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passionate valentine martini

Let me preface the post by saying what you all already know. I am no mixologist. (If you’re looking for a man who knows his spirits, that would be Greg, affectionately known as Rufus. He and wife Katherine would welcome you with open arms if you’d like to pay them a visit.) And then there’s my blogging buddy Smidge  (who has a perfectly beautiful  blog!) – Smidge published a post today of a gorgeous blood orange martini. Completely out of my league,  I go barreling forward! I don’t know a lot about drinks, but I do know what my mouth likes, and my mouth loves this.

We have a favorite restaurant in Portland. Nuevo-Peruvian, Andinas.  They offer a sumptuous menu of foods you won’t find prepared quite like this anywhere, outside Peru;  theirs is a diverse menu, reflecting the diverse cuisine of a country that is on the sea, in the Andean mountains, and on the wide high planes. Andinas offers something for every appetite and every palate.  The walls there are  painted in russets, oranges, mahogany and deep purples;  hung from them are gorgeous photographs of Peruvians in brilliantly woven textiles, large hats, heart-splitting smiles! It’s noisy. It smells divine. Service is wonderful. And there’s this drink that I think I come close to dreaming about. It’s name is sacsayhuamán.  Shall I give you a minute while you try to pronounce it? Or shall I just tell you everyone calls it Sexy Woman, which comes awfully close.

Pureed Passion Fruit ~ Habañero-infused Vodka ~ Sugared Rim

I’m afraid that’s all I know about it…apart from the fact that it manages, like no drink I’ve ever had,  to be slightly sweet, slightly tart, a teeny bit  h o t, very cold and very sexy. Do you ever shudder with delight over the taste of something? (Please tell me I’m not alone in that!)  So it seemed right that I play with it a bit at home, tweak it just slightly to make it even prettier and just the thing to be sipped with your valentine.

Several years ago we went on a hunt for pureed passion fruit. I checked every local market before going on-line. We found several sources, but from what we could tell they all manage to be quite expensive. (That is, if you think $75 dollars is too much to pay for shipping!) But on a recent trip to a local market, I found the whole fresh passion fruits all snuggled up against the papayas and star fruits.  I picked up a slew of them and brought them home to ripen. They’re odd things…ripe when they turn from a beautiful smooth greenish-purple to a deeply wrinkled, dried-up (or so it seems) purple handball. These are on their way, but not yet ready.

When they’re ripe, you open them up and find it’s mostly seed in there, with a little pulp, but a perfume escapes that’s so floral and exquisite you want to slurp it on the spot, no spoon.

Scoop out the contents and push through a sieve, holes small enough to hold the seeds back, large enough to let the pulp and juices through. It’s worth working hard to get every delicious bit.

Then, the tweak, add the deep red of blood oranges and you’ll have most of what you need for a ~

Passion Fruit & Blood Orange Martini

1/3 cup (3 ounces) passion fruit pulp

1/3 cup pureed blood orange segments (they add such gorgeous color, as you can see)

1/3 cup (3 ounces) juice from blood oranges

Juice of one lime

3 ounces habañero infused vodka

3 ounces simple syrup *

~ ~

Mix together, strain (for citrus pulp). Shake with ice to chill. Strain into glasses rimmed with superfine sugar. Drape or float an orchid blossom if you like. (And perhaps then you’ll want to slip your shoes off under the table.)

This recipe makes enough for two cocktails, with the possibility of a third, to be shared.

* simple syrup is simply equal parts water and sugar, brought to a boil, sugar completely dissolved, liquid turned clear. Pour into a clean jar and refrigerate.

32 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mari Anna #

    Oh my! You do know how to delight the senses!
    That color red is sooooooo beautiful. I imagine the drink is out of this world!

    February 8, 2012
    • MariAnna, out of this world! 😉

      February 8, 2012
  2. Sounds delish! I know from experience I love the version at Andina’s and know yours would be divine. And somehow you managed to make those wrinkly passion fruit look beautiful in that bowl. Only you could do that. 🙂

    February 8, 2012
  3. I love pomegranate 🙂

    February 8, 2012
  4. Darlyn #

    Oh these photos are so beautiful. We just received our Martha Stewart Living magazine and when thumbing through it I realized that the pictures there don’t even compare to Sprees, which bring the life and love to the food.

    February 8, 2012
    • Oh my Darlyn! Bringing life and love to food is all I could hope to do! Thank you so much for SUCH kind words!

      February 8, 2012
  5. As beautiful as this drink is, it is waaaay too much work for me! I will stick with the blue margarita the local Mexican restaurant serves – YUMMO!

    February 8, 2012
  6. I think you have earned a “mix… (had to scroll up for spelling) mixologist” badge, this drink looks so decadent and I’m sure the flavors are a drink I’d be craving… Lovely!!

    February 8, 2012
    • Well Smidge, this will turn out to be the equivalent of the one-hit-wonders…I wouldn’t go giving me a badge! (But, boy, I kid you not, this drink is really good!)

      February 8, 2012
  7. I agree with Smidge. You deserve some sort of badge for this cocktail. Not only did you wait for the passion fruit to ripen but it takes a lot of effort to get 3 ounces of puree from them. I think I’d start crying if my date asked for a refill. Still, it is one beautiful cocktail, just perfect for Valentine’s Day — even if it does come with a 1 drink limit. 🙂

    February 8, 2012
    • Did I fail to mention? – oh i did! – this makes enough for two generous cocktails! Either 2 for her, or one for each of you! : )

      February 8, 2012
  8. I have to tell you that the passion fruit shot ( with the pulp) is a seriously good picture. By the way, the drink sounds brilliant, especially the chilli vodka.

    February 8, 2012
  9. Gorgeous photos and the cocktial sounds amazing. And yes, I would slip my shoes off…they would be incredibly high and I´d be wearing those fabulous, seam up the back, silk stockings. Oops…dreaming again. But I think you can enjoy this even if you are wearing thermal socks and boots!

    February 9, 2012
    • Thank you Tanya. Judging from the gorgeous sexy blooms that are your gravatar (and from lovely dresses I’ve seen you create) I’ve just always assumed that seamed silk stockings and high heels were how you sashayed through your days and nights on the mountain . (but of course even lovelier is the knowledge that you don’t!)

      February 9, 2012
  10. The addition of fruit to this drink makes it, in my opinion, suitable breakfast fare.

    I can only assume that’s what you intended.

    February 9, 2012
    • Yes, but I supposes I should have been clearer. 😉

      February 9, 2012
  11. Val #

    That martini is so hot it should be R-rated… or Over 18’s where I come from!

    February 9, 2012
    • Oh it’s definitely got an R rating! 😉

      February 9, 2012
  12. Thanks for those kind words! We actually pinned her drink to our cocktails board, we like it so much. We’ll need to pin this one too! This drink looks amazing.

    February 9, 2012
    • Wow! The mixologist gave it a thumbs up! That’s way better than a badge! 😉 thank you, Greg!

      February 9, 2012
  13. Fabulous photos! and a great drink too

    February 9, 2012
  14. What a gorgeous martini! Love the deep color.

    February 9, 2012
  15. “like no drink I’ve ever had, to be slightly sweet, slightly tart, a teeny bit h o t, very cold and very sexy. ” …. how titillating, I would love one of these, sound divine 🙂

    February 9, 2012
    • mmm, it is. and Yes, I think you should Lesley!

      February 9, 2012
  16. The color of this drink is absolutely beautiful! I love deep reds and crimsons! I may just have to try this one, at breakfast as Movita suggested 🙂
    Your photos are lovely, too!!

    February 9, 2012
    • I was so taken by this color! The original drink is beautiful, but it’s not this. This color came when passion fruit met blood oranges. Match made in heaven.

      February 9, 2012
  17. The color on this martini is amazing! I love it.

    February 9, 2012
  18. Love this! So exotic. And your photographs are so gorgeous!

    February 9, 2012
  19. Okay, forget the sexy supermodel carrots, *this* is outrageously sexy. Sexy Woman indeed. No, don’t forget the carrots, how could I? CUMIN, for heaven’s sake! But this looks and sounds beyond beautiful. You can’t fool us, you *are* a mixologist. And a mighty fine one, from the sound of this. 🙂

    February 19, 2012

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