I love a summer cocktail. I also love experimenting with different flavors combinations. The good news about these ingredients is that you can change them up. Try lemons and raspberries. Cilantro and cucumber. Blueberries and mint. The Vling mixer comes in cranberry pomegranate, citrus and regular tonic. So have fun with it!
Autumn flavors are magical. They bring you warmth and comfort and often hit all 5 tastes… sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. I wanted to create a beverage that “felt” like Fall. And I think I did it.
Introducing, The Red-Headed Martini. All it’s ingredients are auburn-red (as is its creator) and it’s a smooth yet feisty little drink (as is its creator). So aptly named.
I have now made this a few times using different brands of bourbon – some more expensive than others. And I can tell a difference. A big difference. If you can, please opt for the quality… make it last… make it a special occasion… but do yourself a favor and splurge a little. You will thank me.
Ingredients (makes 3-4 servings)
1 cup bourbon – I use Woodford Reserve [pictured].
1/2 cup amber beer – I prefer Negra Modelo. Pick your favorite – just be sure it’s an amber beer that isn’t too nutty or you’ll change the whole flavor profile.
1 tablespoon of dark maple syrup (adjust to taste).
A dusting of fresh grated nutmeg
3-4 dried red chile peppers (1 for each drink)
grater or micro plane
Chill martini glasses and your shaker in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes. The bourbon and beer should be chilled and syrup at room temperature. You can use ice if you forgot to chill everything – but this is not a drink you want watered down.
Ready to Make?
Pour cold bourbon, beer and maple syrup into a martini shaker and stir to mix ingredients. I don’t advise shaking this drink as you will bruise the bourbon the beer will head and foam everywhere. I may or may not be speaking from experience. 🙂
Pour into chilled martini glasses. Grate nutmeg into the martini and then float one dried chili on top. You won’t really experience any heat from the chili until the last sip, when it’s had time to soak making your last sip is the best! When does that ever happen?
This is the time of year when a cold beverage on the front porch just hits the spot. One of my favorite Spring & Summer drinks is one I came up with (or tweaked to make my own) last year. Very simple. Very good.
History of the Blue Ox Martini Name
So you’re probably wondering why I would call a redd-ish-amber-ish gradient-ish beverage a “Blu Ox Martini”.
The history goes waaayyy back… to about 5 minutes ago… when my friend Bizzle and I sat on my porch drinking them, and trying to figure out what to call them. And of course, the more we sipped, the more entertaining the titles became… but we finally settled on The Blu Ox Martini.
The Blu is for the Blueberry (and I spelled it without the “e” because, well… I’m cool like that). And the Ox comes from the antioxidants that are in this tasty beverage – thanks to the pomegranate juice and those fresh blueberries. The Ox also derives from the oxymoron of my thinking an alcoholic beverage can be an anti-oxidant. Thanks to Bizzle for pointing out that little fact. Nothing like a good friend to let you know when you’re being ridiculous.
2 shots New Amsterdam Gin (or your favorite gin – most people use vodka to make martinis, but I prefer gin as it doesn’t over power the other flavors)
1 shot Triple Sec
1 – 1.5 cup pomegranate juice, depending on size of shaker (I use Trader Joe’s organic – still trying to make this drink healthy)
Frost glasses in freezer while getting your drink ready. Pour shots and juice over ice in a martini shaker and shake gently. Stack blueberries onto swizzle sticks and set in glass. Pour shaken martini into frosted glasses and enjoy.
Makes 2 martinis.
The Perfect Bite
a gin-soaked blueberry off the cocktail stick, of course…
The Perfect Pairing
A good friend on the porch. Cheers!