My adventures in raw and plant based desserts 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!)