I really love Kara Newman’s cocktails. Spice & Ice (Chronicle Books, 2009) by Kara Newman is a fantastic little treasure of a book filled with recipes for those who love a little spice with their libations. Doesn’t it sound like it was tailor-made for me?! I have read the book cover to cover and tried several recipes all of which are a hit in our house. Specifically what I love about them is that Kara has taken utmost care that the drinks taste like drinks and not science experiments! After all the joy of a cocktail is that it should be fun and satisfying and yet have a bit of a surprise in each sip and her drinks fall under that category.

And now, we are teaming up for something FUN!!!

We are hosting a month long contest in which you are invited to build a cocktail using a spice. And why would you want to do that? Well, two reasons, first your winning recipe + photo + bio will be featured on my site and on Kara’s site and secondly, you will win a BOXLOAD of goodies (see below for details)

Rules for the cocktails:

1. Drinks must include at least one spice.

2. No more than seven ingredients.

3. Drink must be original

Rules for the contest:

1. Once you have created your recipe, post it on your blog and enter a comment here telling us about it.

2. At the end of the month, Kara will select three finalists.  Drinks will be judged on originality of how spices are used, as well as taste and appearance of the finished drink. Kara will make (and drink!) the top 3 finalist cocktails.

3. One winner will be selected on October 10th, 2011. The winner will received a signed copy of Spice & Ice, plus a fab gift box of  goodies to encourage further drink experiments!


Giveaway contents:

I am so thrilled to announce that we have a BIG box of fun stuff for the winner of this contest. I hope you will enter and try to win this amazing box of stuff.

Included are (please note that I may make last minute substitutions, additions etc. but you will, for sure, get the stuff that is shown here) –

  1. The fantastic folks at William Sonoma are providing a large set of spices to giveaway. These spices are favorites of the Voltaggio brothers!
  2. Foster Fine Foods is sharing some fantastic products from Chile include The Huerto Azul Fig Chutney with Merken is the perfect complement for basting and topping grilled meats, and also cheeses and the Huerto Azul Onion Jam with Merlot that is simply delicious.
  3. Chef David James Robinson, Executive Chef/Executive Producer at Bezalel Gables Productions is kindly sharing a FULL dvd set of his fantastic series, “Eat your Mistakes.” I really love this collection. It will have you eating your cooking mistakes in no time and learning from them as well!
  4. The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley has provided a super fun cocktail shaker.  AND a gift certificate allowing you to try three of their products for free!
  5. Bar Keep Bitters– These amazing bitters will make your drinks shine!
  6. Kara Newman’s fantastic book: Spice & Ice
  7. Lindsay Olives is generously sharing many cans of their buttery olives.
  8. MySpiceSage.com is sharing a box of spices perfect for the winter time! I truly adore their spices and I think you will love it as well. They will provide – Cayenne pepper, Chipotle pepper powder, Cinnamon korintje and Coriander seeds

Contest is open to everyone but I can only ship this to a US address. Please dont ask me to ship overseas as it is prohibitively expensive!

Come on and build us a tipple!

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  1. http://www.panfusine.com/2011/03/not-your-mothers-chukku-kaapi-flames.html
    Trust me to boozify a sacred comfort beverage of the traditional orthodox south Indian tamil brahmin community!

    1. You are one of the finalists. Be sure to check in to see if you win!!

      1. Wow.. MADE my day reading this!!. thanks so much Monica!

  2. I love this fun promo and love the giveaway even more ! Will spread the word around and see if I can concoct something thrilling! Thanks for the info on a great new book for cocktails!

  3. My Indonesian Sunset Cocktail is a winner from the sing song sounds of the Gamelan to the lady bird peppers in the mix. Kaffir Lime leaf and Bittercube Lemon Tree bitters along with easily found Bacardi CoCo rum are the backbone of this delicious cocktail.. close your eyes down the lazy river.

  4. I can’t wait to see what spicy libations will be offered here! In the meantime, here’s a flavor pairing of peaches and chipotle in a ‘so-hot-it’s-cool’ cocktail – Hot Fuzz! Of course, perfection didn’t come immediately: we underestimated the power of the smoked jalapeño and earned some numbed tongues in the process of infusing tequila. But in the end, practice finally made perfect!

    Hot Fuzz: A Chipotle-Peach Cocktail http://bit.ly/9r5I77

  5. Oh, what a fun contest and some great entries already. I’ll definitely be contributing and will spread the word.

  6. We just created this GREEN MANGO MARGARITA at home to celebrate my good news about being a Contributing Writer at http://www.Gojee.com.
    Had some fresh green mango slices, tequila and spiced the rim with some cinnamon ! It was a cool, heavenly cocktail ! http://asianinamericamag.com/2011/09/green-mango-margarita-cheers-to-me-and-gojee-com/#more-770

  7. Interesting contest. I’ve never really put spices in many of my drinks. Well, maybe some of my fall specialties. I’m looking forward hear about the winner.


  8. Great idea, this recipe is a nice 1 http://peppertechnologygroup.co.uk/recipes?controller=yoorecipe&task=viewRecipe&id=14 but perhaps not the most creative, will be interested to see the winning entry

  9. Here’s one.. a boozy tribute to streetside sugar cane juice, Inspired by Shatbi Basu


    1. The second entry is a ginger & cardamom spiked drink inspired by a beverage known as panakam, that traces its origins to ancient hindu puranic texts..

  10. One more week left! I can’t wait to see (and sip) the spicy cocktail entries…

  11. This recipe was inspired by a spicy book entitled The Cowboy and the Vampire, written by the deliciously decadent Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall. When a girl is torn between her steadfast cowboy lover and the dark desires brought to life within her by the vampire, whatever will she order at happy hour?


  12. This was so much fun! Thank you for the opportunity to participate. My entries: Corangiander Crush, Cloven Hoof, and Poddy Toddy are posted at http://munchingsandmusings.blogspot.com/2011/09/spiced-cocktails.html

  13. This drink screams “Brunch!” to me. It is lightly spicy and very refreshing, and the high syrup yield makes it perfect when hosting friends.

    The Green Canary

    To make one drink…

    1 oz. Vodka of choice
    2 oz. fresh orange juice
    ½ oz. melon/jalapeno syrup
    Crushed ice
    Cubed ice
    Pinch of cracked white pepper
    Fine mesh strainer
    Hawthorn strainer
    Boston shaker

    Combine liquid ingredients over cubed ice in a boston shaker and shake it like you mean it.
    Fit the hawthorn strainer into the mouth of the shaker.
    Pour the liquid through the fine mesh strainer into a glass filled with crushed ice.
    Garnish with a jalapeno and melon slice reserved from the syrup (recipe below).
    Top with a pinch of freshly cracked white pepper.

    To make the syrup…

    Take the meat of one Canary melon and 3 nicely sized jalapenos.
    I usually just use a spoon to remove the meat but a melon baller would make nicer pieces to use as garnish.
    Thinly slice the jalapenos retaining the seeds.
    Toss together in a heat resistant, sealable vessel.
    Set aside.

    In a sauce pan combine…
    4 cups white sugar
    2 cups purified water

    Bring to a boil stirring occasionally.
    Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer until all sugar is dissolved.
    Immediately pour over the melon and jalapeno mixture.
    Seal and allow to stand overnight in a cool dark place, but, unrefrigerated.
    Strain, reserving the solids, and use!
    Yield; about 4 cups.

    Recipe note… one may use hotter pepper styles if more heat is desired. This combination is fairly mild, but, the green note from the jalapeno compliment the orange nicely. The syrup will last for about two weeks if refrigerated.

  14. Experimenting with spice – deliciously dangerous! Here’s my effort using Croft Pink, the first Pink Port, strawberries, mint, vodka and, of course, chilli: http://www.flickr.com/photos/croftpink/6197409701/in/photostream

  15. Happy Friday. Here’s a kicky way to get the party started. Jalapeno Margarita http://www.mrswheelbarrow.com/2011/09/a-spicy-cocktail-jalapeno-margarita/ Cheers! Cathy

  16. This is a sweet spiced cocktail (and one can make it as spicy as they want). An after dinner drink which I call ‘Angry birds’ as it looks like one 🙂

    1 oz Cointreau
    1/2 oz Pomegranate juice
    2 oz Italian soda (pomegranate flavor)
    8-10 black pepper
    1/4 tsp Ginger
    Cubed ice (I use triangular cubes)

    1. Muddle Ginger and black pepper
    2. Add Cointreau.
    3. Add Pomegranate juice, ice and shake
    4. Add Italian Soda and strain.

    Pour in a glass and serve.


  17. We have finalists!! Kara will be blogging about each one of your cocktails soon and then posting a winner.


    It was tough to choose three finalists, but here’s what I’m thinking. In no particular order:
    Poddy Toddy – from Lamb’s Munchings & Musings (a hot brandy drink steeped with cardamom pods and thai chiles)
    Panaka Punch — from Panfusine (lemon vodka & ginger liqueur, with muddled powdered ginger & crushed cardamom)
    Saffron Mojito – from nitu didi (standard Mojito recipe with white rum, but with saffron simple syrup.

  18. i am one of the finalists?????????????????’
    i just fainted!!

  19. greetings from spain
    i would like to know if the results of the cocktail contest are out???? many many thanks

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