September 2019 - Shaken Not Stirred

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For many, vodka is perceived as a neutral spirit, and while this is somewhat true in a comparative sense, as other spirits such as gin or whisky tend to be much bolder, to think of vodka as alcohol with ‘no flavor’ would be a mistake. Though it can be subtle, a full gambit of flavors exists in the many different vodkas produced around the world. These depend on factors such as what ingredient is used in the fermentation process (wheat, potatoes, apples, raisins, to name just a few), the water source used for distillation, or the equipment and processes used in the distillation itself. As such, vodka provides a wonderful backdrop for drinks with small quantities and limited ingredients, such as martinis, as its nuances boost the overall flavor of a drink while letting the rest of the ingredients shine. We at Crafty’s decided to celebrate this particular quality of vodka with our October box, Shaken, not stirred, which features 3 wonderfully distinct martinis, showcasing vodka’s ability to work well in a variety of flavor profiles. Whether you enjoy a sweeter, more desert inspired drink, featuring raspberries and vanilla, as in our Raspberry Sorbetini, a spicy, aromatic experience fueled by cinnamon and fresh orange, found in the Firestarter Martini, or a contrast of sweet and sour, with a tropical touch with the Lychee Martini, there is something for everyone in this box. Get to know the complexities of vodka a little better this month and discover why this spirit is by no means lacking in the flavor department.

Lychee Martini

Lychee compares to very few flavors, making it a distinctive and delightful addition to cocktails. Its characteristics seem to contradict each other, being both sweet and sour while possessing a subtle earthy nut flavor, but the end result is nothing short of delicious. In this recipe for a Lychee martini, this unique fruit takes center stage, delicately bolstered by the sour flavor of lemon and yuzu, and rounded out by sweet, but contrasting flavors of raspberry and vanilla. The result is a wonderfully refreshing cocktail that is simple to concoct, yet packs a flavorful punch. After this, you’ll want to further explore the wonderful flavor of lychee and discover its potential to add an enchanting flavor to many more of your own cocktail creations. Have fun, they’re only cocktails after all!

Raspberry Sorbetini

While not often taken seriously, a good dessert cocktail can be the perfect end to a night of food and fun with friends. Filling the dual roles of dessert and nightcap, a well-concocted dessert-style drink can be extremely pleasant as well as sophisticated. The Sorbetini draws from the classic dessert pairing of raspberry, vanilla, and cream, and adds a dash of fun with the addition of vodka. Serve very chilled to your guests at the end of a dinner party and this drink will keep them around and talking all night. Unless you want them to go home, in which case, DO NOT serve this drink.

Firestarter Martini

Because a good weekend always starts with a good drink, we’ve created a martini that will amp you up for whatever your night has in store. Starting with a spicy, fiery base of Apothecary Spiritfire Cherry Cedar bitters and Spice and Tea Exchange’s Firecracker cinnamon sugar, a tangy citrus note is provided with fresh orange, a time-tested companion to the bold aromatic nature of cinnamon. The presence of fire is further solidified by the garnish, a burnt cinnamon stick, which adds delightful aromatic notes to this martini, as well as provides a stunning visual presentation. A touch more Firecracker sugar on the rim gives one last hit of sweetness and cinnamon, just in case you hadn’t had your fill. Light a fire under your ass, and your taste buds with a drink that is guaranteed to get the party started!

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