The Lemon and Lime Drop Martini

Have you ever had a lemon drop martini? It’s the inspiration for this drink. I just altered the recipe slightly.

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You will need:

Gin or vodka (vodka is probably better)
Sweet vermouth
Lemons and limes (one each for the number of drinks you want to make)
Honey
Sprite (yes, sprite)

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I’m on holiday in the Mediterranean; a time for relaxation and spending quality time with friends.

A very important part of this holiday time is drink o’clock. Whatever you’ve spent your day doing, be it history, culture, hiking, watersports or simply lying by the pool, I crave the ceremonial time at sunset when everyone showers off the sea salt, chlorine or sweat and puts on their evening wear, in preparation for a drink followed by dinner. It’s my favourite part of the day.

My friend wanted to try an alternative to a martini so I started wracking my brain. She likes lemons and limes so I thought back to time spent in New York, a time when I first encountered the Lemon Drop Martini. This is basically a strong vodka drink with the addition of lemon juice and sugar.

I didn’t have all the ingredients available to make a classic lemon drop martini so I started to think something up. I could have trekked around the local shops for the right stuff but I’m on holiday! I also wanted to put to use the lovely limes we had to hand.

We didn’t have any sugar, which is an important lemon drop ingredient, but we did have some Greek honey, so I came up with a plan which I hoped had some real local spin to it.

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Low hanging fruit

Juice a lemon and a lime for every martini you want to make.

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For every drink add 2.5 teaspoons of honey to a cup, then add the same amount of hot water to melt it.

Stir the honey mixture until the honey has dissolved, then add the lemon and lime juice. Stir them and chill, either in the fridge for a few hours or the freezer if you’re pushed for time.

When drink o’clock happens, add a dash of sweet vermouth to a chilled martini glass.

Top up half way with the honey lime and lemon juice.

Add a measure or two of gin/vodka.

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Top up with sprite to add some effervescence.

Garnish with lemon and/or lime peel, then serve it before it warms up.

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Yiamas!

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The Apple Martini (aka the Appletini)

This drink, the apple martini, took several attempts (and a strong liver) to perfect.

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My first recipe simply involved sour apple spirit (there are several brands) mixed with vodka (stored for at least a day in the freezer) garnished with an apple slice.

2 parts sour apple spirit
4-5 parts vodka
Apple slice

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While visually appealing with its clear green hue, I thought its chemical flavour was too strong and did not do justice to the fruit. I wanted a more natural apple taste. I also thought I could do more with the garnish.

So, after a few different experiments, I came up with the following:

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Thinly slice a green apple into round slivers, one for each of the martinis you intend to make. Try to make them as thin as possible so they are flexible, almost like paper, although this is difficult without breaking them.

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Cover both sides of the slices in sugar and set aside in the fridge, ideally for half an hour or more. If you know how to crystallise fruit this might be a good way to do it as well.

Chop up the rest of the apple into small chunks, discarding the core.

Put a squeeze of honey (around 1-2 tsp) into a Pyrex bowl and add around 30ml of boiling water. Stir until the honey dissolves.

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Add the apple, then add around 50ml sour apple spirit.

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Use a hand blender to turn the mixture into a small, highly alcoholic smoothie.

Take a martini glass from the freezer, then add the following in order:

1 measure sweet vermouth (or to taste)
2 measures of the smoothie (or to taste)
2-3 measures of vodka (or to taste)

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How you garnish the martini is up to you.

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But if you serve the slice of sugar-apple floating on the drink you might want to provide your drinkers with chopsticks or some other means of removing the slice elegantly from the glass.

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It’s a very sweet martini.

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And the combination of sugar and alcohol give it quite an explosive quality with a potentially devastating impact.

You have been warned!

Peartini

I’ve posted about this before but I’m going to do it again as I changed the garnish and the company.

The peartini is very easy. My rough recipe is as follows:

1 part vermouth
2.5 parts gin
3 parts pear juice from a tin
Garnish with one or two pear slices

And adjust the measurements to taste. It’s not really set in stone.

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It’s sweet and not as strong as a full martini, so it’s a nice after dinner drink instead of a dessert (some people might think that sacrilegious which I accept – I don’t eat many desserts).

For the garnish, slice the pear to shape, then cut a small insertion in the thick end so that it can fit onto the glass.

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And there you go.

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All you need now is some company.

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Cherry martini

My cousin was visiting for a catch up so I decided to make her something sweet and dark. I saw fresh cherries for sale, incidentally from the same shire that she comes from, so I bought them and went from there. So here is the result, the dark cherry martini.

3 parts gin or vodka
1-2 parts sweet vermouth (to taste)
2 parts cherry syrup (taken from a tin of dark cherries)
Dash of cane sugar dark cherry fizzy drink (totally optional, I only bought it out of interest)
Some cherries from the tin to garnish

I also served it with fresh, juicy dark cherries.

Sweet but tasty.

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Mario is obviously a fan.

Lychee martini

I learnt this one from a Singaporean lady. My version is very simple. Roughly half of the martini glass should be either gin or vodka, maybe with a dash of vermouth, while the rest should be topped up with the juice from a tin of lychees. Stir the drink then garnish with one or two lychees on a toothpick. It’s very easy to make and not as strong as a standard martini.

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