Retro Sips & Apps

By Cindy Coopwood and Cordelia Capps
Photography by Rory Doyle

What’s old is new again

Familiarity may breed contempt at times, but there’s a certain comfort that comes from tastes and smells of our collective past.  This holiday we’re going old school with retro recipes that exude 50s and 60s cool. Some cocktails from that era have become classics, others have been long forgotten, and we are bringing them back. Their names alone are a delight– Pink Squirrel anyone??  Full of the flavors brought home and made popular by American GIs who were exposed to Pacific and Asian cultures during World War II, these tasty throwbacks seem new again. And, remember your mom’s clam dip? Well here you go. The party food our mothers and grandmothers made (and we all still love) are familiar throwbacks evoking memories of the family gatherings and celebrations of our childhoods. So try these recipes we’ve resurrected and while you’re at it, dig around in your cabinets to find the funky, never-used vintage serving pieces and barware you couldn’t bear to throw away. They make the party all the more fun!
Happy Retro Holidays!

Blue Hawaii

1.5 ounces light rum
1.5 ounces vodka
2 ounces blue curaçao
4 ounces Pineapple Juice
1 tablespoon simple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice

For garnish:
Lime wheels

Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker tin.
Shake with ice and strain into a glass filled with fresh ice.
Garnish with a pineapple wedges, lime and cherries as desired.

Bay Breeze

3 ounces vodka
6 ounces cranberry juice
3 ounces pineapple juice

For garnish:
Orange wheels

Simply pour vodka and fruit juices into a glass and add ice.
Gently stir to mix.
Garnish with orange wheels and cherries as desired.



Pink Squirrel

Crème de noyaux is an almond-flavored creme liqueur with a red hue that is perfectly complemented by the cherries.

1/3 cup crème de noyaux, plus extra for rimming glasses
1/3 cup white crème de cacao
2/3 cup vanilla ice cream
Maraschino cherries, for garnish (optional)
Colored sugar for rimming glasses

Rim glasses (if desired), by moistening edges of rims with liqueur then dipping into the sugar. Set aside.
Add both liqueurs and the ice cream to a blender and process until smooth. Pour into rimmed glasses and serve immediately. Garnish with cherries if desired.



A classic Manhattan is the perfect drink for whiskey lovers.

1 ounce sweet vermouth

2 ounces rye whiskey
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 maraschino cherry, for garnish
1 orange twist, for garnish 

Combine the vermouth, rye whiskey, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir gently. Place cherry in the bottom of a chilled cocktail glass and strain the whiskey mixture over the cherry. Garnish with an orange twist.


Clam Dip with Ritz crackers

1 garlic clove, minced
8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1⁄2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Black pepper to taste
Dash of paprika
8 ounces minced clams, drained. reserve liquid
1⁄4 cup clam broth (reserved from the can)

Beat cream cheese with a hand mixer on low until creamy. Add all remaining ingredients except minced clams, blend well. Fold in minced clams last. Chill for about an hour, sprinkle paprika on top and serve with Ritz crackers.


Salmon Mousse Canapes

2 English cucumbers
8 ounces block cream cheese, softened
8 ounces pound smoked salmon
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1 teaspoon snipped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Additional snipped fresh dill

Peel strips from cucumbers to create a decorative edge; cut cucumbers into 1/2-in. slices. Using a melon baller, remove a small amount of cucumber from the center, leaving the bottom intact.
Place the cream cheese, salmon, milk, lemon pepper and dill in a food processor; cover and process until blended. Transfer to a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into salmon mixture.
Pipe or dollop mousse onto cucumber slices; garnish with dill. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Classic Cheese Fondue

1 pound Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon kirsch (cherry brandy), optional
Pinch of nutmeg, for garnish, optional

Grilled sausage chunks
French bread chunks
Cherry tomatoes
Baby potatoes, boiled and quartered 

The options for dippers are endless… carrots, apple slices, broccoli, asparagus are all great choices.

In a small bowl, toss the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside. Combine the wine, garlic and lemon juice in a fondue pot, if using, or in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Gradually stir the cheese a handful at a time into the simmering liquid. Allow the cheese to melt, stirring gently, before adding more. This will make a smoother fondue. When all cheese is incorporated and melted, stir in the dry mustard, brandy (if desired) mustard and sprinkle with nutmeg. If using a fondue pot, place over the burner. A slow cooker set on low also works well.


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