Okay, so...I love cocktails, obviously. Here are a few new things I'm doing:
1. Adding apple slices to Bourbon - specifically Maker's Mark. Normally I get Woodford Reserve, but I thought I'd try something different and read that Maker's Mark was reasonably priced and similar quality. After tasting, I do agree - but it is slightly drier than the Woodford. I found an article online saying to add apple slices to Whiskey to make it smoother, so I did just that. Currently my Maker's Mark is sitting in my cupboard with lots of apples in it and in about 5 days I will start deciding whether to take them out.
2. Homemade Vodka Infusions - I had already tried homemade chocolate vodka with a friend of mine - it turned out quite good. So, rather than buying a full bottle of an infusion that likely contains artificial ingredients, I thought I would just infuse directly. I have a few mason jars set aside right now with Russian Standard vodka plus finely diced asian pear, blackberries, and melted semi-sweet ghiradelli chocolate. All looks good so far!
3. Homemade Ginger Syrup - This took the most time. After finely dicing the ginger, I set it to simmer in about 3-4 cups of water. I let it simmer probably for a good hour. I used the not-to-the-point-of-boiling water to melt my chocolate for the aforementioned chocolate vodka. After all that, I added 2/3 cup sugar and started it boiling and hand-blended the ginger, since it was now very soft. After that, and it was reduced to about 2.5 cups, I filtered it and then replaced it back into the pot and boiled it down to almost fill one of those small glass bottles used for tonic water and club soda. It has a dark gray-brown color to it.
Cocktail: The French Ginger Martini
2 oz Asian Pear Vodka (Homemade)
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup (Homemade)
1/2 oz St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1 dash Agave Nectar
1 dash Benedictine
1 dash Lime juice
Shaken with ice for a good 30 seconds or so - then strained into a chilled cocktail glass. Ideas for garnish include a twist of lemon, a lime wedge, or crystallized ginger cube.
Taste? AMAZING. The ginger is so potent - It is spicy but the good kind of spicy, tastes fresh and invigorating, and this is probably one of my best martini cocktails - right up there with my Acai Martini, likely to be renamed "Berry Martini" once I use my (currently brewing) blackberry vodka in the mixture. Honestly, I should sell this damn cocktail recipe it's that fricking amazing.