We’d be lying if we said we weren’t crazy about bloggers’ Vianney Rodriguez and Yvette Marquez’s new book Latin Twist: Traditional and Modern Cocktails. After all, Vianney who blogs at Sweet Life Bakes and Yvette who blogs at Muy Bueno Cooking have devoted entire book devoted to cocktails.
But the love for this book gets personal on my part and goes a few steps deeper than just flipping through it’s pages, because I (Heidi) designed their cookbook.
Latin Twist follows Yvette’s first cookbook collaboration with her mother and sister, Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor, in which Yvette designed each page and created every graphic element of the cookbook. Realizing the amount of work that goes into the process, she was ready to have someone take that part over this time around.
That’s when Yvette asked me to design the book for them.
To say I was honored to be considered is an understatement. With Yvette’s keen eye for design and Vianney’s superb flair, I was a little apprehensive about whether I would meet their expectations. But I think I did. And in the end, it was a super fun collaboration to be a part of.
The Cocktail for Collaboration
The two first met online and at a few conferences, but it wasn’t until they found themselves stranded at the Los Angeles airport together that they really connected. They chatted over pizza and wine, and bonded over their mutual love of cooking and entertaining, as well as their heritage. They’re both Tejanas (from Texas and of Mexican descent), and they have similar interests when it comes to their affection for Mexican food and culture.
“I knew I wanted to collaborate on something, but didn’t really know what,” says Yvette. After brainstorming for a while, she and Vianney ultimately came up with the idea of Latin Twist.
Their collaborative effort showcases exotic drinks from Mexico and other Latin American countries.
“We often create a signature cocktail for the evening, so when Yvette approached me to collaborate on a cocktail book, I jumped at the chance to work with her,” says Vianney.
“We were a great team. I could trust her and she could trust me. We both had the same goals in mind — we wanted this book to not only be informative but gorgeous,” says Yvette.
“The most rewarding aspect was working together — developing and testing cocktails and styling every cocktail photographed. The challenge was that I live in Colorado and Vianney lives in Texas, so she had to travel quite a few times here when it came to shooting our book.”
They admit the process was hard work, but also great fun. “We work very well together,” Vianney explains. “Yvette would take the lead on certain areas and I on others, and it worked out. We both had the same vision for the book and wanted to project each country with beautiful photos and a stunning design. I think with the help of Jeanine—who photographed the book—and Heidi (me! the designer), the book is everything we wished for.”
Vianney favors the cocktails in the book that feature Pisco — a grape-based spirit used as a cocktail base, while Yvette’s favorite is the Ponche de Frutas — a Guatemalan drink made with coconut and plantains. “It is very similar to a Mexican drink we serve at Christmas time,” Yvette describes.
Yvette draws upon the memory of her grandma for her inspiration in the kitchen. “She had such a love for food,” she says. “Whenever I am not in the mood to cook or write about food or cocktails, I pray to my grandma who passed away in 2004. I think all food bloggers go through ups and downs and lose inspiration. It happens, and all we can do is find inspiration via magazines, tv shows, and for me to pray for it.”
Vianney also credits her abuelita (grandmother), her mami (mother) and Texas as her are sources of inspiration—from cooking to cocktails and everything in between.
And now, the list of 10 Q’s for Yvette and Vianney.
1. Describe your blog in 3 words:
Yvette: Mexican, stories, delicioso.
Vianney: Mexican, Tex-Mex, Tequila.
2. If you could be one blogger other than yourself, who would you be?
Yvette: Oh gosh, so hard…Hmmm, What’s Gaby Cooking. What’s not to love about her. She’s cute, young, fit, cooks some amazing food, and works and plays with a dream team— Matt Armendariz, and Adam Pearson.
Vianney: Homesick Texan — she travels all of Texas researching recipes and writes the best cookbooks and she recently opened a restaurant in New York, love her!
3. Which 3 blogs do you follow/are obsessed with/can’t live a day without?
Vianney: 3? I’m obsessed with 3,000 from cocktail bloggers to Latin bloggers to Texas bloggers. I visit them all weekly.
4. What is the one kitchen tool you could never give up?
Yvette: My grandmothers rolling pin that I inherited after she passed away.
Vianney: My molecajte, it was my abuelito’s and was given to my mother after she was married. My mami recently gave it to me and I treasure it.
5. What dish are you obsessed with mastering that you just can’t get quite right?
Vianney: Chicken fried steak, it haunts me, LOL!
6. What did you have for dinner last night?
Yvette: Italian food from Maggiano’s. Yes, I eat more than just Mexican food.
Vianney: Scallops over pasta in a brown butter sauce. My daughter plans to attend CIA so she cooks dinner three times a night. It was amazing!
7. What’s one secret talent outside of the kitchen nobody knows about you?
Yvette: I’m double jointed, flexible and trying to become a yogi.
Vianney: I play a mean game of UNO.
8. You’re happiest when cooking/eating:
Yvette: Chips and salsa, or fresh guacamole with a margarita on the side.
Vianney: Nachos and icy cold margaritas oh and queso, love queso!
9. The one secret to your success is?
Yvette: I don’t give up, I just have fun and I don’t compare myself to others.
Vianney: Hard work, patience and I never take myself too seriously.
10. What’s next for you both? Do you see another cookbook in your future?
Yvette: I’d love to write more books — I have a couple of ideas. Writing a book is a huge commitment and I’m just not ready to commit anytime soon.
Vianney: I’m set to launch my first video series pretty soon so I’m excited. Another book? Oh heck yeah!
Thank you Vianney and Yvette for being two of our favorite foodie crushes.
Drink Up Sunshine
There’s more to drinking tequila than simply shooting it or adding it to the best coconut margarita ever. I’ll take mine on the rocks with salt, please.
Tequila cocktails warm my heart, and they slowly warm my throat on the way down.
By the looks of it, one would think the Tequila Sunrise would be a complicated recipe, but in reality it’s only three ingredients. I took this recipe straight from Latin Twist, where I admired it on my computer screen well before I tasted it in my ice cube chilled glass.
Use a really good tequila for this simple drink. Vianney and Yvette recommend a blanco or reposado tequila. I used Patron Reposado mixed with a fresh orange juice, minus any pulp.
And remember to stir the tequila and orange juice BEFORE adding the grenadine or the sunrise effect will be lost and instead you’ll have a Tequila Rose. Or something like that.
- 1½ ounces blanco or reposado tequila
- ½ cup cold, fresh orange juice
- Splash of grendadine
- Fill a highball glass with ice. Slowly pour the tequila over the ice, followed by the orange juice and gently stir. Drizzle in the grenadine and let it slowly sink to the bottom. Do not stir or it will lose the sunrise effect.
Recipe from Latin Twist:Traditional and Modern CocktailsCheck out Yvette’s blog Muy Bueno Cooking here.
Check out Vianney’s blog Sweet Life Bakes here.
Purchase Latin Twist: Traditional and Modern Cocktails here.
This post was compiled by FoodieCrush contributor Hayley Putnam. Follow Hayley and her foodie tastes and other flights of fancy on Pinterest and Instagram.
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