My brother just returned from St. Maarten where one of our favourite restaurants is owned and operated by a family friend. Temptation Restaurant is all about fine dining and the most interesting of cocktails. Have a vacation planned to St. Maarten? You'll have to get to Temptation; it's worth the trip.
Paul Peterson bartender extraordinaire at Temptation gave us his recipe for this absolutely incredible Basil Lemon Drop Martini. As you've already heard, lemons are in surplus these days and this recipe just raises the bar up yet another notch. Paul has been the gold medal winner twice in the Taste of the Caribbean bartending competitions. When you try this martini, there will be absolutely no doubt in your mind that it was created by someone with a refined palette.
2 oz. Absolute Citron (we used regular Absolute)
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz basil syrup
1 oz pineapple juice
To make Basil Syrup:
We made a large quantity to have on hand because we knew we couldn't just have one.
4 cups sugar
4 cups water
Bring to a boil to make simple syrup, cool, refrigerate
Take a handful of fresh basil leaves, put them in a blender and just cover with simple syrup. Blend well.
To Make Martini:
The proportion above is for a single martini; just adjust the proportions.
In a shaker, put ice cubes, vodka, basil syrup and pineapple juice. Shake together and pour.
Visually, once you pour this martini and let it sit for a minute, you'll notice that your basil syrup will have some settling in the bottom of the glass. The martini is beautiful to look at and the finish is smooth with a hint of basil.
Paul - you rock!!! This martini is probably the best I've ever had. It's no wonder you're a two time award winner.