Archive | Beverages


In this simplified version of a cocktail Sam Gay made for the Ojai Spirit Cabinet meeting, Gay substitutes fresh rosemary and tangerine juice for the rosemary simple syrup.
2 ounces gin, preferably Ventura Spirits Company’s
Wilder Gin
½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
½ ounce freshly squeezed tangerine juice
4 ounces tonic
Garnish with rosemary sprig

Place all ingredients except the tonic into a cocktail shaker  filled with ice. Shake and strain into an 8-ounce rocks glass  over ice. Top with tonic. Garnish with rosemary sprig

Read More
Continue Reading


Scott Noble of VenTiki Tiki Lounge & Lanai ( in Ventura created this custom cocktail to highlight Channel Islands Rum. (The cocktail is also available at the bar.)

Editor’s Note: If Channel Islands Rum is not available, substitute another high-quality light rum.

3 ounces Channel Islands Rum
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
1 ounce fresh lime juice
2 ounces passionfruit syrup
½ ounce honey syrup*

Put all ingredients into a martini shaker with ice, and shake to mix. Pour the entire contents of the shaker into a glass. Garnish
with an orange triangle and maraschino cherry.

*To make honey syrup, put ¼ ounce of honey and ¼ ounce of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring, just until honey has dissolved. Take off the heat and cool.

Read More
Continue Reading



                        2 sprigs Ojai lavender (Rivendell, New Oak or BD’s)

                        3 stems mint

                        2 fresh, organic rosebuds

                        3 hibiscus blooms

                        1 teaspoon fresh rosemary

                        1 vanilla bean (RainbowBridge)

                        6 cups freshly filtered Ojai tap or spring water

Optional: BD’s fresh stevia leaves, Ojai honey or any sweetener you prefer

Remove rose petals from buds, remove stems from hibiscus, mint and lavender. Muddle mint until wet and pulverized. Finely chop roses, lavender, hibiscus and vanilla bean and add to water. Allow water to reach a boil, then turn heat to a rolling boil for 5 minutes, or until extraction has turned the water pink. Allow tea to cool on stove for 15 minutes.

Strain herbs and flowers from infused water. You can use a tea strainer, coffee filter or any fine mesh. Sweeten if desired, pour over ice and serve with a sprig of lavender or mint and a lemon slice.

Serves 6.

Read More
Continue Reading



I was inspired to make a pink lemonade that didn’t use strawberries, raspberries or, more typically, red food coloring. Well aware that dried hibiscus could be cold infused (it’s possible to make a tea without heating up water), I thought I could use a small dose of the calyces to get the perfect “pink” tinge. The precise amount is a matter of preference—and, for me, mood. Use more calyxes if you desire a deeper red hue.

Materials needed: 1 half-gallon Ball jar

6 cups water

1 cup lemon juice

⅓ cup sugar

Approximately 1 tablespoon dried hibiscus “flowers” (calyxes)

Place all ingredients in the Ball jar, close with a lid, and shake. Set in the refrigerator until cool. The color from the hibiscus will quickly bleed into the jar. It’s absolutely gor­geous. Serve when cold. Leave the rehydrated calyces in the water if you want a tart, succu­lent snack to chew along with your lemonade.

Read More
Continue Reading

Ginger Lemonade

1/2 C. chopped fresh ginger
1 C. sugar (may use less or substitute honey)
8 C. water
2 C. fresh Meyer Lemon Juice
1 Sliced lemon

Serve with lemon slices. Serves 10.
130 calories/serving; 0 fat grams.

Mix sugar, water and ginger root in sauce pan, heat to boiling, stir occasionally. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and cool for 15 minutes. Remove ginger and refrigerate lemonade for at least 1 hour until chilled.

And once the business gets going suggest they try blueberry lemonade; strawberry lemonade and other combinations their customers might find intriguing!

Read More
Continue Reading


  • freshly-squeezed blood orange juice
  • sparkling wine (preferably Prosecco, a sparkling wine from northern Italy, available in better wine stores)

Combine juice and sparkling wine in a champagne flute in the ratio of 1 part juice to 3 parts sparkling wine. Garnish with a mint leaf and serve.

Read More
Continue Reading


By Karen Evenden

(Issue #29, Summer 2009)

For a new twist on your favorite recipes, try adding a pinch of culinary lavender. The slightly floral and gentle flavor of the variety known as Provence will almost always provide a welcome background flavor to dishes that feature citrus as well as berries and stone fruits. Hint: Use an herb mill or mortar and pestle to break up dry lavender to release its flavor and aroma.

A word of caution: Use only lavender that has been identified as “culinary lavender.”

There are more than 200 varieties of lavender and many of them have an intense perfume, medicinal, bitter or soapy taste.


2 cups lavender simple syrup

(recipe follows)

1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

5 cups water

Lavender sprigs for garnish (optional)

In a 2-quart pitcher, combine the simple syrup, lemon juice and water. Pour into glasses that have been filled with ice cubes.


2 cups sugar

2 cups water

¼ cup culinary lavender buds

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to boil for a few minutes, or until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in … Read More

Continue Reading 0


Serves 4

2 discs or cones of Mexican Chocolate
8 cups of milk
4 Tbsp. of sugar
2 pinches of cinnamon
1 pinch of nutmeg

Use a knife to carefully break the chocolate into pieces. In a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate, milk, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg over medium heat. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the milk is very hot.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and using a molinillo or small whisk, froth the mixture. Pour and enjoy!

Read More
Continue Reading 0


By Candice Erickson

In Southern California we are lucky to have an extended summer that lasts almost to winter. This drink is an ode to our famous “Indian Summer” that sneaks its way into the autumn months. It has a tropical twist from the summertime yet utilizes the magnificent fall pomegranate.

1½ ounces spiced rum
1½ ounces aged rum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1ounce fresh orange juice
½ ounce mango purée
Pomegranate juice float
Lime wedge

Fill a tall glass with ice.

Pour in rum and citrus juices. Then squeeze in mango purée. Stir together with spoon and drizzle with fresh pomegranate juice. Garnish with lime wedge.

Candice Erickson lives in Ventura with her husband and two children. They cook together as a family on a daily basis and love to hike in the backcountry of Ojai. Candice is the lead bartender at Maravilla bar at the Ojai Valley Inn, and enjoys creating cocktails with seasonal, locally grown ingredients.

Cut out windows, doors, skylights, etc., prior to baking and decorate sides prior to assembly.

Use cans or glasses to brace the sides while waiting for the royal icing to harden.

Read More
Continue Reading 0