Hometown Cooking with Amanda Usen

Hometown Cooking
Hometown Cooking? Hometown Drinking!

I write the Hot Nights series of super-sexy, smart-mouthed, make-you-hungry contemporary romances. I also require frequent infusions of caffeine and alcohol. Lest you judge me too harshly, I do yoga and drink lots of water, too. But I enjoy my cocktails, and so do my characters!

In my latest release, MAKE ME, TAKE ME, Betsy bar-hops in NOLA and literally tries to drink the ROYGBIV rainbow. She makes it through blue and is headed for indigo and violet before the hero catches up with her…

And buys her a sandwich. Because that’s what a real hero would do, right? God, I love Quinton James.

So in honor of heroes, sandwiches, book releases, and well-deserved benders, I created the MAKE ME, TAKE ME Martini! It’s purple to match the cover and to stand in for the cocktails Betsy didn’t get to drink that night. I freely admit it took a few tries to get it right. Grape was the obvious choice, but I don’t like grape. Since red and blue make purple, I tried Cranberry Cocktail and Fruit Punch Pucker. Too sweet for me! But I was determined to create a delicious martini that was just the right shade of purple. After three trips to various stores, I finally nailed it. It’s sweet, tart, and totally purple! It’s also super-simple, a good thing when you’re getting your drink on. Warning: it’s potent, too. After drinking all of my mixology mistakes and having one martini, I was too loopy to get busy. By all means, have a martini, but if you get inspired by all the naughty things, Betsy and Quin do in the elevator, alley, bedroom, hotel room, and restaurant in MAKE ME, TAKE ME, don’t forget to eat dinner!

The MAKE ME, TAKE ME Martini
a.k.a. The author-approved way to ring in 2015!

(Makes one…but it’s easy to double.)

One shot of unsweetened cranberry juice (I found it in the natural foods aisle)
One shot of Blue Curacao
Two shots of vodka
Wedge of lime
Purple sugar (I found it in the baking aisle)

Put the purple sugar on a plate.
Run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass and dip the rim in the purple sugar.
Measure juice and liquors into a shaker full of ice.
Strain into glass and garnish with the lime wedge.

Enjoy with a good book. 😉




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