When my work week is finally over, I like to have a fancy cocktail to celebrate. I get bored with the same old drinks on the menu like Cosmos, Dirty Martinis and Rum and Cokes so I tend to experiment with whatever is in my fridge to come up with something that tastes deliciously different. Here are the winners thus far:
Pepperoncini Martini (spring/summer)
A spicy spin on the Dirty Martini, or a good alternative for those who love Greek food but hate olives.
1.5 oz. vodka or gin (I prefer vodka as it has less flavor to interfere)
1 tbsp. pepperoncini juice
1 tsp. goat or feta cheese (optional)
Pour liquor and pepperoncini juice in a martini shaker with ice. Shake for at least a full minute. Slit pepperoncini just enough to fill with cheese. Place at bottom of martini glass and pour shaker contents over top. Sip lovingly and enjoy a tasty Greek snack at the end (or at the beginning, if you’re impatient and hungry like me). Another variation: add Kalamata olives to the bottom as well — Opa!
Apple Cider Tini (fall/winter)
My autumn favorite. I must admit I half stole this from a restaurant in Tampa’s “Harvest” drink, but mine uses brandy and Southern Comfort instead of rum and has way more garnishes for fun. Yum.
1 oz. brandy
1/2 oz. Southern Comfort
2 oz. apple cider, or apple juice + dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
1 red apple slice
1/2 c. brown sugar
Dash of cinnamon (optional)
Shake liquors and cider in a martini shaker with ice for at least 1 minute. Place brown sugar on a medium plate, spread out. Rub Southern Comfort or brandy around the rim of a martini glass and dip in the brown sugar. Pour contents of shaker into glass. Garnish with apple slice on rim and a dash of cinnamon on top if desired. Enjoy in front of a crackling fire with a dog in your lap.