Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Fun: Behind the Bar with Stefanie London

Stefanie London is talking to the Pink Heart Society about her love of cocktails!

Cocktail creation has always been somewhat of a fascination for me. It’s an art form, really. The ability to blend flavours and make a tasty drink that also looks good is no easy task. I should know, I’ve had my fair share of ‘this tastes like rocket fuel’ failures.

So what do I look for in a cocktail? Well, its probably easier to say what I don’t like. Cocktails to me, should not be cream-laden, umbrella wielding Starbucks Frappuccinos masquerading as alcoholic drinks. If it tastes like frosting I’m probably not going to be into it.

My favourite cocktails are those that balance sweetness with tart flavors. If I had to pick a top three these would be it:

This is a classic cocktail made with gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice served in martini glass. According to Wikipedia, the first publication of this recipe appeared in 1916. I love this cocktail because it smells like violets and being a perfume lover, anything floral-scented is fine by me!

Clover Club
Another classic, old-school cocktail which is made with Gin, Lemon Juice, Raspberry Syrup, and an egg white. Are we sensing a theme with the gin and lemon juice? This one has a foamy texture (from the egg whites) and it fruity yet tart.  I love a cocktail with a bit of history, and this one was created at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia and named after the Clover Club Gentleman’s Club, a prominent group of business men, literary types and legal experts.

Kir Royale
One of my best friends introduced me to this French cocktail and it’s the perfect drink if you feel like champagne but want an extra kick. It’s made by measuring crème de cassis and topping with champagne. It’s so easy even I could make it.

Image source
Not sure where to start with cocktails and overwhelmed by the options? Try a classic like the Mojito (rum, lime, sparkling water and mint), a Cosmopolitan (vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice), or another one of my favourites, the Bellini (prosecco—or champagne if you can’t get it—and peach puree or nectar).

It’s this fascination with cocktails that lead me to want to write about a bar. In my series, Behind the Bar, I have two brothers who live for their passion of food and drink. In the first book, The Rules According to Gracie, the hero and heroine have a secret signal—as special drink order—which alerts the hero to come to the heroine’s aid as she goes through bad date after bad date before realizing the perfect guy was there all along.

In Pretend It’s Love Paul Chapman, the younger brother, is the bar manager and has a secret desire to be a mixology teacher – i.e. the person who can teach you how to create a cocktail that doesn’t taste like rocket fuel.

He teams up with the heroine, Libby, who has her own business making infused vodkas in all kinds of delicious flavours like marshmallow and rose, lavender, basil and orange, and others. Coming up with these flavours was so much fun! Also, it gave me an excuse to do some research.
And I don’t want to spoil the ending of the book, but there’s a special cocktail involved that Paul creates just for her.

I love pouring my personal passions into my books, it makes research so much more fun and I really think it helps me to write more passionate stories.

For something fun, I created this naughty little cocktail name game. Leave your cocktail name in the comments below!

Bar manager Paul Chapman is sick of his family’s traditional ideals. Marriage, babies, and a white picket fence? Not his gig. But now that his ‘golden child’ big brother is tying the knot, Paul’s screwed. His ex will be there...and she’s having his cousin’s baby. Unless he wants to show up to the wedding alone and face his family’s scrutiny, he needs a girl on his arm. Now.

Cocktail specialist Libby Harris has spent her life earning the nickname Little Miss Perfect, all to win the love of her wealthy, controlling father. But she deviated from his plan, and now her business is on shaky ground. If it fails, she might as well kiss his respect—and her dream—good-bye. Her only hope? Convince the hottest bar in town to take on her product.

Luckily for her, the owner’s brother is sexy as sin and in need of a perfect girlfriend...
 Find out where you can grab a copy here.

Stefanie loves hearing from readers. You can find her via her website, don't forget to sign up for her newsletter for all the latest news and giveaways!

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