My Tamarillo Tini has the delicious South American fruit. The flavor is slightly sweet with amazing flavor your family and friends will enjoy.
I’m trying to make more cocktails on my blog. Since I’m not quite sure how well I’m doing on that front I decided to sign up when Liz from Books ‘n Cooks said she was hosting a martini day. I think I’ve added a few more since the beginning of the year.
Of course, it helps when you have a nice distiller up the way that makes killer whiskey and gin. And it also helps that you’ve made a friend in the Virginia Distillers Association who loves to send things to do your way.
Unfortunately, they don’t make vodka. However, there is a craft distiller in Richmond, VA that makes a killer vodka. I bought a bottle on a whim and I am hooked. It’s better than any of the top shelf brands combined! It is super smooth and silky going down. There’s not even a need to make it dirty to cut the alcohol burn.
And by making it dirty I mean adding olive juice!
I mean, this is martini day we’re celebrating here, right? So prepare to have martini lingo thrown at you during this post. Of course, I’m nowhere near a martini aficionado. Heck, I didn’t even have one until I made the hubs. He’s the one that introduced me to their lovely simplicity and taste. I love mine dirty for sure! And typically, a vodka martini, thank you!
Shockingly enough, no one really knows the origin of the martini. There’s theories about a vermouth maker or a bartender, but there’s nothing really solid pointing one way or the other. The only thing that is consistent is the use of gin and vermouth. Sometimes there’s bitters and gum syrup (whatever that is) but for the most part a martini is gin and vermouth.
After prohibition, the taste for lighter spirits was popular. Consequently, when vodka hit US soil in the 1930’s. It had a growing interest and gained peak popularity in the 50’s. This skyrocketed after the infamous James Bond scene where he recites his version of vodka martini. While this is technically a Vesper, Bond calls it a vodka martini. So, we all must call it that! And since I prefer vodka to gin in most cases, that’s what I went with for this tamarillo tini.
And it was the vodka martini that was the base for the chocolate martini. Which I think is the whole reason for all these dessert martini recipes you can find now a days. One would think this is a recent invention, but it’s been around since the 50’s. And it is my inspiration for this sweetened version of a vodka martini.
Now, I was looking for prickly pear fruit for this martini. But, since I was going for a certain color I couldn’t tell if the ones I found were going to be the right color or not. According to what I’ve read, they’re not all pink in side. Some of them are yellow. Who knew? Well, now we both do.
But next to the prickly pears were these little red orbs of interesting. I had no idea what they were but just grabbed them anyway. That’s what Google is for, right? Figuring out what those strange ingredients are at the store? At least for a food blogger it is. Since I’m not schooled in all walks of produce – shocking I know – I need to search for ingredients every now and then.
To be honest, I should broaden my horizons and buy one new thing a month. I’ll get to learn new produce to integrate into my blog and you’ll get to learn about them, too. So, along with adding more cocktails I will be adding more interesting items to my recipes.
So what are they you ask??
They’re called tamarillos. They are a fruit typically grown in South American and New Zealand. Tamarillos are small-ish oval fruits grown on a small tree or bush of the same name. They’re also called tree tomatoes or tomate de arbol. Tamarillos are also in the same family as the ground cherry, tomatoes, eggplants, tomatillos, and chili peppers. They pack lots of vitamins and minerals as well as being a great source of dietary fiber.
So, you can feel good drinking these tamarillo tinis for more than one reason!
These tamarillos sort of reminded me of a kiwi in the way you peel them. I cut them in half. Then I used a spoon to scoop the flash from the skin. The skin is quite tough and bitter from what I’ve read. I didn’t taste it. I didn’t want to taste it. The skin of a kiwi is enough of an example of how bitter a skin can be.
For those of you that know can I get an amen?
Now, the flesh of these babies are yellow. Most of them were anyway. But the seeds and inner pulp are dark ruby red. Almost a blood red in some cases. I think those were the softer fruit I picked up that day. As you can see, it made for a rather dark red simple syrup.
Yes, I know simple syrup doesn’t belong in a traditional martini. But we live in the times of chocolatinis and birthday cake tinis and all those other super sweet dessert drinks. These are more popular after (insert snippet here). So, I’m totally comfortable with the little hint of sweetness that is in this tamarillo tini.
I know. You’re dying to know what this tastes like. The tamarillo syrup is like a combination of mango an kiwi with a hint of apricot? If that makes any sense. It’s sweet with a mango flavor. Then there’s a kiwi flavor that I relate to potassium.
Finally there’s an after thought of apricot flavor on the back end. It’s definitely the most interesting flavor I’ve had. And I can’t wait to find other way to use this syrup. Or other cocktails for this syrup!
Just look at that gorgeous color! You know it’s going to taste amazing. And it really does. There’s a vibrant flavor of the tamarillo simple syrup along with the smooth vodka. If you’re lucky enough to be in the Richmonda, VA area, stop by and check out Cirrus. They’re the best vodka I’ve tasted in a long time!
Also check out what the rest of the crew stirred up for this for National Martini Day. Also, I’d like to thank JoyJolt for these gorgeous glasses. They’re part of their new Smoke line. I’ll chat more about them in another post. So, stay tuned for another cocktail recipe!
For tamarillo simple syrup:
- 6 whole tamarillos, peeled
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
For the cocktail:
- 6 ounces Cirrus vodka
- 4 ounces tamarillo simple syrup
- 1 ounce dry vermouth
- 2 to 3 dashes chocolate bitters
For the tamarillo simple syrup:
- Slice the tamarillos in half and carefully separate the skin from the flesh.
- Combine the tamarillos flesh in a small saucepan with the water and sugar.
- Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. When the tamarillos are soft use a potato masher to mash the tamarillos and release the seeds and pulp from the flesh.
- Continue to simmer until slightly thickened; about 20 minutes.
For the cocktail:
- Combine the vodka with the tamarillo syrup, vermouth, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled 2/3 with ice.
- Using a cocktail spoon, stir the mixture until ice cold. Or you could shake it like I did to make sure the syrup is completely mixed with the vodka.
- Serve in a chilled martini glass. I prefer the Smoke line from JoyJolt.
Check out these other fun martini recipes for #NationalMartiniDay:
- Bikini Martini from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Classic Cosmo from Books n’ Cooks
- Classic Lemon Drop from Our Good Life
- Coconut Ciroc Martini from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Coconut Orange Mango Martini from Daily Dish Recipes
- Creamy Chocolate Martini from Sweet Beginnings
- The Dirty Martini from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- French Martini from Food Above Gold
- Hawaiian Martini from Family Around the Table
- Strawberry Lemonade Martini from Palatable Pastime
- Tamarillo-tini from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Watermelon Guava Martini from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks