Sunday, October 7, 2007

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Women and Porn Today: Both Side of the Camera

Women in the adult industry have literally come a very long way. From the days where they had no input to what was going on during the filming on set where they had no voice in the matter, today we have a larger amount of women out there in all aspect of the adult industry including directing and producing adult titles for the major companies and under there own companies. Some want more soft-core or better storylines, others like a succession of hardcore sex scenes. In addition, some women just like the same porn men do. With the couples market not as neglect as in prior years , there has been an increase to women directing adult films. Women today have slowly been taking over what used to be a "mans world".
When we speak of 'women and porn', we usually think of 'women in porn', but it is so important for more of us to be behind the camera than in front of it. It is one of the few areas of the film industry where female directors are becoming just as common as men. Many female performers often find second careers directing films and are very successful at it. Candida Royalle, Nina Hartley, Tristan Taormino, Veronica Hart, just to mention a few , have all taken turns behind the camera after successful careers as porn stars. In addition, women make more money than male performers do and have bigger star power. As more and more women enter the field, the content will change and women will begin consuming porn more and more, creating a market especially for them. In this series of articles, , you will be reading about the roles several women play in the many aspects of the adult industry from directing to sales and performers, Director and Producer Melissa Monet, Adella O'Neal Publicist from Digital Playground, Director Kelly Holland, Syren De Mer and a few other as well as several new comers to the adult industry. I will start the series with my interview with Melissa Monet who is currently working with Naughty America. Melissa has had her hands in every aspect of the adult industry from her beginning when she lived in New York.
Born in Staten Island in 1964, Melissa "Mindy" Monet went back and forth between "normal" jobs and the sex industry. She started in 1983 as a sex surrogate in NY, became a call girl and a NYC taxi driver. She then ran a few escort services, (including one for a hardcore pimp), went on to be a high class call girl before becoming a madam. She took a long vacation when Giuliani was cleaning up the city and went to Hawaii before coming to LA to be a porn star. She was in front of the camera for a couple of years but started directing right away because all the girls were a lot younger than her. She had just turned 30 and there were no MILF scenes yet. She did everything on set, from a PA, art director, writer, producer, director, and wardrobe. Over the years she has also done a lot in the mainstream world. She has directed and produced titles for theatrical release and on Cinemax and Showtime. Currently she trying to start a company to give back to the sex industry by helping people make the transition from porn to back to the realities of a mainstream lifestyle and writing a book. Mindy is also finishing her script which is based on her comic book.
Her adult career began in July of 1994, starting out as an actress she has appeared in over 100 adult movies, DVDs and CD-ROM games. She has had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in porn and has proved that she can out fuck the best of them. She has starred in many hardcore features and S&M videos that she is extremely proud of. In the fall of 1994, she wrote, produced, and directed one of the first CD-ROM games made specifically for the adult market which was nominated for 5 AVN awards in 1995. She subsequently went on to write and produce movies and CD-Rom games for the next two years before she broke into directing on a more frequent basis. Melissa was nominated by AVN for best screenplay for a comedy in 1997 and all of the CD-ROM games she has written have been nominated for AVN awards. She is featured in her own comic book Melissa Monet which has gone on to spawn a sequel, and two spin offs. She became the first person to produce and directs movies made exclusively for the Spice Channel. She has completed a mainstream documentary on the people in the adult industry titled, "Porn. It's a Living" and has directed three mainstream films currently available on DVD.
Melissa has produced four 35mm independent feature length films and two live pay-per-view events. Her recent AVN nominations range from scripts to art direction, and to mention as a performer. At this time with Naughty America, she produces 20 scenes a week on two set simultaneously with a good crew working with her. She describes working at Naughty America as being old school porn with new faces and old world values. Melissa cleared up a lot of the old stereo types about porn and how people still see the performers. From what she said its not what it seems to be. Melissa did make it a point to let me in on the new line from Naughty America which she will be working on from different sets. Melissa is a very dedicated and hard working woman , who after speaking to her for almost four hours showed me a different side to industry and just how many good people and performers she has come across. We spoke about her time with Playgirl and a piece she did with Director Nando Vega that can be found on her myspace page , and about the performers she has enjoyed working with. We spoke about what it takes to be a performer and how hard it is for both men and woman. She went on to mention that there are three types of performers out there, one that is in it just for the paycheck, one that is making a career out if it and then you have the ones that don't belong in the business. Which she admits to sending a few home. Melissa was kind enough to answer a few questions about her background and her expertise as both Director and Producer. I do hope you enjoy reading the interview; I had a great time talking to her and look forward to meeting her in January.

1-What stage name did you use when you were in front of the cameras as a performer and At that time how many scenes did you do and who did you work with? Melissa Monet. Hard to say, but I did over 100 movies averaging about two scenes a day. Not a lot by today's standards. I worked with all the top guys at the time, but I worked a lot with Steve Drake, Alex Sanders, Jonathan Morgan, Gerry Pike, Marc Wallice and for the girls, Tricia Yen, Patricia Kennedy, Laura Palmer, Kym Wild (S&M), Careena Collins (S&M), so many more.

2-What are you doing currently? What have you done mainstream and how big of a difference is that from straight porn? I'm the Unit Production Manager for Naughty America when I'm not writing my book, starting a new website or doing something on the mainstream side. I did a great little film called "Sex and a Girl" which was a coming of age story, I did my own documentary "Porn, It's a Living" and I just finished another fairly big film that I don't know what my credit is going to be on it yet, just to name a few. It's different in the way that I have bigger budgets, people with bigger dreams and bigger toys to play with. Otherwise it's the same cluster fuck if not more of one with a mainstream show. Anytime you have more people and those people only do their specific jobs, you're bound to have a lot more on your hands. In porn, everyone chips in no matter what you were hired to do because there are so few of us. In addition, we work together every day and it's almost like family here, so we have more respect for each other and the roles we play at work then the mainstream does.
3-What do you feel you can give back to the sex industry? I have a lot to offer, but mainly I want to and am trying to help the people here move on to the next level. Whether they want to stay here or go to the outside world, I can help them do that. But I don't want it to just be for porn, I want to help anyone in the sex industry because it's an easy thing to fall into, but not so easy to get out of.

4-As one of the many female directors today what obstacles did you have to overcome? It was harder 10 years ago than it is now. A girl today can easily start her own line with a good company, but back then they only offered that to the guys. The hardest obstacle though was trying to gain the respect of your crew when yesterday they saw you with a cock in your mouth and now you're trying to tell them what to do. I think that line has been blurred over the years and no one cares anymore. Also, the crew is younger now, more open minded, before there were a lot of the old guard and they weren't that open to taking orders from any woman.

5-What have you done with Cinemax and are there any projects in the works? I've done about 4-5 films that have been on Cinemax (you'd have to look up the names as they are different then when I shot them). It was a great experience, but I got a weeks pay there for what I made here directing porn for a day. There are no future projects in the works, I did it then to say I can do it...and I did it well, but it doesn't pay the bills.

6-You mentioned "old guard" still around.. can you be a bit more specific? Old guard can mean anything from "classic" actors/actresses to the directors that have not changed their styles, lifestyles or opinions.

7-What changes can be made to better the adult industry from a women's POV if possible? I think that it's hard to portray women the way women should be portrayed when you have mainly girls portraying them and men planning the whole thing out. Do women like to have their faces slapped? Sure, some do, and they like to be degraded and tied up too, but they like that more in fantasy then in reality. It's pretty fucking brutal when you see it, but I accept that it can be part of what one girl here and there enjoys, but not the majority of them. And unless the girl having it done to them is getting off on it, I personally don't want to watch it, but then there's the other spectator that gets off on watching an innocent brutalized. It's fine for the viewer, I think "different strokes for different folks" but I don't want to see a girl truly miserable...that's not sexy. Then you have the other end of the spectrum where the fantasy stuff is so soft it's boring. If there were changes to be made it would have to come from an erotic writer, a sexy director and talent that have compatibility...but it's hard to find that, especially when invisible people are throwing random individuals together with writers that are writing in the dark on spec and directors that are just collecting a pay check. As a woman, I personally am sick and tired of seeing porn that consists of dispassionate people trying to show me their idea of great sex.
8-How do you feel about having the male talent using condoms on set? Do you think they take away from the heat of the scene? There are only one or two male talent that are condom only, it's usually the girl or the company that decides on condom use. No, I don't think it takes away from the heat of the scene anymore than it does in real life. If there's chemistry, there's chemistry, but as an industry we should be promoting condom use.

9-I did some searching on Adult DVD Empire and found an old interview you did with them, you were once a reviewer for them? Yes, I mainly did interviews with other talent though, I didn't really review too many movies. I did review for AVN though.

10-How does being the Unit Production Manager for Naughty America compare to other things you have done? It's a sweet gig and fairly easy. I'm surrounded by good people that are always looking to improve the material and they take pride in what they do, but I wouldn't compare it to any other job. I learn so much each time I take on a new challenge, so for me it's just about being a sponge. I've been one of the luckiest people, not just in porn, but I truly feel blessed. I've worked for and with some of the best people in this business (and a few clunkers too) but I'm grateful for every day I can spend money on biscuits for my pup.

11-Can you tell us a bit about your book? After being in the sex industry for 24 years I figured I can spew a few metaphors and anecdotes that might amuse people that are still interested in what happens on the other side of the tracks. Seriously, it's just about what I've done and where I've been and where I want to go. About how wonderful this business can be if you let it, and also about how I denied who and what I was, struggling with the pressures of society and what I thought I was supposed to be when I grew up. I would like people to know it's okay to embrace being "different", but still be a productive member of society; I'm proud to say I am both.

12-In your opinion how does porn differ today and back when you were performing? When I first came in, women dictated everything about the scenes they did, who they would perform with, how much money they wanted to make, now it's dictated (and I do mean dictated) by the agents. There were only two agents and one manager when I first came in, they didn't take your money, they were paid by the companies that employed you, now the agents double from side A and one from side B. The real problem with this is the girl's rates have not changed at all in the 10 + years I've been here. For instance, if I made $700 a scene, that's what I walked away with, if a girl now makes $900 a scene, after she pays the agent a percentage and pays for her driver (because most of them do not drive themselves), they're pretty much getting less than I did 13 years ago...and that's just wrong. The other huge problem today is that this industry has not internally evolved at all. Brand new girls still have to go through trial by fire. No one tells them how to douche or when, or how to enema, or what staph looks like, nothing. They just send them off to get a VD/AIDS test and that's mind you, that would be fine if we weren't talking about women that have not had time to develop their own sexuality, or had already gone to the school of hard knocks, but they haven't. These are relatively "nice" girls that are looking for an easy way out and this ain't it, but that doesn't mean they should be thrown to the wolves.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Performer Spotlight: Nico Stallone ON DVDTalk's Blue Room

Nico Stallone started in the adult industry in January of 2007 and got his name for obvious reasons. His facial resemblance, and his overall physique; his friends began to call him Rocky, or Stallone. During college Nico worked as a bouncer at a strip club in Tucson. He got to meet all the featured female talent that way. Then, when he later ran a nutrition company, he dated a porn star who was moonlighting as a personal trainer.
A native of Fresno, CA. and has been and a competitive bodybuilder for 16 years. Stallone dropped a few pounds since starting in porn, during his first shoot. He weighed in at 260lbs and 6'2'' dropping about 25 lbs just over the course of the pass few months. Stallone has always been a porn connoisseur and remembers telling his wife at the time that if they ever got divorced he was going into the business. Eventually they did get divorced and remain the best of friends. He took the opportunity by networking at the 2007 AEE Show show in Las Vegas. I got to speak with him last week after emailing back and forth a few times. He is very open and equally amusing. I asked him what was the one thing he would strive for as a new comer to the industry and said his main focus right now would be to be voted Best Male New Comer this year at the next AVN Show.
I asked one of ladies he worked with recently, Syren De Mer about Nico and this is what she has to say about working with him and as a newcomer to the industry and how she feels he will give the other men a run for their money: "Nico performed extremely well that day. He got up at like 2 am to drive to the shoot. Took a nap when he got there, and then was able to do two full scenes with Lexi Carrington and I. I think he'll be very well known here very soon. And you don't often come across a white muscle guy, well endowed, and wants to do porn? Not often. He has a VERY warm caring personality. He's got a great mind for business! We hit it off very well. He's very intelligent, and a great personality. He's also VERY HOT Naked!!! is VERY respectful, he asked right up front if I kiss, which shows he has a romantic side since he likes to kiss and most guys in the industry don't. ...He has a lot of drive and ambition too."
Nico was nice enough to answer a few questions while I had him on the phone. I had a wonderful time talking to him on the phone and online as well via instant messenger. From what I see, he is indeed very gentle in his ways and true to what he wants in life. I do hope you all enjoy reading his replies. 1- Why adult movies and not mainstream? lol... I think I have really wanted do "porn" after the first movie I saw years ago - it was "the Postman Always Comes Twice" with Peter North. I thought it would be cool to be that guy (North). Also, I have always been very sure of myself in the bedroom - so why not get paid for doing something you enjoy and are good at!
2- What company are you currently working with and what are you working on? I am working with Clear Talent Management for an agency and am working on shooting consistently for different companies, trying to get my name out there and get some more exposure. Many companies are hesitant to shoot with new talent and are reluctant to give them a chance when the can use the same guys they always use.
3-What female talent have you worked with so far and who do you want to do a scene with in the future? Some of the ladies I have worked with: Syndee Jennings, Nadi Puket, Staci Thorn, Desire Moore, Savannah Stern, Paige Taylor, Hedi Mayne, Gia Govanni, Carmella Woods, Lexi Carrington, Syren.... and a bunch that I honestly don't remember their names :) As far as the future....a few off the top of my head would be: Tatianna Stone, Jesse Jane, Krystal Steal, Alektra Blue, Hannah Harper, Mary Carey, Nikki Benz, and Kayla Paige.......
4-How do you see the adult industry as a new comer? Very interesting! Totally Not what regular people think of it.... the average person thinks that we live the life or luxury, we are all rich, and have a carefree life with no responsibilities and no one to answer to! I still ask a lot of questions!
5-Can you tell me about the Barefoot Confidential from Kick Ass Pictures? Well, Barefoot Confidential is considered a fetish style of porn because the focus is not just on the girl and the sex....but it's all about the feet! In most of the scenes you can see the gals feet and of course i do a bunch of toe/feet sucking/licking etc. Savannah Stern and I put out a great scene. She was awesome to work with and we really had a blast filming... It was a cool - kind of cheesy story line- -I was the pizza delivery guy and she didn't have enough cash to pay for the So we worked out a nice pizza for a nice piece of her...the catch was that i had to suck her toes! Good times! I guess Kick Ass liked my work because I also did a second Barefoot Confidential for them with Paige Taylor.
6- What is an average day like for you? If I'm filming then of course I am in porn valley (the San Fernando Valley). I always plan on being on set longer than expected because there always seems to be some kind of delay. I try to plan working a few days in a row so I can knock out a few days work and then leave. When I am not filming, I live in Fresno, Ca. Of course I spend some time each day networking and trying to set up new film shoots. I also try to answer personally any emails I get from my fan club and My Space. Depending on the day I usually answer between 5 and 50 My Space letters a day. I am also a nutritional counselor, so some of my day is spent meeting with clients or working on their nutritional plans. I am also in the process of editing a book for my father. Don't forget... I hit the gym by 6 p.m. and am usually there for an hour or two, 4-5 days a week.
7-What advice do you have to offer to those considering entering the adult industry? Be honest with yourself and set solid boundaries from day 1. Be very clear to companies and agents, about what is on your YES and No list of things you are willing to do. They will try to push your limits if you don't stand up for yourself. Also, ask alot of questions to industry people who have a Good name in the biz, and if you can find someone who will shoot you straight and be honest about their experiences then use them as a resource in the future to give you some guidance. Also - don't just promote yourself on how big your dick is! Someone will always be bigger, so have more to offer than just that!
8- How did you come by your professional name? My nickname growing and playing football was Rambo when I was younger and it changed to Stallone when I hit High School. They said I look like Sly Stallone, and I guess the name stuck :)
9- What goals do you have as a performer in the industry? I would like to be a well rounded performer. I don't just want to do Gonzo type movies - I am more interested in feature films where I also get to act and play characters. I think I can be a good feature actor too, in addition to putting on some good sex! Some guys just want to screw, but I'd like to be known for having some finesse.
10 - How do you feel about other male performers letting a female use a strap-on on them? Great for them! Not for Me! Seriously, I am way too Alpha Male for doesn't interest me one bit :)
11- How were you received on your first shoot? Was the female talent intimidated by your physical size? My first shoot was for Layla Jade's company house of Jade. Layla was great to work for, she is truly a doll - great person. Honestly, I walked in and pretended like I was a veteran, very confident. Gia Giovanni and my porn gal, all of about 5'1'' and maybe 100lbs soaking wet. Just my type! Big turn on! So we had a great bj scene and it was really cool, towards the end I stood up, grabbed her and flipped her over so she was blowing me upside down! Then I lifted her over my head and put her down behind me. To top it off the pop shot was just crazy...huge! I think her words were: "holy shit! geez, if you ever need to do a 'shower me in cum' movie, you only need one guy, Nico, shit that was a lot of cum!"
12- What type of woman are you attracted to on and off the set? OK - I'm a sucker for petite blondes. If you want a great sex scene, put me with a little blonde with a great ass and I will give you one awesome scene!
13- Do you have any pet peeves? My biggest peeve is chicks with attitudes. I mean, lets make it easy for everyone. Put the ego aside, get into (or pretend to) the partner you are working with and have some fun and put on a good sex show. Seriously ladies, if we have to have a hard on for a few hours, don't just sit there and pretend it's gonna be rock hard with no stimulation. You wouldn't ask the guy you bang off the set to do that!
14- If there was something you could change in the industry, what would it be? Just that everyone would respect each other and realize that this is the greatest job on earth and have fun. Don't just walk in and announce that you are here to fuck just because the money is good. Secondly, I'd like to see the guys get more props from the companies. I know that the girls are the center of attention, but without our dicks, its just a bunch old tired lesbians. Pay rates should be more in line with each SAG....maybe we need a porn actors guilds to level the playing field!
Thanks to all my fans and Ravyn!!! xoxo- Nico
Nico Stallone is literally the new kid on the block who in all sense of the word is going to take the adult industry by storm. Focused already in wanting to be nominated as Best New Comer, and looking even further than that into producing and directing. Nico has a long road a head of him. In an industry where men are not held equally as women and the competition stiff something which he is very familiar with Nico's will and determination to have his name up there with the best well known male performers (Tommy Gunn, Evan Stone, Marcus London) is well into the making . I want to his Nico the very best for all of us here at DVD Talk and thank him for his time. I look forward to watching him grow as a performer and I wish him the very best in making his way up there to be nominated for Best new Comer! I also want to thank Syren De Mer for her take on newcomer Nico Stallone and looking forward to my interview with her.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Traditional Pasteles


In Puerto Rico, these wrapped goodies are made in large quantities during the holidays, often with several family members sharing in the tasks of preparation. A food processor or blender makes the job easier.

Ingredients for the filling:1/2 cup lard or vegetable oil1 tablespoon annatto seeds1 1/2 pounds lean pork, cut into 1/4-inch cubes1/4 pound fatback or 4—5 bacon strips, cut into 1/2-inch pieces2—3 cloves garlic, minced1 medium onion, coarsely chopped1 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped2—3 small sweet green peppers (aj?es dulces), seeded and coarsely chopped (optional) 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped 4 leaves fresh culantro (or cilantrillo, or both), coarsely chopped2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tablespoon dried oregano1 16-ounce can chickpeas (reserve the liquid)1/3 cup pitted green olives, sliced into thin rounds, with 1 tablespoon liquid1 tablespoon capers (optional)

Ingredients for the dough:2 large green plantains2—3 green bananas2 pounds yautia (taro root, malanga, dasheen)1 cup broth reserved from cooking the filling1 tablespoon salt
Ingredients for the wrapping:1-pound package frozen or fresh banana leaves cut into 12-inch squares, spines removed20 sheets of parchment paper 12" x 18" (If banana leaves are not available, parchment paper may be used for entire wrapping)String or butcher´s twine
Preparation: To make the filling, add oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the annatto seeds and heat for one minute to release their orange color. Remove from heat and drain the oil into a separate container. Discard the seeds and return half of the oil to the skillet. Return the oil to medium-high heat and add the pork and bacon. Brown for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, small green peppers, tomatoes, culantro, and oregano, and sauté for another 5 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and olives (with their respective liquids) and the capers. Cover and simmer over low-medium heat for 40 minutes. When done, uncover and allow to cool. Drain the broth into a separate container and set aside.

Make the dough by peeling the plantains and the bananas, first cutting off the ends and running a knife tip lengthwise along one or more of the ridges. Insert and run a thumb just beneath the cut peel to lift and remove it. Peel the yautia. Place plantains, bananas, and yautia into a large bowl of salted cold water to prevent discoloring. You can grate them using the fine side of a hand grater, or instead, cut into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces for the processor. Fill 1/3 to 1/2 of the food processor or blender container with the cut vegetables, slowly adding broth to form a smooth, porridgelike mash. It should not be runny. Transfer the purée to a large bowl. If you run out of broth, substitute water as needed. Stir in the salt and the remaining annatto oil.

Place a banana leaf on a sheet of parchment. Drop a scant 1/2 cup of the dough onto the center of the leaf and spread it several inches all around with the back of a spoon. Drop 2 tablespoons of the filling a bit off center. Fold each long side and then the ends toward the center. Slide the encased leaf toward the long edge of the parchment and wrap again. Fold end flaps over. Tie two pasteles together, with folded edges facing each other. To cook, put a batch (4 to 6 tied bundles) into a large kettle of salted boiling water and cook semicovered at medium-high heat for 30 minutes. Turn the bundles over and cook 40 minutes more.
When done, drain them well, remove the strings and wrappings, and serve hot. Makes 16—20 pasteles.

Classic Flan

Classic Flan

Ingredients for caramel:1/2 cup sugar1/4 cup water
For custard:1 cup milk1 cup half-and-half1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean sliced lengthwise1/3 cup sugar4 large eggs
Preparation: Place oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 300°F. Grease six custard cups with vegetable oil. In saucepan over low heat place 1/2 cup sugar. Using a pastry brush, drizzle in 1/4 cup water along sides of saucepan. Do not stir sugar. Cook until sugar turns medium-brown color. Immediately place 1 tablespoon of caramel into each custard cup. Set aside to harden.
To make custard: In small saucepan combine milk and half-and-half over medium heat. Bring to high temperature, but do not boil. Add vanilla extract or bean and remove from heat. In bowl whisk together sugar and eggs. Temper egg mixture with 1 cup hot milk mixture. Whisk together and add back to remaining hot milk mixture. Remove vanilla bean pod, if used. Pour mixture into custard cups, almost filling each cup. Place custard cups into deep-sided baking sheet. Pour warm water into baking sheet to reach halfway up sides of custard cups. Bake 20 to 40 minutes until flan no longer jiggles in center. Remove custard cups from baking sheet to cool to room temperature, then place in refrigerator. To serve, run wet knife around inside edge of cup. Place serving plate over custard cup and turn over. Shake until flan separates from cup. Makes 6 servings.


(Fresh Mint Rum Julip)

This legendary Cuban cocktail is scented with yerba buena (known for stimulating the senses) and cleanses the palate for the feast ahead. Prepare each drink separately. Serve with light finger foods such as figs, almond-stuffed Spanish olives, nuts, cheese, grapes, or raspberries.
Ingredients:2 or 3 fresh mint leaves and 1 sprig of mint, for garnish1 teaspoon granulated sugarJuice of 1/2 limeCrushed ice1 1/2 ounces white rumClub soda or seltzer water
Preparation: Place mint leaves and sugar in a highball glass. Crush leaves lightly with a spoon. Add the lime juice and stir. Add ice and rum, then top off the drink with club soda or seltzer water. Stir again, garnish with the sprig of mint, and serve. Makes 1 serving.

La Cocina De Raquel -Carribean Coffee

In Spellfire Season 2 Deseos Navideno Raquel and her family made many traditional spanish meals which we have all come to enjoy. As a treat to all the loyal Midnight Showcase Reader, I am going to add different receipes for all to try. I do hope you enjoy the receipes.

Caribbean Coffee
This exotic blend combines dark, rich espresso with the tropical flavors of Caribbean rum and orange liqueur, topped with cream to create a dessert-like beverage.
Ingredients:1 cup brewed espresso2 tbsp. sugar2 tbsp. dark rum2 tbsp. Grand Marnier or orange liqueur of choice1 cup heavy creamCurled orange rinds for garnish
Preparation: In two large glass mugs divide brewed espresso. Add 1 tablespoon sugar to each and stir until dissolved, then mix into each 1 tablespoon rum and 1 tablespoon orange liqueur. Holding tablespoon facedown over side of mug, drizzle 1/2 cup cream over back of spoon so most of cream accumulates atop coffee. Repeat with second mug. Garnish with curled orange rinds, if desired. Makes 2 servings.