I like Martinis! Like…the real ones…well, kind of…
Earlier this week I took the train into Grand Central to get a taste of the Big Apple. Of course, I’ve been there many times before but this trip was all business—and luckily for me, that means trying out cocktails at trendy bars!
Located in the lovely Bryant Park, behind the New York Public Library, the Bryant Park Grill was my first stop of the day and featured a great outdoor dining patio and delicious food.
Since I was visiting New York on behalf of my client, Hiram Walker, I tried to get a sense of the latest drink trends, to see where the new flavors they introduced this week (Blueberry Passion and White Peach Schnapps) might fit into a cocktail menu. I was keeping my eye out for throw-back cocktails with a new twist, like HW’s reinvention of the “Fuzzy Navel”—the “Naked Navel” and “Pierced Navel” (with 100 proof vodka).
I’ve been trying to make it a habit to order whatever my bartender/server suggests to drink, or at the very least, something featured in a drink menu. But at my first destination, there was no cocktail menu, and my server only offered “We can make anything you want.” I froze. No throw-back cocktails with trendy new liqueurs, no cute, cleverly-named tiki drinks, and no intriguing veggie-based cocktails (stay tuned for more about all those). It’s been a long time since I had to think about drinking—the combination can be deadly.
My wonderful city-savvy hostess and lunch guest for the afternoon, Anu Rao interjected to suggest I try a dirty vodka martini. Gross! Or so I thought. I’d never tasted one and it had never occurred to me that I might enjoy it. Truth is, I loved it! If you’re in the city (and you like olives) go get one—they’re great. Anu (who seems to be something of a dirty-vodka-martini-aficionado) said it was one of the best she’d had.
The one thing I couldn’t help thinking about was the name—“Dirty Martini.” Isn’t that olive juice usually poured from the garnish dish, where fingers have been dipping all day? Hmm…dirty indeed…