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Martini madness in Eagle County

Caramie Schnell and Sarah Mausolfcschnell@vaildaily.com and smausolf@vaildaily.comVail CO, Colorado
HL New Year's drink Avondale KA 12-29-08
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EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado Cocktails are to New Years Eve celebrations as plump pumpkins are to Halloween, or bouncing bunnies are to Easter in other words, crucial. And really, Champagne is so … well, expected. The New Year is all about resolutions, so how about resolving to try something new?To help you achieve your goal, three local restaurants have revealed favorite martini recipes one that could double as dessert, one that will help keep you shaking your caboose long past midnight and one that will have you humming a 27-year-old Clash song as soon as you read about it. So go ahead, make merry with these martinis.

New Years Eve presents a dilemma. You want to stay up all night, but guzzling Red Bull vodka is just so plebeian. Try this espresso martini from Avondale bar director Brian Harker. Cradled in a cocktail glass tres chic this sweet concoction has the caffeine you need to keep dancing long after the ball drops. The ingredients are easy to find at the liquor store, except, of course, for the espresso. If you dont have an espresso machine, swing by Avondale in Avon or Larkspur in Vail on New Years Eve to buy a Starry Night for about $12. Harker teamed up with Larkspurs bar director, Josh Stevenson, last winter to invent the Starry Night. It was a popular drink at Larkspur last New Years Eve, Harker said.Starry NightCourtesy of Brian Harker1 1/2 ounces vanilla vodka1 ounce chocolate Godiva Liqueur1 ounce Baileys1 shot espresso Combine all ingredients in shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with foamed milk and chocolate shavings.Serves 1.

The allure of this martini is simple, said Elena Jones, owner of Matthews restaurant in Edwards. Its dessert in a cup, she said matter of factly. Elenas husband and the eateries head chef, Matt, came up with the recipe two or three months ago for a Peak Spirits cocktail contest, she said. While the drink didnt win, Matthews diners did. We liked it so much we put it on the menu, she said. The drink is great as a stand-alone, after-dinner cocktail or would pair well with any chocolate dessert. Right now we have a puff pastry napoleon that has chocolate mousse in it thats really nice, Elena said. And if you dont feel like assembling the drink at home, you can try one for $10 at Matthews. White Chocolate MartiniCourtesy of Matt Jones2 ounces Cap Rock Vodka1 ounce Peak Spirits Coffee Grappa1 ounce White Creme de Cocoa2 ounces Half & Half1 ounce simple syrupCombine all ingredients into a full shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into a frosty martini glass that has been swirled with chocolate sauce. Garnish with cocoa powder. Enjoy.

While in San Francisco this past summer, Pollyanna Forster, co-owner of Dish! restaurant in Edwards discovered saffron-infused vodka from Sub Rosa Spirits, a craft micro distillery in Oregon. The distinctive 90-proof spirit inspired Forster to develop the newest drink on Dishs extensive cocktail menu, a martini called Rock the Casbah. Its pretty mind blowing, Forster said. We serve it with a curry powder and sugar rim, fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice and garnish it with a candied piece of lotus root.You can find the vodka at Eat! in Edwards ($35 for a 750 ml. bottle) and while Forster doesnt know of any local stores that carry lotus root, she said most of the Asian markets in Denver stock it. If youd rather have a professional serve you this sipper, a Dish bartender would gladly make you one for $9.50. Rock the Casbah Martini3 ounces Sub Rosa saffron-infused vodka1 fresh squeezed Meyer lemon, or any other lemon1 fresh squeezed orangesugar and curry powder mixture on a plate to rim the glassCandied lotus rootCombine all ingredients in a fulkl shaker with ice to chill it. Pour it into a chilled martini glass, rimmed with curry powder and sugar. Garnish with a piece of candied lotus root.Serves 1. High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.


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