My adventures in raw and vegan dessert and the occasional savory recipe creation!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Sparkling Garnet Martini
Recently at one of my favorite restaurants, Sapor Cafe in Minneapolis, I had ordered a drink that the server described as an "adult" Shirly Temple called the "Lovely Lady". I am sure most of you know what a shirly temple is, but in case you don't it is a drink children often order with sprite and grenadine with a marschino cherry. I often ordered them as a kid, and find them way too sweet as an adult, but I was intrigued by the idea of an upscale adult version. Theirs had Gin with a house made hibiscus grenadine, citrus and Griottine cherry. It was a beautiful pink color, and it was way better than a Shirly temple, balanced and not too sweet.
It made me want to create my own! I didn't have the recipe of course, but I did manage to create my own delicious variation of it. First off, I made a hibiscus agave syrup, using dried hibiscus flowers that I happened to have on hand. I prefer agave to a sugar syrup any day, as I try to stay away from lots of refined white sugars. It was the most beautiful intense pink color once the flowers had infused.
I combined the syrup with gin, some fresh lemon juice to balance the sweetness of the drink, and lastly, once the martini had been mixed I topped it off with a sparkling cherry juice (all fruit sweetened). It needed the cherry to garnish as well, and I did not have Griottine cherries. But I did have dried cherries, so I soaked a few ahead of time in some of the same gin I would be using in the drink. Theirs was served in a tall glass, but since I feel like a martini glass makes a drink sexy, like a drink in stilettos... I served mine in my prettiest martini glass.
The drink was so beautiful, the most radiant intense red color like that of a garnet. Appropriate also because it was created in January and the January birthstone is a garnet. But just as important as beauty is how it tasted. It was delicious! Slightly sweet cherry with a hint of the herbal gin, a brightness of citrus and a foral note from the hibiscus syrup. It was not the same as the drink at Sapor, but it was amazing! I love it when I can get a $12 martini for free with ingredients I have on hand at home! Here is the recipe if you would like one for yourself... no need to share!
(Cherry Hibiscus Gin Martini with Citrus)
6 large ice cubes
4 oz gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 oz hibiscus syrup*
sparkling cherry juice
gin soaked cherries*
To make drink, in a martini shaker add the ice, gin, hibiscus syrup, lemon juice, and place top on shaker. Shake until well blended. Pour the drink through a strainer into a the prepared martini glass, top it off with the sparking cherry juice garnish with gin soaked cherries and serve!
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup filtered water
2 Tbsp dried hibiscus flowers
Combine all ingredients in a jar, put the lid on and shake to dissolve agave nectar. Let sit at least a day to infuse, then strain to remove flowers. Store in the fridge for up to a month.
*Gin soaked cherries
Place 1 cup dried organic cherries in a clean jar, and cover with just enough gin to submerge. Let sit a few days before using. (the leftover cherry infused gin is delicious in drinks!)