New Year’s Toast! Cocktails & Appetizers

*Your Chef will lead you through all the techniques, so prepping ahead of class is optional

Servings: 2 cocktails, 16 apps

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 25 min

Ingredients for the Orange Turmeric Negroni:

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed blood orange (or Cara Cara) juice, plus twist for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • sparkling wine

Ingredients for Dark Rum Daiquiri:

  • 1/4 cup demerara sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, plus twist for garnish

Ingredients for the Black Sesame Shrimp Toasts:

  • 8 ounces (1/2 pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon agave
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 large egg white
  • 4 thick slices soft sandwich bread
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • vegetable or avocado oil, for cooking

Ingredients for the Jerk Spiced Mushroom Blinis:

For the Sweet Potato Blinis

  • 1 large sweet potato or yam, peeled and diced in ¼ inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder

For the Jerk Spiced Mushrooms

  • 1/2 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or ground dried habanero
  • 3/4 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds mixed wild mushrooms such as hen of the woods, maitake or oyster, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped, for garnish
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. To make the Negroni: In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine the gin, vermouth, Campari, blood orange juice and turmeric; stir to chill.
  2. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and top off with sparkling wine. Garnish with an orange peel.
  1. To make the Daiquiri: In a small saute pan combine the sugar and water over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has just dissolved (do not let it boil). Cool completely.
  2. Fill a shaker with ice and add the rum, lime juice and ¾ ounce of the demerara sugar syrup. Shake until well chilled then strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lime twist.
  1. To make the shrimp toasts: Pour 2 inches of oil into a large saute pan and heat on medium high. Line a tray with paper towels.
  2. Using a sharp knife or a food processor, chop the shrimp until it is almost completely minced with just a few larger chunks left. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, scallions, ginger, sesame oil, agave, salt, cornstarch and egg white. Stir until everything is evenly combined.
  3. Spread the shrimp mixture evenly onto the 4 slices of bread, taking care to go all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top and gently press into the shrimp paste. Cut each piece of bread into 4 triangles.
  4. Once the oil is at about 350°F place the triangles, shrimp side down, into the oil and cook until golden brown- about 3 minutes.
  5. Carefully flip them and cook for 1 minute more before transferring to the paper towels to drain. Serve while hot.
  1. To make the blinis: for the blini batter Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt and add the sweet potatoes; cook for 10 to 12 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and return to the pot (this allows any extra water to evaporate from the residual heat of the pot).
  2. Use a masher or fork to smash the potatoes, adding the butter halfway through so that it melts and blends in. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the milk and egg. Add the flour and baking powder and stir until just combined. The batter should be the same consistency as pancake batter so if yours is too thick add a bit of milk to thin it out as needed. Transfer to a piping bag or zip top bag with the corner cut off.
  1. To make the mushrooms: Combine all of the spices in a small bowl until evenly combined. You won’t use all of the spice mixture so any leftover may be saved in an airtight container in a cool, dry spot for up to 6 months. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Once the oil is shimmering add the mushrooms (do this in batches if you are using a smaller pan). Cook without disturbing the mushrooms for 2 to 3 minutes until they have browned. Stir and continue cooking until evenly browned. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  2. If you are working in batches, transfer the mushrooms to a plate or bowl while you finish cooking. Once all the mushrooms are cooked, place them back in the saute pan.
  3. Season the mushrooms with 1 ½ teaspoons of the jerk spice mixture followed by the heavy cream. Stir to combine everything; taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Keep warm while you cook the blinis.
  4. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Once the pan is warm (not screaming hot) carefully pipe a half dollar amount of the blini batter in, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for 2 minutes until the batter has set and the bottom is barely browned. Using a fish spatula or small palette knife (offset spatula), gently flip the blinis and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Top the blinis with the warm mushroom mixture and garnish with chopped chives.