Before fresh carrots vanish from the vegetable market, grab some to whip up a luscious carrot martini
If you get to think about the origin of the fruits and vegetables that are on your plate everyday, you would begin looking at your usual trip to, say, a Mother Dairy outlet or to your roadside vegetable vendor, with a sense of continually being part of a global village. Much before the term got credence in liberalised India.
Really, think of it. The potatoes and the onions you brought home this morning are originally from Peru and Bolivia, Egypt and Greece respectively. The cabbage and the cauliflower, the radish and the carrot, and yes, the chillies that you asked the vendor to put into your basket for free, or even common fruits — say the mango, the apple, the orange, the grape — are all results of some part of the world bringing it to us at some point in time. Even today, as consumers, we are a part of the process that adds to this never-ending list. Fruits like kiwis, vegetables like broccoli, red and yellow pepper, leeks, judging from their easy availability, would soon be ‘Indian’ vegetables.
From this array of ‘Indian’ vegetables, let me pick one, the carrot. Yes, I know, the best by-product of this lovely winter vegetable that has its origin reportedly in Iran and Afghanistan is gajar ka halwa. Some health conscious people also swear by its naturally sweet juice, freshly made. I too love fresh carrot juice in the winter. On the breakfast table. For the colour it adds to a cold morning, for the health benefits it brings.
I also often think about other ways of using the carrot juice. With fruits and vegetables more and more being used in our bars, carrots can be great that way. Though our bartenders are yet to get experimental with it, that doesn’t mean you can’t think up a drink with carrots as your main taste-and-colour source for a cocktail. So what about a carrot martini this weekend?
It is very simple. For me, it became simpler as I found an interesting carrot martini recipe on the Net. The best part is, it also needs pineapple juice, a fruit available now. I tweak it a bit though, cut out the orange-infused vodka part. Because, coincidentally, I got a bottle of Absolut Originality, a limited edition vodka from the company offered in a very arty bottle that has a cobalt blue ribbon-ey line going through it. It is a very clear and mildly aromatic vodka, ideal for a martini.
So I bring the three together — the carrot, the pineapple and the limited edition Absolut Originality.
This is how you can go about it. Blend the chopped carrots (about 6 of them), along with a few pieces of pineapple. Strain both through a cheesecloth to collect the juice. In a cocktail shaker, add the juices and about 60 ml of the vodka plus some crushed ice. Give it a hearty shake.
Take a martini glass, pour the stuff into it. For garnish, push into its rim a thin slice of carrot and enjoy.
And about the pineapple’s origins, I forgot to add that it is a gift of South America to the world.