Like most of you, I am home, and have been home for nearly a week now because of the Covid-19 virus. I have been out only to get groceries for ourselves and also my elderly parents. It's really important for them and other compromised people to stay away from the general public.
Truth be told, I don't mind AT ALL being home in the house like this. When my children were little I used to relish a good ol' snow storm that would keep us in the house for a day or even more. Snow shoveling in our house was always followed by a lunch of pastina. For those of you not in the know, pastina the Italian way is made with gently cooked small star shaped pasta, fresh parmesan cheese, and multiple eggs cracked into and cooked in the mixture. My husband is Italian and grew up eating this, and I rightly raised our children on it as well.
My children are grown and flown, and this isn't a snow day. It's more serious than that but yesterday I felt that need to create something edible. Well, drinkable. This blog is about cocktails and gardening after all, so here we are. The name of the drink is not intended to be disrespectful or flippant. It's meant to be lighthearted but remind people of the importance of staying in our homes unless absolutely necessary. This is how we will stop the spread of this virus. Also, honestly, if I don't laugh about this I will cry. I have a friend, Gaby, that I work with and she had posted a photo of herself drinking a cocktail and called it a Quarantini. I asked if she minded if I used the name and she assured me she was down with it! Thanks, Gaby!
I love making simple syrups for my cocktails. You can make them super easily and flavor them in a myriad of ways. Herbaceous, floral, spicy, you name it. It's just equal parts of sugar and water stirred together over heat until the sugar melts. Add in your flavorings and there you have it! The sky is the limit. This time however, I knew I wanted something with a bit more punch than just a simple syrup. I wanted something super flavorful with lots of pizzazz. I found a lonely but fresh orange in my fridge which I juiced before I thought to take off the peel. Taking off the peel and saving it for garnish would have been a great idea, but also requires forethought and planning. I master neither of the skills. Therefore, you will notice I garnished my drink with a, while colorful, completely random jalapeno. Come at me. It's what I had.
The orange provided me with out 1/4 cup of fresh juice and I mixed it with about 2 scant tablespoons of sugar and cooked it down until it became sticky but still pourable. I let it cool and then was ready to assemble my cocktail.
2 ounces vodka (I used Ketel One)
1 ounce Aperol
.5 oz orange syrup
Squeeze of lime (do this to taste, more or less)
Chill a martini or coupe glass by adding ice and some water and let sit while you are mixing drink.
Shake ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker for about 20 seconds or until the outside of shaker becomes frosty
Pour out ice and water from your glass now that it is perfectly chilled
Don't skip the first step or the one directly above
Strain drink from cocktail shaker into glass
I cant stress enough the importance of chilling your glass before making your drink. It seems like such a little thing but it makes a huge difference in the quality of your cocktails. If you are serving a drink on the rocks this step is not necessary, of course. For many others it is. You will thank me, I am sure of it.
Make this drink, get your Vitamin C. Take care of yourself and one another. We will all get through this, and hopefully have a new appreciation for our fellow man on the other side of it.