Sunday, June 18, 2017

Thai-Tini, a Turmeric-Infused Boozy Libation #NationalMartiniDay

Welcome to #NationalMartiniDay! Whether you enjoy your martini with vodka or gin, shaken or stirred, we’ve got some libations for your happy hour.

When I was trying to decide what to make for this event, I tested a few different things. I can't wait to check out these other creations!

The Martini Debate
While some debate which base to use for a martini - vodka or gin - I think it's really just a matter of preference. Remember, both are clear spirits; gin is simply infused with botaticals, including juniper berries. In fact, my homemade gin starts with vodka! The gin I picked for this cocktail is the Terroir Gin from St. George. It's a gin infused with the botanicals of the California coast, including Douglas fir, California bay laurel, fennel, California sage, juniper berries, and more. I love it!

Another thing to note: Tacking 'tini' on the end of a word does not a martini make. Think 'chocolatini' and 'appletini.' So, what does make a martini? A martini is a drink made with gin and vermouth, garnished with an olive. That’s it. Really.

When I delved into my copy of Edible Cocktails: From Garden to Glass - Seasonal Cocktails with a Fresh Twist by Natalie Bovis, I grew even more confused. She writes, "Not every mixed drink is a cocktail." 

A Cocktail is spirit  + sugar + water + bitters while a Daisy is spirit + liqueur + citrus. A Fizz is similar to a sour but with the addition of club soda and egg variations. Then there's a Smash and a Swizzle. I'm thoroughly befuddled and I haven't even had a drink yet.

I wanted to create a drink that was summery and herby. I have no idea if this truly falls into the martini category, but I'm running with it anyway!

Some Rules...
Whether you prefer gin or vodka, whether you like your cocktail shaken or stirred, there are a few musts, in my estimation, for the perfect martini...

  • Always start with the best ingredients (That's true to anything you're making, right?!?)
  • Always use fresh ice. (Ice that's been in the freezer for too long can begin to taste like whatever's in your freezer.)
  • Serve martinis in glasses no larger than 5 ounces to ensure that the drink stay cold from start to finish. (Nothing is worse than a warm martini. Really.)

I wanted to create a martini that had a similar profile to this cocktail from a local restaurant. It's the Asian Persuasion from Jacks Monterey and includes turmeric-infused vodka, carrot juice, honey, lemon, and bitters. I'm a sucker for anything with turmeric!

I steeped a tisane with turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon, then used that to create a simple syrup.

Ingredients makes 1 cocktail

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • ½ ounce turmeric simple syrup
  • Also needed ice, cocktail shaker

Turmeric Simple Syrup

  • 1 C water
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1" knob of fresh turmeric, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1" knob of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick, lightly crushed

Turmeric Simple Syrup
Bring water and sugar to a quick boil. Swirl to dissolve sugar. Add turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. Remove from heat and allow syrup to steep for at least 30 minutes. Strain and store in a lidded jar. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Add gin, simple syrup and lemon juice. Shake vigorously and strain into serving glass. Garnish with lemon twist. Cheers!


  1. Call it a cocktail, a martini, a fizz, a sour, a daisy (a new one on me) , a margarita or a punch....I don't care just hand me one of these turmeric infused drinks and we can toast to all the different recipes containing alcohol. Cheers.

  2. I am definitely going to try this! Love the use of turmeric and the wonderful color it brings. That gin sounds really interesting too.

  3. In a million years, I never would have thought to make something like this. How creative, and such a gorgeous color!

    Happy National Martini Day! Cheers!

  4. Such a creative cocktail! I love the use of turmeric in beverages. Thank you for being a part of #NationalMartiniDay!

  5. Color me intrigued by the idea of putting turmeric into a Martini! Sounds great!


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