One of my favorite San Francisco restaurants is Straits, with its unique dishes from the countries along the Straits of Malacca, the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. There are wonderful choices of Indian, Malay, Chinese and Singaporean dishes, some cool, some spicy with exotic cocktails to tempt the taste buds. My first visit there, I had a ginger drop martini and it immediately became my all time favorite drink. Determined to reproduce it at home, I embarked on a long series of trial and error taste testings, with a dear forensic nurse colleague and two of my adult sons as guinea pigs. Finally, several bottles of vodka and many pounds of ginger later, I declared my ginger drop martinis equal to, if not better than, those at Straits Restaurant. I began taking them to our forensic conferences where they were polished off in short order. As they are quite labor intensive, I began to invite only those most worthy to share in the samplings. Here is my recipe. Skol, okole maluna, cheers, bonsai, and all that jazz.
GINGER DROP MARTINI
½ Part Sweet & Sour Mix
In a shaker with ice, combine vodka, ginger syrup, & sweet & sour mix.
For more ginger flavor, peel and slice ginger to make one cup – add to one liter of vodka. Let flavors mesh for 48 hours, then store in freezer
If you cannot find ginger syrup, you can make it by combining two cups sugar, two cups water, and 1 cup of fresh ginger (chopped fine) into pot and simmer for one hour. Strain ginger syrup and it is ready to use. Remember to keep the syrup in the fridge.
Rub a piece of fresh ginger around the rim of a martini glass and dip in sugar. Pour and garnish with the ginger slice.
I always make a huge batch of this, at least quadruple the recipe. It is a bit of a pain peeling all that ginger. Fortunately for me, I live in a Filipino neighborhood, with a great grocery that sells ginger by the sack. I pick a good television watching night and get the peeler, my sharp knives and get started. If you don't like the taste of ginger, this is NOT the drink for you!!