October…, 2019 – Martini fanciers have very strong views on how a martini should be made. It starts with whether it should be made of gin or vodka and heats up from there. But we’ve found a recipe that is sure to impress even the most stubborn Martini maven. Its base is vodka, but not just any old vodka. This vodka is made from apples and is a brand new release from Clear Creek Distillery in Oregon. It is the first and formidable addition to this long-established craft distillery’s portfolio in a decade.
Clear Creek Vodka is 100 percent fruit based, fermented and distilled from apples in the Pacific Northwest, and cut to 80 proof with glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood, Oregon’s highest peak. This isn’t vodka with apple flavoring, friends. This is the real thing and it is really, really good. The tasting notes describe “mild notes of crushed apple blossom”. Maybe. We detected the mild aroma of baked apples and creamy baked apples on the palate.
Before we divulge the recipe, there’s another ingredient that makes this martini extra special. Briefly, the vision of Clear Creek Distillery founded in 1985, was to create fruit-based spirits that rivaled the best of their European counterparts. A check of their web site confirms a wide range of products featuring apples, pears, raspberries, etc. You might recall our review of their pear-in-a-bottle brandy as a great gift item. In their line up clear brandy/eau de vie we overlooked one flavored with Douglas Fir, which happens to be Oregon’s State Tree. We admit we rudely cracked jokes about Pine-Sol and those little fir tree odor things people hang in their car. We take it all back! This lovely brandy’s gentle fragrance brings to mind pine forests, Christmas trees and fresh shaved wood. Its hint of green is totally natural from the infusion of the Douglas Fir’s natural chlorophyll.
So, with that background on the key ingredients, here’s the recipe for a martini with a clever name that will see you through the coming months of cold weather, celebrations and then some. And it will definitely lead to friendly conversations.
Shaken and Firred
2 ½ oz Clear Creek Vodka
½ oz Dry Vermouth
¼ oz Clear Creek Douglas Fir Brandy
Method: Combine ingredients with ice in a tin. Shake 13 times, just enough to chill, and strain into a martini glass.
Mixologists are always very precise about their measurements but measuring half and quarter ounces is a real pain so we converted the measurements to teaspoons: Two and a half ounces is easy to measure but it converts to 10 teaspoons; a half ounce is two teaspoons; a quarter ounce is one teaspoon. Perfect results!
Clear Creek products are available nationwide at fine wine and spirits retailers or you can contact the company for more information. Suggested retail for Clear Creek Vodka 750 ml is $29.95. Douglas Fir Brandy 375 ml is $49.95. It’s $$$ but worth it and it will last a long time.