Guest Post: A Cocktail You Can Count On

Harbor East MartiniThough long overdue, I bring you a guest post by my fabulous, NYC-dwelling cousin who (I’m ecstatic to announce) will be blogging for the New York branch of Bitches Who Brunch in the new year. After we spent Thanksgiving together guzzling down the cocktail detailed here, she graciously offered to guest post about it here on NptSOM. We hope you are able to cheers to 2014 in style by bringing the Harbor East Martini into your own cocktail rotation!


In the spirit of the holidays and an aggressive two months of entertaining, I thought I would expose you to a reliable cocktail you can serve to your guests (and yourself!) for all of your festive gatherings.  I highly recommend committing to a staple cocktail for an evening of entertaining, rather than crowding your minimal counter space with an overwhelming assortment of liquors, so claim your go-to now, and own it! 
Introducing: The Harbor East Martini.  I fell in love with this fermented friend one year ago during an epic culinary experience at Charleston Restaurant in Baltimore, MD. By our fourth course, second cocktail and bottle of wine, our party had mustered up the liquid courage we needed to ask the fancy bartender for the recipe.  When we tried to re-create the cocktail after we’d recovered, it wasn’t even close to the same. Defeated, we tucked our lackluster recipe away and reverted back to the standard Cosmopolitan (you can’t go wrong.)
This year for Thanksgiving, while rifling through my mom’s magazine cuttings, I discovered the crumpled Charleston notecard and was afresh with intrigue.  Equally inspiring was my parents stocked liquor pantry.  As a current resident of NYC, I’m doomed to both $16 martinis and limited storage space, so unless I’m willing to bankrupt myself over a fancy drink or stash my Grand Marnier and bitters under my bed, I’m in a bit of a mixology pickle.  You can imagine my excitement when I was given the job this holiday season of curating the perfect cocktail for us all…
The Harbor East Martini is composed of Grey Goose L’Orange Vodka with a mélange of Cointreau, Grand Marnier, fresh orange, peach and lime juices – and a playful splash of Roederer Estate NV.  (My a-hah moment was realizing the recipe was missing the sparkling wine..crucial ingredient!)
My adaptation was similar with a few alterations.  I cheated on the fresh peach juice and used a can…since I was making enough for 12 guests, while baking an apple pie, I didn’t have it in me.  I did squeeze the limes – a necessity.  I used blood oranges I found in the fridge, but supplemented with orange juice because we had a bit of a shortage and a grocery run on Thanksgiving Day was not happening.  My splash of sparkling wine was a little more than playful, but everyone seemed to love how it cut the taste of the liquor and made the drink lighter.  


The end result? Fab. My recommendation is to experiment with 3 parts vodka to 1 parts Grand Marnier and Cointreau, and then add juices and sparkling wine as you see fit.  Be sure to save some orange slices for glass décor, and don’t forget to chill before serving if you are prepping for a large crowd and can’t shake with ice.
This cocktail was an easy drink, didn’t taste strong (despite its actual liquor content), was sweet (for the women) without being overbearing (for the men),  and after four, didn’t leave me with a hangover (for all of my drinking friends).  No-brainer, really.
And doesn’t it look pretty?
Cheers to a festive and boozy new year surrounded by loved ones who will join you in toasting your bespoke accomplishments!

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