Ridin’ the Storm Out

It’s here! It’s here! Stormpocalypse has blown in to the Bay Area! I don’t know about you, but I’m hunkered down at home today. The first message on my phone this morning was a flash flood warning from the National Weather Service. Yikes! Well, so far that hasn’t happened, but the warning sealed the deal for staying put today (well, unless I need to get to higher ground, natch). We have been dumped on pretty hard, though. (Drought? Over.) And points north of the 650 have had school closings, flooding, and power outages. It’s ugly out there, folks.

Even with all the buzz, I wasn’t totally buying into the “Storm of the Century” drama (um, didn’t we have one of those a year or two ago?), but I did spend some quality time last night prepping the premises — just in case the tv weather folks weren’t being overly dramatic. Patio furniture was covered, small objects likely to go airborne in high winds were moved to safer locations, and sandbags were filled (booyah!) Despite my best efforts to batten the hatches and strategically place sandbags, the deluge of rain has turned part of my yard into a wading pool. Sigh. So, there I was this morning in the windy rain, clearing (more) leaves out of drains and setting up the backup sump pump before breakfast. Good times.

Once my work here is done, and I’ve made another tour of the backyard waterworks, I’m calling it quits for the day and curling up with a good book and a cocktail. Inspired by the cool rain, I’ll be shaking up my new favorite: vodka martini. Sure, a warm drink might seem like the go-to today, given the weather (and if that’s your thing, enjoy!), but somehow a clear, crisp cocktail is calling me.

What I’m I loving about the vodka martini is its simple elegance: three ingredients, a stylish garnish, a chilled martini glass. The version I’m drinking now steps up the amount of dry vermouth, so the cocktail is more of an aperitif than a chilled vodka shot. It’s a bit of fancy while you’re ridin’ the storm out. Cue REO Speedwagon…

Cocktail hour during Stormpocalypse
Cocktail hour during Stormpocalypse

Recipe: Ridin’ the Storm Out Vodka Martini
Yield: 1 Cocktail
Inspired by Imbibe Magazine
As with any cocktail, quality ingredients make the difference — especially when the ingredient list is short. Choose the best-tasting vodka, dry vermouth, and bitters for your palate and budget. My home bar is geared toward incorporating organic and local ingredients whenever possible. You might be hard-pressed to find an organic dry vermouth (I was), but the vodka choices are plentiful. TRU vodka, which I’ve used for this recipe is all-organic and made in Southern California. Square One organic vodka, produced in the Bay Area, is good local option as well.

You’ll need a paring knife or channel knife, martini glass, shaker, shot glass with measurement markings or measuring spoons, and ice.

Note that I’ve given the ingredients in ounces. If you’re using measuring spoons,
2 ounces = 4 tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons, ½ ounce = 1 tablespoon

2 ounces TRU Oganic Vodka
1 ounce Dolin Vermouth (Note: vermouth is wine-based and should be kept refrigerated once opened.)
2 drops Urban Moonshine organic citrus bitters (although lemon, grapefruit, or celery bitters would work too!)
Organic lemon (Eureka)

Ridin' the Storm Out Martini, shaken not stirred: Dolin Dry Vermouth, TRU Organic Vodka, citrus bitters, lemon
Ridin’ the Storm Out Martini, shaken not stirred: Dolin Dry Vermouth, TRU Organic Vodka, citrus bitters, lemon

How To:

  1. Chill the martini glass in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
    Retrieve it just as you’re ready to shake the cocktail.
  2. Prepare the lemon twist: using a paring knife or channel knife, cut a 3-inch piece of lemon peel for the garnish.  Set aside.
  3. Combine vodka, vermouth, and bitters in a shaker with a handful of ice.
  4. Shake briefly (I give it three shakes) and strain into the prepared glass.
  5. Twist the lemon peel over the cocktail and drop it into the glass.cocktail-in-kitchen

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