My Darling TheraFlu

Thursday, November 12, 2009Koala Crop
Cold Comfort Martini

Thursday, November 12, 2009
My Darling Clementine

Ahh, another two for one evening tonight.  That wasn’t originally the plan but it just worked out that way.  I made the first cocktail small because I only had a mini bottle of lemon/citrus vodka on hand, and thus as the evening wore on, I was quite fine for having a second drink.  Sue and I have been looking for honey vodka for awhile now.  42 Below, from Australia, apparently makes one, however, we have been having a dickens of a time finding it.  We agreed that whomever found the honey vodka first would be the one to make the Cold Comfort Martini, along with a few others that come up later in the Book.  I lucked out (? debatable, given it still costs money!) and found some, so now Sue has to swap with me for another drink.  I’m trying to stick her with the aquavit one.  Shhhh.  Maybe she won’t read this.  Anyway, I didn’t find the 42 Below brand, instead I found a rye-based honey vodka, and the clerk at my other local mom-and-pop liquor store in Santee (I’m getting familiar with all of them now, not sure if that’s a good thing or not) gave me a thumbs-up and told me how much he liked this one when I bought it … I would have asked him more about it but he was on the phone trying to negotiate something with FedEx, so I settled for the thumbs-up.  The store and its proprietors have a decent rating on Yelp so I give that some credit.  I know Yelp has its share of people who just post stuff they hate like any other website, but it is nice to read reviews from locals and real people.  So I headed home with my find, Nemiroff vodka from the Ukraine, and some sour apple schnapps I needed for some subsequent recipes.  I’m definitely ending up with a very globally-oriented freezer in terms of vodka these days.

Thursday nights with my kids are usually a crapshoot – I have them every other week and they go back to Dad on Fridays, so Thursday night is our last night together for another week.  Sometimes they can be little angels and others, quite the opposite.  This was a good Thursday together.  I bought the DVD of “Up” a few days earlier and told them we would watch it together when dinner was ready.  I mixed up my first martini of the evening, the Cold Comfort, while I was fixing dinner.  This one is pretty simple – 4 parts lemon vodka, 4 parts honey vodka, a lemon twist for garnish.  The caption above the recipe says, “Skip the hot toddies!  There’s a martini to suit every occasion – even the flu.”

I can’t say as a martini is the first thing I’d think of drinking when I had the flu, I guess it would depend on the type of flu.  Stomach flu?  Uh, forget it.  Stuffy head, fever, body aches kind of flu?  Okay, I’m game.  Thankfully I have neither at the moment.  I did first try a sip of the honey vodka solo to see how it tasted.  Whew!  To heck with mixing up a martini.  If I ever have a stubborn cough and nasty case of phlegm, remind me to drink some of this in a nice chilled shotglass.  Talk about clearing out everything in its wake!  But it was good, too.  The honey is just a faint wisp, not the honey-bear sweetness I was expecting, but enough to make it different from a straight vodka.  So I mixed up my cocktail.

The verdict?  You probably figured that out from the title.  It reminded me of lemon-flavored TheraFlu.  I don’t know if that is a good thing or not.  I actually like TheraFlu when I’m sick enough to need it, but you will recall that TheraFlu is best consumed hot, not shaken with cracked ice.  In that sense, I have to only give this three stars.  I wouldn’t recommend it as any kind of sickbed remedy.  As a martini, though, it wasn’t half-bad.  But it needed something I can’t put my finger on.  If I can locate another bottle somewhere of Marani vodka, I would probably try this drink again with that instead of the Nemiroff.  A good friend from my last job (thanks, Donna!) gave me a bottle of Marani as a Christmas gift, and I found it a very intriguing vodka.  Distilled from winter wheat and aged in oak barrels lined with skim milk and honey – makes it sound more like a fine wine than a vodka.  And it has a wine feel to it, I guess it is the hint of oak, and you really can taste the milk and honey.  This mixed with a citrus vodka might make for a better Cold Comfort Martini.  Or, eventually, if you just drank enough of it straight, you would forget you had the flu.  We shall see.  None of my local liquor stores carry it, and BevMo doesn’t offer it.  Only certain Von’s stores are listed on Marani’s website as having it, none in my area, and the last time I checked a nearby Ralph’s for it, they were out.  We don’t have a Ralph’s in Santee, I think the redneck threshold is too high out here for them to have any luck out here.  I do like Ralph’s but they are just about the most expensive of the major chains, at least in my humble opinion, probably because they offer a lot more of the less-common brands.

The kids and I settled down to watch Up with our dinner.  Actually we watched the two little movies included with it first, Dug’s mission (or something like that) and Partly Cloudy, which aired in the theaters when the movie came out.  I liked Up so much that my kids wanted to get me a stuffed version of Dug the Dog as a birthday gift earlier this year – they went to Disneyland in early July with their Dad and I told them I’d love one from there.  Alas, Disney was out of stock of Dug so the kids brought me Alpha instead, the Doberman with the broken voice translator that makes him sound like one of Alvin and the Chipmunks. It’s still cute and I think it was sweet of them to remember to get it.  My younger son went and fetched Alpha from my bedroom so we had accompanying sound effects to go with our movie.  Anyway, the kids and I finished dinner before we started the actual movie, and I had finished my drink, so I mixed up the next one before Up started.

The Darling Clementine Martini is from Sue’s newer version of The Martini Book.  It calls for 2 ounces of sour apple schnapps, 1 ounce gin, 1 ounce coconut rum, 1 ounce vodka, a splash of orange juice, and a clementine wedge for garnish.  The last few times I’ve looked for clementines I haven’t found them, or only found them offered in a five pound bag.  That’s okay, I don’t need that many of them!  I settled for an orange slice as a garnish, I figured it’s close enough to a Clementine tangerine in nature.  Because of the sour apple schnapps, the drink ends up with a faint bluish-green tint, it would be more green but the orange juice tones it down.  And the taste?

The taste was kind of like a fruit cocktail, maybe less syrupy-sweet.  I think the sour apple is a bit overpowering, it would probably be a better drink with a bit less of the schnapps (maybe 1-1/2 ounces instead of 2) and a touch more orange juice.  I wanted to taste the other nuances of the drink, not just the sour apple.  The coconut rum, for instance, ends up completely lost here.  I will give it a 3.5 star rating, as it was a good, satisfying drink, and note it as one to return to in 2010 when Sue and I have finished the other recipes, with modifications.  It would make a good summer party drink, reminded me a bit of apple juice mixed with Sangria. 

Carl and Ellie

We should all be lucky enough to have a relationship like these two.

And of course, I cried during parts of Up, as you might have guessed – when Ellie loses her baby and later when she passes away, and when Carl finally looks at the rest of her “Adventure Book” that he’s never looked at before … and of course, when Carl comes to Russell’s badge ceremony.  I think anyone who doesn’t tear up during at least one of those scenes should have their head examined.  It’s amazing how far animation has come and how good the storytelling itself has become – the ability to tell an entire life in the span of a few minutes, and more importantly, to make us care that much. Brilliant.

Last but not least, I have to throw in a plug for a martini I had at The Brigantine restaurant in La Mesa.  I went out on Wednesday night, another reason for doubling up tonight, to see a free listener concert of Serena Ryder at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, sponsored by KPRI radio station.  This was a blast, ended up being one of the best live music shows I’ve been to this year.  Serena is 25, and a terrific singer/songwriter out of a small town in Canada and has a delightful stage presence and poise that I only wish I had at my much more advanced age.  Great pipes, as my boyfriend would say – the gal can definitely sing.  I had a babysitter for Wednesday evening and didn’t need to be home until later, so we went by the Brig for a late-night drink and I was in the mood for something different.  Their bar menu had a concoction called the Washington Apple Martini – Maker’s Mark bourbon, sour apple liqueur, cranberry juice, and a cherry garnish.  I should have asked if sour apple liqueur and schnapps are the same thing – if any of you out there knows this, please let me know.  The drink was a lovely rosy-red shade, so either their sour apple is less green or it uses much more cranberry juice than sour apple.  It was delicious.  Right up there with the Maharaja from a couple weeks back at Island Prime.  I’m now on a mission to find out the proportions of it and report back to you. 


~ by rachelroust on November 14, 2009.

2 Responses to “My Darling TheraFlu”

  1. stick ME with the aquavit one, eh? well, you succeeded and will be repaid.

  2. Hee hee hee. Just working on my powers of persuasion. Not like I get to use them in the workplace much these days, right? Thank you for helping me out!

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