We’ve taken a week off work this week, to getaway and relax a bit. For a variety of reasons, I’ve had a very busy and very stressful couple of months, and the last couple of weeks seemed to really put me over the limit. So I’m really glad that we booked this week off last February, with no particular agenda except that it seemed a logical time to take some vacation. We knew we didn’t want to go far, and after moving “our youngest” and driving back and forth to Toronto in a single day with a van full of her belongings, another couple of days driving was out of the question. But – it goes without saying that whatever we do, we’ll be driving there. How can you shop when you’re on a plane? And you miss the landscapes! And by the time you get up early to get to the airport a couple of hours ahead of your flight and then the time after you land but before you can get off the plane because now you’re driving around the tarmac in your 727 – well, I’m not sure you save any time unless you’re traveling cross-country. In our case, we set 7 hours as our outer limit – and wanted a quiet spot, with a nice Marriott hotel, maybe some decent shopping nearby and not too far from a larger city if we really got bored. We found just what we wanted in Park Ridge NJ. Never heard of it!? Neither had we! But it’s exactly what we wanted – and so far have no complaints at all!
Ironic then, since New Jersey is the home of some of the best blueberries in the country, that one of the cocktails we tried but that I hadn’t posted yet, is a Blueberry Martini! So, even though we only make our cocktails when we’re at home, I”m able to post a new one while we’re on vacation! Sometimes it pays to get a little behind! This one is a gorgeous blue colour (although not as blue as the Blue Monday). It’s not as sweet either, and might actually benefit from a bit of Simple Syrup – but you’d have to try it to see what you think. I guess I was expecting something a bit fruitier – and this was more refreshing than fruity or sweet. Not one I’d rave about – but certainly had no trouble enjoying it either!
Blueberry Martini (serves 1)
handful of fresh blueberries (about 20 small)
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce blue curaçao liqueur
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
several berries skewered on a cocktail pick
Muddle the blueberries in cocktail shaker. (yes – muddle – if you don’t actually have a muddle, just find something you can squish them with). Add the vodka, curaçao, and lemon juice. Fill the shaker with cracked ice. Shake vigorously to help the blueberries release more colour and flavour. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a chilled martini glass. Add the garnish.