Category - Mama Needs a Drink (Recipes)

Candy’s Strawberry Shortcake Martini

Originally posted on August 20, 2010

If you heard a disturbingly loud moan coming from the Western part of the nation this afternoon, it was probably me after sampling this week’s drink.  Yes, perhaps I become too intimately involved with my cocktails, but…

Oh.  Dear.  Lord.  This is a good one.

And, boy, do I ever need it.  It’s been one of Those Weeks.  You know about Those Weeks.  This week was marked with a fussy, feverish baby whose immune system was fighting off the effects of the MMR vaccine — yeah, the poor thing could probably use a cocktail, too, but Cheerios will have to suffice — and who has entered the ol’ “separation anxiety” phase, refusing to leave my side for even one second.  If I so much as think about going to the bathroom by myself, she SCREEEAAAMS.

*SIGH*  What is it with chicks always wanting to go to the bathroom with other chicks?  This is why I de-sisterized from my college sorority.

And here is why I joined a sorority in the first place:  access to good alcohol.



  • 1.25 oz. Stoli Strasberi (which I could not find, so I used Strawberry Smirnoff instead)
  • 1.25 oz. Chambord
  • 1.25 oz. Baileys
  • A dash of cream (for which I substituted Skye’s whole milk… hey, it’s not like she needs the calcium, right?)
  • Strawberries
  • Graham Crackers


Shake all (liquid) ingredients with ice.  Strain into a martini glass.  Instead of graham crackers, I bought a graham cracker crust and used a peeler along the edges, which yielded the same result as crushing it — then rimmed the glass with the crust.  I may or may not have also stuck my finger in that crushed crust and licked it off like a five-year-old.  Garnish the glass with a strawberry and…

… Sneak into a bathroom by yourself, quickly close the door behind you, oh-so-leisurely sip your drink, and ignore your toddler’s cries outside the door.  Happy TGIF.

Because What is a Royal Birth Without a Royal Baby Cocktail?


I’ve let my cocktail recipe column languish for way too long — and what better reason to re-launch it than the birth of PRINCE GEORGE?!  (And I say that without an ounce of sarcasm.  For once.  I know it’s cooler to act indifferent and Tweet jokes like, “Rich people have babies every day.  Where is THEIR parade?!” but the fact is, I have an unabashed crush on Kate and William.  Her hair — so shiny!  His — quickly receding, but he makes endearing jokes about it!  Prince George — so princely and snuggly!)  I love me some young, relatively down-to-earth royals and we all know I love me some end-of-the week libations, so it only makes sense I would celebrate tonight with a ROYAL BABY COCKTAIL!

Of course, I am not the only one who thought a royal baby cocktail was in order.  But all of the recipes I scanned suggested rather bitter liqueurs — which seems more appropriate for, say, the Queen on the anniversary of Harry’s Vegas photos leaking — and, given Kate, William and George have injected a breath of fresh air into that otherwise stodgy palace, I thought a fresh and sweet cocktail would be a better choice.  So I present to you…

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Candy’s Gingerbread Martini Recipe

Yes.  I GOT THE GINGERBREAD SYRUP, PEOPLE.  A Christmas miracle.

And I’m delighted to report this cocktail was so worth the effort and pained breasts.  (If only I had a dollar for every time I’ve written that.)  Here is the recipe once again, this time with ingredient amounts doubled because we are lushes to fill a normal-sized martini glass:


  • 1 ounce gingerbread syrup (which I finally tracked down by going to Starbucks — which doesn’t sell seasonal syrups by the bottle — and ordering a gingerbread latte with the syrup on the side.  Sounds like a weird request, right?  Only the barista didn’t bat an eye, so I told her why I was getting the syrup on the side and she was all, “Oh!  I’ll just sell you some syrup for fifty cents then!”  I may or may not have grabbed her Starbucks hat and pulled her towards me for a big, grateful kiss at that point.)
  • 1-2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Kahlúa
  • 1 ounce Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
  • 2 ounces vanilla milk
  • Whipped cream
  • Graham cracker crust for rim of glass
  • Gingerbread cookie

“One of the best drinks you’ve made yet!” — Mr. Candy, Girly Drink Expert

Oh.  My.  Yum.

If you are hosting a holiday party — or just celebrating your own Moment of “Yay!  The Kids Are in Bed!” Zen — I highly recommend whipping up this sweet, smooth, goes-down-way-too-easily martini.  After one sip, you’ll be as happy as this guy:

And after a couple drinks…?  You may end up floating in a similar pool of whipped cream.  (Sorry, I promised Mr. Candy I wouldn’t post the photographic evidence.)

Sum-Sum-Summertime Watermelon Martini Recipe

It’s officially summer this week, people!  My favorite season, especially now that I live in a low-humidity city (meaning: my hair doesn’t expand exponentially).  And summer means time for our kids to snack on watermelon…

Watermelon is serious business for Miss Skye.

“How the heck am I supposed to eat this thing?” wonders Drew.

…And time for us moms to get our summertime drink on with WATERMELON MARTINIS.  Oh yes, we are not only celebrating the return of warm weather, but also the return of my weekly(ish) drink recipes.  Woo-hoo!  While some parenting sites offer lovely family dinner recipes for sauteed kale and spinach pancakes, I think we all know that’s not my forté.  Me?  I get you liquored up.  Because us mamas deserve a drink sometimes.  So here it is, our drink to kick off the summer:

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Let’s Get This Winesday Started: Pinot Noir Shake

There is a burger bar in the neighborhood Mr. Candy and I enjoy going to, a place where we can feel like adults — A cocktail menu!  No Happy Meals! — but that still accommodates kids with space for strollers and a kick-ass toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  With italics to emphasize the voracity with which I sneak bites of my daughter’s PB&Js from there.

Hey.  I gave the child LIFE.  I’d say that deserves a stolen morsel of sandwich.  Or two.  Or five.

The restaurant also offers a specialty Pinot Noir shake.  Now, I know what you’re thinking because I had the very same reaction:  Say wha –?!   Wine?  With ice cream?  That’s madness!  A little gross, even.  I MUST TRY IT!  Which is what I would say every time we went there, my mouth full of peanut butter and jelly, only to leave, shake-less, because I prefer to get my drink on after the kids go to bed.  Also:  a good time to dig into Skye’s goldfish crackers.  So, being the experienced food-and-drink thief that I am, I decided to steal their recipe for the Pinot Shake to try at home — then share it with you.

Yes!  I am a modern-day Robin Hood! Stealing from rich cocktail menus to give to buzz-poor moms.


This photo shoot interrupted by Laughing Stork CEO and wine shake lover, Marcy Cuddles


About 1 cup vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (we used the latter because we are health-conscious alcoholics)

1/4- to 1/2-cup Pinot Noir (we used the latter because… well, you know why)


Chocolate syrup

Whipped cream

1 packet of sugar/Splenda/what-have-you (optional)


Make sure your seven-month-old is SOUND asleep before opening wine bottle; otherwise, the *POP* will be immediately followed by the sound of “WAAAAHHHH!” (True story.)  Soothe baby, if necessary, with appropriate lullabies such as “Let’s Get This Party Started.”  Mix ice cream and wine — with sugar for added sweetness, if that floats your boat — in blender on “milkshake” mode.  Pour wine-shake into glass, top off with whipped cream, chocolate syrup and, of course, a cherry.


Mr. Candy and I sat down to watch a DVR’d episode of Modern Family last Friday — don’t be jealous of our glamorous nightlife — and finished our shakes before the opening music even began. “Yeah, I’ll make more,” I offered, pausing on Sofia Vergara with her mouth open, much to Mr. Candy’s delight.

Wine and ice cream:  I never would have thought of putting them together, but they make for a surprisingly delicious combination.  Much like Sofia Vergara and Ed O’Neill.

Wine shakes and my two-year-old’s goldfish crackers, on the other hand… not so much.

More drink recipes…

How My Breasts Destroyed My Quest for the Perfect Gingerbread Martini

This is a cautionary tale. By God, nursing moms, do NOT let this happen to you.

With the light at the end of the two-kids-two-and-under-tunnel beginning to shine, and my refrigerator and freezer overflowing with enough breast milk to feed a small nation, I decided it was time to start treating myself to TGI(INSERT DAY[S] OF CHOICE HERE) drinks again.  Because if anybody needs a drink, it’s a mom with two small kids.  Or a mom with one kid.  Or somebody who knows a mom with one or more kids.

Yes.  We all deserve a drink.

So I dropped the kids off at daycare this morning and, as any respectable mother would do, I drove off in desperate search of a ton of liquor.  You see, I’ve been researching holiday cocktails for myself and this here column — tough work, but somebody’s gotta do it — and have become obsessed with a gingerbread martini recipe I came across:

1/2 ounce Monin Gingerbread Syrup
1 ounce Vodka
1/2 ounce Kahlúa
1/2 ounce Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
1 ounce vanilla milk
Whipped Cream
Graham crust for rim of glass
Gingerbread cookie

As Skye would say while rubbing her rounded toddler belly, yummy in my tummy.

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Candy’s Party Sangria

As you may remember, my child was down in the dumps last week with a post-vaccine fever, a touch of a virus, plus (as it turns out), an eighth tooth breaking through.  Good times all around.  This week…?  Genuinely good times.  When in good health, Miss Skye is such fun to hang out with.  She is cruising around the house like nobody’s business — and is so close to walking on her own that it’s almost ridiculous.  This weekend I’m going to try dangling a piece of chocolate on the other side of the room to “help” her along.  That same technique has worked to get me out of bed.

So, yeah, happiness abounds here at Chez Candy.  And when I’m in a good mood on a hot summer day, there is no better TGIF drink than this:

PARTY (pronounced par-tay) SANGRIA

Sangria happens to be one of my specialties; I’ve helped kick off more than a few parties with my “special” (read:  STRONG) recipe.  This particular concoction is modified to make only one glass — and, I promise, is not so strong that it will lead to you drunk-Tweeting about your brother-in-law’s “secret” cross-dressing habit.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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Candy’s TGIW Raspberry Mojito

TGIW:  Stands for Thank God It’s the Weekend.  Because, clearly, I’ve missed the TGIF deadline, thanks to a one-year-old who was being ridiculously cute yesterday, thereby forcing me to play hooky and spend the entire day with her — followed by a husband who forced me to whip up a couple rounds of refreshing, rum-heavy TGIF mojitos for us (SLAVE DRIVER), after which I wasn’t exactly in, um, optimal blogging condition.  But I did it all for YOU, so that I could attest to the drink’s yumminess.  Which I now can.  Because that’s the kind of consummate professional I am.



  • 8 or so fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar (Mr. Candy and I like our drinks sweet, so we used two packets of Splenda that I stole, er… I mean, borrowed from Starbucks)
  • 2-3 oz. Bacardi Razz Raspberry Rum (or just white rum will do)
  • 2-3 oz. seltzer
  • 4-6 fresh raspberries


Place mint leaves, lime juice and sugar in a highball glass (something tall and narrow is perfect). Using the straight end of a wooden spoon, gently press on leaves to release flavor (“muddle” is the official term).  We do not own a wooden spoon at Chez Candy and Mr. Candy, so I used a wooden chopstick to muddle.  I kid you not.  Again, consummate professional and all that.

Fill glass with ice cubes. Pour in rum. Top off with seltzer. Drop in raspberries and CHUG!  Or sip, if you’re all refined like that.

Happy weekend!

Candy’s TGIF Pear Saketini

In celebration of summer lurking right around the corner, I selected a light and fruity (much like Glee) drink this week.  A longtime sake lush enthusiast, I concocted this particular recipe myself, so drink at your own risk.



3 oz. Pear Sake

1 oz. Pear Schnapps

1/2-oz. Vodka (Could even try Absolut Pear if you’re all about pears)


You know the drill:  shake all ingredients with ice; strain into a martini glass; and…

… Pose with it out in your courtyard, so all of your neighbors can gossip about how you like to get your drink on at 2 p.m.  Cheers!

Candy’s TGIF Stork Club Cocktail


Today’s drink is in honor of Cartoon Stork, who graced The Laughing Stork’s header until his demise during the redesign last week, when he was cruelly axed from the site for being deemed “too cheesy.” (Don’t feel too bad for him.  He used to forward me all kinds of inappropriate e-mails.  And did you ever notice that you could only see one of his hands?  You don’t even want to know what he was doing with the other one.  RUDE.)

THE STORK CLUB COCKTAIL (as suggested by Laughing Stork reader, Cowgirl in the Sand)

  • 1-1/2 oz. Gin
  • 1/2 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1/4 oz. Lime juice
  • 1 oz. Orange juice (I’m not a huge gin fan, so I added another ounce of OJ.  Did the trick.)
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters


Shake all ingredients with ice.  Strain into a martini glass.  Garnish with an orange twist, if you’re fancy like that.  And…

… This one’s for you, Cartoon Stork.  May you be at peace up there in the big wetlands in the sky, where there are surely plenty of fish on which to dine, and hot stork babes to harass.  *Sniff*  *Sniff*

Candy’s TGIF Cosmopolitan

I’m going to see “Sex and the City” with the girls tonight and, based on the reviews, I’m going to need A LOT of these beforehand.  Yikes.  Oh, how I hate that they’ve tarnished the legacy of one of my favorite TV shows with these sub-par films, BUT… of course I’m still going to see it.  Because that’s the kind of sucker I am.

Naturally, this week’s TGIF drink is…



  • 1 oz. Vodka (Being in a party mood, I used the kind that comes in a Disco Ball)
  • 1 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1/2 oz. Lime Juice


Shake with ice, strain and recite favorite “Sex and the City” line.  (e.g., “Oh my god! She’s fashion roadkill!”  or… “I think I have monogamy. I must have caught it from you people.”) Or… just drink your Cosmo like a sane person.

I don’t own any Manolos, so, in the spirit of “Sex and the City”‘s fabulous footwear, I thought I’d take the Cosmo’s picture with the only pair of Jimmy Choos I have.  Which no longer fit my big-ass feet that GREW after having a baby.

Also, as I was taking this picture, I was like, ew.  My dirty shoes are on the dining room table. Great idea, Candy!

Oh well.  I won’t care about the nasty shoes or the movie’s shortcomings after a few of these.  Just happy to get out of the house tonight.  Bottoms up!

The Menu Thief’s French Cosmopolitan

As you know, it’s been a long week.  A week when Miss Skye has been sick — again — and Mr. Candy has been traveling.  Again.  At this point, I’ve become convinced Mr. Candy is clairvoyant and purposely schedules his business trips to coincide with Skye’s colds — returning on the very day she starts feeling better and I’m making TGIF drinks.  Hmmmm.  Coincidence?  I.  Don’t.  Think.  So.

Speaking of clairvoyance, I was just thinking this morning that I was plumb out of TGIF drink ideas when what should appear in my in-box…?  (Besides the exciting opportunity to “Buy Viagra from Online Canadian Pharmacy Mega Sale,” that is.)  A scanned menu listing delicious martini recipes, courtesy of Laughing Stork reader, fellow drink enthusiast and thief, Lainey, who “borrowed” the menu from a martini bar.  Which is why this TGIF drink is named after her…

THE MENU THIEF’S TGIF FRENCH COSMO (with “Sex and the City” premiering next week, I thought we’d get a head start on the cosmos… and, well, I also happened to have these libations on-hand)


  • 1-1/2 oz. Ketel One (although any vodka will do)
  • 1/2 oz. Chambord
  • 3 oz. Pineapple juice


An easy one for all of us worn-and-weary mamas after a long week:  Shake the ingredients together with ice, strain into a martini glass, sip, then smack your lips and exhale loudly as a classy lady such as myself would do.

This bad boy and I have a date planned on the rooftop later this evening.  Have a great weekend, everyone.