This week’s guest on ‘Burgh Vivant is Marina Carr, Ireland’s leading female dramatist, visiting Pittsburgh in conjunction with her play WOMAN AND SCARECROW at PICT Classic Theatre through August 2nd. In honor of Marina’s visit, the mix masters of ‘Burgh Vivant laboratories have devised a signature martini in her honor, aptly named the “Woman and Scarecrow.” Host Brian Edward presented it to Marina on the show this week, and here is the recipe so that you can enjoy one at home or request one while out on the town.
Oh, and don’t expect measurements. At ‘Burgh Vivant, we never measure. We assume that you will pour according to taste and tolerance.
BOYD AND BLAIR POTATO VODKA
FRESH BASIL LEAF
This cocktail is similar to the Bloody Mary, though more garden-fresh than spicy. Go with your favorite tomato or vegetable juice.
Pour vegetable juice into chilled martini glass.
For our vodka, we chose Boyd and Blair. First, it’s a potato vodka, keeping with our garden theme and giving a nod to the staple crop of Ireland. Second, it’s made locally in the Pittsburgh area! Not to mention that its one of the smoothest vodkas we have ever tasted. And we have TASTED.
Pour vodka into glass with vegetable juice.
Be generous – why not? Life is short. Now, while these two luscious liquids commingle, get yourself a shaker.
Muddle basil leaves in the bottom of shaker.
What’s muddle you ask? In short, to lightly crush. Not too much, not too little. You can achieve this by chopping up your basil leaves (and P.S. – do yourself a favor and get fresh if you can) placing them in the bottom of your shaker, and muddling them with the handle of a ladle, or the blunt end of any kitchen instrument, if you don’t have… you know… a muddler.
You know that random lime you’ve had sitting on your countertop for a week? This will be its finest hour. Slice it into 4 wedges and spritz some lime juice into your shaker on top of the muddled basil, as much or as little as you like. If you lack a flair for the dramatic, we suppose you can use lime juice from a bottle. No. Scratch that. You cant. We’d much prefer you be dramatic. PLUS – you can use your left over lime wedges when you make your “scarecrow” garnish! You’ll thank us.
Pour contents of martini glass into shaker and shake.
Woo! Now it’s a par-tay! Put the lid on and shake ‘er up. Or stir, if you have the patience.
Pour shaker into martini glass.
Soup from heaven. You can decide if you’d like to strain out the basil leaves and keep the flavor, sprinkle just a few in, or let them all take a swim!
Create your garnish.
Oh, right, this is the fun part. And if we weren’t so excited to take a sip of this thing, we might have done the garnish in advance. You can make it whenever you like. Just make it great.
Utilizing 2 short celery sticks, cut one in half, creating a total of one long stick and 2 short and equal length.
This is going to be your “scarecrow.” Now caution: less is more. A garnish like this fills up a martini glass a lot quicker than a typical Bloody Mary glass. (The scarecrow garnish Brian Edward made fro Marina was WAY too big.) The long piece of celery will be the body, the two short pieces will be the arms.
Affix the celery arms to the celery body with toothpicks.
You take the toothpicks and you kinda just… you know… you’ll figure it out.
Use another toothpick to attach the olive as a head.
The crowing glory. Yah, save this for last – its a nice touch. The olive is the head of your scarecrow. We recommend stuffed olives because they’re awesome. Select your favorite kind. OR – stuff a hollow olive with your leftover muddled basil. And don’t be afraid to get creative! Make your scarecrow however you like. (We’re sorry we made fun of Brian Edward’s earlier.)
Place garnish in drink and enjoy!
If you make this drink, send us photos!