Amanda Baltazar

Amanda Baltazar
Amanda Baltazar
Contributing Writer

Amanda Baltazar is a Washington State-based freelance writer who’s been writing about food and beverage since 1996. Read her work online at

Stories by Amanda Baltazar

Margaritas: Beyond the Everyday

Take a page out of Sable Kitchen & Bar's bar book and create riffs on classics, like the margarita. Sable offers three types of margarita on its menu, using the word "margarita" for only one of them as the other two are their original takes on the time-tested classic cocktail.

Shake, Rattle & Drink

Holsteins Shakes and Buns in Las Vegas offers the ultimate in dessert-type cocktails. The venue's Bam-boozled Shakes are more than 12 ounces of sugary indulgence, and theyare a hit with customers.

Buzz, Promotion and Creativity

Not every winery focuses solely on wine. Annata Bistro/Bar at the Mount Palomar Winery, for example, has been running a series of limited-time-offer cocktail promotions for the past 6 months in order to generate buzz about the 12-month-old winery.

Whiskey for Women

Research and anecdotal evidence indicates that women are moving away from sweet, one-dimensional and fruity vodka cocktails and embracing whiskey for its complexity. The Second Floor by Scott Gottlich in Dallas and Embers Ski Lodge in Nashville are focusing more on whiskey to appeal to more women, imbue their bars with excitement and fun, and satisfy more refined palates.

Black to Front

Just in time for Halloween, black is back, and this time it's in the form of cocktails. Bars all across the country are pouring cocktails that range in color from sultry purple-grays to the deepest blacks.

Pear-fect Fall Cocktails

When it comes to seasonal fruits, the pear is nearly universally liked and is therefore the ideal choice for developing your fall cocktail menu. Here are some of our favorite pear-focused libations.

The Other Responsible Service

At Pepper Smash, a cocktail kitchen located in Dallas, Texas, known for handcrafted cocktails, avoiding allergies is easy: everything is made from scratch and employees are educated in allergens as well as substitutions.

Fall Cocktails: Apples Aplenty

As we head into October, it's time to consider using apples in fall cocktails. The apple is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a number of ways, including pairing apple ciders with different spirits.

Drinking for Health

Just two years ago, the Cocktails with Purpose, a program designed to meet guests' desire for wellness, was rolled out by the JW Marriott chain in select locations. JW Marriott bars involved with the program use fresh ingredients almost exclusively.