Our mission: to help in the transition from drinker of quantity to drinker of quality. Along the way, we'll have some laughs, or someone's catching heck. Prolly me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ice Wine Cocktail

A.K.A. "The Peeler."
Photo: Wikipedia
By Johnny Lager
Ice Wine is a bright, elegant, sweet yet crisp dessert wine, with a lovely minerality, made from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The grape's water freezes, concentrating the sugars and other solids. They are pressed frozen, yielding a concentrated, sweet wine. While I am not a big fan, the focus of my amore is. And since Valentine's Day that second sweetest of dubious holidays is around the corner, I recommend that you go get you some. Ice wine. It's available at most liquor stores, but tread carefully; it can fetch quite a pretty penny. An Ice Wine cocktail (A.K.A Ice Wine Martini, but never call it that) is not only a sweet, fruity, potent nectar with which to impress your love, it is also a great way to stretch a pricy a little bottle.

The Ingredients:
1-2 oz. Ice Wine
Crystal Head Vodka can add an
Occult flourish to your cocktail.
2 oz. Vodka
1 Grape or berry for garnish

Choosing the perfect Ice Wine can be confusing, frustrating and expensive, so just go with whatever you can find and afford. Vidal and Riesling are the most common, and sometimes inexpensive. If it's for Valentines Day, maybe go for a red. I like Cab Franc, but that's just me. Ice Wine cocktails can either be a one-to-one or two-to-one ratio. Unless your sweetie is a dangerously cheap date, the stronger, one-to-one ratio really does taste better.

Since vodka will play a big roll in this, I recommend the incomparably crisp, yet inexpensive Sobieski, or whatever you have on hand; that Ice Wine ain't cheap. Vodkas with prominent flavors, such as Provda and Level, can bring their unique characteristics to this cocktail, but may not match well with the ice-wine.

The Build:
I always pour all liquids, one after the other, into a measuring glass, then into an ice filled Boston Shaker. More on that gear some other time. 

When it's frosty, you're done
To get the cocktail brutally cold, SWIRL the ice filled Boston Shaker until the sides are frosty. Shaking is unnecessarily violent and stirring is awkward. Appearance can be everything.

Strain it into a cocktail glass, (pre-chill the glass with ice water if you want to look like a smug tool; seriously, it's a waste of time).

Usually the Ice Wine cocktail is garnished with one or three grapes, but again, if this is for Valentines Day, add a raspberry or blackberry instead. Get creative. Fortune favors the bold.

The Experience:
This cocktail is a real treat: the bright, elegant, juiciness of the Ice Wine is preserved, while the vodka adds an exciting, dry zip, without any boozy harshness. A gentleman is never untoward, but finishing a perfect evening with the perfect cocktail can be a valuable ally when pitching woo.

Bottoms up, stay classy, stay sexy, and good luck.

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