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Dirty Lemon Martini

Dirty Lemon Martini

Dirty Lemon Martini

I’ve had martinis on my mind lately, which explains this Dirty Lemon Martini.  I’ve found a new podcast that I absolutely love called Martinis and Murder.  The best part is that every episode starts with a martini recipe, which I guess makes the fact that the rest of the podcast is all about true crime a little easier to swallow.  The hosts, Daryn Carp and John Thrasher, are very funny and very engaging.  It helps, too, that their producer Matt is a shadowy figure in the background, making up martinis and making the occasional snarky remark that only the hosts can hear. I don’t usually read or watch true crime stories, which is strange, given that my preferred reading genre is mysteries.  It’s one thing for it to be made up, I suppose, then for it to be something that happened in real life.  This podcast is the exception for me, as it reminds me quite a bit of the podcast, Serial.

But enough about true crime podcasts.  Back to the Dirty Lemon Martini.  I love a good dirty martini.  I’ve been known to make them with any olive brine I have on hand, including that from kalamata olives.  There’s something so lovely about the brininess of the olives and the sharpness of the vodka and Vermouth.  My favorite variation on this theme is a dirty martini with the brine of preserved lemons.  Oh my goodness – this is the perfect way to end out a week.  Preserved lemons infuse the brine with a hint of lemon.  I use juniper berries and peppercorns in my preserved lemons, so there’s a hint of these spices as well.

Dirty Lemon Martini

This martini is so easy to make – all it takes is some good vodka, a dry Vermouth, and the brine from some preserved lemons.  This is yet another good reason to have salt preserved citrus on hand, because when Friday comes around, who wouldn’t want to curl up with Netflix and a Dirty Lemon Martini?

Dirty Lemon Martini

Dirty Lemon Martini

Dirty Lemon Martini

Cheers!

Dirty Lemon Martini

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Dry Vermouth
  • 1/2 - 1 ounce brine from preserved lemons

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  2. Serves 1
  3. Enjoy!
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Almond Brownie Martini

Almond Brownie Martini

This week’s happy hour post is all about how to have dessert in a glass with this almond brownie martini. I had multiple days of travel this week, not to mention a project or two that made me feel like I was living the movie Groundhog Day.  So oh, yeah, the velvety chocolate bliss of Godiva Chocolate Liqueur was definitely in order.  And drinking dessert before dinner – that was in order, too.

My almond brownie martini takes a few ingredients, including Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Stoli Vanilla Vodka, Crème de Cacao, and Amaretto.  And cherries, too.  If you are like me and planning out your Friday happy hour early on in the week, you might just realize you’re missing a key ingredient, say, like the Godiva Chocolate Liqueur.  What to do?  Go to Drizly!  Drizly is an amazing service that lets you browse for wine, beer, and liquor online and then order – and then it shows up at your door a couple of days later.  How awesome is that?  Plus, one of my biggest problems with shopping (and this is pretty much true with anything from alcohol to clothes) is feeling pressured to make a decision while I’m browsing in a store.  Drizly completely takes away that pressure – I can browse online as long as I want and order when I’m ready to order.  You can definitely find the ingredients for this martini at Drizly, including the Godiva Chocolate Liqueur along with the Stoli Vanilla Vodka (and a lot of other great vodkas, too!).

Almond Brownie Martini

I couldn’t resist doing a fancy rim on my martini.  I used melted white chocolate and chopped up dark chocolate chunks to achieve the yummiest rim I’ve ever had on a martini.  A quicker and just as yummy rim for this cocktail is a bit of super fine sugar and a bit of cocoa powder.  So perfect to sip on one of these after a long work week.

Almond Brownie Martini

Almond Brownie Martini

Almond Brownie Martini

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Godiva chocolate liqueur
  • 1 1/2 ounces creme de cacao
  • 1 ounce Stoli vanilla vodka
  • 1 ounce Amaretto
  • Fresh or preserved cherries
  • For chocolate rim
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chunks, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. To make the chocolate rim, melt the white chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. On a separate plate, place the chopped chocolate chunks. Spread the white chocolate on a plate or in a small bowl. Roll the rim of your martini glass in the white chocolate. Dip the white chocolate into the chopped chocolate chunks. Freeze the martini glass and rim for about 10-15 minutes to set the rim.
  2. To make the Almond Brownie Martini, combine the Godiva chocolate liqueur, creme de cacao, Stoli vanilla vodka, and amaretto in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into your prepared martini glass and enjoy!
  3. Serves 1 - but can easily be doubled...or tripled..or quadrupled to serve more.
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Disclosure: This post contains sponsored content brought to you by Drizly.  As always, all opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own.

Blood Orange Martini

Blood Orange Martini

Blood Orange Martini

This Friday’s Happy Hour post continues my obsession with blood oranges in the form of a blood orange martini.  Would you believe that I’m really almost at the end of doing all my blood orange recipes after I got the box of oranges from my friend in Arizona?  I have blood oranges preserved in various ways.  I have blood orange bitters infusing through next week.  And I have a bag of frozen blood orange juice, which I’ve been using as ice cubes for cocktails, including for this blood orange martini.

I have a tendency to go way overboard with produce.  I’ve had years where I’ve ended up going to a u-pick farm and coming home with thirty pounds of cucumbers or sixty pounds of tomatoes.  My first year of u-pick, I picked just about every fruit that was available, and we had frozen berries and jams and pickles to last us nearly two years.  I’ve been a bit more moderate this last year.  I canned thirty pounds of tomatoes into spaghetti sauce.  I didn’t bother with pickles, because we still have some.  The good thing about being moderate is that by the time the blood oranges came into my life, I wasn’t overly exhausted from preserving all summer long.

One of the best things I did with the oranges was to make blood orangecello.  I used the same basic technique I used for my limoncello.  I used a veggie peeler to peel five blood oranges.  When you do this, use just the outer peel, not the pith.  I steeped the peels in vodka for four days in a quart jar (peels + enough vodka to fill the jar).  I made a simple syrup of 3 1/2 cups water and 2 1/2 cups sugar.  I strained out the peels from the vodka, combined it with the simple syrup and let that sit overnight.  The infused vodka and simple syrup go in jars and get refrigerated and that’s that.  The blood orangecello did not have an especially red hue to it – it looks like the limoncello.  The taste, however, is akin to a good triple sec.  It’s really lovely and especially lovely in this blood orange martini.

blood orange martini

If you don’t have the time to make the blood orangecello, triple sec or cointreau will also work in this recipe.

blood orange martini

The cubes there in the front are frozen blood orange juice.  I used these when I made the blood orange martini, defrosting about four to get the juice.  I also used these to chill the martini a bit more after I’d made it.  The juice melts and doesn’t water down the cocktail.

blood orange martini

Blood Orange Martini

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce blood orangecello or triple sec or cointreau
  • juice from one blood orange

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice or with blood orange ice cubes. Shake. Strain into a cocktail glass and enjoy! Serves 1
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Roasted Strawberry and Rhubarb Martini – Friday Happy Hour

Roasted Strawberry and Rhubarb Martini – Friday Happy Hour

Happy Friday everyone!  It’s martini time!  The temperatures are rising here in the PNW – there’s a threat that we may see close to 100 degree temperatures by Saturday.  I think that this calls for a whole pitcher of martinis.  Ok – maybe it’s not quite that extreme yet.  At the very least, if you are looking for a recipe that makes a fruity martini for one, look no further (or – feel free to double the recipe to share).

roasted strawberry rhubarb martini

Roasted Strawberry and Rhubarb Martini
Serves 1 (but could easily be adapted for more)

1 ounce roasted strawberry and rhubarb mashed
2 ounces vodka
juice of 1/2 a lemon
a dash vanilla

Muddle the roasted strawberry and rhubarb in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.  Add the vodka, lemon and vanilla. Add ice and shake.  Serve in a chilled martini glass with a sugar dipped rim (I ran a bit of vanilla over the rim of my martini glass and then dipped it in sugar).

 

Pink Peppercorn Pomelo Martini

Pink Peppercorn Pomelo Martini

As we’ve been packing, I’ve been going through the various spices I’ve managed to accumulate over the past few years.  I don’t even recall now why I bought pink peppercorns, but they’ve been sitting forlorn and neglected at the back of the spice rack for a little while now, so I thought I’d see if I couldn’t use a bit up for a Friday martini.  And for a bit of Friday trivia: pink peppercorns aren’t actually peppercorns, but rather, are related to the cashew.

This particular drink also makes use of the seasonal citrus glut, with the juice of a Pomelo providing a nice counterpoint to the spicy peppercorn.

pink_pepper1pepper_martini_rimpepper_martini_no_rimpink_pepper2

Pink Peppercorn Pomelo Martini
Serves One

2 ounces vodka
Juice from one pomelo
1 ounce pink peppercorn syrup (recipe follows)

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake, strain, and serve.

Pink Peppercorn Syrup
Makes enough for four or five cocktails

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon crushed pink peppercorns

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.  Cool and either use once cool or steep overnight for a more intense peppercorn flavor.

Kumquat Meyer Lemon Martini

Kumquat Meyer Lemon Martini

This kumquat Meyer lemon martini is perfect for the holidays.  Christmas is hands down my favorite time of year. All the sparkly lights and all the wonderful foods. It’s also usually the time of year when I have an extended period of time off of work and plenty of time to experiment with new recipes and food stuffs. It’s also a great time of year for a sparkly cocktail. That and all the lovely citrus starts showing up in the grocery stores here in the PNW. This little cocktail has a bit of it all: some sparkle, two types of citrus, and a photogenic presence.

I’m especially fond of kumquats this time of year.  These bitty citrus look like an elongated mini-orange (and we know how I feel about mini everything!).  Kumquats are pretty versatile – they can be eaten as a snack whole, peel and all, as well as salt-preserved (these were the first citrus I ever preserved using the salt technique), candied, and infused in a simple syrup for cocktails, like this one.  The kumquats add a nice sweetness to the otherwise sweet/sour of the Meyer lemons.

Kumquat Meyer Lemon Martini

Kumquat Meyer Lemon Martini

Kumquat Meyer Lemon Martini

Ingredients

    Kumquat Meyer Lemon Martini
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces Meyer lemon juice
  • ½ ounce kumquat simple syrup (recipe follows)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • zest from one Meyer lemon
  • 1 or 2 sliced kumquats for garnish
  • Kumquat Simple Syrup
  • 6 kumquats, sliced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water

Instructions

    For the Kumquat Meyer Lemon Martini
  1. Combine the vodka, lemon juice, and kumquat syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Combine the sugar and zest of the Meyer lemon in a shallow dish. Dampen the rim of your martini glass with a bit of water and then dip the rim in the sugar/lemon mixture. Pour the martini into the prepared glass and garnish with the sliced kumquats.
  2. For the kumquat simple syrup
  3. Combine the kumquats, sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Stir occasionally and cook for five or so minutes, pushing on the kumquat slices to release juice. Pour syrup (kumquats included) into a small jar and cool. Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for a few days.
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