I Wonder If Einstein Worked Like This?
Today, I have a guest in my kitchen. My friend Nikki and I spent the day kibbitzing, scouring through thrift stores, and waiting for my stupid car to get done getting an oil chage at the dealership. She was curious about this pepper martini recipe, so I invited her to help with the experiments.
Gin: (Had, I used Sapphire not Plymouth)
Dry Sherry: $6.99
Pepper Jelly: Had, bought at the farmer's market last summer
Orange Bitters: $3.50
Fast: Took about 2 minutes to make. I sucked this thing down quicker than that.
Easy: Can you shake a cocktail??? No? Really, what's wrong with you?? This has to be, by far, the easiest recipe yet.
Fresh: Nikki says "Sure". I say "meh..not so much". It tastes like booze with pepper jelly. How fresh can that be?
Overall: Let the experimentation begin!!! The recipe as it is written is pretty good. The gin works well with the sherry, the bitters, and the pepper jelly. We did think it could use just a touch more orange, so tried to add some orange segments into the martini glass (after we squeezed them into the cocktail). When it sat a little while, it got better. You really have to like gin to like this martini. The gin flavor is so dominant with the pepper jelly playing second fiddle.
So then, we thought...hey, let's try this with vodka. So we followed the exact same recipe but substituted vodka for the gin. It made for a much mellower martini, but it seemed to lack something. We sipped the gin one again, and realized how complex the original (gin) recipe was. If only we could find a middle ground....but alas we didn't.
I like gin and therefore I really like this recipe. Your overall flavor is definitely going to depend on the quality of your pepper jelly. Nikki thought it was "meh". She didn't dislike it, but she doesn't drink a lot of hard alcohol. Since I do drink A LOT of hard alcohol, I would recommend that if you want to make this with vodka, use Absolute Peppar.
Well, we're going to continue sipping and talking. Here's to friendship. Cin Cin!