Thursday, January 1, 2009
Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: 12 Months, 12 Martinis
I am exhausted! Last nights party was a huge success and I feel like I just ran a marathon! My proposal for December's 24, 24, 24 was 12 Months, 12 Martinis, an interactive party with different stations representing each month of the year. At each station the martini of choice would also represent a fruit or vegetable that would be in season for that month.
I'm a big fan of eating seasonally and locally, but as I investigated martini recipes I realized that some of the most delicious martinis contain fruit that would never be "in season" even within 300 miles of my small coastal town. So I just went with seasonal fruits and veggies, and left the local aspect for another challenge. I'm pretty sure a Sweet Potato Martini could be delicious, but I'm not quite that adventurous of a Mixologist.
Creating the menu was alot of fun! When first researching different drink recipes, I found really elaborate mixes but soon realized I would need to simplify. Throwing a New Years party can be stressful, so I wanted to keep it as easy as possible. PLUS, liquor isn't cheap, and my budget was quickly exhausted! The idea of stations sounded great, but I hadn't factored in that I would need 12 Martini Shakers. I managed to borrow a few from friends, but only ended up with 5. But I went into this night knowing I would need to be flexible, and I think that it actually ended up better without the stations. Friends gathered around the bar and enjoyed watching everyone make their drinks; stations would have not allowed everyone to congregate together. I created a simple menu that allowed everyone to make their own, but I did end up making most. What can I say, I love sugaring the rims!
Everyone loved most of the martinis. The hot buttered rum was not a hit, but I'm glad I tried it. Like a Hot Toddy, it sounds better than it is. The Bloody Mary Martini would be better served today at brunch. The Strawberry Balsamic Martini was fun to make, but not as good as it sounds.
Before the party I bought some really simple shot glasses, so that everyone could taste all the different martinis, without having a full glass. However, most guests just enjoyed one or two full martinis and enjoyed sips of different flavors from friends. The best decision I made was to set the party up very early and create each of the martinis before friends arrived. My boyfriend Parrish and my best girl friends Alex and Jessica helped out and we had alot of fun! It was nice to take the pictures and not feel rushed and we all got to sample the results. Our favorites were:
When you make any martini with a sparkling water they always turn out gorgeous! Some friends didn't realize that you don't put the sparkling water in the shaker, you just use it to top off the glass, but lessons were learned when the shakers top shot across the room!
If you've read my blog before, you know that I LOVE Firefly Vodka. It's fairly local to where I live on the coast and it's delicious! If you enjoy sweet tea, this is the drink for you!
With any chocolate martini, it's always fun to decorate your glass with chocolate syrup. It's super simple, inexpensive, and brings out the artists in your friends. Godiva makes some seriously delicious chocolate liquors, but if you're on a tight budget you can just buy a Chocolate Soymilk and use a plain or vanilla vodka.
The mango martini ended up being my favorite. I don't eat mangoes very often, but they're not too sweet and not sour at all. I was lucky enough to find a Mango Martini mixer, but if you just use mango juice you might want to add a smidgen of simple syrup to your shaker.
The beautiful rimming sugars I used were actually by the company India Tree, which I blogged about previously. I love their sugars! Rimming glasses is super simple, you just need sugar and either fresh cherries or strawberries. I used the strawberries I had bought for the Strawberry Balsamic Martini. I used a knife and cut a small slit in the strawberry, and placed it on the rim as if it were going to be a garnish. Then I wiped all along the rim with the fruit to get it sticky. You can use the same piece of fruit a few times before it gets messy. Then you pour some sugar onto a plate and twirl the rim of the glass in the sugar until it's well coated. So fun!
I recommend throwing a martini party at some point in 2009. It doesn't have to be as elaborate as 12 different martinis, just choose three or four and let friends decide. I also recommend setting up Water Martinis at the bar for easy access!
Thank you so much to Foodbuzz for making this event possible and if you want to see how other Foodbuzz bloggers spent their New Years Eve, click here.
I hope everyone had a safe and FUN night and I look forward to a delicious New Year!