Suzi's Blog

Brian’s Bamboozle II




Inspired creativity is the raw source for many food recipes. And for beverages, too.

Sometimes creativity is not inspired. It is demanded.

“I need grapefruit,” I was yelling at Suzen as she left for the store.

“Use oranges. We have some.” That was her closing remark. Very closing. The door actually closed. I could not say to her, “But I need grapefruit to make that drink, the Bamboozle, you loved.” I wanted to do something for her. But …

Well, I did do something. I used the oranges. I had found the Bamboozle in The Modern Mixologist by Tony Abou-Ganim. He’s a world famous mixologist. The Modern Mixologist is a world class repository of recipes and lore.

For my inspired-by-need version, something I call the Bamboozle II, I did substitute orange for grapefruit juice and dark tequila for light. The result? A deeply dark and rich beverage. The dark tequila has that dark, slightly smokey flavor that contrasts with the sweeter orange juice. Grapefruit juice might just punctuate with a sting here. Orange juice surrounds with a familiar, comfortable flavor.

These are the last days of summer. The Bamboozle II is a fine way to watch the sun go down. A little earlier each day. With light that dashes through leaves no longer bright green but now softening, darkening, reddening. Just like the drink.


Bamboozle II

Yield: one cocktail


  • 1 ½ ounces dark tequila
  • ½ ounce Crème de Cassis
  • 1 ½ ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeeze lime juice
  • ½ ounce agave nectar


Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, then shake to thoroughly chill the beverage. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Add crushed ice. Garnish, if you wish, with the peel of an orange, lime, or even a lemon.


Source: Brian O’Rourke inspired by Suzen O’Rourke and Tony Abou-Ganim



The Italians Are Coming: Aperol to the Beverage Rescue

It’s a dinner party for Suzen and me tomorrow. Small in number but wide in flavor interests.

We have four guests coming and there will be a fresh corn salsa that all will enjoy. After that, it can be challenging. The four people have quite different beverage likes and dislikes. How can you easily meet the beverage needs of good friends you want to please? It’s pretty simple. Have on hand a couple of base liquors and some juices. With a half dozen things, you can easily prepare a wide range of cocktails. You can dazzle without breaking a sweat.

In honor of my Italian friend, I’m using Aperol as one of the alcoholic drivers.

First, here’s the ingredients list:

  • Vodka, chilled of course
  • Aperol, chilled
  • Proseco
  • Orange juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Fresh limes slices and orange slices

And here’s the collection of cocktails I be ready to offer my guests:

For the Vodka Drinker:

He gets his glass straight up with ice cubes and a slice of lime.


For the Pure Aperol Lover: Aperol on the Rocks

Just pour Aperol over ice and garnish with a slice of orange.


For the Orange and Aperol Lover: Aperol Orange

1 part Aperol and 3 parts orange juice, over ice and garnished with an orange slice.


For the Aperol and Vodka types: Aperol Vodka

2 parts Aperol to 1 part Vodka, over ice, mixed, garnished with a lime slice.


For the Aperol Juice Freak: Aperol Citrus

2 parts Aperol, 1 part orange juice, 1 part grapefruit juice, shaken and poured over ice.


For the lover of Sparkling Wine: Aperol Spritz

3 parts Aperol to 2 parts Proseco.


There you are. Six beverages, including simple vodka on the rocks. Some people are very particular about their cocktails. Others folks are more flexible or more curious or just downright inventive.

With these ingredients, there is hard core alcohol available in the vodka, sour from the Aperol, sweetness from juice, and tiny bubbles, tiny bubbles from the Proseco. It is not a hard setup to arrange, and it will make our guests feel their individual needs are appreciated.

I’ll have everything on ice on the countertop. People can mix and match to their own delight. I won’t mind if someone just puts Proseco and orange juice together. [There is a reason some beverages are considered classic.]


Source: and Brian O’Rourke