Thursday, March 10, 2011

Martini Time or How to Host a Perfect Party

Years ago, My Love and I discovered the vodka martini. We started traditional with a cosmopolitan, and through the years, have expanded to many other variations on a theme. And now, for your enjoyment, I am about to reveal the recipes for our Top 5 Favourite Martinis.

But first a few words on entertaining the relatives. In every family, there are one or two people who take on the responsibility of the holiday dinners. In our family, within the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), the hosts were Uncle Louie/Auntie Kaye, and the Beauty and I. With time, the Uncle Louie/Auntie Kaye torch was passed to their daughter, Cousin June.

So, with at least 20 years of family dinner party experience under our belt, we know that if you don’t want verbal fisticuffs to break out, get ‘em mellow and quickly. In other words, while they are taking off their coats, hand them a drink. For many years, that meant Margaritas, on ice (hint: frozen is not for drinkers, it’s for a Caribbean vacation).

Some ten or so years ago, we expanded to Margaritas for the under 30 crowd, and Martinis for the more sophisticated, elder statesmen types. Or, the “alter-kakers” as our peers were described last week on The Good Wife.

That’s pretty much the history of how I became an expert on Martinis, and now, what you’ve all been waiting for, my top 5 recipes.

  1. Cosmopolitan

1 oz. Vodka

½ oz. Triple Sec

½ oz. Lime Cordial

½ oz. Cranberry Juice (we use the frozen stuff from the grocery store)

(hint: put some cranberries in the bottom of each glass, frozen or fresh both work)

  1. Lychee Martini

1 oz. Vodka

1 oz. Lychee Liqueur (in Toronto the brand is Soho)

a dash of Lychee juice from the container that the canned lychees came in

(hint: add a lychee to the bottom of each glass)

  1. French Kiss Martini

This is my creation, and wonderful. It’s a derivative of a martini that we had at The Boca Raton Resort called a Key Lime Martini. We couldn’t get the vanilla liqueur used at the Boca, but we found a brand called French Kiss. So, I improvised as follows:

1 oz. Vodka

1 oz. French Kiss(tm) Liqueur

It was a hit. So much so that it became our favourite Martini for a few months. Then, we ran out of the liqueur and when we tried to replace it, they were out of French Kiss and we settled on a “superior” brand. The problem with the superior brand was that the vanilla flavour overpowers the martini. Stick with French Kiss.

  1. Ice Wine Martini

We were re-gifted a bottle of Vineland Estates Vice, a Vodka Icewine. It’s been sitting in the basement since Christmas. Last week, I cooled it and followed the instructions for drinking (pour into a martin glass with ice). GREAT. GREAT. GREAT. We thought it was great.

Now, I’ve investigated recipes on the web and came up with equal parts vodka and icewine, with a few frozen grapes in the bottle of the glass (nice touch). We haven’t tried that yet. But, if you can get it in the pre-mixed version, it is worth the investment.

  1. Rumtini

This recipe is compliments of Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica. The menu published ingredients, sort of, I took it from there.

1 oz. Rum

½ oz. Blueberry or Blackberry Liquor

2 splashes of Sprit to give it a bit of bubbly action

(hint: add a berry or two to the bottom of the glass)

Anyone with some other recipes, I’m willing to try them out and let you know my opinion.

1 comment:

  1. Have you tried Alabama Smasher, made with Vodka and Southern Comfort?