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Good Land Organics + RND Vodka = Perfect Spring Cocktails Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   
Ecotopia cocktail receptionTwo Santa Barbara institutions -- Good Land Organics and RND Vodka -- came together recently to create cocktails for a reception that was part of the city’s month-long Ecotopia celebration, and included many of the partners of Santa Barbara Car Free program, which offers discounts to those who make any part of their trip to the city sans car. To pair with the RND Vodka, Good Land Organics provided seasonal produce that included blood oranges for the blood orange martini (pictured left with Santa Barbara Car Free partner Lori LaRiva of SBCAG Traffic Solutions) and caviar limes for the Brazilian-inspired cairpirinha. Even better, they were nice enough to share the recipes. Enjoy!

Good Land Organics Blood Orange Martini

4 oz. RND vodka
0.5 oz. Triplesec
2 oz. blood orange juice
1 slice blood orange
How to mix: In a martini shaker combine all the ingredients, except the orange slices, with a generous amount of ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with orange slices.

RND Caipirinha with Caviar Limes

4 oz. RND vodka
1/2 of a caviar lime cut into wedges
1 tsp. sugar
Splash of Rose’s lime juice
1/2 oz. soda water
How to mix: Muddle lime, sugar and lime juice. Add RND vodka, shake and finish with soda. Serve with lime edge garnish.
Photo courtesy of
Combat Winter Fatigue with Fresh Summer Cocktails from Tommy Bahama Laguna Beach Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Tommy Bahama cucumber mojitoIt might be winter outside but just walk into the new Tommy Bahama Laguna Beach and it's summer -- and not just summer anywhere but the quintessential Laguna Beach summer, right down to the antique bathing suits and surfboards hanging on the wall, the location inside the restored Heisler Building on Pacific Coast Highway and menu items such as Ahi Tuna Tacos (not to be missed).

In honor of providing that summer feeling as we near the shortest day of the year, here are recipes for two of their cocktails, which are light and fresh and made with produce sourced locally. First is a twist on the mojito (left), with cucumber adding a bit of sassiness. The other is their signature drink, the Cant-e-lope Tonight, where a fresh melon taste is created through the combination of watermelon liquor, fresh orange juice and sour mix. Enjoy!

Tommy Bahama Cantelope TonightIngredients
3 oz      Tommy Bahama White Sand rum
6 oz      Cucumber Cubes
1/3        Fresh lime
5          Mint leaves
3 oz      Sprite  
Procedure: Muddle cucumber cubes, mint, and lime. Add rum and shake 20 times. Pour over ice and top with sprite.

Martini Glass
2 oz      Marie Brizard Watermelon
1 oz      Ketel One vodka
1 oz      Fresh orange juice
½ oz     Fresh sour mix
Procedure:  Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice; shake 20 times strain. Garnish with 2 fresh cantaloupe scoops.

Perfect for the Holidays: The Bourberry from Kai Restaurant at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Bourberry from Kai RestaurantHow to ward off that fall chill using seasonal fruit (and, okay, a little bourbon)? We bring you the Bourberry, from the Mixologists at Kai Restaurant at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa.

2 oz of your favorite bourbon
1 oz of fresh and bottled apple juice
1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz rich maple syrup
Small apple slice
Splash of bottled apple juice
Dash of traditional bitters
Lemon twist

First we took a fresh granny smith apple slice and mashed it with a splah of bottled apple juice. Then we added the lemon juice, a blood orange slice, about 5 fresh cranberries, and then muddled together with a dash of bitters. Then we added the bourbon, maple syrup, and apple juice mush. A few more fresh cranberries before we shook everything together. A few more intact cranberries after we pour the mixture right into the glass creates 3 textures of cranberry in the drink. Enjoy!

Camper's Cocktails from Montanya Distillers Print E-mail
Written by Linda Hayes   

Montanya DistillersWhen a sudden downpour cut our search for a Mineral Creek-side campsite short last weekend, there was only one thing to do -- hightail it into nearby Silverton for a cocktail at Montanya Distillers.

Set in a century-old stone building (pictured left and typical of the historic Colorado silver-mining town) with a funky little tasting room and bar, the distillery is home to award-winning Montanya Oro and Platino rum. Owners Karen and Brice Hoskin make it in-house with pure Hawaiian cane sugar and snowmelt out of Boulder Creek, in a 400-litre alembic copper still imported from Portugal.

That day, a bartender named Matt was busy mixing garden-fresh cocktails for a hearty, if slightly damp, crowd. Two, the Thai Boxer made with fresh blueberries and the Joker with fresh peaches from Palisades (home of the Colorado Peach Festival this month), were must-haves. A couple-three later, the sun came out. We were happy campers, indeed.

Try the recipes below and sip for yourself. (Click read more for recipes.)

Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   
There are a number of nice things about the partnership between La Costa Resort & Spa and the Chopra Center, which was founded by Deepak Chopra and David Simon and has its headquarters on the grounds (pictured, right). The first is the center's daily guided meditation, free of charge to resort guests. There are also yoga classes, Ayurvedic spa treatments and longer wellness programs. But if there is one really unique touch Chopra has brought to the resort it’s his ginger elixir, made out of fresh ingredients and designed to jump-start the digestive system. Chopra advises one ounce before lunch and another before dinner.

Here is the recipe for those who’d like to make it at home:
1 3-to-4 inch piece of unpeeled fresh ginger root
4 to 6 lemons
1 cup purified water
¾ cup raw organic honey
¼ tsp black pepper

Cut the ginger into ½-inch pieces. Using a powerful juicer, push the ginger through the juicer and juice enough to make 1 cup. In a citrus juicer, juice the lemons to make 1 cup of juice. Combine the juices in a large bowl. With a wire whisk, mix the water, honey and black pepper into the ginger and lemon juice. Whisk until blended. Store in a pitcher or glass jar in the refrigerator. Don't chug the whole thing -- just one ounce is recommended. And a word to the wise: It definitely has a kick.
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