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Martinis!

Earlier this week, a few of the girls and I went to a Martini-making course. The premise was that you get to learn a little bit about the history of the martini, try your hand at making a few different kinds, and of course sample. Count me in! The course start with the usual group ice-breakers, and then we moved on to the history. I actually did learn a few things! Like the amusing fact that Sex and the City pretty much ushered in the era of the modern girlie-drink, any flavour combination martini – in contrast to the traditional “shaken, not stirred” martini of the manly Bond era.

For a quick review of the course – I would consider it an OK deal when purchased as a LivingSocial voucher like we did, but I wouldn’t pay the full price ($99 for a 2.5 hour course). The first thing that disappointed us was the tasting aspect – or lack thereof. Of the half-dozen different martinis they went over, I think we only tried 3 different ones. And these came in little shot glasses. The tastings didn’t start until more than halfway through the course, which just seemed wrong – we took the course on a weeknight, and after a full workday you kind of want to have a drink in hand before you’re ready to start absorbing information. On a positive side – the instructors were personable, we got to learn lots of little techniques (and explanations behind them, which I always appreciate), and it was just a fun opportunity to socialize.

So, with hubby out of town for the weekend, what girl wouldn’t jump on the opportunity to try out her new martini-making skills? I’d love to be able to say that as soon as hubby was outside the city boundaries, I called a smashing party and started handing out killer martinis. But to tell the truth – it’s just me and the cats, after a quick stop at the liquor store. And only one of us has a martini. 🙂

I liked the lychee martini that I tried at the course, and thought I would start with that.

They recommended the lychee juice in the recipe, but we already had an opened pack of mango juice, so I thought that would do (it did, yum). Lychee liqueur itself is like heaven in a bottle. Really, you need to go get some. It’s the perfect combination of sweetness and flavour, and the smell is unbelievable – I swear I could just sit there with my nose over the bottle, without ever taking a sip, and be perfectly content.

At the course, they had pourer caps on the liquor bottles, and a count system to measure out 1/4 oz measures (so if you’re pouring an ounce, you count to 4). We’re not that fancy here, so I resorted to measuring using the glass (maybe you can’t see, but it has ticks at 1/2 oz increments along the side. One thing we learned at the course was to chill the martini glass with iced soda water before pouring the drink into it; I just used plain iced water, and it turns out they were right – the bubbles somehow seem to help the glass cool faster. [Side note: we only seem to own one martini glass. What’s up with that? This will have to be rectified before Christmas season.]

The end result?

Pretty colour and delicious taste. Although it’s definitely missing a maraschino cherry… or five. 😉

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