If ever you find yourself in soho exhausted from battling the crowds or wanting to meet a friend somewhere nice and intimate and not silly-expensive, you should go to Botanica on W Houston. Because of its subterranean nature, the bar, chairs and tables seem slightly out of place, as if placed haphazardly inside a cave. I like to sit in the back room with its mis-matched furniture and candle-lit tables. But enough about the setting and onto the drinks. For the male persuasion, I recommend the Dark and Stormy, served in a beveled pint glass and filled to the brim….it’s everything this drink should be.
But ladies….this one’s for you.
It’s called a Ginger Yum Yum (which immediately calls to mind Peter Sellers in the Party, right?) and it’s spicy and strong and also sweet. It’s 8 bucks which isn’t horrible for a cocktail in Manhattan…and it’s huge! In my opinion, Vodka is a liquor best served disguised and this drink does that beautifully. The menu says “rosemary infused vodka” which is brilliant since the strong fragance of rosemary perfectly hides the offensive alcoholic taste of “house” vodka.
After lusting after the Dan Aykroyd-endorsed Crystal Skull Vodka (remember that stupid teaser video for the Pool Parties last summer?) for months, I finally got my hands on some. And what better use for Crystal Skull vodka than a Ginger Yum Yum. It would probably taste amazing if you infuse the vodka with the rosemary for a few days before hand, but who has time for hindsight, it’s 2011.
Ginger Yum Yum
Serves 1 (These measurements are approximate)
You will need:
1/2 cup ginger beer (Reed’s is great and already sweetended)
2 shots good quality vodka (Crystal Skull, not Crystal Palace)
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (important, since this makes it spicy)
2 springs rosemary
1. Crush the rosemary in a short glass with the handle of a wooden spoon and add the vodka, stir and set aside. Grate your ginger and add to the vodka, stir again. (I’m assuming a cocktail shaker would be helpful at this point, but I don’t have one of those) Strain out the pieces of rosemary and then add the ginger beer to the vodka mixture and voila!
So, I also had Sage and Thyme in my fridge so I obviously had to try infusing those as well. Their flavors were much more subtle than the rosemary, but honestly the ginger is so spicy that they got kinda lost.