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Pear Martinis

The Blue Radish just turned 1! My very first blog featured my Dad’s Mango Martini and it was wildly popular. So I thought to celebrate the first anniversary it was fitting to share his Pear Martini recipe. It’s also a great drink for hot summer evenings.

I recently returned from a trip to Canada to visit my family and my Dad served this drink with a garnish of sliced pear. They were pretty and gone in minutes. We drank them out on the deck, overlooking the lake, during a rare moment of quiet (if you know me, you know how many kids I have and why this is rare!). I have always said that good food and drinks makes good memories and this drink definitely has done that for me.

These need to be made fresh as the pear puree browns quickly. Here’s how to make them.

Peel and core 1-2 pears. Put them into a blender with a splash of pear vodka and blend into a puree (the vodka helps the pear blend down).

Add 2 tbsp. of the puree into an ice shaker with ice, a splash of sake, 3 oz pear vodka and 1 1/2 oz lychee syrup. Shake and pour into a cold martini glass. If wanted, garnish with a slice of pear.

Enjoy!

Pear Martinis
Ingredients
  • 1-2 pears peeled and cored
  • 3 oz pear vodka (Smirnoff)
  • 1 splash sake
  • 1.5 oz lychee syrup
  • 1 pear sliced for garnish
Instructions
  1. Puree the pears with a splash of the pear vodka in a blender. Make fresh when ready to serve the drinks as the puree browns quickly.

  2. Mix 2 tbsp. of the puree with ice, pear vodka, sake and lychee syrup in a martini ice shaker.

  3. Pour into cold martini glasses.

  4. Garnish with a slice of pear.

  5. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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Tequila, limes and margaritas. Tips and techniques from a self-professed tequila snob.

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The quality of your ingredients matter whether you’re making a world class cocktail or a seven course meal. Since we’re in the heat of summer, let’s discuss the ingredients required to make a traditional margarita. I don’t mean the frozen kind made with sugary mixes and drunk out of a fancy glass. I mean the authentic, Mexican margarita.

First and foremost, TEQUILA. You want tequila that says 100% agave or 100% de agave. If it just says agave on it, it’s a mix of agave and fermented cane sugars. These “mixed” tequilas are called “mixtos”. They have a lot of additives for flavor and color. “Gold” tequila is a mixtos tequila with added caramel coloring. It is not a higher quality tequila.

Aside from “mixtos” (which is basically JUNK tequila) there are four main categories of tequila. Silver/blanco, Resposado, Anejo, and extra Anejo. Silver or blanco tequila is the purest tequila. It is 100% agave and is not aged. They tend to have a strong up front agave taste and can be considered “strong”. Resposado or rested tequila has been aged between 2 and 12 month in wooden barrels. This mellows out the agave taste while picking up wood flavors and coloring. Anejo tequila is a reposado that has been aged over 1 year. Extra Anejo has been aged for more the 3 years.

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The other main ingredient in margaritas is limes. A lot of limes are overly acidic because they have been picked too “green” and are not properly ripened. This will make for a sour, acidic drink that will keep you up all night with heartburn. No thanks. The best way to check a lime is to open and taste it. It should be juicy and not sour. But how do you know which limes to buy in the store? I did a little research and I read that ripe limes are lighter in color, have smooth rather than dimpled skin, feel heavy and give slightly when squeezed, so I did a lime experiment. I bought four limes. Two dark green and two light green/yellow.

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You can see that the lighter colored limes also have smoother skin. They were all juicy when I opened them, but the lighter colored limes were definitely less sour.

So now that you have 100% agave tequila and ripe limes let’s make a margarita!

Grab your cocktail shaker and fill it with ice. Add two parts of your favorite 100% agave silver tequila, one part freshly squeezed lime juice and one part either triple sec OR Grand Marnier. (Triple sec will give the margarita an orange flavor, Grand marnier a brandy flavor).  Give it a good shake. The longer you shake the more water will melt from the ice and dilute your margarita. This is just personal preference. I like mine lightly shaken, but if it’s too strong for you just shake it longer.

Take your margarita glass and rub the rim with lime and dip it in coarse salt. Pour the margaritas into the glasses then take a spoon and add some of the ice from the shaker. I do this rather than pour over fresh ice as the ice in the shaker is coated with the drink.

For an extra twist that will impress your friends, take your favorite Reposado or Anejo 100% agave tequila and pour it over the back of a spoon on to the drink to “float” about 1 teaspoon of tequila on top. This step will give you a high quality “tequila shooter” for the first couple sips of your drink. Absolutely delicious!

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Mexican Margarita
Ingredients
  • 2 parts 100% agave silver tequila
  • 1 part freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 part grand marnier or triple sec
  • coarse salt
  • 1 tsp 100% agave resposado or anejo tequila
Instructions
  1. Fill your cocktail shaker with ice

  2. Add the silver tequila, lime juice and grand marnier or triple sec (triple sec will give the margarita an orange flavor, grand marnier a brandy flavor)

  3. Shake well - the longer you shake the more water will enter the drink

  4. Rub the rim of your margarita glasses with lime. Dip rims in coarse salt to coat

  5. Pour the mixed margarita into the glasses. Then add ice from the shaker with a spoon

  6. Take your favorite Reposado or Anejo tequila and pour it over the back of a spoon and onto the top of your drink

  7. Garnish with a slice of lime

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Welcome to the Blue Radish Food Blog!

Hello world! Welcome to my food blog. I’m Jenny and obviously love to cook. I have four kids… yes, FOUR. Two teenagers and two toddlers. YIKES. Needless to say, my days consist of laundry, sweeping and cooking. The laundry and sweeping are pretty tedious, but the cooking, it keeps me sane. I’m originally from the west coast of Canada and moved to New Jersey 7 years ago. Here, being so close to NYC, I discovered the plethora of ethnic restaurants on my doorstep. Ethiopian, Portuguese, Afghani, Persian and Italian…oh delicious, Italian food. I wanted to learn how to make it all. Of course, for me, cooking is messy with multiple interruptions thanks to the toddlers. It’s like they have an uncanny ability to start coloring the walls just when I hit a critical part of a recipe. Thank goodness for magic erasers! It may take me 2+ hours to cook a 1 hour dish, but we muddle through.

Also chickens, because I have so much spare time (insert sarcasm). I love my chickens (no sarcasm). They give me fresh, yummy eggs in all sorts of colors. Did you know some chickens lay blue eggs? These quirky birds have all kinds of personality and my kids are always entertained by them. Well, until the coop needs cleaning!

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So kids, chickens and cooking. I should probably get back to the cooking since that’s why you’re here. My hope is to share with you my journey as I attempt to “cook around the world” in search of the best dishes each culture has to offer.

I’m still new to this whole blogging world and it’s a bit “techy” so forgive me if the site is a little rough at first. When my little ones head back to preschool in September I’m going to attempt to provide cooking videos to accompany the recipes.

To celebrate the first blog I’m going to share my Dad’s famous Mango Martini recipe. He and my mom once spent an entire boozy afternoon perfecting it. It’s delish!

Please subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss my next recipe. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it private and you won’t be getting junk mail!

MANGO MARTINIS

Servings: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 mango
  • 2 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz peach schnapps
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water)
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
Instructions
  1. Put ingredients into a blender with 2 cups of ice and blend. Pour into chilled martini glasses and garnish with blueberries or raspberries (frozen or fresh)

Recipe Notes

If you use 1:1 simple syrup, just double the amount

To PIN this recipe click on the thumbnail image and then the P icon