Monday, May 27, 2013

Thai Martinis

These martinis came about while we were planning our Salute to SALT menu.  Lemongrass was the predominant flavor - infusing both the soup and the dessert.  It is a lovely herb that takes us away to tropical beaches, spicy food and lazy afternoons.  So how to combine all of that inspiration into a cocktail??  Time to play at the bar!!

Let's just say that after several rounds of trial and error (or was that error and trial??), it was a surprise ingredient that pulled it together and made it zing - Sriracha!   This fabulous chili sauce (from the Thai coastal town of Si Racha) is a traditional dipping sauce that isn't for the faint of heart.  We hope you like it!


1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 part lemongrass-infused simple syrup
2 parts lemongrass infused vodka
4 drops Sriracha

To make the simple syrup, combine 1 cup (250 ml) each water and granulated sugar.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved.  This will get you a standard simple syrup that you can use to sweeten any cold drink - from ice tea to lemonade - we prefer cocktails!!

Once the dry ends and outer layers are removed,
the lemongrass should be smooth and fragrant

To make the syrup really special, cut the dry ends and bottom from a stalk of lemongrass.  Remove the tough outer layers.

Press the knife down gently to bruise the stalk, not crush it,
to release to release the oils.  

Lightly bruise with the flat side of a knife and add to the simple syrup (along with a few strips of lime peel and slices of fresh ginger if you really want it to zing!).

Let steep at least 15 minutes or longer if you prefer a stronger flavor.  Strain the solids and you are ready to go!  The syrup can be made a month ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

To infuse the vodka, prepare two or three lemongrass stalks as you did for the simple syrup.  Pour a 750ml bottle of good quality vodka into a clean container, add the lemongrass, seal and allow to infuse away for at least twenty-four hours.  Strain into another container (or back into its original bottle).

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and fill at least half way with ice.  Shake well while listening to your favorite island music.  Strain into two chilled martini glasses and enjoy with whomever you like while planning your next holiday to Thailand!!

Warning, these are addictive!

Yields two cocktails

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