Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Full Oddie

Recently, we decided to christen this drink: The Oddie. Later, the name morphed into The Full Oddie, and that one stuck. Days later another drink emerged as a riff on this drink: The Gentle Oddie - with the addition of club soda. It is the preferred option for the more tender souls in our midst.

This is a seasonal drink, and one needs to prepare for it days in advance. 

When you wash the fresh cranberries, pretend for a moment that you are Mary Oliver or Anne Sexton. Fall down before them - smitten by their beauty. Neither of these two poets would do any less than this, nor should we.

The next step is to turn the cranberries into Cranberry Sauce. This is my version:

Cranberry Sauce with Dried Apricots, Port Wine and Cardamom
Makes about 4 ½ cups. This can be made 1 week ahead. Keep refrigerated. Serve cold or at room temperature. A teaspoon in a martini is beyond stellar. It is also great on toast for breakfast. It can also be canned or frozen. I sometimes make a double batch.

8 whole green cardamom pods
Coarsely crush cardamom in mortar with pestle or place in re-sealable plastic bag and crush with rolling pin; discard skins.
3 cups Port Wine*
Bring next 5 ingredients and cardamom to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
1 cup sugar
1 cup apricot preserves
1 cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup honey
2 6-ounce package dried apricots, chopped
Add apricots; cook 2 minutes.
3 - 12-ounce bag cranberries or 2 600g bags
Add cranberries and cook until berries pop, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes.
1 grated lemon peel from one lemon
Mix in lemon peel. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
 * . I used Taylor Fladgate Porto 2005. In 2016, when I revisited this page, I used a 2011 vintage.

Then, I must counsel patience. It takes a day for the cardamom to quiet down and find its place as one note among many. Then, to make The Full Oddie,
  • chill a glass in the freezer until it is frosted, 
  • put a tsp of the cold cranberry sauce in the base of the shaker (1 tsp per 2 oz gin), 
  • top it up with whatever you do when you make a Martini, and 
  • shake vigorously.
  • In 2012, I used a French gin called Citadel (thank you Sabrina for that exuberantly sized bottle). The 2016 version will be made with a Scottish gin called The Botanist. It is what I have on hand.
Warning. You may start shouting out Nik Nik in response to the first hit of this drink. I am not sure the origin of this practice, but it does seem fitting.