Inside the Cave –
It’s Harvest time In Napa, and ALMOST in Niagara, if you’re harvesting Ice Wine, that is… Ice Wine Martinis are a delicious and different cocktail + a convivial conversation starter, too. It also helps if you happen to like vodka martini’s… Of course, our friends from up north in Canada like wine as much as anyone else and some of them even grow their own. One of the most popular is “Ice Wine”. Ice Wine is sweet because of the way the grapes are harvested (more on that later.) Our good friend and reader Dawn taught us the ways of the Ice Wine Martini, as she used to work for Inniskillin Wineries.
Ice Wine Martini’s
These have proven many times to be a very successful way to start a smaller party. They’re incredibly tasty, and something very unique!
Ice Wines are available in any major Liquor store. We usually buy Inniskillin Ice Wine. This is a very popular Canadian brand, and there are different types, white (Vidal or Riesling), red (Cabernet Franc..) We suggest the Vidal.
First, what’s a martini without an olive? The Canadians came up with a “grape” idea! Take 12-15 regular green grapes, wash them off, dry them then roll them in about 1/2 cup of SUGAR. Stick a toothpick (or Martini olive pick) through three (3) of them at a time, and put them in the freezer for a few hours.
Voila! Canadian Ice Wine “Olives”!
Using a standard martini glass, with your now frozen grapes acting as olives in the glass, pour your ½ oz. or so of Vermouth (optional to taste); then the usual 3 to 3 ½ oz. of vodka. Now for the secret ingredient – the ICE Wine. Remember, it’s sweet. The first time you try this, use a small amount at first, maybe a ½ oz. and taste test it. That may be fine, or you may want to add more. Some people like 1 oz., some more.
3P Note: I STRONGLY SUGGEST trying this out before you serve them at a party. You’ll then have a much better idea of how much of the ingredients you like in the glass prior to your event. (Plus, you get to be first to enjoy it, and may need to “practice” it few times for yourself !)
Again, these are a very nice change (especially in the Fall/Winter months) for a smaller party; and again, it gets everyone talking about something new and fun right off the bat!
Ice Wine Martini’s – From The Man Cave!
More Information on Ice Wine-
Ice wine is a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other solids do not freeze, but the water does, allowing for a more concentrated (and much smaller amount) of grape juice at harvest time. It’s very sweet. Ice wine production is tricky. The vineyard needs a very large labor force to pick the entire crop within a few hours, at a moment’s notice, on the first morning that the weather is cold enough, and the colder the better.
ENJOY some tasty ice wine martini’s with friends this fall! A magnificent addition to any Autumn get-together…from the Man Cave!