Saturday, June 18, 2011


Inspiration:  spicy gazpacho, crisp and refreshing cucumber-infused vodka, nutty and slightly salty amontillado sherry, and well...just plain dreaming of Spain.  This all led to the creation of the Andalusia cocktail.  It's a delicious and savory pre-dinner cocktail.  Enjoy!

1.5 oz. Cucumber-Infused Vodka (I suggest making your own at home.  It's easy to do and tastes so crisp and refreshing on its own.  Square One and Effen both make a very nice cucumber vodka if you decide to buy one)
.75 oz. Amontillado Sherry
1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz. Home-Made Roasted Red Pepper Syrup (with some added secret spices for good measure!)
Shake well with ice
Fine-strain into a chilled cocktail glass*
Garnish with one yellow and one red cherry tomato and a cucumber wheel wrapped around a cocktail onion, all on a long skewer
Sip, savor, and enjoy this cocktail before your meal, and then move into some nice Spanish wine

*Moisten the rim of the cocktail glass using a combination of sherry and fresh lemon juice.  Coat the rim with a mixture of smoked paprika, crushed almonds, sea salt and black pepper (use a spice grinder when preparing these spices).  

Three things make this cocktail truly sing.  The first thing is the home-made roasted red pepper syrup, the second is the blend of spices on the rim, and the third is using the right proportions on each ingredient.  Get yourself one of these to make measuring easy.

UPDATE:  The Andalusia cocktail just won 1st place at the Best Of The East Bay cocktail competition held last night at the Lafayette Park Hotel in Lafayette, California.  It was a scorching hot but beautiful day in the East Bay.  The competition doubled as a charity event for Project Second Chance and their adult literacy program.  Great cocktails for a a great cause.


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