Do you know what makes a good drink? The answer is fresh ingredients. It’s the same with food recipes too. You get really fresh ingredients and the whole becomes greater than the sum of it’s parts. So how do you make drinks with fresh ingredients? Lets make a grapefruit vodka martini and I’ll show you.
Before we make the grapefruit vodka martini, lets take a quick look at the very common and very boring drink the screwdriver. It’s just vodka and orange juice right? Now did you ever have one when you were vacationing somewhere tropical? I bet that was the best screwdriver you ever had right? Its safe to say that it was because if was made with fresh squeezed orange juice.
What is a dirty vodka martini? My definition is that it’s an outstanding way to drink vodka. I’ve never been a huge fan of regular vodka martinis. You might as well just have vodka on the rocks or straight up instead. There’s nothing wrong with vodka martinis but there’s not a lot of flavor in that drink. But with this Dirty Vodka Martini Recipe, you’ll have all the flavor you’ll need.
The dirty part of the dirty martini is olive brine. Basically you’re mixing vodka with olive juice. That’s it. It tastes great and it’s definitely not hard to make.
dirty vodka martini recipe
3 parts vodka
1 part olive brine
Combine in cocktail shaker with ice
Serve in a martini glass
Garnish with olives
Most people will make their vodka to olive brine ratio more like 5 or 6 to 1. I’m good with 3:1. Extra dirty is a good thing.
You can buy a bottle of olive juice or brine at your local liquor store to make your dirty vodka martinis at home. But if you want something a little more interesting you’ll need to find a gourmet olive bar in your favorite supermarket or farmer’s market. Get a container of olives (stuffed with blue cheese if you can find them) for your garnish. And also get a container with just the olive juice in it to add to your vodka.
Now there are some that say that you need to add vermouth to a dirty martini but I’m not one of those people. Olive juice has such a strong flavor that it’s going to overpower just about anything else. And in the worst case the vermouth and olive juice will work against each other. Try it with vermouth if you want but I don’t think you need it.
I heard that Winston Churchill disliked vermouth so much that he’d only wave the bottle or cork over the martini. Sounds like a smart guy to me, so I’ll be having my dirty vodka martinis Winston Churchill style.
This past winter I was on a big Black and Tan kick. My wife and I went to a 50th birthday party in an Irish Pub and I drank quite a few of them that night and that brought back some good memories. It was one of my go to drink choices when I went out in my Hoboken days. I was a lot younger back then and I wasn’t going to 50th birthday parties that’s for sure but it still tasted just as good as I remembered. I really don’t know why I haven’t had a black and tan or one of it’s many variations in years.
Ever since that night, when I have a hankering for a good beer, I grab a Guinness and make one of these awesome layered beer drinks. I’ve tried lots of different variations but I have to say that my favorite is the snake bite.
A Snake Bite drink is technically 1/2 lager and 1/2 hard cider but in the US it’s mostly served with Guinness. You pour the hard cider into the glass first. Then you slowly pour the Guinness over the back of a spoon so that it’s drips down the side of the glass and sits on top of the cider. And if you’re out of practice pouring over a spoon like I was, then you need one of these The Perfect Black and Tan Beer Layering Tool. Check out my YouTube video about to see how to use it. Definitely turns making a black and tan or snake bite drink into a no skill required event.
They say that the Snake Bite drink is the poor man’s version of a Black Velvet (which is a stout and champagne)
And here’s some more useful information about the Snakebite Drink
Snakebite and Black is the drink I described above, plus a splash of a black currant cordial. This drink can also be called a Diesel.
Add a shot of vodka to a Snake Bite and Black/Diesel and you have a Turbo Diesel
There’s a rumor that the Snake Bite drink is illegal in the UK. It actually is not illegal but many bar owners choose not to serve this drink because people tend to over indulge because it’s tastes so damn good.
Ginger Beer seems to be the flavor of the season. It’s all over my favorite food and drink magazines/blogs/etc. So what’s the big deal about it anyway? I like ginger ale (especially with bourbon) so I figured why not see what all the fuss is about and make this Moscow Mule Recipe that uses Ginger beer.
I quickly learned that the difference between ginger ale and ginger beer is that ale is a carbonated drink made with water and ginger while the beer is brewed and fermented. The most popular cocktails made with ginger beer are the Dark and Stormy and the Moscow Mule.
After a quick peek into my liquor cabinet, I realized that there were slim pickings in there. Basically vodka, tequila and mixers. Hmm, I’ll have to do something about that on my next pay day but for right now I decided my first ginger beer drink was going to be a Moscow Mule.
On my way home from work, I was picked up a 4 pack of ginger beer. Everyone recommended the Goslings variety but they didn’t have that at the store. In fact, I only have one choice so i picked up the 4 pack of Fever Tree Ginger Beer. Turns out it was a good pick.
They say that the Moscow Mule was invented by two guys in the 1940ies. One guy sold vodka and the other sold ginger beer. Neither one of them were moving a lot of product so they put their heads together and came up with the Moscow Mule. 1 part vodka, 2 parts ginger beer, squeeze a lime and serve it over ice. They also knew a guy who sold copper mugs and he happened to have a lot of extra inventory. So they engraved some famous celebrities names onto the mugs and these celebrities actually started ordering the drinks when they went out. It helped that the Ginger Beer maker owned a popular bar. Then the regular people started ordering them too. And the Moscow Mule was born.
Can you imagine what would happen if they tried that with celebrities now? Cease and desist letters would be served quicker than the drinks. Well lucky for them, their plan worked and it became a popular drink back then and it’s actually going through a bit of a revival now.
Moscow Mule is really and awful name for a nice and refreshing drink. I think they figured that the Moscow part was the vodka and the spicy kick of the ginger beer is the from the mule. Even without the copper mug, it’s a nice summer drink.
Next time I have some Kraken dark rum in the house, I’ll make a Kraken Dark and Stormy and see which one I like better.
Margarita Week continues here at GoodStuffAtHome and today we’re doing the frozen Blueberry Margarita. The key to a great blueberry margarita is really tart blueberries. So if it’s summertime and you just visited the farmers market you’re all set. If you plan on using frozen blueberries in a bag or a little basket from the supermarket, your drink will still be okay but definitely not as awesome as it can be. There’s something about the tartness of blueberries that goes great with lime.
Now a blueberry margarita, the way I make it is refreshingly light drink. It tastes like spring. Here’s how you do it. Start with the margarita recipe that you’re comfortable with. Whether that means using a margarita mix or using my margarita recipe with the 3-2-1 ratio, you’ll be fine. If using the recipe you may want to double up the lime juice, so try a 3-2-2 ratio and see if you like it. And remember, fresh squeezed lime juice is the way to go.
This next step is really hard. Add a cup of blueberries to your blender or margarita machine. And that’s it. You may think that I’m just trying to crank out blog content but after many attempts and variations this is the recipe that I like best. I tried making it sweeter with agave syrup and honey but that decreases the tartness that is unique to this drink. That’s why the really tart blueberries are important. I also tried to blue it up more by adding Blue Curacao but that sort of gave it a diet soda kind of flavor that wasn’t very appealing either. I’m sticking with my recipe of just adding tart blueberries to an extra limed up margarita.
Another variation I tried was to first puree the blueberries in the blender and then strain them. This way you don’t get little tiny pieces of blueberry skin in your margarita. But it my opinion, it wasn’t worth the effort. Enjoy the little bits and remember to check your teeth every once in a while.
Your taste buds might be a little different than mine so give it a shot and see how you like it.
Yesterday was Father’s Day and I decided to completely block out my 9-5 job from my mind and pretend I was a full time blogger/writer. So of course, the first thing I did was declare that this upcoming week would be Margarita Week at GoodStuffAtHome. Full time bloggers declare things all the time, so I wanted to get in on the action. Making drinks, trying new recipes and taking pictures of it all is a great way to spend the day. The kids had a long weekend and were glued to their iPads while watching a movie so, Happy Father’s Day to me. After a quick trip to the store for some margarita ingredients the taste testing was underway.
The first drink I made was a regular frozen margarita. Now remember that I am the proud owner of a Margaritaville Frozen-Concoction Maker and it’s of my opinion that it’s the best margarita machine on the market. I did a full review of the Margaritaville DM0500 Frozen-Concoction Maker if you’d like to read it but the quick summary is that shaved ice is better than ice that gets smashed in a blender. It doesn’t clog the straw and it goes down nicely. And the cool factor of owning a margarita machine is also a big factor at my home.
Now if you’re throwing a party and you have to make margaritas all day/night long, then I recommend using a margarita mix. You really don’t want to spend all your party time squeezing limes do you? Jose Cuervo Margartia Mix and Mr & Mrs. T Margarita Mix are very readily available at liquor stores and they will suit your needs just fine. But do you know how to jazz up the flavor a little bit? Add a quick splash of orange juice to the mix. I learned this from a friend of mine who also has a Margaritavilla machine. Something about that OJ just makes things right. Now my brother in law has a similar opinion about adding the orange flavor to a margarita but he goes with a splash of Grand Mariner. Either addition to your mix is a-okay.
When I’m in the mood for a great margarita, I take the time to squeeze the limes myself. You really can’t beat fresh lime juice. If you have a good lime squeezer you can get about a 1/4 of a cup of lime juice from each lime. That means that you’ll need a few limes for each and every drink. Hey it’s a lot of work but like I said, it’s worth it. Go with my favorite margarita ratio of 3-2-1 and you’ll be set. Here’s a post all about that margarita recipe.
This week, I’ll be posting more margarita recipes including strawberry and blueberry. Hey this is a tough job but someone has to do it.