Friday, August 18, 2017

Total Eclipse Cosmic Cocktails to Celebrate Celestial Canoodling

There’s no doubt that Total Eclipse 2017 is surely helping to eclipse all the ahem, other-worldly happenings that seem to be streaming in from other planets or outer space of late! Oh this is fun writing and researching. So many puns. )Plus a pun is also called a “paronomasia” which in itself seems like a sure-fire paranormal stressful state!)

The good news is that the Total Eclipse is really about art and science coming together. Many folks refer to it as the “sun kissing the moon.” How romantic is that? Not since 1918 have we witnessed such celestial canoodling.

I’ve worshipped the stars and invoked their magic on more occasions than there are stars in the sky (!) -- ever since my beloved father, George, took me to the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History when I was a little girl. There, we purchased an index-sized card that swung open in order to chart four sky maps -- both the winter and summer skies - looking north and south.

I keep it over my writing desk today. It’s as much a tribute to space and my enduring curiosity as it is about my love for my father and his ability to nurture the fascination, imagination, and magic of the stars. As I must confess that the ancient star constellations or asterisms are almost impossible for me to trace. Rather like a parlor game; except that my husband is great at pointing out Aquila (Eagle), Sagittarius (Archer), Leo (Lion) not to mention the easy ones such as the Dippers and the Canis Minor (Little Dog). So much beauty and legend…

There’s no doubt this celestial phenomena is stirring artists and curiosity seekers. Today’s New York Times has a feature about the artist Howard Russell Butler’s exhibit at the Princeton University Art Museum, highlighting the mash up of art and science at the last total solar eclipse. The Times also offers a musical, top-20 Play List to accompany and enhance the sensual elements surrounding the artful eclipse. I like “I Put a Spell on You” by Alice Smith, “Time” by Pink Floyd or Dark Star by the Grateful Dead.
But my favorite site for all things eclipse is Nasa Total Eclipse - especially their suggested party tips and activities and downloadable activities that can spark your viewing experience. Who throws a bigger party than spacemen, er space people?!

Nasa says, “Many eclipse enthusiasts host parties in local community centers, museums, observatories, parks or open fields. Even your own backyard is a good place to throw a party.”

If you’re throwing your own party or bringing celestial treats to another, here’s a few excellent drinks to further the magical darkness...


Total Eclipse -- neė Ashes to Ashes - created by Jordan Bushell, Mőet Hennessy National Brand Ambassador. This is one of master mixologist Jordan’s more brilliant contributions to my soon-to-be-released book, Finishing Touches: The Art of Garnishing the Cocktail (available in presale now.)

I think it’s perfect for toasting the total eclipse, don’t you?

Here’s what it looks like in the book:

And here’s how to make the dark cocktail:

  • 1.5 oz Hennessy VS
  • 1 oz Tawny Port 10 year Old
  • 1/2 tsp activated Charcoal
  • 2 dashes chocolate bitters
  • Garnish – cocktail Cherry (luxardo) and or 1 red rose petal
  • Glass – Rocks

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir to combine, pour into a rocks glass


With a cherry and/or a rose petal.

From Finishing Touches: Dark and foreboding in look and yet the drinks is full of flavor, Ashes to Ashes was named for the charcoal but also for the end of things for every end is a beginning and this balanced and approachable drink is also deep and contemplative in it’s flavors. You want to sit with it as it begins to warm up in the glass and reveals more and more of itself.

The charcoal does not add any actual flavor and thus is one of the garnishes; if a garnish is not there for the flavor it can still have a purpose, in this case, dramatic effect. We drink and eat with our eyes first, as a drink comes across the room to us, or is handed across the bar we are already imagining different flavors it will have. When a black drink is presented, it creates mystery and thus an open palate. The rose petal and or cherry provide a contrast, bright red, dramatic.

Patrón Platinum Margarita

(photo courtesy of Patrón Tequila)

How beautiful is this cocktail?


  • 2 oz Platinum Patrón Tequila 
  • 1 oz Dolin vermouth Blanc
  • 2 dash rose water 
  • .25 oz agave syrup
  • .5 oz lime juice

Stir all ingredients with ice for 30 seconds then pour in a mixing glass. In a mixing glass add 
1 bar spoon edible platinum color
1 pinch xanthan gum
Stir for 10 seconds pour in your coupe glass.


With an edible orchid using edible silver sprayer marshmallow flavored to coat the orchid.

Heart of Gold - Leeann Lavin


  • 2 jiggers Goldschlager - a Swiss Cinnamon Schnapps Liqueur 
  • 3-4 jiggers cold Ginger Beer - homemade or hand-crafted artisanal, such as Reed’s: sparkling, filtered water sweetened by a blend of cane sugar, pineapple juice, honey, fresh ginger root, lemon & lime juices and spices. 
The cinnamon of the schnapps harmonizes with the spices in the ginger beer.

Put ice cubes in goblet

Mix all ingredients in cocktail shaker

Remove ice from goblet. Pour strained cocktail into iced goblet glass.


Crystallized ginger - highlights ginger beer/ginger root ingredients (or maraschino or orange rind studded with cloves) clipped on glass with gold jewelry pins.

Garnish option

Spun, gold sugar wafers cotton candy on a lollipop stick (can provide recipe)
You can also pour the cocktail into old-fashioned glasses with ice and garnish.

Food Pairing

Posh Pretzels & Piglets

Serve with classic cocktail party, German hot dog-inspired favorites: pigs in a blanket, artisanal pretzels and hearty mustard.

Entertaining Tips

Add glamour to the common beer & pretzel or beer and hot dog. Play off the heart of gold- use mirrors under the goblet glasses to amplify the gold flakes floating in the Goldschlager; create heart-shaped glitter accents.

Sprinkle glitter gold on mirror plates to shine, use gold baskets as serving vessels

Linen napkins with gold embroidered detail add a golden touch.

Silver Blue Moon

Available at Sir Henri in NYC by Beverage Director, Gil Bouhana

Photo courtesy of Nolet’s Dry Gin



Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake and strain into a cocktail glass. 


With lavender* or more traditionally, a brandied cherry.

*My notation: be sure to use English lavender. French lavender is used for beauty products such as soap, while the English lavender is used in food preparation, including cooking and drinks.

Reyka’s Take My Breath Away by Anna Levy Mains

(Photo courtesy of Reyka vodka)


  • 2 parts Reyka Vodka
  • ½ part Dolin blanc vermouth (Dolin is my hands-down favorite vermouth; it is appropriately botanical and delicious.)
  • 1 part cucumber juice 
  • ¼ Lime
  • ¼ part Wasabi simple 

Combine all ingredients into cocktail shaker. Shake, strain

Use a cucumber ribbon and orchid garnish; serve.

*Wasabi simple was 1 oz wasabi powder by volume to 8 oz of simple syrup

Mixologist Mains hails from Oklahoma City’s In the Raw Sushi Bar, Knucks Wheelhouse, and Rockford Cocktail Den.

Hudson Summer Smash

(photo courtesy of Tuthilltown Spirits)



Add apple slices, simple syrup, and two or three mint leaves to shaker tin (or pint glass half of ‘Boston Shaker’) and muddle together. Add Hudson Four Grain Bourbon and ice and shake well. Strain over fresh ice in Old Fashioned/rocks glass and top with splash of ginger ale. Float port (or wine) on top of the drink by pouring carefully over the back of a bar spoon.


With mint sprig.

Free Cosmic Stuff

With more than 750 locations, Pilot Flying J is the latest to get in on the fun.

Guests of Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers can receive a FREE standard size Milky Way candy bar or pack of Eclipse chewing gum when purchasing any beverage in-store (excluding alcohol). This offer is available in the myOffers section of the myPilot mobile app. The solar eclipse promotion is valid for customers in the U.S. from Aug 21 until Aug. 25.


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