, always asked for his vodka Martini to be “shaken not stirred”.  Noel Coward said the perfect martini should be made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”, meaning the less vermouth added to the gin the better the final drink.

The olive garnish is almost a universal standard, however.

My first martini was a Dirty Martini, with my father-in-law. I may be the only person who did not like a Dirty Martini, and he makes a mean drink. I said I would never have another martini in my life. Then I found The Algonquin, and the rest is history. . .

Everybody has a story with their Dirty Martini. What is yours?

The Masters Martini is Here!


Flowers of the George Lindley Taber variety of...

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We did our research as promised, and this is what we learned about the favored drink for the Master’s Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. The signature drink is the Azalea. We created our version, Martini-style! Be sure to check our recent post on how to properly shake a martini for details on this important step.

Shake together the following ingredients: 1 part pink lemonade 1 part canned pineapple juice 3 parts  Skyy Pineapple Vodka Enough Grenadine to color pink You can also add  in 2 parts heavy whipping cream for a creamier drink for a variety.

Again, shake with approximately 5 – 6 ice cubes per drink.  Garnish with a pineapple slice and 2 maraschino cherries on an extra-long golf tee – of course!

You can see the results of both martinis below. The martini on the left is without cream, and the martini on the right does contain the cream. You’ve been warned, though. . . This isn’t your mom’s Strawberry Quik!!