Hotel and restaurant bars can be a fabulous source of inspiration for entertaining at home. And entertaining for two shouldn't be any less glamorous than for 10! My Fried Blue Cheese Olives were inspired by a former menu staple at RL in Chicago, and fond memories of the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston helped me to create a simplified update on classic Amaretto Sour Martinis. These are the perfect pair for a cocktail party just for two! You can find both recipes in my cookbook Table for Two!
Truth be told, I love making cocktails at home but prefer not to be bothered with having to measure out a long list of ingredients and garnish with little drops and drizzles of things - I get bored way too fast for that! My Amaretto Sour Martinis are so simple to make and can be made ahead of time and kept in a glass pitcher until you are ready to shake them over ice and serve them perfectly chilled.
My Fried Blue Cheese Olives are almost as simple as the martinis and truly have that WOW! factor. These are my go-to when I want to serve something warm with drinks. You can't make them ahead of time, but they cook so quickly that you can make them just before your guest arrives - and then watch their face light up with excitement for such a delicious and perfect pairing!
Amaretto Sour Martinis
Ingredients (serves 2)
Amaretto – 6 ounces (Disaronno® recommended)
Lime Juice – 2 ounces, freshly squeezed
Lemon Juice – 2 ounces, freshly squeezed
Honey – 1 tablespoon
Maraschino Cherries – for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine the amaretto, lime juice, lemon juice, honey, and a handful of ice. Shake until very cold, about 60 seconds (it is longer than you realize, but worth the work-out).
Pour evenly into each martini glass.
Fried Blue Cheese Olives
Ingredients (serves 2)
Canola Oil – 1½ cups
Egg – 1 extra-large, lightly beaten
Dried Breadcrumbs – ½ cup, plain
Blue Cheese Olives – 16, patted dry, at room temperature
In a small sauce pan set over high heat, add the oil. Line a plate with a layer of paper towels. Set aside.
Place the lightly beaten egg in a small, shallow bowl. In an additional small bowl, add the bread crumbs.
Roll each olive through the egg, then through the breadcrumbs to evenly coat. Coat all of the olives and set aside together.
Once the oil has reached 350 degrees F (use a candy thermometer to be accurate), and working in small batches, gently place the olives in the hot oil. Once golden brown, remove the olives with a small slotted spoon and place on the plate prepared with paper towel to drain.
Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.