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August 2014

Ginger Lime Martini

I first saw this combination at a local bar.  Unfortunately the bar, which shall remain nameless in order to keep me from becoming a defendant in a defamation lawsuit, delivered a product which, at best, aspired to mediocrity.  How could a bar FUBAR such a wonderfully simple cocktail concept? If you’re not familiar with the acronym FUBAR, I suggest you pray to Saint Google.  I could have tried to figure out the answer, but I preferred to focus on making a better cocktail.  I know this is not technically a martini (see my “rules” from an earlier post).  Here is my version:

2 parts vodka
1 part ginger liqueur (right now I’m using Domaine de Canton but that probably will change, see below)
Fresh lime juice

Combine in shaker with ice, shake, then strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with lime.

I’m a big fan of ginger.  If you happen to go to Singapore, I definitely recommend Halia, which has a ginger themed menu.

You’ll see that I use Domaine de Canton in this recipe. Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur is pretty smooth and is fairly common across the U.S.

I’m looking forward to preparing this cocktail with Barrow’s Intense ginger liqueur.  My wife and I had the privilege of tasting it at Tales Of The Cocktail last month.  The liqueur is true to its name and excellent. In an experience that I can best describe as serendipitous, the day after we tasted the liqueur we met the founder of Barrow’s Intense at the The Bombay Club, a very good old school bar and restaurant in New Orleans (my compliments go to Bree and Rachel, both of whom are excellent bartenders).  Barrow’s Intense comes out of Brooklyn, and it definitely has the potential to be a major player on the cocktail scene.  If you do not love the strong ginger flavor as much as I do, you may want to adjust the proportions if you use it as part of a ginger lime martini.

The Hamlet Cocktail Conundrum

To shake or to stir, that is the question.

No one should mistake me for the cocktail version of William Shakespeare, so you should do that with which you are comfortable.  Many people have very firm views on this topic.  One obvious advantage to shaking a cocktail is that it gets the libation very cold very quickly, especially if you are using a metal shaker.  Also, if you shake vigorously (how else would you do it?) your arms can get a reasonably decent short workout.  However, if you stir there isn’t quite the risk of a diluting a cocktail too much with ice.

Here is my general rule – if the cocktail contains citrus juice, e.g. a Daiquiri, or egg white, e.g. a Pisco Sour, shake the hell out of it.  Otherwise, stir.

I am quite aware of my fictional hero James Bond’s mantra when it comes to vodka martinis.  Shaking a martini is an exception to the Hamlet Cocktail Conundrum, and it is an exception I embrace.  Just figure out which method you like and go with it.