Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ginger vodka

I am in love with this stuff, made by Skyy. I saw it advertised in Rolling Stone and knew this was the drink for me. Unfortunately, my local state store doesn't carry it. I guess Erie isn't included in the initial release. Fortunately, I have a connection in NYC. The way I figure it, if it's anywhere, it's in New York and LA. Darling Husband's uncle is an actor in New York and just happened to be coming this way for family frolicking on the fourth of July. He and his fabulous better half were kind enough to pick me up a bottle.

Now I wish I had asked for a case. It's currently in the freezer so I can ration myself ice cold indulgences. I like it straight and on the rocks, both. I imagine it would be amazing blended with some watermelon or strawberry.

The best, though, was a very grown-up slushie/snow cone we made while on vacation. Using a margarita machine to shave the ice (a great appliance that would gather dust 358 days of the year), my adventuresome brother-in-law and I developed this drink to beat the heat. A ton of ice, a couple shots of the ginger vodka, a splash of Fresca and a bit more ice to replenish what melted and voila! An amazing summer drink reminiscent of childhood but very adult.

I found it funny that the 21 year olds I gave this drink to sputtered and said, "Whoah! That's strong!!" Really? It seemed remarkably smooth to me. Although, come to think of it, beyond shots, how many 21 year olds drink much neat alcohol? Drinks popular in that age group tend to be aimed at masking the taste of any spirits. Martinis are not exactly in high demand. Or, if they are, they're the kind of "martini" that has fruit juice and other nonsense and is only a martini and not a mixed drink because someone thought it would be kicky to serve it in a martini glass.

Personally I like martinis with gin, not vodka, and rather dry. Ginger vodka, no vermouth, would be most pleasant, too. I don't know what the vermouth would do to the taste.

My father's drink is a martini. He has recently begun experimenting, not only with different gins and different garnishes (olives, twist of lemon, caper berries), but with different recipes in general. I tried one that he made which reproduced James Bond's original martini, and that was quite nice. He also collects martini glasses and takes artsy pictures of his cocktails. Hey, he's retired. :o)

Those of us out of our twenties who tried the ginger slush were quite pleased. Someone suggested the "kids" maybe were reacting to the taste of ginger and not the alcohol. Others mused about lemongrass and cucumber flavors.

Skyy, please release your Ginger Infusion vodka across the nation, so that people in rural Alaska can enjoy it as much as those in Manhattan. And if not Alaska, at least Pennsylvania. We butt against New York state; it's hardly any trouble, I'm sure. And do it quick--I'm down to a quarter of a bottle. My self control can't hold out much longer.