A recent weekend trip to Charlottesville found me hiking in the mountains, sampling Moroccan fare at a new restaurant (complete with belly dancers), brunching with friends and sampling a wide variety of exciting cocktails over the course of two days.
My first out-of-the-ordinary sampling was a sweet concoction at Maya: the Peanut Butter Martini. While sitting at the bar, my friend grew curious when she spotted a container of peanut butter sitting behind the cash register. When we found out that the jar of Jif was intended to play the starring role in the Peanut Butter Martini, my friend was quick to order a couple to satisfy our curiosity. This is definitely a dessert-style drink best suited to those sweet of tooth. The ingredients are top secret—in fact, the martini menu lists ingredients for every other drink except for this one; under Peanut Butter Martini, the only information you’ll find is “??????????????????????”
Our next stop was at the Box, a tiny bar located just off of Charlottesville’s pedestrian downtown mall, for some beers. Only when I ordered two Magic Hats, the bartender misunderstood my order amidst the din and served up two lemon drops instead (go figure). But these weren’t just any lemon drops – they were Ginger Lemon Drops with a sugary rim. Delish.
The next night, at the aforementioned Moroccan restaurant Alhamraa, I indulged in a Hibiscus Cooler. The refreshing drink combined homemade hibiscus concentrate, Bombay Sapphire and cava. It was a bit on the sweet side (and were those notes of cinnamon I detected in the hibiscus concentrate?), but it was definitely something different.
We continued our evening at Bang, an Asian-inspired tapas restaurant. Bang has an extensive martini menu, and Miss Mojito found herself partial to “The Joe.” Although Miss M was less than reliable in her note-taking, she recalls a delectable mixture of gin, Chambord, white cranberry juice, ginger syrup and lime.
The winner of the evening? It was the accidental lemon drop. The ginger added a kick to the traditional—and sugary—lemon flavor, resulting in a winning combination.
Recipes for Ginger Lemon Drops are few and far between, but this one sounds promising.
Ginger Lemon Drop
- 3 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce ginger syrup, recipe follows
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Twist of lemon
- Superfine sugar
Fill a shaker with ice. Add the vodka, ginger syrup and lemon juice. Cover and shake vigorously until combined and chilled. Strain into a martini glass rimmed with superfine sugar. Add twist and serve.
- 1 lemon, peel removed with a vegetable peeler into strips
- 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh ginger (peel too)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
Add the ginger chunks and lemon into a food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a pan and add sugar and water. Mix and simmer for about 15 minutes. Strain the mixture and cool. It can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Posted by Miss Mojito.