Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thirsty Thursdays: April Challenge Round-up

Clearly, its going to take more than one month to get my idea of a cocktail challenge off the ground. I only had two bloggers willing to take me up on my Gin challenge. Its ok, though, I'm not deterred. I'm in this for the long haul. And I'm especially not deterred because their entries were so fabulous!

First up, we have Tangled Noodle's Calama-Ginger Sipper - an intriguing mix of ginger infused simple syrup, calamansi juice and gin, plus a bit of tonic for topping up. (Pictured above.) For those unfamiliar with it, calamansi is a citrus fruit, native to the Philippines. Noodle describes it as a bit more tart than a lime but sweeter than a lemon ... and I am dearly hoping to find some calamansi fruit or juice in my neck of the woods so I can try this drink!

As you'll see in her post, Tangled Noodle had a bit of help in the mixology department from her husband, Mr. Noodle. I can't tell you much this thrills me, because I know that I've found kindred spirits in the Noodle household. I love the mix of citrus, ginger and gin here and I have no doubt this is one special sipper. Thank you both, Noodles, I can't wait to try this!

Next up we have a spicy take on a classic ... and its absolutely calling my name. Suzy, from Suzy's Goodies, took up the challenge and ran with it ... all the way to the Mile High State - she was in Colorado when she sipped this little beauty for the first time. This is Suzy's take on a dirty martini and its called the Mile High Martini.

Right off the bat, I love a Dirty Martini and I really love this one because its spicy. This inventive take on a classic features Bombay Sapphire Gin, dry vermouth, and the juice from some spicy marinated olives. The marinade included garlic and plenty of crushed red pepper flakes. You can see a few of the flakes floating gently atop the drink and, my, don't they look inviting? I know I want to take a sip ... ok, a lot of sips!

I'm eternally grateful to both Tangled Noodle and Suzy for taking up my challenge in such fine fashion. I tip my tiara to both of you for your truly Divalicious creations!

Now, I know I said I'd choose a winner when I first explained the challenge. Though with only two entries, that hardly seems fair. And frankly, I'm delighted with both entries. Accordingly, I'm declaring you both winners! You may each choose a spirit or ingredient for May's Thirsty Thursday's Challenge and our entrants - should we be able to drum some up - will have the option of choosing either.

Please state your choice of spirit or ingredient in the comments and I promise I'll do a better job of promoting the challenge next month so we'll have more participants.

As a bit of incentive, I'm going to close with the wise words of Tangled Noodle, in hopes that this will encourage the rest of you to get out your martini shakers and get mixing. In a recent email to me, Noodle said:

"I do wish people would realize the joys of the home cocktail! Why drop a fortune at a bar when you can pour those funds into great quality spirits and have such fun concocting new drinks to boot?"

I couldn't have said it better myself!

Guidelines for the May challenge will be announced as soon as the spirits are chosen. And, in the meantime, please stop by both Suzy's Goodies and Tangled Noodle and show their drinks some love. You can find the recipes for these enchanting cocktails via the links above.



Suzy said...

This is such a great idea...I hope more people join us in next month's challenge! Love the quote from Tangled Noodle as well. Making tasty and fun drinks at home is much better than paying a ton at a bar for mediocre cocktails!

My choice for next month's challenge is...bourbon! I love good bourbon but I usually just have it mixed with 7-up or something similar. I'd love to get some great bourbon drink ideas from everyone!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Diva, you are the queen of cocktails. Lovely picture, it looks beautiful.
*kisses* HH

Lynnylu said...

Sorry, I didn't realize that the gin challenge was for April. I would have made one. Bourbon sounds great! When would be the posting day? Thanks for visiting my blog. Ditto-Happy Thirsty Thursday!

Tangled Noodle said...

Thanks for being such a marvelous hostess for Thirsty Thursdays Challenge! You can certainly count on me and Mr. Noodle to attend every month. Suzy, your Mile High Martini sounds delicious - what a great idea to use spicy marinated olives!

Since bourbon is Suzy's spirit of choice, Team Noodle has opted for an ingredient celebrating the season: CUCUMBER! It's a member of the melon family, so we thought it would provide some fruity inspiration to all mixology hopefuls out there.

Looking forward to the refreshments!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Suzy - again, so many thanks to you! I hope we'll have more people participating next month too. Let's be optimistic! Meanwhile, I'm totally down with your choice of bourbon and will put on my thinking tiara for something creative!

The good news is that I'll join the challenge too this month, since others have chosen the theme ... so that's at least one more! :)

HH- why thank you dear! I can't take credit for the wonderful photos though, my participants deserve all the glory today! :)

Lynnylu - I will post the date of the May Challenge early next week. You will have your choice of bourbon or whatever Tangled Noodle chooses as well. So excited to have you aboard for next month! :)

The Diva on a Diet said...

Tangled Noodle - my undying thanks to you and Mr. Noodle as well for your enthusiasm! I'm am thrilled that you've chosen an ingredient. Cucumber is a wonderful and seasonal choice!!! Yay!

Mr. and Mrs. Noodle ROCK! :)

Anonymous said...

Such terrific drinks! If my husband is ever at home for more than two days in a row, maybe I'll try to get him to make a cocktail :)

The Diva on a Diet said...

5 Star - your husband sounds like mine! I hope you can rope him into staying put for an evening and joining the challenge. And, if not, no worries! :)

Katherine Aucoin said...

Wonderful idea! Guess i'll have to put my big girl cocktail panties on!

I'm still dreaming of this ginger margueritas we had in NYC.

Debinhawaii said...

I really was going to enter for April and ran out of time/creative steam ;-( but for sure will join you in May.

Daily Spud said...

The challenge has been set, let's see if I can get my act together for the next installment!

Fresh Local and Best said...

I wish I could handle alcohol better. My tolerance - or lack there of - doesn't enable too much experimentation. But I certainly enjoy seeing the creativity from Thirsty Thursdays! I'm also very curious about calamsi