Cocktail Friday had to come a little early this week. We are leaving tomorrow (holy criminy!) for San Francisco, so I wouldn’t be able to post this in time. Since I’m sure you are all on the edge of your seats waiting to find out the next cocktail from the Tokyo Terrace, I thought I’d go ahead and be early rather than late.
Tonight was our last night with our Tokyo “family”. Somehow, we have officially made it through 9 months of this sometimes crazy, often confusing, and deliciously intriguing country.
To celebrate, I created a martini with the amazing experiences we have shared this year in mind (and to create an excuse to see friends on last time before parting ways for the summer). It was a no-brainer, really. Two classics: green tea and ginger.
The green tea in Japan is entirely different than the green tea typically found in the United States. There is something more natural about its flavor. Green tea is sold in bottles in all of the vending machines here (a much healthier option than the usual Coca-Cola, that’s for sure). The tea is iced and is a lifesaver in the summer heat and humidity.
The ginger flavor comes from a ginger simple syrup. Instead of chopping the ginger, I decided to grate it. I wanted a stronger ginger flavor and grating it helps bring out the fresh taste without taking too much time.
These signature flavors of Japan blend together to create a clean and bright martini that is perfect for hot summer evenings with your favorite people.
We had a nice time sharing happy memories of our past year in Tokyo and discussing our summer plans while sipping these marvelous martinis. What is is about happy hour that brings people together?
Green Tea and Ginger Martini
12 oz. vodka
8 oz. iced green tea
4 tablespoons ginger simple syrup (recipe below)
Fill a martini shaker with ice. Add the vodka, green tea, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously (excellent way to relieve stress, by the way). Pour into 4 chilled martini glasses and garnish with the lemon wedges.
Ginger Simple Syrup
Makes 1/3 cup
6 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
Peel the ginger and grate using a microplane. In a small, heavy saucepan, add the sugar, water and ginger over medium high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Allow the syrup to reach a steady simmer, stirring constantly. When the syrup begins to reduce, cook for 1 minute more (use your best judgement- if it seems done, it probably is). The mixture should resemble the consistency of maple syrup.
Pour into a glass bowl and allow to cool. Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week in an airtight container.