Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Just Gin and Dessert Vodka

I’ve been sampling and mixing again. This time it was some unusually flavored vodkas. It involved some creativity, but it was worth it in the end.  Before I get to that, I’d like to share a piece of news that came across my inbox.  It looks like my favorite spirit is getting more popular in the Big Apple.

The New York City restaurant Oceana has unveiled a “Just Gin” program, created in partnership with Simon Ford. The former ambassador to Plymouth & Beefeater Gin put together a list for the restaurant that includes 40 varieties of gin.

Ford made sure the list included a selection of gins, including London Dry, Navy Strength and Genever. He also worked with Oceana to create four types of house-made tonic waters.  To make get more people to try the spirit, the restaurant has also put together a five-course tasting menu that is also available with gin cocktail pairings.

I’ve enjoyed almost all of Van Gogh’s vodkas, finding their flavors to be quite realistic. This was definitely the case with the PB&J. While peanut butter and jelly vodka may sound quite odd, it really wasn’t. I sampled it straight and with some grape juice. Both were very good and not overly sweet. If you’d like to get more creative, here’s a few recipes to try:

PB&J Frappe
Created by Cooking Channel’s Nadia G, Star of “Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen”

½ oz Van Gogh PB&J Vodka
1 cup of milk
½ cup of your favorite vanilla ice cream
½ banana
1 heaping tbsp. of smooth peanut butter
1 heaping tbsp. of raspberry jam/or fresh strawberries

Blend all ingredients together.
Serve in a tall glass with a banana slice or raspberry garnish.

Salted Chocolate Peanut Shooter
Created by Jonathan Pogash, The Cocktail Guru

¾ oz. Van Gogh PB&J Vodka
½ oz Van Gogh Rich Dark Chocolate
½ oz. Chocolate Milk

Shake ingredients together well with ice.
Strain into a shot glass.
Garnish with whipped cream and salt.
To drink, moisten surface of your skin, add salt, lick the slat and shoot the shot.

I also received two bottles from Three Olives, one Cake Vodka and one S’mores Vodka. I honestly didn’t find these flavors great straight, but I did try some recipes with them. The Campfire Martini was my favorite with the S’Mores.  

Campfire Martini
3 parts Three Olives S'mores Vodka
Crushed graham crackers
Chocolate syrup

Dip the rim of martini glass in chocolate syrup and coat with crushed graham crackers.
Pour Three Olives S'mores into martini shaker filled with ice.
Shake and strain into martini glass.
Garnish with a skewer of three toasted marshmallows!

As for the Cake Vodka, it was not enough to stand on its own, but did add a bit more flavor to the S’mores in the Want S’more Cake recipe.

Want S’more Cake
1 Part Three Olives S’mores Vodka
1 Part Three Olives Cake Vodka
Whipped cream
Graham cracker

Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice.
Shake vigorously.
Strain into a shot glass.
Garnish with whipped cream and a graham cracker.

Photos of Oceana by Paul Johnson

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