Monday, February 5, 2007

Operation Leftovers: It's Cocktail Hour Somewhere

The art of improv in the kitchen is most rewarding when the goal is to use up remaining ingredients and/or leftovers. Waste not, want not, right? That's the driving force behind my "Operation Leftovers" mission. These assignments come in all sorts of dishes and meals, and I feel, given my utter appreciation for cocktail hour, that it is most fitting to launch Operation Leftovers with a happy hour version. To be used on this surprisingly warm, Los Angeles evening: 5 very, very ripe tangerines, 1 bottle of club soda, and about 9 oz of Stoli Vodka left over from last weekend's brunch.

Friday night's kick back with the girls was dreamy— Tangerine Dreamy—and the mood was low-key casual with sneakers (got my vans on), and led to B.B.Q burgers, potato chips, and a splash of Jane Fonda-inspired dance party moves: Mickey Avalon style.

Tangerine Dream
(Full disclosure: I did not have candied ginger on-hand, but group consensus was that it would have made an excellent garnish to the hint of ginger in the simple syrup.)

5 Tangerines, juiced
1/2 Vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 Tablespoons sugar
9 Oz Vodka
6 Oz Club Soda
*Pre-purchased crystallized (candied) ginger, crushed, to garnish
Tangerine wheels, to garnish


Makes 4.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine tangerine juice, sugar, ginger and the content of the vanilla bean (scraped well), and stir constantly until the mixture thickens, similar to a simple syrup, about 15 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool completely. (This can be done two days ahead of time.)

Place the crushed crystallized ginger on a small plate. Coat the rim of a martini glass with the cooled syrup, and place over ginger, pressing gently, to garnish the glass. Set glasses in a freezer to chill. In a large martini shaker filled with ice, mix together vodka, soda and simple syrup. (This can be done in batches, divide evenly into four). Carefully pour into chilled glasses and garnish with tangerine wheel. Serve immediately!

1 comment:

Denaya said...

mmmmmm.... sounds tasty! think i'll have to try this one!