Friday, July 4, 2014

The Hard Way and The Blue Ice Martini

Today Cathi Stoler joins us for Drinks with Reads...

The Hard Way is the third book in my Laurel and Helen New York Mystery Series.

Helen McCorkendale’s friend, Jimmy Scanlan, has just opened January, the most lavish casino and hotel resort in Las Vegas. When a mysterious woman is murdered poolside, Helen investigates and is thrown into a whirlwind of diamond dealers and International jewel thieves, all of whom might kill in a heartbeat to obtain the world’s most precious diamond.

Helen was fortunate enough to be invited to the Gala Grand Opening of January. This ice palace in the middle of the dessert was filled with surprises Helen might have expected from Jimmy, including an outdoor ice rink, ski slopes that slid into an Olympic size pool and The Blue Ice Bar where Jimmy presented her with January’s signature drink, The Blue Ice Martini. Her friend knew her well and knew she’d love this ice-cold martini with a style all its own.

As Helen sipped her drink, she wandered through the bar taking it all in. 

Made completely of ice, it resembled the cloudy blue face of a glacier. Striations of light and dark bands and whorls within the ice created a tangle of patterns that rose and swooped around them. High above, a craggy ceiling flowed downward into alpine-rough walls with chiseled-out, intimate alcoves. These were filled with carved ice tables and fur-covered ice stools already occupied by guests drinking and laughing. Fanciful ice sculptures of polar bears, otters, and arctic seals dotted the floor, like a bunch of wildlife conventioneers out for a romp on the icebergs. Above these sleek animals, an ice candelabra floated over a bar supported by carved orca-whale ice pillars. There was even a two-story, glass-enclosed fireplace roaring with flames at one end of the room. Of course, its glass was double thick thermal panes that gave the illusion of warmth if not the actual heat. No one wanted the furniture melting.

The effect was mesmerizing. Lit from behind, the ice cast a cool, sapphire glow that suffused the entire bar and lounge with an otherworldly aura. Captured in the ever-changing light, the fifty or so guests, whose breath meandered through the atmosphere in wispy mists of measured fog, appeared to be conversing with the breeze.

The opening was a huge success and Helen loved every minute of it, especially January’s signature drink. Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy at home.

The Blue Ice Martini

2 oz. Vodka
½ oz. Blue Curacao
Crushed ice

Place Vodka and Blue Curacao in a shaker filled with ice.

Shake vigorously. Pour over crushed ice into a Martini glass

Cathi will be at the world's largest mystery convention this November 13-16 in Long Beach, CA. The convention is called Bouchercon and guests of honor include Jeffery Deaver and J.A. Jance. You can read more about the convention here


  1. Both the book and the drink sound wonderful.

  2. Thanks, Kim. If you partake, hope you enjoy both of them.