It’s a Christmas Martini (photos courtesy World Market).  You can find actual rose and purple cauliflower heads at farmers markets, but at this time of year, you may have to color your own with beet juice. Here’s a recipe for pickled cauliflower and beets from The Galanter’s Kitchen.  Castelvetrano olives are the greenest, for Christmas garnishing.  Fresh dill, along with rosemary, are the two most Christmasy herbs: They look like evergreens (photo courtesy Burpee).
Is there such a thing as a Christmas Martini?
According to us: Yes!
We’re not talking a peppermint “Martini” garnished with candy canes, but a real, savory vodka/gin-and-vermouth cocktail as its creators intended it to be (here’s the history of the Martini).
We adapted this Dill Martini recipe from WorldMarket.com and gave it more holiday spirit.
If you switch the evergreen-like dill to chive or other herb and perhaps make all the pickles red or pink, you can serve this as a Valentine Martini as well.
Ingredients Per Drink
*If you aren’t using beets, you can buy a bottle of beet juice (delicious!) at a natural- or health-food store.
1. PICKLE the vegetables as desired and make the cocktail pick.
2. COMBINE the vodka, pickle brine, vermouth mustard seeds, and fresh dill in a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour into a glass.
2. ADD enough beet juice until you get the color you want (an assertive blush as in the photo is a good start).
3. ADD ice to the shaker along with the contents of the glass. Shake well, strain into a coupe or Martini glass and garnish with the vegetable pick.
It couldn’t be easier to make “quick pickles”: just the vegetables, vinegar, spices and two hours to marinate.
You can pickle just about any vegetable, and you can also pickle fruits: from grapes to sliced fruits.
If you’re excited about pickling, pick up a book on the topic. The Joy Of Pickling, first published in 1999, is now in its second edition.
You may find yourself making classic bread-and-butter and dill pickles, pickled beets and kimchi.
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