I'm getting to the point that most people reach near the end of winter. The point where you can't imagine getting through one more day of uncomfortable weather. For me, it's always frustrating waiting for fall to officially arrive. Cooler temperatures (both outside and in my kitchen), crisp, cleaner feeling air, and sweaters. That's what I long for. While I may desire a cooler climate, I still try to preserve the flavors of summer. This year that has been especially true. We have been enjoying a wonderful harvest of tomatoes (find out Monday how I made tomato paste with home grown tomatoes!), armfuls of basil that has been pestoed (totally a word), and peppers that are either drying or tucked neatly in jars surrounded by pickling liquids and spices.
I cracked open a jar of jalapeños that I had pickled with honey, allspice, and apple cider vinegar because I just couldn't stand waiting. Perhaps I'm fed up with waiting for fall, so I just don't have the patience to wait for other things...? Anyway, I opened them and was immediately taken with the delicious aroma: sweet honey, warm allspice, pungent garlic, and a little heat from the peppers themselves. I felt quite proud of myself, to be honest. I successfully preserved something that I am certain we will enjoy on homemade nachos, tacos, enchiladas...and in cocktails. True story. They are amazing in martinis.
I treated this martini a lot like a traditional dirty martini. Vodka (you could also use gin), vermouth, and a pickled jalapeño for garnish and for snacking. And of course, I made it dirty by adding some of the pickling liquid. Toss in a little extra honey and some lime juice and you've got a pretty impressive cocktail.
So this Friday evening, I'll be enjoying one of these with some salty potato chips.
Cheers to Friday!