It’s the Christmas season—what can I say? Part of me wanted to create a whole suite of Nutcracker themed martinis! But in the end, I went with just one, a Sugar Plum Martini, sans fairy even.
All of this took me back to a very distant memory–of real, actual, sugar plums. One long-ago Christmas, my father brought home an expensive box of imported candies. Packed in a hatbox style container, each treat had a dried plum in the center and was surrounded by a thick coating of white sugar glaze (similar to candied almonds, but with a plum at the center–note that this post will not be covering any of the sugar plum definition controversy).
The confections were exquisite—and the memory is vivid enough to come prominently to mind for both my mother and me at the mere mention of the candy (or fairy).
A couple years ago, I decided to try making my own from online instructions. This was, alas, harder than it looked. Perhaps I’ll try again some time. But for now, I’m going to make due with a Sugar Plum Martini.
This drink came out of the “martini lab” that I staged when my collegians came home for Thanksgiving. I started with a box of mini flavored vodka bottles and the Sugar Plum Martini was an instant hit—which posed a dilemma. How do you make a second, when your plum vodka mini is empty?
The answer? Ad-lib with berry vodka. So if you want to try this don’t feel you need to go buy a bottle of plum vodka if there is a sweet fruity sub available.
I, however, will be hitting up the liquor store before the last exam lands on the professor’s desk. Those college kids are looking for a slightly different kind of sugar plum now that they’re growing up.
Merry Christmas to all!
- • 1 ounce Pearl Plum Vodka,
- • 1 ounce Cointreau
- • 2+ ounces sparkling cranberry juice (see note)
- • Dash of bitter lemon tonic water or lemon juice
- Shake vodka and cointreau with ice then pour into martini glass. Top with chilled sparkling (or not) cranberry juice and a good squeeze of lemon.
- I recommend doing straight cranberry juice rather than one blended with a sweeter juice. The (uber-sweet) drink benefits from the tartness that the cranberry and lemon add.
- For an alcohol free version, mix 2 ounces of orange juice or orange soda with the cranberry juice.