Tangerine Drop Martini

Tangerine Drop Martini

Mid-winter brings a more monotonous selection in the produce aisle but a bounteous variety in the citrus section. While the fresh berries and melons of summer have faded into memory, the market is piled high with oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes. Even though varieties of the fruit can be found throughout the year, some citrus is only available in the winter – blood orange, pommelos, Meyer lemons and tangerines. It's the perfect time of year to add these bright flavors to a cocktail. This week, I'm making a Tangerine Drop Martini. 

If you're going to be technical, a martini can only be a martini if it is straight up vodka or gin with a whisper of dry vermouth and an olive thrown in. This Tangerine Drop Martini is a really a play on the Lemon Drop, which is a sour cocktail like a margarita or a sidecar.  

Tangerine Drop Martini 

2 oz.vodka
3/4 oz. Cointreau, or other orange liqueur
1 oz. tangerine juice
Superfine sugar for the rim (see below on how to make superfine sugar)
lemon wedge
Cocktail glass, such as a martini or a coupe-style glass.

SugaringTheRim Tangerine Drop Martini

Sugaring the rim of the cocktail glass

Rim your cocktail glass

Superfine sugar (not xxx or confectioner's sugar!) works best for rimming cocktail glasses. This is finer than the table sugar that you have in your house. To make sugar superfine, just pulse a cup full of regular sugar in your food processor for about 30 seconds. Go ahead and make a cup full of superfine sugar and keep it handy for use in mint juleps and mojitos, because it dissolves quickly while mixing cocktails.

Place the sugar into a small plate. Using with a martini or coupe-style cocktail glass. Take a wedge of lemon and squeezing it all along the rim of your cocktail glass. You should have lemon juice all the way around. Then, dip your juiced rim into the plate of sugar, coating the rim all the way around.

SugaredRim1 Tangerine Drop Martini

Sugared Rim of a cocktail glass

Juicing the tangerine

If you can come across freshly-squeezed tangerines at your market, by all means, get it. It is such a treat and it makes it very easy to make several rounds of cocktails if you have a quart of already-squeezed juice. If you're starting with fresh tangerines, cut them in half and juice them as you would an orange.

TangerineJuice Tangerine Drop Martini

Tangerine Juice

Mixing your drink

Place ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour the vodka, Cointreau and tangerine juice over the ice. Shake to chill. Pour into your sugar-rimmed cocktail glass. Serve immediately or….

Try this neat bartender trick – Flaming an orange peel

One cool trick you can do for your friends is to flame an orange peel over the finished cocktail. This supposedly caramelizes the orange peel oil before it hits the top of your drink. It's very showy and it leaves a very nice orange taste. To flame an orange peel, take a fresh, non-waxed orange and cutting a medium-sized oval chunk out of the peel. Do this with a sharp paring knife. 

Light a match directly over the poured cocktail, then squeeze the peel into the flame and over the drink. You should see small flames where the oil hits the match flame. Pretty cool, huh? Be sure and drop the orange peel into your drink to garnish.

FlamingtheOrangePeel Tangerine Drop Martini

Flaming the Orange Peel over a Tangerine Drop Martini

And if you really want a Lemon Drop Martini…

Lemon Drop Martini 

2 oz.vodka
3/4 oz. Cointreau, or other orange liqueur
1/2 oz. lemon juice
Superfine sugar for the rim (see below on how to make superfine sugar)
lemon wedge
Cocktail glass, such as a martini or a coupe-style glass.

Rim glass with sugar and lemon wedge. Shake the vodka, Cointreau and lemon juice with ice. Pour into the rimmed glass. Cheers!

 

Ingredients:
  • Tangerine Drop Martini
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