Re: Martinis-a-go-goHi Mezzaluna,
Thanks for the words of welcome!
If you'd asked us just a few years ago what we thought of cocktails, our answer probably would have been very different. As we both hold sommelier certificates, we consider ourselves wine lovers first and foremost.
However, there is a huge, burgeoning cocktail movement taking place in America, and we've become convinced that cocktails are here to stay! More importantly, there is a very serious and dedicated group of mixologists and bar chefs (formerly known as bartenders) who are pushing the envelope on a whole new world of "liquid cuisine."
Some have taken the compatible flavors indexed in our book Culinary Artistry as their starting point to create new cocktails -- including martinis. While the traditional recipe calls for gin (or, more recently, vodka) and dry vermouth, over the past several months we've tasted "martinis" that included everything from apple cider and cinnamon sticks to chocolate liqueurs and Oreo cookie-crumb rims! The deliciousness of each spoke for itself.
What's particularly exciting about this new world of cocktails is the ability to create drinks that pair beautifully with food. The Apple Cider Mill Martini we tasted was beautifully paired with a butternut squash soup. The Chocolate Decadence Martini was an awesome match with a banana-chocolate cake. (Recipes for the martinis can be found on our Web site's September 2006 Blog.)
In November, we paid a visit to bar chef Lu Brow at Cafe Adelaide in New Orleans, who boasts the country's first "bar chef table," where she pairs elegant cocktails to dishes coming out of the kitchen. We were smitten -- and expect we'll see even more efforts such as this in the months and years to come.
So, we hope you'll enjoy the experience of your next "martini" -- no matter what form it takes!
Karen & Andrew
Co-Authors, WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer Spirits, Coffee, Tea -- Even Water -- Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers
Winner of the 2006 Georges Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year Award