Suzi's Blog

Brian’s Apricot Paradise

apricot puree in proseco

Apricots. It’s been a wet and cold spring, but the first apricots have arrived. Small, yet intense in flavor, they provide the mixologist true opportunity. Instead of a peaches and Bellinis, here’s a way to use those early apricots and create a wonderful cocktail.

Unlike most of my creations, this is NOT too sweet. And, I used grapefruit bitters as well, so there is a definite “sour” undertone to this drink. It’s a great Sunday brunch beverage that will complement smoked salmon and capers.

Apricot Paradise

Yield: 4-6 drinks


  • 6 apricots [enough for 1 ½ cups when sliced]
  • ¼ cup sugar syrup
  • Grapefruit bitters
  • Proseco


Peel and slice the apricot. Put them in a blender along with sugar syrup. Process until very smooth. Refrigerate for at least one hour before using.

In champagne flute, put 2-3 tablespoons of the apricot puree in the bottom. Add ¼ teaspoon of grapefruit bitters. Slowly top off the flute with Proseco. Enjoy and refill as needed.

Source: Brian O’Rourke


Kiwi Royale: A Champagne Cocktail

Brian and I are still working our way through Kim Haasarud’s wonderful 101 Champagne Cocktails. This one caught his eye because it has two of his favorites: Midori melon liqueur and pineapple juice. Add Coco Lopez and you’d be on your way to a Midori Colada. Instead, the pure flavor of Midori graces the sparkling wine. Kiwi is, Brian just learned, not inherently sweet. So it presents a definite contrast to that very sweet pineapple juice and the Midori, which is melon on steroids.

This drink is potent. You can pair it with just about anything and you’ll find it stands on its own, able to compete and to complement strong protein and vegetable flavors. We enjoyed this with Basque Chicken with Peppers and Tomatoes from Joel Robuchon [a blog to come this week!]. It was probably not a politically correct combination, but it worked for us.

Kiwi Royale

Yield: 1 drink


  • 2 slices of kiwi, cut into quarters, plus an extra slice for garnish [optional]
  • 1 ounce Midori
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 4 ounces sparkling wine


Combine the kiwi, Midori and pineapple juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a highball glass. Top off with sparkling wine. Garnish with an additional kiwi slice, if desired.

Source: 101 Champagne Cocktails by Kim Haasarud.