Posts Tagged ‘vodka’

This past weekend, I was at the annual Providence Art Club Founder’s Day celebration, raising a glass in their honor. And I was again asked to create the drink we toasted the evening with!

First, some history…

The Providence Art Club is the third-oldest art club in the United States. The Philadelphia Sketch Club was founded in 1860. New York’s Salmagundi Club, founded in 1871, came next. But they were both founded by an all-male board. The Providence Art Club is the oldest art club in the nation that also included women. And that was back in 1880! That’s especially huge when you see what’s going on in our country even today…and it’s even more special to me because my wife was elected president of the Providence Art Club  last year, making her only the second woman to hold that post in the club’s history!





Several years ago, they asked me to come up with a cocktail for their first Founders Day celebration. One hundred glasses were raised to honor the founding fathers of the Providence Art Club.

Silhouettes of past art club founders, influential members, and presidents line the walls of the Providence Art Club, so my wife came up with the name of the cocktail: The Silhouette. Little did she know that her own silhouette would grace the hallowed walls of the Providence Art Club this year!
In the past, I based my Silhouette cocktail on the Boulevardier, a delicious but strong drink that substitutes bourbon for gin in the classic Negroni. (See the recipe at the bottom of this page.)
But with my wife’s election as the new president at the art club, I thought a new Silhouette was in order, too…and it’s my own recipe for a cocktail I’ve made for many years. I call it Velvet Elvis. Keeping the silhouette theme, we decided to call it The Velvet Silhouette for this Founders’ Day celebration.
The Velvet Silhouette is my version of a fresh pineapple-infused vanilla vodka. (I use Stoli Vanil.) Here’s how it’s done…
Get a gallon-sized glass jar with a lid. Peel, core and slice the pineapple, and place all the pieces in the jar.
Pour in one 1.75l bottle of Stoli Vanil. Swirl to mix, then screw the lid on and keep the jar at room temperature for 3 weeks.
After 3 weeks, strain the liquid, making sure to squeeze out as much as you can from the pineapple pieces. Discard the pineapple and keep the Velvet Silhouette in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve it on the rocks, or as a martini, shaken in a cocktail shaker with ice.

Toasting at the Providence Art Club with the Velvet Silhouette.


The original Silhouette was mighty tasty, but a bit too strong for some of the senior art club members. Nonetheless, a favorite of mine. Here’s the recipe…
2 oz. Eagle Rare 10-year bourbon
1 oz. Antica Formula sweet vermouth
1/2 oz. Campari
2 shakes Regan’s orange bitters

In a cocktail shaker with ice, stir the ingredients and then strain into a rocks glass with one large ice-cube.

Garnish with an orange twist.



Happy National Vodka Day! If you think cucumbers are boring, this drink will change your mind. Garden-fresh cukes are always best.



4 fresh cucumbers, peeled and seeded
Small ice cubes
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons granulated organic cane sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup vodka (I like Tito’s)
1 oz. orange liqueur (I like Cointreau)


Peel and seed the cucumbers. Coarsely chop them and then purée in a food processor until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Or, if you have one, use a juicer. Set the cucumber juice aside.

To a large glass pitcher, add the mint leaves, sugar and lime juice. Muddle the ingredients so that the mint leaves release their oils. Add 3/4 cup (at least) of the cucumber juice. Add the vodka and Cointreau. Muddle again briefly.

Fill tall drinking glasses with ice cubes. Strain the cocktail into glasses. Garnish with a cucumber spear or mint.

Inspired by the Stoli Doli cocktails at the Capital Grille, I tried to recreate that fabulous drink. But when I substituted Stoli Vanil for regular Stoli, I created something amazing. I call it Velvet Elvis.

Making my Velvet Elvis is incredibly easy and rewarding…

Velvet Elvis


1.75 liter bottle Stoli Vanil

2 fresh pineapples, peeled, cored and sliced


Place pineapple slices in a glass 1-gallon container. Pour in the vanilla vodka, making sure it covers the pineapple. Seal the lid tightly, and swirl around for a few seconds.

Place the container away from light on a shelf at room temperature for 3 weeks.

At the end of the weeks, strain the liquid, and squeeze out as much as you can from the pineapple slices as well. Discard the used pineapple slices.

Enjoy Velvet Elvis on the rocks.

Why does bacon taste “off” when it’s infused, mixed with chocolate, or even on a fast food burger? And Bakon, the bacon infused vodka you can buy at your local liquor store, is another example of “it’s better when you do it yourself.”

To make bacon infused vodka, I use the bacon I love to eat: my own homemade stuff. But your favorite store-bought bacon will work just as well.

bacon vodka

Some bacon infused vodka recipes have you cook the bacon and soak the strips in vodka for a week or so. But I like this idea better:

Cook your favorite bacon in a pan. Eat the bacon. Set the fat aside. For a 750 ml bottle of vodka, use 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Place both in  a mason jar, shake well, and let it sit at room temperature for about 6 hours, shaking occasionally. After 6 hours, place the mason jar in the freezer. The alcohol will not freeze, but the fat will. After 30 minutes, strain through paper coffee filters and you’ve got bacon infused vodka!


If you’ve been to the Capital Grille, you might be familiar with the Stoli Doli, a drink made by soaking fresh cut pieces of pineapple in Stoli vodka. A large glass container sits on the bar, and they simply pour out the wonderfully infused pineapple vodka into a cocktail shaker with some ice, shake vigorously, then strain into a martini glass.

When I decided to make this at home for myself, I only had a bottle of Stoli Vanil (vanilla) vodka in my liquor cabinet. But I thought: how could vanilla hurt this recipe? Turns out it made an even better cocktail than I ever could have imagined. The touch of vanilla accents the sweetness of the pineapple.

Velvet Elvis

Comprised of just 2 ingredients and named after my old dog, Elvis, this is a huge hit at parties. Here’s how I make it…



2 fresh, ripe pineapples, peeled, cored and sliced

1 bottle (1.75l) Stoli Vanil vodka

1 glass jar with lid (1 gallon size)

Cut the top off, then peel, core and slice the pineapples and place the slices in the glass jar. Feed the top, peel and core to your compost pile. Pour the vodka over the slices. Tightly seal the lid, shake well, then place the jar somewhere where it won’t be disturbed for 3 weeks at room temperature.

At the end of 3 weeks, strain the vodka, squeezing as much vodka out of the pineapple slices as you can. Discard the spent pineapple slices.

Store the Velvet Elvis in glass containers in the refrigerator. Enjoy over ice!