Concoct Some Easter Cocktails

Candy Arctic Kiss Cocktail AKA Easter Arctic Kiss Cocktail*

This is a plan-ahead recipe. It’s still easy, but read through first to get the idea. First, make sure you have your ingredients and utensils:

1 bag of Starburst (vegan) Jelly Beans (make sure the bag has different colors of jelly beans)

1 bottle of Vodka

1 bottle of Champagne

1 Lemon

1 Lime

1 Orange


Glass Jars with Lids

Measuring Cup



Cocktail Shaker (or just use one of the glass jars and the strainer)

Next, infuse your vodka:

Pick what colors of cocktails you would like. (I chose yellow, pink, orange, and green.) For each color, put 1/4 cup single-color jelly beans and 1/2 cup vodka in a glass jar. If all of one color is a bit less than 1/4 cup, just use what you have. Let the beans and spirits work their magic for a day or two . .  Then jar by jar, strain the jelly beans out of the vodka, keeping the liquids separate. If you’re unsqueamish, eat the gooey jelly bean remnants. (I composted mine.)

Finally, mix your cocktails per serving:

2 ounces jelly bean-infused vodka

3 ounces champagne

1 lemon or lime or orange disc as a garnish (mix and match colors)



Put the vodka and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake.

Add the champagne.

Strain into a glass.

Garnish with a disc.

Before drinking, squeeze the disc into the cocktail. Or if you’re civilized, simply float the disc on the cocktail.


*Recipe adapted from


Quick, Easy, & Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipes

Cheers to the holidays! First, for motivational purposes, the Hanson Family was kind enough to provide an instructional video on how to drink the final product (screeching baby is optional).


Next, the recipes:

Basic Vegan Hot Chocolate for 2

2 cups store-bought Sweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (make sure it’s pre-sweetened)

2 ounces vegan cocoa (in bar form, but NOT a bar labeled “baking”)- alternately use 2 tablespoons of 100% cocoa powder

Heat almond milk in a pan over medium, stirring often, until steamy. Add cacao and stir until dissolved. Pour into mugs and serve immediately.


Hot Peppermint Chocolate

Basic Recipe + Add 4 ounces of Peppermint Schnapps to the almond milk before serving


Tame Hot Peppermint Chocolate

Basic Recipe + Add a few drops of Peppermint Oil


Hot Orange Chocolate

Basic Recipe + Add 4 ounces of Orange Schnapps to the almond milk before serving


Tame Hot Orange Chocolate

Basic Recipe + Add a few drops of Orange Oil


Hot Chocolate Kick

Basic Recipe + Add a scant pinch of Cayenne Powder


Hot Pumpkin Chocolate

Basic Recipe + Add a tablespoon of Pumpkin Purée plus a teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice


Hot Peppermint Chocolate Dream

Basic Recipe + Add 2 ounces of Peppermint Schnapps and 2 ounces of Kahlua to the almond milk before serving



Whoa. Need a break from all that sexy chocolate? Gather your alternative, forward-thinking ingredients, and toast the New Year here.

And now that you’re sloshed, (or soon will be) check out my latest flash fiction challenge– I extended the deadline!

Writers Get Their Drink On . . Plus Cock Tail Recipeeps

* * *

Ahem. We of the ivy-towered writerly persuasion are known to imbibe now and again as the occasion calls, to further fuel our fevered muses, do we not? So OBVIOUS is the highbrow calling of our spirit-quaffing that I really needn’t bother with placating the proletarian OR the bourgeois masses with the tapestretical subtleties- yea, the chakra-dwelling agni of the artist-muse conduit which is called . . er . .

oh hell, where’s my beer???

Found it.

So do writers tend to have addictive personalities? Or is that all hype and myth? Stephen King wrote the razor-sharp “Cujo” in 1981 in an alcohol- and drug-induced stupor, and barely remembers any of it. In 1987 his family emptied the contents of his trash can onto the floor: beer cans, NyQuil, Valium and Xanax bottles, and cocaine and marijuana baggies. So he sobered up. Some fans think King’s post-sobriety novels are notable for their comparative fluffiness.


What was I saying? Oh yeah . . Is writerly sobriety worth it?

You know, we writerly types aren’t fooling anyone. Whether it’s beer or wine, sangria or Everclear, we like to get our drink on. And it’s not to fuel our muses. It’s to make the loneliness of writing a tad more tolerable take the sting out of yet another thumb-nosed rejection slip drown the gut-wrenching, hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing despair OHMYMITHRAPLEASEHELPMEEEE

OK. Just had another beer. I feel better now. Where were we . .

You say you don’t drink? You’re not a writer. No way, no how. You say you have 20 published books and you’ve never touched a drop of alcohol? Well . . then you at least have tried apple cider at some point, right? Yes? Alright, we’re back in business. Apple cider counts as hard liquor on Mars. You squeak by as a Martian writer.

Anyway, whether you’re a writer from Mars, Earth, or Betelgeuse . .

Welcome to the Writers-Are-Drinkers-Club!

As a member, part of your welcome package is some dubious advice à la Hemingway and Bailey’s Bartending Guide to Great American Writers.

Of course, we won’t forget the biggest party favor.

Funny story about my first hard liquor drink- it was Wild Turkey. I must’ve been around 10. It was at my aunt and uncle’s house. The adults were chatting in the kitchen, and my cousins were in the playroom. I was sitting at the mini-bar in the front room, looking at a bottle, and wondering why the alcohol was called “Wild Turkey.” I also thought the drawing of the bird was interesting, and that a drink named “Wild Turkey” with a picture of a pretty bird must not be all that bad. Knowing it was a “grown-up” drink, I had to move quickly. I grabbed the bottle off the bar, unscrewed the cap, and took a swig without first smelling it (pretty fast, eh?). HOLY CRAP Lucky for me it was a small swig, and I managed to not retch or fall off the stool. And to this day I don’t know how Gonzo did it. And I’m still a lightweight. Whisky is my least favorite liquor. But I’m partial to rum and vodka cocktails. And wine. And beer. And wine and beer cocktails. I guess I’m partial to cocktails in general.

What was I saying? Oh yeah . .

Gronlund, this one’s for you:

Beastie Boys-Honored Brass Monkey

malt liquor (may substitute super-sized regular bottled beer if you’re a lightweight and don’t want to hurl after consuming)

OJ (the drink)

Drink malt liquor / beer to label.

Fill to top with OJ.


* * *

Oh my Mithra! I can’t believe I watched that video all the way through, and then actually posted it! What about my writerly reputation? Now somebody on Facebook Twitter G+ might not take me seriously as a writer anymore! . . only another Brass Monkey can console me know.

Ahhhh. I feel bebber. An at lease that video wasn’t funny Rebecca Black parody videoie.

OK thass mean, an I’m not mean drunk, so gonna make it up ta ya. Here go cleanse yer brain palate.

brain- get it? b-rain? beer-rain? mever nind.

An cheers!

HOT! Funky Salsa and Caipiroska- Recipes

Whoo-Hoo! Most of you reading this are in the heat of the summer, so it’s time to take a break from writing or reading or working or doing nothing and turn up the heat even more with some Salsa . . or cool off with a Caipiroska. Or both (I recommend both). These recipes are quick and easy once you have the ingredients gathered.

First, an instructional video I found on youtube on how to de-seed and peel a mango. It’s the quickest and easiest method I’ve seen (the video has no instructional audio, turn down the volume unless you want to hear a dog growling and barking):

Or you could just hack away at the mango like I do.




Quick and Easy HOT! Mango-Avocado-Tomato Salsa

The following combination of ingredients may seem odd to the un-funkified, but trust me, it’s AWESOME. Like spicy-hot candy.

1 Mango, de-seeded, peeled, and diced

1 Avocado, de-seeded, peeled, and diced

1 cup diced Tomatoes, well-drained

½ cup Red Bell Pepper, diced

½ cup Purple Onion, diced

3 cloves Garlic, minced

1 bunch Cilantro, chopped

2 teaspoons Sea Salt

1 tablespoon Lime Juice

generous sprinkle of crushed, mixed Peppercorns

generous sprinkle of dried Red Pepper Flakes

generous sprinkle of Cayenne Powder

Tortilla Chips

Note: I like my salsa hot and salty. Adjust the ingredients as you see fit.


Thoroughly mix all ingredients, except the tortilla chips, in a large bowl. Done!




QUICKEST & EASIEST Caipiroska AKA Caipiroshka AKA Caipivodka

2 ounces Vodka

1 tablespoon Lime Juice

2 teaspoons granulated or Turbinado Sugar

Crushed Ice


Mix juice and sugar. Pour in vodka and stir well until the sugar is dissolved. Add crushed ice and stir to melt some of the ice. Done!


Have You Seen Tom Cullen?- a Flash Fiction Tale

Have You Seen Tom Cullen?*

“You sure, Nick? You sure Stephen don’t care? Don’t wanna make Stephen mad, Nick!” Tom says, shuffling side-to-side.

I stare at his smooth, tanned chest. His six-foot, six-inch body towers over me. I work my gaze up to his perfect face, and focus on the golden hair falling over his eyes. Sky-blue eyes that reveal an uncomplicated mind. And a primal mind, I bet. Lustful. He blinks at me and I lock my knees to keep from buckling.

“Stephen won’t be mad. I already asked him. He said we could play in his house,” I say softly.

Tom grins a little. Good. Trust is coming. Move slowly. Talk slowly. Stroke him. Hold him. Rock him. His breathing slows and I feel a steady heart beat against my chest. He hugs back. His nakedness presses against mine. I draw a sharp breath-I’m-gonna-scream-pure-bliss . . I bite my lip and tremble.

“I promise, Tom, nothing bad will happen. Just get in the swing. It’ll be fun. You’ll like it. And if you get in the swing, we’ll be friends forever. You wanna be friends forever, don’t you?”

“Yeah. I guess so, Nick. I like havin’ friends. Stephen is my friend. I hope he don’t get mad.”

“He won’t get mad. He wants you to have fun. You can stop the swing anytime- I promise. But first you have to get in the swing. I’ll help you.”

“Okay, Nick.”

I reach up and grab the restraints off the bar and buckle them around Tom’s ankles.

“Now all you have to do is grab the bar and kick your leg up. Press your foot against the bar, then swing your other leg up.”

I press my hand against his bulging thigh and feel the massive muscle shift and ripple.

“That’s it. Good job. Now catch the bar with the hook. Good. Do the same with your other leg. Now let go with your hands. Let go, Tom. You won’t fall- I promise.”

Tom releases the bar and swings freely.

“How do you feel, Tom?”

“Feel funny. I got the tickles.”

“It’s fun, isn’t it? That’s why they call it the fun swing.”

Tom pumps his arms and starts swinging.

“Look, Nick, look at me- I’m swingin’! Whee!”

I hear a creak, then a pop, then a crack. I look up. The door frame is splintering.

“Tom, stop.”

He pumps his arms and builds momentum. He’s a machine. His body becomes parallel to the floor at the apex of each swing.

“Stop swinging! Stop, stop-”

The frame gives way and Tom flies-into-the-wall BOOM.

Can’t look. Can’t look. Can’t look.


I lower my hands.

“Yes, Tom?”

“Don’t feel so good. Think I’m gonna make throw-up.”

“Please don’t. Stephen will get mad. Please.”

“Gonna make throw-up, Nick.”

“Wait here. I’ll get some medicine. Pepto-Bismol.”

“No! Not medicine- bad medicine gonna kill Tom Cullen!”

He lumbers to his feet, ankles still in restraints. He sways, vomits, then barrels down the hall and out the front door.


*Acknowledgement to Stephen King.


Thanks to Chuck Wendig for this flash fiction writing prompt!


As with all my flash fiction, I welcome any and all constructive criticism and comments.

Tom Cullen Cocktail

Serve at room temperature.

2 parts gin

1 part fresh lemon juice


Mix gin and juice in a glass, and top with Pepto-Bismol.

IBA Tom Collins Cocktail

Pour over ice in a Collins glass.

2 parts gin

1 part fresh lemon juice

drizzle of sugar syrup

chilled soda water

orange or lime slice, or a cherry

Mix gin, juice and syrup in a glass with ice, and top with soda water.


Moon Over My Nicky Cocktail

1 banana, cut into slices

8 oz. banana liqueur

2 limes, cut into thin rounds

12 oz. melon liqueur

2 peeled, de-pitted mangos, cut into chunks

Shake vigorously in tumbler.

Moon Over Miami Cocktail

1 banana

4 oz. banana liqueur

2 peeled, de-seeded limes

6 oz. melon liqueur

2 peeled, de-pitted mangos

Whir in blender until uniform.