Seriously this habit of posting late is getting to be a a true habit, good or bad I’m not sure. I just had a moment one day of not wanting to finish a blog post at 9:30pm and that’s how it started. Photos and entire post were postponed for the next morning but then other things happened and it became noon and then, well, here I am. A lot. So, I need some volunteers to come over and help me make a whole bunch of cocktails so I can get ahead of the curve. Because the thing is with cocktails, considering I actually make them with real ingredients and all…I can’t do 3 or 4 in one day. Well, guess I could but it would not be pretty. You might not see evidence of a post at ALL!
And I hope you agree that would be a shame. Because I love doing this and I really love discovering the boundless ways that liquor can be combined to create something new and different and yes, delicious! I mentioned in my post for this Sonama Goat Cheese Torta that I had tried the Organic Sunshine Martini at Seasons 52. Their menu indicates that it is just two ingredients, Orange-infused Prairie Organic Vodka and Agave Nectar. While I’ve borrowed (completely stolen) their name, I did add some of my own touches and really loved this vibrant and cheery drink which is sort of a combined mimosa and martini and it is so simple and so good!
We’re anticipating a huge snowstorm this weekend. In most years our forecast of 12-18 inches of snow would be big but considering what the Northeast has seen this year, that seems paltry doesn’t it? But it’s not; it’s still a big storm and I wanted to make something that both celebrated the season of citrus (now) with a vibrant, pretty cocktail that was spirit lifting. I’m also roasting a huge pork butt to use for Cubano sandwiches. I’ve wanted/needed an excuse to make them ever since I saw the movie ‘Chef.’ This weekend just sounded like the right time; we’re going to need some warmth and some cheer; and I’m thinking these two should do it.
I didn’t have the vodka that was used at the restaurant but it seemed simple enough to make my own. Infusing spirits is easy; add some fruit or herbs to vodka and wait two days. It’s not like making a liqueur when you add sugar to the mix and wait 2-4 weeks. You just want a touch of that flavor in vodka that is used in cocktails. Because it is a short brewing time, I simply added orange slices, pith and all. If you were using a stronger proof and letting it meld longer, that would be a mistake because the pith can be bitter, but for this quicker brewing time it was not an issue. Use a decent vodka, neither too cheap or too pricey, medium is just right! Right before I strained it, I muddled it a bit too to extract a bit more of the juice. This vodka is so good I could almost drink it straight and thinking that for summer I’ll do that; freeze it and serve it as icy shots.
For the sparkling part of this cocktail I used Freixenet; a Spanish Cava that is named after the Ferrer family’s 13th century family home in La Freixeneda (literally meaning a place where ash trees grow in Catalan). A combination of 35% Macabeo, 25% Xarel·lo and 40% Parellada grapes, Freixenet Cava has an exceptional, fresh, fruity style and a lingering aroma and one that I have enjoyed on its’ own. Discovering this review on Wine Spectator, ‘This shows more finesse than many of its peers, displaying a subtle juiciness, joined by aromatic apricot, quince, mandarin orange and almond notes. Finely meshed, with a lightly spiced finish,’ I decided that it would be the perfect partner for this citrus based cocktail.
Here’s to Cubanos, citrus and snow all in one weekend. Who’s coming over?
Orange Sunshine Martini
- 2 oz vodka (orange infused if you prefer)
- 1 oz orange liqueur (I use Citronge)
- 1 oz OJ
- 1 oz Agave Nectar or Simple Syrup
- Chilled Cava
- Orange wheels for garnish
- Put all ingredients except Cava into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until mixture is icy cold.
- Pour into chilled glasses, top with sparkling wine and garnish with an orange wheel.
To Make the orange infused vodka:
(1) 750 ml bottle of vodka
(2) medium size organic oranges, sliced (if not organic, scrub the rinds with soap and rinse well)
Combine the orange slices and vodka in a glass container. Leave out at room temperature for two days. Lightly muddle the oranges slices after two days and strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a bottle.